Every once in a while I feel I have to prove myself, maybe defend my particular review choices. I do seem to be more enthusiastic for Marvel books than DC. This might lead to the impression that Marvel publishes nothing but gold. Nothing could be further from the truth. What is really at play is that Marvel puts out a lot of books, like way too many books. There are good books and then there are the books that fill space on the shelf. “Heist” is definitely one of those books. This story spins out of the “Infinity” story; you know the one where absolutely everybody went into space? In this book, a team of super crooks decides that now is the time to pull a “Heist” on Stark Tower.
For the record I want to say that everything is made better by a heist. Remember when Mark Millar had choked all the life out of “Kick-Ass”? Then he does a book about super crooks pulling a heist and he had me again. That’s really the same principle at work here. All of these characters are bottom tier, nobody that we actually care about. They’re all thrown together and forced to do this one “Heist” or they will be maimed or killed. God, they even have a character who decides to get out of the game. It’s like they found the formula for TNT shows like “Leverage” and simply plugged the formula with bottom feeder characters from the Marvel universe. Nothing is original or unique in this book; other bigger names have tried to rob Stark Tower before and failed. There’s even been way better comics Marvel has published about heists.
This issue feels exceptionally lazy. It starts off in the middle of Stark Tower. They’ve done all their planning, they’ve broken in, now they have to break into the vault and get past some second tier Avengers. But oh no! There’s a double cross. What are they going to do? Will they make it ou—oh yeah, I don’t care about these characters because they are BOTTOM RUNG, THIRD RATE, NOT IMPORTANT VILLAINS. I’m really tired of stories that try to get the reader to care about characters that are doing bad things to beloved characters. Why should I want you to beat Tony Stark? He’s not my favorite character but I like him way more than I like any of you. Obstacle that gets in your way? Good. A team mate betrays you? Boo hoo, you’re stealing sh&%. If you don’t complete this job the boss will kill you? How is that my problem? This is just lazy writing and if you’re not invested enough in this story to write compelling motivation, why should I emotionally invest in any of this?
If the idea is to root for their failure, mission accomplished. All of these characters seem to be made of stupid which makes me wonder why they aren’t in prison. And to make matters worse, these characters get in a fight with War Machine (except he’s Iron Patriot because %$#@ !&@%£), Luke Cage, White Tiger, and Human Torch… I think. It’s really hard to tell with the last one. But these characters are all seasoned veterans of fighting crime and they get pummeled. Not an even fight where each side takes losses. No, the bad guys show up and punch Luke Cage in the face until he passes out. And I’m left sitting here asking one very important question: Why am I reading this book?
When a comic book gets lazy over a long run it can be forgiven, there’s a flexibility the writer has earned with the readership. The readers keep reading because the writer has proven he knows how to write a compelling story and if the readers stick with him then they’ll get a rewarding pay off. I don’t get that sense with this book because every issue comes out with problems and then the next book comes out and doesn’t address those issues. At least if you are going to show some villains’ story, give me a central character to care about. In “Invincible” they introduced Tether Tyrant as a poor shmuck that is about to lose control. We can see his friendship with Magmaniac is the only thing that is stabilizing him. That way when Magmaniac is killed in battle, we care about his insane descent. Tether Tyrant’s motivations aren’t in conflict with Invincible’s goals either so we’re allowed to feel sorry for his tragic tale without being conflicted. If “Heist” is going to continue being a lazy plug and chug formula that doesn’t work for its emotional payoff, this is going to be a short run.