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Trouble by Mark Millar Hardcover – 1 Jun 2011

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 120 pages
  • Publisher: MARVEL - US; 01 edition (1 Jun. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785150862
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785150862
  • Product Dimensions: 18.4 x 1.3 x 26.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 713,692 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bought this for the artwork by Terry Dodson, which is actually some of his career best.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1.5 out of 5 stars 6 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An unfortunate failure by otherwise talented artists 4 Jun. 2011
By J Feegin - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Despite boasting a very talented creative team in Mark Millar and the Dodsons (penciler Terry and his wife, Rachel, who always inks his work) that will no doubt attract many fans to Trouble, this book has to be considered a creative failure.

The plot of Trouble involves two 17-year-old brothers and two female friends making separate trips to work in the Hamptons for the summer. They meet up, have romantic/sexual relationships with each other, and deal with the consequences. Much of the promotion for Trouble seems to focus on the supposed controversy about Marvel releasing a book with sex as a major theme and frequent occurrence. I don't know whether to give Marvel credit for taking this risk - it strikes me as at least a little calculated - but this is new territory for them. Since far more risqué comics have been produced for years by many other major companies, and Marvel has long since recognized that their core audience is much older than it used to be, I don't see what the big deal is. There's no nudity, and certainly nothing titillating in here, unless generically good-looking, idealized characters talking not-very-explicitly about the sex they're having is your idea of arousing (if not for hair color, I wouldn't have been able to tell the overly-muscled brothers or the two main girls apart.)

Therein lies the fatal flaw with this book. Terry Dodson draws the characters, and the whole book for that matter, the same way he draws superhero comics. But Trouble is not a superhero comic, and it is not entirely unprecedented. It's written like an independent comic - much like those by Adrienne Tomine, Charles Burns, Chester Brown, Debbie Drechsler, Seth, e.g. - which tells a totally plausible story meant to appeal to the emotions and intellects of fairly mature readers. Terry doesn't seem to grasp this, and his over-the-top art took me write out of the narrative. By the time I realized the comic wasn't meant to be a silly, hormone-charged romp, it was too late. I didn't take any of the characters or their problems seriously. The protagonists look like superheroes without the costumes. Their facial expressions feel inauthentic. The perspective changes and action lines and other standard superhero comic tropes imply a level of action and slapstick that simply isn't in the script.

While I'm normally a fan of the Dodsons, Terry reveals some serious limitations here. His art is not at its best, even by his own standards, but he clearly lacks ability to convey a wide range of genuine emotions in his art. He's good at drawing fun, pretty scenes, with attractive people bouncing around light-heartedly (Yes, even when it's superheroes fighting monsters.) He should stick to that.

I wouldn't mind seeing Mark Millar try something like this again, though, so long as he chooses the artist(s) based on their storytelling ability, not how sexy their characters look.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Warning: If you read Trouble, you will never look at Aunt May the same way again 7 Nov. 2011
By - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Warning: If you read Trouble, you will never look at Aunt May the same way again. That's right, Peter (Spider-Man) Parker's saintly Aunt May gets up to some seriously ribald behavior in this controversial miniseries from Mark Millar and Terry Dodson. To say fans had mixed reactions to this series, collected here in one book, is a vast understatement.

Set some years ago (this being comics, the exact timing is vague, but suffice to say May is a very young woman), Trouble finds best friends May and Mary venturing out to the Hamptons for the summer. They assure their parents that the local parish priest is going to meet them right when they get off the bus--and really, they both look the picture of American wholesomeness--but in reality, the two girls are eager to flirt with boys. Brothers Ben and Richie are also there for the summer, and they're more than happy to do the flirting with the pretty girls.

If this were a '60s comic, it would all add up to a scorching (but PG-rated) romance book. But this is now, and there's very little innocence to be found here. Ben and May hit the sheets first, but good girl Mary wants to wait a little longer--something that frustrates Richie, even though he agrees to it. Still, his wait isn't a very long one, and eventually the two couples are all off to the carnal races.

Comics fans know we can eventually expect to hear the pitter-patter of Peter Parker's little feet from all this--and even if you didn't, the title "Trouble" ought to clue you in that somebody's going to be in a family way--so it's no surprise that eventually a pregnancy test comes back positive. But that's only one (relatively minor in the grand scope of things) problem the four young people face in the book, and therein lies the controversy. You will have some conflicting emotions while reading Trouble. That is the point, of course.

The ultimate question, though, is whether all the Trouble is worth it. That is, does the story hold up on its own and does it do more than just present a new portrait of Aunt May for little more than shock value? Those are difficult questions to answer. Aunt May--who has always been presented as the epitome of virtue, with an almost nun-like vow of poverty and devotion to goodness--is a much loved character. But doesn't she deserve to be human too? And, regardless of how one acts during their younger years, can't we all become saintly if we put our minds to it?

That's pretty much beside the point in this case, however. Unfortunately, the story doesn't quite live up to the controversy, or the hype. The characters are a little too one-dimensional, the dialogue a little too stiff, and the story a little too rapidly paced to really evoke the full breadth of human emotions it wants to stir. Yes, there is much to provoke thought and debate here. And yes, the actions of the principal characters do ring true somewhat of human foibles. But the emotional clincher, the real grasp of human nature that would bring this entire story home and give it the depth that justifies the hullabaloo, is missing.

Reviewed by John Hogan
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your time/money 11 July 2011
By A. Bachicha - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book's cover claims this is a "controversial" and "innovative" tale but I fail to find both in this case. The only thing controversial I see about this series is that there is a failure in cohesiveness among the characters names and personalities. The art is not bad but the story left me scratching my head in confusion and disappointment. First of all, as another reviewer stated, the characters are hard to tell apart by appearance. The main characters are two brothers Ben and Richie and the two girls are Mary and May. The characters are just as generic as their names: you have Richie the womanizer and Ben the sensitive guy, May the slut and Mary the goody-two-shoes. As far as sex goes, nothing titillating, we even get generic pictures of nature at one point, nothing very juicy. With a lack of connect with the characters I feel no excitement or sympathy.

In the 5th part of the story I am so confused about the characters I had to look back to see who was who. Ben's personality seems to change from unsure (sensitive guy) to confident. Whereas Richie begins taking Ben's interest in fixing cars, loses the mustang and becomes more of the sensitive type, staying home working with his dad, and writing letters to Mary. This change is quite abrupt. The only thing that transitions us into this change is some weak dialogue i.e. May says Richie has written her but she hasn't answered his letters, and Ben is driving the "'stang" and has a hot new girlfriend. I find the transition, weak and hard to believe.

I feel like I wasted more time trying to figure out who was who in order to make sense of the ending than I spent enjoying the story. I feel cheated, or maybe my expectations were too high.

Although I haven't read a great deal of graphic novels/comics I can say this: If you are looking for hot chicks I would recommend the Danger Girl series. If your looking for a complicated deep interesting story line with good characters, controversy, and even some sexual tension I recommend Watchman.

As far as Amazon is concerned, I am happy with their service the book was received in great condition and shipped within a reasonable amount of time.
1.0 out of 5 stars Millar is out of his comfort area 2 Jan. 2013
By C. Brock - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I usually love the stuff that Millar writes. His ability to redefine a known character in a troubling world is at times refreshing. But in this instance, he redefines Aunt May into a young skank. I can't say much more without giving away the plot. I cannot remember the last time Millar wrote a strictly love story. Character development was never his strong suit. He seems most comfortable reworking the tropes and formulas existent in comics. He cannot do what Charles Burns is able to do, nor should he try. This book is an artist like Millar trying something new and revealing his limitations as a writer. I was really hoping he could pull it off, but Millar is at his best when he is structuring plots, not defining characters within that structure. I guess the lesson here is that if I want to read convincing love stories with believable characters I will read Daniel Clowes, Gabrielle Bell, Alan Moore, Charles Burns, or even Grant Morrison.
1.0 out of 5 stars Just Awful 1 Aug. 2015
By Laura C Wright - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Has Mark Millar ever read a Spider-Man comic? I really don't think May is even a red head. This whole story was ridiculous. None of the characters had any of the traits that they would display in later history. There was absolutely no reason to try to cram May, Mary, Ben, and Richard in to this sex-capade. It didn't add anything to the characters' backstories. In fact it was completely unbelievable that this could have happened within the timeframe of the 1940's. Everything about this book was nonsense trying to gain fame off of Spider-Man's coattails. My boyfriend spent $3 on this book and I told him he was robbed. It will take a very amazing story and artist to convince me to ever read another book by Mark Millar.
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