Comic Fodder

Dana's Marvel Comic Reviews

Each week Comics Fodder will bring you a number of reviews from the Marvel Universe. Some books will inevitably be missed. But should any reader feel a certain Marvel title has been shamefully overlooked by me, take a gander at my comic counterpart’s reviews. If he’s missed it too, drop a quick note and we’ll try take a look.

This is another light week for me in the world of comics. I’m left to comment on a mere two titles. I had every intention of covering World War Hulk: Gamma Corps however after leafing through the pages at the book store, I couldn’t make myself pay the three bucks (which isn’t to say it’s a bad title, just not for me). Sorry. But look for my upcoming reviews of Avengers: The Initiative #4, Captain America #28, The Order #1, Ultimate Spider-Man #111, and World War Hulk #2.


The New Avengers 32

By Brian Michael Bendis, Leinil Yu and Dave McCaig

Sometimes I come away from a title not really knowing what to say about it. It might’ve been a fine issue for most to read but nothing really stands out worth discussing. That seems to be the biggest flaw with this book. There’s nothing truly notable about it, save for its end.

This month finds our team talking their way back to the U.S. of A. And that’s pretty much it. I have no real qualms with a book being filled with dialogue. There was plenty to enjoy and absorb within the banter among these covert characters. The suspicion and distrust brewing in the jet was terrific. I found Spider-Man great fun to read (no surprise with Brian Michael Bendis at the helm), the rant of Wolverine was dead-on, and Jessica Drew never fails to complicate. But what I do take issue with is the way this installment was structured. It felt way too similar to the previous one. It was like every Lost episode from last season – “don’t miss the last five minutes.” Bendis can write a great hook, I’ll give him that, but I’d rather not have the nuts and bolts of the story reserved solely for the final few pages. I believe he can still establish what needs to be established in half the time, leaving the rest of the book to delve deeper into the arc at hand.

So let’s get to the nuts and bolts. The end of this book is a prime example of how great Bendis is with a hook. It’s definitely left me eager for the next issue and filled with question concerning a character rapidly becoming a new personal favorite. If you’ve already read this month’s book, you know of what I speak. What is this character up to? Where does this character’s allegiance lie? Is this character who we think?

As I mentioned in my last review of The New Avengers, Yu’s art is a perfect fit for this book. His dark and jagged work lends an ideal tone and mood to this team. But this issue felt a bit messy and inconsistent. Some pages looked fine while others just didn’t work. And his portrayal of Maya Lopez on page five was downright scary.

Even though I have my misgivings with this issue, I still feel it’s worth picking up.

Ultimate X-Men 84

By Robert Kirkman, Yanick Paquette, Serge LaPointe and Stephane Peru

Let me start out by saying, with a mere change in artists, this issue of Ultimate X-Men is exponentially better than the last. You don’t quite realize how truly collaborative a comic book is until one of its elements falters. Although this book took a mighty stumble when they brought on Pascal Alixe, it’s regained a bit of it’s foothold with the re-induction of Paquette.

But it isn’t just the art that’s found new life; the story is far more spirited and dynamic this time around. This issue brings us Stryfe with his Mutant Liberation Front, and I couldn’t be happier. Robert Kirkman establishes the Ultimate incarnation of this group as a sort of mutant terrorist organization with a leader readying his troops to take down our government – a great move. Kirkman’s left himself a great deal of room to delve into the character and conflict he will inevitably beget. He’s also left us with a question mark of where this character will fall – good or evil? Though I said I wouldn’t make any postulations since I’m crap at them, I can only assume, if we’re following Marvel continuity, he’ll be evil, and we’ll be seeing Apocalypse in the very near future. What am I saying? I’m way off, right?

This issue also provides us with our new X-Team: Bishop, Storm, Wolverine, Angel, Pyro, Psylocke, and Dazzler. It’s quite a hodgepodge of team, if you ask me, but I appreciate Kirkman's approach to each character. My favorite, by far, is his exploration of Dazzler and the potential of her powers. She was definitely underutilized in the past with this title, and it’s nice to see a new approach. I'm also intrigued to see what he plans to do with Psylocke. She's always been, at least in my comic circles, a character of great debate.

What can I say about the art? It is leaps and bounds better than the prior two issue. The fight sequences are lively and full of action. The characters are beautifully rendered (love the look of Psylocke and Stryfe). And it captures the mood and tone of the title.

Pick up this issue.

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Dana Severson is one of your resident reviewers of all things
Marvel. He’s 5’9”and 160 lbs with blonde hair and blue eyes.
He likes – wait, wrong site – Never mind.