Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review

Eight, count ‘em, eight Marvel comics for review:

Daredevil 98

by by Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark

It's the conclusion of Matt's dealing with the Gladiator, and Brubaker does a good job of building the suspense, which is harder to do these days in a single issue. You get a real sense of Daredevil's desperation, as the threat feels real, as opposed to the normal ho-hum feeling you get when someone is in danger again. It's a great issue with a great cover, but for some reason there's a gun in the corner of the cover, and a tagline that says, "guns kill people." Is there some awareness campaign I don't know about? Setting aside the fact that guns can't do anything without a person around to pick them up and squeeze the trigger, I can't find it on any other comics this month, so maybe there's a pet cause that someone on the creative team is championing. We'll see if it's there next month.

The Immortal Iron Fist 6

by by Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, David Aja, and Russ Heath

You read that right, fans we've got us some Russ Heath art in this one! Just a few pages, but Heath's art is used to show us the flashbacks. In the "present," the art is good too, and the dialogue is pretty snappy, but things get confusing as Davos calls Iron Fist a cheater. I'm not sure why he suddenly feels that way, so maybe a sharp reader can point out why, by posting in the comments section below. Help a fellow reader out!

The story is actually moving a little slowly so far, and I'm hoping it will pick up the pace with the next story arc. Between flashbacks, legions of Hydra goons, and appearances by Luke Cage, Colleen Wing and Misty, we are being given a lot of stuff to look at, but it's a lot of candy right now. Here's hoping the writers follow it up with some real meat soon.

Silent War 6

by David Hine and Frazer Irving

First of all, I love the cover for this issue. The pacing is very good, as the war between America and the Inhumans heats up. At the end, there is such a big change in the state of things, you automatically want to see another series with these folks, to find out what happens next. That means somewhere along the way, the writer got you to care for the characters, so I'm going to have to give you a good solid recommendation. If you didn't get this series from the start, consider buying the trade when it is available.

Silver Surfer: Requiem 2

by J. Michael Strazynski and Esad Ribic

This is a winner, people. The art is breath-taking, and the story is imbued with a sense of sadness and solemnity, the kind you feel at a funeral. Spider-Man meets with the Silver Surfer and try to figure out how the Surfer can leave Earth better than when he got here. Their idea is a touching one, and I don't want to spoil anything, so just take my advice and check this one out. It's worth your time and money.

Thunderbolts 115

by Warren Ellis and Mike Deodato, Jr.

If you're like me, sometimes you save the best comic of the week for last. For me, this week, it's Thunderbolts. Part 6 of the Ellis and Deodato run, as the team has a showdown with Steel Spider, American Eagle, and Sepulchre. The exposition is great, and Deodato's art is truly amazing, with some great complements from the inking and the colors. And wait until you see what happens to Bullseye! Next month has a new creative team, Paul Jenkins and Steve Lieber, so I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest you pick this up.

X-Factor 20

by Peter David and Khoi Pham

It's time for a showdown between X-Cell and X-Factor. The story is passable, but there isn't much character shown by the villains. You could have thrown any de-powered mutants you felt like in their place, so we don't have much sympathy for them. The issue feels like one small stop along a long ride, with a little change in Quicksilver's status that could make things interesting. One good thing here too is, Peter David is good at letting you know who all the players are, something that we used to take for granted when reading, and now half the time, you have to go look on the web to find out who some people are.

X-Men 200

by Mike Caery, Humberto Ramos, Chris Bachalo, and Scot Eaton

With an excellent four-page foldout wrap-around cover, it looks like you're in for a treat. Well, not really. It's a little like false advertising. Chris Bachalo's art was great back when Generation X first started, but he hasn't grown any as an artist. Humberto Ramos is just about as bad, and you can hardly recognize Cannonball anymore, poor guy. Here's a problem just as big: there are almost zero references to clue readers in as to who all the villains are.

Let me spoil some things, just because they are so bad. SPOILERS follow:

Iceman and Mystique get it on, for no apparent reason. That's right, four other teammates are in the house, and Bobby and Raven take a little timeout. No telling how long it lasted, but nobody else goes looking for them, so let's just assume Bobby was a little quick.

The Marauders are running around killing people who I assume are mutants, even though we aren't given a solid indication they are. Just a little bit later, they are all present with the X-Men, so they are either teleporting, or we're dealing with clones again. Which is disgusting in and of itself. In the meantime, both Lady Mastermind AND Mystique are traitors, like they needed two? I figured Lady Mastermind was fairly evil to begin with and have just been waiting for it. The Marauders all pop in and take out our heroes, with no editorial notes or exposition to explain who they are and what powers they possess, so unless you've been reading X-Men for about... 21 years, skip this.

Okay, now here's the killing-me part. The Endangered Species storyline part is at the back of the book, and the art is by Scot Eaton, so it's good, and the story is good, and it's only eight pages. So if you're along for the entire storyline, you have to figure if you're going to spend $3.99 on a lot of bad story and bad art, or if you're going to buy a different comic with your money, and just read the last eight pages in the store.

X-Men: First Class 1

by Jeff Parker and Roger Cruz

It's back, and as a regular series. For those who get a little tired of the decades-long continuity, this is a good series to read as a stand-alone. Cruz's art is simplistic, which is in fitting with the nature of the series taking place somewhere around ten years ago, Marvel time. This is an all-ages comic, meaning I would have liked it when I was eight, and I like it now. It's not hard or edgy, so don't expect anything other than some innocent fun. Long-time readers will enjoy jumping into the teen years of their favorite X-Men again.

Tpull is Travis Pullen. He started reading comics at 5 years old, and he can't seem to stop.