Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review

Communication via the Internet is lightning-fast, so if you've got feedback, don't hesitate. Are these reviews detailed enough? Need something more? It can't hurt to ask. (I mean, the worst thing that can happen is I'll say no...)

Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America 5

by Jeph Loeb and John Cassaday

This final issue in the series comes with two covers, one with Iron Man bowing his head, the other with a flag-swaddled corpse. In honor of Steve Rogers, I bought the one without the armored fanatic semi-responsible for his death. The only thing missing from this issue is somebody making the obvious comment that Tony Stark makes for one of the worst-advised pall-bearers that Steve Rogers could have.

Sam Wilson's eulogy is really great, and interspersed throughout the gray, murky funeral story are beautifully colored flashbacks that are worth lingering over twice with your eyes. There's something weird with the New Avengers sitting on their butts, when Dr. Strange could easily let them attend the service in person, invisible. It's like they remember his abilities one week, and forget what he can do the next. We finally get to see some of Janet's spine, which Mark Gruenwald took great steps to grow over the years, but has often been forgotten when dealing with the character. A very nice end to the series.

Ms. Marvel 17

by Brian Reed, Aaron Lopresti, and Matt Ryan

The A.I.M. story concludes with the spy in S.H.I.E.L.D. revealed, but little else. Carol's erstwhile boyfriend gets one reference, and poor Simon gets the brush-off, as Ms. Marvel can't seem to make up her mind what she wants. Pretty strange for someone who seemed so focused at the beginning of the series. Even more strange is the invisible entities inside her that nobody can seem to detect. Either I missed a significant element, or Reed is introducing an entirely new mystery that will unfold over the next few issues. The way things are introduced is a little klunky and awkward, so it feels a little incomplete when you put the issue down. This may be one of the storylines that reads lousy if not in trade format.

Thor 1

by J. Michael Straczynski and Olivier Coipel

It is hard to judge if a new reader would be able to follow everything that happens in this issue, because for the most part it is one big flashback and a setting of the stage. Given that most readers are more than familiar with Thor, though, let me say this is a good setting of the stage. The story recaps what has gone before, and sort-of explains the return of Dr. Donald Blake. The art could be a little more detailed, but it is good overall. I would recommend this book to everyone simply for what they could take away from a few short words:

"Are you, at last, tired of death?
And willing to find that which gave your life meaning?"

We could all take a note from asking ourselves that very question, for real. Not bad for a funny book...

Uncanny X-Men 487

by Ed Brubaker and Salvador Larroca

This story is a little strange, if only for the fact that usually when the X-Men have to go look into the Morlocks, they try to bring a sizeable force if they can. Instead, we Caliban leading only a claustrophobic Storm, Warpath, and Hepzibah. Hello, you just came form a mansion that is littered with mutants? Howzabout a little backup? No?

The government's restrictions on the X-Men is basically a joke at this point, as Brubaker points out. Professor X lies to Cooper's face, and there is no consequence. The X-Men can go where they want, whenever they want, and the Sentinels are helpless to stop them every time, so much that the writers have stopped trying to come up with explanations of how they evaded detection or capture. Valerie Cooper herself just seems to accept that she is being treated badly, but does nothing so far to force the issue. Hopefully, things will be addressed with this eventually, because it is a big plot issue that seems to have devolved into meaninglessness.

It may be my imagination, but I think Larroca's art is getting even better. Whomever is giving the stage directions is great as well, whether writer or artist. Even when people are just standing around talking, they are shown from different angles and perspectives to help keep your attention, which is what you want in a quality book.

Part 2 of the Endangered Species story continues here, written by Mike Carey and drawn by Mark Bagley, and Bagley seems to have shed a tiny bit of his Ultimates Spidey style, and for the better, as far as these characters are concerned. Worth picking up both of these stories, although you'll be paying an extra dollar for only eight more pages, which is kind of lousy of them to do to us.


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