Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review

This could be Marvel's worst week in comics ever! (I can't count the good stuff like Captain America, Dana will have that review!)

Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man 23

by Peter David and Todd Nauck

It's the final run for Peter David, and it features a showdown with Peter's longest-lasting enemy: J. Jonah Jameson. After all these years of Peter selling pictures of Spider-Man, and more than a decade (of compressed Marvel time) of J.J.J. ranting and raving, the two finally have a face-to-face and get some of their differences out in the open with just the two of them. It's a good final issue for the creative team. I can't help but wonder where Spidey stuck the bottle of wine in the final panel though...

New X-Men 41

by Christopher Yost, Craig Kyle, Scot Eaton, and Skottie Young

With almost zero in the way of explanations, we end up with an Illyana, but no way of knowing which one she is, from what universe, to whatever. It's almost a duplicate of the Hawkeye situation, so even if Marvel is becoming loose with its universes and almost DC-like in the parallel universe mess, why did they have to be so derivative so quickly?

The big reveal that is supposed to be a plot twist near the ned, the thing that ignited the motivation for Belasco to single-handedly carve Conan-style through the legions of Limbo demon hordes... is that he "loves" Illyana. It is impossible for me to state how incredibly lame this psychoanalysis is. In the meantime, they have the perfect chance to introduce Doctor Strange into the equation, and they mess that up, too. Doc Strange actually has to have Spider-Man point out that demons are appearing on earth before the sorceror supreme can figure out there's trouble on the mystical planes. And they leave it at that. No kidding. Quite possibly the worst storyline Marvel has had in the past year. Continuity shredded to bits, painful art, I could go on, but hopefully you get the message to steer clear.

Chapter 8 of Endangered Species is at the end of this issue, I'll cover that along with Chapter 7 down in the X-Factor review.

Quasar 2

by Christos N. Gage and Mike Lilly

It takes all of six pages before Moondragon gets all weepy declaring her love for Phyla, which makes you wonder if Christos Gage is the new Judd Winnick for beating us over the head with alternative lifestyles. Thankfully, we have at least some good art by Mike Lilly, including the usual excellent cover by Matt Wilson. Gage segues immediately into Moondragon acting the opposite of the way she has acted her entire life, being all meek and humble. That's right, Moondragon, eating heaps of humble pie, without any prompting or butt-kicking. It takes three pages of explaining her history with the Dragon of the Moon, because he needs to use it later as a story device. Which he closes with another page of weepy women hugging each other, expressing their undying love for one another, basically. I have no idea how many times in one issue the writer feels he has to have them do that.

Setting aside the fact that the Dragon of the Moon was exorcized a long time ago, and squashed by someone in a Doctor Strange series, it means either more pages next issue explaining how the Dragon of the Moon survived and attached itself to Moondragon again, or just forgetting to try explain anything any more. Either possibility is tiresome at this point. Oh, and zero development with the mysterious voice in her head, too. This is shaping up to be the weakest link in the Annihilation: Conquest story.

Wolverine: Origins 16

by Daniel Way and Kaare Andrews

This issue gets a little complicated, as it attempts to fill in some of the backstory on the Black Widow knowing Wolverine more than fifty years ago. The issue contains a reprint of Uncanny X-Men #268, which showed the first meeting between Captain America and Wolverine, and a preview of Wolverine #56 for some unknown reason. That's almost like watching a commercial for your favorite show, in the middle of watching your favorite show.

This issue is a mix for me, but partly it's because Steve Dillon has not grown as an artist; his style has remained simple for several years, without much for the inker to do, and the panels are very sparse of detail. The story is halfway decent, so I'm hanging on for now. The final reveal is somewhat interesting, so if Daniel Way can introduce more concepts like that, he'll keep me around. That said, this series should have a definite ending; it's hard to see the title continuing for thirty more issues, without it devolving into a meaningless revisiting of every Marvel comic that has shown us a Wolverine flashback, and simply repainting it while introducing one or two new factoids.

X-Factor 22

by Peter David and Khoi Pham

Mdadrox meets Cable-eye Josef Huber in this issue, but Huber doesn't show off his glowy eye. Instead, he seems to know Jamie so well, it's almost like he's one of the dupes. Monet and Siryn get taken out like amateurs, and Rahne and Rictor have pretty much dismantled the rumors that Rictor might be gay at this point. The issue ends with Layla, the girl who knows stuff, getting blindsided, which also means that Huber has been planning for, and manipulating X-Factor, for quite some time.

Chapter 7 of Endangered Species continues here, as Beast manages an uneasy truce with dark Beast (from the Age of Apocalypse storyline, no relation to the Shadow Beast who just died in New Excalibur- a hint that there might be too many parallel characters running around. Where an extremist Monitor when you need one?). We end at Alamagordo, New Mexico, which has relevance in the real world for being the site of Trinity, the very first nuclear device explosion. It also has relevance in the Marvel universe for being the workplace of Brian Xavier and Kurt Marko, and supposedly also having been a front for a mutant research station (the Toad was a mutant baby here). Mike Carey writing, Mike Perkins pencilling.

Chapter 8 starts in New X-Men #41, with Christos Gage writing and Scot Eaton pencilling. The Beast knows about Xavier's and Marko's mutant research here, but I have no idea where and when he found out about it. I also do not know if Xavier and Marko were fully involved in the underground Black Womb project or not. Can anyone help me out on that?

So far, we have struck out here and at Neverland. The scenes play a little repetitive, with Beast always being confrontational with disgust at the prospect of the Dark Beast's methods, but it also plays realistically. Wonder where we're going next?


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