Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review

Pretty good week for Marvel, overall:

New X Men 42

by Christopher Yost, Craig Kyle, and Skottie Young

It’s still Skottie Young on the art duties, and I don’t think I will ever appreciate his style, but the writing is vastly different. It feels like one of the two writers handled all of the Magik storyline, and now the other one has taken over the chores. We have senior X-Men staff finally interacting with the kids, and the scenes give you a bit of time with each character, so you have a chance to distinguish them and learn a tidbit or two about their powers. This issue is full of humor, and a refreshing change from the train wreck that has been the last few issues.

Chapter 12 of Endangered Species is brought to you by Mike Carey and Mike Perkins, and the one person Beast can think of to take genetic samples from is Lucinda Guthrie, mother of at least five mutants. Of course, she’s not too keen on the idea, but we don’t get a chance to see if Hank could convince her of the need, because Dark Beast proves why he’s called Dark Beast. Excellent, as always.

Penance: Relentless 1

by Paul Jenkins and Paul Gulacy

Let me say right off the bat, that I love the team on this project. Paul Jenkins has a habit of drifting towards the darker characters in the Marvel universe, and he is not afraid to get into those deep shadows and play around. Paul Gulacy’s art is always good, and he knows how to play with the light, making good use of dark and shadow, which dovetails quite nicely with the tone that Paul Jenkins always sets. After reading it, I have to say the colors an dinks are well done, too.

The one thing that struck me as odd was one section that showed every Thunderbolt being walked out in restraints. It seems very strange to let Baldwin (Penance) walk around free and unhindered in public one moment, but when mission time comes, he needs to be shackled? Unless this was the very first transfer from the Raft to a new base of operations. There are no editorial comments to help us out. Aside form that, a good start for what could be a great miniseries.

Quasar 3

by Christos N. Gage Bob Almond, and Scott Hanna

Each issue of this title is slightly less than the one before, but at least we have great covers by Matt Wilson. One common link in the “Annihilation: Conquest” titles is Scott Hanna. He is leaving his mark on the story with his art, and it is a great mark to leave!

The story gives us a two-page splash, so after three pages the massive threat from last issue is quickly dispatched, followed by three panels that explain Moondragon turning into a real dragon. Yeah, it is pretty lame. Whereas it took three panels to defeat a ton of bad guys, we then take nine panels to have a disturbing conversation about “how can I be your lesbian lover now that you’re an animal, and do we have to worry about bestiality,” and then a couple pages later, they have already reached the end of their quest. It’s as if Gage wanted to write only about the relationship between these two characters, and the whole “threat to the galaxy” thing is just a backdrop to resolve in as few pages as possible. Thankfully, the next issue is the last, and Gage will probably have no choice but to have most of the pages work towards wrapping up the mysterious voice she has been hearing (that we saw no trace of this issue), the corruption of the Nega-bands, and the fact that they have run out of power. And maybe resolve something about Moondragon, but I’m not sure what.

Thor 3

by J. Michael Straczynski and Olivier Coipel

This issue came out a week earlier, but I was out of town. It is worthy to comment on this issue because it is so good and revealing at the same time. Thor starts his search to find the hidden Asgardians, and to carve a new future, as their destiny has technically been fulfilled already. His journey takes him to New Orleans, and Iron Man shows up.

The reason the issue is so good is that Tony gets his head handed to him, as he so richly deserves. Granted, the Hulk is pounding him over in World War Hulk, and Ultron has turned him into a metal robot that looks like the Wasp, but neither of those really captured the essence of a real @$$ beating. The art is great, depicting a wrathful Thor, and I’m pretty sure Tony wets himself at one point.

This issue is also revealing of the way Iron Man is handled by a certain writer. If you’ve been reading the reviews, you already know that I have pointed out that a certain J. M. Straczynski has a tendency to portray Tony Stark in the most negative light possible, and has had the biggest chance to do so over in Amazing Spider-Man. He goes even farther here, although it doesn’t make too much sense if you think about it. Tony flies in and immediately threatens Thor(!) with force. Then, AFTER he gets his butt kicked, he strikes upon a compromise. Here is one of the smartest, most visionary people on Earth, and he couldn’t come up with that before Thor pounded on him? There was no real reason to have Iron Man come in so heavy-handed against someone who has been his best friend, and someone whose awesome power he has repeatedly witnessed.

Really, Tony should have brought a Thor-Buster version of his armor along. But the pattern holds, and Straczynski makes Tony a bigger jerk than ever before, if that’s possible. Even though it doesn’t make sense if you think about it too long, it’s easy to forgive, because the sight of Iron Man being tossed around like so much driftwood is one of the most pleasurable scenes in comics in the past few months!

Wolverine: Origins 17

by Daniel Way and Steve Dillon

This issue will make you feel sorry for Logan, really. Following up on his first meeting with Captain America, we are given their second meeting, in which Logan wants to try to change the kind of man he has become. And what gets in his way? Bucky! The story will continue next issue, but this is one of the better issues of this series so far. The art is Steve Dillon, who draws all of his faces the same way, and is really, really heavy on drawing the lines under everybody’s eyes, which makes them all look unnecessarily old and tired. The part that makes it so jarring is that, with all the attention the guy pays to drawing their eyes, he is really simplistic with the rest of their face most of the time. He could stand to expand his studies somewhat, and experiment with different styles.

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