Comic Fodder

Dana's Marvel Comic Book Roundup

It’s been a couple weeks since you’ve heard from me. And it’s not for a lack of trying. My reviews for this site have been at the forefront of my mind but I just got too busy. Life sometimes takes a hold and won’t let go. You see, in between my freelance gigs and the chapters of Harry Potter, I wasn’t able to devote as much time to do one of the things I’ve really come to love – read comics. But now I have so, after much ado about nothing, here’s how I see it…


AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE #6

By Dan Slott and Steve Uy

It’s bound to happen. Midway through a new comic book launch, the title loses its footing. We’ve gotten five solid issues of Avengers: The Initiative until it takes a stumble with this current installment. Don’t get me wrong, the book still reads well. It’s just that the art can’t deliver.

This time out, The Gauntlet is beaten to near death on the grounds of Camp Hammond. All signs point to the New Warriors. But which of the former members is actually responsible? By way of military investigation, we set out on an exploration of potential motives and suspects in this far from average procedural crime issue. What could’ve been a standard connect-the-dots outing in the hands of a lesser writer is turned into a genuine character deepening tale that pulls from past events to shed light on the present state of affairs. The mystery builds from beginning to end until the quite literally “didn’t-see-it-coming” perpetrator is revealed. In other words, Slott provides us yet another good issue.

But what’s with the art? It’s too soon in the series to be changing, if only for an issue, the artist. What was once a book filled with a dynamic depiction of characters and events is now a fairly static account of emotion and action. Virtually every page of this month’s issue falls flat. And more often then not, there’s no sign of real or definable expression on the characters’ faces. It isn’t that Steve Uy’s art is bad. It’s just that, by comparison to Caselli’s, it isn’t right.

For my money, I’d still pick up this issue. Just read it in the dark.


ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR #46

By Mike Carey, Pasqual Ferry and Justin Ponsor

It was a slow start for the current story arc of Ultimate Fantastic Four but with last and this month’s issues, Carey offers up a fine conclusion to this uneven tale. Our fantastic foursome has aligned themselves with the Silver Searcher to bring down Revka Temerlune, the Psycho-Man, who has kidnapped six billion people from earth and conditioned them to be his followers, and transport his victims back to their home planet. From to outside, it appears that Temerlune has created a world without war, only bliss, but in truth, he has fashioned a society of slaves. Our team hunts out the mind-web that is believed to be dampening the thoughts and emotions of those now residing in this realm but instead discover it is actually Temerlune who serves as the link.

I’ve said it time and time again, but the art is what truly makes this book shine. Ferry and Ponsor imbue each page with an amazingly surreal, otherworldly feel. This artistic duo has a true knack for consistently capturing the tone and mood needed for this hi-tech team. My only problem with this issue was in regards to a few of the fight sequences. There were a number of panels I found a tad confusing. I wasn’t sure who was who when it came to the metallic warriors. Other than that, the art was spot on.

For my money, this is an issue worth its price. Pick it up.


ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #114

By Brian Michael Bendis, Stuart Immonen, Wade von Grawbadger and Justin Ponsor

It was only a matter of time for Ultimate Spider-Man to get back on track. With the Ultimate Universe, this being one of its main titles, in a total state of flux, we’ve needed a glimmer of good in the multitude of pedestrian tales farmed out to us month upon month. I’m hoping this book is a sign of more good things to come for this premiere line.

The previous story arc was very much middle-of-the road. And when I saw this title was revisiting the Green Goblin, I just assumed it would be more of the same. Well, slap my mouth and call me Mary Jane, I was wrong. This issue was amazing – a word I never thought I’d use to describe Ultimate Spider-Man again. We’re supplied with loads of excellent banter and tremendous action. This is some of the best stuff I’ve read in years from this Bendis title.

I’m not a huge fan of Stuart Immonen but this title suits him. And I’m really starting to get onboard with his work. It seems to lack the harsh, often Cruella de Ville, qualities I’ve come to expect, which, for me, is a good thing. The action sequences are superb. They’re dynamic and filled with detail.

This book is a keeper. Pick it up!

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Dana Severson is one of your resident reviewers of all things
Marvel. He is often found red-eyed and filled with caffeine.