Comic Fodder

Dana's Marvel Comic Reviews

Another light Marvel week for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. It definitely saves on the time and the pocketbook. But if you feel like I’ve sorely missed a title, let me know. I’ll keep an eye out.

And with much ado about nothing, here’s how I see it…

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THE RUNAWAYS 28

By Joss Whedon and Michael Ryan

Tell me, why is it that when Joss Whedon is on a comic book it seems to take an eternity between issues? It’s been so long that I quite literally had forgotten about this title. If you ask me, this isn’t the best way to sit down to read a book. Which is a shame, since Runaways is undoubtedly shaping up to be a great title in his hands.

Back in July (yes, July), I commented that issue 27 brought me onboard with Joss at the helm. Well, this issue securely fastened me to the seat. The kids are still stuck in 1907 looking for a way to get back to the present. And with the help of The Swell, a member of the Street Arabs, a collection of teens quite similar to themselves, they might just do it.

This issue of Runaways has our team splitting up to find a way back home. And one of the best developments in this month’s installment was truly revealed in the prior issue. Our team, or at least a portion of our team, comes face-to-face with a duo from their recent past, Dale and Stacy Yorkes, former members of the Pride and the evil parents of the deceased Gertrude. When it’s revealed to them that their daughter is dead, it opens up a world of possibilities for the future of this title.

This, of course, isn’t the only thing going on in this book. Actually, a ton of stuff transpires which can make it a bit confusing. And when a title comes out as infrequently as this one does, it’s very difficult to keep all the events straight. What it does have going for it is consistency. The characters act and react as one would hope. Their personalities continue to develop in the right direction. And the story is obviously going somewhere.

Even though we shouldn’t expect to see another issue of Runaways until after Christmas, I’d be remiss to tell you not to pick this comic book up. Let’s hope we still remember what’s taken place.


NEW WARRIORS 5

By Kevin Grevioux, Paco Medina, Juan Vlasco and Marte Gracia

There always seems to be one issue in the launch of a new title that makes or breaks a book. For New Warriors, it’s issue five. Unlike the second issue of The Order which broke all my hopes for that title, this month’s installment of New Warriors has solidified my appreciation for this new team.

This issue picks up where the last left off. Christine has just been killed by a member of the new Zodiac. It’s a gruesome sight. And surprisingly unsettling, seeing that we haven’t become all that invested with her character. Most of this issue is devoted to the super-powered battle that comes to pass after her death. And I’m not always a huge fan of issues committed so strongly to action but this one works. I think it’s the emotion underlying it that strengthens the conflict. It takes the team to a new level, makes this battle personal.

This death also seems to serve as a catalyst to bring Sofia into the fold. After refusing to enlist with the New Warriors, she now steps up to that proverbial plate. With one swift quick, she creates enough of a diversion to give our heroes the edge. But this edge comes with a price. And as the cover shows, she is injured in battle.

I will, however, admit that some of the dialogue reads a bit clunky. But this issue isn’t about that. It’s about the battle. And Medina does the title a wonderful service by keeping the images clipping along. And since this month’s installment is all about action, this is really his issue. From the horrified faces on the first page to the battle itself, every image draws you further and further in.

For my money, I’d pick up New Warriors!


THE NEW AVENGERS 35

By Brian Michael Bendis, Leinil Yu and Dave McCaig

Yes, I know that this horse is dead, but I can’t help beating it one more time. I am completely and utterly over the art. Actually, I’m just plain sick of it. And with this issue of The New Avengers, it’s come to a head for me. There are so many supervillains being introduced or reintroduced that I’d love to be able to discern between them. An entire room is virtually filled with them, and I can’t help wishing I could tell who they are. There was a time when I felt Yu’s art was fitting for this title. It gave a real gritty mood that leant itself to an underground superhero book. But when there are so many characters that for all intents and purposes look the same, his style is too small and limited. It’s quite sad since the story is a good one.

This issue is not at all about the New Avengers. It revolves entirely around The Hood and his establishment of a supervillain network of sorts, a hierarchy needed for the underworld of crime. And I truly enjoyed this departure from the title’s team. It leads me to believe that The Hood and this villainous syndicate will become formidable adversaries for our team. And I look forward to what is in store.

Even though the art leaves me often times confused, I still must recommend this title.

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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.