Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review

The Immortal Iron Fist Annual 1

by by Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, David Howard Chaykin, Dan Brereton, and Jelena Djurdjevic

Multiple writers and multiple artists again for this title, and they do a good job of separating them by time periods, so Chaykin’s art handles the present, and the other two represent something in the past. Djurdjevic’s renderings of the villains in particular is very well done. The overall story is more like an interlude, as Daniel Rand finds a bunch of tomes that give him insight into the recently-introduced and already-departed Orson Randall. It doesn’t seem essential to the rest of the series, but it was an okay read.

Ms. Marvel 20

by Brian Reed and Greg Tocchini

There are so many variant covers out, I can only comment on the one I actually buy for the most part. In this case, the zombie cover done by Aaron Lopresti and Jeremy Cox was interesting, but totally unrelated to the storyline, so I have no clue why Marvel decided to put that out. The Greg Horn cover has a good setting that makes Puppetmaster seem like a creepy perv, which fits with what he has been doing lately all too well. Ms. Marvel’s white eye-slits help complete the picture of her as a mindless puppet, although there are some people who will tell you Greg Horn draws all his women that way. But I digress.

Carol turns a lovely shade of blue again, which coincidentally is the only way she can break free of Puppetmaster’s control. Tocchini’s art is passably good throughout, and you can see that if he ever pours a little more effort into the details, he has some real potential to shine. The good news for this issue is that the whole I’m-turning-blue thing is coming to a head, so next issue we should get an explanation for an event that was awkwardly introduced.

The more controversial part of the story is how Ms. Marvel dealt with Puppetmaster. Carol turns into a might-makes-right kind of person, which is not making a heckuva lot of sense, given where we have seen her character go the last few years. She hit rock-bottom as an alcoholic, and at the start of this series, dedicated herself to becoming the best Carol Danvers she possibly could, reinforced by her decision to follow the law of the land during Civil War. The results have placed her in a position of leadership for both the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D., and within the ranks of the Initiative. Anyone could see the same temptation in her situation, but this seems to go directly against her “do the right thing” approach. If anything, the ghost of Captain America should be paying her a visit sometime soon.

It may take a interview question with Brian Reed to determine if this is all part of his plan to show how the road to hell is paved with good intentions, if she’s headed for a relapse, if this is somehow part of his master plan for showing how she is developing into the best she can be,

…or if he’s on crack.

Uncanny X Men 491

by Ed Brubaker and Salvador Larroca

Alas, my fond wish for Magneto’s resurgence is not yet met, but all things come to those who are patient. The end of this arc falls a tiny bit into cliché: the villains planned so well to take out the X-Men; the X-Men are beaten; the X-Men get their act together and take out all the villains like chumps in the final few seconds. How in the world they would let Skids run off with the book is anyone’s guess.

The Warpath/Hepzibah relationship speeds up, which is probably a function of Brubaker sensing he will have limited time on the title. Things might have gone a little slower if he were going to be around longer. And, in a struggling bid to maintain some continuity between all of the X-titles, there is a reference to Hepzibah and Cyclops, and how he might have received the news of the death of his father - another thing that could have been handled better, given a little more time and communication between writers and editors. A good run overall, leading into the next big event, Messiah Complex, in which Magneto should have a larger role.

Chapter 14 of Endangered Species continues, by Christopher Yost and Andrea Divito. Science has failed Henry McCoy, and he is so glued to the thought that science can provide all of the answers, he literally has to have a villain drive the point home that he should look into the magical arena, since Scarlet Witch was dabbling in magic when she eliminated “all” (read: all but 200 or so) mutants. Marvel should make an attempt to explain their whole 198 scheme, and the properties which allowed any writer who wanted to have a mutant recover his powers do so. Right now, the whole things is just a big mash, explained only by Wanda’s miserably poor math skills. But I digress.

I want to say the art is fairly good, but missing some of the style and panache that someone such as Steve Ditko would have brought to a magical landscape. Would it kill the comic companies to mentor their current stable of artists, and provide access to people like Jim Starlin to give the relative newcomers a hint as to how to add some character to an alien landscape? One of the biggest problems with Marvel’s stable of artists is their sweeping backgrounds that have no Easter eggs and only a little more in the way of background details. Honestly, the shapes remind me of a grade-school coloring project. It is possibly the weakest eight-page section of the story so far, art-wise.

Wolverine Annual 1

by Gregg Hurwitz and Marcelo Frusin

Most annuals tend to be better when they tie into an ongoing story. Very rarely can they stand alone as a great story people will be eager to save and reread someday. The loose art doesn’t bode well, and the story does not grip that well, either. If the writer wanted me to feel anything for the narrating character, he failed big-time. Combine that with a couple of scenes that do not stand up to scrutiny if you look at them twice, and a scene plucked right out of the Terminator movies, and I can’t recommend this particular effort too highly. I can handle an occasional “ehh” book, though, because there’s always some new stuff out next week!


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