Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review

The Amazing Spider-Man 546

by Dan Slott and Steve McNiven

The reset for every Spider-Man comic book title starts here as Peter Parker now has money problems, job problems, and is on the run from the law. Again. Dan Slott makes the most of it, and the new villain Mr. Negative looks neat, and the end of the story would be suspenseful if we thought it would have any consequences. After Spidey’s reset, we know it won’t.

The new status quo, by the way, has EVERYONE forgetting Spider-Man’s secret identity. So all of those bonds that developed, like between Daredevil and Spider-Man, are either completely gone, or watered down. His web-shooters are completely mechanical, no organics anywhere, and even though Parker himself tells us in the story that he laid low and did not register, the official story in the Status Quo page is that some people seem to recall him unmasking during the Civil War, but no one remembers the face under the mask. Congratulations, Marvel, you managed to contradict yourself in the same issue. Even on DC’s worst day trying to reconcile differences from one of the many Crisis storylines, and they never mashed things up this bad.


Nova 10

by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, and Wellington Alves

Great cover and great art mix in with shades of grey for the story, as Nova has to fight a Gamora who loved him and the techno-virus trying to take over his body. The Worldmind is proving to be a pragmatic being, and advises Richard in a very realistic way, but Nova falls squarely in the Captain America circle of morality, and constantly tries to do the right thing, even at risk to himself. When you are the last vestige of an entire civilization, you can argue his actions are reckless, but it makes for good story. It’s refreshing to see two different thoughts on how to proceed, but without the physical tension of two different people threatening a face-off every time they disagree on methods. The blurb at the end tells us to catch the beginning and the end of Nova in his first annual next. Since technically they can end this series whenever they want to, I’m a little on pins and needles trying to figure out if the sales are too low or not.


The Twelve 1

by J. Michael Straczynski and Chris Weston

The choice of Chris Weston as the artist for this title was an excellent one. When you are taking somewhat dated characters from decades ago and trying to re-introduce them, there is a huge risk of an artist portraying them in a way too abstract or poorly-defined way. Weston does a great job of making them all seem to fit in with the time period of World War II. Straczynski goes heavy on the narrative captions, but he has to, and he does a great job of both setting the stage and introducing each character. The dark lines and grim commentary gives the entire thing a small Watchman feel to it. I would highly recommend this title.


X-Factor 27

by Peter David and Scot Eaton

It’s Chapter 11 of the Messiah Complex storyline, and the issues have all come out on time! We open with a band as Madrox discovers the surprise from a couple issues ago, that bishop has a strong motive for wanting the new mutant baby dead, and kills Jaime’s dupe so he can report back to the main group. She also drops her name as “Layla… Madrox.” A future daughter? Alternate dimension family? Or a dupe who got a sex-change operation and ran into some reverse-aging villain? You never really know where Peter David is going to take you!

The next major scene is a little weak, because it mostly consists of Professor X trying to get a straight answer out of Cable. Cable, in turn, spends all his time insisting that there isn’t enough time to cover all of the details, but they are together in a jet whose trip is going to take quite a while. If he would stop protesting and spit out some answers, he’d be done already. You all work with someone who does the same thing, right? Instead of giving you a status update, they go into a digression detailing all this other irrelevant stuff, and you stand there tapping your foot, thinking you could have done it all by yourself at this point. Annoying. Do they spend the rest of their trip to Muir Isle in stony silence?

Intrigue shows that not everyone on Sinister’s team has the same agenda, Predator x shows up (finally!), so we better get a good payout from all of that build-up, and X-Force catches up to the Marauders and company. I’m glad we only have to wait one week for the conclusion instead of a whole month.

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

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