Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review

Dana will probably be posting in a couple hours with a ton of Ultimate reviews. Here are some good reads from the 616 universe!

Daredevil 106

by Ed Brubaker and Paul Azaceta

How many times have you or your friend hit rock bottom, and everyone wants to help, but nobody can? Matt Murdock is in that place, and wallowing in rage and helplessness. While Azaceta’s art is not to my personal taste, he and Brubaker do a good job of conveying the feeling that everything is going down the drain. That said, let’s hope they don’t spend more than one issue with Matt having a pity party. For a nice bonus, watch as Ben Urich realizes he’s turning into J. Jonah Jameson. Priceless.


Ms. Marvel 25

by Brian Reed, Adriana Melo, and Ron Frenz

Brian Reed chooses this month to have Carol start using her brain. She plans to tackle three personal items after a quick surveillance on an A.I.M. hideout, so of course her plans are going to be derailed by bad guys stupid enough to go set up shop in the exact same place they got busted a few weeks back. Wasn’t A.I.M. supposed to be composed of brilliant scientists? Who doesn’t know that law enforcement keeps tabs on all old bad guy haunts as a standard practice? Law enforcement types are just as lazy as the next guy; when someone commits a crime, they start at all the same old haunts the perp used to be, and work from there. The writer had another chance to have the villains be slightly more clever, but he missed it. A.I.M. sends a package out to save it from Ms. Marvel, but instead of launching two or three or more of their trucks, they send out only one.

Meanwhile, the issue is interspersed with scenes from her first appearance, which dealt with Skrulls, as a setup for the current opening of the Secret Invasion crossover. William is still trying to keep his secret under wraps, Tony Stark has video of a second Carol Danvers walking around, which makes him suspect a Skrull is up to no good, and Carol thinks about her liplock with Simon, all the while referring to him as a brother! Man, I hope my sister never kisses me like that! Yuck!

As much as Carol tried to use her brain this issue, things were, shall do we say, overtaken by events. The issue ends with… tying not to spoil, but a classic misunderstanding that would be funny in a Three’s Company kind of way for the reader, if not for Ms. Marvel. I hope she gets a chance to get back to self-improvement after the major crossover, but Reed has finally made a good start on focusing on her goals. Sometimes life throws obstacles in your path, though, y’know?


Wolverine: First Class 1

by Fred Van Lente and Andrea Di Vito

Is the market strong enough to hold a second First Class title? It will if they are all written as well as this one. Professor X teams Kitty up with Logan in a tale you can believe. One of the hardest things to struggle with for long-time readers is how to sandwich all of these old stories so they mesh with our classic memories of how things went. The creative team paid close attention to the era in which Kitty first joined the X-Men, and the setting and costumes and attitudes of every player are spot-on. This tale could be what first set Logan up to having a girl sidekick, explained in a way that shows how a loner could stomach having a tag-along, in what has become a time-honored tradition, continued through Jubilee to Armor over in the Astonishing title.


X-Men: First Class 10

by Jeff Parker and Craig Rousseau

It’s a solo Cyclops tale this month, with a strange, disfigured mutant who can also conveniently block Professor X’s telepathy. The story doesn’t really work, as everything is all-too convenient. Near the end, it seems like the deranged mutant may actually want to try to do some good, but Cyclops blasts him anyway, resulting in his seeming death. Scott acts almost as if nothing’s wrong. It’s just a really weak story to set up a tragic death to put on Scott’s conscience, but it does not mesh well with what we know of Scott at that age.


X-Men: Legacy 209

by Mike Carey, Billy Tan, and Scot Eaton

I’m not sure how readers will react to this Legacy run, because the normal team of X-Men is not present. This issue focuses on Magnus, now a de-powered human, and his attempts to help rebuild Charles Xavier’s mind and body. Make no mistake, it’s a good issue, with great art and a fun romp through the decades-long debate between Xavier and Magneto, with a good punch-line at the end, interspersed with tension from Exodus and the other Acolytes.

The only problem is, there used to be an entire X-team in this book, and there is no sign of them now. The change in direction for the title was fairly abrupt. I hope everyone gives it a chance, because Mike Carey is improving as a writer, setting a good foundation for the philosophical differences between all of the groups. The art is constantly good. I do get the sense that Marvel needs to give us a bigger dose of their current mutants, though. The First Class stories are fun but fluffy. The final issue of Astonishing is astonishingly late, New Exiles is poorly written and doesn’t count for much in the main universe, and the Uncanny mutants are low-key themselves right now. That leaves a lot of characters getting no screen time while the focus is on just Xavier and the bad guys.

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