Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review

It's a good week in comics, 'nuff said.

Daredevil: Blood of the Tarantula

by Ed Brubaker, Ande Parks and Chris Samnee

Spinning out of the regular series is this one-shot, with the focus on Tarantula. Daredevil is mostly a cameo, but it plays out well. A one-shot was a great idea for this story, and hopefully Marvel will do more of them. These are great little reads for the average person, who may not want to come in for a four-part mini-series.

The art depicts the grim and gritty street life, with sparse backgrounds so you can focus on the character Brubaker and company flesh out more of Tarantula’s character, and raise some interesting questions about how similar his methods are to Daredevil’s. The plot itself is fairly standard, but it’s a good read overall.

The Immortal Iron Fist 7

by Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, Tonci Zonjic, Clay Mann, and Kano

It’s the grand finale, with the flashback tale of Wendell Rand and Orson Randall coming to a conclusion, and the major storyline wraps up most things as well. The Wendell/Orson story is almost a diversion, but it’s hard to say that it would have been better if presented as one entire flashback issue. If there’s one complaint I have about the entire story, it’s that we do not get to see enough of the Immortal Weapons. I think these guys could stand to have their own series, with the right artist and writer.

Rather than go through each plot line, let me just say that there are satisfying endings for Xao, Davos, Yu-Ti, the Thunderer, and all of the rest of this large cast. At the same time, there is a ton of potential to see how each one of them develops in the future. This creative team is leaving after issue 16, so cross your fingers and hope that they keep the momentum going on this title. While not among my favorites, I find this title worthwhile to pick up every time it comes out.

Thor: Ages of Thunder

by Matt Fraction, Patrick Zircher, and Khari Evans

It’s a good idea to have Marko Djurdjevic on duty for the cover, he is consistently excellent (even if Jelena Djurdjevic is following him around on color duty all the time now). The art for the entire story is excellent, evoking a sense of majesty and war. The art style for the second part, by Khari Evans, has a more fairy-tale look to it that fits well with the mythology roots of Thor and Asgard.

The story contains all of the elements that Marvel and mythology fans love: deception from Loki, arrogance of the dieties, cinematic action, and all sorts of participation by Heimdall, Enchantress, and the rest of the Norse cast of characters. These two-tales-in-one also add some detail to one of the roots of the beginning of Thor in the Marvel universe, his punishment from Odin. We have been told many times that Thor was punished for being arrogant, but the picture they paint for us here shows how Thor started down that path, and even why it might have been understandable for him to hold those attitudes.

Although this is billed as a one-shot, the next part of the tale comes out in Thor: Reign of Blood. Is this Marvel’s new way of doing a mini-series, by issuing a series of related one-shots? Not a bad idea, really. A reader can pick up one and have a self-contained story, but if you are intrigued, you can look up the next chapter in the saga.

X-Men: Legacy 210

by Mike Carey, Greg Land, and Scot Eaton

Talk about your heavy hitters. Scot Eaton does the “regular” and “mindscape” art, while Greg Land does the flashback sequences. We travel through a history of Xavier’s past, littered with death and destruction, but it doesn’t have much impact on him, because Charles has lost most of his memories in the first place. Although the art is impressive, the story itself only works if you are a long-time reader. If not, most of the flashbacks will hold little meaning for you.

However, if you are a long-time fan, then get ready for some real fun. Mike Carey seems to have found his real stride as a writer on this title, and the stage is set for the return of several characters. I won’t spoil it for you, but the last few pages are a setup for things to come, and they are intriguing enough to make my mind start spinning in “what if” circles about what may be coming up in this title.

I would probably recommend this title for the art alone (which is a rarity in and of itself), but this may actually turn out to be one of the best places to jump on this title if you’ve been away for a while. Just like Xavier himself, this has the feel of a fresh start.

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