Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review – Part One

Since I now review all DC and Marvel titles, we’ll follow almost the same format as for DC: Part One will be regular series, Part Two will be specials, mini-series, and the Ultimate titles. Fair? Reader feedback will let me know if the reviews are too long or too short, if you prefer them all in one lump, or like to read a couple pages and move on to the next article. I could just do all Marvel and DC in one post, but I can’t type fast enough to get them all done in one night!

The Amazing Spider-Man 561

by Dan Slott and Marcos Martin

It’s a fairly boring issue with more boring Marcos Martin art. Would it kill the guy to learn how to draw a background? Mary Jane gives us the impression she remembers the deal with Mephisto, and Spider-Man gets his arm compressed into one dimension, and it hurts a lot, but he doesn’t bleed or anything as he heals. Later on, as Peter moves into his new place, we see labels on some of the boxes. Some are cute, such as the ones marked, “flux capacitor” and “Do not open! Peter only!!” But what’s a box marked, “MJ’s stuff” doing there? Isn’t part of Mephisto’s curse that Peter’s time with MJ didn’t happen? That nobody remembers it? Even if they dated and Peter remembers it, he shouldn’t have a box of her stuff.

Oh, and I misread part of an earlier comic. Peter didn’t get $2 million for his snapshot of the celebrity, he only got paid “five figures.” The two million was for catching the celebrity with his mysterious love affair, which didn’t happen. So just like that, Peter is broke again, after paying for his apartment and new web fluid and such.

Invincible Iron Man 2

by Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca

Iron Man has two solid covers to choose from, so I take the one with a tank in the background. He makes short work of the bad guys, but then we switch to the Philippines, where a group of seven super heroes are being given an award for their help. Their names don’t matter, because none of them bears any resemblance to a hero that might come from the Philippines. Their names and their looks have zero to do with the location or culture of the Philippines as far as I can tell (with the possible exception of Anitun), which is too bad, because that would imply that somebody somewhere would actually get off a butt and do some research. Instead we are given throw-away characters.

What follows is a fairly interesting scene with Thor, and a scene with Pepper stolen straight from the recent movie. Larroca’s CGI computer art gets on my nerves, because I prefer the old school lines of straight human drawing, but as far as comic art goes, it’s pretty good. The story is a smidgen above decent, but I was hoping for something slightly more stellar for Shelllhead’s new title.

Nova 14

by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, and Wellington Alves

Nova continues with its excellence, as the Silver Surfer enters the scene. The battle is handled better than most, because other writers show the Surfer having trouble with more “regular” customers. Nova is powerful enough that we can believe he can give the Surfer pause, but the scale of a portion of Galactus’ power is beyond even that. If you want to study the art of a very powerful force going up against someone that he really doesn’t stand a chance against, because there’s always somebody above you on the next level, this should be a case study.

The way the writers juggle the Surfer’s servitude to Galactus and the innocent lives is brilliant too, and the ending is a cliffhanger worth reading. I enjoy the cliffhangers in Nova much more than anything else out there today.

Young X-Men 3

by Marc Guggenheim and Yanick Paquette

Now we come to the depths of the basement, the dregs in Marvel’s mutant footlocker. We get all the way to page three before the creative team does something retarded. They have Rockslide ask, “Four against one. How hard can this be?” As hard as counting, maybe, because there are only three of the Young X-Men there to fight Magma. Either the writer wants to prove to us that Rockslide is really, really stupid, really, extremely bad at math… or the entire writing and editorial team messed up yet again at something a kindergartner could have gotten right. Can this Guggenheim be the same one behind Eli Stone, or does his co-creator do most of the heavy lifting for him on that TV series? Because this is just a runaway mess.

Meanwhile, Cyclops has somehow managed to get a bug into the Hellfire Club undetected, which I can’t fathom, and then they start dropping the “b” word a couple times in the comic, which is not called for. I don’t care how much the word has become common slang, I wouldn’t let my kids read it, and Marvel should not let that kind of language be used in a book that a kid might pick up. A parent in a comic store looking for something for her kid sees the title with the word “young” in it, and you’re going to use that kind of dialogue?

Next, Cyclops gives another retarded pep talk to try to convince a teenager that he should kill his next opponent. His actual words, no joke, are: “I didn’t ask for Genosha or M-Day. I didn’t ask for our kind to face genocide.” And that translates into “kill the original New Mutants” how, exactly? This cant be the real Cyclops, and all the kids are stupid for following him, or accepting any part of what he says. He doesn’t even try to help heal Dust! Your fledgling team arrives with an injured student, and instead of taking charge of her care and recovery, you go off to work on telling her teammate how to become a cold-blooded killer?

Oh, and let me back up a minute, and point out that one team trashed their jet, Ink had a second one, and Cyclops sent a third (!) jet out to pick up the first team. Xavier’s gone, from where exactly are they pulling these millions of $$$?

To sum up this title: bad, bad, bad, bad, bad!

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

Mephisto didn't erase Peter and MJ's time together. He erased their marriage. Marvel has repeatedly said that all of the stories that took place with them living together still happened, just that they were a non-married couple.

-- Posted by: Greg at June 9, 2008 5:53 AM

Yeah, I understand what Marvel editorial says. The problem is it ruins their story. Mephisto's deal was this: "you will not consciously remember this bargain, or this moment, or the life you lived to this point."

What I am saying is that removing "only" the marriage memory, and nothing else related, leaving them with memories of their love and living together, accomplishes almost nothing, and renders their "big change" even more meaningless than it was before the powers-that-be decided what the deal meant for Parker's life and memories.

What happened to removing their memories of the lives they lived? That part somehow got dropped. All I'm saying is, if they're going to mess things up, can't they at least stick with what they describe in the story, without having the readers go ask them for an official translation?

-- Posted by: tpull at June 9, 2008 8:35 PM