Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review – Part Two

There’s just no escaping the effects of the Initiative and the Secret Invasion:

Captain Britain and MI:13 2

by Paul Conrell and Leonard Kirk

This Secret Invasion tie-in has nice art, but the story is a little all over the place. Captain Britain is supposedly dead, and the Skrulls have part of their planet-wide invasion force trying to conquer all of magic. Where is Doctor Strange? The Skrulls show up with a bunch of technical devices that can analyze and counter the magical beings they fight, and how to explain that is a little beyond me. They don’t even bother to try. Anyone coming in will be totally confused unless they grab the first issue. Was this story even worth the effort of producing it? Eh, I’ll try the third issue and see if it gets any better.

Iron Man: Legacy of Doom 3

by David Micheline, Bob Layton, and Ron Lim

Ron Lim has always had a tendency to draw stock faces on everyone, so it’s a good fit for him to draw Doctor Doom and Iron Man all the time, because he gets to concentrate on them and the backgrounds, saving us from his simplistic renderings of regular people. Even with that, I suspect Bob Layton’s inks rescue the art some of the time. The overall impact is very nice, though, because the lettering and the coloring are superb.

The writing is also consistently solid, giving us a rare glimpse at seeing Iron Man actually being a hero for a change. I would have preferred Marvel to start off their new regular series with this story, rather than consigning it to relatively poorer sales as a stand-alone mini-series. The decision was probably a short-term, movie-related marketing decision. This is better than both of the other two Iron Man titles out there now.

The Last Defenders 4

by Joe Casey and Jon Muniz

An excellent cover by Phil Jimenez can’t cover up the stink of the mediocre art and so-so story inside. We are halfway interrupting some ongoing plot involving Krang, and Nighthawk spends most of his time running around barking out ineffectual orders and insisting he has things under control. He has been reduced to an exaggerated mockery of the character he used to be. They waste more time by having Wasp show up with Wonder Man and Sentry, and they simply take off two pages later without doing anything other than dressing down Nighthawk.

Wait, it gets worse. You know how we constantly hear that they need to get kids to read comics? Tony stark yells at Nighthawk and tells him, “There has to be consequences.” The word “has” is in bold. The problem? You cannot use a third person singular verb with a plural object. “Consequences” is plural, so it should read, “There have to be consequences.” It reminds me too much of President Bush’s statement, “Is the children learning?” No, not if they’re reading poorly written and non-edited comic books like these!

Secret Invasion: Who Do You Trust? 1

by a ton of writers and artists listed separately below!

There are five stories contained in this one-shot, so let’s get to it!

Brian Reed writes and Lee Weeks draws a Captain Marvel story that takes up where his mini-series left off. From this, we know that he is really trying to be a hero, but turns himself into the Skrulls to pretend to do their bidding. So of course, he goes over and attacks the Thunderbolts, as seen in the regular series (the Secret Invasion mini-series). The story adds very little, but at least we understand that Marvel is “pretending” to fight, and really wants to aid the humans. Makes you wonder why he was crying over in the main title.

Next up is Agent Brand, head of S.W.O.R.D., who spends her time floating in space, finally putting together all of the hints the different Skrulls she met gave her about the impending invasion. It’s like a reverse “Who is Kaiser Sose?” Mike Carey writes and Timothy Green III draws, but as clever as they try to be, it makes no sense for a race whose power was shape-shifting, and spent all those years preparing, to give tips to their opponent the whole time. Tapping on the Trojan horse? Really? In their attempt to be clever, they go a little overboard. In spite of that, I enjoyed the whole thing anyway.

Next: Christos Gage writes and Mike Perkins draws a story of Wonder Man and the Beast. It would have been a great story, except we are supposed to believe this is the real Wonder Man, because he makes the comment that the Beast doesn’t even look like the old blue and furry anymore, he has had a secondary mutation. If this was the fake Wonder Man just off the ship, he shouldn’t have known that. At first I thought there was a big mistake, because Simon is wearing the outfit from the old days, the one that the guy off the spaceship was wearing, not his more modern, current costume. Which means he was really from the ship and is a Skrull, and really shouldn’t have known that this “Beast” doesn’t look “current.” Except, unlike in every other comic book currently on the stands, which has Simon in his current uniform, Bendis had Lenil Yu draw Simon in his old costume in the Secret Invasion book, so it’s a mess either way you try to look at it. Ignoring that, it was a pleasant read. Bendis, please go back and read EVERY ISSUE of the MIGHTY AVENGERS that YOU WROTE, and recognize that Wonder Man was wearing his current costume. Your mini-series is (censored) up.

Marvel Boy (the Kree who took over the Cube prison) gets a short treatment written by Zeb Wells and Steve Kurth, and it’s a decent segment. No major problems with any part of it, and leaves you wanting to see a little bit more.

The best was saved for last in this one-shot, because we get the special treat of seeing Leonard Kirk draw and Jeff Parker write for the group Atlas. They play their own part in resisting the Skrull invasion, and it is intelligent, with plenty of teamwork, and better than the Avengers are managing right now, actually. I hope we get to see them play more of a part in this whole invasion, it might make the regular mini-series a little better than it is right now.

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