Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review – Part One

The Amazing Spider-Man 566

by Marc Guggenheim and Phil Jimenez

Guggenheim tries to steal a page from Dan Slott’s book and be zany, but it concerns Spidey bumming a spare Daredevil costume, and somehow Murdock has one with eyeholes. Why? And why didn’t Murdock recognize Spidey’s voice? The rest of his senses are supposed to be so strong. They are trying to hard to be funny. The somewhat promising Kraven story takes a turn off the deep end when Carrion appears for no good reason, and is oh-so-coincidentally steered into attacking Spidey/DD with his eyeholes-costume. At which point Spidey is fending off Carrion from the front, and in the next panel, for no discernible reason, Carrion is on his opposite side and bites a big chunk out of his neck from the back.

Considering there are easily 15 people or more who are involved in the production of this book, it could be much better. If they could do something little, like say… not have Carrion attacking from the front in one panel and then have him glommed onto Spidey’s back in the next, the production value would be much higher. Then again, it’s still the best it has been since the whole Brand New Day thing started.

Captain America 40

by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting

I think Frank D’Armata is my favorite colorist at Marvel these days. He consistently makes good choices and compliments the art, and I find myself lingering on the page just to soak in the colors a little more. Epting continues to be at his best, and continually gives your eyes something to watch with every panel.

The story is progressing nicely. Brubaker is juggling about eight characters, all of whom have long histories, and the intertwining of each could have been confusing or mishandled, but it’s not. Brubaker has each and every character sounding true to who he or she is, and the interactions between any two of them when they meet feel real.

This has become one of my favorite titles at Marvel. Best read this week for sure.

Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. 31

by Stuart Moore, Carlo Pagulayan, and Steve Kurth

At the other end of the spectrum, we have a writer who has chosen to use Paladin just because other writers have made him into a jerk. A couple decades ago, Paladin was a mercenary, but still a fairly upright guy with some morals. Then editors stopped doing their jobs, and now anytime anyone wants a soldier for hire, they dig up Paladin and have him act like three kinds of jerk. I miss the original Paladin, and I hope somebody rescues him from the stereotype that the last four lazy writers have pigeon-holed him.

Hey, Moore finally remembered Tony has Extremis! It only took what, three issues? Then he tosses us the incredibly lame “Tim Dugan’s Flying Commandos.” Is it 1963 again? Have we run out of good ideas? Evidently, because the “cliffhanger” is the enemy taking control of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s warheads, which, we are told, have nuclear, biological, and chemical warheads. Gee, that’s only in violation of about every international treaty on the books. Who in the world would let a flying aircraft carrier float around the planet with that many WMD’s on it? Especially with their track record for crashing the past couple of years?

I think it’s time to consolidate Iron Man titles already. Just turn this back into Invincible, and let the other creative team take over.

The Mighty Avengers 16

by Brian Bendis and Khoi Pham

It’s flashback city as we see the Skrulls try to take out Elektra. At least they fail the first time. One thing that is not clear at the end: did Elektra go through the same absorption process all of the other victims did? We are not shown it, and it is not alluded to.

It’s not a bad read, but it is starting to take one heck of a long time just to reveal how each of these things happened. Bendis could have squeezed four kidnappings into one comic and moved on to more gripping things. Are we padding just to have an excuse for two Avengers titles? The whole saga is making me yawn. At this stage, yes, we know everybody was replaced. Are you really going to spend the next year showing us each and every one? Spend one page per Skrull, show us Jarvis, Pym, Elektra, and take-your-pick, and show us something freaking else already. The constant “here’s how so-and-so was replaced” thing is turning into a massive re-run within a re-run.

X-Factor 33

by Peter David and Larry Stroman

Larry Stroman on art duties, it’s been a while since I saw that! He always makes everybody’s nose too big, though. This is part one of a crossover with the She-Hulk title, which Peter David also writes. Longshot-Skrull is testing his luck powers, and that leads him into conflict with X-Factor, which causes confusion and your standard misunderstanding-let’s-fight-first-and-then-team-up situation, with which we are all familiar. At least with shape-changers, it’s an understandable situation, and does not feel too contrived. Better than Iron Man, not in Captain America’s league.

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