Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review – Part Two

Check it out, I got a letter printed in the letter column for New Exiles! Oh no, does this mean I have to be nicer to them now?

Daredevil 110

by Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka, Michael Lark and Stefano Gaudiano

The conclusion of the innocent man storyline takes place here, and it is fairly satisfying. The writers mix in a small dose of detective work and reasoning here, blend in some action and a tidbit of excessive force there, and we end up with a good win for Matt this time out. Like people say, he’s been needing one. The art chores are suitably dark and street-wise, as usual with Lark and Gaudiano.

Marko Djurdjevic continues his run as cover artist, and I have a small problem with the layouts. His art itself is always good, but the last handful of covers for Daredevil have been forgettable, though nice to pore over with your eyes. This one is actually more in theme with the insides than some of the others recently, but the team could work on designing more engaging covers. If I was not already buying it, just walking past a cover like this would not make me stop to check it out.

The Immortal Iron Fist 18

by Duane Swierczynski, Travel Foreman, and Russ Heath

The Ch’I-Lin makes itself known to Danny, while Russ Heath’s artwork describes how this creature killed other Iron Fists in the past. The dialogue is fun and witty, but the art fails in places when it’s Foreman on the job. The creature looks more like an alien than a mystical being. Also, some of his lines seem wrong, and his anatomy of people is off. I think if they had a different artist working on this, the title might be doing slightly better. Swierczynski continues to try to build upon the lore and depth of Iron Fist’s past and K’un-Lun’s history. I‘m waiting to see more before I am actually impressed; it’s not bad, but it’s not ultra-exciting either.

New Exiles 10

by Chris Claremont and Tom Grummett

Alex Garner gives us an interesting cover, and Grummett plays around a little with panel placement on the inside. The battle is joined in full between the British, the French, and the super-humans of both sides. Betsy plays a key role in ending the conflict, and they get to chalk up saving another universe. The issue is mostly one big fight, but Claremont resolves the brainwashing job on Psylocke done by Ogun, and plays around a little with the Sage/Roma problem. The dialogue is a lot less irritating now too, but we’ll have to see if some of Claremont’s bad habits sneak back in next issue. No mention this time around of the Omniverse dying, but it looks like we’ll get to that next issue.

In the meantime, open up the letter column and check out the last letter. It’s me! I had a little fun with the whole Proteus/Morph situation, and they liked it enough to print it. Like one of my friends asks, can I now go around claiming I have some of my writing published in Marvel Comics? Heh.

New Universal: Conqueror One-Shot

by Simon Spurrier and Eric Nguyen

There have been “white events” in the past, but how many, and how far back can we go? This one-shot takes us back to 2689 B.C., and shows us an ancient world with their own representatives for Starbrand, Justice, Nightmask, etc. I liked the art, and the colorist had fun blending a lot of colors for the background, so the lack of background details by the artist didn’t seem bad for this comic. The themes and motifs of each character were amplified by the color settings each time, so my hat goes off to John Rauch on color duties.

This story shows what can happen if one of the super beings goes off the reservation, so to speak. It’s a fun and engaging story, and the ending actually does leave room to revisit this era if they want to tell us more good stories at some future point. As it is, this was a pretty good standalone issue.

Ultimate Iron Man 5

by Orson Scott Card and Pasqal Ferry

The true culprit is revealed as Loni Stane, and our cast is on the run. Mostly on the run to survive for the most part, but they do manage to have the good guys win at the end. Was there ever any doubt? This series was not as captivating as the first Ultimate series for Iron Man, and his armor is drawn to look closer to a Manga cartoon for this entire issue. To be honest, it looks like the artwork was rushed to meet a deadline. Overall this turned out to be a fun popcorn-movie kind of read.

Ultimate Spider-Man 125

by Brian Bendis and Stuart Immonen

The mysterious Beetle is at it again, hunting down an already-captive Venom and taking off with a sample of his body. Man, that sounds gross… Venom breaks free from the captors who were going to separate the suit from Eddie Brock, and Peter swings into action. With all the headaches Peter has been getting lately, we finally get to see why. Stuart Immonen can do some good stuff, but he is not living up to his potential here. His Mary Jane looks average, and the background details are fairly nonexistent. We know he can do better; for example, a laboratory scene looks like he put some effort into it, more than in most other panels. Tune in next issue to see how Peter handles his little cliffhanger.

Wolverine 68

by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven

McNiven is in good form on art as Hawkeye and Logan deviate from their primary mission to go rescue Clint’s daughter. There are even a couple of cool-looking dinosaurs in here for us! The issue is loaded with some other delightful items, such as a nice use of the Spider-buggy (yeah, that’s what I call it), and Hawkeye’s fighting style. Since he’s blind now, it is all the more impressive for him to be doing some of the things he manages to pull off. In a normal world we would say this is impossible, as he can tell exactly where everyone is in a battle, and knows exactly what move to make to dodge a bullet and simultaneously take out his opponent. But this is a comic universe, and it’s a cool concept, and some things you just have to buy into the suspension of disbelief and have fun with it.

Will Logan maintain his pacifist conduct? Will Clint’s daughter be happy with her saviors? You’re going to have to pick this up to find out (unless you go read somebody else’s spoilers on another site…). The story is slowly improving, and if Millar can maintain his momentum, he will have a good deal on his hands. He’s already done much better than the previous creative teams lately. And, y’know, having McNiven as the artist isn’t hurting any, either…

Wolverine: First Class 6

by Fred Van Lente and Salva Espin

Logan just wants to watch his game. But there are three young mutants in the mansion (four if you count Illyana), and you can bet there’s gonna be trouble! Van Lente paints a pretty accurate picture of young girls and the things they talk about, and the possible complications involved that boys don’t have to worry about as much. He also shows Illyana triggering her mutant power with a stepping disk before she did it in the old days. Not sure how she could do that, considering the “original” first time, she had to go through the stepping disks and know about them before she discovered she could control them, let alone summon them. I guess we just pretend she instinctively triggered it, but forgot about it as she got older.

The art style matches the teenager atmosphere, and makes for another fun read n this series. This is truly an all-ages book. It’s not going to be ultra-serious, but the kids should enjoy it, and it is still sophisticated enough to entertain the grown-ups.

X-Force 6

by Craig Kyle, Chris Yost, and Clayton Crain

One of the many weird things bothering me as I read this issue was how in the world Matthew Risman could get close enough to Bastion, and threaten him with a couple guns. As powerful as Bastion is, I’m pretty sure he could have incinerated the average human in 2.3 nanoseconds. The only way this human stands toe-to-toe with Bastion for so long is so the writer could have a chance to have each one explain their side of the situation. The second main thing is, when Rahne got out of her captivity, where in the world did she find this full-face mask she has on when she reverts to human form? Is there a Gap clothing store in Bastion’s secret base I don’t know about? The inconsistencies from one issue to the next make this a very laborious reead.

In one of the worst writing finales in the career of Kyle and Yost (that’s right, it takes both of them to write this stinker), Warren miraculously reverts back from Archangel into his regular, original human-looking self. Isn’t it fun and neat when storylines wrap themselves up so perfectly for you? Why, you don’t even have to tell the reader why things happened! Why don’t I just go see Babylon A.D. again if I want this kind of nonsense (and on a little side note, my best friend is no longer allowed to choose the movies we go to see).

To wrap up the nonsense, we fade to a scene of Cyclops and Wolverine looking at a target board. They want to permanently remove some of the enemy players from the field. The problem with this? Well, one of those people is Hodge, whom nobody knew was up and kicking! The only way this can make sense is if Cyclops was already able to update his “target board” with everyone Logan just got finished fighting/seeing. Worst relaunch of a title ever. Until next month, when Marvel might do something else terrible.

X-Men: Legacy 215

by Mike Carey and Scot Eaton

Marco Checchetto has art credits for the scenes with Rogue, which makes for a nice nostalgic feel as she visits the X-Men’s old haunt in the Australian outback. Her introspective journey gives a good focus on her character, and it is long overdue. In most of the titles she has been involved with over the past few years, she has been more of a place-holder than a true character, and Mike Carey has already made me care about her again.

The main event is a memory-clogged Professor Xavier and the pain of Scott Summers, who confronts Charles with every bad thing he has ever done almost, and the fact that Charles has memory loss doesn’t seem to matter much. The exchange is gripping, the art is great, and the panel placement and the different points of view are well-structured to maintain the reader’s interest. And it’s not over, just wait until next issue! Good stuff, good stuff…

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