Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review – Part Two

It's all Secret invasion (SI) and Ultimate stuff. How long until they give us Ultimate Secret Invasion? The betting pool starts now...

Secret Invasion 6

by Brian Bendis and Leinil Yu

Is Captain Marvel Skrull dead? We can only hope that they stop desecrating one of the coolest super-heroes who lost his life. Bendis wastes our time with panel scenes of all of the various crossovers, as if they haven’t done enough of that in the previous five issues to advertise their endless number of tie-in mini-series. The previous issue implied a reunion of sorts between Thor, Iron Man, and Cap, but the actual reunion is abbreviated and anti-climactic. Instead of showing us a panel of the X-Men, followed by a panel of Medusa, why didn’t they spend more time on the big event, which is what the beautiful cover shows and implies? Did we really need a panel of Black Panther facing off against a Skrull? How does this add to the story?

Minor digression: did you know that the big Skrull reveal in the Black Panther title was Brother Voodoo? Isn’t it nice to know that the genius Skrulls, who have been planning this invasion for years, took the time to infiltrate really the most essential, key personnel on the planet? Brother Voodoo! Man, I am so glad I am not buying Black Panther…

Tony’s tech has been infected with a virus, but he appears to be able to repair all the damage with access to a back-up system server. So that big virus that cripples the planet? Solved in one panel. It must be nice to have Tony be such a freaking genius that he can get his armor fully functional just in time for the big fight. I mean, it is so realistic! (Note: try to end dripping sarcasm)

The reunion between the big three amounts to Thor asking Bucky who he’s supposed to be, and then all the other heroes assemble around those two. It takes a page of the entire comic. That’s the big “payoff” that Bendis has been crowing about in the comic press. Payoff? To quote Inigo Montoya: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” The best thing about this book is the cover. The event implied on the cover is also the only thing that would have made this book worth buying. It didn’t really happen. Only two more issues for the pain to end!

Secret Invasion: Inhumans 2

by Joe Pokaski and Tom Raney

Tom Raney combined with Scott Hanna on inks makes for some really nice art, and the colorist made some great choices too. Crystal animates a stone model of Black Bolt and using him like a living Wii to take out some Skrull attackers, and the visual is very impressive. The entire story is great in that each member of the Inhuman royal family is showcased, and is able to show their respective strengths, proving yet again that these characters are not a joke. Throw in a nice cover by Stjepan Sejic, and we have a winner on our hands.

Secret Invasion: Runaways/Young Avengers 3

by Chris Yost and Takeshi Miyazawa

The simplistic art grates on my nerves, and this final issue of the series is mostly one big fight with the two teams against two Skrulls. The one amusing part is where Hulkling tells one of them that the Skrull god spoke to him: “And he told me he does not love you.” Both of these teams will basically get folded into Nick Fury’s command for the rest of SI. Not much to look at here beyond the cover.

Secret Invasion: X-Men 2

by Mike Carey and Cary Nord

After reading the second issue, I have decided that Cary Nord needs another person to do his inking, so he has more time to give us reasonable backgrounds. The plain fare he gives us is too basic, and the coloring tricks don’t work all that well. One of the small problems with the concept of this particular mini-series is that after years of keeping tabs on Xavier and crew, the entire Skrull fleet has somehow been taken unawares that the X-Men had relocated to San Francisco. What happened to all of these hidden agents and surveillance?

The bigger problem is that they can’t keep track of continuity in their own self-contained issue. One panel shows Angel teleporting in with a couple other mutants, and flirting with Paige on the next panel. Five pages later, Pixie is saved by the X-Force team, of which Archangel is a member. Now, either this invasion takes place in the few issues when Warren transformed into Archangel, or after, but there is certainly not enough time for all of what happened in X-Force to take place in fifteen minutes. The editors, writers, and artists are slipping up big these days, and it ruins a portion of what was a semi-decent story. It’s like Superman dying in an issue, and then he shows up with a ponytail in the background of the same comic a few pages later. How hard can it be to keep things straight within five pages of story, people? Come on!

Ultimate Origins 4

by Brian Bendis and Butch Guice

Butch Guice is in rare form, still using his heavy brush strokes to give us imposing figures and hard-looking people. Nick Fury gives an excellent explanation as to why he did not accept the position of Captain America, and we get to follow his journey to the founding of a Manhattan Project version of a genetic brain trust, with Franklin Richards, Richard Parker, Bruce Banner, and a young, snotty Hank Pym. The panels depicting their struggle of scientific discovery is great to examine, and they even sandwich in a quick discussion on the use of science for discovery versus the military always wanting to confiscate it and turn it into a weapon.

The vast majority of this issue is flashbacks, but they are great flashbacks, and add some flavor to the Ultimate universe history. The mystery of the various artifacts is basically solved as well, and longtime readers had probably already figured out which part of the regular Marvel universe they were going to reflect. It’s a good idea, and this issue had much better writing by Bendis than pretty much anything else he’s doing in comics.

Ultimate X-Men/Fantastic Four Annual 1

by Aron E. Coleite, Joe Pokaski, Dan Panosian and Mark Brooks

Get ready for another time travel adventure, folks. We have two art styles, one of which is very Betty and Veronica-like, with little in the way of detail. How in the world Sue Storm can think she is an imposing sight against Wolverine by mimicking his claws with her force field constructions is a little weird… since they’re invisible! All it will look like to him is that she is putting her dukes up, so even the visuals are sometimes head-scratching.

The story is not clear, and won’t be until the second part of the crossover, in the next annual. The whole point seems to be to kill Reed in the past, but we haven’t been given a reason yet. It’s a little clumsy in the story-telling department, but at least Brandon Peterson gets to do the cover art. Mark Brooks has the other half of the inside art chores and does a good job. It will be hard to judge this issue on its own, it will have to wait for the conclusion in the Ultimate Fantastic Four/X-Men Annual.
Tpull is Travis Pullen. He started reading comics at 5 years old, and he can't seem to stop.