Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review – Part Two

Ah, if not for the first title, this would almost be an all-Wolverine review.

Secret Invasion: The Amazing Spider-Man 2

by Brian Reed and Marco Santucci

In a desperate attempt to actually have the real Spider-Man actually appear in a mini-series that bears his name, they show Spidey in the Savage Land being chased by dinosaurs, and doing the recap for us. You have to forget that there is no way that Spider-Man can know any of this, because the whole point of luring all of the heroes out to the Savage Land was to make sure that NONE OF THEM KNEW WHAT WAS GOING ON ANYWHERE ELSE!

Ahem. Sorry for shouting. It might be amusing, but we know they decided to have this little fun only to throw in an appearance to the actual Spider-Man, as opposed to calling a series Amazing Spider-Man and then not having him in it for even one page. Their fun just happens to violate the main defining point of that part of Secret Invasion.

The rest of the issue is a waste of time, with no real meaning other than to give a slice of life perspective from Spidey’s supporting cast. The editing is so bad, Harry Osborn runs into a telephone pole, and the NEXT panel has him shouting: “I can’t stop! Lily! Hang on!” Lily should have said, “Uh, Harry? We already crashed, by the way…” The series follows the same mistake of every problem with super-powered Skrulls. Said Skrulls can make mincemeat out of almost any regular super-hero in the streets, but whether it’s here or in Front Line, any person who gets behind the wheel of a car can outrace them?!? The whole thing insults our intelligence. Good art, bad story.

Thunderbolts 124

by Christos N. Gage and Fernando Blanco

Gage displays each of the Thunderbolts where we left them last issue, resolving all of the little difficulties they faced against the Skrulls. Moonstone typically tries to play both ends, and Bullseye manages to kill indiscriminately and still not be punished for it. Like a true politician, Osborn accepts everything that happens as if it was part of his original plan, and moves forward.

Osborn continues with his master plan, and plants the Thunderbolts right in front of the cameras for an uplifting speech and helps showcase his team saving the planet, fighting against the invasion. The only flaw I spotted is that they mention they can’t show Bullseye in public fighting for the team, but at the end, he’s right there with the others killing Skrulls. That part aside, this is a good setup for establishing the Thunderbolts as heroes in the eyes of the world. Now, just what does Osborn want to do with them next…?

Good stuff, worthy of checking out, if you haven’t yet. The change in creative team has not hurt the book one bit.

Wolverine Annual 2

by Duane Swierczynski and Mike Deodato

I think Deodato has extra fun when he gets to draw a monster. He is in rare form here, and you simpy have to pick this up just to see his rendition of a type of werewolf. The story seems oddly familiar, but the whole tale is dark and shadowy, in both writing and art. It’s a great stand-alone tale, and makes you feel a little creeped out by Wolverine, and sorry for him at the same time. Probably the best story I have read to date by Duane Swierczynski. As usual, the hint here is that I don't want to give away any of the rest of the story; it's so good, I want you to trust me with only this for details, and go pick it up and read it for yourself.

Wolverine: Origins 28

by Daniel Way and Mike Deodato

Okay, the bad artists are all gone, so I’ve been suckered back into checking out the Origins title. Despite Daniel Way telling a string of mediocre stories and losing his way halfway through, we at least get to see Mike Deodato art. Between X-23 and Daken, however, the Wolverine brand is getting seriously diluted. It’s not enough he appears in every other mag in Marvel, you have to give him children? I can’t wait until his equivalent of Bat-Hound shows up.

The idea for this tale is that Romulus actually ordered Wolverine to impress professor Xavier, so Prof. X would invite Logan to join the X-Men. The motivation for this will probably be revealed in this multi-part tale spread out between this title and some other X-titles coming out over the next couple months.

With this, Wolverine’s restored memories take us from the deep dark past all the way up to his first official appearance with the Hulk, and right into his joining the X-Men. Can there be much more of memory lane to jog down after this? I still think Daken was a lame idea, but maybe they can make lemonade out of this with enough time. Or he could just suffer a terrible accident…

X-Force 7

by Craig Kyle, Chris Yost, and Mike Choi

Ooh, here’s a surprise! They chose to do a dark shadowy cover for the X-Force team, and mostly showcase their red glowing eyes. They’ve only done that about EVERY COVER OF THEIR SERIES!!! Sigh. Look what Marvel made me do, I’m yelling again.

Mike Choi joins us on art chores, so the visuals are a lot better than they have been, but we are stuck with a dilemma: while Wolverine is in the Savage Land, fighting Skrulls in California, or in his own title, or stumbling around in Origins or his Annual, we are somehow supposed to believe that he has ALSO gone undercover, and none of the X-Force team can have contact with any of their friends. Because they are now a covert assassination team, doncha know! It’s one of the worst ideas they have come up with lately, and it doesn’t mesh with any other aspect of any other story Marvel has going.

To make matters worse, they show the Vanisher appearing in a lab at the end of the comic, and he simply opens up a cabinet and grabs a sample of the Legacy Virus. Because everyone knows that nobody would ever lock up a viable sample of the Legacy Virus, in say… a vault with special locks or booby-traps? In a world with mutant teleporters, wherever this virus was kept has the owner basically leaving it out in the open. So besides resurrecting a bunch of the lame threats to the X-Men, we are going to have a re-run story of the Legacy virus. Is anything about this series not a re-run? When will the pain stop?

Wolverine: First Class 7

by Fred Van Lente and Steven Cummings

Figures. The pain stops here. Some people might not like the intentional art style that still gives us detail, but in a kid-friendly type of semi-cartoonish style. Ryan or someone can jump in anytime and help me with definitions here. You have a solid story, not messing up continuity, which successfully adds to the ongoing mythology of the X-Men.

Every sense I have tells me that this type of title should be inferior to the more serious titles like X-Force or Origins, but I enjoy this one much more. Better story, and certain panels of the art are actually really good, if some of the other panels do seem lacking sometimes. If Fred Van Lente can keep coming up with good stories, this title could last longer than the X-Men: First Class title. Every issue so far has been worth reading.

X-Men: Legacy 216

by Mike Carey and Phil Briones

Part two of Cyclops versus Professor X, and sometimes it’s not fair, since Charlie has amnesia of sorts. The mindscape sequences are beautifully done, and Carey brings in one of the scenes he just wrote in X-Men: Origins for the Beast, which I figured was his plan. Emma’s confrontational style is rough and genuine, and makes for compelling reading.

The ending is perfect. Professor X will probably get roped into Wolverine’s walk down memory lane, as Logan’s path has just led him right to the beginning of his time with Xavier. How will things go over, now that Charlie is the one with holes in his memory, while Logan is the guy who remembers everything for a change? Could be good…
Tpull is Travis Pullen. He started reading comics at 5 years old, and he can't seem to stop.