Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review – Part Two

Oh, this second round of comics did not fare so well. Most of the good ones were reviewed in Part One.

The Age of the Sentry 2

by Jeff Parker, Nick Dragotta, Paul Tobin and Michael Cho

Two tales of woe for the Sentry, and both involve Cranio. Lame name, great possibilities. If I ever get the chance to have villains use more than one brain at once, I’m taking it! The story takes a side-turn that unfortunately mimics the Colbert-fear of bears over in Amazing Spider-Man, so that is unfortunate. Carol Danvers also makes an appearance as the Sentress, but we fade to a guy reading stories to his kid.

The second story involves an easy guess of a surprise birthday party, but with a more updated and cooler-looking Cranio, and the modern-day sentry flashing forward to the Skrull invasion and back. There are so many inconsistencies here, is this the Sentry’s mind under yet another breakdown? He’s going to give Hank Pym a run for his money. In the regular Secret Invasion, Sentry is still hurtling towards the sun, I think. I understand they felt like giving this version of Superman a weakness with his mental state, but why is it always so freaking easy to attack his mind? Can’t someone design a copy of Juggernaught’s helmet for the guy already?

I’m trying to hang in there for the pure fun of it, but the series is already a little too discombobulated for my comfort.

Captain Britain and MI:13 #6

by Paul Cornell and Leonard Kirk

Okay, let’s get something out of the way: Captain Britain and MI 13 is a lame title. That’s all there is to it. There have to be at least three other things you can call this book. The art is a little rushed and the faces are very simplistic. The fiery reds and yellows are over-used in all of the backgrounds, and the overlapping panels do not work nearly as well as they did in Astonishing X-Men. Personally, I could also do without the British equivalent of Captain America.

The villain at the end who has been seducing each team member with their sweetest desire is also the creator of the legendary Mindless Ones. That was a mystery that was not calling for an answer; the fact that they existed was enough. I’ll hold my bias until the end of the storyline, though. The seductive attempt of Captain Britain is a good one, and will delight long-time Excalibur fans. I can’t see this title sustaining itself much longer without doing something big to distinguish itself.

The Mighty Avengers 19

by Brian Bendis and Khoi Pham

Homage cover to Avengers #89 (first series).

Add this issue to the long tack of drawn-out explanations we never asked for, and didn’t really want. The tiredness that is Secret Invasion is so mind-numbing, I can’t even feel emotions any more.

The fake-Captain Marvel goes through his personality crisis and comes down on the side of the angels, which we have seen everywhere else already. Why did this deserve an entire issue? It was a mindless formula of a character with a mental problem, toss in a couple faceless super-powered foes, and presto! The hero decides (quite easily) to go beat up the guys that sent the super-powered buffoons after him. The rest of the comic is a repeat from other parts of Secret Invasion.

At the end, he crashes to Earth and is found by Noh-Varr, a useless character who has been forcibly integrated into the main Marvel continuity and then mostly ignored. The sooner I can stop reading about a fake Captain Marvel, the happier I will be. Can next issue please be the final SI tie-in, and let us move on to something else? Pretty please? Christmas will get here sooner at this rate…

Secret Invasion: Front Line 4

by Brian Reed and CG Studios

At least with the other tie-ins we get homage covers that give a nice modern rendition of a classic comic book cover. On the off chance that a newer reader might go check out the classic stuff, which in most cases is vastly superior, here we get covers I never like, whether they are in homage to something or not.

We waste time with a random gang assault in the subway, then the nasty super-Skrull that has killed everybody else in Stark’s Tower is tricked by a teenage girl, and crashes through a window. He falls to his death. He must have been the only super-Skrull in the universe who didn’t make sure one of his powers was flight or levitation or teleportation or invulnerability or intangibility or… see how easy it would have been to avoid death? These Skrulls usually have the combined powers of four different individuals! Everything is done to simply move the story where Brian Reed needs it to get to, and it is the worst writing I have ever seen him do.

I suspect Apple has paid ad money to insert the iphone into the comic, as it gets numerous unneeded close-ups. A skrull iphone basically (and magically) overrides the tower lockdown (and nothing else that is virus-infected in the entire city!), but the doors magically shut once everyone is inside. Then, the girl who spent every erg of energy trying to go down meekly trudges back up the stairs with everybody.

To mess up the logic of the story further, Urich decides to trudge all the way back down again, and they press a button on their iphone again… and the doors open up! Well, why didn’t that work when the doors magically shut on them earlier? This group has the collective mental intelligence of a squirrel. A squirrel who has had his own nuts thrown at him repeatedly. I can’t find it in myself to care about a single character in this series, not even Ben Urich. I can’t believe they made it five issues!

Ultimate Origins 5

by Brian Bendis and Butch Guice

Benids wraps up the mini-series by introducing us to Uatu, sort of. The conversation is relatively good as Reed tries to question the Watcher, although the fact that the Watchers are so certain devastation is coming does not jibe very well with the fact that they are short on specifics.

The flashback concerns a decision Nick Fury makes when the super-soldier program comes across the mutant breeding program, and the other flashback shows us the end result of Charles Xavier ever trying to team up with Magneto. I can imagine an omniscient Prof. X: “Man, this happens to me EVERY time! Why won’t I learn…”

I won’t spoil who becomes the herald of the Watchers, but this series has been a pleasant read with good art. I’ll forgive it for being nothing more than a lead-in teaser to Ultimatum. But Ultimatum better be better than this. Or else. (At the very least, it should be better than the ultimatum I just laid out.)
Tpull is Travis Pullen. He started reading comics at 5 years old, and he can't seem to stop.