Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review – Part One

If this was all Marvel had put out this week, DC would have kicked Marvel's butt in storytelling. Take a look at the damage. Ah, at least Spider-Man was good:

The Amazing Spider-Man 577

by Zeb Wells and Paolo Rivera

Whatever machine the Punisher uses to take out the criminals, I want one! The Punisher tank is a one-man army, and it’s too bad he blows it up after one use. When we catch up to Parker, he’s actually trying to get a driver’s license! Watch it Peter, today you agree to one license, before too much longer, you’ll agree to all those other registrations they want you to do…

Spidey follows Punisher to his base of operations, but Frank is prepared, like the tactical genius he is. Plus, when the bad guys arrive, he’s got more automated defenses that could take on an army battalion. An interlude with the Bookie finally brings the Spider-Tracer story back, with an amusing taser incident involving J. Jonah Jameson.

When we get back to the main event, Punisher gets away from Spidey by shooting the villain in the stomach, so of course Spidey has to save his life and let Punisher get away. This felt like an instant classic, and long overdue for these two to cross paths again. Wells’ dialogue is spot-on, and Rivera’s art matches the whimsical nature of the issue, and at the same time doesn’t get in the way of the parts that are supposed to be serious.

This was probably one of the better self-contained stories in a while. And with the comic coming out three times a week, it can be forgiven that they had to go without showing us the rest of the supporting cast. The Bookie interlude will carry over into next issue, but the cover for next issue has been done before, and done so much better, they really should have left it alone. Bad enough they decided to reboot the character and mimic the classic stories, now they have to rip off the classic covers too?

Captain Britain and MI:13 #7

by Paul Cornell and Leonard Kirk

The cover is so mundane it’s disgusting. The flying stallion is cool, but the Black Knight seriously needs to upgrade his costume. He looks like a stereotypical trailer-trash wife-beater with a helmet and a sword. Inside, the cosmic Plotka (which sounds like the sound effect for someone in the bathroom) calls himself a duke of hell, but we don’t get a clear indication of his motivation. Without any understanding of the bad guy’s machinations, we end up with a meaningless series of battles with, appropriately enough, a bunch of goons called the Mindless Ones.

The Mindless Ones are supposed to be Hulk-level tough, and hard to destroy. Blade and Spitfire (who is never referred to by name) seem to have no problem fighting an entire horde of them, and despite their energy blasts, no Mindless One ever hits either of the two. Some of the panels show Mindless Ones right next to the heroes, shooting down at the floor, at each other, etc. It’s a mindless battle sequence, with no thought put into it. Whatever attraction this series might have held for anyone, it’s gone. I’d like to find just one fan of this series.

New Exiles 14

by Chris Claremont and Jim Seely

Alternate versions of classic Claremont characters make an excellent cover this month for the New Exiles. Jim Seely handles the art on the inside, and he does a good job for his first issue, if I do get a little sick of all of the backgrounds with little else but blue sky. Mystiq gives the explanation for Cat’s alternate identity bouncing, but I didn’t realize she had shared this knowledge with everyone else on the team; it must have happened “off-panel.”

In this world, Nerimani might be the good guy, with the Shi’ar coming to slay her, and Earth’s heroes trying to defend her. Claremont does a good job of balancing his dialogue this time around, helping to explain powers and identities of people without making everyone sound identical.

In the backup story, Sage continues to fight her make-believe alternate personality, and boy is it redundant. I lose track of the number of times Diana Fox shots out how she “can’t be stopped,” and "neither can win,” and “I will not yield!” For seven pages of story, they could have cut out the repetition and done it in one page! Waste of story space.

Wolverine 69

by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven

Hawkeye’s daughter, dressed like a Spider-Girl, is a piece of work. Logan saves Clint from his daughter, but from out of nowhere, an earthquake opens up a deep pit right underneath the Spider-Buggy… and Hawkeye somehow survives the thousand-foot drop. In an open buggy. Let’s hear it for Spider-seat belts? The rest of the issue is mostly an excuse for McNiven to draw different stretches of devastated desert-cities as they continue their road-trip.

Logan has had something snap inside of him, and after rescuing Clint, he now seems ready to shed his pacifist ways and kill a guy in a bar over an implied gay joke. Gee, that’s a good reason to break your vow of pacifism! There's simply not much happening in this story, and the things that do happen aren’t making a heck of a lot of sense. McNiven’s art may be nice to go over, but the story is lacking any punch. Next issue we get to find out what “happened” to Logan. Maybe someday we’ll actually get to see them do something more than drive around the desert. I’ve had about enough issues of that already.
Tpull is Travis Pullen. He started reading comics at 5 years old, and he can't seem to stop.