Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review

The Amazing Spider-Man 582

by Dan Slott and Mike McCone

One of the most anti-precious things in this issue is little Normie overhearing that Peter is “friends” with Spider-Man. Appropriately enough, Normie declares that he hates Uncle Pete. By anti-precious, I mean it is precious in a very appropriate way, as little Normie is destined to inherit all of the pathos of his grandfather for sure, marked as he is by all of the craziness around him for his short years on the planet.

Long story short, Harry has a plan, and Spider-Man helps him to deliver, managing to cure the Molten Man of his affliction. Meantime, the Spider-Killer plot is sloooowly moving along, and the Bookie has figured things out only to become the next victim. The art and story are decent enough, and the final scenes are funny, but the title still has the problem of too many plots ongoing, and it slowed down a lot to focus on ret-conning Harry back into existence. Hopefully they will give us a sense of going somewhere soon. After all of these issues of increased publication, and they’re still doing damage control from Mephisto’s deal. Sigh.

Invincible Iron Man 9

by Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca

I’m trying to like this series more, because for starters, Larroca is an interesting artist. I wish he did more “real” art than computer art, but what can you do in these modern times? The story fails me a little, in that Tony has lost his Extremis powers due to the Skrull virus, but we have to live with this idea that he still has an Extremis brain. And that futurist Tony was dumb enough to download every important piece of information bad guys might want into his head.

There is an interesting concept that may mean telepaths can’t get into Tony’s head anymore, but Fraction follows it up with a ridiculous scene where Maria Hill is “tricked” into entering a series of codes that enable Tony to start erasing his own mind. It is just plain silly, because there is nothing unique she does; she simply enters numbers into a keypad, and the process starts. There is no compelling reason to have more than one person present to help.

The story takes another blow when he reveals that he wanted this decision to be executed by the people he trusts most in the world. Maria Hill is the person he has been arguing with for the better part of a year or two now, and they have not had a rosy relationship. It is a sad commentary on Iron Man’s life if his bureaucratic antagonist whom he replaced to command S.H.I.E.L.D. is one of the only people he has left in life.

We are ramping up for yet another in the circle of a Tony-loses-everything-before-he-rebounds-and-starts-it-all-over-again story. If I had a nickel for every time Stark lost his company, I’d be as rich as Tony Stark. At this point, it’s kinda boring.

Secret Invasion: War of the Kings 1

by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, Paul Pelletier and Bong Dazo

Providing the bridge to end Secret Invasion and move us on to something a little more worthwhile, this one-shot shows the Skrulls in retreat. The Inhumans have decided to stop sitting around being the invaded nation every time, and finally do something a little more… proactive. Pelletier and Dazo give us some great ship and city designs to dwell on, while Black Bolt gets a lot of exercise for his voice, which is somewhat unusual (and how DOES he keep from sneezing, anyway?).

In the space of one issue, the Inhumans continue across interstellar space, create a conflict by destroying Shi’ar vessels, and assume command of the Kree Empire. And they’re just getting started, folks! I encourage everyone to read the upcoming War of Kings mini-series, if it’s anything close to this, it’s going to shake things up.

What If? Secret Wars

by Karl Bollers and Jorge Molina, backup by C.B. Cebulski and Patrick Spaziante

The final What If? story came out last week, but they’ve been flying so fast and furious, I thought I would sum up the series here. This issue harkens back to the first Secret War, when Doctor Doom had grabbed the Beyonder’s powers. An earlier What If story focused on the Cosmic Gems, and those take part here as well, as we rocket back and forth through time to watch Doom take over the planet, and even fight off the celestials at the end.

For all of Doom’s power, he still basically burns out fighting the Celestials, and the effects usher in a new ice age on Earth. A couple hundred years later, Doom manages to win his battle, and descends to pick up the pieces. He sacrifices his power to restore the Earth, and assumes his place beside humanity’s side. I wonder if he’s frustrated by this at all. He acts fairly sanguine about it, but he’s still calculating possibilities, even at the end. It’s like no matter how small the anthill is, Victor still wants to be at the top, which is quite befitting his character. Good art throughout.

The backup piece has the Runaways taking the final steps to become the Young Avengers, and the colors are great, but the story is somewhat predictable. It’s a good place to get more Runaways, at least. If you have a few bucks to spare, this might be a mildly entertaining trade paperback to pick up on a slow weekend.
Tpull is Travis Pullen. He started reading comics at 5 years old, and he can't seem to stop.