Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review – Part Two

Daredevil 115

by Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka, Michael Lark, Tonci Zonjic and Stefano Gaudiano

Both Tarantula and the White Tiger have been absorbed into the Hand, but the impact of it is lessened when you realize Elektra has come back from it, and so it may or may not be a permanent new state for these two. Iron Fist and Master Izo show up to even the odds, and then Izo goes on the offensive, heading after an unguarded Hirochi.

Lady Bullseye reveals her real plot, which is to offer Daredevil… leadership of the Hand? This was what it was all about, going after the other heroes linked to Matt, so they could become his lieutenants. Lady Bullseye does not explain herself all that well as to how Matt could be tempted to take up her offer, but Matt’s refusal is only a little stumbling block. Next up… Kingpin!

Incredible Hercules 125

by Greg Pak, Fred van Lente, and Salva Espin and Clayton Henry

Where we left off last issue, Artume had caught the mystic artifact which enabled the world to be remade in the image of her dreams. Even in her dreams, though, Cho and Hercules are thorns in her side. I wonder if there was a subconscious sabotage on her own part, like maybe she didn’t feel worthy enough to hold onto that dream. Regardless, when Delphyne takes off Artume’s head in the dream world, it comes off in the real world as well, and becomes leader of the Amazons.

In a slightly humorous twist of the normal, Hercules tries to act like the aggrieved lover when Namora admits things are more like a fling between them. The fact that Namora knows the laundry list of women in capes that Herc has bedded, it sounds almost as if he had been bragging about them while making out with Namora herself! This comic won’t win any awards, but it is still surprising to me how the art and story are consistently worthwhile each time. The title always hovers on the edge of “not good enough,” and I always wonder if I will cancel it, but it’s a good read almost every month.

Marvels: Eye of the Camera 3

by Kurt Busiek, Roger Stern, and Jay Anacleto

Busiek continues with his introspective look into the dark ages of Marvel, when the Punisher debuted on the scene and blurred the lines between heroic vigilante and vigilante willing to kill. Phil Sheldon is the perfect foil to complain about the changing times and the falling standards, even if he does come off a little like your grandpa telling the kids to turn down the noisy music.

Anacleto’s art is great as the creative team takes us on a tour of the Marvel universe, showing us slices of plots from various Marvel mags and stringing them together, in a way slightly reminiscent of some classic issues of The Marvel Saga, an official history of Marvel, but with some value-added outside commentary. Phil is starting to suffer from his disease and collapses at the end of the issue. Can Phil make it to the end of issue six? Or will someone else end up taking over his viewpoint? I’d bet he lasts the stretch, but this might be the curtain call for one Phil Sheldon.

Ultimate Spider-Man 130

by Brian Bendis and Stuart Immonen

The hands of government do not watch what each other does. Aunt May might have gotten a free pass from Nick Fury, but that didn’t stop some local cops from putting the pieces together and going after May. The Ultimatum story interrupts a bad situation for May, and Kitty gets to rescue some people despite their anti-mutant bias, which feels too old by far. Couldn’t Bendis have made an Ultimate universe where mutants were loved? Ah, well. We end with Spidey catching sight of the Hulk. The title is holding its water, and I would put it near the same level of enjoyment I get from Incredible Hercules, meaning I’ll keep picking up one more issue to see how its doing.

Wolverine: First Class 11

by Fred Van Lente and Hugo Petrus

Here’s a surprise and a half: I read about half of my Marvel stack before I got to this one, meaning I am enjoying it more and more. Petrus’ name is not all that familiar to me, but he draws a wicked werewolf. Kitty and Logan are used well for the entire story, with Logan’s healing factor saving him from permanently howling at the moon. Well, at least the werewolf part of him goes away; he may still howl at the moon on occasion anyway.

These tales are nice light reading. Since they are “past” tales, you know there is no significant worry about one of the characters dying, and the art style does not try to inflict serious shadows or dread. Instead we get some entertaining back-stories that just make you satisfied you got another story with these guys. As a bonus, they have been really great about avoiding too many continuity errors, so the back-stories fit in well with what longtime fans already know, and it’s like extra flavor on your chips.

X-Force 11

by Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost, Alina Urusov and Clayton Crain

Warpath is telling the group a story this month, even though we have no idea how and why the Demon Bear became involved; I’m not sure if we’ll ever find out. As soon as we flash back to Rome, I know Selene is going to be involved, but after three or so pages of memory, I’m thinking the same thing Logan says: “For the love of God, Proudstar, tell me this is going somewhere.” I am so bored.

Old Eli-in-Rome fails Selene miserably and is punished, but he can’t die. Can anyone say Cain? Then when he is uncovered, he acts like a vampire and wants to catch up to Selene. Like I didn’t just read a ton of Cain and vampire stories for Final Crisis. Evidently, this guy leaves a trail of death as he tries to find Selene, and nobody ever catches on that he’s killing anyone. Centuries of dead bodies, and only X-Force notices?!?

Okay, so after that boring-ness, we have Logan ask, “What does this have to do with the Technarch, or your tribe?” Yes, can we please some day have some semblance of a real plot, please please please? Eli finally has enough bravery to approach Selene, and she orders her children to kill him. Instead of anyone lifting a finger, they all just sit there while Eli talks some more. It’s one thing if she threatens to kill him, but it’s just plain weird to see that Selene’s minions ignore her very blatant order and sit there. Kyle and Yost have been taking lessons from Bendis on how to have everyone sit around and do nothing but talk all day.

The big final page has them making a vampire or something out of Caliban, which follows along with the only thing this title has done since day one: bring back dead re-runs. Even a third-string character like Caliban can’t stay in the grave a full year anymore. Think Death is mad that there’s a revolving door at her house? The art alternates between somewhat decent old Rome setting and the overly CGI stuff we’re used to on this title for the present.

I thought X-Force was supposed to be a proactive group. It took less than twelve issues for them to forget their charter and just be another mutant group that things happen to them. What a waste of good characters. Send Warpath back to Hepzibah, send Rahne back to X-Force; let Wolverine rest from one series where he’s not really needed. These guys have added nothing significant to the mutant milieu.
Tpull is Travis Pullen. He started reading comics at 5 years old, and he can't seem to stop.