Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review – Part One

The Amazing Spider-Man 585

by Marc Guggenheim and John Romita Jr.

Maybe I just missed it, but I didn’t see any credits inside the comic, so all we get is the last names on the cover itself. It’s pretty easy to spot Romita Jr.’s style, though. Things do not go as expected for anyone this time, as A) Lily turns down Harry’s marriage proposal; B) Vin is responsible for the Spidey-tracers, but in collusion with some other police; and C), Menace is not Harry Osborn, evidently. I’m not sure if it makes sense yet, so I’m just going to wait and see. That kind of ruins Peter’s subconscious “unveiling” from last issue, though, so it makes the sequence fairly worthless, except as a deliberate red herring to the reader. Was it really fair to do that? I’ll leave it to the ‘net wars to decide.

Most people tend to appreciate Romita Jr.’s art, but the story (right in the middle of this four-part arc) is going to be interrupted for Menace’s origin. Is this a scheduling problem, or just a good place to fit it in? Marvel has sort of gone the way of the politicians, so they don’t make announcements to let us know if they messed up, or if they actually planned for things to happen this way. Either way, it’s hard to give an overall rating without seeing this arc through to the conclusion. Right now, I’m on the fence.

The Immortal Iron Fist 22

by Duane Swierczynski and Travel Foreman

Patrick Zircher gives us a nice cover, but Foreman is not the right artist to render the Immortal Weapons. They are screaming for somebody with a crisp style, but we get murky. Foreman loses his work ethic after the first splash page, too, giving us some pages almost barren of any backgrounds; even the furniture in one scene with Davos looks awkward and low on detail. Would it kill artists to think to put little things in a scene, like a wastebasket in a room? Unless a super-villain is destroying the Marvel universe, the whole place is spic-and-span all the time.

The story is something you’re not supposed to ask for in terms of a logical explanation. They get into the eighth city by meditating, then falling like Bill and Ted for almost-ever, then hitting the ground with a small thud. Nobody breaks a neck, they even try to fight the new attackers who greet them. If there is supposed to be some higher or additional meaning to the way they gain entrance to the city, it is never explained. The only thing slightly interesting is that there may be another living Iron Fist also held captive in the city. How did he avoid death at the hands of the Iron Fist killer from the previous few issues? I wonder if we will get an explanation for that, or if it will fall forgotten.

This series is falling, and needs a serious course correction. The Immortal Weapons are being wasted, the artist is the wrong person for the job, and the writing is too sparse.

Invincible Iron Man 10

by Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca

Osborn is getting a free pass from the free press, except for Kat Farrell, of course. Pepper is signing away the death of Stark’s multi-billion dollar corporation (imagine the grief he’ll get from union workers!), while Tony gets busy with Maria Hill. In the original days of Hill’s creation, I might have protested, but Tony’s a ladies man, and Hill’s character has been degraded to the point that she might say or do anything. With so little of any trace of a personality, any writer can do anything he wants with her, so I guess we just roll with it.

Tony asks Maria to blow up some spare Iron Man suits and get something to the new Captain America, and Osborn calls for Stark’s arrest. The story falls apart when Stark announces he needs repulsor power specifically to execute the deletion sequence for his brain. It works if you don’t think about it, but then we have to buy into the idea that Mr. futurist, who thinks a few steps ahead of everyone, did not keep a repulsor-friendly way to finish things in the very place he set up to arrange for the deletion sequence in the first place. Why could he not use one of the multitude of suits in the armory next door? We don’t get to know, because Fraction needs to move the story along, and this is all he could come up with.

Wait, it gets worse. Pepper uncovers a hidden room by throwing a chair against a picture on the wall of the office. No, really. Tony didn’t give her a heads-up or a hint, she discovers this accidentally. Does this sound like something the big brain would leave to chance? Pepper discovers an armor reminiscent of Jocasta that Tony has oh-so-conveniently made sure has armored breastplates, to emphasize that whomever is inside has boobs. Gee, thanks, Mr. Pervert. I guess the thick armor really needs to be form-fitting at the same time? I hope it’s flexible when it needs to be, or putting it on and taking it off will be very uncomfortable.

Larroca’s art might save things a little, but the story is tumbling towards lame. I hope this arc concludes sooner rather than later, and they move onto something else. I can’t recommend this.

Secret Warriors 1

by Brian Bendis, Jonathan Hickman, and Stefano Caselli

Both Marvel and Dc have their writers set up a number of prospects for the end of a meta-event, to allow for some new concepts to be developed into a series or five. At the end of Secret Invasion and transitioning into Dark Reign, we get the Secret Warriors.

There’s good news and bad news. The good news is that some of his best stuff that Bendis wrote during Secret Invasion was when he was handling these characters. The bad news is, he’s only plotting. Jonathan Hickman is doing the scripts, and they don’t have half the pizzazz that Bendis provided. It feels like a bait-and-switch, for Bendis to have created this great new group, turned us on to them, and then ditches the part where we need him most to bring them to life to someone else. Hey, isn’t this great? Let me give you over to this guy, who won’t impress you nearly as much as I just did! Have fun, now!

This issue is mostly set-up, as we get a small introduction to the members (again, still not done as well as in Mighty Avengers #18), then Fury sets up a meeting with the new president. Obama seems to be making almost as many appearances in Marvel comics as Osborn or Wolverine, but at least the press isn’t flocking to all of them like they did with the Spider-Man issue.

The intended shock at the end is supposed to be the secret involving Hydra. Hopefully they will expand on this. Hydra has been treated as a joke on and off over the years, but here they intend to portray the group as deadly serious and master-planners. Caselli does okay on art, but I don’t like the coloring. The files at the end of the comic are cool, and maybe help make up for the $3.99 cover price.

I was so looking forward to this series, captured by Bendis’ introduction of them, so I have to say I am very guarded now. I find myself wishing for Jim Cheung, who drew a great cover, to be the inside artist. I’ll check it out for a few issues to see how the plot plays out, at least that part was mildly interesting.
Tpull is Travis Pullen. He started reading comics at 5 years old, and he can't seem to stop.

Travis, good comments on the Iron Man book. I've been so dissappointed in this current storyline. (I wondered if I was the only one who found it nonsensical...)

I'm still reading the series, but maybe not for much longer....

...and the female Iron Man armor? Huh????

-- Posted by: TonyJazzz at February 9, 2009 5:44 PM

Interessante Informationen.

-- Posted by: lieben at March 3, 2009 1:52 PM