Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review – Part One

The Amazing Spider-Man 587

by Marc Guggenheim and John Romita Jr.

Jonah seems to alternate between feelings of ecstasy and heart attacks these days, but his presence as a special commentator for Spider-Man’s arrest was funny. The writing is pretty snappy with all of the characters, and this may be Guggenheim’s best try at dialogue on Spidey so far. There are a few places where he’s a little redundant with the snappy quips, but it is fitting and good to see Matt Murdock brought in for Spidey’s legal defense.

Carlie is growing on me, but she’s a tiny bit naïve. Why she would think that a police conspiracy would stop at the street level is beyond me, but she should have gone to Internal Affairs. That part is either bad writing, or just a stupid move on the character’s part.

There’s a gimmick in the middle of the book to try to get you to go to Marvel’s website and read about how Murdock keeps him from being unmasked, and I resent it. I tried to go there, and I found the link, even though it wasn’t on the main page (stupid, Marvel, how hard is it to put this on your main link?!?),… and my Firefox crashed. It interrupted the flow of the story, and it was a segment that I was very interested to read. I went back to a very bad display, with poor controls, and a re-run of a story anyway, because this story was presented in Spider-Man Extra #1, which I had already read. So thanks for making me waste more of my time, Marvel.

They contradict themselves as well, because in the “Gambit” story, Spidey gets searched every time he goes into and out of the courtroom, but in this issue, Murdock hands him a book, and the book is not searched. No cop is that stupid, the item-smuggled-in-a-book is one of the oldest tricks there is. Murdock himself should have been inspected when he arrived, and the book gone through. Assuming he got past that point, there is no way a cop would let Spidey take the book back to prison with his web shooter inside it, without it being inspected in some fashion.

As bad as some of this is, I still managed to enjoy the overall issue, and if I can set my nit-picks aside (and I can), then it’s easy to enjoy the way things are going right now. It’s not perfect, but it’s actually good enough for me to say it’s worth reading. Of course, the Romita Jr. art doesn’t hurt!

Dark Avengers 2

by Brian Bendis and Mike Deodato

I like this title better, partly because I made a mental change-up and decided the Mighty Avengers is now the “correct” team, and my mindset no longer considers this public team to be the real deal. Morganna Le Fay is going after Doctor Doom for past betrayals, and Norman feels compelled to bail him out with his new team. Before that, we have the let’s-sit-around-and-talk portion of the Bendis show, but it’s pretty good this time. They also don’t spend the entire issue doing it, so we get to see them in action in the same issue.

The full-page splash of the team in their new version of a Quinjet or whatever is awesome, and it’s also nice to see Doom getting his head handed to him for a change. The Sentry’s viciousness might shock some people, and Morganna telling everyone that she can come back from the past if they kill her doesn’t quite make sense to me unless it wasn’t her real from in the present to begin with, but I’ve learned it’s quite useless to ask Bendis to explain anything or start making sense now. So we just accept it and move on, to avoid melting down into a fanboy rant about how that doesn’t jive with the existing “rules” for time travel. He’d just say it’s magic, anyway.

It ends with our villainous imposter-heroes in trouble. The bottom line is that this is turning out to be a fun ride. Bendis has good dialogue on occasion, and Deodato’s art is getting even better, I think. If we can set aside occasional problems with continuity or established rules, this title will be very enjoyable.

Guardians of the Galaxy 10

by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, and Brad Walker

Skeleton Ki is such a punk, but it’s so cute the way Blastaar pets him! I love the mixing in of humor at totally incongruous times in comics. Some of the exchange between Jack Flag and Star-Lord is a little light, by which I mean movie-style lame cliché. The rest of the writing is good. Brad Walker is doing great on pencils. He makes a good attempt to give your eyes something to feast on in the backgrounds, and the way he draws the people is good, too; sometimes an artist can only do one of those two things well. The panel placement choices are good, too.

The mystery of the ‘other’ cocoon grows, although it looks like they put an extra ‘c’ in there, so it says ‘coccoon.’ Might want to run a spell-checker, guys. The only disappointing thing was that we got no update on Phyla and Drax from their “deaths” last issue. An entire issue without a panel reference is a little strange, and they should have squeezed that in somewhere, maybe by having fewer panels of Star-Lord and Flag acting like imitation versions of Butch and the Sundance Kid.

Ultimate Fantastic Four 60

by Joe Pokaski and Tyler Kirkham

The final regular issue includes some good flashbacks to the childhood of Sue and Johnny, but in the present day we only get to see Sue and Ben, which feels a little strange when you consider this is the final regular issue of this series. However, it reads very well, and Kirkham’s art is better here than I remember it being any other time recently. As the Fantastic Two try to locate their other half, they run afoul of Ultimate Namora and her crew, making for a good fight and a hilarious ‘fishing solution’ to one of their opponents.

One thing that is hard to believe is how easily Sue manages to configure a readout so it maps not just the planet, but after a couple seconds, she can make it map the entire multiverse, in their attempt to see transponder locations for Reed and Johnny. I think there was more potential for this series, but the way it’s going, their tale will be folded into the rest of Ultimatum, and they will get a one-shot called Ultimatum: Fantastic Four Requiem. After that, if any of them survive, maybe they will be relegated to guest appearances in the remaining Ultimate titles.

What would be cool is if one of them died, and we get a new fourth member with a re-launch later. That might shake things up. We’ll see what Marvel’s plans are in a month or two. But this issue was a fun read.
Tpull is Travis Pullen. He started reading comics at 5 years old, and he can't seem to stop.