Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review – Part Two

Uncanny X Men 506

by Matt Fraction and Terry Dodson

For those who might not get it at first, Emma starts off the story by trying to penetrate the “black box” in Cyclops’ mind, the one that Scott uses to keep secrets from here. The master telepath gets in trouble as somehow Scott’s mental defenses are sophisticated enough to trigger a counter-attack. It’s a nice thought, but it’s hard to think that Scott is that adept at mental gymnastics at this point; there’s limit to what someone should be able to do against a master mentat like the White Queen. The art is sadly predictable, as Fraction continually devises scenes full of nothing but opportunities for Dodson to draw sexy babes.

Colossus breaks his brand new cover to help illegal aliens get free from his new (ret-conned ancient) adversary, and marches them right through a bunch of cameras into the X-Men’s new hangout. Meanwhile, the Beast is collecting more mad scientists, and wow, what a coincidence! At the precise time that Beast shows up to each of these guys these days, there’s some new crisis that has developed. What wonderful timing! Why, it’s not getting old at all! I can’t wait for them to draft their final scientist and help him with his sudden crisis-that-occurs-just-as-the-X-Men-arrive.

And by the way, Fraction and letterer Caramagna, and editor Alonso and whomever else was supposed to look this over before you shipped tens of thousands of copies out… it’s spelled “therapeutic,” not theraputic. These days, I have to go back and purposefully change the word to its incorrect spelling to cancel out the auto-spell checker, so how hard can it possibly be when you have more than one set of eyes to catch these simple spelling mistakes?

We end with the slightly moronic idea that the evil mastermind can take out Colossus with armor-piercing bullets. They better be incredibly piercing bullets to have any effect on Peter’s tough hide. I’m bored. This title is boring. Nothing is going on. Somebody please help.

X-Factor 40

by Peter David and Valentine de Landro

Okay, this is one of the last reviews of the week to give the title some time for its surprise ending. Last month, I mentioned that Peter David acknowledged that X-Factor had fallen into a slump, and he was trying very hard to increase sales. He is making each issue end with a shock, and asking the net folks to hold their spoilers and give the surprises a chance. Last issue was a good one, and this one is too, even though it wasn’t quite a shock. Mr. David has to allude to the ending a little bit before it actually occurs, which would give an astute reader a clue.

A new reader would not be impacted by these endings, so the shocks and improvements are geared towards people already familiar with what has gone before. It’s a rock and a hard place for reviewers, because the ending is good. It is nowhere near as blow-you-away good as Peter David seems to think it is, and that’s why his pleas smack a little of both desperation and arrogance. But since it is good, I’m sticking to the press blackout, and I’ll try to restrain from giving too much away.

Madrox catches up with his priest duplicate, and basically announces he wants to commit suicide. Hey, the priest’s wife was pregnant too, so what about that child, with us knowing what happened last issue to Siryn’s childbirth? We find that out real quick. It’s an all-Madrox issue, and the main Madrox puts a gun to his head as the priest-duplicate Madrox pleads with him to stop.

Pick up the issue if you have ever been interested in X-Factor. It’s good. It’s not the best thing ever like Peter David might intimate, but it’s good, and worthy. And that’s really all I need for this title. De Landro’s art is worthy, too.

X-Men: Kingbreaker 3

by Christopher Yost, Dustin Weaver and Paco Diaz

If you’re a fan of Havok, Polaris, and/or Vuclan, this mini-series is for you. The cool thing is that although it is part of the War of Kings mini-event, you don’t really have to be reading any of the other tie-ins. Rather, if you are, then this series adds some meat to the overall galactic story.

The art team is doing great, with cool space battle scenes, and the writing is good enough to keep the pacing fast and fresh. This issue mostly concentrates on the rebels’ plan to do a jailbreak for the rest of their team, and Vulcan’s new villainy-type enforcers arrive to put a fly in the ointment. By the end of the issue, we’re not sure if Raza has been possessed, but a de-powered Havok is in front of Vulcan and the rest of the Imperial Guard, so it’s gonna take a comic miracle to save everyone’s collective hide.

Of course, we all know a comic miracle will happen, but it’s going to be fun to watch. This is a series that has held my interest with each and every issue. Well done.

X-Men: Legacy 221

by Mike Carey and Scot Eaton

Gambit and Professor X get to where Rogue is, but Danger has taken things over in a sense, leaving our two merry mutants to meander through Rogue’s memories in a Danger Room type of environment. Long-time readers will instantly be familiar with most if not all of the scenes that feel slightly like a flashback. Due to all of the familiar recreations, this issue feels eerily similar to seeing a mash-up of repeats, but it fits in with what’s going on.

Scot Eaton’s art is good, and the cover by Lee Bermejo and Morry Hollowell is great. This is an issue that you really have to read the previous month’s issue first, and it will probably flow better when in trade format. It’s so much better than the Uncanny title right now, though, it’s depressing. For Uncanny, that is.
Tpull is Travis Pullen. He started reading comics at 5 years old, and he can't seem to stop.