Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review – Part One

Agents of Atlas 2

by Jeff Parker and Carlo Pagulayan

The recap page gives us insight into the thinking patterns of M-11, and it’s awkward to read. I hope they don’t do that for every issue. To whom is M-11 transmitting that, anyway? The story picks up at an arms deal between Atlas and the representative for Osborn, mixed in with some flashbacks focusing on Marvel Boy.

The dialogue is pretty good throughout, and we get to witness Namora’s fierce loyalty to M-11. Temugin makes an entrance as the new #2 in charge of Atlas, and his appearance here carries more weight than when he was a Mandarin substitute in the Iron Man comics. The flashbacks do not appear to do enough to tie in with current events, so we will have to wait until next issue to see if there is more relevance that impacts the present. Pagulayan has a lot of help on the art, with Gabriel Hardman doing the flashback art. It is hard to tell if this was done to keep the book on schedule, forcing the interweaving of two tales that should have been told separately or not.

The bottom line so far is that this was an entertaining read, and good enough to make me want to see what happens next. The characters that compose this team are more unique than most others, and there is great potential here to explore viewpoints that differ from the standard human viewpoint.

Cable 12

by Duane Swierczynski, Jamie McKelvie and Ariel Olivetti

I wanted to check in on this series since they are doing an X-Force crossover, and see how the whole new mutant birth was affecting the Marvel universe. Not much, as it turns out. McKelvie’s art is sparse, with most of the action taking place in desert wastelands. It’s like Lord of the Rings, with only two characters and almost no worthwhile conversation. If this was a Stan Lee/Jack Kirby book, they would have compressed the first 19 pages into 5 or 6, and given us at least one additional story concept for the rest.

In short, they are taking their own sweet time, stopping to show us every freaking rose along the way, but it is plodding, and there is hardly anything to look at in art terms. For $2.99, I want at least twice as much story as this.

Daredevil 116

by Ed Brubaker and David Aja

David Aja is back! His portrayal of Wilson Fisk as a cold, hard man is very believable. We follow his journey as he meets a new woman for his life, and the artistic choices for representation are gripping.

Brubaker carries his half with delicious narrative, providing just the right amount of the current state of Fisk, and showing us the insight needed for us to understand his coming to grips with is past, and what effect it will have on him for the future. Outside events interrupt his attempt at possibly finding a new direction, setting him on a non-stop meeting with Daredevil.

This was one of my favorite reads this week.

Deadpool 8

by Daniel Way and Paco Medina

This was one of the worst reads this week. Like Cable, I thought I would take a chance because it’s a crossover with the Thunderbolts, which have been quite good lately. Medina’s art always attempts to relay a sense of the kookiness of the situation, but he does’t put a lot of detail into it. Perhaps detail is not called for, but when we get so little, it makes you think he’s slumming, because he is capable of better than this.

The story is a waste, with an imitation-Spider-Man dialogue that also has him arguing with at least two mental personalities. There was not a single joke or panel that made me laugh, and I can only assume sales are as high as they are due to the popularity of Deadpool himself. I can follow the rest of the story in Thunderbolts without having to worry that I am missing anything in the next issue of Deadpool. The only attraction for this book is for its humor, and Mr. Way cannot write humor. There were more laughs in Agents of Atlas.

Secret Warriors 2

by Brian Bendis, Jonathan Hickman, and Stefano Caselli

The art and story were both better in this second issue, partly because they get to focus on the villains. If you ever wonder how such huge organizations have trouble taking over the world, consider that here, Strucker kills 15,000 of his own men to purge a handful of Skrull infiltrators. Strucker later finds out that Fury has resurfaced and learned the truth about Hydra’s machinations, so new plans are set in motion.

We actually get very little screen time with the rest of the heroes. The rest of the heads of Hydra assemble, and Strucker declares “we wait for one more.” Except they aren’t waiting, they actually have to go out and get him. They convince the Hand to resurrect Gorgon. This is not to become confused with the Inhuman’s Gorgon, which makes you wonder why Marvel editors couldn’t insist they choose a different name for this rather forgettable villain.

I like the direction, but the jury is still out on how good this series will be. The art was better in some areas, but I am not convinced that Caselli is the permanent choice for a title such as this, that should be full of darkness reflecting the underworld and shadowy intelligence nature of the war. Deodato might be a better choice for an environment such as this. Whatever the artist’s talents are, there is such a thing as the wrong talent for a particular assignment.

X-Men: First Class Finals 2

by Jeff Parker and Roger Cruz

The art is weird for me, as the colorist has little drabs of white all over the uniforms of the X-Men, which is very distracting, and unattractive. The whole issue is a battle with Frederick, and Cruz’s art does not lend itself to truly rendering the deformities of this particular mutant. The backup cartoon has Scott and Jean going on a date, but it’s… to be continued?!? What a waste of a couple pages.

This series has become a much poorer imitation of its former series, and eve the inking and coloring is diminished. I have to cancel, as there is not even a ghost of story that can keep my interest anymore. Talk about a rapid fall.
Tpull is Travis Pullen. He started reading comics at 5 years old, and he can't seem to stop.