Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review – Part Two

The Age of the Sentry 6

by Jeff Parker and Nick Dragotta

The saga concludes, with yet another ode to Superman, this time a mimic of the time he died and came back. I wish they would have stuck to the older style of conventions without repeatedly rubbing our noses in the fact that this is their version of the man of steel. Some of the old conventions bring a chuckle. For instance, the Sentry coming across a giant cranium spotted through a transparent hull on the sea, and Sentry’s response is: “Yep, that’s got to be Cranio’s secret base.” Secret?!? It’s fun stuff.

The mystery that is resolved turns out to be a thought-convention by Reed Richards, who was the person telling stories to his son. There was no serious mystery that tied back into the “real” world, which might have been more interesting. With the looming specter of prices of $3.99 ahead of us, this is one of those that most likely would have fallen by the wayside. For $2.99, it might be worth a look.

Dark Reign: Fantastic Four 1

by Jonathan Hickman and Sean Chen

This tale picks up right after the Secret Invasion, and Johnny is still bemoaning the loss of all their stuff. The entire essence of the digressions that affect the entire team is summed up beautifully by one panel: Reed kneeling down assembling a device, saying, “I had an idea.” That might just be the best one-panel summation of Mr. Fantastic I have ever seen.

Reed’s plan is to examine other parallel worlds and see if he can figure out how everything on his own planet went so drastically wrong. Sean Chen seems at his best on art when depicting the thing more than the rest of the cast, and Susan definitely looks a little different to me. The reason this is a Dark Reign tie-in? Because under old Norman Osborn has decided the Four are a threat, and he wants them neutralized. He has just enough juice to sic the authorities on them, too. So just after Reed steps through his new device to bridge the dimensions, the power gets cut, and everything goes… well, let’s try the word “wrong” and see what that gets us.

The final couple pages are pretty cool, and have set the stage for what looks like a good mini-series.

Hulk: Broken Worlds 1

by various

This two-issue series is sort of like a Hulk-centric ‘What If’ romp, each tale focusing on a different setting that we have seen in the past for the Hulk. I won’t go through every writer and artist for this one, but the worlds covered are House of M, the Microverse, Hulk 2099, and Future Imperfect.

Each tale gives us a little slice of life that serves to remind the reader of the setting and add a little to the story of that place. It might not be as effective for someone who is not well versed in each place, so I tend to think this is definitely one of those comics where it really helps if you are familiar with the different locales. A couple of them are written so that an uninformed reader could pick up the salient facts as they go along, though. The 2099 story has very difficult art to read, by Diego Latorre, and it almost hurt my eyes trying to make things out. This is one of those times when I might have stood up and said, “You know, I butcher stick figures, but I could still do better than this.”

New Avengers: The Reunion 1

by Jim McCann and David Lopez

This starts off weird, with a psych profile from Doc Sampson, who is evidently moonlighting as an advisor for the new Captain America. But his report claims that he sent an update to Cap. Is his report going to someone else, or is it just a case file for his notes? And if it’s for his notes, why did he redact some of the information? It just does not set the right mood for this tale.

The dialogue is pretty good, and the art is passable, as Clint goes chasing after Mockingbird. He tracks her down and helps her out, uncovering a plot by A.I.M. They make sure to show us that even in the middle of a fight, Bobbi still has some trauma to deal with concerning her abduction by the Skrulls. Her goal is to clean up some of the pre-existing threats, the ones that were out there before the Skrulls invaded. For whatever reason, Clint has decided to detain her and call in the New Avengers to grab her, right after she informs him there is a 48-hour deadline on a bomb. It doesn’t feel like the normal decision Clint would make, but remember, this may not be the original Hawkeye, this might be the one from House of M, so who knows what differences there might be? They never did tell us for real if the Scarlet Witch resurrected the original, or just pulled in the House of M version…

War of Kings 1

by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, and Paul Pelletier

Now we’re playing with power! The Starjammers have hightailed it to the Kree side of the galaxy, just in time to attend Crystal’s wedding to Ronan. There is an awesome scene as Vulcan surveys the Imperial Guard, and stops before Smasher, going, “Didn’t I kill you?” It’s a replacement, and it’s hilarious. The Imperial Guard are finally getting some desperately needed screen time, and it’s great to see them in action.

Pelletier’s art is in top form, and he shows the Imperial Guard do a Shi’ar equivalent of the Blitzkrieg on the Kree. They are prepared to deal with Black Bolt, and the attack is fast and vicious. They made a mistake, though. They left the Inhumans alive. I can’t wait for next issue.

X-Men and Spider-Man 4

by Christos Gage and Mario Alberti

At the end, when we started with Kraven and the machinations of Mr. Sinister, we end with a clone of Kraven called Xraven that possesses all of the powers of the X-Men. Unfortunately, he also has telepathy, and Cyclops lets the clone look inside his head to see what Sinister is really like. The real goal? Just like before, he was sent to get samples from any new X-Men on the team, and he succeeded.

Unfortunately for Sinister, Cyclops has succeeded too! Xraven brings the samples to sinister only to destroy them and turn on his creator. Alberti’s art serves the story well, but I did feel something of a letdown to find out that the final story was just more of the same, with Sinister still just trying to obtain more samples. Still, the overall series was cool, and better than I would have expected.
Tpull is Travis Pullen. He started reading comics at 5 years old, and he can't seem to stop.