Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review – Part Two

Avengers/Invaders 9

by Alex Ross, Jim Krueger, and Steve Sadowski

The cover tells it all, folks! The Red Skull gets his hands on a Cosmic Cube again, and boy if that just doesn’t feel like a Daffy Duck situation at this point. Just like Doctor Doom, we know he’ll fail in the end, but how many times is the Skull-Cube combo gonna keep happening? I don’t mind, it’s actually a time-honored tradition, but I really feel we should also be making fun of it at this point.

The mixed Avengers teams that Doctor Strange saved with a spell and the Invaders go undercover to avoid impacting the timeline too much, allowing us to see Electro and the Black Widow from the Twelve series (at least we get to see them somewhere; will that series EVER be finished?). I like the banter on the terrible costumes as they tackle the enemy.

Bucky brings up a good point in his journal, as he imagines that if they are successful, there may be no way for anyone to remember them saving the world. Someone could do a good webpage that details every time in Marvel that the universe was changed, but the good guys “fixed” it. We could have running tallies for those that people remember, and those that nobody remembers, and have a spirited argument about whether the Mephisto cluster-*censored* counts for which section, if at all. We’ll have a special section for House of M, where some people have managed to remember what happened/didn’t happen. Who’s going to do the DC section?

Captain America Comics 70th Anniversary Special #1

by James Robinson and Marcos Martin

Man, that is a long title. Marcos Martin has a great style for a World War II tale, giving the proper shading to make things feel slightly dusty, showing us Spartan settings that remind us how little clutter there used to be. The story goes sideways when puny Rogers uses a garbage-can lid as a shield, AND successfully throws it. Really, Robinson? After all that visual effort to depict Rogers as weak and physically unable, then you have him tackling people and basically being a fighter? The whole point was that it took a guy who couldn’t fight and made him into a physical specimen of perfection. I don’t like this treatment at all.

They give us a reprint for the second half, which is fine. I like the passion that Rogers shows, and Bucky’s observation about Steve Rogers, but even though I like the art, it doesn’t feel enough of an anniversary celebration.

Dark Reign: Fantastic Four 2

by Jonathan Hickman and Sean Chen

Sean Chen gives us some neat creatures for Sue and company to fight, but his faces are blending together too much. I seem to recall he did better than this, but I wish Marvel would send an e-mail or something to all their artists and remind them to try to give each person a distinct face.

Hickman’s high-concept tale of Reed searching through all the realities for the “right answer” of how to fix the world is fun, but you wonder exactly how much time he spends YouTubing the multiverse. He goes through all 418 models that are relevant? Good stuff, if he can keep this up for the entire series.

New Avengers: The Reunion 2

by Jim McCann and David Lopez

Clint spends time fighting with his ex, haven’t we all been there? Except as Ronin, he keeps picking up a bow an awful lot, doesn’t he? When they finally get down to real talking, Mockingbird drafts him into the intelligence world, and McCann starts dropping a lot of intel jargon. The flashback sequences are sometimes a little hard to follow, because they switch back and forth so fast, panel-wise.

Mockingbrid has never been my favorite character, and the West Coast Avengers series turned into a bit of a train-wreck, so I don’t remember the exact place where Bobbie was kidnapped for substitution by a Skrull. Suffice to say, they chose a place in the timeline that makes for additional drama in their relationship. The interaction between these two is good, and the only gripe I have is that Clint seems to be a little too unprofessional with the stakes as high as they are, and he’s a little more wimpy, touchy-feely “can we talk about things?” I’m used to a Hawkeye less whiny.

War of Kings

by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, and Paul Pelletier

Marvel’s best read of the week, right here. Vulcan is destroying planets, kidnapping Lilandra, life is pretty good, right? The Kree are lashing out at the Inhumans after the invasion, and the Royal Council session is awesome, as each member takes part in the discussion, but closes on the silent menace of Black Bolt’s face. I almost feel like he wants to shout, “Hey guys! Care to ask me what we should do?” Heh.

Ronan is injured, bringing out an interesting reaction form Crystal, and her actions are impressive. The only question is, did she orchestrate things like the jealous Medusa claims, or was it just good fortune that Polaris worked to get the cameras on her so quickly? Either way, there is a lot of content packed into relatively few pages. It has all the feel of a Stan Lee/Jack Kirby story, with modern art by Pelletier that has faint traces of Kirby’s influence if I’m not imagining things, and a slightly more long-term planned story.

This is an odyssey of cosmic proportions, people. Please check this out whenever you can, it’s all good.

Tpull is Travis Pullen. He started reading comics at 5 years old, and he can't seem to stop.