Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review

Captain Britain and MI:13 12

by Paul Cornell and Leonard Kirk

For all of the aims of the various intelligence agencies that permeate Britain, the vampires have surprised everyone, including with an infiltration into the intel ranks. Even when the intel guys get down to business, they are still being manipulated into doing exactly what Dracula wants. The intelligence agency just does not have a good reputation in the Marvel universe, does it? Heck, we can’t even give Fury credit anymore, what with the supervising agency of S.H.I.E.L.D. being hidden from him for so long. But I digress…

The shading is light and the art lines are loose, which downplays any dark aspect of menace we might feel. The lighter nature of the art makes it a bad fit for this type of story, but Cornell does write some big ideas into the story. Spitfire learns how deeply she is held in thrall by Dracula, and thanks to the creative team for finally allowing me to use the word “thrall” in a sentence.

That said, it falls short of a must-read. The rest of the cast fails to ignite much interest, and this title remains on the bubble for me, I might not get it after Dracula is gone.

Dark Reign: Hawkeye 1

by Andy Diggle and Tom Raney

I hesitated to get this, but Tom Raney is usually good, and he doesn’t disappoint on the art for this mini-series. “Hawkeye” is still referred to in private as Bullseye, and that may be part of the problem Osborn has getting his fellow criminals to continue perpetrating the undercover Thunderbolts concept of his new Dark Avengers team. Diggle writes an interesting conversation between Osborn and Bullseye that provides insight into their prospective viewpoints, and it makes for an entertaining threatening tit-for-tat.

The highlight is a crook who asks, “do you think I look like an idiot?” followed by an arrow through his head that is gloriously violent in its hilarity. And what will happen now that everything he does in the guise of Hawkeye is caught on tape? All right, I’m hooked on this one.

Exiles 1

by Jeff Parker and Salva Espin

Here we go again! A new team is assembled in the first half of the issue, as we get to see each of them yanked from a millisecond before their respective deaths. Shades of Booster Gold. The rest is exposition by Morph/Timebroker, but we don’t learn if this is really Morph assembling an additional team beyond the main Exiles group running things from their Limbo-like headquarters, or what.

The overall feel of both the art and the writing is light-hearted, and slightly amusing is their first mission to aid Wolverine, who looks pretty dead already. At first I thought Forge was a version of Corsair, which might have been more interesting. I have no idea how long I will stick with this, because I’m at the age where I can only handle so many light-hearted titles. Parker and Van Lente and company are slowly herding things in that direction for each of their multitude of titles, and it has worked for things like X-Men: First Class and Incredible Hercules in the past. But this is $3.99 now, and I sense some cuts coming. I suspect this one won’t make the cut.

Savage She-Hulk 1

by Fred Van Lente, Peter Vale, and Robert Atkins

Only a four-issue limited series for She-Hulk, and most of it focuses on an alternate descendant of Thundra and the Hulk named Lyra that has rarely been used. The art team is fairly good, and the backgrounds are fun. Pulling slightly from the Exiles, Lyra has a talking Tallus-like wrist guard named Boudicca to help her out. The real She-Hulk shows up on the last page.

I’m torn. It’s interesting, but not a ton of meat, and it’s co-opted by the Dark Reign banner on the top, but I’m not certain they should have advertised it as such. What if all we get is a misunderstood-heroines-fight-each-other cliché, followed by a team-up? In the old days, we could have knocked all of that out in one issue instead of four.

War of Kings: Ascension 1

by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, and Wellington Alves

Okay, if I have to make a choice out of all the #1 issues of a new mini-series, this is it. The famed writing duo of DnA have teamed up with the “cosmically” gifted artist Wellingotn Alves for the Ascension mini, showcasing Darkhawk. Chris himself admits that he was looking for the same positive effect that he noticed on Nova, with Richard Rider having gone into deep space and come back older, more mature, and with a ton of extra power and skill.

Yeah, not gonna happen. His mentor Talon takes them after Annihilus’ cosmic control rod, training him a little as they go, but Chris is still hampered by his attitude, which Talon blames on the incomplete bonding of Chris to the Darkhawk crystal. There has always been something that made me a little wary of Talon, though, and the writers have done a masterful job of making you feel that way without being too over the top about it, until it’s too late.

At the end, Talon appears successful, and this is only the first stage. Who knows what impact this will have on the rest of the War of Kings storyline? A new wild card is in play, and the art on it is great!

Wolverine: Weapon X #1

Jason Aaron and Ron Garney

It’s the project that just won’t die. Not satisfied with having created Wolverine, somebody somewhere wants to create a lot more deadly weapons, and Maverick sics Wolverine onto the latest plot. Garney does a better job on art here than I’ve seen him do most other places, and he wasn’t half-bad before. They also include a fact-files section for background on the people involved with previous iterations of the Weapon X program. Still, this is another $3.99 extravaganza that spends all of its first issue just setting up the plot. I’m used to things moving faster. If you have the extra dough, go for it. I can’t say at this point that I’m sure you’ll be missing much, though. Maybe next issue will really rocket things up.
Tpull is Travis Pullen. He started reading comics at 5 years old, and he can't seem to stop.

TP, you are never too old for light-hearted comics,with all of the civil wars,secret invasions,and yet another final crisis,and don't get me started on the real world, give me all the light-hearted, well produced fare I can handle!

-- Posted by: earl jones at April 13, 2009 11:55 AM