Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review – Part One

Avengers/Invaders 10

by Alex Ross, Jim Krueger, and Steve Sadowski

Paul Anselm tried to change the past and save the lives of his WW II buddies, but the rookie immediately lost his Cosmic Cube to the Red Skull. Now even WW II is messed up, reflecting the powerful tool that the Skull holds. Our heroes are still undercover to prevent further contamination of the time stream, as they link up with Black Panther, Nick Fury, and his Howling Commandos.

There are a couple of good story beats, with the WW II-era Steve Rogers reassuring Iron Man about serving his country during the Civil War, but Tony still feels like a chump, even with a ‘40s Cap giving him some credit. It’s precisely this type of nuance that is conveyed from one panel to the next that is missing from Wonder Woman over in DC. Luke Cage is also asking questions all over the place, trying to get an accurate feel for himself as to how deep discrimination against black people really was during the war, and Gabe surprises him with an answer that shows Fury and company treated him as an equal. The final scene, showing a couple dozen corpses of heroes from WW II, is a small shock, but reflects exactly what the Red Skull would do. The pictures help the story flow smoothly all the way through.

Dark Avengers 4

by Brian Bendis and Mike Deodato

It’s actually a little depressing how easily each of the Dark avengers is able to take out Morgan Le Fay, no matter how many of them she has taken out of commission. Doom is able to put her out of action in a way that won’t wreck the timeline, and also gives Deodato a good way to stretch his art muscles. The art and colors are very nicely done.

Chinks in the Cabal are already showing, with Osborn serving notice to Doom that he can’t come rushing to help him again. Doom waits until they are gone, and then uses the powers at his disposal to fix the damage to his castle and kingdom. One gets the sense that Osborn is a little out of his depth. All this, and Karla flirts with Noh, too! This title feels a lot more like Thunderbolts used to than Thunderbolts feels right now.

Dark Reign: The Cabal 1

by various

Since it’s only a one-shot, I figured I would get this, and there are a lot of good names on the creative teams to make me feel good before I settle down for reading. First, Adi Granov draws some very nice scenes while Jonathan Hickman relates some plotting between Doom and Namor to pick up the pieces after Osborn blows it. We have already seen Emma with her own agenda, and Loki poking holes in Osborn too; about the only one not actively working to subvert Norman yet is the Hood, but that has to be just a matter of time. The glimpse inside Doom’s mind is humorous, devious, and slightly scary all at once. Good job!

Matt Fraction takes us on a journey through Emma Frost’s past, basically describing how she survived by doing whatever it takes. Daniel Acuna does a good job here, and you get the sense that Emma is joining the tyrants just to avoid being crushed, for starters. Next, Rick Remender has the Hood protecting his little secret of family, and using it on his own goons to reinforce an idea of loyalty. Max Fiumara alternates his style, showing a lighter flashback sequence, and some heavier inks in the present. The Hood is a bit of a jerk, because you get the sense that the driver knew his place, but the crime boss just didn’t feel he could take that chance.

The Namor story is the weakest of the lot, with Kieron Gillen writing a story that has Namor sending what looks like a mutant Atlantean to San Francisco. I’m not sure if we’ll see the kid pop up in the X-Men titles, but Carmine Giandomenico’s art is ill-defined, and doesn’t fit in with a water environment very well. Also, there is not much reminiscent of the Cabal in this story, which makes the reader ask: what’s the point? finally, a Loki story that has him/her approaching Doom about hosting the Asgardians. It’s basically a preface to Thor #601, but Peter Milligan’s script is darkly amusing, while Tonci Zonjic uses nice, easy lines that make Loki look ever closer to the Universe X storyline.

Nothing overly vital to the grand scheme, but more stories were worth it than not. If you haven’t spent all your money already on price increases, go ahead and try this one out.

Ms. Marvel 38

by Brian Reed and Rebekah Isaacs

This title is already better, just in terms of story. It’s more cohesive, it blends in well with the Dark Reign meta-event, and it gave us some good insight into the evil attitude of Karla Sofen, the new Ms. Marvel to the public at large. The art is not my favorite style, and the people could use better definition. Still, it was refreshing to read a story contained in one issue that made sense, and didn’t feel random and discombobulated like the last year has for this title.

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