Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review – Part Two

Nova 24

by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, and Andrea DiVito

The War of Kings event is in full swing here, and kudos to the editing staff and writers for giving us such a tightly-woven saga. If you’re getting all of the related titles, it’s only about four books a month, and it makes for a better cosmic saga than most I have read in the past five years.

Robbie Rider is stuck in the tactical section and hating it, but at least he’s not dead. The rest of the Nova force has tried to help defend the Kree against the Shia’ar, since the latter were the aggressors, but the grunts don’t matter: the Imperial Guard is the real threat. Once the guard shows up, the Nova soldiers get wiped out until they all surrender, showing how the Worldmind has miscalculated, and proving Richard to be correct. Or is that really the case? After all, the Worldmind thinks on a different scale, and in a different way, so perhaps these are all acceptable casualties to him.

Richard makes it through to the center of Ego with his new bands from Quasar, who follows along in an insubstantial form. The surprise awaiting him is a little disturbing, but not entirely unexpected. It makes for a good cliffhanger, though, something at which the DnA writing team has constantly excelled.

Thunderbolts 131

by Andy Diggle and Bong Dazo

We have the conclusion of the Deadpool crossover, and man am I glad that’s over! Diggle tries to make the most of it, and I have to admit that the characters are handled better over here, while the Deadpool title is still a big mess to me. The art follows the cartoony aspect that tries to convey the insanity of Deadpool, but all the story does is make all of the new Thunderbolt cast look absurd and less than deadly. It undermines any impact this title was supposed to have, and makes Osborn’s judgment look faulty for the roster he has chosen. Two thumbs down.

Uncanny X Men 509

by Matt Fraction and Greg Land

Things are so good for the X-Men in California, it’s just too good to be true. It’s amazing how hated and hunted they have been for years, but this city of San Francisco has embraced them whole-heartedly. Maybe our merry mutants are due something nice, but it doesn’t smell right; it’s too big of a u-turn after all of the oppression. We should see at least one scene of somebody grumbling about the muties, just for old times’ sake, if nothing else. As it is, the setup reads too much like an alternate world fairy tale.

McCoy’s brain trust gets a new idea for their experiments, and Madeline Pryor’s group, called the sisterhood, manages to put Betsy Braddock’s mind into a restored Kwannon’s body Fraction is getting a better handle on the nuances of developing characters in such a large cast, but it’s still small in relation to everything else. For example, he gives us a good scene with Beast and Wolverine observing Pixie, but the scene is gone as soon as it’s there. Then, the Sisterhood attacks!

With Greg Land on art, the book reads better than usual, with more time devoted to actual development of the story, and not quite as many scenes letting Terry Dodson show us female cheesecake. Is it a coincidence that Land and Dodson are involved with a title that has an all-female villain team? I think not. I actually find it slightly irritating, but the story is getting better, so I’ll roll with it.

War Machine 5

by Greg Pak and Leonardo Manco

This story arc has gone on about an issue too long, so I’m glad we reached an end. In my opinion, giving all this great new tech for Rhodes to play around with, and then immediately trashing his entire body, was a waste. Pak tries to squeeze some tension out of things, with an infection by Ultimo and the threat of imminent death, but the Ultimo threat helps to heal him, and they burn out everything else with an electromagnetic pulse that transmits new computer code to override Ultimo.

Ares has an interesting conversation with Rhodes as they disagree about whether War Machine is a champion of the god of war or not, and Osborn comes in trying to manipulate Rhodes’ entire team. Instead, Rhodes takes his group on the road, essentially turning them into domestic terrorists inside America’s borders.

While there might be some potential here, this series has left the initial concept given to us at lightspeed. I wanted graceful lines and massive firepower, and instead I got dusty sand for too many issues, and a bunch of the War Machine armor getting ripped apart. Let’s get Adi Granov over here and get back on track!

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