Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review – Part Two

Hulk: Broken Worlds 2

by various

Four more tales of alternate universes, some good, others not so hot. The Mangaverse story, for example, is written by Adam Warren and Kelsey Shannon. The narration boxes beat the “this universe may vary from the normal universe” pun to death, while the Manga art style has never really ingratiated itself with me in the first place. If I see their names on the credits again, that will probably cause me to steer away.

Slightly better is the Age of Apocalypse story, picking up on a Bruce Banner that betrayed the humans to Apocalypse at first, but sacrifices himself so the rest of the escaping humans can get away. It was written by Marc Sumerak and drawn by Jonboy Meyers, and the extra gamma bomb exposure that Hulk receives is sure to cause headaches for whoever is left on the planet.

Marc Sumerak tries again with artist Steve Scott for the 1602 version of the Hulk, setting himself up in a nice position of power while taking out old Fin Fang Foom. The art is nice, and the story is average, but remember that these are only eight-page stories.

The best is the last, by Jason Henderson and Juan Santacruz. The art is much better defined, and the atmosphere fits the Days of Future Past atmosphere really well. The Hulk escapes custody only to be hunted down by Sentinels, and the threat against innocents is what causes him to surrender. But the reason he escaped in the first place is what makes the story so good and touching. It shows what you can do with only eight pages, and puts the others to shame.

New Avengers: The Reunion 3

by Jim McCann and David Lopez

Clint and Bobbi go undercover to stop a bomb, but there is a heavy distraction because of Bobbi’s reveal that she was going to go through with the divorce before she was kidnapped by Skrulls. The flashbacks are cool, and highlight how dangerous it is to underestimate Mockingbird. However, the obsession with personal matters in the middle of a bomb counting down is out of place, and it just may have cost them. The variance in color and art as they switch between past and present works well, but the prospect of Clint doing nothing but whining for the rest of the mini-series is a little disappointing. Defuse a bomb or something first, idiot.

New Mutants 1

by Zeb Wells and Diogenes Neves

The New Mutants ride again! This time the original cast is back, except for Wolfsbane, probably due to some editorial edict keeping her in X-Force. After all they have Wolverine do, and the way Hank brushed away the objection form Stature about her and Vision being in both the Young and the Mighty Avengers, you’d think they might let Rahne be in two places, but as it is, she’s barely present even in X-Force anyway, so it almost feels like she’s a forgotten character.

The art by Neves is fully serviceable, but without any signifying style to distinguish ownership. I see elements from several different artistic styles, but there are two people doing the inks, so perhaps that has a hand in the matter.

The story is stilted, mostly because the writer seems to have forgotten that Cannonball has been an X-Man for a while now, and the “sir this” and “sir that” is more reflective of him acting like a mutant fresh off the train than the seasoned veteran that he is. Someone who was brought up with Xavier’s dream and then drilled as Cable’s soldier could still have said “sir” to Cyclops and made his request without coming off as so young and uncertain. This is a guy who has gone against Xavier to his face long before Cyclops ever dared to do the same thing. The cheesy admonition from Cyclops to bring them all back was also a little amateurish.

The theme continues with Sunspot’s misplaced comment about them looking like grown-ups. Sunspot has been a CEO, he’s been in charge of the Hellfire Club at some point… these are all mutants who have gone through a lifetime of experience and growing up fast. This hearkening back to the idea that they are still teenagers is a gross mistake.

I’ll give this more of a chance, but it would be better to have a single inker on a single artist. It would also be a great place to explore all of the experiences that these particular mutants have had, both with and apart from each other, and to see them comparing notes as they band together once again. There is a great amount of potential in their stories, but the direction looks to sweep most of that under the rug. That’s a mistake, and it makes them all come across as bland; stripped down for their life experiences and previous choices, they are much less interesting right now than they are supposed to be, than they should be. I saw more personality in their very first issue, and that was written back in 1983.

War of Kings

by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, and Paul Pelletier

Oh thank heaven, a really good comic this week. I was beginning to despair. Emperor Vulcan displays his ruthless attitude that also hints at a slightly deranged train of thought. The scene with Crystal and Ronan are excellent, showing how Crystal is coming to care for the Kree as her own people, which is the proper conduct for royalty. The biggest responsibility is to protect the populace, and her queries into the future plans hint of dread, with Black Bolt shutting her down, and Medusa before that stopping Maximus from revealing too much of what may be an objectionable course of action. Will the Inhumans be dropping a version of the Terrigen mists on the Shi’ar in a version of biological warfare? Or are they planning to somehow arrange a merger with their current enemy? They keep you guessing with an excellent display of building suspense.

The art and ink team of Pelletier and Magyar continue to rock, even if I do wish their faces were drawn better. In some scenes, there is too much of everyone grimacing and gritting their teeth. The splash page of the guardians of the Galaxy showing up is cool, and their subsequent action scenes as they take out the Imperial Guard is clever, and raises more mystery about Vance Astro.

People who have been reading from the start know that Gladiator has been asked by Lilandra before to come to their side, but he refused. This time, after repeated exposure to the lunacy that is Vulcan, he comes to a different decision. We’re only halfway through, and it feels like the best is yet to come.

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