Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review – Part One

Captain Britain and MI:13 #13

by Paul Cornell, Ardian Syaf and Leonard Kirk

The action picks up, and the story does too a bit, finally. The backgrounds for the art are cool. They are not in the greatest of detail, but more than we get in many comics these days. Maybe it’s just because I was imprinted with Joe Maneely’s art, but they can’t seem to do the Black Knight any justice. Osborn makes an appearance to let them know that there will be no help coming from the Americans. Is this a policy of neutrality coming via Doctor Doom and his membership in Osborn’s Cabal? The faux Scarlet Witch, Loki in reality, decides to play nice in the sense that he/she actually conveys a warning to the good guys that Britain is mystically sealed off from the rest of the world.

The team gets a signal from Spitfire, knowing that it’s a trap. They go there anyway. It gets a little lame, as we switch from Spitfire confronting the team on a barren field, to the entire team being surrounded by a massive horde of undead. Wasn’t it convenient for the whole team to just stand around and wait for an army to surround them? The next weird part is that the enemy has accomplished so much in a few hours, and the report back to Dracula claims the operation should be complete in six weeks. More like one week!

This title is still on the bubble for me, but it was better this month.

Secret Warriors 4

by Brian Bendis, Jonathan Hickman, and Stefano Caselli

Sebastian has somehow managed to crash a plane, which makes you wonder how well Fury has really been training these kids. The story moves fast, and it’s a quick read, with Daisy and Sebastian recruiting a new member, and a couple others rooting around Fury’s stuff until they find a hidden compartment of his LMDs.

Caselli’s art style is growing on me a little, but it would still be better with a separate inker. The Hydra group is handled well, and everyone is addressed by name, so new readers can learn who they’re watching. Nick Fury joins up with the remaining vestiges of S.H.I.E.L.D. members who didn’t join H.A.M.M.E.R., and it looks like we’ll be going on the offensive next issue. This issue was a slow build, so hopefully we’ll get some steam next time.

Ultimate Spider-Man 132

by Brian Bendis and Stuart Immonen

Ultimatum continues to be drawn out in what feels lie an agonizingly slow fashion. This issue is actually a bit of a relief, because Spidey gets to take a break from the rest of Ultimatum and just deal with one of the consequences: Nightmare is loose! In a typical mistreatment of all things magical, Bendis just has Hulk come over and pound on things until there’s a massive… explosion? It’s like Bendis doesn’t want any logic or rules to magic at all, he just wants it to do whatever at any given moment. Ah well, it’s magic, after all.

I wish I could say more about the issue, but this was almost all of it. Although there was an awkward moment for Kitty's boyfriend when she starts to tell Mary Jane how much she loves Peter...

Wolverine 73

by Jason Aaron, Adam Kubert, Daniel Way, and Tommy Lee Edwards

No, you’re not crazy. This is a new issue of Wolverine, and it has two new stories in it, and neither one is “Old Man Logan.” That would be issue #72. “But Travis!” you say. “Did we miss issue #72?” Nope. It’s not out yet. Marvel, in their infinite wisdom, has decided to use the next creative team that was working on the title to release an issue, because #72 was going to be late. Marvel released some idiot story about releasing two stories together in a two-issue fashion to coincide with the Wolverine movie. You know, the one that already came out? Three weeks ago?

So instead of reviewing #73 (which I will get around to in a moment), I have to help clear up all the confusion. The creative team is late. Most of the time it’s the artist that can’t keep up, but who knows. So they tried to spin it, as if this were politics or something, and evidently instead of the hallowed Marvel way of saying, “Oops! We screwed up! We’re sorry, and we’ll try to make it up to you with a special pin-up or poster or something extra when it comes out.” Instead of that, they try to tell us that new comic readers will come into the comic store and want a new story, not the final part of a long story arc that will confuse them.

So here’s what happens: #73 just came out. When those “new readers” (hah!) come back, the next issue on the stands will be… #72. Part of a long-running story arc. Then comes the second part of this two-fer, #74, and “Old Man Logan” will actually conclude in a special giant-size issue or something. Then, with #75, they change the title to Dark Wolverine, and his son Daken takes over. Isn’t it nice to know that they did all this so no new readers would be confused?

Deep breaths. Okay. We have the first part by Jason Aaron and Adam Kubert, and Kubert is pretty good, as always, in the art department. Aaron is playing around with the idea that Wolverine is everywhere at once, burning the candle at both ends. The story gets ruined all over the place. Nobody bothered to do any research, so the continuity fans can’t get a cool story that actually plays some of the sequences in the right order. It’s just a random assortment of cool panels, having nothing to do with any of what we see Wolverine doing in any other title. Which means he’s doing all of those, and all of these too, so they just compounded the problem.

Then, we lose any humor, because he gets nasty with Yukio, and she tries to express her concern. This shows sloppy research again, because Yukio is the most carefree person in the world. Her entire life is built around excitement and adventure and throwing care to the winds. I can buy anyone else in the Marvel universe asking Wolverine if he’s not pushing too hard… except for one person: Yukio!!!!

So the first story blew it on believability, humor, and any sense of fun a continuity nerd might have had with it.

The second story is with a biker group, and Logan is hardly involved at all. He’s basically a witness to a biker leader whose son is with another group, and the son has killed some people. This is what they thought Wolverine fans would like to see? He’s not in costume, he’s not in action… It’s pretty boring.

X-Factor 43

by Peter David, Marco Santucci, and Valentine de Landro

Peter David has fun with the recap page and spews out some jokes for us to spread on the internet. Anybody know if his attempt to prevent spoilers for the last few issues was a success? Either he’s having more fun, or he’s being sarcastic because there was too much leakage. My impression was that he was happy with the way things turned out, and he’s just joking around.

Longshot is rendered horribly and used poorly, and I really think it’s a shame to see such a character with potential reduced to a couple pages of not much. Guido and Rictor head out to see the priest dupe, and Jamie and Layla… make out?!? What’s worse, Jamie even says after their kiss that he keeps thinking she’s a kid. Well, Jamie, I have news for you. THAT’S WORSE!!! Pervert.

There’s a guy with a stupid mask hanging outside where Rictor and Guido are, and it’s Shatterstar. I can’t be surprised, I expected him to show up any time now, especially with both Longshot and Rictor around. We’re slipping again, and the team really should try to reconvene so they can tackle things together. I’m getting slightly bored again. But mostly grossed out with the scene between Madrox and the cliché child-aged-to-adulthood that been riddling comic stories for too many decades.

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