Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review � Part One

Agents of Atlas 6

by Jeff Parker and Gabriel Hardman

This title has the most intricate tie-in with the Dark Reign meta-story, and is probably making the most of it. They kick it up by bringing in Namor, one of the Cabal members, with Namora�s kinship hopefully giving them an edge. They also bring Derek Khanata back into the mix, which is cool, because I kinda liked that guy. Gabriel Hardman�s style is very nice, and the fantasy scenes remind you of a futurist painter; he�s also able to do his own inks, and for the most everything still looks good.

There is quite a bit of history involved with Atlantis, Namora and Namor, and Parker deals with it in a minimum of words that still touches all of the highlights, while still managing to upset Namor. For a change, I�m on Namor�s side, too. I forget how Ken Hale can stick his earplugs in through his oxygen helmet, but maybe that�s a detail they explained in a previous issue. If not, they goofed big time. Namora might leave the team, which puts a crimp in Woo�s plans, but the issue leaves off with them exploring an underwater paradise, and it�s an interesting end point. There is no cliffhanger, no big confrontation, but it feels like a natural place to leave off. Well done.

The Amazing Spider-Man 596

by Joe Kelly and Paulo Siqueira

Harry has joined Norman Osborn�s Avengers team, and you just know that Norman has some insidious plan to further his own twisted agenda. Jay also has a nice story beat with Peter, and I have to say, Jay is a refreshing character introduction to a big Parker universe that has been a little stale without Flash, MJ, or Betty around much lately.

Some of the storylines are suffering with this many elements plotted by the Spidey brain trust: JJJ as mayor, Peter�s various female interests, the city hating Spider-Man again, etc. And where the heck did Mr. Negative go? Much of the art is good, but the inker�s style doesn�t seem to mesh so well, and the emphasis is really all on the people and hardly any thought given to the surroundings. Spidey goes undercover as Venom with the help of the Fantastic Four, but Venom will only be gone for a bout a week. That seems a little flimsy of a plan, but Parker just wants to infiltrate the Dark Avengers long enough to figure out what Norman has in store for his son.

Aside from the predictable problem of too many plot points set up yet again that will take a long time to resolve, the current idea to get inside and find a way to disrupt Osborn�s plans is a good one. Joe Kelly writes everyone well, but with a noticeable lack of whimsical banter lately.

Dark Avengers 5

by Brian Bendis and Mike Deodato

Hey, this is a Bendis comic, right? So we�re overdue for a bunch of pages of talking heads! Norman Osborn goes on TV for a well-prepared script to keep his name clear and righteous and all apple-pie-ey for America. Venom makes a Ghostbusters reference, but is that Gargan in the suit, or Peter Parker (see Amazing Spider-Man referenced above)? The writers may need some coordination and interesting writing to make sure the readers know who is whom, while not confusing people who only read one of the titles.

Deodato is well-versed in composition, so the heavy talking heads sequences are portrayed with good variety, and this is a good artist to study for the background details: he makes sure the same type of food is on the team�s table from panel to panel. I wish half of DC�s and Marvel�s artists had that kind of attention to detail. Bendis lays the groundwork for little character bits throughout, such as Sentry�s ongoing mental struggles, and Karla playing around with Noh-Varr, under the watchful notice of Bullseye.

Osborn�s careful orchestration amounts to naught, because there�s an invasion that disrupts his interview, of course. It�s fun to watch him have to cancel his careful plans and run to the rescue of everyone, just to keep up appearances. That said, the whole Dark Reign thing still feels like they took Busiek�s Thunderbolts idea and spread it across the entire Marvel universe. I might look forward to an announcement about when this might come to an end. The poorly-planned steps of all of the meta-events like House of M, Decimation, Civil War, and Secret Invasion have led them down these steps, and it will take some heavy thinking to get the universe out of this sorry state. Please don�t pull a Mephisto on us again�

Exiles 3

by Jeff Parker and Casey Jones

Okay, this was going to be my final issue, but they got me this time. Although the art conveys a sense of fun that makes it hard to buy into the idea that anybody can really be hurt, or that anything major can really be at stake, it is solid artwork. The anime stylings on the cover might turn some people off, and they are purposefully making the Scarlet Witch alternate, the Witch, appear more like Little Red Riding Hood than I like, but the dialogue is fairly good.

The way the Exiles escape imprisonment is the first clever idea that makes me sit up and take notice. The team manages to uncover some rotten machinations by Magneto, but the tallus aborts the mission before they think they�re done. The team has to jump into a portal, and Blink is mystified. Blink also doesn�t want to let on that she has done this sort of thing before, so she tries to hide her experience, and her previous knowledge of the way things should be.

So we have a new mystery on our hands, and the final scene shows us a world run by Vision, Ultron, and Machine Man, so I just have to check that out! In one issue, they have turned things around pretty well, and I will give them another chance.

The Mighty Avengers 25

by Brian Dan Slott and Stephen Segovia

At last, Slott does something nice for Bill Foster, helping to remind readers that he was a brilliant scientist in a flashback. Agent and Quicksilver get sent off for a job with their new world-wide team with the funny name, and Hank calls up Reed Richards for a device to help him keep his other-dimensional laboratory intact. Reed denies the request, and is uncharacteristically brusque and insulting, which only sets off Pym more.

The new plan is to put on image inducers and look like bad guys while they assault the FF building to take what they need, which Pym sees as his rightful property anyway. Segovia�s art is good, but some of the characters have distortion in their faces that�s a little distracting. And Reed�s treatment towards Hank was less than his regular respectful self, and the whole thing was (pardon the pun) a bit of a stretch. (I�ll be here all, night folks, remember to tip your waiter.)

New Mutants 2

by Zeb Wells and Diogenes Neves

Legion is back! Too bad Wolfsbane isn�t. You remember, one of the original New Mutants? The only one who�s not here? What a waste�

Karma is trapped in Legion�s mindscape, and we have some multiple personality problems again, and this title is starting to feel just like X-Force, but with slightly better art. That is, they are resurrecting another old villain an doing a re-run of stuff that has been done to death already. I wish there was more to report, but other than the team getting tossed on their collective butt, not much happens.

I�ll try to give this story arc a chance, but it�s less than average, and Exiles is more worth your money.

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

helpful job for bringing something new to the internet!

-- Posted by: acemoney review at October 28, 2011 3:29 AM

Amazing post, truly!

-- Posted by: proxy list at October 29, 2011 11:29 AM

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