Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review – Part Two

The Mighty Avengers 27

by Dan Slott, Christos N. Gage and Khoi Pham

I purchased the Marko Djurdjevic cover of this issue, with an imposing new character who actually rules the Inhumans before Black Bolt. The people we now know as the Royal Family actually confront their feared cousin because he has gotten rid of the Slave Engine, thinking that no one person should hold that kind of power. Just moving the Slave Engine out of Attilan has weakened the Unspoken leader to the point where Black Bolt can take him out. Khoi Pham works hard at giving a clean, early Marvel feel to this retro-flashback, and then moving more into his own ‘normal’ style in the present with the Avengers team.

Some things don’t make sense yet, because Agon was supposed to be the leader of the Inhumans before Black Bolt. Also, Quicksilver recognizes this guy instantly, even though his rule was over, and his name struck from the records before Pietro even met Crystal, let alone married into the family. So they need to do some fast work to reconcile some of this stuff.

Characterization is key, and Slott does well with each character. John (US Agent) sounds like his usual dense self, expressing surprise at there being so many Chinese superhumans (is there anyone else on any planet that would express surprise at seeing so many Chinese anything?); Pietro’s chastisement to watch something other than American news is precious, and Jarvis’ relief at the self-cleaning vast new headquarters is great. The Unspoken blows through China’s super-powered defense force, or “Alpha Flighted” them, as Walker says (and why would he use those words, since he was recently a member of a team up north?), and we get to tune in next issue to find out how the Unspoken came back, what his goals are, and how he can be stopped.

Many people have trouble with Pham’s artwork, but he does seem to be growing as an artist. I like his work here better than in Secret Invasion. For the story itself, I liked it, but I would like to see the potential inconsistencies in continuity cleared up quickly.

New Mutants 3

by Zeb Wells and Diogenes Neves

Cannonball and Sunspot bust in to knock back Legion, who was toying around with the idea of killing Dani. Sam acts in a very uncharacteristic manner when he chooses to leave Dani locked up, “for her safety.” Sam has been around a powerless Dani Moonstar before, and they’ve gone up against much tougher odds than Legion. It’s a bad choice, one that just wouldn’t happen, and obviously contrived to make the plot move a certain way. It’s not very clever, and betrays the history these two people have with each other. It basically ruins the series with its disregard: these are not cookie-cutter characters, and they have a solid history behind them. Why start up the series again and bill it as the original team configuration if you’re going to have them act contrary to who they are? It’s a waste of everybody’s time.

Neves does good on art, but chooses for simplistic backgrounds quite often. Dani gets out of jail through the cheap, artificially fabricated plotline, followed by Illyana stepping into Legion’s mind to rescue Karma. If any personality dies in there, David Haller himself might die. Illyana immediately carves up three personalities as soon as she gets situated. Next issue, we will probably find out that the manifestation of her Soulsword in this environment doesn’t actually cause “death” in that sense. It’s hard to tell, what with the lousy writing.

The whole thing is already off the tracks, and doomed to failure, but not as bad as Young X-Men was. They have brought Illyana back in a poor way, and spend no time dealing with that fact. None of the interesting pieces of these characters is being discussed or handled, and still no Wolfsbane!!!! Major suckage.

X-Factor 46

by Peter David and Marco Santucci

Cortex is a gun for hire from the future, for reasons that still haven’t been revealed, which is making for a slow, plodding story. Cortex himself seems to be a non-organic energy being, possibly one that can occupy a human host for a while. After losing Shatterstar as an avatar, he cannot reacquire him, for reasons that are not explained. Is the fact that he is smooching Rictor too much of a difficulty for Cortex’s awesome power? Who would have thought gayness would be so formidable. Since they have not bothered to explain the mechanics, limitations, or basis for Cortex’s powers, there’s no figuring things out unless they drop hints for us later.

For those who need to keep track, Peter David has finally finished the allusions started many years ago, and Rictor is bi, I guess, since he liked Rahne and men, and Shatterstar, a mutant from Longshot’s dimension, is gay. This has upset Rob Liefeld to no end (Shatterstar’s creator), but maybe people will chalk it up as even for having to endure Liefeld’s grotesque anatomies with no feet for all these years.

Eslewhere, Darwin fights off a possessed Monet, while in the future Layla tries to get Doom’s brain to work for a short time, so he can tell her what she needs to know. Because Layla Miller doesn’t know enough “stuff” anymore. Also unexplained, for the most part. The gaps in the way people and powers work is starting to fray the edges of what might have been a good story.

Okay, here’s a big personal plea to the editor, since the writer and letterer and whoever else can’t seem to be consistent, even on one page. At the top, the phrase “Doomlocks?” is correct, because the question mark is inside the quotation marks. On the final panel OF THE SAME (CENSORED) PAGE, “Doomlock” and “invariable” have the period outside the quotation marks. This is incorrect grammar. I can’t hand these to my nephew if this is going to be the quality. You have 22 pages, mostly art, and some words. Can it kill you to try to get this one thing right? I’ve been harping on it for at least three months now in the reviews. The entire staff at Marvel can’t be that blind and ignorant about grammar rules, can they? If you aren’t going to bother to at least get the spelling and grammar correct, then how are we supposed to convince teachers and parents and the like that these are any better than “funny books?”

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