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Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review - Part 1

The Amazing Spider-Man 603

by Fred Van Lente and Robert Atkins

I ended up with a Mary Jane cover by Stephanie Roux that made her look like someone over the middle age hump trying to hide her aging. Her dress is a bunch of computer monitor screens that look like it should be a lame screensaver, and her smile is not attractive at all. The sooner we can get comics away from trying to look like the covers to women�s magazines, the better off we will all be. Luckily, the insides are much better.

The Chameleon has taken over the identity of Peter Parker because Peter has access to a place he needs to be. Van Lente takes us on an outsider�s exploration of the identity theft of Peter Parker, making several insightful comments along the way. Chameleon handles his confrontation with Michele by reading her body language and being bold, stepping right up to kiss her. It�s awesome fun to watch, because you just know this is going to cause a ton of complications in Parker�s life, just when you thought that not much else could go wrong. He also manages to fool Mary Jane in her first meeting with �Peter.�

In a deliciously evil comment, Chameleon also makes a sworn enemy of recently-injured Flash Thompson; Chameleon had found a reference to Flash and gotten their high school history right, but had no way to know about how much had changed over the years. From Flash�s perspective, Peter just turned into a stone-cold jerk to the tenth power. You feel the anger and simultaneously delight in the tension that is all being created in one issue that could haunt Peter for a very long time.

The way they show Peter getting out of the Chameleon�s trap is less than stellar, and I would have liked a better depiction; his burns are random, which is weird considering he might have been dumped bodily into the acid pit, or just one section of his body. Why are there small marks on small sections all over, but not the entire body, or only the part that came into contact? The visual cue is that he webbed his entire body, and the acid dissolved the webbing at those various points. Someone should send that in and try to get a No-Prize.

It�s an excellent issue, despite the cover, and a good change of pace to have an issue without the real Spider-Man the whole time, but allowing us to see Peter�s life from another viewpoint.

The Mighty Avengers 28

by Dan Slott, Christos N. Gage and Khoi Pham

The Unspoken missed the boat a few years back. Just when he was about to try to rejoin the Inhumans, Black Bolt removed the city from Earth�s surface. He�s probably trying to get to the moon, and won�t it just be hilarious when he finds out the Inhumans are even farther away than that now. Quicksilver tries to call in reinforcements, but Loki sees a chance to get rid of Pietro and remove the risk of discovery. Stature overhears this, but a magical spell prevents her from revealing the truth.

The Chinese superhumans waste time fighting Walker before teaming up, and it reads a little weak. You might think in the face of a threat that took down their entire force, they wouldn�t be so eager to get into another fight so quickly. But the Unspoken sideshow ends for now, and the main event starts. Stature calls together the rest of the Young Avengers and says what she is allowed to under the spell�s conditions: the Scarlet Witch is part of the Mighty Avengers. Tommy and Billy are her children, so they have a definite interest in speaking to her. Loki is caught off-guard by Wiccan�s magics, and he panics, opting for the murder of the entire Young Avengers team.

The creative team brings together one more interesting element and has Ronin join in the fun at the last minute, having tailed the kids and kept Osborn�s HAMMER goons off their backs. Clint had an affair with the real Scarlet Witch when he was brought over from the House of M aftermath, and he thinks Loki is actually her. Khoi Pham has a lot of detractors, but I enjoyed his style here. It looks like he is improving his style, and while he has a ways to go, it�s a solid effort.

As much as fans rate this title as third in line after the New and Dark titles, they�ve got a solid creative team, a cool setup with lots of history and room for development, and a little removal from the greater part of Dark Reign to give readers something else to sample for those of us who don�t want all-meta-story all the time. Definitely think about giving this title a chance.

X-Factor 47

by Peter David and Valentine de Landro

The jig is up, and Doctor Falcone has a sentinel rescue him from arrest at the White House in the future. The book is fast sliding into boring, because I just can�t find myself any reason to care about yet another alternate future. Also, Peter David is butchering Longshot. His innocent attitude and ability to examine the universe around him in wonder are lost to stupid quips that joke about his ability to manipulate probability. It�s out of place for him, and his entire mannerism of speech is just Mr. David, not Longshot. Longshot had a brilliant, unique character, and now he is interchangeable with almost anyone. What a waste of a character.

There are a couple of semi-humorous moments, but it�s not enough to save the storyline. Cortex analyzes Longshot and Shatterstar, and discovers their similarities, raising fans� hopes that Shatterstar will finally be revealed as the son of Longshot someday, picking up on a story thread that was left to rot for many years. Longshot manages to get Cortex out of Monet�s mind, all to reveal Cortex�s identity at the end. Since this is late Sunday, I don�t think this is too spoilerish, and it needs explanation. Waaay back during the Messiah Complex storyline in X-Factor 25, two of Madrox�s dupes went into the future. One got branded with an �M� tattoo and got blown back somehow to merge with the main Madrox in a never-to-be-explained way. The second dupe, we never heard from again.

Cortex is that duplicate, tricked out with some tech that enables him to possess other people. The art may help you to guess that it�s supposed to be a Madrox dupe, but it�s not the best job in the world. Maybe that�s on purpose, to show how this dupe developed into his own person. I�m still kind of bored, missing any concern, and ticked that Longshot is being handled so poorly. The cliff-hanger ending that Peter David has been trying to do for shocks has turned into a shtick, almost becoming rote formula now, and the formula is trying to disguise itself as writing. We�re wandering off into another dragged-out story with little to no point. He needs to speed things up before I fall asleep and forget to buy the next issue.

X-Men: Legacy 227

by Mike Carey and Dustin Weaver

Rogue took Ares� power last issue, so the cover doesn�t fit so well here, except possibly as a reminder that she did so (as if we don�t get enough reminders in writing throughout the issue). We are deeply embedded in the Utopia section of the Dark Reign meta-story, and it�s a fun read, although lacking the feeling of importance that Carey�s previous stretch with Xavier had. Dustin Weaver is okay on art, but his style lacks any distinguishing panache, and betrays that he is not in the upper tier of artists. Little things like the lack of detail in faces, or minor background details in too many panels abound. It�s not too bad really, just not good enough.

This issue showcases Rogue�s new, better control over her own powers, and allows her to help Trance get her own mutant ability under control. It�s a nice piece of development, and could signal a new role for Rogue to play in the future of training mutants. Mike Carey has brought Rogue and Gambit back into the fold with ease and style, and has linked up the Legacy title into the larger meta-story seamlessly.

Although I enjoyed the issue, I was really enjoying the �legacy� aspects that the title implied and explored. There is a huge risk that bringing every title so close together will lose that distinction, and make this into just another X-title that has no distinguishing characteristics, similar to the art for this issue. I can only hope that the writers and editors choose to plan the appropriate stories that reflect the successful new direction that came with the title change for this book, and try to maximize the story potential. There are dozens of long-ignored parts of X-Men history that can be explored and add rich detail to the Marvel universe, but it will all fade away without careful tending.

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

Df1XNy Great article post.Thanks Again.

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