Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review – Part Two

Part Two reviews this week give us all of the mutants and mutant-overlapping Dark Reign tie-ins.

Dark Avengers 8

by Brian Bendis and Mike Deodato

Cyclops’ plan starts to form, with Moonstar asking Hela for her Valkyrie powers back. Osborn’s team puts on a good public relations show for a week while the real X-Men sit and watch everything on television. Beast’s science team pulls off their magic trick and raise an island, straight out of a G.I. Joe plot. Seriously, check out G.I. Joe 40-41. The master plan is to start a new mutant island, because not enough bad things happened on Genosha. Idiots.

X-Force attacks to rescue some prisoners, and Emma and Namor reveal their true colors and knock out Mimic and Daken, allowing Cloak and Dagger to flee with everyone to the Utopia island. Luke Ross does what he can with the plot, but they made several choices that I would not have done. What there is of it looks good in most places, but between the Kang-like story in FF and this brilliant re-run, why don’t I just take out all my comics from the ‘80s and re-read them? They were better.

Dark Wolverine 77

by Daniel Way, Marjorie Liu and Giuseppe Camuncoli

Daken’s ambition continues as he lays his own foundation, manipulating whichever person he feels he needs to move at the moment. Osborn tries to blackmail the Fantastic Four, threatens to take away their children and make them outlaws, all from a single video clip of the thing hitting Daken. The trick is on Osborn, since Reed has a device that will gain access to Osborn’s secrets, if only he can get close enough to Osborn’s personal computer. It’s only slightly lame that Osborn might agree to meet his foes with his precious PC right beside him.

Ares and Venom attack the FF at just the right time, prodded by Daken. Osborn detects the computer intrusion and wipes his data, costing him the blackmail video and whatever leverage he had on the FF. The one thing Daken might not have counted on is that Bullseye takes the opportunity to blow Daken up with a well-placed explosive that temporarily ruins his… uh, nether regions.

It’s all part of the plan, as Daken has now built a relationship with the good guys. He knows Osborn will either self-destruct or just plain fail, and he is setting up for the day when Osborn won’t be around. It’s a good tale, even if the art style isn’t my particular cup of tea.

Dark X-Men: The Beginning 3

by Paul Cornell and Leonard Kirk

The first part has Emma taking Namor on a tour of his own mind. The big reveal is that Namor has agreed to do as Emma asks for their undercover assignment in the Dark X-Men because he is not entirely sure if he is a mutant himself, and what that might mean for his life. There are some funny bits involving references to Sue Richards and Namora, and it’s a fun little story.

Jason Aaron and Jock get to do a quick Mystique story. They try to give Aaron a chance to reference his lame “Wolverine kills Mystique, but really doesn’t” story from the main Wolverine title. Even here, they don’t give any details of her escape, making the original story that people tried to hype as awesome into a pale mockery of almost everything that is wrong with modern comic storytelling today.

The art style is not to my personal taste here, and reminds me of the old days when Marvel didn’t really care about a title and just wanted to give somebody a shot. The story here is not too bad, just Osborn getting Mystique to agree to work for him, much as most of the other stories in this mini-series have been.

The final chapter is by Simon Spurrier and Paul Davidson, and is my favorite of the three. Osborn’s attempt to co-opt Aurora is a dismal failure, and it’s neat to see the Green Goblin outmatched by someone else with multiple personalities. I’d love to get these two together with Bloody Mary. Good art and humorous action, making this final issue the best of the three.

New Mutants 4

by Zeb Wells and Diogenes Neves

Like the other revival series X-Force, this title is still mried in re-runs, with Cannonball having yet another (!) argument with Dani over being able to handle herself. You might think Sam would shut up by now, but Dani appears to agree with him at first, then rides to the rescue by crashing a car into Legion at the right moment. What a coincidence!

Illyana does the legwork inside Legion’s head, severing some personalities and getting her hands on the doll that represents dominant control over his body. The art is okay, even if it does look a little like the instruction manuals on how to draw super-heroes. The terrible part is the regression of these characters. Cannonball and Moonstar and the rest have been through so much, and here they are having the same arguments they had twenty years ago. Zeb Wells ignores all of the growth they have already had in his attempt to revisit the team, and it breaks my heart.

Next up: an original story! Just kidding, it’s another re-run, as they bring back Warlock. Thought you’d actually get something good from this? Ten bucks says the next plot in X-Force is to resurrect yet another re-run character…

Wolverine: First Class 18

by Peter David and Francis Portela

I suppose it was only a matter of time before we had a Multiple Man story, since Peter David is writing the title now. Jamie shows up looking for a lost dupe. Said dupe is already there, and trying to be an independent being. Kitty takes the side of the dupe, and the race is on. The art is better than it’s been for a while, but still retains some of its all-ages charm. Cool, humorous Skottie Young cover, too.

The story would have been okay, except Peter David has already done all of this before. This ret-con makes this the first instance where we have seen a dupe show signs of individuality, and now marks the first time Jamie produced some dupes and then sent them off to learn about different subjects. One of them even makes a smart-alecky remark about not coming back and living his own life, which we know one of them does. It’s not that funny, and dilutes the impact of his earlier (continuity-wise, later) stories involving the same subject matter.

Wolverine: Origins 39

by Daniel Way and Scot Eaton

The master plan has finally been revealed: Romulus is looking for an heir, and all of the others are supposed to fight it out in a king of the hill type of combat. Logan has been unknowingly chopping his way to the top of this particular corporate structure. Omega Red appears to kill Wildchild, and then Logan kills Red with the Muramasa blade. That’s an impressive body count of interesting characters for one magazine. Will all of these guys “stay” dead?

The final page shows us Romulus himself, raising some interesting questions about exactly how unique some of these mutants really are, and threatening to give us a tenth or eleventh origin/revision for Logan’s life. Eaton is good on the art, although I can’t help but wonder why Romulus’ master plan shocks Logan so much. He’s comes across worse stuff before in his life.

X-Force 18

by Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost, Mike Choi and Sonia Oback

Hey, let’s start things off with a little cliché, shall we? Boom-Boom is held captive by HAMMER goons, and they are going to rape her first before throwing her in prison. Gee, that never gets old, does it? But at least it gives Warpath half a reason for killing them outright. Because this is a grim and gritty book, and Warpath kills everyone now, and we can’t have him just knock out some regular guys, can we? Choi’s skill is wasted on the simple demands for depicting this situation.

Elixir has healed everyone, but it didn’t stop an energy burst from Surge. Hellion was able to funnel away a lot of the discharge, neatly wrapping everything up in a bow. X-23 is captured by enemy forces, and in a scene that still ties in with nothing else in the entire comic, Wolfsbane fights some frost giants with Hrimhari. Logan has yet another excuse to punch Cyclops, and that means that this series is now turning into a re-run not just of previous X-force titles, but a re-run of itself.

Oh, and the bad guys go to resurrect Doug Ramsey. See, New Mutants #4 review, somebody owes me ten bucks…

It’s just sad.

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