Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review - Part 1

The Amazing Spider-Man 608

by Mark Guggenheim, Marco Checchetto, Luke Ross and Rick Magyar

We’re back to dredging up some of the clone history, and I am very wary. Already the art has problems with the flashbacks, and it takes an effort to distinguish between Ben Reilly and Damon Ryder at points. It’s a fairly quick read, and I like the way Checchetto draws Spider-Man.

The short of it is that Damon was experimenting upon himself, and Ben Reilly finds out. In the present, Kaine grabs the real Spidey in a choke-hold, and Kaine was never a character I enjoyed in any way at all. Bringing him back makes me feel like I should just drop the title and skip ahead a couple months. The Mephisto stuff was bad enough, but I was buying Spidey when they started the clone stuff, and I dropped it because of it. Just because there is this material in the history does NOT mean you have to explore it further. The art aside, it’s going to be an effort to buy the next issue.

Astonishing X-Men 31

by Warren Ellis and Phil Jimenez

The X-Men are called in for a rescue mission of Agent Brand, head of SWORD. Why not use Pixie or Nightcrawler, with their teleportation skills? Maybe there’s a reason, but the writer should tell us why they are not available, because it renders the entire story useless if they are. Jimenez is awesome with these characters, and the visuals are excellent the entire issue. I suspect he really enjoys depicting Storm.

The potential lack of falling within continuity also raises questions, because we don’t know if Emma has the sliver of Void in her. I’m guessing not, because she is able to use her diamond form and her telepathy, sometimes at once it looks like. The ‘rules’ on that for her have been a little foggy. The end has a supposedly deceased mutant appearing in the crowd at the scene of the shuttle impact, and the late mutant transforms into a bio-sentinel. It’s a great visual, but a little lacking in the storytelling aspect as to how or why she would be there at that precise moment, considering the shuttle could have landed anywhere. Is it supposed to be coincidence? It’s a little sloppy, and I’m used to better from Ellis.

Still, if this is the level of art we get, and the story isn’t quite so random, we should be in for a fun ride.

Daredevil 501

by Andy Diggle and Robert De La Torre

Art: awesome. Story: questionable. Foggy has gone from firing Matt to beating himself up, and turning back into the proverbial doormat. I liked it when Foggy finally showed some spine, and I took his side. Matt was going too far, and Foggy had to stop being an enabler. So much for any kind of character growth. Kingpin, at least, is playing smart and positioning himself to wait it out as other factions fight for control of the city.

Matt himself has gone weird. Just after taking over the organization, Bullseye maneuvers things so a tenement of innocents blows up, and Matt blames himself. Fine. He has decided he should use the Hand to clean things up. Fine. They want Izo as a sacrifice as a condition. Matt says fine?!? Not fine.

Daredevil has gone on a full power trip, deciding that he must control all of Hell’s Kitchen. With his experience with higher powers, he should know that control is an illusion, and even if he succeeds, somebody from outside his sphere of influence can come in and knock over all the dominoes at any second. It doesn’t mesh with the way Matt is used to thinking. The only thing I can figure is that Izo is playing at being dead, and Matt knows it. Because if this isn’t a trick, then it’s just bad writing for Daredevil to have gone so “ends-justify-the-means” so quickly to the point of killing his ally.

Doctor Voodoo 1

by Rick Remender and Jefte Palo

Marko Djurdjevic puts up an impressive cover, and the first mission for the new sorcerer supreme is to block off Dormammu from our universe. He takes Dormammu full on in a confrontation, and uses a combination of his new skills, his old talents, and a neat tactical advantage that Stephen Strange had been hiding for years, and wins!

Palo’s art is interesting, but the inking he does over his own work looks bad on Strange’s face. For an environment that should be full-on senses-altering crazy, we have to settle for some shiny colors or darkness. The style is lacking in sufficient imagination. I realize they tried to put together a good team to give this character a chance, but it takes a special kind of artist to pull off the required atmosphere, and this isn’t it. At least, not with him doing his own inkwork.

The beginning story is impressive, with a Dormammu fight, Stephen strange moving on and accepting he is no longer sorcerer supreme and doesn’t call the shots, and Jericho Drumm’s other commission to help the people of New Orleans.

But wait, there’s more! Before he can even finish protecting some innocents in his city, Doctor Doom shows up to take the Eye of Agamotto and the Wand of Watoomb. Doom gets the upper hand, but sees something in the Eye that makes him throw it back to Drumm.

I want to give this title a chance. The opening mystery is good, and the story is great. The covers promise to be awesome every month, and the Son of Satan will guest-star next. I can only hope they get a separate person to do the inks, or a different artist soon. This is a real good place to experiment and go crazy with the visuals, and while I liked a lot of the choices, it was still too ordinary.

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man 3

by Brian Bendis and David Lafuente

Ultimate? Try the ultimate in boring. The art is almost nothing. Sometimes Lafuente can’t even be bothered to draw a freaking window, leaving it to the colorist to try to portray light coming into the house. Bendis draws out the conversations to work in his Hollywood-style “pregnant pauses” to make it feel like a real-time conversation.

Mysterio uses his epiphany to make everyone see giant spiders and rob a bank, and Peter stops him. The opening sequence is nonsense. Mysterio announces he has killed the Kingpin, and after Ultimatum, he has decided he wants… to control everything?!? Does he mean the city or the world? We don’t know, and nobody tells us. The first thing he does after making this announcement is to rob a bank of some gold?!? This is strictly bush-league.

If this is Bendis’ exciting new direction, our definitions of exciting are very different. Worst art in any comic this entire month. Oh, and the Human Torch decides to stay with Aunt May and company.

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