Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review - Part 2

Captain America: Theater of War: Ghosts of My Country 1

by Paul Jenkins and Elia Bonetti

This is a different sort of story than the regular ones. They give Cap an ‘Uncle Sam’ type of treatment and have the ‘spirit of Cap’ show up at different combative times in America’s history. Since we are used to seeing characters like Old Solider, Fighting Yank, or Uncle Sam in these positions, it feels weird for them to use Captain America in this context, due to his personal chronology that doesn’t go back earlier than WW II.

We start with the signing of the Declaration of Independence, then the war of 1812, then the Civil War, World War II, and Vietnam. He skips over the Persian Gulf War, but shows up again on September 11th, always followed by a phrase from a poem, “I am a ghost of my country.”

It works if you look at it from the prospect of Steve Rogers filling the suit and becoming a reflection of the ideals of the country, and so this is not Steve Rogers himself showing up or making his presence felt, but rather, the concepts that he has embodied are always present, and they are represented to us in a fast way with the spectral picture of his form. It’s kind of nice, if something timeless we’re not used to seeing in the normal context of this character. Nice pencils, simplistic but not overly so.

House of M: Masters of Evil 3

by Christos N. Gage and Manuel Garcia

Madison and Lionel Jeffries from Alpha Flight fame are in charge of Santo Rico in this House of M universe, and the Hood’s men go in and take them out, turning the country into a safe-haven for humans. Since homo sapiens are the minority oppressed race now, the Hood cites Magneto’s own actions as a precedence for his. Garcia continues to do well in depicting the villains (heroes here now?), and I can’t wait for him to get a turn on a main title now.

The two neat things from this issue are Magneto’s quandary and Parker’s thoughts and status. Magneto, for his part, has to acknowledge (publicly?) that Parker has a point, but no matter which universe, Magneto has always had an ego, and it can’t take this resistance. He will try to smash Parker but keep his fingerprints off of it. Parker’s motivations have changed, and he has truly created a sanctuary for humans now. He tries to explain how it could be selfish (free labor), but Madame Masque knows him too well already. He has his own nation, and more than trying to rule a criminal organization and/or get rich, he now has a bigger cause. Can a crook turn into a hero if he becomes involved in something bigger than himself? It’s an interesting concept to explore.

This House of M universe is proving to be more exciting than the Ultimate universe!

Strange Tales 2

by various

This issue wasn’t as funny as the first one, but there’s an Iron Man story, a few FF stories, and one with Brother Voodoo. M.O.D.O.K. ‘N’ Me is kinda cute in a gruesome way, and M.O.D.O.K. is so popular now, it’s fun to see him getting to much use in every universe, whether here or the Marvel Adventures line, or in the regular continuity. Lookin’ Good, Mr. Grimm is the third FF story, and the most fun. You also get the Hulk, Black Widow, and Galactus is hiring.

It’s a nice break from treating regular comics so seriously. It’s a little hit-or-miss, but just get a copy and relax somewhere.

The Torch 2

by Alex Ross, Mike Carey, and Patrick Berkenkotter

The Mad Thinker promises to resurrect the original Human Torch and turn him into a missile. Toro is held prisoner the entire time, while Toussaint, the assistant, does some research on Toro’s past and comes up with an interesting link: Toro’s mother worked for Doctor Horton.

The Mad Thinker’s experiment succeeds, with the Human Torch attacking a ship and sinking it, while Toussaint is smart enough to see the Mad Thinker’s true agenda, which doesn’t help him much, because he drops the gun he had pointed at the crazy genius scientist. Oh, and Toro get his flame going at the end. Berkenkotter is good on art, and this flowed very well to keep up interest. For only the second issue, I think the series is off to a good start.

X-Men vs. Agents of Atlas 1

by Jeff Parker and Carlo Pagulayan

Venus has been kidnapped by Hercules’ relation, Aphrodite, and the Agents of Atlas need Cerebra to locate her. They try for stealth, but the X-Men catch on and head back to Graymalkin to stop them. A nicely-illustrated fight ensues, and here we learn that Emma can drop her diamond form, because she’s trying to contain the sliver of the Void, and she cannot use her powers (or not enough to make a difference, at any rate). The Agents get away with Cerebra.

But wait! The X-Men track Cerebra and invade the Agents’ secret city! Good art, fun fighting, and a good continuance from the Agents’ now-canceled series.

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