Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review - Part 2

The Amazing Spider-Man 609

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

This review is going to be short and sweet: the entire issue is used so Spidey can fight Kaine, and Peter can then learn that Raptor has taken his relatives and Harry Osborn hostage. This is Guggenheim’s swan song, and it’s not very good, unfortunately. The art is pretty great, and the artists go all out to make this an exciting comic, but this story is supposed to be a murder-mystery, and Guggenheim thought it would be a good idea to propose that Ben Reilly might be a murderer.

It’s all well and good, except for the fact that Kaine makes a much better prospect to be a murderer. Anyone who has read the Spidey-clone stories of old would know instantly that Ben Reilly doesn’t have it in him to be a murderer. As lousy as those stories were, that much was clear to the reader. So from day one when I picked up this story, I wondered who may have killed Raptor’s family, maybe the guy himself, but I knew it wasn’t Ben. Which lessened the impact and suspense of the entire story before it even got started.

Now Guggenheim wastes a ton of time on a fight, and we aren’t really told why the fight is even necessary. Not to leave any insult unturned, we also have to take in yet another reminder of the Mephisto boondoggle, successfully blending two of the worst Spidey stories into one. All I need now is to see them advertise for a Mephisto/clone mini-series. Since Kaine is also a clone of Peter’s, the memory wipe that erased Peter’s identity from everyone else’s mind didn’t take on Kaine. How many people already know his secret ID in this Brand New Day? When MJ made the deal that Mephisto would wipe EVERYONE’S memory?!?

What, Mephisto is powerful enough to save Aunt May when no other science or magic can, and he can involuntarily wipe the memory of the world, but he can’t do any mental reconstruction ON A CLONE?!?!?!?!

Just when I thought they couldn’t mess up their own ruin of a Mephisto mistake any further. Worst Guggenheim story ever. He writes much better television, I would advise he stay there and do that. Please don’t come back to comics. Ever.

Dark Wolverine 79

by Daniel Way, Marjorie Liu and Stephen Segovia

I’m of mixed emotions about Segovia’s art for this issue. On the one hand, it’s good for depicting the down-and-gritty, bloody fighting that goes on. On the other hand, his proportions are off on the people, he characters don’t look that good even when they’re not bleeding, and there is almost no worthy background art to speak of.

The story feels like a holding pattern. Osborn feels that Daken needs some good PR, so he has arranged for some minor villains to be taken down. Moses Magnum gets the drop on him, and it goes downhill from there. After an attempt at blackmail on Osborn, our unstable villainous mastermind calls Daken in again. Not the rest of the team, mind you, just Daken, who was defeated by them. He has decided that it’s Daken’s mess (even though Osborn was the one who set everything up). Daken takes a ton of verbal punishment form Osborn and agrees.

Next time, there will be cameras again. Is Daken supposed to hold back or not? Will he hold back if he’s supposed to? And how long will he take Osborn’s grief? It’s not a bad story, but it feels a little detached from the rest of Wolverine’s universe, and not entirely part of the Dark Reign meta-story either. After the past few issues where we learn Daken can manipulate others, and seeing how adept he is at doing just that, it feels almost like discontinuity to see him marching around solo at Osborn’s beck and call. It can fit if you squint, but the entire time, you’re waiting for Daken to pop his claws in Norman’s chest.

Wolverine: Origins 41

by Daniel Way and Doug Braithwaite

Logan’s new plan is to destroy Romulus’ power base, and he goes to ask for help from the Hulk. Bruce re-introduces him to his son Skaar. The story was okay as far as it went, and then Skaar kicked him out of the ground and onto a tree far away, with the tree sticking through his back and out the front of his stomach. It makes for a great visual, but we all know that Wolverine has adamantium bonded to his skeleton, and there just ain’t no way, even if you’re Daniel Way, that you can make us believe the tree trunk got through his body and avoided all the bones.

So the attempt at spectacle succeeded, but at the cost of the believability of the story. Which, in comic book land, is saying something. We’ve seen Logan’s healing factor on overdrive, we can believe he’ll survive and heal from this. We can’t throw out all our knowledge of basic anatomy. At the end, Bruce agrees to help Wolverine after all. Which renders the whole Skaar-kicking thing moot, and a waste of our time. These “heroes” spend way too much time beating on each other and then shaking hands for my comfort. If anyone kicked me onto a tree, you can bet as soon as I could stand again, I’d be peeling out their insides. I wouldn’t be so quick to accept their help. This round of comics this week just feels like a bunch of loose plots strung together in an attempt to create some sort of visual shock, but there’s no writing skill that helps to tie them together into a coherent story. Well, not a good coherent story, anyway.

X-Men: Legacy 228

by Mike Carey and Daniel Acuna

The art style that is uniquely Daniel Acuna’s looks great when he depicts the nowhere-land that Emplate calls home. I’d like to see a story with his art that calls for a ton of those types of freaky environments. The depictions of the X-Men trying to recover Bling!? Not as awesome. Also lame: a character with an exclamation point as part of her name. I refuse to use it after this, so I’ll just call her Bling and leave it at that. The “!” is just stupid. Rogue takes Hope’s powers and heads after Bling, but Emplate’s little helper has some interesting guard dogs that can affect Rogue’s “trance” form.

The form of this issue feels wrong. After the brilliance of Xavier’s journey and the development of Rogue, we’re wandering off to an area of re-runs, where a repeat villain can mysteriously come out of nowhere after a long absence, penetrate the heroes’ security with ease, and basically just beg to be defeated in an issue or two. Granted, not every issue can have significant meaning, and this may turn out to be a fun romp, but with all of the New Mutant and X-Force villains being revisited, I was hoping the Gen-Next ones would be skipped.

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