Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review – Part 2

Captain America: Reborn 5

by Ed Brubaker, Bryan Hitch and Butch Guice

The impact of this series is not fulfilled well in this issue. The limited number of Avegners that come to Steve’s aid is deplorable, for starters. The scene with the jet crashing in the water, shown from the viewpoint of our different national monuments, is a very cool visual. Cool visuals are the word of the day for this comic, but the story itself is not very original.

We are left with low-impact battle scenes, where the bullets will only hit Cap’s shield, but the heroes can wade into the villains with no problem. Steve Rogers starts cussing, using words he does not normally use, which was not needed, and they also toss in yet another army of super-humans in the form of a bunch of MODOKs. All of this is set in the middle of another attempt by the Red Skull to take over Steve Rogers’ body. The panel dividers don’t work so well, and in light of the recent excellent work in Detective Comics, this does not compare well.

While the battle between Red Skull/Steve and BuckyCap is fun, it is all a little too familiar, and the ending has been ruined with Steve Rogers appearing in other Marvel comics about three times already before this issue was even published. The sad fact is that this was still one of my favorite Marvel comics this week.

Dark Wolverine 81

by Daniel Way, Marjorie Liu and Giuseppe Camuncoli

This is an interlude issue, as we (attempt to) delve into Daken’s psyche, via Moonstone. She tracks him down to a coffee joint, where he tells her a story which is a lie. While entertaining, and with sparse art by Camuncoli that seems to fit well, the analysis is rather amateur, and open-ended. It’s basically a story where two people sit at a table and ask each other questions. Not bad for a breather issue, but not the best execution as far as dialogue goes.

Doctor Voodoo

by Rick Remender, Jefte Palo and Gabriel Hardman

Some fast ret-con work tries to tie together a past sorcerer supreme and voodoo expert, only to jump back to Nightmare. Brother Voodoo is rather boisterous in his belief that he can beat Nightmare, and the sequence of events could be clearer. This is turning out to be one of those books where the art does a semi-interesting job of portraying the magical weirdness, but for a title like this to succeed, it really needs a higher profile artist. We end with Doctor Voodoo falling under Nightmare’s influence, while Hellstrom is possessed by Voodoo’s brother, Daniel.

Unfortunately, the way this story unfolded failed to make me care much about what happens next issue. Too much nebulous stuff and battle scenes, when we need to learn more about how Voodoo’s role works, what he can do, what his limits are, etc. What makes him tick? Even with a villain who invades your subconscious, and hints at some of his fears, we still don’t know much. Not enough.

Realm of Kings: Inhumans 2

by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, and Pablo Raimondi

Devos the Devastator has launched an attack, and the Mighty Avengers have just happened to have timed their visit now. The Inhumans had a strategy prepared, but the Avengers are in the way a little. The conversation between the two groups is well done, and establishes the new status quo between the two groups. They also take advantage to let Pietro have a good conversation with Crystal and learn about her marriage to Ronan. Even in apology, Pietro still comes off as arrogant. I love it!

Raimondi is growing as an artist, and that’s always fun to see. This is the best project he has done, in my opinion. Art plus story combine to give us a few little gems in one issue, and set the stage for the next one fluidly (and no, that wasn’t supposed to be a Triton joke). One of the better Marvel comics this week.

Ultimate Comics Armor Wars 3

by Warren Ellis and Steve Kurth

Here’s a mini-series looking for a reason to exist. Kurth is serviceable on the art, but the entire concept of doing the armor wars again subverts the very point of the recent Ultimate universe reboot. You know, to be different? The original Armor Wars was awesome, and this one doesn’t come close. There are some cool opponents and a fun fight, but nothing more substantial. No Ultimate twist to make the story belong to this universe. I’m not sure why they did it this way… or at all, for that matter.

X-Factor 200

by Peter David, Bing Cansino and Marco Santucci, plus Karl Moline

No sooner did we get a 50th anniversary issue than they revert to the original numbering of the series to give us another anniversary. The artists are good, and I like the heavy inking, as X-Factor goes to find the Invisible Woman. Peter David’s depiction of Valeria is pretty much perfect, although I tend to think Shatterstar beating the Thing was a bit much, especially the bits of brick flaking off him with each hit.

There is definitely something “off” about Reed Richards, so Jamie rifles through the Fantasticar and finds something belonging to Sue Richards. Longshot tries his special ability to read event off of objects, and we end with Longshot seeing Layla Miller… and talking to her! Okay, I’m interested to see where this goes.

The second feature has Jamie’s priest dupe coming across Siryn’s trail, and the ensuing conversation is pretty fun. Much more engaging and meaningful than the entire issue of Dark Wolverine. We also get the obligatory spread of 200 covers, plus some Marvel Universe database entries for the cast, and a reprint of Madrox #1, the issue that set the stage for Mr. David’s current run on this title. I still don’t like paying an extra dollar for a reprint of an issue that’s not very old, but this was still a fun issue.

X-Force 22

by Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost, and Clayton Crain

They should call this the saga of the never-ending mutant zombies. Selene’s resurrection of the Genosha population runs into problems when she finds out the M day event means that these reanimated corpses still don’t have any powers, most of them. When we go back to Utopia, Stonewall is getting knocked down by colossus and Sunspot… again. Like they couldn’t think of something else to show us, since that was already a scene in this story? Lazy.

The introduction of each character is necessary, because the CGI art is so dark, you can’t even make out Husk and Skin properly. It’s like someone filmed a movie without the proper light setting. Where Deodato and others are masters of light and darkness, this is just cheap and lousy. Rahne is pregnant by the Prince, and boy did that happen fast. He yowls for Hela to show up, and Eliphas tries to get Blink to take him to get the special sword back.

If you don’t understand the review so far, it’s because you haven’t been reading, and from what you can see for yourself, there isn’t much reason to start now! Blink teleports all of Selene’s lieutenants straight to the X-Men at the end, and Domino acts scared. I have no idea why, she probably doesn’t even know half of them. The art is terrible, with attempts to use CGI colors to mask the lack of detail, and Steve Dillon’s art is also pretty bad in the backup story with Cable and Hope. Complete and utter dreck.

X-Men: Legacy 230

by Mike Carey and Daniel Acuña

The finale of Rogue versus Emplate, and Acuña’s talent shines on pages where he gets to show us the weird environment dimension, but is a little lacking for depicting regular things like people. Bling gets the final blow in against Emplate, and the strange creatures from the other dimension get to feast on him at then end. Rogue agrees to stay and teach the youngsters like we all knew she would, and Gambit appears to be switching back and forth between his Apocalypse form and his regular look, and he’s talking to himself. Hmm, might be interesting. Boring backup story of Cable and Hope in the back. Mostly just a run-on of their endless journey in Cable’s regular series, but with worse art.

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