Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review – Part 2

Dark Wolverine 86

by Daniel Way, Marjorie Liu and Stephen Segovia

Talk about a mess. The writing is so cliché, my headache is giving me a headache. When we take a break from the action, we have to spend three pages on the reaction of the military, and it falls flat. Two seconds after Cloak teleports Wolverine out of Daken’s reach, both of the bad guys have disappeared. It’s magic! Because they don’t bother to explain how the only enemies on the battlefield can disappear from everyone in two seconds.

The motivations have never been spelled out for us, so Daken is still just random, and his actions are random. After all of the attempts at subterfuge and betrayal, Daken decides to kill Romulus. For all that we are supposed to believe Romulus is this mastermind who has kept in the shadows pulling the strings of power silently, he certainly is caught flat-footed here. It ruins any sense of intellect or planning he might have had, and makes it hard to believe this was the guy behind all of Logan’s troubles. In short, it ruins the entire Origins series. I sense we will end things without ever knowing the reasons behind all of the things Romulus did, as it would take actual thinking and effort to explain them all, and these writers have no intention of doing any of that.

Plus, you know, soon they’ll have an excuse to re-launch this series so they can sell oodles of a Wolverine #1, and who cares about anything else, right?

Doomwar 4

by Jonathan Maberry and Scot Eaton

Johnny Storm’s first statement makes no sense, as he acts like the vibranium should not be resisting his attacks. The whole point of vibranium is to absorb energy, so what in the world is his problem? Maberry has set up too big a threat, with Hulk-class robots that are composed of vibranium. Just one of those should give the entire Fantastic four a run for their money, and what brilliant genius decided to split them all up?

Luckily for them, other vibranium-based weapons are all that is needed to take out the robots, so the Fantastic Four start to look like chumps for trying to use their powers when all they needed was a vibranium gun. Way to set up a seemingly-impossible foe, and then reveal your dues ex machine for beating them in two pages. What a waste of reading material.

Shuri is dismantling all of Doom’s worldwide infrastructure as fast as she can, but Doom’s timetable is faster than that. He art is fun and cool, and casualties are heavy, with Shuri and Storm losing tons of their Dora Milaje. T’challa makes a call and sends in his game-changer: Deadpool. Which might have been fun if it was the first time it had happened, but Marvel writers have already used Deadpool as their wild card something like a dozen times in various series, and all it does is sidetrack the seriousness of this series with a shtick that was tiresome the last two times I saw it done. At the end of the day, even if I like the art, the writing is not worthy of the name of the series. Something with such a cool name like “Doomwar” should be more substantial.

The Thanos Imperative: Ignition 1

by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, and Brad Walker

Setting the scene for the upcoming mini-series, we are re-introduced to Thanos, and get a recap of how he died, how he was brought back, and his current sate of rage. Brad Walker’s pencils are really good, even if it looks like Iron Man has a nose on one of the panels a few pages in. This one-shot connects all of the cosmic sagas going on and centers them around the Fault, a rip in space-time, and the cancerous threat coming from within it.

One of the fun little things is to see the Worldmind’s vocabulary worming its way into Nova’s speech patterns, as he talks about how “vital” it is to stop the Quasar imposter. Worldmind is always talking about how vital it is that Nova pay attention. Is this simple exposure, or is there something more insidious going on with the merging of Richard’s consciousness with Worldmind?

During the course of the battle, Adam Magus warps in a bunch of planets full of religious conversions, people who give him their power through worship. He ignites them all (hence the name of this one-shot), and rips the opening to the Fault open even wider. As Thanos breaks free of the restraints the Guardians of the Galaxy had him in, both the alter-Quasar and Magus bow before another alternate personality from the other side of the Fault: their master, Lord Mar-vell!

There’s also a reprint short story in the back featuring one of the battles between Drax and Thanos, and a couple pages of character sketches. All in all, this was the best read out of all six comics reviewed here in this section. If you can only get one, make this one it!

Wolverine: Origins 48

by Daniel Way and Will Conrad

Continued from Dark Wolverine 86, where Cloak teleported Romulus out of Daken’s reach at the last second, Logan lets Romulus know he will remain alive, trapped in the dimension accessed by Cloak. Then he stares at his birthplace and basically forgives the universe, and himself.

Almost at peace, he confronts Daken and beats him, with Way trying to reference the “training” that the Silver Samurai gave him as being crucial to this newfound ability. It’s nonsense, as Wolverine is one of the best fighters around, and learned to calm the raging beast and fight with his brains a long time ago. Only by ignoring about 50 years of character development can anyone think that there was something more for Logan to learn about fighting. It was ludicrous from step one. Anyway, Logan beats Daken, and carves out the deadly under-blades, leaving him the two fore-claws in each arm. Logan buries them with the Muramasa blade. It has all the feel to it of one of those urban legends about someone cutting out your liver and leaving you unconscious in the hotel bathtub.

As hackneyed as this story has become, this was about as good an ending as we could have expected, and I can only hope that Daken goes away for a while, as he was never written properly, and I am left with no good idea of what makes him tick, what kind of person he is, or anything that would make me care about him. I can’t wait for Logan to take his series back and go through some decent adventures for a change.

X-Force 27

by Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost, and Mike Choi

Some readers may feel cheated, as the first ten pages are a poorly choreographed battle. They chose to let Choi’s artwork stand on its own, and not bother to give any information or even introduce the characters. This might have been okay if every character was so distinguished, or X-Force had a good artist previously, but we’ve had to deal with some really dark, too-dark drawings for the last year, and it takes me a minute to realize it’s Hellion who has lost his hands.

The rest of the issue is better written than anything from X-Force since the title started. They discover the Nimrods are a force from the future. The one chance they have to defeat the overwhelming odds is to use Cable’s last time-jump and get Cypher to a place where he can take control of a central node and shut all the Sentinels down. As the X-force contingent teleports out to the future, Cyclops says it’s a one-way suicide mission, while the rest of the X-Men hold at the entrance to the portal and fight off the incoming hordes of Nimrod Sentinels.

Choi’s art helps a lot, and it’s great to see some crisp details after the poor art of the last year. It’s a solid issue for a change, one that reads well, if you can forgive the fact that they didn’t bother giving you any words at all for about half the issue. Maybe they should do that more often. Best X-Force issue to date. I’d still go buy The Thanos Imperative: Ignition first.

X-Men: Blind Science 1

by Simon Spurrier, Paul Davidson, and Francis Portela

Here we learn that there was a lot of time that transpired in-between the scientists discovering there was a countdown, and what led to the eventual explosion of the towers used as bait to lure them out of the way. When the countdown goes to zero, the heroes are allegedly teleported to the future, where mutants are out of control. A faux-Hank McCoy asks Kavita Rao to work up the formula she once invented to “cure” mutants of their powers, to stop the death and chaos. Dr. Rao catches on, but not before Nemesis experiments on a kitten, injecting it with mutant DNA to make it a target for some of the opposition! I recently wrote an article that mentioned how many wedding references there were in comics and TV just before my real-life marriage. What I want to know is, how do the comic writers know I just took in a stray kitten?!? (See the review on Green Lantern #54 in the next DC review for more on this.) I swear, both Marvel and DC have my house bugged…

The issue doesn’t read the greatest, as Dr. Nemesis is a little too arrogant in such a way that it becomes tedious, while they make Madison Jeffries too dumb for words. Dr. Rao make an unstable pyrovirus in place of the mutant cure, and uses it to attack Graydon Creed and his goons, and THAT causes the explosion that we have already seen in another X-comic. Nemesis eats his hat and gives props to Rao, just when the big red bubble pops up. Not bad, as one-shots go. It’s not mandatory to the rest of the story, but it is a little fun. The art is good, but not fabulous.

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