Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review – Part 1

Atlas 2

by Jeff Parker and Gabriel Hardman

3-D Man meets Lao the dragon, and it takes Venus doing a siren song specifically for him to calm Lao down. Evidently when she was given a power-up by Aphrodite, it applied to more than anybody else knew. Will Lao start wearing dragon-ear plugs now? There’s a mystery of some sort going on, as Delroy has some of the memories of the original parts of 3-D Man. We know from the original What If story that 3-D Man was a part of the group, but in this universe, he wasn’t; or at least, nobody else remembers him. Lao, meanwhile, finds familiarity with the glyphs on 3-D Man’s chest, but he isn’t sharing with the other members of Atlas just yet.

Near the end, three-eyed aliens observe all of the goings-on, and order troops sent in. It’s a fun mystery, with some nice art by Hardman. 3-D Man would make an excellent addition to the team, so I’m hoping this story ends with his full assimilation, so to speak. The only worry for this title is that they are publishing those silly website ads on the cover, which do absolutely no good. It’s a tell-tale sign that sales are low, when they feel the need to run an ad for the book… on their own book. Here’s a hint boys, the nature of advertising is that you advertise elsewhere, and let them come to the book. The only ones glancing over the ridiculous blurbs are the ones already reading it, and they already know how good it is.

New Avengers 1

by Brian Bendis and Stuart Immonen

Welcome to the New Avengers, with a new #1! The creative team is… exactly the old one. The roster is… mostly the same. But it’s a #1, and it has “New" on it, so woo hoo! We waste time on an opening sequence that has Luke Cage wondering what the entire Civil War was for. Besides having Spidey reveal his identity and hype it as something that changes the universe forever, only to call a mulligan a few weeks later? Yeah, the rest of us have been wondering what the point was for some time now.

Still, it’s a useless conversation, when everyone is free to be superhuman and not be impressed into service. Cage can’t seem to get it in his head that no one is calling for registration anymore, that nobody is trying to arrest him… a simple question of if he wants to serve makes it like he’s a tool. No, he’s a tool for being so incredibly dense. Then, to make an awkward scene even worse, he has to get his cash to buy Avenger’s Mansion from, by all appearances, Iron Fist’s hidden pocket near his crotch.

The developing plot is that Hellstrom and Stephen Strange have been possessed, and now they’re going after Brother Voodoo to get the Eye of Agamotto. The eye appears and Luke Cage picks it up, with Brother Voodoo nowhere to be found, only Strange and Hellstrom trying to get it. The only new guy on the team? The Thing. Who has already done the whole Avenger thing, and he STILL doesn’t get onto the “prime” team. Immonen’s art is a little improved, although from the final panel, he could work on his facial expressions a little. In the end, we have a “student” team, a Secret team, and the main team, so this team is supposed to be… what, exactly? It is not defined at all, so it’s a bit of a waste of a first issue. It’s not all bad, but conceptually, it’s a little flat.

New Mutants 11

by Zeb Wells, Ibraim Roberson, Lan Medina, and Nathan Fox

Marvel has inherited DC’s blood-red skies thanks to the sphere encircling them, and Cyclops mostly stands around threatening his fellow mutants with death if they don’t fight. Way to rouse the troops, there, Scotty. The artists try very hard to give each person a dramatic pose, but it’s all very static, and makes you think of it as mostly a series of pin-ups. Not that the pinups are bad, but too often there is no sense of motion.

The poor conceit continues, the same problem with every issue in this sad tale: the Nimrod sentinels are so devastating, Fraction and Wells and company want you to think the mutants are doomed by piling them on, five at a time, in never-ending numbers. But. Namor has taken out like a dozen of them already, and he’s still fighting while some are getting past him to the others. The others have to triple-team Colossus just to break his arm. Visually, it’s exciting, but thematically, it’s a rip-off. You can’t take a nearly-unbeatable foe and expect us to believe they plowed through a dozen of them before lunchtime.

Cypher gets a cool moment in the future where he talks to a power suit and convinces it to eject the human controller. Back in the past, Professor X drops Legion into the fray, and each time the sentinels counter the emergent host’s power, they switch personas and exhibit a different power. More happen sin this crossover issue than in the main X-title, as Magneto gets back on his feet, another forgettable mutant or two dies, and X-Force makes it through to the Master Molds(s).

Thankfully only a few issues left to this tedious concept, but the execution of Zeb Wells, his part of it, at least, has been slightly better than his normal plots. Now if he can only take the good story beats he used here and employ them for the rest of his run, and not for plots like this, then I’ll be happy.

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