Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review

You can tell that the Silver Surfer is my favorite comic book this week, as I write little about it, so as not to spoil everything. Fantastic Four is the worst, and I devote tons of details to it, because you can't really spoil something that's already rotten.

Cable & Deadpool 44

by by Fabian Nicieza and Ron Lim

This issue is a week late, primarily because it sold out at my local store, due to an appearance by Wolverine. With Cable dead (for now), who knows what they will do to the title name, but the poor cover by Skottie Young almost made me put it right back on the rack. Still, Ron Lim does as good a rendering of Wolverine as the next guy, and the humor in this mag is a little removed from the "seriousness" that permeates almost every other title out there right now, so I resolved not to look at the cover, and just go for the content.

There are minor problems with the story, like Wolverine somehow smelling (!) Weasel before he teleports in to a room, even though he has been teleporting around the same room the whole time, and the place must be filled with his stench. With our luck, they will chalk it up to a tertiary mutation, and give Logan's enhanced senses an upgrade that smells a few seconds into the future. Eh, what can you do? It's a comic book! It was fun.

Fantastic Four 549

by Dwayne McDuffie and Paul Pelletier

Ever read something and spend a couple minutes trying to have it make sense, just because you like the characters? Ever give up because things are so bad, there's no way to repair the damage? Thank goodness for Paul Pelletier's pencils and Michael Turner's covers, because the writing is a glorified mess. The issue opens with Klaw lording it over Black Panther, and everybody else in the entire room decides to stop fighting to allow a bunch of dialogue. As the Thing and Black Panther pretend to fight, the Panther accepts the Thing using both of his hands to help T'Challa up?!? Their actions do not match their words, yet it all goes on right in front of the villains, with the genius Wizard utterly oblivious.

Next, we have the Wizard covering his ears and complaining about Klaw's sonic attack. Klaw replies that he has complete mastery over sound, and the discharge never reached the Wizard. Okay... then why was the Wizard covering his ears and complaining about something that never reached him? The story follows with an Wizard having found a way around the Panther's vibranium weave in his costume, and then the Thing punches Klaw into oblivion. Considering Klaw is mostly solid sound, and the physical approach should have a limited effect upon him, he is defeated in two or three quick punches. The explanation? Vibranium earplugs (!) that the Panther slipped into the Thing's oversized mitts, when he was helping him up, precisely at the moment that the Panther was yelling at the Thing, insisting he need no help at all.

Imagine if you will, someone with hands the size of the Thing, squeezing dinky little earplugs into someplace that is supposed to resemble ears, even though most depictions of the Thing have him hearing, but without the normal ears that we mere humans have. Imagine him surreptitiously acquiring these with wordplay that should have tipped off even the half-bright, and then daintily sneaking them into those ears (off-panel) without any villains noticing, even though they are standing ten feet or less away. To top it all off, the Thing decides to get genuinely upset at the Panther for nearly giving away their plan with his wordplay. Ugh.

Now for the part that goes against what happened last issue. The first part of this story took place with the Frightful Four ambushing the Invisible Woman, and then quaking in their booties at the thought of facing the remainder of the Fantastic Four. Now with Klaw defeated (and let's not discuss how Klaw could get past Panther's vibranium weave, but at the same time couldn't handle ‘vibranium earplugs'), and the Trapster nowhere to be found, the remaining villains seem eager and arrogant to fight all the heroes. What gets them quaking two panels later? The Invisible Woman.

Titania falls first, by a simple force field elevator trip to the ceiling, even though this woman is supposed to take shots from Thor's hammer without too much difficulty. Lazy writers tend to ignore the abilities of the villains as soon as they need for the villain to fall down. The dispatch of Hydro-Man is pretty cool, and how Sue handles the Wizard is great, but it comes too late, as the impossibility of the writing for the first eight pages already has me doing the equivalent of yelling at the woman in the horror movie who goes into the dark basement instead of running in the opposite direction.

Wait, the good part is already over! After the Black Panther spent so much time on Captain America's side during the Civil War, he ignores the civil rights of the criminals, and gives them the equivalent of 79 months imprisonment without a trial, but with a decidedly un-royal smirk. The group then swings into the next plot with hardly a hesitation. Space-time is in trouble, and Reed declares the disruption is spreading geometrically. For as many years as the Thing has been hanging around with this group, and as easy a term as "geometrically" is, Ben just can't seem to understand it. Nothing like making a seasoned pilot and decades-long adventurer seem like a high school drop-out. Nice job, guys. This is immediately followed by an attack from the Contrasepsus, which the Thing identifies. Considering they just made sure we knew the Thing is still a bumble-head, how does he recognize an entirely new species that they have never encountered up to now?

McDuffie needs to leave this title as soon as humanly possible.

The Last Fantastic Four Story

by Stan Lee and John Romita Jr.

Ah, a good Fantastic Four story! I was getting so desperate for one of these! Stan Lee has a tendency to throw in a lot of his dated slapstick dialogue when he writes for Marvel, but for this story, he opted to go relatively serious, and I think this constitutes his best writing in years. The inks and colors are very distinctive and add to Romita Jr.'s art to make a wonderful comic book.

The plot is not the most original ever, but they give us a treat in the back of the comic and show us Stan Lee's plot, which attempts to portray things in as new and original a way as possible to distinguish this threat from other galactic threats we have seen over the years. This is as good an end for the Fantastic Four as any. Check this out, it's worth your time.

Silver Surfer: Requiem 4

by J. Michael Strazynski and Esad Ribic

I'm not sure why this did not become Silver Surfer: The End, because it works that way. The art style paints a picture of a setting sun throughout most of the story, and it fits in well, as the sun does set upon Norrin Radd at long last. The depiction of Galactus is awesome, and the ending is great.