Captain Marvel #14 - The caveat that we're only reading the CM part of this crossover still applies, but i still don't feel like i'm missing anything. My concern about the ridiculous number of Kree sentries is allayed, at least, with the idea that Yon-Rogg has absorbed the powers of the Psyche-Magnitron, and that's a cool idea (although i'm at a minimum on the fence about Yon-Rogg returning after his death in 1969, and as a Carol Danvers villain). This is a conclusion so i can't expect much from a characterization angle and it does the job of finishing the story. I will say the impact of the conclusion is a bit ruined when you go from Carol Danvers sacrificing herself to defeat the bad guy and then immediately on the letters page an editorial note saying "No no! We didn't just kill Carol!". And then next issue is a tie-in with another crossover event that i'm not following. But forget all of that. Because really, the story here is irrelevant when you have this just atrociously ugly artwork. In one of the articles i linked to in my mad blogging spree today, it was mentioned how to Marvel's credit they really let the creative teams put their own imprint especially on the second-tier books, and this one was cited as an example. But the problem with that is that stylized art is by definition divisive. Min and i both liked the art by De Andrade prior to this crossover, but i know friend Wanyas hated it and he's not alone. And the people at that link liked Dexter Soy, who i hated. And i also really don't like the art by Scott Hepburn and Gerardo Sandoval in this issue. Ugly, messy looking panels. And inconsistent. How do you wind up with one artist drawing everything except pages 2, 12, 13, and 18? I keep hearing that Marvel wants Carol Danvers to be a top tier super-hero, and i totally support that. But you're not going to get that with art that drives away half your potential audience. A nice clean, even generic, house style would be much better than any of this (although i'd still like to see De Andrade somewhere).
Uncanny X-Force #9 - I have to be honest: i really just skimmed all of this until the last page when the rest of the team resurfaced. I don't know what the hell happened on this book. It went from me thinking it was ok although with a weird team composition to me actually deciding i liked it enough to try another book by the writer (Robot Avengers) to now wondering why the heck i'm still getting this.
Indestructible Hulk #11 - So plot, script, art for this issue - all good (actually the art is a bit weird in a few places - especially that scene where the Hulk's face is being pushed back by G-Force pressure, and also a few close-ups of Zarrko - but it's generally ok). But the implications of this story line are alarming. I didn't read Age of Ultron but i got the lowdown from friend Bob and friend Internet. And while i'm fairly certain if Marvel is using Age of Ultron to punch continuity it won't be happening in Hulk, i know Mark Waid wrote the epilogue to AU and if there are plans afoot (and it certainly seems like there could be), Waid probably know what they are and could be foreshadowing it here. But Zarrko talking about "the beginning of the end" and "chronarchists... taking advantage of broken-space-time, changing history where it shouldn't be changed -- and making those changes stick-- because now that time's unraveling they're powerful enough to reknit history to their whims" (all while showing the time-displaced Young X-Men) sure sounds like a description of Marvel editorial and "architects". As i've said before, what's alarming to me isn't that Marvel might do a reboot. It's the possibility of a stealth reboot that bothers me. In that link, i thought about it in the context of a third party farm out. But the idea that Marvel could use AU to just change history, affecting the canonicity of past stories, but (and especially) without saying exactly what changed, is a more dangerous possibility. This is also why i didn't like the Spidey Mephistoboot so much more than your garden variety retcon. Saying Alicia Masters was really a skrull for seven years sucks, but you can still read the stories and say ok, this is really a skrull, and maybe have to ignore a few thought balloons. Saying Spider-Man was never married means that many years of Spider-Man comics can't have happened as printed. And with this timestream manipulation, Marvel can basically say at any time that any story didn't happen as printed. I know i'm way overreacting to basically one issue of Hulk. We'll see where this goes. But it's definitely something i'm watching for.
FF #10 - Since i'm suspecting Marvel editorial + architects of shenanigans right now, seeing them as characters in a comic, especially acting dumbly about comics, is a lot less amusing than it was meant to be. And i never like these creator appearances anyway. Next we'll have the Impossible Man showing up (just kidding; i know he's gonna be in the next issue. *sigh*). If i can get over that, this was a fun issue. Glad to have Allred back. And of course this is exactly the sort of book where we should expect to see Marvel creators and the Impossible Man, so i signed up for this sort of thing when i started getting this book. I have seen a fuss online about the fact that Maximus is imprisoned here but out and about elsewhere in concurrently published books. Eddies in the timestream, my friends (and this is his couch).
...ok i have more to say about Maximus. I'm not reading New Avengers so i'm talking out of my ass here. But the standard response, and this goes back to like 1962 once the Human Torch had a solo series in Strange Tales, is that the books aren't taking place at the same time. Which is fine. But in 1962 (and 1982, etc.) you could be assured that eventually it would all fit together; you could figure out which appearance went where. Or the stories were inconsequential enough that it wouldn't matter. But take something like Maximus being in prison. He breaks out in this issue, and presumably it ends with him going back in. Probably never ties in to the fact that he's working as an advisor to Black Bolt in New Avengers. As i said, i'm talking out my ass in this particular case. But take the Punisher's recent crossover with the Avengers. It ended with him going to jail. At the same time, he's out and about in Thunderbolts #1 and gets recruited by the Red Hulk. Never any kind of tie-in or acknowledgement that he was in jail. So that's why there's a hubub out this and it's different than 1962. Sure we can assume that he escaped from jail and that's why he was free in Thunderbolts and the Red Hulk (an Avenger and agent of the government) decided to recruit him instead of sending him back. But we can assume anything! We could just sit here and make up our own stories and never have to buy any comics! I mean, the reason we're all in this is because we want to read stories about these characters, not make up our own!
Daredevil #29 - Just to use the word zeitgeist one more time today, i think this story is interesting in light of Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman. Nothing explicit. But a story about racists infiltrating a courtroom captures a certain zeitgeist in the air today. And i think Mark Waid handles it really well. I mean, it's still a comic book story. Obviously in real life the Ku Klux Klan isn't going to stage a mock trial and then have the judge shoot the defendant. Or subsequently get kicked in the face by a guy in spandex. And no, i don't think Waid is saying anything about the Zimmerman jury or even intentionally referencing that. But it's a story that takes advantage of stuff that is "out there". And it's well told, nicely drawn.
X-Factor #260 - I'm surprised to see an End Of book focusing solely on Polaris since she's a very recent addition to this incarnation of the team. I mean, it happened while i was reading! And i'm also surprised to see Peter David setting up a new X-Factor organization in this book. But i liked this. I mean, to be clear, i hate the idea that Polaris really is Magneto's daughter. And even if she is, she shouldn't really have any kind of familial bond with Quicksilver. Granted they were both teammates in a previous X-Factor incarnation, but i can't imagine that they think of themselves as being related. Which i guess is why they resolve their differences by punching each other. But i thought this was well written and enjoyable.
Iron Man #14 - Again, the Greg Land damage is minimized by the all robot/iron suit action. But i will not be lulled into a false sense of security to purchase the new Mighty Avengers book, no matter how much i love Monica Rambeau. Especially since it's being written by the relatively unknown Al Ewing. But we were talking about robots... Really enjoyed Death's Head and i hope that wasn't really the end of this incarnation of him. And Gillen has set up a nice scenario here. As long as we're not delving into (hopefully false) memories of Tony's father, this has been a relatively traditional (albeit slowly paced and with a heavy body count) story, and i'm enjoying it. Did i throw enough caveats into that? I am saying if the art wasn't by Greg Land, and the story moved a little faster, and it wasn't adding ridiculous retcons to Stark's past, and holy god did Tony Stark just fail to save the lives of an entire planet full of aliens?, this would be really enjoyable.
X-Men #3 - I have seen a lot of people that are unhappy with this. Paul O'Brien covers a lot of the complaints. And they're real. Certainly Karima Shapandar was given no introduction; i have no idea who she is and just understood that she was the innocent victim/host of Arkea; apparently knowing that she's a kind of cyborg was important. And i'm terrible with names so introducing both a Karima and an Arkea was confusing to me (can't these people have super-hero names?). And the conclusion, if that's what it was (Paul O'Brien speculates this is another "arc that isn't really an arc") was pretty anti-climactic. And there are smaller problems too, like apparently there's a conflict being set up between Rachel Summer's methods and Psylocke's that was barely developed. And inconsistencies about the baby, and a lack of acknowledgment of Jubilee's current vampire status. All true (although i'd be happy to see the vampire thing quickly swept under the rug). I'll also add the fact that Storm makes a really weird statement about how this random group of X-Men had better stick together until they are sure that Arkea is taken care of, which is just a weak justification for keeping these characters together. But even with all that taken into consideration, i'm just so happy to find a clearly written, nicely paced X-Men story with good characterization and great clean art. I'll accept all these other deficiencies if i can keep that. Not so sure if i can, though. Because i see Coipel is taking a break and then it's on to a tie-in with yet another event that i want nothing to do with (Battle of the Atom).
By fnord12 | August 12, 2013, 8:42 PM | Comics
If you look at all of Peter David's X-Factor asl one story, then focusing on Polaris works. She was one of the team in his first run. He brought her back for this run, so giving her closure is nice. But I agree that she and Quicksilver shouldn't have a family bond. If anything, he should be teaching her how to handle being Magneto's child, since she never was before.
As for Jubilee's vampire status...I just assumed it was fixed in some other book I didn't read. And, according to the magic Wikipedia, it looks like she doesn't hunger for blood and can walk in the daylight now. Or maybe getting her mutant powers back neutralized her vampireness. Either way.
Cap M: can we go back to the Captain Marvel where she has her powers and is making snarky conversation with Photon Capt Marvel and the guy she's secretly into? cause i liked that better than this villain from the past thing. and no time travel, for pete's sake.
Andrade's art is definitely missed.
UX-Force: i forgot to bitch about this last issue - what is up with the bad art? last issue in the scenes where Cluster and Psylocke are imprisoned, i didn't realize at first that was really Psylocke. i thought that was the prostitute dressed up like Psylocke from 2 issues ago, who i assume was drawn kinda hideously on purpose.
while i didn't hate the detour as much as fnord12 did, i think the less said about Cluster and Fantomex being 2 parts of the same person but also sleeping with each other (essentially sleeping with themselves) the better. *shudder*
Hulk: as mentioned previously, writing poor stories in order to shoehorn in their direction changing events is what they are striving for. so, huzzah. you did it, Marvel. which is why i'm less upset about them using the Hulk to punch time. it's just the sort of horrible idea i've come to expect. ferchrissakes, they can't figure out putting the hulk in a lavender armored suit is a bad idea, you think they're going to do better with something more complex?
the art was pretty questionable in this issue. why were there jaw lumps all over Zarrko? are they tumors? and the thing that was supposed to be a t-rex on the last page - i really thought it was a mutated dog thing. i didn't realize it was supposed to be a dinosaur until i turned the page and saw the preview for next issue. then i turned back and looked at it again, and yeah, no. it was still a mutated dog thing.
Iron Man: can i get more Death's Head and less everything else?
XM: the end was completely anti-climactic. i didn't appreciate the resolution happening completely off-panel. fnord12 says it's obvious Karima jammed Psylocke's psyblade into her brain and that somehow killed/expelled Arkea, but it didn't seem all that obvious to me. i have no idea what Karima's list of powers are. mebbe she did something seeing as Arkea was a tech-type alien. mebbe Sublime talked her into leaving since they were having a sister/brother moment there at the end. mebbe Storm electrocuted her. who the hell knows??
and they forgot to actually have any conflict between Rachel and anyone, so the conversation bet Storm and Rogue was just weirdly out of place.
i liked the art, at least. sadly, so far, the most interesting conversation was between Jubilee and the non-verbal infant. (vampire??? just stop.)
Quicksilver, with his Eastern European Gypsy background would be VERY predisposed to embrace a blood relative, especially if he thought he had to make up for lost time.