Thanos annual #1 - I bought this at least partially to contribute to Jim Starlin's consolation payment for inventing a major villain that will be appearing in Marvel's movies, but odds are pretty good i'll take anything by Starlin and certainly Starlin & Ron Lim, who does a great job with the art in this series and makes me nostalgic for the days when there were more than four panels per page. Storywise, though, this is largely a Thanos retrospective. I'm not sure how well it would work for someone who never read the original stories, especially when it gets towards the end and begins summarizing things like Infinity Abyss in a panel that basically says, "Hey, remember when Thanos and friends fought a giant headed version of himself?". But i guess it's a nice little reminder for those of us who have read those stories but not recently enough that they are fresh in our heads. And there's a somewhat useful continuity insert in here that gives us an explanation for how Thanos recovered (especially emotionally) after his first big defeat when Captain Marvel destroyed the cosmic cube. The insert does leave the Blood Brothers in a situation that i'll have to look at more closely for how it affects their appearance in Roger Stern's Avengers run. Ultimately this is a harmless time travel + mindwipe story but it's got nice art and as a good an encapsulation of Thanos' history as you can fit into the number of pages. The big news beyond that is a set-up for Starlin's upcoming work in the Savage Hulk back-ups and in the Infinity Revelation graphic novel. The idea is that even using the Time Gem, Thanos is unable to time travel beyond a certain point in the future, and that indicates that the universe ends at that point. That plus some rumors from Bleeding Cool have got some people saying that Marvel is planning a continuity reboot, but i am calmly and maturely not jumping to any conclusions.
Ms. Marvel #4 - I continue to like this. I am a little confused about her powers - she was shot while shape-shifted into a Captain Marvel form, and when she transformed back into herself she was fully healed, which i thought might mean she was dangerously overpowered and invulnerable. But then we saw she retained the bullet injury when she changed back into Captain Marvel form. Ok, good. But then a few seconds later, back in her regular form, she was able to shape-shift a different way and it the injury didn't reappear. So do are the injuries only sustained when she transforms back into the exact same form? I guess we'll see in future issues. On matters that normal people care about, i think the book did well with developing her relationship with her friend Bruno, with him reacting to her super-powers and her finding out that he likes her. The problems she runs into with her mother and the search for a kind of costume when she's not shape-shifted and the way she settles on a super-hero name for herself are all done well too; it's all very normal teen super-hero stuff with the Muslim aspect just adding a little bit of unique flavor. With the end scenes we're getting a little closer to moving into some actual action as well.
Iron Man #26 - I would say the reason elves are said to be weak to iron is because at the time those stories developed, iron was still a rare metal that common people weren't likely to have in abundance, and compared to people using bronze weapons it was practically magical. But sure, Dark Angel's explanation is fine too. I was a little disappointed in the lack of focus on the battle with the Mole Man and the other ring bearers. I know we're too embarrassed of being super-hero comics nowadays to actually show the fights, but after last issues set-up it was a letdown. I couldn't even tell you what ring the Mole Man has; what we saw of the fight was just people piled on top of each other, punching. Possibly related, note that the first 2/3rds of the book have a different art team; Luke Ross, who's been drawing this arc, is only on the scenes in the end with Arno. But i did like the "standard contract" that Dark Angel gave to Iron Man to use with Malekith, and the sentient ring conferences are always worth the price of admission.
By fnord12 | June 1, 2014, 10:29 PM | Comics
I don't have Thanos Annual 1- wouldn't whatever situation they're left at in the Annual affect their reappearance in Iron Man 88-91 and not Stern's Avengers?
Oh, you're right Michael. And that actually means there's no problem, too. I forgot about the Iron Man issues Those issues actually surprised me when i first read them for the same reason because i always thought it went from the BBs getting trapped by Thanos in Marvel Feature #12 and released in Stern's run. Nothing special happens to them in this annual; they're just shown to be active. They rescue Thanos after the cube is destroyed and then Thanos is spirited away.
Thanos Annual: as someone who has never read the original stories, i can tell you that i got bored about halfway through the trip down memory lane and started skipping entire word balloons in the hopes that the book would eventually get to the point. then i realized the point was to advertise future titles, and i felt super cheated of the time i spent reading it.
Ms. Marvel: Kamala needs to work on being sneaky. you clearly do not ask your already suspicious mother at 10pm about things you suddenly need like clothes and tools and anything else. i never snuck out of my parents' house and even i know that.