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Comics

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Savage Hulk #1 - Due to a certain long term contract written in blood and in exchange mostly for some 1990s X-Men comics that no one ever needed to read, i am honor bound to collect every Marvel comic drawn by Alan Davis. Which is fine. I like Alan Davis. But i didn't know the specifics about this series, only that i was required to get it, so i'm only now finding out that it's apparently continuity inserts. Which is also fine in theory. Problem is that this story is potentially overloading the period in the immediate aftermath of the X-Men/Hulk fight at the end of their original series. Both John Byrne's Hidden Years and Gage/Alberti's X-Men/Spider-Man #1 take place then, and my understanding is that Erik Larsen's Fantastic Four World's Greatest Comics Magazine has X-Men appearances there too. Hidden Years actually recaps the Hulk fight and then has a gap of three days before launching into a very long story arc. X-Men/Spider-Man has Xavier "too sick" to make an appearance, during that three day gap. And now this story has a spry Xavier acting in the immediate aftermath of the original X-Men issue. I guess his sickness didn't fully hit him yet and we'll just hope this story lasts less than three days. The other problem is going to be if that is actually the Abomination. During this period, the Abomination, as a guy with normal intelligence in the body of someone who is baseline stronger than the Hulk, was too powerful to just be allowed to walk around in between Hulk fights, so he's generally held as a prisoner of the Stranger or at least stuck in space. So he can't just be showing up here. Hopefully that's explained; it's only a last panel cliffhanger splash so not time to complain about it yet. Anyway, this was a set-up issue, with the only action being the Hulk fighting some missiles while the X-Men stood around and talked, so hopefully next issue will at least have some nice Hulk/Abomination/X-Men battles from Davis, whatever the continuity problems.

Elektra #3 - Very nice art, the sort of thing you might have gotten in the rare Marvel Fanfare issue that actually lived up to its promise. And i do like the weirdness of the new villain. Storywise, i think it's about time to get the deliberately staid Elektra a supporting cast or maybe a talking monkey or something to infuse some personality into the mix. I also think we're possibly missing out on a more interesting story about a master assassin and his son traveling to the likes of the Savage Land, the Blue Area of the Moon, and sunken underwater kingdoms. That doesn't seem to be the sort of thing you leave to background narration. Overall i'm at the "nice art, but get on with it" stage and next issue's promise of a metaphysical guilt trip doesn't give me high hopes.

Iron Man #28 - Despite three different pencilers and two inkers, this is a decent wrap-up to the storyline. It's definitely shut down very quickly, with all these guys that were built up throughout the storyline getting stomped very easily at the end, in some cases by empty Iron Man suits. Mole Man dumping his ring and slinking away felt right, though. I found a lot to like in the post-fight wrap up. Any time you reference both Makluans (that's Fin Fang Foom's people, people!) and Rigellians, you've got me hooked. And i also really liked the in-universe explanation (or at least acknowledgment) for why so many alien races are monarchies and empires instead of democracies (or communist).

Daredevil #4 - Nice continued parallel between the Shroud and Daredevil's pre-Waid days of endless tear downs. And a really minor thing - i liked the Owl's little hand claws. Between his hair and his wrist claws, he's always looked like a fat Wolverine to me (i know he came first), but this slightly different claw style keeps his claws but gives them a more distinct look.

Ms. Marvel #5 - Nice first loss and subsequent training and spirit boosting. A lot here is right from the playbook of the first year of Amazing Spider-Man and that's a good thing. And this book does have a lot of personality and character development, so it doesn't need the talking monkey, but i see we are getting a talking Pigeon Man.

New Warriors #6 - As less than 20,000 other people know, this is the best book Marvel is putting out right now. We're taking a break from the High Evolutionary story to see how the Avengers feel about Wundagore suddenly appearing in New York and i see next issue will start something new about the new Inhuman character, so no need to wait for a Point One series if you heard a good buzz and were looking to jump on. This issue has the Elder God Cth'on making Thor look like a cool Lizard Man Warrior, plenty of talking animals, and Hummingbird trying to lift Thor's hammer. And only two pencilers, one of whom is Nick Roche who also drew last issue and is inking himself here.


By fnord12 | June 29, 2014, 12:04 PM | Comics | Comments (3)| Link



Marvel Sales

May.

One quick observation is that Avengers books jumped 5K in sales due to the Original Sin tie-in. In the recent past, Avengers book were unaffected by crossover events, with the idea being that anyone interested in the line-wide crossovers was also reading the flagship Avengers titles. That doesn't seem to be the case here (or at least retailers didn't think it would be the case). It's a relatively small jump, but it possibly suggests that Avengers is losing its top slot in the Marvel line now that Bendis is no longer writing. Bendis' All New X-Men is higher on the chart than Avengers (and so is Amazing Spider-Man, but that's coming off the renumbering/return of Peter Parker).


By fnord12 | June 25, 2014, 2:01 PM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link



SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Black Widow #7 - Meh. Definitely didn't need the insert into 1970's Daredevil/Black Widow continuity, that's for sure.

She-Hulk #5 - Wow, the art just became a complete disaster, huh? Javier Pulido's art on the previous issues was obviously deliberately quirky too and i can understand why people didn't love it but this issue, with art by Ron Wimberly, is just... wow. Like indie indie style. Not what i want from a comic, that's for sure, not a comic with established characters that have a defined look. That battle between Hellcat and Tigra was, i mean it was just really distracting. Here's a quick photo:

You also have to love when a male writer has a female character saying that she doesn't mind being viewed as a sex object. Not that it's really a concern when Wimberly is drawing her. Also, should we really be revealing that the Shocker has severe memory loss issues due to his vibrations at the same time he's member of the cast of Superior Foes?

Hulk #4 - Extremis just this one time! I admit i've disengaged with this book since Waid is leaving, but i did enjoy the Hulk thwaking the Abomination with Captain America's shield.

Captain Marvel #4 - So i guess we're caught up to the flashforward from issue #1, but i can't say i'm any more engaged with these new characters than i was in that issue. I'm not sure i get the whole point of it. The plot is that these people won't leave their planet even though their government says it's killing them, because they don't know where they can go and they refuse to live in a spaceship. So the plan is to build an artificial ring around the planet and live on that? And that's better than a spaceship, i guess? But to execute that plan they need some kind of other ships and for that they need spare parts and for that they have to go to these black market planets and steal stuff and make shady deals? I don't think i'm following it very well. The Spartex emperor seems to be able to provide the means to evacuate a percentage of the population. If he's going to approve this ring plan, couldn't he also lend the ships he was going to use the for evac to move people to the rings instead? I dunno, again, i'm probably missing something but the whole thing is unwieldy and hard to follow and i'm not sure what it's doing in a Carol Danvers book. Can't she just be flying around in space punching aliens or something?

Iron Man #27 - One ring to bind them all. And the PR guy turns out to be the evil mystery villain. Well, Gillis is having fun, anyway. Did i actually miss a tie-in issue of the FF (footnote would be nice!) or did a Mole Man / FF battle just happen entirely off panel? Seems kind of weird. But this was fine. I do think that must be the least interesting Unnatural History Museum in the Marvel universe. Sure, there's a Devil Dinosaur and a cybernetic ape, but your other exhibits are an old suit of Iron Man armor and a statue of Hercules? That's the best you can come up with?

Superior Foes of Spider-Man #12 - We're back to Nick Spenser after two issues of fill-ins but i think this issue was unfortunately a little weaker. The Hammerhead/Cagney joke went overlong, and i really really really didn't like the addition of all the new "villains", including Armadillo who Marvel can't seem to make up their mind about but i thought he was last seen as a member of the Initiative and a good guy. I also wouldn't use the Spot in this way after his appearances in Mark Waid's Daredevil, and i wouldn't put the Bi-Beast in this group of loser villains, either. Generally, and this is something i was saying with the fill-ins too, i really don't like the idea that there are all these loser villains. This book has been good because it's shown the main characters as being a bit schlumpy and struggling to get by, but they've been given enough focus that they still seemed human and even credible as threats. Now we've just dumped a whole bunch of losers into the plot and it kind of cheapens everybody. I also didn't love the final splash page; did we really need a full page full of stiff lifeless characters to show up that Hammerhead's goons were closing in on Shocker's apartment, which we already knew? All that said, there are still some fun moments here and i still have hope that it will wrap up well. (It is getting cancelled, right? I did read that?)

New Warriors #5 - Now this continues to be great. I really love Hummingbird, and basically all the characters in this book have distinct and fun personalities. Interesting to see the Speedball/Penance thing rearing its head, too. Nick Roche replaces Marcus To on art but continues with a clean, solid super-hero style that also handles the comedy well. I guess not a lot happens this issue (still my major complaint with the series) but it's still a fun book and i'm pretty sure we're going to enjoy Jack Waffles and Mister Whiskers.

Special DC bonus review!:

Forever People #1 - I don't know much about the Forever People (i mean, i knew they were Kirby New Gods characters!) and i'm only now googling them to find out that they were basically New God Kirby Hippies that fought Darkseid and that sounds pretty awesome. Wanyas lent this to me as he did with the Giffen/Didio Omac books. So far it's not as mind-bogglingly awesome as Omac was from page #1 but it's a good set-up and definitely very much a Kirby tribute. That said, now that i know that they were originally flower children, why aren't we going with that angle? Because that would be awesome. (As an aside, when i started reading this i had forgotten that DC rebooted their universe and i was like, why are these New Gods talking about Earth almost like they'd never heard of it before?)


By fnord12 | June 16, 2014, 10:31 PM | Comics | Comments (3)| Link



I Missed My Calling


By min | June 7, 2014, 8:27 AM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link



SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

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 | Comments (3)| Link



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