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SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Ms. Marvel #15 - I'm reading currents so infrequently now that i didn't realize that i missed reading this until i went to put Daredevil #15.1 away. In my defense, the cover shows Kamala still flirting with Kamran in a casual setting, and we're way past that at this point, with Kamran having already turned out to be an evil Inhuman (and, as Kamala notes in this issue, "not even a villain... just a bad guy's lackey"). This book continues to be good. I thought the metaphor in the beginning was a little... on the nose, though:

Kamala: ...and instead, you brought me here against my will. After I said no.
Kamran: ...you just needed a little... persuasion.
Kamala: That is incredibly gross. You are incredibly gross.
Kamran: That's not how you seemed to feel when you snuck out with me the other night.
Kamala: I never thought anything like this would happen. I thought -- I thought it meant something else when we were together -- something good --
Kamran: Who's gonna believe that? You got in my car of your own free will. As far as anybody knows, you chose to be here. You put yourself in this situation.
Kamala: [To herself] Is he right? Is this my fault? Is this what I deserve?

This is about Kamran tricking Kamala into meeting his evil boss, but the metaphor is obvious, and... i don't know. I am not, nor have i ever been, a young woman. Maybe this has more resonance with other people. But it seems too clunky to work, and takes you out of the story. This book has generally been great about depicting the challenges of growing up (from a Muslim female perspective, but also universally) without being so overt about it. Kamala later later realizes that she doesn't "feel ashamed anymore, or guilty" and that she's going to stop giving Kamran power over her and her identity. I mean, all the guy did was kidnap her and bring her to be recruited by the bad guy boss. Typical young super-hero stuff. I think the above would have been stronger as subtext and it would have made the story feel more natural. I almost worry that G. Willow Wilson is reacting to the positive reviews of the book and all the wonderful letters from fans that are published talking about how the book is so empowering to them, and instead of just continuing with what she's been doing she's now trying to tailor the story to match what people are saying. Which isn't necessary.

Anyway, this can all be glossed over and we still have a fun action story, with really nice art by Takeshi Miyazawa. And let me say for a third time that he's better for this book than Adrian Alphona; in addition to the nice quasi-manga style, Miyazawa is much better at depicting action sequences, which is important for this issue. Next issue begins the Secret Wars tie-ins and "The Last Days of Ms. Marvel" and i'm not sure if we're getting them, but this issue's ending actually feels like an end to the series with the connection between Kamala and Bruno.

By fnord12 | June 17, 2015, 11:49 AM | Comics | Comments (4)| Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Daredevil #15.1 - Someone got tricked by a Waid/Samnee framing sequence into buying this. What we actually have here are a pair of continuity inserts.

The first is by Marc Guggenheim and Peter Krause. It takes place before Daredevil #1, which would have been helpful to inform us of in advance, because when i saw Matt Murdock working for a law firm that wasn't Nelson & Murdock i was pretty confused at first. The story also makes sure to rub the sliding timescale in our face by having DD (in the yellow and brown-red costume) using a burner cell phone. It also has him fighting a pair of thugs that have found a cache of super-villain equipment, which seems kind of wrong for the time period. Would Doctor Octopus have left a spare set of tentacles laying around circa 1964? And the Shocker? That's a character that doesn't debut until 1967, and while i guess there's nothing that says he couldn't have been operating much earlier than that, it still seems odd for some of his equipment to wind up in a warehouse with Doc Ock's arms (or for Daredevil to recognize it, for that matter). The point of the story is to attempt to address the friction between Daredevil as a vigilante and Matt Murdock as a lawyer, but fails to deliver anything meaningful (as Daredevil, he catches the wrong guy, and as Matt Murdock, he manages to get the guy acquitted, but that hardly addresses the problem).

The second story is by Chris Samnee (story and art, and with a style that is much darker than his regular work on this book), and at least it's more upfront about telling us when it takes place (after Daredevil #57, because Karen Page knows DD's secret ID). The premise here is that even lame super-villains can be a threat in the right circumstances. The villain of the story is Diablo, who is introduced in the Mark Waid framing sequence as "more punching bag than world-beater". The Samnee segment similarly says that he's been "little more than a thorn in the side of the Fantastic Four". I mean, geez. In the long run, Diablo may not have turned out to be a fan favorite (although he's been in some really cool stories, from the Lee/Kirby era through at least John Byrne), but in-universe, he's an immortal wizard. He created Dragon Man! People actually living in the Marvel universe should think he's a badass! The story also totally mischaracterizes Diablo as someone that would sell his wares to drug dealers, saying things like "Never has there been an operation with the potential for such a high profit margin." I don't get it.

I also have the problem that, by my placement, Diablo should be trapped in an alternate dimension by Dr. Doom at this point, but that may be something i can work around. Still, i am learning to hate continuity inserts more and more. They rarely add anything of value and they are just about guaranteed to screw something up.

By fnord12 | June 16, 2015, 6:18 PM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link

Marvel Sales


By fnord12 | June 15, 2015, 8:16 AM | Comics | Link

Well i never bought any New 52 so you can't blame me

Morgan Wick, a regular commenter on my Marvel chronology project, has a great essay up regarding the upcoming Secret Wars event*. (Well of course *i* think it's great since it touches on my regular "continuity is the selling point" soapbox topic.)

*For a few months more, at least, all of this must come with a big asterisk that of course we don't yet know where Marvel is ultimately going with Secret Wars.

By fnord12 | June 3, 2015, 10:19 PM | Comics | Comments (8)| Link

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