Welcome this week to another installment of Marty’s Meanderings, the place where I look at Marvel’s best, and sometimes worst, comics for the week. This week has turned out to be a very busy week for me and the comics I read. Let’s get started.
1. The first comic I read this weelk might also be my favorite for the week. X-Men Blue #004 has all the markings of a classic story. Jean Grey and the rest of the X-Men have been sent to Colorado where they are hot on the trail of what appears to be a mutant. The problem is that Cerebro has been a bit glitchy and can’t seem to correctly identify if it really is a mutant. When they land they see a dead body with its heart torn out. The local sherrif believes that the mutant is wolverine. Could she be right? You’ll have to read to find out.
This comic has it all. Intrigue, action, old characters returning and art that seems much more reminiscent of 80’s comic books. Both the writing( by Cullen Bunn) and the pencilling( by Julian Lopez) are top notch.
It is nice to be able to read a comic that is free of political or social commentary, as so many X-Men books are prone to do. It is a plot rich book without trying to get a message across. Grade:A
2. Jean Grey #002 is a good comic that, at times, was distracting. In the last issue of the book we were left with Jean having a very disconcerting vision of the Pheonix force saying it was coming. This issue she tells her fellow teammates and they aren’t exactly open to the idea that Jean saw anything at all. So, to get advice on what to do, she uses Cerebro to locate the other mutants that the Phoenix force had inhabited to see what she should do. In the process she sees one of her fellow mutants in trouble and decides to help her. That is where the book gets a bit complicated.
I didn’t think the transitions in this book were necessarily smooth 9enough. The action in this book shifts between battle sequences and being inside the character’s mind6s and there are times when the transitions are distracting. I also have trouble believing that any of the mutants would casually dismiss jean’s claims that she had a vision of the Phoenix Force after the X-Men suffered such a tragic loss to it. While I thought the book had its moments(one particular one where Jean acknowledges Marvel’s past events by breaking the 4th wall, sort of, sticks out) but all in all, this book seemed a bit disjointed to me. Grade: B-
3. This week’s The Totally Awesome Hulk #019 starts a new crossover series between Weapon X and TTAH called Weapons of Mutant Destruction. This issue serves as a prologue. As you may have read in past reviews the Weapon X program has been targeting Wolverine, Sabretooth, Domino, Warpath, and Lady Deathstrike by using cyborgs made of Adamantium. Both Wolverine and Sabretooth can’t smell them coming and Warpath and Lady Deathstrike have been captured. Now they’re after Amadeus Cho. There has been no indication as to why but I think the Weapon X program is trying to harness the powers of each of the characters to create something to destroy mutants.
This event has the potential to be a very intere8sting crossover event. Weapon X is a darker series with TTAH is much more light hearted and fun for teens. I have to admit I’m nervous about this event not carrying the weight of its subject matter. I’m giving this book a grade of B. Its a promising start.
4. I am not a huge fan of The Inhumans. To me it seems that they are versions of mutants with a slightly different origin story. That being said, Secret Warriors is becoming one of my favorite comic books to read.
Whether or not it was wise to start a brand new series in the middle of a Marvel event remains to be seen, but this is a high octane book filled with excitement and plenty of action. The book follows Daisy Johnson a.k.a Quake and her team of Ms. Marvel, Karnak, Quake, Moon Girl, Devil Dinosaur, and Inferno. The Secret Warriors are trying to avoid Hydra while rescuing Inhumans that have been captured by them.
The book jumps around a lot between different time frames but it is never confusing. In this issue we are transported between Philadelphia and New Jersey. In Philadelphia we see the inhumans being captured by S.H.I.E.L.D.( which is now run by a brainwashed Captain America who believes he is the head of Hydra). In New Jersey we get a fight between the iinhumans and the howling commandos lead by another hydra leader.
There is plenty of action in this book. It is a lot of fun. Grade: A.
5. Steve Rogers Captain America #017 is a continuation of the Secret Empire Storyline. There is not a lot of action in this book, however, there is quite a bit of tension. Captain America has invited Sally Floyd, a reporter who had interviewed captain America before but gets irritated by the questions she is asking. What happens to her? You’ll have to find out by reading the issue.
This is an issues issue which is fine because it goes along with the story. The question is posed: how much power is too much power. The writing in the book is fine.
The art, on the other hand, is annoying. That may be because of the shading. Each face is overdrawn and shaded in a way that each character looks like they are wearing one of those clear masks from the purge. All in all, I’m giving this a grade of a low B. While the story is intriguing, the art leaves something to be desired.