02/13/08 – lots of Avenging

February 13, 2008

Black Panther 34

I bought this one just for the kick-ass Larocca cover.

But the story is not tooo bad. Some people might have issues with the whole “FF meets Malcolm X AND MLK” thing, but it’s really No Big Deal (TM). Remember when Kirk & Spock met Lincoln & that Vulcan dude? It’s kind of like that in the goofy-does-not-compute-wtf sort of sense. Aaron McGruder did something similar with MLK recently in the Boondocks cartoon. If these crazy skrulls can watch TV and imitate mobsters (and never drop into their skrull-forms), I suppose they could do it to the Civil Rights movement too (just in time for Black History month. Hm….). I wonder what will happen when they find out about Vietnam & Watergate?

The “meat” of the story (a 3 issue) arc was fun in a classic-ff sort of way, in fact the whole “reality hopping frogs” thing has been fun and entertaining, although the aforementioned frogs are one of the worst modern plot devices I’ve seen in a while (Superboy PUNCH!). For a silver/bronze(?) age type story, they work fine though – and I think that the entire frog thing really works best in that context.

Of course, I think it was really poor editorial oversight that allowed him to have a WHOLE PLANET FULL OF SKRULLS out there at the same time that the skrulls happen to be looking for a new world, and thus trying to take over ours in the Secret Invasion bit. But hey, the world was already established as being there in the age-old Thing series, so why not use it?

The super-long range gun was really stupid.

OH OH OH. And Black Panther straight up killed a dude, not even in combat, just to show he was badass. Stupid. And Storm threatened the same. Editorial??? Where art thou? Ok, I know Storm has been badass in the past, with the ripping Marrow’s heart out and all, but this seemed really out of the blue, she just tells this dude he will be fucking executed for leading her into a trap? Maybe I need to re-read the previous two issues, but these two actions seemed horribly out of place. Note that Thing and the Human Torch just stood by while this all happened. W T F.

New Exiles 02

This was a great issue. I’m not sure I could tell you why exactly, but I really liked it. For the first time in a while, I’m excited about this current Claremont experiment.

He has taken a few liberties with the current world – enough to make it quite different from 616 – and enough to make it interesting.

It is interesting that the Gambit of this world, while half black, is pale and blonde. Oh, it does happen I know, but it’s pretty rare. I think he has one blonde-blue sister, and a darker skinned brother and sister. Oh, and why the hell does he have the cajun accent if his mother was Susan Storm and his father was basically the Sub-Mariner (not quite though ; ) )? Mwa HUH?

Mystiq is still being overly mysterious.

Rogue is revealed to have powers similar to 90s 616 Rogue – flight + some kind of extended toughness at least. Although she was easily knocked out by that energy blast, so she’s not that tough.

Sabretooth gets his ass kicked pretty easily.

Good times are had when they meet Wolverine & his lover/wife (a pairing I’m sure my wife will approve of! 🙂 ).

Can’t wait for the next issue, glad it’s on the weird publishing cycle (18 issues a year, right?).

Mighty Avengers 8

The wrap-up of the New team’s involvement in the Venom stuff. Still midway through the Mighty’s side of the story though.

This looks interesting. From the solicits, it seems pretty clear that the finger pointing at Dr. Doom is a set up, and Bendis has stated a few times that they end this one in a way that no one has really done with Dr. Doom before, so call me curious (but don’t call me a drunken donkey lover, that’s just gross).

Dealing with the actual virus itself was way too easy, at least compared with how difficult these things have been in the past. Can they just use that methodology on the *real* Venom now and get rid of his ass? Especially considering that I think the Scorpion-as-Venom thing is dumb. Brock-as-Venom at least had the whole twisted morality thing going for him. That was interesting. Generic evil dude with super-powers? Not interesting.

New Avengers Annual 2 & New Avengers 38

In the annual – the Hood strikes back!

Continuity catches up to our team, as we find them (I think) returning from either the aftermath of the Venom stuff, or the aftermath of WWH, possibly both – I can’t tell the sequence. I *think* WWH might have happened before the Venoms arc, I’ll have to re-read stuff.

So the Hood leads a huge mob of villains after our team of non-cosmically powered, down-to-earth Avengers. And they still win, via a magical deus ex machinahulkasmash moment. Which sort of makes sense given current continuity. Also Dr. Strange is a total badass. Thor-class power, so shutting down a punch of stupid super villains shouldn’t be an issue

All in all, good action issue, I liked it. It wrapped up some plot points, but still left the Hood out there dangling – although bereft of his army, for good this time I think.

In 38 we have a focus on Luke & Jessica, which is a sad (emotionally, not quality) follow-up to the skrull findings, WWH (?) and the Hood’s attack. The results being a somewhat contrived, and yet completely understandable, probable break-up between my favorite comic couple. You have to sympathize with Jessica wanting to protect the baby…but turning herself in and registering? That just didn’t sit well with my stomach. It fits her spazzy character though, so no complaints.

WTF is up with all the baby single panels though? They’ve done this a few times, only when the question of Skrulls comes up (I think). My thought is that they really want us to think the baby is a Skrull. But it’s so obvious, I’m going to hope it’s a red herring. I’d hate to see the only bi-racial baby in Marvel-dom (are there more?) got skrull-conned out.

X-Force 01

Ahh, the much heralded “new”, hardcore, ass-kicking (read: killing) X-Force.

What are we going to do with you?

Well, it was a good read.

I don’t at all buy Proudstar’s crazy remorse over Caliban though. Sure, they were pals in the old X-Force – but were they that tight?? And what about Hebzibah – she was injured, weren’t she and he just about an item? Shouldn’t he be checking on her? She is mentioned in the intro though, so I assume that will be picked up later.

So yeah, the issue itself. It was decent. You’ve got the return of a semi-classic (90s) villain, some crazy [racists] religious nuts, and a few pages of blood-tastic killing. It seems like Wolverine-overkill-overdrive to me, but the writing is solid.

I’ll give it through the first arc at least.

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