Inferno, redux?

July 22, 2008

Rumor has it that Marvel will be re-visiting Inferno somehow.  At least that’s my interpretation of the fire hydrant crack (I haven’t figured out the “He wasn’t even supposed to be there.” headline yet….thoughts?)

I’m not sure how I feel about this.  OK,  I’m sure that I feel unsure about it – how’s that?  I wish they’d come up with more new stuff instead of dredging up the old because, really, it was finished.  It doesn’t need any additional closure.  I’m guessing it will tie in with the whole Illyana return thing they’ve been quietly keeping on the backburner in the comic press for the last year or two.

Well, at least they can’t touch Fall of the Mutants right….Naze/Adversary/Forge are just not “cool” enough…I hope!

Haven’t felt like writing any capsule reviews lately and we’re busy in the middle of a home purchase, trip to Cali and some other junk.  Hopefully I’ll be back on the flying horse soon.

Just in case my 1 or 2 regular readers wondered what was up.

X-Men – Divided We Stand 2: Wow, what a piece of shit these two one-shots turned out to be huh? The Beast story is the best written, and I like that it brought the disembodied brain (Martha?) back. Seeing as how it was written by Mike Carey though, it should at least be decent (although I really didn’t like the his Cannonball story in the last issue). The other stories…wow. Not so decent. Forge is crazy-brain damaged and obsessed with being a shut in and making weapons? Laaaame. Havok alone in a hole in space – boorrrrring. I do want to see the end of his arc though, so I hope it comes soon. Typical counselor session btw. Dani & Nori with ugly art. And an Illyana story. I guess she’s the “real” one now, somehow. Whatever. She worked better dead. Annoying. Don’t buy this, unless you are a big Beast fan.

Mighty Avengers 14: This issue introduces the first (of what will probably be many) glaring continuity contradiction error into the Secret Invasion thing. Well, or maybe it brings it more strongly into focus. Anyway, I thought we knew that in order for the Skrulls to be undetectable they had to completely subsume their Skrull personalities until the point of emergence…and yet here we see all the known Skrulls meeting in a warehouse. I’m really surprised Bendis did this…as he’s writing all the related issues. WTF? Other than that bit of silliness, they plot catches up to present day and we focus on the Sentry and have a very interesting ending that I’m hoping will be picked up in SI 2?

Oh, an aside – is anyone else amused by how easily these Uber-Skrulls are being beaten after the first two had to be nuked by Iron Man? Captain Britain punch one’s head clean off in CB&MI13.

I started reading Casanova recently after reading a review somewhere. Dammit if it didn’t have a HUGE spoiler though and the ending of the series is ruined for me…but I’m still enjoying the ride & will be picking up the trades soon. I suggest you check it out if you enjoy a good mind fuck and/or spy-on-spy action and/or mild Morrison-like weirdness.

Ultimate X-Men 94: Innnnnteresting. I won’t spoil the surprise here for you, as it’s actually pretty surprising and worth picking up if you like the title…not that it really makes much sense (or would have gone this long without being noticed). I’m not sure I like the eventual power-change this will probably lead to for one character, but the last page sure is interesting – Angel would actually be interesting if he was more like that! The inevitable mutant arms race this predicates looks to be somewhat silly though. Now any mutant bad guy can get super-super-charged with no apparent ill effects….so the plot point looks rather weak and half-thought out from another angle but it really depends on how they resolve it.

And don’t think I didn’t catch what they’re doing with Colossus and the needle.

Ultimate Fantastic Four 54: Not much going on here. The pencils looked all muddy and kind of threw me, making the rest of the presentation hard to enjoy. There’s not much of a clue where this is going yet so I’m not voting one way or the other on it.

Fantastic Four 557: I get tired of saying how overrated Mark Millar is, but I’ll say it until it doesn’t need to be said I guess. The giant robots thing is stupid. The fact that it is used as …I dunno what the technical word is but it is used to maneuver Reed & Sue into some interesting relationship questions…that part is serviceable. Reeds 1st gift to Sue is stupid and selfish – and reeks of something from Millar’s Authority run. His 2nd gift seems a bit out of character – since when is Reed into frivolous time travel (and how would Sue NOT HAVE NOTICED stepping through a time portal or whatever)? Oh right, since Millar’s first issue. I know it fits the general stereotype of “adventurer scientist” so I’m ok with it, really. That’s a character trait change I can handle, because I think it makes the series a lot more interesting. It’s just that this first arc was not very interesting. Johnny’s incredibly out of character (or maybe in-ultimate-character) behavior is also somewhat interesting BUT – he’s been a hero for a really long time, would he really hang out with someone who says stupid things like “I just robbed a bank, does this mean you have to arrest me?”.

Oh, and we have Doom again. Already. *sigh*

X-Factor 31: Nothing special, but a decent continuation of the ongoing collapse of X-Factor, their home turf, and their role. Looking forward to that Layla Miller one-shot….I’m guessing that’s how they get her aged up to marry Madrox.

Annihilation: Conquest 6

(OK, I didn’t buy this one yet, but I’m grabbing that hardcover as soon as it’s out!)

It’s been a while since a crossover title was actually somewhat required reading for a mini – and I don’t mind it once in a while. As long as they don’t overuse the gimmick, it’s cool. But then again, if you didn’t read Nova 12 you’ll still be OK – all you need to know is that he brought some help back.

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X-Men: Divided We Stand 1

UGH.

The writing is not horrible, but I can’t stand where they are going with ANY of the characters in this mini. OK, that’s not quite true, the Nezhno story is ok because it doesn’t really go anywhere. Well, he pines, but that doesn’t count. Although understandable, I hate what they did with Anole mostly because it was just stupid and mean on Cyclops’ part. Now we know he has some kind of master plan and the X-Men are getting back together, but what they have done to the students is just stupid and cruel. Same with Hellion – abandoning him in a hotel – REALLY??? A kid with that kind of power and you want him running around bitter at you? Ohhhhhhhhh Kaaaayyyyyy. Cannonball is acting like a stupid war-brat or something, which I can’t recall him ever being before. I could possibly see this being in line with his characterization in the Warren Ellis (or whoever) revamp that ended out the X-Force series, but it stinks to high hell against everything else. I guess it’s a set up to why he’s a “bad guy” in the so far insipid Young X-Men series.

Oh, and Northstar’s characterization was so far out of anything I’ve seen before…I’m sure they can just chalk it up to post-resurrection stupidity but man, he was just a blank slate here. He could have been anyone who decided to show up and deliver random statements.

I decided it was not worth buying and left it at the store. I’m trying to limit my crap intake and limited series are a great place to start cutting.

Avengers: Initiative 11

Does she really have a kiss of death – where’d that come from? Or was it just general vamping to distract him.

More gratuitous violence as the government Avengers get their butts handed to them by the tactigon too. I was pleased to see that 2 of the Scarlet Spiders made it out, I was thinking Slott would wipe the slate on them with this. Clones can be really interesting when done well, and not just used as mindless fodder. I hope he keeps this in mind.

Next issue is the graduation issue and after that is another class of newbies – I’m curious how long they’ll follow this model of swapping out the classes every 13 issues (and hopefully keeping up with previous class members) – and of course if they’ll even last until the 3rd class. So far I think I like it, it definitely invests more of a sense of importance when you know that not everyone will make it through the year, and the ones that do might wind up seeing actual page time in another comic (as I’m hoping some of the members will).

Man is that an UGLY cover. And Slapstick is one creeeepy mofo.

PS. Are we going to get the Hardball->spy plot resolved or what?

New Exiles 4

So this wraps up the first “New” Exiles arc. It’s not a particularly interesting wrap up. We get a new recruit who’s half black Atlantean (which could have been an interesting thread in itself, I’m guessing Namor’s father was African?) and…some stuff happened in the world they grabbed him from. The Black Panther seals the planet and Namor is on the moon and the moon and Earth shall war and blah blah. Sorry, not really that into it. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t anything special. I’m still enjoying seeing all the alternates – so please stick to that CC and no more making new characters with really dumb names like that stupid guy with the guns.

How does the Tallus work these days anyway? I forget what the logic behind it still knowing what’s up with a quadrillion realities is without the bugs to drive it.

Oh, and Amara’s queen of the moon. The moooooon I tell you!

Young X-Men 1

Urgh.

The plot here is twelve kinds of stupid, but I’ll try and reserve my judgment until the end of the arc, because there’s obvious a twist coming. If the (old) New Mutants really are going to be “bad guys” in this brave new x-world then I may finally be done with the X-books. That just makes no sense, and would trash my two of my three favorite x-characters (Sunspot & Cannonball…only Iceman would be left), not to mention my comic book childhood. The New Mutants were the x-characters my gen of readers grew up with and we make up most of the comic readership these days, so I really hope they get more respect than this.

I won’t even bother wondering where all the cool “Young” X-Men went, or what the shit is up with this dumbfuck tattoo character. But, like I said, I’m giving it an arc.

Cable 2

This was ok I guess. Certainly better than a number of the original Cable issues. Not better than the Weinberg stuff or than C&DP though. I’m not liking Bishop as a villain at all, although I can buy the rationale for it – I mean, it’s at least not TOTALLY out of left field (only deep center field). The whole gun thing was really annoying anyway, and CC was the only one that ever wrote him decently (especially in the defunct and horribly titled X-Treme X-Men) – so I suppose it’s not really a loss. We’ll get a (maybe even temporary) great villain whom we sort of understand and we are pained to watch…which makes for more drama I admit.

All in all though, I really like Cable better with a supporting cast. His shit gets tired when it’s just him. No, the baby doesn’t count, it’s just a bjornament at the moment.

The pencils look good of course, and the cover is kind of cute with its whole bionic-arm-western-pistol-duel thing.

X-Factor 30

I saved the best for last of course. Well, the best that I bought seeing as how I’m not picking up Conquest until the hardcover.

Of course Arcade was always a “gimmick” villain, but now even moreso – rarely does it take the various X-teams long to wrap him up – and I think this is a good thing. This was a nice done-in-two-or-three arc (oh wait – there’s still one issue to go! I have a feeling that will just be aftermath though. Funny, aftermath of the aftermath! I like it!) that not only directly picked up plot threads of the previous “big event”, but used those plot threads to move itself forward in a new and interesting (but not gimmicky way!). Not to mention working in some Arcade silliness. And a REALLY ugly cover. Well, just ugly in the sense that his face is ugly, but it fits. I’ve always assumed he was sort of modeled after that Mad Magazine guy, and this is a nice, modern spin on his classy goofy face.

So what happens aside from the Arcade trouncing? A random civilian gets killed. Monet acts really weird – we’ll assume it’s just electro shock for now – but it will be interesting to see if any of that carries forward. We get some teases at where the team might be headed for the future in the way of the statements made by the broke and suicidal mutant-hater. Rictor almost loses his nuts. And Madrox gets shot a lot. See? It sounds silly when I tell it, so just pick up the book.

Other thoughts for the week:

The Skrull special covers are ugly. I pretty much hate them all. The hidden variants are amusing (there is one for Young X-Men and even Exiles (???) evidently), but I wish all the main books (Avengers primarily) were variants so I could get a non-Skrull cover.

All images linked from CBR this week. Head over to that link for the rest of April’s Marvel solicitations.