Second Coming is in full swing, the already highly acclaimed SHIELD is launching, and even the Power Pack are up. This was a good week. An AWESOME week.
SPOILERS FOR: Uncanny X-Men, Marvel Zombies, SHIELD, Deadpool & Cable, Avengers Origin, Thor and the Warriors Four, Ultimate X.
Uncanny X-Men #523 (Second Coming, Chapter 2)
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Terry Dodson
Okay, this whole dragging things out before the team finally meet up with Hope and Cable thing is driving me NUTS. I JUST WANT THEM TO ALL GET TOGETHER IN ONE BIG HAPPY FAMILY OKAY?
I disliked some of the Hope and Cable interaction – I don’t think Fraction truly gets their relationship. Yes, Hope is stifled by the life Cable’s raised her in, but she isn’t so much so that she’d mouth off to him like that – at least, not when they’re in this situation. She knows better. I did love his little gestures and that they know each other so well to take on Bastion’s goons.
On the X-Men front, the others finding out about X-Force was par for the course, and I’m starting to really believe Nightcrawler is going to be the big X-Men death, if only because of how much focus he’s getting. Their reactions seemed watered down, including X-Force’s nonchalance about being X-Force, but I’ll chalk that up to Fraction not being familiar with them, either.
It’s a solid story, and I always enjoy Dodson’s art. I just wish he didn’t spend two issues on fighting before they all met up, but I suppose he’s got enough issues spread out over the entire event to really get things done.
Marvel Zombies 5 #1
Writer: Fred Van Lente
I’m not exactly sure what Van Lente was going for here, really. It’s really great to see the Marvel Zombies line resurrected (heh), even though at this point it feels like they might have gone a bit overboard trying to make money off an idea that was good for a few runs.
The story itself is nothing memorable, except for an appearance by someone we’re supposed to assume is a Stark ancestor in an alternate world. It’s the old Wild West, things happen, zombies rise, a mutant passes on his power to his daughter before he’s turned into a zombie, and all of a sudden Machine Man appears from an alternate future to get her.
As much as I love zombies and Machine Man, I wasn’t impressed by this much. I’ll give it another issue or two, though. Because…Machine Man. Plus zombies.
I’m not sure I can take Howard the Duck, though. Jesus Christ, I hate Howard the Duck.
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Dustin Weaver
Okay so, I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s been hearing nothing but praise for Hickman’s work in this, and I have to join in the chorus.
I know the whole ‘figures of our past were part of a secret society’ plot has been done in the past, but I really like how Hickman puts it to use here, even if it seems a little ridiculous that SHIELD could have covered up Galactus appearing in Galileo’s time. But I’ve taken it with a grain of salt, and I enjoyed this issue. It’s a great start to a promising series, and I can’t wait to see where it goes. I loved the little cameos by the elder Stark and Richards as part of SHIELD — or maybe uncles, distant relatives of the Stark and Richards we know and love.
The art was great – clean enough to satisfy me, yet it still has a rough sort of look, something Weaver’s putting to excellent use for this sort of story. And, as always, Christina Strain’s colors are my favorite thing about the art. I have a giant color crush on that woman, for real.
I’d give this 5/5 if only for that panel of Imhotep having taken out an army of Brood.
Deadpool & Cable #25
Writer: Duane Swierczynski
Artist: Paco Medina
I’m always wary of issues that claim to tell the secret story behind events that have already happened, but I’m a big Cable & Deadpool fan, so this was of course a must read. It’s great seeing the mismatched (yet perfect for each other) pair together again, and it’s nice to know that even after everything, Cable can still count on Wade to help him out for a few big bucks.
Cable’s stoic and fixed on his mission as ever, and Deadpool’s as insane and fun as ever. I honestly don’t know why anyone would want to break them up, they work so well.
And I’ve added this cover, because I cannot STAND that Liefeld cover. It’s awful. Horrible. You’d think the man would improve over a decade, but apparently not.
Avengers: The Origin #1
Writer: Joe Casey
Artist: Phil Noto
Where I was wary with Deadpool & Cable, I was flat out Do Not Want with this. But I had to read it because, come on – old school Avengers! I can never resist them.
Casey does his best to stay in the guidelines of Avengers #1, but the added story doesn’t seem to be much of a whopper when it comes to secret origins. So far, anyway.
Loki taunts the Hulk into going all…well, Hulk, and some Hulk sympathizer kids hack into various computers sending “save Hulk” messages. Or something. It seems a little ridiculous, and though I know the sliding timeline is in place, a little too modern.
Our heros track down the kids signal and all converge on their building at the same time. Coincidence! Or not. I’m not sure what Casey is going for, since it doesn’t seem to be coming across yet. He’s got five issues, though, so I’ll probably read it all.
Thor and the Warriors Four #1
Writer: Alex Zalben
I cannot even DESCRIBE how excited I was when I read the solicit for this and realized something as awesome as Power Pack AND Pet Avengers AND Thor could possibly exist in one title.
It was every single bit what I expected, and I enjoyed the hell out of it. The story starts off with a surprisingly serious tone – Grandma Power is dying, and each kid reacts in their own way. They finally decide to find Thor and ask him for help after reading about fabled Apples from Asgard that cure sickness and keep Asgardians in perfect health.
I loved every inch of this, and though it’s obviously made for young kids, it’s still enjoyable.
BUT THEN IT GOT BETTER. As an accompanying mini after the main story, Power Pack are being babysat by Hercules (after Johnny Storm begged him to fill in) – and it’s drawn by Colleen Coover, who I love. It’s like this series was made to push all of my happy buttons, and I’m so glad it exists.
Ultimate X #2
Writer: Jeph Loeb
Artist: Arthur Adams
I wasn’t quite sure what I thought about Ultimate X #1, and I feel the same about #2. While I enjoyed aspects of it – the security guard’s narration, Jean trying to integrate and all her ghosts thanks to Ultimatum – things felt a bit off. Loeb could have done this story in maybe half the issue and brought Jimmy in earlier.
Adams’ art is pretty good, but he draws women like they’re 14 year old girls and men like they’re 40 (except for Jimmy, of course), which is extremely jarring when you have Jean dating someone.