It’s December, but I got every comic I needed so my review is early this month . A few firsts, an exploding finale, and a new setup.
Marvels: Eye of the Camera: I’m a big fan of the first series, Marvels. Marvels has the perspective of the everyman during the birth of the superheroes in the Marvel Universe through the 1940s to the early 1970s. This series will present modern continuity through the mid 1970s to the 1980s. But the first issue has only served as a rehash with the first appearance of the Fantastic Four and the emergence of the mutant menace. The art is good as a sub-par replacement to Alex Ross, the artist on the first Marvels series. As I’m hoping the rest of the series will delve into modernity, I will not continue on with them. 2/5
X-Men: Noir 1: It’s a clever idea, but I’m not sold on it’s execution. The basic premise is to put the X-Men franchise in the 1930s with a Noir Pulp atmosphere. No super powered mutants so we have Eric Magnus as a corrupt Chief of Police while Xavier is the teacher of a reformed school of delinquents. A reasonable setup with a good take on eugenics (“If you were born bad, you’ll always be bad”). The ideas and the clever takes on the other characters are good, but forced into believability. The X Men finally appear on the last page, but I don’t think I can wait for the second issue. 2/5
X-Men Legacy 219: After a sprawling crossover with Wolverine: Origins, Xavier has a little vignette with his stepbrother, the Unstoppable Juggernaut. Writer Mike Carey brings Juggernaut the villain back as he sets to kill Xavier. But Xavier has a trick up his sleeve as it’s a mind trick the whole time. Great issue, but the art is sub-par as it’s too cartoony. It’s really a filler to the big event with Xavier confronting Rogue. 3/5
Civil War: House of M 4: The world of House of M, gets more interesting with the penultimate issue. Xavier dies by the hands of the U.S. government’s top assassin, Bucky Barnes. But Magento kills Bucky with Captain America’s shield. The last pages set up the big fight with Vice President Trask planning to obliterate Genosha. A good issue with interesting ideas, especially the reveal that Wanda is not human. Next issue will be great and I’m looking forward to see what happens. 3/5
Secret Invasion 8: After a strong start with the first few issues, Secret Invasion has it’s weaknesses, but proves to be an enjoyable ride nonetheless. With the final issue, the narration is weak as it’s talking heads after the battle. Writer Bendis pretty much checklists his goals with killing an irrelevant founding Avengers, the Wasp, setting up Norman Osborn as the leader of the peace force, and revealing that the missing characters are back. Spiderwoman is the most hated person in the world while Hawkeye gets his newly resurrected wife, Mockingbird, back. For all it’s faults, the last page is bang as Norman Osborn converses with the top villains of the Marvel Universe: Doctor Doom, Loki, Namor, the Hood, and Emma Frost. A great ending. 4/5
Dark Reign One-Shot: I looked at the first 8 pages, and I was immediately hooked. I love the new setup as the villains are running the show, especially the terrifying Doom and the bitchy Emma Frost. Bendis has unpredictable tension scattered all over his dialogue. The art by Alex Maleev is good with the background and Doctor Doom, but misses the look of most of the villains. Emma Frost is too soft, Loki looks like an aging hooker, Osborn doesn’t have his trademark hairstyle, the Hood looks like a bum, and Namor looks like a balding senior. Osborn is bound to explode, while the villains will topple the new order. Great setup for a year’s worth of stories. 5/5