Boy, am I running far behind! I’m trying to catch-up on issues, so stick with me as I try to do just that. More quick comic reviews will be coming up shortly!
Secret Avengers #4 – Written by Ed Brukbaker and Penciled by Mike Deodato Jr. Well, we journey into the final part of the current saga involving one of these crazy crowns that makes you possessed by some ancient celestial baddy. And then we have Steve Rogers using the Nova Force, which evoked some pretty cool scenes and a neat costume in my book. Can’t wait for an action figure of that one either. But the storyline wrapped up a lot of what it needed to without an overly complicated explanation. At the same time, the whole issue is just “meh” to me. Nothing too terrible, nothing too fantastic. I wish the Ant-Man that Robert Kirkman created was utilized in his sheer brilliance, but they don’t seem to really know how to handle him most of the time. Moon Knight barely does anything, nor the Beast, we just get characters kind of hanging out in the background. I like a bit more of the under utilized characters in these team series, not the over-utilized Steve Rogers being utilized even more. I’m reminded of when the Justice League of America first started and they didn’t want to oversaturate their main stars too much, while still realizing the importance of their draw and need. So what they did was they would always send Batman and Superman off while the “lesser lights” got their chance to shine. I would still prefer that. Overall, a “meh” issue with lots of cool artwork, but you can probably just skip it.
The Amazing Spider-Man #640 – Written by Joe Quesada and Penciled mainly by Paolo Rivera. Once more down the crapfest that is “One Moment in Time”! Excelsior! They need to fix this slopfest quick, because this is getting awful. Ok, so Wilson Fisk hires someone to go after relatives of Peter and MJ because Aunt May lived. Doctor Strange gets put to the task of making everyone forget the secret identity of Spider-man. Hey wait a minute. Didn’t everyone just assume that when Mephisto changed things, he made it so Peter’s identity was never revealed? Damn, one important take-away I must have missed somewhere. So ever the revisionist we just scribble out things and change them. And from reading this dreck, it looks like everything is being done on the fly. Paolo Rivera’s artwork is the only bright spot in this mess. You cannot produce Spider-Man EVERY stinking week or two an expect quality writing. Why Marvel doesn’t just split this up and bring back the Spectacular Spider-Man or something and make it relevant, I have no idea. It used to be you could get three good to average Spidey titles a month. Now you’re stuck with 3-4 issues of a below average comic. Way to go Joe! Skip this and bury it in poop.
Shadowland – Power Man #1 – Written by Fred Van Lente and Penciled by Mahmud Asrar. So we’re introduced to the “NEW” Power Man in this issue and learn a little bit about his background. Danny Rand and Luke Cage also learn about this guy using the Power Man name. So we’ve got the new Power Man fighting off the Hand and them in a snit fit about it as they try to expand their territory. We also learn that this new Power Man likes to profit off his work by using Craigslist. So we have quite a set-up for this one. The art work and the writing start off limping badly, but they do pick up some momentum as the issue goes on. But boy there are several pages where they’re fighting in “Purgatory” where you can’t tell what’s going on and everything looks like a 10 year old drew it. But it does get better towards the end. I found the issue interesting, but this whole Craigslist type thing we saw with The Web from DC last year. However, they definitely have me interested in what happens in the future. An ok debut, starts weak, finishes strong. Not a must buy unless you want the first issue this kid appears in.
Hulk #24 – Written by Jeph Loeb and Penciled by Ed McGuinness. Did I ever mention how much Jeph Loeb’s Hulk is crap? Oh, btw, it is terrible and continues to be terrible. The original Red Hulk storyline wasn’t cool and to be honest, not a huge fan of Ed McGuinness either. But I figured this was a culmination of a lot of storylines so it was worth checking out. So the final battle occurs between Red Hulk and Green Hulk and the world rejoices. We have to bare the pain of constantly going back and forth between Red and Green thought bubbles to see what each is thinking. So it doesn’t read fluidly at all. The artwork just seems like anime on steroids and I could care less for it. Never has there been a more overrated duo than Ed and Jeph. The last few pages were almost interesting, but not enough to make up for everything else. And another thing that hasn’t been covered before. How big of a dump would the Hulk take? I now know the answer. The size of the number of copies of this issue. Wipe your butt with them folks, they aren’t worth it.
S.H.I.E.L.D. #3 – Written by Jonathan Hickman and Penciled by Dustin Weaver. This is the first issue I’ve checked out about S.H.I.E.L.D. but it seemed Marvel has re-written the backstory and made SHIELD a giant conspiracy type group. They go way back in history and it just doesn’t make a ton of sense yet, but the writing isn’t bad. There’s just a lot going on to wrap your mind around. So I’m withholding judgment until I can see a bit more. In this issue we find out who the current head of this group is and who they are. Guess what? It’s somebody historically famous! There’s a whole re-working of history in general which is kind of fun to see, I just hope it’s going somewhere. It kind of reminds me of the set-up of the old Eternal Warriors by Acclaim Comics. Close, but not quite. So this issue is interesting, but not a must.