Foilball’s Review Roundup #47 – A Thick Batch O’Marvel!

The Amazing Spider-Man #567 (***1/2)

I’m probably giving this book a higher rating than it deserves, since it did something I liked, but I’m pretty sure it was unintentional. You see, in order to explain away why it was that Peter’s friend Vin was mistaken for Spider-Man by the new Kraven, Peter (as Spidey) tells him, “To protect my identity, I’ve pegged some people as, well, decoys. Y’know, in case anybody gets too close to figuring out who I really am, I put them on the trail of, well… somebody else.” Now, this is a lie. Obviously, Peter Parker would never do something this foul or selfish. I mean, hell, this is the type of thing to get innocent people hurt or worse, horribly tortured and murdered by some super villain. I assume most fans hated this and called shenanigans. I would too, if I didn’t like how douchey it makes Peter. I like a little dark side with my web-slinging. Ah, but, this was probably one of those ill-conceived ideas… so, I guess maybe this really is just bad writing? Regardless, the rest of the issue was fun and resolved satisfactorily, and the art continues to impress.

Cable #6 (****)

This was definitely the best issue of Cable yet, and Cable was barely in the damn thing. Swierczynski tackles a bunch of continuity issues and manages to make it less of the mess that it is. For instance: do the X-Men kill now? Does Emma know about X-Force? If not, how can she not, she reads minds, y/y? Is Forge still pissed about what happened to his lab? Is sex the only true remedy to insomnia? And, my favorite, just how shark jumpingly smart is Beast? We spend the entire issue in Cyclops’ head, one of the most boring X-heads of all-time, and yet… by the end I was sad to get kicked out. If only Swierczynski could bring this type of depth to the titular character.

Halo: Uprising #3 (***1/2)

OMG, there’s an actual story here? Thought that needed to be pointed out. I like it. I don’t like Halo, but I like this. I like the Bendis/Maleev team. Anyone else reading this? Is the brother of the main character civilian dude, is he Master Chief?

King-Size Spider-Man #1 (*****)

What a surprisingly fun book! Unlike Spider-Man Family (SEE below), every story in this collection was neat and entertaining. I especially liked the very first page, the one with the warning—that I would show you but, SCANNER NO WORK!!! All the stories were exactly what out-of-continuity stories should be. Namely, fun. OH! And then there’s a preview of the new Mini Marvels Digest in the back and I liked it so much I pre-ordered it on Amazon. YAY!

Punisher: War Journal #22 (**)

More action packed—well, cooler action at least—than last ish, but it’s still shit. Like, it’s just bullshit. The content is crap. Reading this, after reading Ennis’ final issue (or any Ennis Punisher comic) where you see that the writer has a grasp on the character and his motivations, and a delicate handling that no other writer will ever match, and then you read the Fraction/Remender penned GW Bridge speech and it makes you want to vomit. Amazing Spider-Man Family style vomit. I’m losing words. Words are fail work describing hate this the Punisher. UGH.

Quick Hits:
• The Amazing Spider-Man Family #1 (**): Vomit. Which, of the many forgettable stories did I like… oh, the reprint of issue 300 was awesome!
• Astonishing X-Men #26 (**1/2): Still bad, but not terrible. In terms of quality, this is the exact opposite of his run on Thunderbolts.
• Avengers/Invaders #4 (****): This issue was tons of good with limited engagements of suck, the suckiest being the panel where Cap winks at Bucky. That was just creepy. Like child molester creepy. CHILLS! Down my spine!
• The Last Defenders #6 (***1/2): I don’t think this book ever reached its full potential, and I’m confident it is a story that could have been told in three less issues. Will I pick up a monthly Defenders book by Joe Casey based on the strength of this mini? Probably not.
• Fantastic Four #559 (***1/2): More of the same, but it definitely feels like a midpoint. So, that’s cool. Like everyone else, I found the two-page splash exciting… and that was about it.
The Invincible Iron Man #4 (****): Tony Stark does not beat Mr. Fantastic at chess. No. Wrong. Fail. Other than that, another solid read. I especially love Fraction’s take on Pepper Potts. She’s becoming a very strong female lead under his guidance, but Mr. Fraction, please, please, PLEASE do NOT make her a superhero. Please?
• The Punisher #60 (*****): The perfect end to a perfect run. Gosh, I hope Marvel puts out that last Punisher MAX hardcover (volume 5). I don’t want to start all over again with the stupid omnibuses. Don’t screw me, Marvel!
• Ultimate Origins #3 (**1/2): Know what? Whatever. I don’t even care anymore. This is a story that needed to be told three years ago. Whatever. Like, is Ultimatum just some Celestial story? Maybe that would be cool, if we didn’t already have an Eternals ongoing over in the 616. Whatever!

Foilball’s Review Roundup #13

Rating System:

5 Stars: WARNING: Dawn of the Dead (Original)
4 Stars: Shaun of the Dead
3 Stars: 28 Days Later
2 Stars: Return of the Living Dead
1 Star: House of the Dead

Avengers: The Initiative #11 (***1/2)

Finally, the KIA arc comes to a close. The best part of this issue was seeing Slapstick “demolecularized” or whatever. YAUS! Oh man, and then War Machine Hulks-out… only to get his ass kicked almost immediately after, and unfortunately, off-panel. This was a huge mistake, I think. Like, who didn’t want to see War Machine throw down with KIA? It could have been an epic fight, spanning half the issue. Instead, we get Iron Man and the Mighty Avengers to the rescue. Seriously, WTF was Slott thinking? Why even have War Machine in this book if he never does anything cool? When I saw that panel of him transforming, I thought to myself, “This is it… this is the big payoff!” and then nothing. So, STUPID! Also, thank God KIA died in the end. He was a stupid villain. Oh wait… GAH!

Cable #2 (***)

In this issue of Cable… in lieu of actually moving the story forward, the writer decides to go back in time and explain to us how it is that Bishop located Cable. But why? Don’t get me wrong, it was really interesting and clever. Kudos, Mr. Swierczynski for being so smart… but it was still just another example of writer masturbation. C’mon, you know I’m right. We could lose that entire sequence and still be fine going forward from there. I hope we don’t see more of this crap in the future (get it? GET IT!). Oh, I need a small clarification from the people at home: since when has Bishop been able to throw massive inanimate objects with his powers? Cause and effect. Is this something new? Is it just bad story-telling?

The Walking Dead #48 (****)

Okay, finally… PEOPLE DIE! LOADS OF PEOPLE!!! This chick! And then this guy! This random dude! And the doctor lady! OMG… LORI and the BABY!!! Hershel! WOW, everyone I hated is dead except the Governor… BOOM!!! This is the single greatest issue of Walking Dead ever. EVER! And I love the final page. Priceless. New and exciting times folks! Hope this means we’ll finally be getting fresh and interesting stories. One can dream.

Wolverine #64 (***)

The exciting “Get Mystique” continues… first, in order to sneak into the “Green Zone”, Wolverine blows himself up. How many times is this in the last couple of years? I thought he couldn’t survive this kind of shit anymore? Didn’t they do a whole arc about this? De-powering him? HUH?!? (Man, I complain too much.) Anyways, he somehow manages to find the room Mystique is hiding in and confronts her… butt naked and charbroiled. Pay attention, in this episode, exposure is a theme. After putting up a half-assed fight, she escapes into the desert. The final few pages setup next issue’s grand finale. Apparently, Mystique’s big plan is a truck full of weapons and nudity. Hmm, could work.

Quick Hits:
Captain Marvel #5 (**): This was hugely disappointing… more questions, less answers. Why did I even read this? So he turns out to be a Skrull after all? And he’s gonna be a good guy? So who the hell was that that attacked Thunderbolts Mountain in Secret Invasion #1?
Nova #12 (***1/2): This epic tale of fail finally wraps with the final part containing more excitement than all other parts combined. I love Nova, I love what they’ve done with “Cosmic” Marvel, but this story arc was a serious misstep. Please, bring on Galactus!!!
• Supergirl (-): YAUS!!! The final issue… that I’ll be paying for. “I’m gonna cure cancer!” Shut up, Stupidgirl.
• WWH Aftersmash: Warbound #5 (*): This series started at a solid 4 stars, and never recovered. This could have been awesome. I feel like this mini is filled with leftover ideas from some 80’s run on Incredible Hulk. Like, Mark Paniccia found this lost folder filled with unused and stupid ideas and he was like, “I gotta overnight this to Greg Pak, he’s a Hulk genius! He’ll know what to do with it!”
Young Avengers Presents: Wiccan & Speed #3 (*): So, unlike the other issues in this mini, this issue feels it can get away with containing zero plot development. Hmm. Interesting choice.