by the General
Far be it for me to interrupt Jon's Mighty Hulk Marathon, but I know for a fact that if I don't get these reviews typed up and posted today, they'll end up bundled in with next weeks comic reviews. Or forgotten in the mists of time. But, before I get into reviewing things, I need to go on record stating that Jon is 100% Correct about at least one thing: Lockjaw is a mutated inhuman. Not a dog.
With that said, on to the reviews...
Secret Invasion #2 (Bendis and Yu) - Secret Invasion #2 answers the age old question: What happens when 30-odd superheroes are attacked by one Tyrannosaurus Rex? The answer: "Run away!" OK, to be fair, about half that number are probably skrulls. And at least it wasn't a killer bunny. But still, are you telling me that Wolverine is the only hero who will leap onto the T-Rex's foot, while the Phoenix and Thor head for the high ground? Well, OK then.
But, aside from that complaint and the general feeling that not that much happened this issue, I liked this comic quite a bit. It wasn't as excellent as the initial issue of Secret Invasion, but still had enough heroes punching each other to make it feel like it was a Big Deal™. Plus, the final spread has me eager to see what happens when the heroes finally stop mucking around with dinosaurs in the Savage Land and get to actually fight the skrull invasion. A just above average B-.
Young X-Men #2 (Guggenheim and Paquette) - I was a bit ho-hum about the first issue of this title. But, with this issue, my interest was piqued more and I am starting to get a sense of tone and direction. I think its pretty much a given that the X-line requires a New Mutants/X-Men title where a group of younger and less-experienced mutants learn to become heroes. But, over the last few years, it seems like Marvel has been struggling to find the right tone for that title. I personally thought that the initial relaunch of New Mutants was a bit of a snooze-fest. And while I liked the last year or two of New X-Men, I know most people found it too dark (wimps!). Which makes this new direction a little odd, since the route they seem to be taking is that of the original X-Force: Young mutants being trained as soldiers.
That said, this book does manage to have one foot set heavily in past continuity, while remaining fairly new and accessible feeling, which is nice. There's an interesting generational conflict that is being set up in this arc that I'm eager to see play out. So, while this title isn't amazing yet, I'll give it a better than average B-, with hopes that each issue will continue to improve on the issue before it.
X-Factor: The Quick and the Dead #1 (David and Raimondi) - X-Factor tends to be a title that I run hot and cold with. I can usually appreciate that it's a quality comic, but at the same time the tone never quite works for me and I have general issues with Peter David stemming back to his online persona. That said, I've thought that the rise and fall of Quicksilver has been one of the more interesting character arcs that spun out of House of M years ago. And with the character at rock bottom, I was interested to see where they'd take him next. Sadly, this issue didn't impress me much.
After a number of inner-monologues with visions of people from his life while sitting battered in a jail cell, Pietro discovers that he's got his super-speed back when he happens to notice a man about to throw a woman off a neighboring rooftop. After saving her, Pietro spends the rest of the issue running around, rejoicing in his newly returned powers and talking vaguely about second chances and how he is going to do things right this time. Maybe I should have put spoilers on the last couple sentences... except the entire thing is as uninteresting as my summary makes it sound. The fact that Raimondi can't really convey the sense of speed and velocity needed for the second half of the story only helps to reinforce how run-off-the-mill this story is. It's a definitely "been there, done that" feeling D+.
Spoiler Theories! - I thought I'd mention two people who I'm pretty sure are skrulls. First off Carol Danvers in Secret Invasion. For proof look no further than the wordless panel of her face when she is talking to Tony in the burnt-out compound after the T-Rex attack. I remember Bendis saying something about how he's laced the last couple years of his comics with "skrull panels." And if that isn't a skrull panel, I don't know what is.
Also, I'm pretty sure that Cyclops over in Young X-men is a skrull. At the very least, he's not Cyclops. I think the first piece of evidence lies in his behavior obviously, and the fact that he's seemed to gain Wolverine's ability to appear in pretty much every X-title every month. And, the second piece of evidence comes in this weeks issue, where Santos says (while looking at his portable Cerebro unit): "Mine says there are only five muties in this room. We are one shy." I'm guessing Cyke isn't a mutie... because he's a skrull!
One final note: You might notice that I didn't pick up Cable this week. I just couldn't bring myself to. The first two issues where just so drag-ass with their pacing that I didn't feel it was worth dropping the $3 on it this week. Maybe if there is a slow week later this month, I'll break down and pick it up. But, until then...
by the General