Raiders of the Last Shipment: Puppy Chow

by Liana

There was no Fables in this month's shipment. Total suck. At least there was a healthy dose of controversy, what with Wendy and Marvin biting the big one (or is that the Big One biting Wendy and Marvin?). Speaking of biting, Scott and Emma are up to all kinds of suck in their book and all those people involved with Red Skull are up to all kinds of no good in Bucky's book. Gee, I'm one disgruntled fangirl this month. I hate when that happens.

Captain America #41
Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting

When I read this title, I find it excellent. The art (when Epting is on) is gorgeous and the writing is intelligent, well-paced and intriguing. But when I think about the title, I get frustrated. I’ve felt like we’re just treading water--cool, interesting water, but water nonetheless--since Steve Rogers was killed and everything is just slowly building to his eventual return. Don’t we all expect him to be back by the end of Secret Invasion? Of course we do. But what really frustrates me is that no matter much I enjoyed reading an issue, I can barely remember what happened once I’m done. Even now, as I sit here flipping through to refresh my memory, not much is coming back. Dr. Faustus is double-crossing the Red Skull. Okay. Sharon Carter may or may not have actually been pregnant but whatever. She isn’t now so she’s free to fight her way out of captivity. Black Widow has a neat-o flying car. Am I missing anything? Yes, but also no, and that’s the problem. Bucky is a really cool character, but despite the last page proclamation, he really is not Captain America and this title is kind of pointless until Steve Rogers returns. Grade: B+

Uncanny X-Men #501
Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, Greg Land

Wow. I hated this. I mean really, really hated it. Let me start by saying that it seems obvious to me the Brubaker didn’t write a word of this. (See how I didn’t open with a rant about how much I detest Greg Land’s art?) The characters’ voices are all wrong. What the hell was that conversation between Scott and Emma? I mean besides vomit-inducing? He called her “babe.” And “baby.” Then he rambled like a mental patient when Emma caught him attempting to build a crib. And who cares if the pink-haired chick got beaten up? Who the hell is she? Oh, Beast’s got his dexterity back. That’s not totally, ridiculously random. If you want to phase out CatBeast, you can’t just do it as an aside. It should be a story in its own right. I’d guess Brubaker’s involvement comes in with the Red Queen plotline. My money’s on her somehow being Madelyn Pryor and working some kind of mind control not only over her little group, but over the X-Men as well to make them act all weird. But I’m not hanging around to find out. That’s right. I’m dropping Uncanny X-Men until Dan tells me something’s happened that worth coming back for. Hopefully by then, Greg Land will have moved on to a new project. Grade: D

Teen Titans #62
Sean McKeever, Eddy Barrows

After reading all the Internet hoopla about this issue, I had to check it out. Would I be slapped in the face? Would my childhood be raped? I thought “probably not,” but you never know. Two things you should know: I don’t read Teen Titans and Sean McKeever is one of my favorite people in the world. My page one impression was that this Wendy and Marvin don’t look anything like MY Super Friends Wendy and Marvin. Slap-in-the-face #1, courtesy of Eddy Barrows. My page three impression was that this Wendy and Marvin are super annoying—slap-in-the-face #2, courtesy of Sean McKeever—and they NEED to die, which we’ll go ahead and call slap-in-the-face #3. With all this face-slapping, how could McKeever possibly find the time to also rape my childhood? Well, I’m sorry to say he didn’t. In fact, by page six, I took back the face-slapping and started thanking the creative team for what’s to come. I hate these characters. I don’t know what they’ve done in this title previously (having only read three issues ever), but nothing in this issue leads me to believe they’re an important part of the team. In fact, I got the impression that they’re really a detriment. They welcomed this mysterious, stray dog with no investigation. They reconstructed Cyborg, but I get the feeling this guy isn’t exactly on the up-and-up. And they whine incessantly. I mean, non-stop. So by the time Wonderdog rips apart Marvin’s neck, I was cheering. And ten year old me would have thought that was coolest thing ever. Not because I would have hated Wendy and Marvin, but because it was unexpected and freaking holy shit cool. Now, to address some legitimate complaints. Apparently, the same thing happened with a dog in 52 or something? Okay, well, that’s clearly alluded to with a copy of 52 lying on Marvin’s bloody floor, so I’d suspect that there’s a reason for the copycat attack. The team was stupid to accept the dog no questions asked. I’d say that was to demonstrate that everyone’s too distracted by their own problems to handle things properly. Miss Martian left and she’s the bestest character. Do we know that where she’s going and what she’s dealing with aren’t going to be covered in this book and tie into everything? For me, the only thing I really found wrong with this is that it doesn’t read like the Sean McKeever I love. His writing seems stilted and not natural. Definitely not up to the same standards as his Marvel and Indy work. I could speculate why that is, but there’s little point in it. Oh, I didn’t like the art at all, though I thought Barrows did a wonderful job conveying the tension and fear as Wendy ran for her life. Grade: B


The General said...

I always thought that Wendy and Marvin where second-rate Wonder Twins and disliked them even when I was young. So, I can't bring myself to feel bad about them getting offed by McKeever. In fact, kudos to him for that.

As I've said elsewhere, I do hope this storyline concludes with a Wonder Dog vs. Krypto battle... now that would be cool.

Matt said...

Personally I hope Steve Rogers doesn't come back for a long, long time.