Feature

The Sunday Pages #28

28th September 2008 | by | No Comments

Inside this week’s Sunday (and not-at-all Hastily Edited On Monday) Pages, you can find a selection of capsule reviews including Captain America #42, Daredevil #111, Fantastic Four: True Story #3, Ms. Marvel #32, Superman #680, Ultimate Spider-Man #126, X-Men Legacy #216. In addition, we give a quick plugola to an interview with one of our very favourite comics talents, and there’s another big UK show coming up!

Review: Captain America #42
Brubaker delivers some gripping action scenes during the conclusion of “The Death of Captain America”, but it’s a distinctly hollow ending. As feared, it seems that the writer has merely inserted a break in his narrative, rather than allowing the story to reach a natural conclusion. The ongoing plotline isn’t derailed by the events here, but only minor plot threads are tied up. We’re still none the wiser as to what the Skull was planning or why he needed the resources he’s been gathering to do it. Even the reason why Steve Rogers had to be removed from the scene is lacking. Brubaker obviously still has many plans for the title, but dashing readers’ hopes of some answers will damage the goodwill the writer’s work has won. [JHa]

Review: Daredevil #111
Plenty of people have put forth the notion that Matt Murdock is the biggest man-slut in the Marvel Universe, and it’s clearly a concept Brubaker is comfortable with, as Matt adds another notch to billy club in the form of Dakota North. Given the character, this is a fairly natural progression of the story, and with Milla still a presence in the book (if not actually appearing) it plays directly into the Catholic guilt that is such a large part of Matt’s portrayal. The appearance of Lady Bullseye adds just the right external element to counter-balance Matt’s soap opera personal life. Marvel are pushing this new arc as a jumping-on point for the character, and if the quality of the first issue is anything to go by, they’ve made a good decision doing so. [JHu]

Review: Fantastic Four : True Story #3
Nyarg. Despite by far the best gag in a comic this week – “Frankenstein versus Dracula!” – this isn’t really working for me, for some reason. Perhaps it’s that Cornell’s dialogue-heavy writing style (nothing wrong with it in isolation, mind) simply doesn’t mesh with Domingues’ overly cartoony and often quite unclear (the incredibly thick inking lines don’t help) art, creating something of a visual overload that’s just too much to take in at once. Or maybe it’s just that not even Cornell can make the Fantastic Four inherently interesting. Either way – the odd moment aside – this just doesn’t sparkle in the way that Captain Britain does, and isn’t the light and frothy romp through metafiction that we might have expected. Shame. [SP]

Review: Ms. Marvel #32
After teasing the book’s post-Secret Invasion direction last issue, Reed makes an odd jump to an indeterminate point in Carol’s recent timeline to show her visiting her dying father. Unusually dealing with Carol’s memory loss at the hands of Rogue, it shows for the first time this series the emotional detachment problems she has with her past that have estranged her family. The issue has a fairly dark tone to it, and is presumably designed to re-establish Carol’s attitude towards her past for exploration in a coming arc. In that sense it’s mostly successful, though it occasionally relies slightly too much on the reader having  knowledge of Ms. Marvel continuity minutiae which haven’t previously been mentioned in the series. [JHu]

Review: Superman #680
In which Krypto the Superdog takes on the villain that Superman couldn’t beat… and wins. I’m not kidding. Oh, and it’s the best issue of Robinson’s run so far. I’m not kidding on that, either. Lots of questions remain unanswered about Atlas and the shadowy figures behind him, and I’m not hugely keen on the “next issue” blurb being one for a one-off special (it creates confusion for people who don’t keep up with shipping lists meticulously every week). But despite that, this is tremendous fun – and one of the Silver Age’s oldest and ostensibly silliest legacies – a super-powered dog in a cape – becomes a genuine, viable character in his own right. [SP]

Review: Ultimate Spider-Man #126
Hmmm. With Jeph Loeb having apparently decided that continuity means jack shit in the Ultimate universe, it looks as if Bendis has decided to follow him. A note at the start of this issue tells us that it “takes place before Ultimates 3” – which is hard enough to reconcile in current timelines, but even harder when you see Nick Fury show up with two arms, meaning that it must actually be taking place before the end of Ultimates 2 – which was bloody ages ago. Yet at the same time, Thor speaks in Loeb-esque “Ye Olde” style. That said, I can’t complain too much, since it’s just good to see someone writing the Ultimates properly – coupled with the fact that Nick Fury has been very much at home here ever since the start of Immonen’s run, it strengthens the argument that the entire line should just be stripped back to this one, consistently excellent book. [SP]

Review: X-Men Legacy #216
Mike Carey has often gone on record over his admiration of Grant Morrison’s X-Men run, and this issue is constructed as a homage to that writer’s Murder At The Mansion arc. Whereas the original saw Jean Grey interrogating Emma Frost over her past, here it’s Charles Xavier who is being held to account by Emma. It’s a reasonable effort, bringing some much-needed closure to the Summers/Xavier feud, and an intriguing point is raised by Xavier’s acceptance of his guilt as a means of hiding from it. However, Carey never really overcomes the fact that Emma is probably the X-Man least able to criticise the past morality of others. [JHa]

Event : Birmingham International Comics Show
Yes, the “UK’s other big comics show” is back after a successful 2007, and taking place this coming weekend (4th-5th October) at “Think Tank, Millennium Point”, Birmingham. While we’re sure that almost everyone who’d want to know about the show already does, we just thought we’d give it a quick mention for a couple of reasons: at least two-thirds (and possibly the entirety) of the Comics Daily team will be heading along on the Saturday to cover it for various august web-based publications – so if you spot us and recognise us, say hi – and more importantly, two of our favourite writer/artist friends-of-the-site, Jamie McKelvie and Marc Ellerby, will be sharing a table. So make sure you pop along and buy their books, because they’re VERY GOOD. That is all. More at the official site. [SP]

Shameless plug : Frank Quitely interview
And speaking of favourite artists, yours truly enjoyed one of those rare, brilliant experiences recently, sitting down for a half-hour phone conversation with All-Star Superman (and a bajillion other great things) artist extraordinaire, Frank Quitely. Sadly it was for Den of Geek rather than this fine site, so you’ll have to click away from here to read it – but if you do so, you’ll find the great man spilling all manner of excellent technical artistry-related tidbits. Well worth a read, and I’d have said that even if I hadn’t been the one conducting it. Honest. [SP]