The Sunday Pages #73

6th September 2009 | by | No Comments

It’s capsule review time, this week looking at Exiles #6, Invincible Iron Man #17, Justice League: Cry for Justice #3 and Marvel Zombies Return #1

Review: Exiles #6
The end of a series is rarely a graceful affair. However, it’s rare that it’s this graceless. After the most recent relaunch of Exiles, an insignificant change in sales led to the plug being pulled on for good. Jeff Parker presided over the writing duties, and chooses to spend the bulk of the last issue explaining how his set-up for the team meshed with the previous run, and how. It leads to some hilariously complicated infodumps that cram allegedly years’ worth of plots into a few pages. However, let’s not pretend it’s not a valid way to end the series. Parker has given long-time Exiles fans a grand finale worthy of their loyalty, weaving together every incarnation of the team and series in a way that resolves them all once and for all. Parker’s run itself was good, and though this issue doesn’t represent a particularly good story, at least it’s respectful to the fans. The final pages even leave one story left to tell – you know, just in case… [JHu]

Review: Invincible Iron Man #17
The general consensus on World’s Most Wanted seems to be that while it’s nice to see someone tackling a story of genuinely epic length, this one has dragged somewhat, spending too much time dithering on filler rather than really getting to the meat of the story about Stark on the run as his brain deteriorates. This is a pretty strong issue, though, with two particular sequences of note – first of all, it’s nice to see a reaction to Osborn’s plotting from the ordinary people within HAMMER/SHIELD (since it’s all too easy to write them off as “the bad guys” simply because of who’s in charge), while Tony’s email is a genuinely touching – and clever – bit of writing that finally starts to show the tangible effects of Tony’s plan. Plus, you can’t help but get excited by the cover for #18. It’s not as thrilling a book as it started out as, but this is still a solid read – and Fraction still deserves credit for making Stark a damned good hero again. [SP]

Review: Justice League : Cry for Justice #3
I was actually willing to get behind this series – in the face of near-universal online derision – after a fairly decent second issue (and because of the continued goodwill that Starman has earned James Robinson), but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to defend. It feels like it’s descending into self-parody, with appallingly overwrought (or just plain unbelievable) dialogue, and various characters’ repeated insistent cries that they want “JUSTICE!” (except they don’t – they want vengeance). The one decent scene that this issue provides only does so because of the warm nostalgic glow of revisiting the aforementioned Starman‘s Charity, Bobo and the Shade – although it does at least manage to make those characters sound right. Even Mauro Cascioli’s admittedly sumptuous artwork can’t score points this time – having closed last issue with a terrific and restrained splash page of Supergirl, the breast-laden page that opens this one is nothing short of embarrassing. A disappointment all round, really. [SP]

Review: Marvel Zombies Return #1
Because someone, somewhere, can’t help but enjoy the same joke over and over and over: Marvel Zombies Return. To be fair, this incarnation of the series does, once again, offer a new spin on the concept, shoving the zombies into the 60s Marvel-verse where the inhabitants are ill-equipped to deal with their violent reality. It’s fun enough – the scene where the Sandman realises that the old rules don’t apply anymore is particularly grimly entertaining – but after this long, if you’re not enjoying the idea of Marvel Zombies already, it’s probably not going to change your mind. [JHu]