Feature

The Sunday Pages #96

28th February 2010 | by | No Comments

This week: Reviews of Amazing Spider-Man #622, Ms. Marvel #50, X-Factor #202 and X-Men Legacy #233!

Review: Amazing Spider-Man #622
Another one of these odd one-shots that seem to be filling space/time before the next full-on “Gauntlet” instalment; this one even odder, as it’s essentially an anthology. Half the book is given over to Fred van Lente and Joe Quinones (nice thick-lined retro art-style from the latter) telling a tale of Morbius and his wife that finds time for a Twilight joke and a nice little ending (even though I wasn’t really aware that Morbius was a Curt Conners-esque “not really a villain” sort of villain nowadays) – a touch insubstantial, but fairly enjoyable. The second half of the book, meanwhile, is Yet Another Story About Bloody Flash Thompson. Greg Weisman’s story isn’t as downright offensive as the wretched affair that kick-started this subplot, but it’s still yet more in the way of triumph-over-adversity style emotion fodder that just doesn’t really feel like it has any place in a Spider-Man book. Especially set against what the book’s been about recently, I’m just not really sure what its purpose is. [SP]

Review: Ms. Marvel #50
It’s rare that Marvel make a cancellation which appears to be lead by creative, rather than financial reasoning, and the fact that a clearly-profitable series like Ms. Marvel got the chop – apparently without plans for a relaunch – could resonate extremely poorly with some fans. Although, despite being an avid reader at the start, when the book’s purpose was vivdly defined and the characters engaging, I can’t help but wonder if the series has indeed run its course. We’ve had several years of uneven, off-message stories, and aside from that one “Date with Spider-Man” issue, the series was at its most interesting when the lead character was dead. As for this issue, it botches the characterisation of Mystique, fails to say anything interesting about her relationship to Ms. Marvel, and the series ends with a “Captain Marvel” backup which suggests that everything unique about the character has been stripped away with his old costume. Rarely has a cancellation felt so timely. [JHu]

Review: X-Factor #202
Before its relaunch, X-Factor had woven an intricate (if somewhat hard to follow) network of plotlines and mysteries which all paid off spectacularly. An attempt to make the book more accessible leaves it with shorter mysteries, and, in this case, less satisfying pay-offs, as the resolution to the Fantastic Four story turns out to be a rather hastily established – and oddly uninventive – mess of alternate universe duplicates, leaving little at stake for X-Factor themselves. There’s mileage in the team being the “go to” detectives in the Marvel Universe, and David’s characterisation, dialogue and humour is as spot on as ever – but this arc, at least, lacks the brilliant plotting and character-led stories that formerly made the book what it was. [JHu]

Review: X-Men Legacy #233
After gradually establishing Rogue as the “lead” character over the last year, the series has reverted to a more traditional X-Men series compared to its earlier status as a Professor X vehicle, with Rogue gathering a team around her as necessary. This issue, a peripheral tie-in to “Necrosha” (though you’d barely know it from the story) manages to make a convincing case that it’s not just a Rogue book, but a proper X-Men series, with plenty of time and development for most of the “supporting” characters and some inventive plotting that makes it more than worthy of its place as the “second” X-Men book. It’s just a shame that more attention isn’t being paid to it, as the series has quietly become both an antidote to Fraction’s uneven take on the property, or the perfect complement to it depending on your preference. [JHu]