Spoilers for Secret Invasion #7 by Brian Michael Bendis, Ms. Marvel #31 and #32 by Brian Reed, She-Hulk #34 by Peter David, and The Authority #3 by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. This week’s all about the shipping, except for Ms. Marvel.
Secret Invasion #7
I’m kind of bored and terminally confused with what-the-fuck is going on. There are two major problems: Bendis-ian dialog and Leinil Francis Yu’s inability to draw characters differently from each other.
Bendis-ian dialog is often a lack of dialog. Bendis is one of the less verbose comic writers, which works in that this is the modern era and for the kind of subtle storytelling he does. (If you want to see an overly verbose comic writer, pick up some reprints of anything written by Stan Lee. Blah.) However, it’s the major story and needs a bit of clearing up. I feel like I’m ahead of most readers in that I also read The New Avengers and The Mighty Avengers. It feels like the main title doesn’t have enough meat for what’s supposed to be the title.
Yu’s art just makes this worse. Yu cannot draw faces, especially women’s face, but his men are pretty bad too. So the entire Skrull invasion is based on how people have been taken and replaced by others. I assume there are supposed to be tiny physical clues, along with dialog and behavior, that are supposed to suggest a person is actually a Skrull. Yu lacks this detail in his penciling, and it’s a critical detail. I noticed that this issue, almost every single person is labeled. I’ve had to read issues and pages two or three times and only were able to figure out who was who based on their uniforms, but put them in civilian clothing…
I’ve taken this scan into Photoshop and made a pink shape to fit around Captain America’s jawline, since he’s facing the reader. I’ve then copied that shape and fit it also around Thor’s and The Red Hood’s jaws with only a little rotation and size adjustment based on where their faces are facing and smaller back in the panel. In Reed Richard’s, given he’s the elongated, got some elongating of the chin section, but nothing else. As the pink squares show, faces are all the same. So annoying.
In a happier note, Jessica Jones has donned her old Jewel costume and is now fighting the Skrulls. Also Luke and she appear like they’re going to fix their relationship at the end of it. Not that I ever doubted that
Bendis wants Luke Cage via his Mary Sue they would get back together.
Ms. Marvel #31 and #32
In #31, Carol gets a note from her brother that her father is very sick and she should come home. When she arrives, her mother gives her a cold greeting and says that her father is actually dying. Turns out that when Rogue stole all of Carol’s memories and became Ms. Marvel, she stripped Carol of the emotional impact of her life pre-Rogue, which included her family. Carol can never go home and she does not care to. Artist Marcos Marz does an excellent job at showing subtly and mixed emotions in Carol’s face.
She’d detached, which is shown even more in the flashbacks of her life when her older brother, her family blames his military career, and then Carol signs up for the Air Force. (Also Carol’s full name is Carol Susan Jane Danvers according to what she signs for the military.) Despite this detachment, she knows the similarities linking herself and her father such as stubbornness and alcoholism, which does give her a little more emotions, granted negative ones, toward her dying father.
In the end, Carol runs out and reveals that she’s on her way to kill Norman Osborne.
I really appreciated Marz’s art. He’s one of the few artists that dare, I say, gave Carol big ass and didn’t draw her like a stick with really big boobs. I like this statement that says, yes, even guys, like women of all different shapes and sizes, because that’s how we come: big, small, and everywhere in-between. Thumbs up. I’m looking forward to seeing more of his art.
#32 is a flashback to tell Carol’s history. One assumes since she’s in the Air Force flying plane, has never met Tony Stark, and doesn’t kick her captors asses like she has superpowers, this is pre-superpowered Carol.
In a way, this an update on Carol’s story as she’s in Afghanistan and captured by the Taliban. (Or people who claim to be part of the Taliban.) In a way, I hope Reed is writing a story because they’re going to include her in the upcoming Avengers’ movies. *crosses fingers*
This story really shows just what a tough bitch Carol is. After her plane goes down, she’s tortured — electrocuted with prod-like devices, fingernails ripped off, and arm broken with hammer — by someone claiming to be the Taliban (though clearly not) and never gives them a single thing of her. While Carol doesn’t actually know the information the bad guys want, she also manages not to get herself involved in the mental games.
Then due to her arm breakage, Carol slips out of her cuffs and takes out her captor by punching him with her broken arm. Then taking out all the guards and escaping. Oh, I should also mention that she had a broken leg from her crash.
I’m actually, dare I say it, think Peter David’s writing is improving. Finally. I still think Peter David is a professional fanfic writer, which the nature of mainstream comics lends its hand to nicely. Though I also tend to think that David isn’t very good at coming up with stellar original plots. His writing has gotten better since Secret Invasion (an overarching Marvel plot coming from Bendis) and the Lady Liberators (premiered in Jeph Loeb’s Hulk #7 and talked about in Mark Millar’s Fantastic Four, though I’m can’t say this one for sure).
In a way, the Lady Liberators are at least now portrayed less like Avengers (for women) and more like the Authority in that they’re going to do good no matter what. Of course, She-Hulk, who’s leading, is hiding that Jazinda is a Skrull and that’s going to bite her in the ass, but first it led to a funny lesbian joke.
The Authority #3
I love this comic, mostly because of it’s shippy moments between Apollo and Midnighter. Their relationship is such a foundation of the team and breaking that up or putting strain on it has always broken up the team or put strain of the team. (Revolution, anyone?)
Plus, I think it’s a good look at Midnighter and how he’s more than a ruthless killer. (Or maybe I’ve just also been reading too much of Ennis’ run on Midnighter.) It’s not all about the killing and the maiming. Granted, I am always a fan of him ripping out people’s spinal columns.
Granted, I really wish they would have a conversation about Jenny. I mean, she is their daughter and MIA.