This week in Heroes and Villains our selection of new Marvel Comics is an all-female non-Secret Empire-exclusive bunch. Meet me after the jump for my reviews of Mighty Captain Marvel #4, Elektra #3, Hulk #5, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #18, and Mighty Thor #18… be warned, there be spoilers…
We’re three issues on from my last review of this title with its first issue, and this is the conclusion of that story, “Alien Nation.” I can’t help but think of the parallels here with the alien refugees and that of “Supergirl” on television, and of course it’s hard to separate the analogy to the Syrian refugees as well. One of the things I have railed against Secret Empire about is that it’s too real, I read comics to escape. The real world is terrible enough these days, I don’t need it in my comics. Sorry, as much I enjoyed the previous issue, this put me off a bit.
The set up overshadowed the story for me. I was not pulled in as I was originally. The tale of Captain Marvel losing control of her powers and trying to rescue the Kree child Bean from the bad guys just fell flat for me. And Carol seems to have a huge support staff, yet no one helps her, except the hologram of Tony Stark? And that irked me as well, even dead, Stark is making women look bad.
I’ve talked about my feelings on Elektra elsewhere. I am not a fan, so I was not expecting to like this comic, but surprise, surprise, this is a gem. Yes, it’s violent, and full of murder, usually not my cup of tea, but I was seduced by the fresh vibrant art of Juann Cabal and the return of one of my favorite villains from the Chris Claremont/John Byrne days of X-Men – Arcade with his Murderworld. Writer Matt Owens has put a Running Man meets Hunger Games spin on MW and made it fresh. I enjoyed this comic a lot, it’s a must buy.
In the aftermath of Civil War II, She-Hulk’s status quo has been altered. She’s no longer the fun super-heroine we all know and love, but a gritty and grim monster. And while this particular issue is half-filled with a flashback to the days shortly after the second superhero civil war, the current story is one of monsters. I have to say I did not care for it, but I did enjoy the art of Nico Leon, whose style is very similar to Scott Kolins, an artist who I like quite a lot. Maybe when Marvel gets control of itself after Secret Empire and gets back to basics, we can get the She-Hulk we want back.
I loved Jack Kirby’s Devil Dinosaur back in the 1970s, and I know the red T-rex has been through a lot of changes since the Kirby days, so I was looking forward to seeing what’s up with him now, especially with the 616’s smartest person. It’s not what I expected, but it was a lot of fun. I was fascinated by the idea that Moon Girl can switch minds with Devil during a full moon, and liked the idea of a Doombot as a push to keep getting better. With this book, Hellcat, and Wasp, Marvel is doing something right. More of this, and less Nazi Cap, okay? Recommended.
I hear nothing but good things about Jason Aaron’s Mighty Thor, and despite Marvel’s cries of low sales and putting the blame on diversity, every time I look in on the female Thor, I have been impressed. There is the proviso that it’s not the Thor I want, but it’s a damn good story and a damn good Thor.
The comic is huge, and has the feel of the cosmic Thor of the late sixties and early seventies. Aaron is knocking it out of the park, and has a better grip on how the Marvel Universe continuity should work than many writers working on the big crossover events, and he’s keeping it inside one title. The sweeping Asgard/Shi’ar war should be looked at closely by anyone wanting to do another crossover event, it’s a how-to, and a near-perfect example. Recommended.