Three books this review, with some bummer news about the canceling of a good book and my dropping another.
I’m going to start by droppin’ bombs. Secret Warriors #4 is the last issue that I will buy. I like the idea behind this book, and Jonathan Hickman is the perfect writer for it, but it’s really slow and I’ve lost any momentum that I had for this book. Fury catches up with Dum Dum Dugan, Jasper Sitwell, and Gabe Jones – all loyal SHIELD guys who are now the operators of Howling Commandos Private Military Contractors. They share war stories and Gabe makes a frowny face the whole time. Guess what happens? Fury and the Howling Commandos are back together – it’s like Ross and Rachel – you always knew it would happen it was just a matter of how.
– New team member recruited in Australia.
– Yo-Yo isn’t dead, but she’s still missing her arms.
– Hydra votes to go on the offensive.
– Fury convinces the Howling Commandos to attack a HAMMER base staffed with ex-SHIELD guys.
Here’s a thing about that last bullet point, Fury is straight up blood thirsty. When asked what he’ll feel when he has to shoot men that he used to command, men that he trained and lead into battle before he went underground, his reply is…
The other interesting thing that we discovered this issue, the one thing that I’d like to see the answer to, was Fury’s room of LMD’s (Life Model Decoys – Stark invented robots that simulate a person when assassination is expected). Phobos and Hellfire (I’m pretty sure it’s Hellfire at least) are rummaging through Fury’s office and find the LMD’s. One of them was opened up and inside the chest was a little seat and monitor screens. This is really odd since LMD’s are supposed to be robots and not a vehicle. The ramifications of whether or not the Fury walking around is actually Fury or if he’s suddenly been shrunk down very small size and runs around in normal Fury sized robots could be staggering or this could have just been a red herring by artist Stefano Caselli. I guess we’ll see – I’ll I’ll just have to check it out in the store.
Dark Reign: Young Avengers 1 of 5
Here’s a fun book from Paul Cornell and artist Mark Brooks. The cover hits you right away with six totally new characters you’ve never seen before and a cover blast that says, “They’re EXACTLY What You Think!” Then the recap page is presented as a blog talking about the Young Avengers (the ones we recognize) and their relationships and ends wondering where they have gone since the battle against the Skrulls in Central Park.
Paul Cornell does a great job of dropping you right in the middle of the action and giving you a flavor for what you are going to get from a team without giving up all of their secrets. We get a great splash page of this new team, their names aren’t put on display so you have to pay attention to the dialogue and we hear some familiar names. There’s a girl who grows to giant size called Big Zero. She’s also a racist. There’s a teenage girl calling herself Enchatress complete with Asgardian garb and speech, although she has a bit of a lisp. Their leader is named Melter and he can make things melt. Executioner is like the Punisher but wears a skull-like mask. Coat of Arms has six arms and seems an awful lot like Spiral – down to video taping their exploits as if they will be broadcast. And then there’s a robot called Egghead who looks really familiar, although I can’t place where I might have seen him before, and damaged.
Immediately, the first time we see them, the robbers they are trying to stop get killed. It’s a great opening act. We see that these kids are not well balanced and are the poster children for why Tony was right about super-hero registration. The relationships are well defined and you feel like you get a LOT for your dollar. I was really impressed with this book and can’t wait to see how well this struggle goes as Melter tries to make his team heroes or if they are just going to be another team of misguided youths.
Oh, and the real Young Avengers so up at the end. It’s was a fantastic first issue making me excited about the next one!
Paul Cornell again with Leonard Kirk on art duties picks up right where we left off last issue, right in the thick of a full scale vampire invasion of England! It is just as bad a thing as it sounds. The threat of Dracula continues to be impressive. There is a conceit among comics that you make the situation as bad as possible before you have the heroes come back from behind and win the day. That is all well and good but for the MI13 team things are looking really dire with very little chance of reprieve.
England has been magically sealed off from the rest of the world keeping the rest of the Marvel heroes from coming to the rescue, Norman Osborn calls Wisdom personally to tell him that he can’t help due to agreements that are in place (remember Doctor Doom from way back at the start of this arc?), and Dracula pushes his full mental influence on Spitfire making her a full on baddie now too!
Spitfire calls the team out to a field where, expecting a trap, the team heads to. Captain Britain fears that Dracula knows too much about how Merlin created him and, since Cap’s powers are now dependent on how confident he is, this makes for some trouble. It is, in fact, a trap and a lot of things happen at once:
– Cap Britain discovers that he can leave the magic shell, but then can’t get back in if he does.
– Thousands of vampires appear to fight.
– The vampire assault is using magic and technology to cover all bases.
The MI13 team attacks, but not as a unit which leads to deaths, lots of deaths, unexpected deaths. Paul Cornell has said over and again that not everyone will survive this invasion so you really are left hanging as to who’s left. I really don’t want to spoil anything else, but I can say that Dracula wins.
I can’t wait for next issue!!!!!
Now here’s the bad news, this series ends at issue 15. TWO MORE ISSUES!!!!! Sales have not been good, which really sucks because this has been one of the best books of the year. I can only hope that fan outcry will mean at least a few one-shots or specials after it’s over. It’s a shame to see something this good have to end.
That’s all for today. See you tomorrow!