Bullet Reviews #13: Alpha Flight Returns!

Yes, it’s another week of new comics and that means it’s time for another round of Bullet Reviews!

ALPHA FLIGHT #0.1 (Marvel)Alpha Flight
First the good: The art was nice and clean. Then the absurd: why in the world would Marvel need a Point One issue when zero or one is a natural jumping on point? It appears that they are missing the point, so to speak. Now the rest: I just can’t say too many good things about it. I really didn’t like this book. Through all my reading of Marvel titles I have read some boring characters and some really bad books. Unfortunately this was among one of the worst.  I can’t even really pinpoint what was terrible, but you know that when you read an issue and nothing stands out to you, it’s bad. It wasn’t a fun read.  And I also didn’t appreciate the homosexual kiss at the end. It seemed forced and irrelevant, which made it then seem like a shock value thing. All in all, Fred van Lente is a good writer, but his stories tend to be meaningless and unrelated to the rest of the Marvel U. He needs to get some better assignments. -Andy Kirby

Amazing Spider-ManAMAZING SPIDER-MAN #661 (Marvel)
Continuing the previous two issues story with the FF! Spider-Man sees the children of the Future Foundation in class and begins to miss his days as a teacher. He still feels like he’s not contributing enough good things to the world (something that is getting tiresome but makes sense considering what he’s gone through) but thinks teaching the next generation of heroes would be something positive he could leave behind. His chance comes, eventually, when Giant Man arrives and, after a fashion, offers him a job. It’s easier said than done though. Spider-Man, the original teen hero, is somewhat out of touch with today’s generation, not really his fault because it’s a different world than when he was starting out. After floundering in the classroom, he suggests a field trip! Things pick up when Psycho-Man arrives on the scene and we see how unprepared these kids are. Last thing I want to say about the main story is the art of Reilly Brown is fantastic here! The back-up this week is ‘Just Another Day’ by Paul Benjamin and Javier Pulido showing a day in the life of Peter Parker/Spider-Man. Spider-Man goes through his ‘To-Do’ list which includes ‘Random Team-Up’ I love it! The whole story is all told ‘Nuff Said style! Next issue we return to Infested, the lead-in to this summer’s HUGE Spider-Man event: Spider-Island by the Dream Team: Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos! –Skott Jimenez

AVENGERS #13 (Marvel)Avengers
Fear Itself Tie-In! A very curious take on the premier team of the Marvel U. This “The Office”-esque interview process seems engaging, but a bit out of place. For the dire circumstances that this issue leads the reader to believe, the flippancy of the interviewing process appears to be irreverent, to say the least. However, it does give some good back and forth while allowing the reader the full exposure to most members of the team over an extended period of time. But let’s address one of my favorite pieces of the story. Call me a girl, but I love the character interaction and progression in different relationships. The developing feelings between Clint and Jessica hit me from nowhere, but were a welcome change from the issues this book has tackled lately. It felt like the New Avengers. And as much as I like a distinct take, or feel, on each different title–I think this series could stand to have a little increased character development. I can’t wait to see where this story goes, and what terrible incident Spider-Man alludes to. -Andy Kirby

FablesFABLES #105 (Vertigo)
With the teases last month and the cover of this issue I thought we were going to get the big fight between Bigby and his father, The North Wind. It didn’t happen. What sets Fables apart from nearly every other comic is when something like this happens in Fables it’s STILL an awesome story! Bigby and North Wind basically have a war of words as North Wind tries to explain his nature as Bigby defends the life of his son, Ghost, by using North Wind’s words against him. This is another of those awesome ‘non-action, all story’ issues of Fables and this debate, I suppose you can call it, between these two is beyond awesome. Bill Willingham proves, again, why this is one of the best books on the shelf and why he’s one of the best writers around. Meanwhile, Mister Dark makes his final preparations for an all out attack on Haven. He grants Nurse Spratt her wish to become beautiful so she can show herself to the Fables before Dark destroys them. He then begins to realize that he’s lost the taste for eating teeth. He places that thought on that back burner and proceeds to Haven only to be confronted, again, by North Wind. Dark expects another fight, North Wind tells him it’s an execution!  -Skott Jimenez

HEROES FOR HIRE #7 (Marvel)Heroes For Hire
All in all a fun read. I’m really digging the character interactions and reactions to each other and each other’s philosophy on what they do. Paladin and Spidey’s banter are a blast and lead to questions about how teammates from other backgrounds really would act. What I like most about this book though is that it is a non-mutant, non-team, street-level book. It’s like Team-Up but with a plot and connected story. Abnett and Lanning should be commmended on their ability to make this book work. The pacing is great and the story is fun! Keep it going , Marvel!! -Andy Kirby

 

Silver SurferSILVER SURFER #4 of 5 (Marvel)
Guest -starring the Future Foundation! The FF shows up as Norrin tries to save Suzi who is now High Evolutionary’s herald The Seeker AND the humans who have been caught up in the Evolutionary’s handiwork: Creating life in a desert! Norrin then joins the FF as they try to stop the Evolutionary from doing the unthinkable: making the Moon a life sustaining planet! Norrin confronts Seeker and tries to reach Suzi in hopes of stopping this madness but their confrontation has one major effect on Norrin: his rebirth as the Silver Surfer! The last double page spread shows the Surfer in a position we rarely see him in…and it made me smile because this poor guy rarely ever gets a moment of pure happiness. But how long can it last? -Skott Jimenez

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #158 (Marvel)Ultimate Spider-Man
Great book as usual. I loved it. MAN!! I can’t say enough about this book. I hate the 1610 universe but this book is like a shining beacon. The art is great, the characterization is spot on, and the story is interesting. Alright, enough gushing. As you know, this is nearing the end of Spider-Man in the Ultimate universe. And now that I’ve simmered for a second I can admit that this story was a little forced. We see forshadowing in this issue that we haven’t seen before, that maybe we should. But all in all Bendis knows his stuff. The dialog is real and thoughtful from a writers perspective. I think it shows a lot about how this book is written and how much time goes into thinking about the characters. And aside, from the contrived inner dialog of Peter reasoning out how Spider-Man will be no more, the idea that he sets aside his own needs for the needs of others says everything you need to know about the character. Overall, Bendis nails the youth of the characters giving us an outstandingly entertaining series. -Andy Kirby

Uncanny X-ForceUNCANNY X-FORCE #10 (Marvel)
These kinds of stories are some of my favorites. No, not the ones where innocent people get killed in the crossfire of a mutant who is not really in control of themselves (that should be a plea at the arraignment: innocent, guilty, mutant being controlled by someone else). What I really mean is that the stories that use arcs as stepping stones to bigger and better arcs. Reading them one at a time is great, but when you really put them together looking at the big picture becomes a work of art. Uncanny X-Force is turning into something like this. With the name of the X-Men and the Avengers on the line, what would happen if word got out about a hit squad? This story seems to be organically built from the previous few. And the added benefit is that they are not necessarily directly linear. Actions that took place months ago still affect what is going on now and the issues to come. I hope Remender doesn’t just have only one over-arching story (like Franken-Castle) up his sleeve. I would like to see his writing style on the title for years to come. -Andy Kirby

 

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How can I not comment? I love doing these reviews…they make all my comic reading seem important!! 😉

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