Friday, January 31, 2014

X-Factor v8: Overtime TPB

I’m not sure why I fell away from Peter David’s X-Factor. If I remember correctly, I don’t think I liked the Secret Invasion crossover with She-Hulk, and that convinced me to switch to the trades. I had a few of them sitting on a bookshelf for the last few years where they sat unread. It took my X-Factor project over the Christmas break to inspire me to pick up this collection and get started again.

And while this is a good collection, having read a whole bunch of books in a row, this is more about where the book is going than where it is in this story. Madrox and Layla Miller are in the future, assisting Cyclops, Ruby Summers, and a few others in overthrowing a tyrannical anti-mutant government. The problem here is that the villains never come into strong enough focus for me. David does some character clean-up with Trevor Fitzroy that sets up some nice possible stories for the future, but other than the enigmatic Cortex, none of the other future villains have the gravitas to power the story.

No, where this book really pulled me back in was in characterization. I don’t know how it happened, but my old favorite Madrox has really fallen in my esteem. He’s mopey and sarcastic, and seems like he’d be just about the worst boss you could hope for. He’s a good tool in the story, but he’s not exactly likable.

You know who is likable? Almost everyone else. Guido, or Strong Guy as he’s known, is brilliant in this. His confusion and awkwardness over Rictor and Shatterstar’s new relationship is hilarious. Shatterstar? He’s tremendous! He comes off like an old-time Wolverine, always the first to charge into battle, disregarding safety and sanity. And M is that classic flying brick that knows she’s better than the rest of the team. I’m shocked that David can make me this fond of Longshot and Darwin, too. They have never been anything but background characters to me, but now I find myself looking forward to their panel time.The sequences in the present-day where Cortex is possessing different team members is much stronger than the portions of the book taking place in the future.

Valentine De Landro’s art is fine, but the work suffers due to a lack of background. Compared to the work he does in some later issues, this is clearly weaker. The faces can be lumpy and the acting is a bit hard to follow. It gets better in later trades though.

This is a GOOD series that becomes EXCELLENT due to the amazingly long run it is a part of. Fans of witty banter and solid super-heroics need to re-examine this series. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Aquaman v3: Throne of Atlantis HC

Guys, if DC Comics can reprint the same issues in two different trades... then I should be able to review the same way.

See the Justice League review.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Sable & Fortune 1-4 (2006)

Oh Marvel Unlimited. You are going to be a very dangerous application for me. Now that I can discover forgotten limited series like this… well, you can expect some oddball Marvel reviews, that’s all I’m saying.

After reading it, I can see why this series is forgotten. It isn’t that writer Brendan Cahill or artist John Burns do a bad job, it is just that they are hamstrung by their leads. There is a reason that Silver Sable and Dominic Fortune aren’t used more than they are. Sable is by far the stronger character of the two, and she’s strictly C-list.

This is a fairly generic story about sleeper cells and betrayals within the Wild Pack. I can’t really tell who everyone is, and the lack of costumed villains to distinguish people from each other really hurts. Cahill does a nice job with some of Fortune’s dialogue; he’s a lovable rogue constantly in danger. He plays the damsel in distress role while Sable is the butt-kicking action lead. The reversal of traditional roles is amusing, but not enough to give the series enough traction.

I’ve never seen it, but isn’t this what Remington Steele was based on? If so, then this would certainly make for a good Marvel version of that show.

I assume John Burns is a classic artist of 2000 AD or something. (EDIT: Just confirmed, he’s a Judge Dredd artist too.) His art has that British flair that used to pop up in the late 80’s and 90’s, especially on covers. His Silver Sable has a striking look, complete with enormous hair that just screams 80’s action movie. She looks fantastic. Burns’ art is a good enough reason for this to exist. He certainly has fans that must have appreciated this look. That’s how I made this the first book I read with my new Marvel Unlimited subscription.

That gets blown out of the water when Laurenn McCubbin takes over on the last issue. Cut from six issues to four, Burns doesn’t get to finish. McCubbin’s work looks so drastically different that I thought I was reading a different comic. Not to mention the bigger problem; the main villains were all eliminated in issue 3! I honestly couldn’t finish issue 4, that’s how unnecessary it felt.

It is disappointing; this went from a niche project with a targeted appeal to a four issue series that lived one issue too long. This EVIL comic is recommended for Burns fans only. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Before Watchmen: Moloch 1-2 (2013)

Now books like this make me think that maybe, just maybe, Before Watchmen might have been a money grab. I know that all comics are there to make money, but really, who wanted a two-issue look into bit player Moloch’s past? Especially a glance into his past that doesn’t really add anything to the character’s few heartbreaking moments in Watchmen?

That’s the core problem here, out of three character focuses that I’ve read so far, only one really added anything to the character. Nite Owl benefited from more time as a main character. Dr. Manhattan and especially Moloch worked in limited doses, with the focus justifiably on their role in the greater story.

Spending these pages building up a tortured background (complete with adult scenes) for a throw-away character just seems strangely misguided, at best. Something tells me that J. Michael Straczynski wasn’t sitting around for the past 30 years pondering the best Moloch story he could tell.

The strongest part of this limited is the art from Eduardo Risso. The emotion and acting in the characters’ faces is consistently strong, although Moloch is never anything more than pathetic. If the goal was to make the heroes sort of like bullies to this deformed man, then mission accomplished.

I can recommend this one only for fans of Risso’s art. No real point in reading this for anything else. EVIL. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Before Watchmen: Dr. Manhattan 1-4 (2012)

J. Michael Straczynski spends a lot of time dancing around the big events we know from the real Watchmen. More than Nite Owl, which told an older story and filled in some gaps, this series does a bit of that before rocketing into the Watchmen story we know and love. Scenes are replayed from different perspectives. Strong plot points from Watchmen are alluded to in order to play up the importance of the new story.

Basically, this is the sort of story I was worried about when I heard about Before Watchmen. If the best, most incredible parts of the story happen somewhere else, and these books just have people talking about them, or dropping hints about them? Then why not just read the original classic?

The other problem, of course, is that Dr. Manhattan is just an a$$ hole. The most interesting parts of his story come early in his life, from his heroic father and mother. Maybe when he started out, he’s an interesting 60’s era scientist. I liked reading about his early relationship with his sidekick and wife.

But my lord. When you take a fantastic concept, one that was touched on in the original Watchmen in a few pages, and drag it out into the core concept for a four issue prestige series? Aargh, it gets painful. The fact that Manhattan is experiencing all stages of his life at the same time is such a foreign, but still identifiable concept that it justifiably blows the mind of every 14 year old who reads Watchmen.

But watching the character travel up and down his own timeline to fix some vague problem? What? There is no villain here. Manhattan isn’t really working against anyone. And the closest thing we have to a villain did all of his best work in the core Watchmen series.

Adam Hughes’ art is beautiful. No surprise. He excels in the 50’s and 60’s time periods. Seeing all those scientists in their old west labs… the sense of bygone times is tremendously strong and nostalgic. Those scenes would not work half as well without Hughes selling the moment. Manhattan’s wife is radiant in the past, and her fading beauty is emphasized in the scene where the Minutemen form their first team-ups. All I could think while reading this is that Hughes would be a fantastic artist for a Barry Allen Flash series.

The worst part is the climax that shows Ozymandius’ scheme from a different perspective. That’s the danger of fluffing pages out around a core concept that can’t change. The best opportunity to read about this character is not in this series. EVIL. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Before Watchmen: Nite Owl 1-4 (2012)

Don’t worry everyone. I didn’t actually buy any of these Before Watchmen cash-ins. No, like any good-hearted comic fan, I checked out the hardcover from my local library. I’ll be splitting these mammoth tomes up into separate reviews. Each of the collections has multiple limited series combined inside, but they are so thematically and tonally different that I think they need their own review. The first Before Watchmen product I started with is Nite Owl.

This is a good opener for me, since I was always a fan of Nite Owl. He’s basically supposed to be Blue Beetle, right? How could he go wrong? And to be honest, J. Michael Straczynski doesn’t actually ruin the character here. Dan Dreiberg has the same mix of self-doubt and confidence that made him so entertaining in the original Watchmen film. And more than any other character in the mythos, I think Nite Owl can survive having new layers of story added into his history. This guy is essentially Batman, so he can handle it, right?

I must say that I absolutely hate the characterization shortcut of having Nite Owl constantly dropping predictions about future technology. I don’t care about predicting things like the GPS, dude. It is easy to go back and give a character those types of precognizant abilities when writing a flashback. That is a trick used by bad sitcoms. It is just lazy writing.

JMS’ approach is to show the early team-up of Nite Owl and Rorschach. It’s a nice moment, and the budding friendship is entertaining when it is on-panel. It gets glossed over a tad, which is disappointing, but I can see that DC needed to spend those pages on adult content. There is a fair amount of nudity in this book, most of it gratuitous and unnecessary, but that is what makes this a Before Watchmen comic, right?

JMS plays up Dreiberg’s awkward side in his interactions with… I don’t know what to call her. Super-prostitute? I guess? Anyway, Twilight Lady wears a mask, but it seems more for her work than any actual super-heroics. The scenes do show off Nite Owl’s good heart, but they also really play up what a doofus he is.

There isn’t exactly a through-villain for the series, but an evil priest makes for a good foil for an issue or two. It does show off the strongest part of these four issues; the friendship and partnership of Rorschach and Nite Owl.

Andy Kubert’s art is solid. His father Joe’s inks give the art that nice scratchy look that makes this seem older than it really is. I never noticed anything tremendously unique, in fact, I’m not sure if Rorschach’s face mask was changing throughout the issue or not. I’m ashamed to say I didn’t notice. I do really like the design of Twilight Lady’s costume (when she wears it). Mainly, her 60’s beehive hairdo really establishes a time and place for the story.

So I don’t regret reading this, but it certainly isn’t required reading, even for Watchmen fans. If you are a Nite Owl fan, I guess this could be considered FAIR. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Uncanny X-Force v1: Let It Bleed TPB

I really like Psylocke and Storm. Fantomex seemed cooler in concept than execution; I don’t know why people don’t see him as Gambit for the 2000’s. Spiral was never my favorite villain. Puck is way down the list of faves from Alpha Flight. And I liked Bishop better as a future cop trying to fit in rather than an evil maniac.

So Sam Humphries had a lot of obstacles to overcome before I would really go crazy about this comic. I’m sad to say he never really does it.

The high concept is deceptively simple. Wolverine sends Psylocke to LA to hunt down Spiral. Psylocke is depressed after a bad breakup with Fantomex, so Storm goes along. They meet up with Puck, and find Spiral dealing drugs at a club. Only it isn’t drugs, it is the mind-affecting powers of a new mutant. One who has ties to an immortal body-stealing corruptor from the future. Where Bishop has also become involved with the psychic evil. And he comes back too. And Spiral just wants to protect the little girl.

Oh, and I guess Fantomex got split into three bodies at some point? I was unaware. This comic has Fantomex (the version closest to the original, Cluster (a female version), and Dark Fantomex (an evil version). Eva the intelligent spaceship shows up a few times as a very womanly robot, taking away from the weirdness of her relationship with Fantomex, in my opinion.

Then Bishop starts “BROOOOAAAAR”ing all the time, somehow tied to Dani Moonstar’s demon bear.
So yeah, to me, this is kind of a mess. The characters are fine on the surface, because they don’t do much more than run around. I appreciate Humphries trying to give Spiral some depth, but man, she was a solid villain, right? No need to soften her up.

There are too many story elements mixed together, and they don’t really belong together. Like a peanut butter and ham sandwich.

The art is passable, but not overly impressive. To be honest, this is barely recognizable as Ron Garney’s work. I usually love his pencils, as I do on his current Thor run. This seems oddly rushed. Perhaps the inking isn’t a good fit? Adrian Alphona comes on for the last few issues, but the art looks dreamlike and inconsistent with the earlier issues.

This is an EVIL version an old favorite. I think reading library copies is the way to go here. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wonder Woman v2: Guts HC

I find myself in an odd spot I can recognize that Brian Azzarello is doing some really neat stuff with this take on Wonder Woman. But even the biggest fan of this series has to admit this is starring a different character than the one appearing in Justice League. This is a Wonder Woman produced for a Vertigo world, a world without other super heroes.

While reading the first trade, I was a little frustrated at how much of an ensemble book this really is. Wonder Woman shares the pages with Hermes, Eros, Hephaestus, and more. That’s not counting the villains and tweeners that muddy the mythological waters. The trade tells the story of Diana’s near-marriage to Hades, who in this series looks like a creepy kid with melting candles on his head. What is more Vertigo than that?

This is a dark book, like most of the new 52 line. To be honest, I find it distracting. The scene with the car bomb features flying limbs and guts, along with a person carrying a dead child in the background. Then there are the many corpses lying shredded on the ground. I get it. This shows just what War does when he’s wandering the Earth. But man, that is just too much for me. Once again, the DCU is no place to be an innocent bystander.

But perhaps the most upsetting thing in the trade is when Hephaestus explains the “true history” of Paradise Island. You see, every few decades, the Amazons go out in boats and board ships sailing around the ocean. They climb aboard in the buff and get busy with all the sailors. After “draining them of life” they slit their throats and toss them overboard. Then upon returning to Paradise Island, they wait for the babies. The girls get to join the sisterhood of the island, while the males are sold as slaves to Hephaestus. Now, Hephaestus actually treats them pretty well, but… still.

How is someone supposed to take that? Doesn’t that drastically weaken the core concept of Wonder Woman as champion of her people sent out into the world? I mean, how embarrassed must DC Comics be at the idea of a perfect island of women warriors that this is the new origin for the #1 woman in comics? I find it absolutely stunning.

So yes, this is an interesting story, a mature take on the Greek gods and how they might fit in to the modern world. As a story, I find it pretty good.

But as a WONDER WOMAN story, I think it is tremendously damaging. I can certainly never mention anything about this book to my two daughters, who adore Wonder Woman. It really bugs me that DC tries so hard to distance itself from anything innocent or optimistic. This is an EVIL comic for what it does to the first lady of comics.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Earth 2 v1: The Gathering HC

Holy. Cow. Guys, you might want to sit down for this. At one point in this collection, Jay Garrick actually rescues some innocent bystanders. He complains that he wants to be fighting big bad Solomon Grundy, but he does it. And then, after the fight, he calmly states that he had to help fight the bad guy because “That makes us heroes, right? We do the right thing.” This is in a DC Comic? What the what????

These guys are actually acting like heroes, putting themselves at risk! There is no over-explanation of the costumes. There is no rationalizing or embarrassment about super-heroics. This is straight-up a new continuity of heroes.

James Robinson does what SHOULD have been done in the new 52. This is a new take on character you used to know. This is an Elseworlds that can admit it. Alan Scott is very different, heck; the ring he gets is coming from Swamp Thing’s “Green.” But he still acts like a hero. And overconfident, somewhat jerky hero, but his heart is in the right place.

Hawkgirl has ties to the “world army” along with the Atom and Mr. Terrific. There are lots of hints about shared history and secrets, but the story stands fine on its own. Most of all, Hawkgirl retains her tough edge while still being an approachable, fun character. She and Jay Garrick are buddies by the end of the book.
In the world of Earth 2, heroes are called Wonders. There were only 5. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Robin (Huntress), and Supergirl (Power Girl). They all died fighting off Steppenwolf’s invasion of parademons a few years before the main characters show up. Now it is the time for the next generation of Wonders to step up. The government has some. Some are popping up randomly. And it seems that Mr. Terrific is coming over from the new 52 to join up too.

I can’t state how refreshing it is to see a new continuity treated like a fresh start. I miss the old JSA terribly, but these aren’t those characters with their morals downgraded. Same names, similar powers, but these are re-imaginings. That is a lot easier to take.

Everyone’s suits have been updated to look sleek and post-modern, but the art has a different feel than the rest of the new 52. Even with Jim Lee designing some of the costumes, Nicola Scott does an absolutely fantastic job making everything still look heroic. Her alternate Wonder Woman just makes me pine for a better-looking version of the character in the new 52.

James Robinson isn’t reinventing the wheel like he did on Starman, or even the recent Shade series. He’s just delivering a solid super-hero title that is high on action and drama. This is a GOOD representation of what the new 52 should have been.

Friday, January 10, 2014

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero v8 TPB

I’ve said it many times now, but I still mean it. Why anyone would read any of IDWs many G.I. Joe comics when they could be focusing on this one. This is what G.I. Joe is all about. Characters looking and acting like they did when we were kids while playing out new and innovative plots. Heck, Larry Hama even makes sure that most of the locations are well known.

Snake Eyes’ cabin in the High Sierras, Broca Beach, the Pitt, and Sierra Gordo are all vital to the plot. Hama makes numerous references to old stories, but I certainly can’t remember them well enough to truly appreciate it. And guess what, that doesn’t matter, because the current plots stand fine on their own.

The book opens with Chuckles, Low Light, Lady Jaye, and Jinx taking on an evil dictator. The dictator has hired Major Blud, to give us a recognizable villain. This story featured a truly ninja-level of mayhem from Chuckles. He must kill 50 people while working to break Lady Jaye loose from captivity. I love that Hama even mentions this in a great bit of dialogue later in the trade. (I won’t ruin the joke.)

Jinx and Pale Peony are assigned to look into both the Arashikage clan and the blue ninja cyborgs that have been regular villains in recent issues. I’m getting major SAW Viper vibes from some of these guys, and that is a good thing. Hama really writes the two ladies enjoying their work.

The main story has retired Joe Grunt captured in Sierra Gordo. Rather than waiting for approval, the Joes mobilize a ton of troops and start the rescue. Hama gives us some great one-liners from a ton of Joes, each line a great throwback to what we remember about that Joe’s character and motivations.

I hope you guys like the roll calls like I do, so here’s the mission breakdown to rescue Grunt:

Alpha Team: Roadblock, Rock & Roll, Zap, Gung Ho, Torpedo, Lady Jaye, Flint, Dial-Tone, Shockwave, and Mutt & Junkyard. They are the main team putting boots on the ground to get Grunt back.
Bravo team is backup: Leatherneck, Beach Head, Low Light, Downtown, Bazooka, and Life Line, with Stalker in charge. What a sweet team!

Handling intelligence and communications at HQ: Psyche Out, Lt. Falcon, Chuckles, and Mainframe.

Then you’ve got all the vehicles and pilots to support those teams, so there is a ton of face time for lots of old favorites. And when things go bad for those two units, it sure looks like the last few Joes left in the Pitt are going to have to ship out in the next trade.

This is my perfect comic. Larry Hama and S.L. Gallant have created a blend of action, characterization and nostalgia unmatched in comics (Sergio Cariello handles art duties also). For the generation that came into comic books through the G.I. Joe title like I did, there is no better comic on the stands. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

12 Days of X-Mas: Day 12: X-Factor #1 (2006)

There is hope, folks. Our 12 days of X-Mas have taken us through some pretty great highs, and some truly awful lows. But the good news is that the best era of X-Factor started up in 2006 and only came to an end in November. Peter David returned to the characters he made great in the 90's. This post House of M era team featured Rictor as a depowered mutant, Strong Guy, Wolfesbane, Siryn, M, and Jamie Madrox. To no one's surprise, David nailed his pet characters and then proceeded to lay claim to the new folks too.

Along the way, the book added Darwin, Shatterstar, and a ton of X-Men guest stars.

David has been writing about this team through all sorts of incarnations. For awhile the team did low-level investigations, they teamed up with She-Hulk to fight Skrulls, and they tried to find Invisible Woman's murderer.

In all honesty, I have a stack of X-Factor comics to read (digitally) and I can't wait to dive in. The first 40 or so issues I've read are some of the most consistent comics I've read. I can't wait to see the return of Quicksilver, Havok, and Polaris.

The art is pretty fine too. Ryan Sook, Pablo Raimondi, Glenn Fabry, and more have worked with David to make some darn GOOD comics.

Best of all, David is relaunching the book with All-New X-Factor in a few days. Look for a bonus day of X-Mas this week...

I hope everyone enjoyed the 12 Days of X-Mas!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

12 Days of X-Mas: Day 11: X-Factor #1 (2002)





Friday, January 3, 2014

12 Days of X-Mas: Day 10: X-Factor #122 (1996)

Things are getting pretty dire for our favorite government super-team now.

After bouncing through a variety of creators for the last dozen or so issues, this issue is the start of the last era of the first volume of X-Factor. Howard Mackie and Jeff Matsuda make some effort to amp up the excitment with some jumping around and dynamic art, but there is no way to salvage this book.

The biggest problem is the dregs that make up the roster. Val Cooper is now a gun-waiving agent, Forge, Polaris, and Wildchild are the only active members in this issue. Mystique is around, sort of being bad but still part of the team. And Sabretooth shows up, letting the others know that he'll be on the team too. Can you imagine a more boring group of leads to anchor a comic? Who were people coming to see? Mystique? Sabretooth? Ugh!

There are some offhanded comments about battling government agencies or factions, but there is barely any real plot to sink in to. The narrator lays on some purple prose about how the team really watches each other's backs, but that doesn't really come through in the dialogue or characterization.

As I said, Matsuda's manga-inspired art is fun. He's no Joe Mad, but his attempt to look similar pays off. the tech has a nice '90's look to it, and the "updated" costumes are ultra-modern too.

Unfortunately, with this weak team, it isn't surprising this book got cancelled. Probably for being EVIL.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

12 Days of X-Mas: Day 9: X-Factor #100 (1994)

Talk about melodramatic covers. Ugh!

Look how far we have fallen since yesterday! 

This is still the mutant misadventures of the government super-team X-Factor, but now they are joined by 90’s paragon Random. Random is a bandana and sunglasses wearing tough guy who can shoot out of his shape-shifting arms. I don’t remember disliking him when this comic came out in 1994, but man, he’s just such a product of his time. It almost hurts!

The villain is no better. The ridiculously named “Haven” is a messianic figure out to decimate the world’s population in order to usher in a new golden age. She’s already got Wolfesbane and Val Cooper in her corner when the story begins, and the Legacy Virus-suffering Jamie Madrox throws in by the end of the issue. Now, not all three of them truly turn; one of those characters is too smart for that. I’ll leave it to you to guess who. (Here's a clue, it is not permanent dim bulb Wolfesbane.)

J.M. DeMatteis and Jan Duursema have taken over writing and penciling, but not for the better. DeMatteis doesn’t indulge his penchant for self-searching lead characters OR his gift for team dialogue, making this a pretty generic read. Duursema’s work has looked better in almost every book she’s worked on. Admittedly, she’s horribly handicapped by the awful, awful costumes and hair on these 90’s characters. Everyone has long terrible hair flowing out of each panel.

Jamie Madrox dies AGAIN at the close of this issue. The Kenny of the Marvel U can’t win. If you can make dupes of yourself, how can a death ever really stick? Especially when each duplicate can then make doubles of his own? It’s a literally never ending supply of cannon fodder!

As I flip through, the more certain I am that neither of the creators were too invested in this book. The story is too generic, there are too many wasted pages with go-nowhere plotting, and the resolution is pretty ridiculous too. (Havok blasts a satellite out of orbit. Just shoots straight up and hits it.)

This is an EVIL comic and an EVIL era of X-Factor. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

12 Days of X-Mas: Day 8: X-Factor #71 (1991)

Happy New Year! 

Now this is the start of the good stuff.

I’m proud to say I realized in 1991 that this was going to be a good run. Sure, it has a lot of oddball stuff going on here. There is a subplot about an un-openable jar of mayonnaise, after all. That is not even mentioning the totally insane art stylings of Larry Stroman. I’d never seen anything like his art before, and I’m not sure I have again. He’s not my favorite artist by any means, but there is no denying the striking impression of his art.

This is the era of X-books right after X-Tinction Agenda, where Havok is still empathically bonded to Wolfesbane after their time in Genosha. That naturally complicates things with Polaris, Havok’s normal girlfriend. Havok and Polaris are the core of the team, with Havok getting most of the panel time. Filling in the ranks are Multiple Man (Jamie Madrox) and Strong Guy (Guido). Val Cooper, long-time supporting player in the X-books is the government liaison. Cooper is a lot more central to the team than a lot of the government administrator-characters tend to be; it is clear that Peter David liked her.

The last guy to join is Quicksilver. Pietro is another character that David characterized from then on. Smug, superior, and ultra-confident, the Quicksilver we know and love today made his first appearance here. Quicksilver was sort of a favorite of mine until he got messed up during the Civil War era, and my affection for the character really started here. 

David has gone on to be the writer most associated with X-Factor. He’s written it for dozens of issues at this point. In this, his entry into the franchise, his focus on Madrox is not there yet. Madrox is the character I most associate with David now, and while Madrox does have something to do with the aforementioned mayo jar; the issue also ends with Jamie getting shot.

That’s right, the “they keep killing Madrox!” plot was right there in David’s first issue. While there is no real physical conflict in this particular issue, the potential set up here is clear enough to make this a GOOD comic.