Marvel Spinner Rack: Lockjaw & Pet Avengers #1, Iron Man #13, Wolverine vs. Hulk #5, New Mutants #1

Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers #1

Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers #1

How disappointing. I wanted to see superpowered animals having amusing adventures. What I got was too tied into other Marvel stories and way too talky. I really didn’t need five pages of Throg origin flashback and two more of him talking himself into joining Lockjaw. Who cares how he got that way? Let’s see him do something! Lockheed is depressed and weepy. Redwing’s a stuck-up snob. Who wants to spend time with these characters? I was hoping that animals would be more fun than the usual Marvel angst, but sadly, no.

I should have known when the book opened with Mr. Fantastic explaining the Infinity Gems. Yawn. An animal book should start with the pets. I did like Throg hanging onto the horn in Lockjaw’s head while riding around on him, though.

The Invincible Iron Man #13

The Invincible Iron Man #13

Also overly hamstrung by too much dialogue. The ideas are good. I want to see more of how Pepper uses her super-suit, even if it’s been restricted to avoid hurting anyone. But no one does anything! They all just talk at each other. Or to themselves, with captions. Even when running away. Or stare at computers.

I know, this isn’t a new complaint. And text makes superhero comics seem more adult, as though people were reading for more than punch-em-ups. But what if you want some adrenaline-pumping action?

Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk #5

Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk #5

Well, then, this is the book for you. I don’t care if it’s three years late, it’s easy to keep up with — Hulk and Wolverine are fighting — and boy, plenty happens! Wolverine has crazy panda dreams, perhaps because he’s been reduced to just a head, while Hulk and She-Hulk battle and someone comes to rescue Wolverine. Some of this is flat-out ridiculous, but at least it’s entertaining and imaginative and makes me wonder what they’re going to come up with next.

New Mutants #1

New Mutants #1

I like teen team superhero books. Or at least, I used to. Now, they just make me feel old. Especially when they’re written so that they only make sense to people who already know the characters and premise.

You’d think a #1 issue would be fine for a new reader, wouldn’t you? But you’d be overlooking the dependence on history. Who are these people? What can they do? Why are they hanging out together? (Because they once had a comic book together, apparently.) Why are they hanging out with someone who tries to make everyone else miserable? If it weren’t for the opening page, which lists powers and codenames, I wouldn’t even know what some of them are named.

There is very little use of powers or pages in costume. Clearly a new-school Marvel title in the Bendis vein, where the dialogue is copious, forgettable, and interchangeable. Shame.

10 Responses to “Marvel Spinner Rack: Lockjaw & Pet Avengers #1, Iron Man #13, Wolverine vs. Hulk #5, New Mutants #1”

  1. Jamie Fickes Says:

    I didn’t think Lockjaw was “too talky”, and I enjoyed the issue. Sure there was a lot of exposition, but I’d prefer a little more talking than splash after splash with no coherent plot.

  2. Johanna Says:

    I think there are more alternatives than just those two. I’d like to have seen something with some action and excitement and humor as well as a coherent plot. I found what we got boring and off-putting. It was disappointing, because I was really looking forward to it.

  3. Charles RB Says:

    That does sound like something that doesn’t fit what most buyers would want from a “superhero pets” comic.

    That said, having a weepy angster and snob on the team doesn’t sound a problem – clashing personalities is an old Marvel trope.

    (I hope when you say “too tied into other Marvel stories”, you mean that Norman Osborn is creating a Dark Pet Avengers team to go with all his other Dark teams. That’d be a laugh.)

  4. Johanna Says:

    It would be! But instead we get the cat telling us he changed his name to Hairball when his master changed his name to Speedball. Yawn.

  5. James Schee Says:

    You know, I always wondered whatever happened to the cat who had Speedball’s powers. (No really, I did! I’m one of like three people that liked the Speedball series apparently.)

    I just can’t get past the title New Mutants. I mean calling a book starring the same characters that were last a team over 20 YEARS ago NEW as they did back then is just so … “ugh”.

    If they are still new, then what does that make Generation X? That’s probably why you wonder why this team is together Johanna.

    The first series, these characters were the next generation of mutants, forging their own place in the world. The title meant something. Now? Its there for nostalgia sake only apparently, as is the team.

    Sorry for my fanboy rant! Its just that the first New Mutants series came out when I first started reading comics. Now to see it on repeat after all this time later. Well it reminds me of why I ignore superhero comics for the most part these days.

  6. Charles RB Says:

    “instead we get the cat telling us he changed his name to Hairball when his master changed his name to Speedball”

    Wait, WHAT? Seriously?

  7. James Schee Says:

    Two things about the cat changing his name. When did Speedball have a name other than Speedball?

    The other is that the cat was hardly Speedball’s pet in any comics I read. It was a cat at the lab Speedball worked at, that got exposed to the same thing as Speedball.

    In the issues I read, Speedball and the cat HATED each other. The cat would occasionally appear to harass the hero, or well annoy him as he tried to catch it. Especially since at least early on, it used its powers better than Speedball.

    Okay.. I’ll got hide in my fanboy corner now.:)

  8. Kevin Lighton Says:

    When did Speedball have a name other than Speedball?

    I assume the name he changed from is his non-superhero name.

  9. Jamie Fickes Says:


  10. Mary Warner Says:

    Actually, back when Speedball had his own series, he was usually called the Masked Marvel. Seriously, he was. I’m not sure if anybody ever called him Speedball in the stories until the New Warriors.




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