Marvel Spinner Rack: Wolverine 5.1, X-Factor 215, Spider-Girl 4, Captain America: Man Out of Time #3
- Posted by Johanna on February 27, 2011 at 4:12 pm
- Category: Superhero Reviews
Captain America: Man Out of Time #3
written by Mark Waid
breakdowns by Jorge Molina
finishes by Karl Kesel & Scott Hanna
This is the perfect Captain America story for me. It’s all about the culture clash Steve Rogers would experience waking up today after being frozen during World War II. There are incredibly touching moments here, as when Rogers points out that the technology isn’t what impresses him most — instead, it’s “the freedom of the people. All people, regardless of their race or their gender.”
Captain America just wants to go back home so he can rescue his best friend, Bucky, while the other Avengers try to show him how risky that would be for the time stream. In the meantime, Tony Stark is showing Steve how to hang out by hiring Radiohead for the night. It’s all the throwaway bits that get me, as Waid points out how Steve’s never heard an electric guitar or tried sushi or heard of the Berlin Wall, let alone how he’s missed major sociopolitical changes like which nations are now world powers.
They take a trip to the National Air and Space Museum and it’s all very powerful. The classically styled art is easy to read and well-suited for the material. This will make an excellent stand-alone collection for those interested in the movie, showing what makes the character unique. I wish more Captain America stories remembered how Steve should be a bit “man out of time”. It makes him even more inspiring to me.
The series isn’t all “it’s so much better now”, by the way — issue #4 tackles modern problems, from athletes on steroids to militia terrorism to governmental failures to unemployment.
written by Paul Tobin
art by Matthew Southworth with Paul Azaceta
I was looking forward to this new teen girl superhero series, until they killed her father. (This isn’t a spoiler, because it happened two issues ago.) What I found refreshing about both this and the no-longer-running Blue Beetle comic was that these kids, as a matter of course, shared their activities with their parents. That seemed realistic to me, that they’d want help and wouldn’t keep such an important secret from people who meant so much to them. (It’s also a lovely modern metaphor for acceptance of whatever secret identity a child might have.)
Now, it seems that that approach is out of fashion, and I can’t think of any teen heroes (who aren’t part of superhero families) with normal parents who know their calling. There’s always been too many orphans among sidekicks. I’m disappointed to see one more. At least I like Rocky, Spider-Girl’s new roommate, and her friends.
I was also disappointed in the fake-foreign dialog used by Kraven and his daughter. It was a struggle to get through, and the daughter, yet another emotionless killer legacy, wasn’t anything special. That this is part one of the story, to be continued later, seems like padding.
written by Peter David
pencils by Valentine de Landro
inks by Pat Davidson
I can’t see that horrid electric lime color used on the cover any more without thinking of the long-ago Underworld Unleashed event, when comic companies created entire storylines to show off a new print technology.
I find anything involving a vampire, even a different folklore one, terribly boring these days. (This one is a vandella, a North African vampiric demon spirit.) It seems like such an adolescent impulse, a need to explore from those uncomfortable with sex directly and more interested in the penetration metaphors of fangs. However, I did want to say, if you miss the recently ended Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic, you’ll want this issue, since David is using the tough blonde Layla Miller in very similar ways. Almost interchangeably, in fact.
I miss seeing the other team members, which I like more. A little all-knowing Layla goes a very long way. She’s entertaining when appearing in small doses, but I didn’t want a whole issue with her. The images of the possessing spirit are nicely scary, though.
written by Jason Aaron
art by Jefte Palo
I think the Marvel point one idea is dumb, but darned if this entry didn’t work for me as a jumping-on point. That’s because it’s all about humanizing Wolverine. My favorite version is the one from the movies, and this seemed very similar to me.
The major reason I liked this story was the presence of Melita. I don’t know who she is or where she came from, but she’s Wolverine’s girlfriend, and she’s terrific. She’s invited a lot of his friends and Avenger co-workers to a surprise party for his birthday, a ridiculous gesture that everyone recognizes is silly but still plays along with. And as they all wait for him, that’s an effective framing structure to introduce the character and his history to new readers.
Meanwhile, Wolverine is being pursued through the snowy wilderness by rural stereotype cannibals, for some very funny but disgusting black comedy.
I am disappointed to see that, as I predicted, Wolverine #6 is a dollar more for the same amount of content. I gave it a browse and saw that it was continuing some storyline from somewhere else about Logan being possessed, so that’s a big failure on Marvel’s part. I was interested in following up on what we saw in this issue, and the next issue was something else entirely.