Inside the Box – Thunderbolts, More Fear Itself, Talking Head Avengers, Moon Knight & Alpha Flight

Marvel Thunderbolts #163

Welcome to my biweekly Inside the Box column, these are the books that are currently in my box at Chucks Comics. Some will stay, some will go, these are my thoughts presented in the order I read these books in…

Thunderbolts #163 – Parker, Walker & Martin – I love this cover, a perfect foil to all the DCnU52 releases we are seeing this month. Once again Thunderbolts is showing why its one of the better team books on rack at the moment. The events of Fear Itself are now over and the plot that was boiling in the background of Marvel’s least inspiring event has come to the fore. Great dialog, great interaction and an ending that is just full of potential. A keeper and one of the best Marvel teams books out there right now.

Alpha Flight 4 of 6 – Van Lente, Pak, Eaglesham, Hennessy & Oback – We see Alpha Flight running for the border and the formation of Alpha Strike. We are witness to a very dark moment from Vindicator – where I’m not sure if there is a way back for her and the power behind Unity is finally revealed. In all a great book, made better by the news that Alpha Flight is going to live beyond this excellent Maxi-series. Good book, get it just to see the team all cramped up in a people carrier. For me its a keeper.

The New Avengers #16 – Fear Itself Tie in – Bendis, Deodato & Beredo – I think this is book number five of talking heads? Done much better this time, but still used as the narrative to drive the story. Good piece of action and what is basically a love fest for Daredevil by Bendis. The question is if such a low powered street level hero is so bad-ass, why are the Avengers struggling to contain the events/minions of Fear Itself?  Of course it is staying and now the events of Fear Itself seemed to be behind this book I’m excited to see what is next for this more street level team.

Red Skull Incarnate 3 of 6 – Pak, Colak & Wilson – Great cover, sadly this time this issue fell flat, it is a transition book which deals with a huge chunk of German history in the 30’s and with this we lose some intimacy in the story. I am hoping this is just we need to get Johann to a certain point. The book is still fascinating, dark, pulls no punches and chilling.

Fear Itself Book Six of Seven – Fraction, Immonen, Von Grawbadger & Martin – If there was ever an event that made you shout just get to the end already it is Fear Itself. This is an story that should of been plotted out over four books and is now being largely ignored by many of the mainstream Marvel titles ; because as far as most the books are concerned these events have happened and they are continuing there own stories… Bad timing adding to the utterly pointlessness of this event now. Anyhow, this is the first book since the first issue that didn’t jump around and gave us a solid believable story. We see everyone get ready for their final stand and Captain America turn into Ultimate Cap. We only have one more book to tie this up and it is done. An event that will never be forgotten as such a non-event.

The New Avengers Annual – Bendis, Dell’Otto & Svorcina – Here come the Revengers! And what follows is slug fest between the New Avengers and this team of super villains led by Wonderman. A little confused action and you couldn’t tell what was happening in some of the fight panels. Basic premises is Wonderman blames the Avengers for all the bad stuff that has happened and has come to the conclusion removing them, will remove the problems. The fight could of been better and I don’t buy that D-list villains really could do this to even the street level Avengers. Bad placement of the end image next to the 911 tributes, sort of lost all dramatic impact. The Revengers continue in The Avengers annual, where this team should have its butt handed to it by the Super level Avengers.

Moon Knight #5 – Bendis, Maleev & Wilson – Now Moon Knight is being Moon Knight and now we have the Avenger voices in his head arguing about the best way he can handle a situation; instead of him dressing like them this has become a much better book. I still don’t like the muddy artwork, but the story is solid and fun to read after a very, very bleak start.  But it survived to become a mainstay of my box.

Kirby Genesis #3 – Busiek, Herbert & Ross – I knew this was going to happen, Kirby Genesis is starting to creak and fall apart under its own pantheon. Beautiful art, just with so many new characters and arcs being introduced I feel it is starting to lose its way a little. Nice book, I hope it pulls itself together as a book cannot survive by art alone.

Super Dinosaur #4 – Kirkman & Howard – Super fun all ages book that doesn’t pretend to be anything other than a Saturday morning Cartoon show wrapped up in the pages of a comic. Pure fun and as my kid loves it (as I do too!) it’s a total keeper!

I have to say that all the Marvel books this week had 911 tribute in the back of them, all of them are moving especially the panel stories. It is just poor judgement that the The New Avengers Annual had a poorly placed dramatic ending splash next to the moving 911 tribute.

I am very happy that Fear Itself is coming to an end, there is something polarizing about this event and I do believe it three books to many. What consequences it has for the Marvel universe will be played out (with no doubt) through a series of books that I will do my best to ignore. I know I sound bitter, but is it wrong of me just to want good solid books that tell a story? Until the next column, take care now!

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About Nick

Just an Englishman lost in the USA who happens to write now and again... Anyone got a cup of tea?

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