The Wal-tor Weekly Review!
Back by unpopular demand, it’s the Wal-Tor Weekly Review. This week we start the year off right by looking at three Marvel Comics from this week. We’ve got the team up book that everyone’s been dying for in Spider-Man/Deadpool, an all-new villainous X-Men team in Uncanny X-Men, and perhaps the weirdest comic about a robot you’ll ever get the pleasure of reading in The Vision.
Spider-Man and Deadpool have never been what one would call “the best of friends”. To put it bluntly, Spider-Man hates Deadpool while Deadpool harbors nothing but affection for Spider-Man. It’s a tumultuous relationship but they’re working on it okay? The two heroes find themselves in a bit of a predicament when they end up in Hell, webbed together, hanging upside down at the mercy of the powerful foe Dormammu. With the prospect of being trapped in Hell for the rest of eternity on their plates, the two big shot heroes get to work on finding a way out of this sticky situation.
Joe Kelly and Ed McGuinness come back to everyone’s favourite Merc With A Mouth to team him up with the world’s most lovable wall-crawler to give the world an exciting new team-up book in Spider-Man/Deadpool. Right out of the gate, Kelly and McGuinness perfectly summarize the interesting relationship the two heroes share with a near perfect splash page before diving into a story filled to the brim with hilarity. There aren’t many creators in the comic industry who can write Deadpool the way Joe Kelly does and that’s something he puts on full display in this issue. The characterizations for both your lead characters are so on point that it’s easily the best part of the comic. The banter, the disdain, and a wee bit of action for good measure make this script nothing but fun. For a reader, the biggest hurdle you’ll face is the fact that the comic does feel like it drags a bit, being left to feel as though the comic peaks early and often. By the tale’s end though, rest assured that you’ll feel confident in this series going forward, as Kelly comes up with one heck of a good final page to ensure this upcoming arc will be as ridiculous as it is fun.
Beyond the excellent character portrayals, the next major highlight to this issue is Ed McGuinness’ artwork. His artwork paired with Mark Morales’ inking and Jason Keith’s colouring just elevates the entire package to dizzying heights. McGuinness’ knack for guiding action is exquisite in this issue, as he hits all the story beats in the right way and keeps the issue looking fluid throughout. It’s fair to say that this series just wouldn’t work the same way without McGuinness as his art adds so much to the direction the reader follows. Marvel could have picked any artist to draw Deadpool in this comic, but none of them would do it as well as McGuinness does.
–More Mature Humour (not for most children for the most part)
–Plot Drags During Second Half
A comic load with a surprising amount of adult humour, Spider-Man/Deadpool manages to hit all the right marks in its first outing. Far be it from perfect, this is still everything you’d come to expect from a team-up between the two title characters and more! Joe Kelly comes up with a story that, although it drags a bit on the back half, still makes sense and pushes the characters into some fun moments of mayhem. Your art team of Ed McGuinness, Mark Morales, and Jason Keith make this one of the best looking comics on the stand to feature Deadpool. The artwork is strong, whilst also being hilarious. If you’re a fan of either Spider-Man or Deadpool it’s hard to argue not picking this comic up.
Uncanny X-Men #1
Magneto, armed with a whole new team of “X-Men” (and I use that term loosely) seek to right the wrongs being done to mutants in the world. Featuring a gathering consisting of Sabretooth, Psylocke, Monet, and Archangel, Magneto takes these powerful mutants up against Someday Enterprises, attacking a convoy transporting mutants in stasis. Meanwhile, a new group begins to make a play against mutants for the sake of gaining power.
Cullen Bunn and Greg Land bring forth a sinister team of X-Men characters with Uncanny X-Men. Bunn is provided with a roster of characters who have all had their villainous turns but really fails to connect with the reader through the execution of what he’s trying to achieve. With a fleeting page count, Bunn tries to give each character on the team a moment to shine, with Magneto being the obvious star of the issue. Other characters like Sabretooth and Monet just feel out of place, offering little input in this first issue beyond just rounding out the team. It’s when you get to the characters of Psylocke and Archangel that you start to realize Bunn may have some cool toys to play with going forward. The plot struggles to get off the ground largely because it’s all one, long, drawn-out scene that only deviates during the final three pages to set up future conflict. You essentially have to take the good with the bad here and hope that the follow-up issues spend more time trying to improve on how all the members of the team are presented. The biggest struggle Bunn faces is deciding where to put his time and energy when it comes to who gets the spotlight.
Greg Land offers a less than dynamic outing in the art department as nothing he draws really clicks. Land actually manages to make the character of Monet an obnoxious part of this comic as the personality he establishes for her through her appearance just does not suit the tone of the comic being put forward. Almost every panel the character appears in features her making the EXACT same toothy grin, showing no real variety to the character. It would be one thing if the intent was to make the character obnoxious but when you look at how the script unfolds, the output clearly couldn’t have matched up with the input. You’re ultimately left feeling like Greg Land is just storyboarding out the latest Michael Bay flick with just slightly less explosions. All you need is a charging rhinoceros and you’ve got your next Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.
–Not Enough Time With The Characters
–Plot Is One Long, Drawn-out Scene
–Art Is Bland
Cullen Bunn and Greg Land try their best to get this new Uncanny X-Men title off the ground with varying degrees of success. The art misses the mark in a script that is overcrowded with interesting characters who aren’t given time to shine. It’s a vapid coming out party for the new team that essentially spends the better part of 22 pages just beating up humans that are driving a truck. Looking for a good team-up book? Try Extraordinary X-Men or All-New All-Different Avengers. Want something a little more villainous? Try Illuminati!
The Vision #3
The Visions, reeling from recent events, feel unsafe and unwelcome in their neighbourhood. Following instances of potential blackmail as well as vandalism to their property, Virginia’s patience appears to be running thin while trying to keep everything together. Meanwhile, The Vision visits Tony Stark for help in saving the life of his daughter, Viv.
Tom King and Gabriel Walta continue to step their game up with the excellent new series, The Vision. Tom King’s dialogue and plotting is as on point as ever here, blending the way he tells a story brilliantly with the direction the story is heading. It’s weird to say that this is an issue where a lot and not much happens all at the same time, teeing up the series with some lovely writing that will payoff at a later date. King sinks into the emotional core of these characters, doing some brilliant work with Vision and Virginia towards the end of the issue, with the emotions of these robots coming through perfectly in the way they speak.
Gabriel Walta, complimented by a perfect colouring job from Jordie Bellaire, is dynamite on this series, finding a great balance between the human and robotic elements of the story. His style of storytelling just flows with how King directs the tale. The physical side of the storytelling by Walta is just so rich, with even the small subtleties of the story striking a chord if you catch them and what they may imply for the larger picture. One of the most powerful moments is the scene right before the close of the issue that features the garage door of the Vision’s home. A beautiful scene potentially marred by violence that you don’t get to see fully unfold. Maybe I’m just a huge fanboy for this series but if you aren’t on the Vision train through these first three issues than what are you doing?
–Art Style Isn’t For Everyone
Tom King and Gabriel Walta continue to create quality work with The Vision #3. The Vision is right there with Doctor Strange as one of the best ongoing series from Marvel right now and it’s impossible to argue against that with the fantastic writing of Tom King backed by brilliant artwork from the likes of Gabriel Walta and Jordie Bellaire. Like I said in the previous paragraph, maybe I’m just a fanboy for this series at this point or maybe the hype is real for this book because as far as I’m concerned it’s the one comic everyone should be reading.