Marvel Team-Up Annual 7 (1984)

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Did Louise Simonson get paid by the word? Ten pages into this issue and I was already ready for a nap. It’s the most boring comic book I can remember reading–Spidey and Marrina (from Alpha Flight) get kidnapped by an alien collecting lifeforms, including some Superman might want in his zoo, and Alpha Flight shows up to help them.

Actually, Alpha Flight shows up to bicker. According to John Byrne, Northstar was always supposed to be gay but Byrne isn’t writing this issue so one has to wonder if another possibility was he was supposed to have the hots for his sister, Aurora.

Most of the issue is spent with Northstar acting like a perv in regards to her.

If I never read another Alpha Flight comic again, it’ll be way too soon. What a miserable time.

Amusingly, Simonson seems to get it–Spidey comments on their lame behavior.

CREDITS

The Collected Spider-Man; writer, Louise Simonson; penciller, Paul Neary; inker, Sam de la Rosa; colorist, Joe Rosen; letterer, Christie Scheele; editor, Danny Fingeroth; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier 4 (December 2010)

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Well, thanks for the heads up guys, I thought you were being artsy with the hologram shield, a little Googling reveals it’s an energy shield… which makes no sense, since if it’s implanted in Steve’s hand, unless it’s grafted to the bone, getting de-powered last issue would probably have effected his physiology. But whatever.

The last issue has some issues. Like why do I like the android who sacrifices herself for Steve as a love interest more than Sharon Carter–not to mention Eaglesham. It’s like he and Brubaker’s take on Steve Rogers is cross purpose. Eaglesham draws him like an overgrown mimbo, but Brubaker characterizes him as anything but.

There’s not a lot of narration this issue–to keep the ending a surprise–and I missed it.

Also, the surprise ending is a little goofy. It kind of invalidates a lot of struggle, which is realistic, but unsatisfying.

CREDITS

Writer, Ed Brubaker; artist, Dale Eaglesham; colorist, Andy Troy; letterer, Joe Caramagna; editors, Lauren Sankovich and Tom Brevoort; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier 3 (November 2010)

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One issue? Brubaker has Steve Rogers be “puny” for one issue? He reveals even a “puny” Steve Rogers can still kick ass and he only lets him be in that condition for one issue?

What a cop-out.

Oh, and before I get to Eaglesham, what’s up with the holographic shield? Is it one of Steve Rogers’s powers in his new outfit–does he even have a superhero name–or is it just, you know, a metaphoric holographic shield blocking bullets and such? Does Bucky know about it?

Lots of questions raised, none about the story, which is fine enough. The pacing is crap, but the first two issues had better than expected pacing so I guess Brubaker earned a fast script.

But Eaglesham is getting really sloppy here. He was always kind of weak on the series–way too glossy–but this issue, he’s given up on any detail.

CREDITS

Writer, Ed Brubaker; artist, Dale Eaglesham; colorist, Andy Troy; letterer, Joe Caramagna; editors, Lauren Sankovich and Tom Brevoort; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier 2 (October 2010)

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Brubaker’s very good at making his Captain America familiar.

It’s amazing how he manages to be writing an issue set after a huge media event (the death of Captain America), with a noir approach (Steve Rogers, private investigator–it works well, but Eaglesham is way too clean for it) and still make me think of seventies Marvel books. The ludicrous way Machinesmith is revealed (with it just dawning on Steve)… the throwaway romance scene on the moonlighted beach… (Steve and Sharon Carter are dating now?). It just screams retro, while being the opposite.

It’s a better issue than the first, with Brubaker in full noir mode as far as the storytelling goes here. Not sure how much of the Captain America origin he’s changing with these additions, but it’s a lot more passable than the first issue, where the contrivances got my eyes rolling.

More overpriced, but amusing Brubaker fare.

CREDITS

Writer, Ed Brubaker; artist, Dale Eaglesham; colorist, Andy Troy; letterer, Joe Caramagna; editors, Lauren Sankovich and Tom Brevoort; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Traveler 1 (November 2010)

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I’m a little confused to Waid’s approach with this series. He has a lengthy opening sequence introducing a completely unimportant character and then he brings in the titular character. The Courier’s Tragedy it ain’t.

Maybe the character will be back because the Traveler did something mysterious to her before she left, but it’s too soon to say. Waid’s got a goofy cliffhanger–it’s more annoying than anything else, making the first issue not make any sense without going and buying the second.

It’s also never clear if there are other superheroes in Traveler. Everyone reacts pretty calmly to the news except the FBI agent who will probably end up being his girlfriend or mother. The Traveler’s identity is secret to everyone, even the reader… so it must be a great big surprise.

The book’s pretty much exactly what I was expecting… a mediocre superhero book without anything unique about it. Shame.

CREDITS

Writer, Mark Waid; artist, Chad Hardin; colorist, Blond; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editor, Dafna Pleban; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier 1 (September 2010)

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I’m creating a new word. A Brubaker is when a writer introduces something previously unknown from an established character’s history (the farther back the better) solely to generate a new story for the character. Almost all of Brubaker’s Marvel stories, using this term, have been Brubakers. I don’t think many of his DC comics were Brubakers.

In other words, Steve Rogers is a pointless, uninteresting story. It’s going to have something to do with the secrets of Steve getting the super-soldier formula. It’d be a complete yawn if Brubaker didn’t write Steve well, even with first person narration and no clear sense why Steve is talking to himself as he performs tasks.

Eaglesham’s art is peculiar. He draws Steve to be big, blond and stupid-looking. He looks completely moronic–think a natural approach to Ed McGuinness’s figures.

I’m curious as to how to plays, but it doesn’t have any actual content.

CREDITS

Writer, Ed Brubaker; artist, Dale Eaglesham; colorist, Andy Troy; letterer, Joe Caramagna; editors, Lauren Sankovich and Tom Brevoort; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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