James Hatton's Reviews

It’s Tuesday – and that means it’s Hatton Day here at the Nexus. Why is it Hatton day, well first off you have this – a collection of the books that has fancied my tickle all week long, and also over on the more important and prestigious side of things, you have Marvel News & Views, where by the end of the column you can almost see me crying from talking about contract exclusivity and heroin.

This is where the fun stuff is. This is review time. Except that I didn’t get DMZ.. this makes me sadder than it makes you.



FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN
Writer: Peter David
Pencils: Roger Cruz
Inkers: Albert O’Claire & Victor Olabaza
Colors: Chris Sotomayor

Sometime in the midst of the first run of Spider-Man, he tried to outfight Crusher Hogan (Or Bonesaw, depending on where you get your Spidey lore). Peter knows his way around a wrestling ring, but you would think that now that he’s a man in his near 30s, a teacher, a member of the Avengers, and soon to be torn apart Civil War,
the wrestling ring would be the furthest thing from his mind.

Not when he’s being teased by a man in a mask and J Jonah Jameson and Flash Thompson. You see that’s the key to Spider-Man. He will just crumple under peer pressure. It may take more than one person making pot shots at him, but when there are three or four on the line… that’s it. He’s in.

Peter David writes a fun Spidey, but I’m not sure that these seemingly random stories about Spidey feel completely out of sorts and not jiving with all the seriousness of his actions in his own title and New Avengers.

RATING: C



GENERATION M #5
Writer: Paul Jenkins
Pencils: Ramon Bachs
Inks: John Lucas
Colors: Art Lyons

Generation M comes to an end. Paul Jenkin’s introduction into Sally Floyd ends with a few confusing questions, moreso than any big answer. We get a great twist in the finality of the story of what happened with Sally’s child, but the ending of the ‘Ghoul’ story fails to give anything interesting.

Add in there is a confusing bit in there concerning Angel and whether or not he still has his wings. They seemingly reappear without explanation. Now I’m fairly certain that Angel’s missing wings was all a plot point to get us to this point, but his wings return without ever a reason why.

So whereas I like Sally Floyd, this issue left me completely dry. The art seemed rushed, and the ending just wasn’t as awe inspiring as I wanted it to be.

RATING: C


RUNAWAYS #14
Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Penciler: Adrian Alphona
Inker: Craig Yeung

When you have a book that has, in it’s first 18 issues, created a superteam, a team of villains, had a traitor revealed, superpowers discovered, the villains be defeated (even killed); sometimes you need to take a step back and reflect on the time gone by.

That’s what this issue of Runaways is all about. A twofold story that informs us of how things have gone down in the past, all the while not feeling like a hamhanded recap episode. We even end up with an entirely new side to our old late friend Alex that stretches back to the first issue of Runaways Volume One.

As with may of these types of issues, they go above and beyond on the last few pages to give you a little something special. What we get is the beginning of The Pride Round Two – but not like you might expect. As always Vaughan brings the goods.

RATING: B



ULTIMATE X-MEN #68
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Penciler: Tom Raney
Inker: Scott Hannah

There are going to be a few spoilers in here – so be warned:

How the hell are they giving Kirkman so much power? They are giving him the Phoenix story, which isn’t exceptionally bad as he has already laid out a nice ‘Ultimate’ version of why the Phoenix is what it is. It’s actually much cleaner than the ambiguous ‘cosmic entity’ that the standard Marvel Universe has, plus it’s a religious issue, so they could always change it later and say she’s wrong.

Now let’s add a dash of Wolverine Secret Origin into that. Again, Kirkman is clearing up what has been years upon years of headaches in the Marvel 616 with simple answers that seem almost obvious. Rogue is slowly turning into an interesting hybrid of Rogue and Gambit, and there’s a new mutant that very well might have killed his parents. All this and more.

Now, how can I sit and put into question what sounds like it is a well developed and damn fine book? It’s simple. It’s Kirkman. It would be like if Michael Turner produced a piece of artwork that millions around the world thought was a masterpiece. Comic fans would be awaiting his next piece, as it would, based on averages, involve big anime eyes and large shapely breasts.

On average, Kirkman’s next storyline on Ult. X-Men is going to suck. This one was great though!

RATING: B



ULTIMATE EXTINCTION #3
Published by: Marvel
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Brandon Peterson
Colorist: Justin Ponsor

So guess who has finally arrived. Silver Surfer. Guess who he’s bringing with him. Gah Lactose. This is easily the hold issue between what has happened and what is going to happen. Mid-way through the issue the battle begins between Iron Man & Mah Vel and the Surfer. By the end of the issue….. nothing else has happened.

RATING: C

So a nice quiet week for me, but let me ask you – did anyone get confused midway through reading their Marvels this week? Like somehow you were transported into the world of the Squadron Supreme?

Yes, in another of Marvel’s attempts to try and confuse the hell out of me, in the middle of most Marvel titles there is a two page insert for Squadron Supreme, and the only way to realize that you’ve jumped into another world is the glossiness of the paper. It’s kind of silly.

That and by page three I always want an Ice Cream Float. You figure it out.

So a fairly boring week in comics.

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