Ms. MARVEL #19
Writer: Brian Reed
Artist: Aaron Lopresti
I’ll be perfectly honest. I’m reviewing this almost entirely because of Machine Man. Ms. Marvel is a Marvel Universe heavy hitter. Tony Stark got her to join his Avengers team is she could lead a strike force of her own. Well, for that team, Tony Stark gave her Sleepwalker, a semi-comedic 90s hero with an alien living in his mind and Machine Man, who just starred in Warren Ellis’s brilliantly hilarious Nextwave (buy the trade, trust me!). In this book, writer Brian Reed is keeping Machine Man as the sociopath robot we’ve (well, I for now and you after you go buy Nextwave all grown to love. Right, back to Ms. Marvel.
The book starts with the Puppetmaster running an arena where he forces men to fight to the death. He’s sick and evil and this gets that across well. Moving along.
We join the cast of three on a plane to a mission. Sleepwalker is apparently being played straight. Machine Man, not so much thankfully as his second line is â€œCall me Aaron, meat beast!â€ They’re on their way to Chile to find out why so many people are going missing there.
Once there, Ms. Marvel ends up in a big fight with several C list heroes and the other three (an agent named Sum being the third) engage in a comic relief fight with Arana. Solid set up with some good gags.
This issue serves as a set up for the upcoming story arc while introducing us more fully to the supporting cast. That’s good for the book, since as of right now they are far more fun than Ms. Marvel herself. This book is walking a fine line between comedy and superheroics. So far it’s managed, with Sleepwalker’s alter ego as straight-man and absurd situations, this just might work.
The art is crisp, clear and easy to follow superhero fare. Backgrounds are skipped or bare from time to time, but it hardly effects the flow of the story, so it’s nothing really to worry about.
This is a promising start to the arc and so long as it stays funny and keeps playing with the straight-classic superhero material, worth a read. Needs more absurd Machine Man, though.