Or – “Complications Ensue…”

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The Black Cat, Photon, Hellcat and Firestar.  Unlikely friends with an unusual career choice.  Each of them is facing a turning point in their lives, whether related to their health, their career, or their love life.  Our four heroes are facing some very human problems, which always makes for interesting drama…

MD2.jpgPreviously, on Marvel Divas:  Former Avengers Captain Marvel/Photon, Firestar and Hellcat, along with Felicia Hardy, the on again/off again villain known as The Black Cat, have been to the same Infinity Wars, Secret Invasions, World Wars Hulk and Attacking Atlantises for so long that they’ve developed a bond between them.  With the notable exception of the Beast and Wonder Man, most of the Marvels associate mostly with whomever is on their team that week.  (It’s easier for X-Men, admittedly, since there’s like seventy of them active at any given moment.)  But Patsy, Angelica, Felicia and Monica hang out together because they enjoy each others’ company, and because they understand each others’ plight.  Monica is struggling with her now on-again relationship with Doctor Voodoo, the new sorceror supreme.  Felicia is having money troubles, made worse by her rich boyfriend, Puma, offering to pay her way.  Patsy’s writing career is once again on the upswing, but her ex-husband (The Son of Satan) is popping up in her life and trying to get her back, and of all the things he is, subtle ain’t on the list.  As for Angelica, she’s developed cancer from HER OWN microwave-derived powers, and is unsure of how to continue with her life, or even if her life is GOING to continue…

Angie starts the issue in a Catholic Church (with a flashback of her life to date, including a heartbreaking focus on former flame Vance Astro) looking for some sort of answers about life, the universe, and everything.  The priest tries to offer comforting words, while Patsy Walker waits outside.  I like this bit, actually, as Patsy explains that because of her life to date, she’s not so keen with the organized religiousity.  After this visit with the metaphysical, the duo heads to Avengers Mansion, where a man with multiple personalities and a bug fetish explains that Angelica needs to burn off as much radiation as she can.  Hellcat and Firestar are then off to the Savage Land, then back to New York where Angelica starts a round of chemotherapy.  We get a crash course in chemo (hair-loss, nausea, changes in sense of taste and smell) and the girls rally around their sick friend for support.  The sequence is very touching and sweet, as the “Divas” (ugh) provide moral support, and even a new hairdo for Firestar.  Once the chemo is done, Angelica heads into surgery for the removal of her mass, and her friends get to take care of their own lives…

Monica “Photon” Rambeaus heads off to participate in an auction to gather a particular mystical artifact for Doctor V, while Black Cat sets off to break into the Museum of Natural History and steal a few baubles to pay for her new business venture.  Before she makes it through the skylight, though, her boyfriend Thomas shows up, fully transformed into his Puma guise (though I thought he lost both his fortune and the power of Puma not so long ago?) and she attacks him, yelling that she can take care of herself.  They have a terse standoff, and Felicia breaks up with him after he brings up the spectre of Spider-Man.  Back at the hospital, Patsy Walker is surprised by the smell of brimstone, which heralds the appearance of her ex-husband.  Daimon taunts her that his power could make the difference between Angelica’s recovery and a tragedy, offering again to save her friend at the expense of Patsy’s soul.  She’s not buying, though, and Daimon makes a counterproposal.  “Join me in my realm for ONE NIGHT, and I promise, she’ll wake up 100% cured.”  Patsy agrees, and Hellcat and the Son of Satan teleport away just as Firestar awakens…

The last couple of issues have balanced the frivolous with the serious, but we finally overbalance the scales here, and not in a good way.  Firestar’s life or death struggle really overshadows Monica and Patsy’s man-troubles and Felicia’s commitment issues.  The ‘Sex And The City’ vibe is great, but being so focused on things that seem so petty make our protagonists look petty themselves.  I like Angelica’s general strength, but she’s being portrayed as pretty bland in this ish, while Daimon’s arrival puts him in a much darker light than the last couple of issues.  This issue, while not as strong as #1, is still well-done, and Tonci Zonjic’s art is still phenomenally unique, giving the characters a glam edge and an amazing depth of expression.  The big draw here is the interaction between the core characters, and that is still in full force here.  Marvel Divas #3 earns a “Big” deal 3 out of 5 stars, and I’m hoping for a big finish next issue.  (With any luck, Angelica and at least one of our couples will come out of this intact…)

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The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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3 Comments

  1. Dr. Bolty
    October 5, 2009 at 9:45 am — Reply

    Firestar. got CANCER?

    Way to just dump on the story where Hank Pym fixed her powers so that wouldn’t happen. Couldn’t one of his good accomplishments actually stick? It’s bad enough that her gorgeous Perez-designed costume keeps getting ignored in favor of her bland original or the uber-90s New Warrior costume.

  2. October 5, 2009 at 9:43 pm — Reply

    Actually, Hank Pym’s portion of the situation was mentioned, and Firestar said in a previous issue that she just stopped wearing her microwave-draining circuitry because she hadn’t had any problems in a while…

    So, less a dump than a complication.

    • October 6, 2009 at 2:29 pm — Reply

      I thought it was handled well. Working in a doctor’s office, I see patients come in all the time who think that they are fine and take themselves off the medicine. Often, we end up seeing them again once they have a problem. Often the conversation goes soemthing like…

      Patient – Well, I was just feeling so much better, I figured I did not need the medicine.

      Doctor – The reason you felt better WAS the medicine. Now we have problems.

      Good issue, by the way. I really am liking this series.

      Great review, Matthew!

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