Not to be confused with famed Martian general Marvin, whose computers are so complex and naughty… Traditionally, this month has signaled the beginning of the season of military campaigns, and also the time when college basketball generals lead their troops unto the field of battle. For me, working in small-market TV for as long as I did, it’s a month which signals mighty pains in the butt, which explains why this is technically the FEBRUARY edition of RFR. We apologize for the inconvenience… Better to just press on.
Or – “Where’s My Santa On The Shaver, Dammit?”
Sometimes the holidays turn into a blur of food and family and spectacle, like the Roman Empire right before the Dark Ages. When that happens, it’s good to have Rapid Fire Reviews: Reading the comics, so you don’t have to!
Or – “I Decided To Trick Or Treat With My Kid Instead… Sorry.”
The MUSIC MEEEISSSSTERRRR! Sing the song that the world wants to heeeear! Man, I’ve had that stuck in my head for WEEKS, now. This particular RFR was meant to go up last week, just in time for the annual festival of half-price chocolate, but various things conspired to keep me from completing it until today. For those of you who can’t get enough comic review goodness, I’ve got the cowbell to slake your fever, and it’s time to ask ourselves, baby, what’s the word? In the words of the great philosopher Aloysius Bundy: “Let’s ROCK.”
Or – “Hey, Vent! You Ready To Move Out?”
When you read monthly comic books the way that I do, often times you get to the point where you feel like you know what’s coming, when every title feels like you’ve read it before. On the other hand, you have the odd experience where you read a title or issues that you KNOW you’ve read before, but you cannot for the life of you remember how it’s supposed to end. With over a hundred monthly titles coming out, sometimes you need to play catchup, you need to go where everybody knows your name to the land of the Rapid Fire Revieeeeewwww!
So, I have completed my daily labors, overseeing the dozen fellers and gals what make up the current workgroup to call themselves Team RamRod (“See, you’re Arkot Ramathorn… Ram. And I’m Rodney Farva… Rod. Team RamRod!”) and I am preparing to have some spaghetti and hang out with friends, but first I wanted to catch up with some of the many titles that I’ve neglected over the busy last days of August…
RAPID-FIRE REVIEW TIME!
Or – “Sir, I Protest! I Am NOT A Merry Man!!!”
Once again, we’ve come to the situation where Stately Spoilers Manor contains far more comics than there are days to review ‘em, leading once again unto the Final Frontier… NUQNEH – NOOKNEHH! Phasers on summarize!
Or – “Cut Me Some Slack, I Been Working ForÂ A Promotion…”
My day gig is a study in many things…Â Management theories.Â Inappropriate dress.Â The mating habits of the Bisexuals Of The Plains.Â But one thing that it is not, and has never been, is uncomplicated.Â Thus, I have come to you, our Faithful Spoilerites, with another batch of mini-reviews, just like a Chili’s mini-burger entree only less likely to make your @$$ look like a truck.Â (Also, be aware that I just barely decided not to do this one in limerick form, in honor o’ th’ wearin’ o’ the green…)
Or – “The Answer To The Question We’ve All Been Asking…”
Since the return of the heroes duplicated by Skrulls, my particular corner of comics fandom has been asking the question: Could this be Marvel’s way of writing the spousal abuse out of the backstory of one of their founding Avengers?Â The answer comes this issue, along with some other surprises, and at least one moment of pure shock, and a wonderful moment for an old supporting character that pushes her towards top-tier status…Â Whattaya waiting for?Â Click and let’s get goin’!
Or – “The Avengers Title That Actually Features An Avenger.”
I guess one of the biggest surprises about Secret Invasion is how well Marvel has held to their crossover guns, making sure that the story in the main title is (essentially) self-contained, and the crossover issues are designed to heighten that story, and add depth and background.Â This is all well and good, but it has had the effect of turning New and Mighty Avengers into “Skrullapalooza Flashback Theatre.”Â Since the first few issues of the mini (released overÂ a period of severalÂ months) have taken placeÂ in theÂ space of half a day, we’re stalling for time across the M.U. as the characters catch up toÂ themselves and where they were at the beginning of Secret Invasion #1 at last summer…Â But, lo and behold, here comes Avengers: The Initiative with not only aÂ story set in the more or less current time, but a storyÂ with forward momentum and some nice character bits, and one that actually shows us what’s going on at homeÂ while Spider-Man and company cavort about the Savage Land…
Or – “THE 3-D MAAAAAN!”
The Marvel Universe has a lot of dark corners, filled with characters that somebody thought were awesome at one time, but have become somewhat embarassing in retrospect.Â The Texas Twister.Â The Collective Man.Â Hammer and Anvil.Â Deathlok Mark II.Â But my favorite heroes are the ones with no chance of being considered mainstream cool, guys like The Mimic, It the Living Colossus, and the breakout star of the Initiative.Â With a costume so ugly that Crazy Quilt isn’t sure about it, The 3-D Man’s only real moment of glory came against the alien Skrulls back in the ’50s.Â With the You-Know-Whos invading secretly, this may be the 3-D Man’s chance to prove himself once again relevant and awesome.Â If you’re smirking to yourself right now, you may want to remember this: until a couple of years ago, my list of lovable, unsalable losers included both Nova and Star-Lord…
Or – “Ballistic: Stark Vs. Rhodes.
One of the mysteries of Avengers: The Initiative so far is how a hero like War Machine, with a history of fighting AGAINST human rights violations and disliking Tony Stark’s manipulative side, ever got involved with a para-military superhuman strike force in the first place.Â An answer or two is forthcoming in this issue, which also features a graduation, a resignation, and Iron Man not being the world’s biggest tool.Â But the bigger question is:Â WHO IS THE NEW 3-D MAN???
Or – “It’s Too Bad That The New Warriors Don’t Have Their Own Book… Wait, What?”
With all things Skrullapalooza breaking loose in the Marvel Universe, it’s sometimes hard to remember that OTHER storylines are in media res.Â The threads of disaster that were set up in the very first issue of this book have finally woven together into an indian couch blanket of lies, deceit, death, and payback, and like most couch blankets, it’sÂ rough,Â unattractive,Â and something stinks.Â Get your scorecards ready and prepare to check off characters who get squished, stabbed, and lit on fire, folks, because this battle is gonna get bowling-shoe ugly.