Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Quick Hits: 2/15/11

I really don't have much of an introduction today... Um, this is an all-Marvel Quick Hits edition, and... well, that's pretty much it. I'll definitely have a New Comic Day post up tomorrow, and I MAY be able to do a DC Quick Hits post, but that may have to wait until Thursday. Alright, enough small talk, let's get on with it!

X-Factor #215:

Summary: We begin with Jamie and Layla investigating a case where a man was killed in an apparent vampire attack. The man's daughter claims that her stepmother did it and staged the vampire attack thing. Jamie and Layla speak to both parties(the daughter and the stepmother), and don't come up with any answers. The duo head to the morgue and talk to the... um, morgue guy(?) and he seems to be pretty sure that the man was killed in a vampire attack. As they leave the morgue, Layla makes a vague comment insinuating that she knew more about the case(as usual)then Jamie did. This infuriates Jamie, who demands that Layla tell him what she knew so he could solve the case. Layla doesn't want to do this, because if she told Jamie everything that she knew, he'd have no free will, since he'd simply be following whatever Layla said. After a moment of thought, Layla tells Jamie that they should head to the daughter's apartment and stake it out. After some watching, some sort of mist rises from the sleeping form of the daughter and materializes into some sort of vampire-like creature. Layla helpfully explains that the creature is actually a Vandella, which is a fancy way of saying a succubus. Jamie drives after the creature, which heads to the home of the daughter's stepmother. The Vandella moves in to kill the frightened woman, but is stopped by one of Jamie's dupes. By this point Jamie and Layla arrive on the scene and the creature attacks Jamie. Layla spouts some mystical mumbo-jumbo that she had learned during the time she spent with Dr. Doom, and exorcises the creature from the still sleeping daughter, solving the case, and ending this issue.

Thoughts: There was absolutely nothing wrong with this story. It was the embodiment of a perfectly acceptable comic book. The story held my attention from cover to cover, the mystery was pretty good, with me not guessing who had killed the victim until it was revealed, and the artwork was good. Did it blow me away? No, but it was a fine way to spend a few minutes.

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.Vampire, Vandella, same thing.

Widowmaker #4(of 4):

Summary: We begin things with Black Widow, Hawkeye, Mockingbird and Dominic Fortune facing off against a horde of Soviet super-villains and a gaggle of Japanese ninjas all being led my BW's ex-husband, Ronin. Oh yeah, plus there's a volcano erupting as well. The heroes decide to run towards the volcano with the hope being that they could halt any further eruption. They actually succeed by throwing explosives at the base of the volcano... Um, okay... From there, the heroes split up, with Fortune mopping up the Soviet's, Mockingbird and Hawkeye dealing with the ninjas and BW battling her crazed ex-husband. Fortune holds up his end and deals with the Soviet's and winds up assisting Hawkeye and Mockingbird against the ninjas. BW winds up tricking Ronin into believing he had decapitated her(with an assist from Soviet villain Fantasma), allowing her to shoot Ronin in the back a few times. With all of the villains defeated, BW loads the injured Ronin on a plane, and the heroes leave.

Thoughts: Man, what happened here?! I mean this mini-series had Hawkeye, Mockingbird and Black Widow in it! Those three characters are among my favorite Avengers, hands down. And yet this mini-series did absolutely nothing for me. The story was quite bad, and took forever to unfold, which is kind of weird considering this mini was only 4 parts! I will say that the dialogue was well done, as I enjoyed the back and forth bantering between Hawkeye and Mockingbird, but when the saving grace of a comic is the dialogue, you know there's a problem. Maybe if I reread this mini-series over again in one sitting I'd have a better appreciation for it, but as it stands right now, it was severely disappointing.

Score: 4 out of 10.Hawkeye: the BEST comic book archer out there today, hands down.

Captain America: Hail Hydra! #2(of 5):

Summary: Sprinkled throughout this comic were some well done flashback's that tell us that Hydra has been around since before 2671 BCE, and that the organization has always seemed obsessed with the secrets of immortality. The main story gets underway soon after Captain America(Steve Rogers)emerges from his long ice bath and joins the Avengers. Cap gets a letter from a German freedom fighter he knew during WWII telling him to meet her near Bucky's grave. Cap meets the woman and after some small talk the woman questions why Cap wanted to meet her. Cap asks the same question and realizes that he had been suckered into a trap, as a bunch of undead Hydra agents attack. Luckily for Cap, he was suspicious of the letter once he received it, and the classic Avengers were waiting off in the distance to back him up. Baron Strucker and Dr. Geist(two Hydra bigwigs)watch the battle from afar and decide that with the Avengers there the fight had become unwinnable. Geist shoots the German freedom fighter in the back, and all but one of the undead Hydra agents escape in the confusion. Giant Man takes the Hydra corpse back to Avengers Mansion with him, while the rest of the Avengers head to the hospital with Cap and his shot friend. It turns out that the woman was shot with a poisoned bullet and the doctors can do nothing to save her, so she tasks Cap with continuing her crusade against Hydra. Meanwhile, the Hydra corpse Giant Man was working on comes to life and attacks him, allowing a horde of undead Hydra agents(and Dr. Geist) into the mansion. Cap and the other Avengers arrive and Cap spots Geist, who he had run afoul of during WWII. Over the course of the battle, Thor winds up getting shot in the back by a mystical arrow which draws his blood. Some of the deceased Hydra agents grab the arrow out of Thor and retreat, leaving Cap and the Avengers somewhat baffled by what had just occurred. This issue ends with Geist and Strucker celebrating the fact that they had managed to acquire the blood of Captain America(a super-soldier)and Thor(a god), meaning they were one step closer to Hydra's longtime goal of immortality.

Thoughts: I have no real complaints here. Much like the last issue, this was a perfectly acceptable story. I liked the flashback sequences, as they helped to hammer home the point that Hydra has been around for several millennium, meaning they are not just some simple terrorist group that sprung up in the 20th century. The flashback's also helped establish that Hydra had been collecting and hording mystical weapons throughout the years(including the arrow that pierced Thor), all for their ultimate plan of creating an army of perfect beings, indestructible and immortal. What can I say, I've always been a fan of Captain America, and I've also always felt Hydra was severely underutilized, so this mini-series is right up my alley!

Score: 7 out of 10.How can I not like a comic with th CLASSIC Avengers in it?!


  1. Hooray for the classic Avengers! I love how those idiots are firing machine guns at Thor, who can easily deflect their bullets, when they have a pretty easy shot at the much more vulnerable Captain America.

  2. HA! Great point... You'd think you WOULDN'T try shooting a GOD, but I think those guys were undead Hydra agents, so I guess their brains weren't exactly firing on all cylinders.