Comics

Mind Capsules – Swamp Thing #4 and Invincible Iron Man #8

Swamp Thing #4
Swamp Thing #4

Writer – Len Wein
Artist – Kelley Jones
Colours – Michelle Madsen
Letters – Rob Leigh

Things have not gone the way that Alec thought they would go when he agreed to let Matt and Zatanna attempt to turn him back into the man that he was. Sure, it did work out, but as Zatanna says, there must be a balance and in his place, Matt is now the Swamp Thing and Alec cannot apologize enough. Len Wein continues to bring back that old-school horror vibe, as well as turning things on their head simultaneously and so far, it has been a lot of fun. Alec Holland has now become a man once more and this time, it looks like it is here to stay, at least according to Zatanna. So with things looking like they are not going to change any time soon, Alec decides to finally live this second chance at life and in the meantime, teach Matt the ropes as it were. Things are progressing at a quick pace as Matt is a quick study, but after he kills a man for poaching, Alec soon learns that maybe Matt did not have all of Alec’s best interests at heart. The artwork by Kelley Jones is appropriately creepy and moody and while his interpretation of Swamp Thing was a little jarring at first, he really has made the muck monster his own and he seems perfectly right at home in drawing all of the crazy surrounding our hero. Things tend to get a little crazy towards the end of the book and Jones and Wein begin a plot that none in recent memory have done up until this point and you have to wonder why not as it all seems perfectly logical. The one thing you have to know is that after all is said and done, the bad guy rarely wins and while he is doing just that so far, and it makes for some very exciting reading, you know it is not to last. Two questions arise by the end of the issue, the first being if Alec is powerless now, how is he ever going to have a hope in defeating the newly-made plant god, Matt and secondly, where is the Parliament of Trees in all of this? Even though Matt is a bad guy now for all intents and purposes, perhaps the Parliament would really not mind all that much if the Green ruled the Earth. There are definitely some questions that need answering and with Wein ending the book the way he did, you cannot help but come back to find out what happens next.

4 out of 5

Invincible Iron Man #8
Invincible Iron Man #8

Writer – Brian Michael Bendis
Artist – Mike Deodato
Colours – Frank Martin
Letters – VC’s Clayton Cowles

Iron Man has teamed up with Spider-Man, who is sort of like the new Iron Man, to find War Machine who has gone missing in Japan. With a little teamwork they do just that and find Rhodey holding his own against the Biohack Ninjas whom Tony has run into previously. The problem is that they have just rushed into a situation that they are completely unprepared for and whether it was bravery or arrogance, they may have just cost themselves their lives. Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Deodato deliver another solid issue of Iron Man’s flagship title, yet for the most part, little gets accomplished due to the Bendis’ fondness for dialogue. It is not necessarily a bad thing, but this is another case of where Bendis has padded out the issue in order to fill up a trade and while it was not a bad read, he could have accomplished so much more. Most of the dialogue in the book comes from Tony and Peter and then later joined by Rhodey and it is always entertaining because Bendis truly understands these characters through and through. The better parts of the book though dealt with Rhodey and the ninjas and with Mary Jane, who after just having been hired, has decided to quit. The latter plotlines tend to move the story along at a good pace and help to balance out the ‘talking head’ syndrome from the former as so many people are inclined to call it. For those that wait for the trade, they will most likely see nothing wrong with the story once reading it, but when you pick up a monthly book and you realize very little happened once you finished it, it is a little bit discouraging. That being said, there is a lot of good in the book including the artwork from Deodato and the great cliff-hanger that it is left on. One of the better parts was seeing Tony and Peter team up, two different people yet so similar that it is hilarious in itself. The first six issues of this book were golden, it is only recently that Bendis has decided to crank up the chit-chat and slow down the overall pace of the arc and while it has not gotten to the point where it is too much, hopefully he dials it back and gives us more moments instead of more conversations between characters.

3.5 out of 5

3 replies »

  1. Great to see Iron Man & Spider-Man team up in this issue of Invincible Iron Man. The banter between them was great, and the art looked stunning! I’m really enjoying Swamp Thing as well, it’s a wonderful dark tale, again with awesome art. Great reviews & two of my fave issues!

    Liked by 1 person

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