Naturally, Popeye saves the world, and does so in part through an epic, mid-air 500 vulture battle, in which one tries carrying him off, he punches it out, another grabs him and continues carrying him and so on until he gets to her island base, he punches out the last vulture and falls hundreds of feet to the ground (Seriously kids; eat your vegetables—you'll be practically immortal).
The worst part was the advertisement on the back for the collected editions of this very comic book, which look so big and fat. Looking them up online, it looks like he get about 200 pages for $20 (at least through a particular online bookseller), so about the same page-to-price tag ratio as the comics, but in a sturdier, easier to store format.
So now I'm torn. I guess in the long run I'd prefer to own the trades, but, in the short run, I really enjoy reading this old-timey comic book in its comic book format.
In this issue, the
Matt Murdock meets someone from his childhood who knows he's Daredevil, someone Murdock doesn't really want to help one bit, but who needs the help of a lawyer he can trust, as he's been falsely arrested for involvement with the Sons of the Serpent (before my time, but it gave
In a nice little twist, Waid uses the opportunity to show a young, pre-secret origin superhero through the eyes of one of his antagonists, and we see that while Matt may not have deserved the violent bullying he got, he wasn't exactly a perfect, innocent angel, either (That's the sort of thing that's sort of at the core of Marvel characters, and that separates them from their DC counterparts—rather than paragons of good from day one, they tend to be emotional fuck-ups trying and usually or eventually doing the right thing; it's nice to see Waid conjure scenes where the reader can empathize with the bully and think, "Hey, maybe someone should slap that Murdock kid to shut him up," and nice to see how he and Samnee render that revelation when it hits adult Murdock).
Pages 16 and 17 are your bravura, show-stopping, only-in-comic scene, by the way, and props for an excellent surprising cliffhanger...the second most dramatic one I read this week.
Unfortunately, the artist responsible for that image is MIA on interiors, but at least Marvel got the excellent Joe Quinones to provide the fill-in art, and Laura Allred's still coloring, giving the book some further visual continuity with the previous, Mike Allred-drawn issues.
Quinones is an excellent artist who acquits himself quite well here (You may remember him from the Green Lantern strip in Wednesday Comics), and I like the way he manages a surprising historical likeness in a surprising guest-star, the slightly geeky, professorial look he gives plain clothes Ant-Man, and the mustache he gives Alex Power. Still, there are a lot of two-piece bathing suits in this issue, which translates to a lot of cheesecake and I prefer Mike Allred's cheesecake to that of many artists.
Matt Fraction has three different narrative strands going in this issue, each with a varying degree of a comedic component. The FF get invited to the penthouse pool of a very rich, influential man who has a proposal for them. Dragonman and the kids frolic in the pool, the grown-ups talk to the man and Bentley-23 makes a movie about his classmates Vil and Wu for a school assignment.
It is, as usual, pretty great comics.
In this issue, the team follows the Patriot-shaped monster thingee that captured Speed through a series of alternate dimensions, most of them horrible dystopian sorts of places, in which the young heroes find twisted mirror versions of themselves ("How many Earths did other yous make the capital of a new Kree Empire?" Kate shouts at Noh-Varr at one point; he seems to be behind more than one of those dystopias). The regular creative team of Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie and Mike Norton make it through a pretty remarkable amount of alternate dimensions, partly through a narrated montage, partly through a couple of scenes, in just 12 pages. As with the last two issues, the creators pack a lot of action into a short amount of space, making it seem and read bigger and longer than it actually was.
But, most importantly, Noh-Varr grows a beard.