Smackdowns for Everyone


Marvel Adventures: Super Heroes #19

Well, first things first: Even if she’s not wearing her familiar Fantastic Four outfit, that’s one of the most awesome cover shots of Sue Storm I’ve ever seen.

Second, I found out, to my great disappointment, that the entirely awesome and hilarious “Marvel Adventures: The Avengers” series has been cancelled, and that nearly all of the “Marvel Adventures” titles are either being cancelled or are going to get revamped and retooled. Honestly, I didn’t see anything wrong with ’em in the first place. And where are we going to get our monthly dose of Giant-Girl?

But anyway, for as long as this title lasts, the current lineup of the Avengers is Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, the Invisible Woman, the Vision, Nova, and Black Widow. They’re moving into their new headquarters when the supervillain Plant Man pays them a visit. But he’s not here to fight — he needs help because the Silver Surfer has seemingly gone nuts and keeps trying to kill him. While the rest of the Avengers make preparations for the Surfer, the Vision goes to visit the alchemist Diablo who the team met a few issues ago. While they discuss the secret codes of the Voynich Manuscript, the Silver Surfer finally arrives, attacking everyone around him in an attempt to get at Plant Man. And he’s so juiced-up on the Power Cosmic that even Thor has trouble dealing with him. So why won’t the Vision help out in the battle? And what is Reed Richards hiding from the team?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Some amusing character bits with Plant Man, a nice solution to the problem of the out-of-control Silver Surfer, and a new mystery to add into the mix. Isn’t it depressing that the only comics that focus on the fun of superheroic stories are the ones marketed mostly to kids?


Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam! #11

Billy is still suffering from something that’s already turned Captain Marvel evil and is slowly corrupting him as well. Mary Marvel and Tawky Tawny escort him to the Rock of Eternity to see if the Wizard Shazam can help him. Trying to figure out what’s wrong, the wizard has Billy say his magic word, then draws the evil out of him — and it manifests as a mirror-image of Captain Marvel who speaks in reverse. While Captain Marvel tries to stop his double from wreaking havoc on the world, the wizard fears that something far more terrible is at work.

Verdict: Thumbs up. If I’ve got a quibble, it’s that the creators didn’t give Evil Marvel the same costume he has on the cover — instead, he and regular Captain Marvel have almost the same costumes, which can sometimes make it hard to tell the two apart. However, beyond that, it’s a great issue, with good characterizations, decent dialogue, excellent action, and a wonderful mystery.

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