Schachat's Occasional Breakdown
Schachat just might be the Sheeda Queen.
first things first...
Anyone who doesn’t
think Ronin is really Daredevil has failed the reading comprehension
portion of every exam they ever took.
Sorry, had to
get that off my chest.
Oh, and for all
the DC fans out there, that bit was very important and you
should all feel ashamed for not reading New Avengers and
knowing what the hell I’m talking about.
...just a little
we’ll head straight into me appeasing you all with
a review of Seven Soldiers - Frankenstein #1
(Awful segue, I know. Sue me).
In case you haven’t
been keeping up on the Seven Soldier Saga, here’s
a quick catch-you-up: A parasitic race of “fair folk”
known as the Sheeda have periodically brought the human
race to the brink of destruction. They sacked Camelot, bred
armies of sub-humans, and punched holes in the fabric of
reality to feed on the terror of innocents. As is foretold,
seven soldiers will arise to face the Sheeda every time
enters into our story during one such battle in 1870 when
he fought a Sheeda named Melmoth and his army of Maggot-creatures
aboard a train in the American Northwest. As readers of
Klarion the Witchboy can tell you, Melmoth somehow
escaped that doomed locomotive, but Franky wasn’t
so lucky, and, wouldn’t ya know it, a modern-day school
sits atop his (temporarily) final resting place.
As the fates
would have it, this school is also where a vengeful local
nerd begins exhibiting a strange ability to control minds...
probably with the aid of the Sheeda Spine-Rider that is,
itself, controlling him.
gonna suck, this year.
Of all the crossovers and events to litter 2005, Seven
Soldiers still proves to be the most coherent, meaningful,
and satisfying by leaps and bounds. The zero issue was about
as confusing as gay republicanism, but every series to follow
has been tight, strong as a standalone, and delightful as
a chapter in the larger saga. To those familiar with the
other Seven Soldiers books, Frankenstein doesn’t fail
to keep the epic running and offers us a great new knight
errant to root for.
But, to those
not following the larger story, this book STILL offers an
enticing adventure. The first issue just barely sets up
the protagonist, but his mission is clear: Evil has returned
and must be vanquished. From the way this outing ends, we
can count on the next issue finding us in a different locale
and surrounded by different characters, but the promise
of Morrison’s style and Franky’s badass undead
appeal will be enough to bring you back for more.
it might even make you hunt down the other Seven Soldier
books, and more power to you. Morrison has been on quite
a roll, lately, and even with all the possible baggage of
Frankenstein, the material still feels fresh... Even if
Frank may be a little ripe.
Spider-Man #526 wraps-up Reginald Hudlin’s
run of “The Other: Evolve or Die” with lots
of bone-crunching and ripped spandex, but not much story.
briefly, Spidey wakes up, goes out for a morning swing,
is ambushed by Morlun (that non-vampire vampire guy thing)
fights him in J. Jonah Jameson’s office, fights him
at Empire State University, and then fights him on the street.
Of course, there
IS the nagging little detail of who wins the fight, but
I wouldn’t want to ruin that...
I would: Spidey gets his webbed ass handed to him.
your ass and put it in a safe place...
But it all feels
rather dull when you get to that final page which shows
the upcoming covers: First, Spidey on life support; then
a cocoon with a human silhouette inside; then Spidey emerging
from a cocoon. Evolve or die? Why, the suspense is killing
me! What could possibly happen next?!?
If nothing else,
this middle section of the story has demonstrated that he
can stand toe to toe with the work Peter David did in the
first part, but most of it turned out to be foreshadowing,
visits to all the usual science and technology heroes you
talk to in an “I’m dying, oh no!” arc,
and some solid Spider-banter (Steven Seagal references aside).
It’s also demonstrated that Marvel should chain-up
Mike Wieringo in a room full of paper and pencils and never
let him go, if they know what’s good for them.
brings me to the art in this issue: Mike Deodato Jr. has
been the regular Amazing Spider-Man artist for
quite a while now, but I’m just getting tired of his
compositions and sparse backgrounds. The photo-referenced
art has started to wear thin, and I’m getting fed
up with seeing a Mary Jane who looks like Liv Tyler with
a bad dye-job.
see what JMS can do with this story when he gets his mitts
on it, but I’m predicting a return to the mysticism
that split Spidey fans back before “Sins of the Past”
made so many outright despise him. This issue’s a
pretty tired obligatory slugfest and not worth buying on
solo merit, but it may end up being a more important piece
of the larger puzzle. I’d bet against it, though.
2: Ex Machina #16, She-Hulk #2 and Flash