Mick vs The Marvel Universe – 07 – Reading will continue until morale improves

I was actually keeping a relatively respectable pace and then boom, silence for a month. Well there was no great mystery there. I found the comics that I’d read lacklustre and the eponymous event to be particularly disappointing (nice art not withstanding). Then at the beginning of June I got into reading the translated works of a Chinese author who wrote a few very long book series. My “reading stuff time” (totally separate from my online reading stuff time of course) went to shotgunning two and a half of that authors series. However the electricity was off last Friday and again yesterday and having nothing else to do I heroically read some more.

Captain America

Well that’s overselling it. I read three issues of Captain America. They were garbage. The end. Oh you want more? Where do I even start. I think I mentioned this when I read Captain America #29 the last time but these read like a parody of superhero comics. A parody written by someone who hates comics. There is no comedy or insight, actually there isn’t even any hate, if you told me these were written by an AI I’d believe you. The art is OK, in parts, maybe. I couldn’t be bothered posting pictures of the various bizarre shapes Captain America’s face and neck assume. Ok I can’t help myself.

Cap yet again proving his real super power is having no neck. So, the plot, or lack of it. This is all set after the events of Disassembled so at least the timeline makes sense. It may be the only thing that does. Caps back/still dating Diamonback who takes him to a baseball game. Which Batroc (Ze Leaper – who I actually quite like) attacks for no reason. Literally. He had no reason and used a fake bomb. He turned up just to get beat up. Meanwhile back in the creepy helicarrier from last issue the Red Skull (who is now twice the size of a normal human for no reason) says cheers for the power armour but I ain’t paying to the crooked SHIELD guys. Needless to say they dont take this well and trigger the deadswitch is armour. But alas Johann Schmidt is nobodys fool and disabled it. For some reason he doesnt kill them and just asks them to open the door and he files off…..that sure was stuff that happened.

Cap sleeps with Diamonback and then plans a date with her later. Red Skull gives her some poison and instructs her to poison Cap later. The bottle of poison is helpfully neon green and comes in a little vial with a big red skull on it. Later Caps about to swig down the mickey when his apartment wall explodes and guys dressed in snake themed gear knock him and Diamondback out. They regain consciousness on the last page to find out they are captives of THE SERPENT SOCIETY! (If you’re wondering who the fuck that is, you are not alone, seems to be Diamonback’s old crew?)

This was terrible. Events happened with no rhyme or reason. Nobody managed to maintain even the illusion of a consistent character and nobody responded to anything like a normal human (even allowing for the context of being in a superhero universe). The dialogue seemed ripped from the screen of a Saturday morning cartoon and honestly I was waiting for Cobra Commander to show up. Shit that was meant to be a GI Joe pun but then I remembered the fucking Serpent Society…the leader of which is called King Cobra.

Look you might not know this but I read a surprising (arguably worrying) amount of bad comics. Mostly Chinese and Korean these days. But the point is I am in no way a comics snob and even I thought this was inexcusably bad for a flagship character’s comic from Marvel.

I already wrote more than I intended. The other two issues were equally bad. Actually they were worse. In the second half of it is Cap and Diamondback fighting endless Serpent Society (oooh SS, think thats planned to tie in thematically with Red Skull? Of course its fucking not) mooks who dont even get names. Though they all have various terrible snake themed outfits, and presumably powers. Nick Fury busts the crooked SHIELD guys. Cap and Diamondback escape and plan dinner at DB’s later as Cap’s place got trashed. Red Skull shows up and tells Diamonback she has to finish the job. She declares she can’t as she caught feelings so Red Skull (who has again become a giant for some reason) just straight up snaps her neck, as Cap knocks on the door.

The next issue starts with Red Skull diving literally through the door and proceeding to beat the shit out Cap while taunting him about the cemetery’s filled with his ex girlfriends. Red Skull kicks cap through a wall and generally beats him up and as he is going to deliver the coup de grace the building explodes. No reason given before or after. The building, an ordinary apartment block, just up and explodes. It really captures how dogshit this story is.

Cap and Red Skull pull themselves out of the rubble and Cap’s going to get it this time, for realsises! Only the dead Diamondback pulls herself out of the rubble and now she’s half shiny metal or something. Anyway she goes to town on the Red Skull until Nick Fury shows up and freezes her in place with some command word. He then explains to a confused Cap that THAT Diamondback was in fact a new model Life Model Decoy who werent used because they were too accurate as they were based on the originals brainwaves (and like replicants dont know they’re fake). Oh and she’d been hacked by the crooked SHIELD guy to work with Red Skull. At this point the real Diamondback who had been with Nick Fury showed up. Steve watches fake DB, who is crying for his help, get locked in a container before asking the real Diamondback to get a room with him so they can “catch up”.

Apart from being a terrible unentertaining mess there is some pretty weird and or disturbing stuff going on. Cap has been dating the fake Diamonback for at least several weeks. He has slept with her at least once. He shows zero emotion about seeing her carted off in a box and then seemingly continues with the relationship, which only existed with the fake, with the real DB. What a shit show.

If Disassembled put me off continuing this endeavour it’s hard to overstate how much this shit underlined that point. I will at least finish the last ten or so issues (five Fantastic Four, four Thor, one Epilogue) before making a final decision.

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