World Comic Book Review

4th October 2023

Foolkiller #2 (Review)

Foolkiller #2
Marvel Comics, December 14, 2016
Writer: Max Bemis

In our review of Foolkiller #1, we compared the character Foolkiller in passing to American publisher Marvel Comics’ gun-toting antihero Punisher. In the second issue of the series, it would appear that the similarity between the two fictional characters is not lost on the fictional spy agency, SHIELD. (We have written about SHIELD many times in our reviews, and in a future article we will look at the histories of these sorts of organisations.) SHIELD is the employer of Greg Salinger, the alter ego of Foolkiller.

In the story, Salinger’s SHIELD handler reacted positively to news that the “Foolkiller” persona has returned and massacred a group of neo-Nazis. Apparently, SHIELD has always wanted their own version of the Punisher, but since the Punisher is a lone wolf-type character which cannot be controlled and would never work a government agency, SHIELD employed Foolkiller instead. In their proposed system, SHIELD sends various bad guys to Salinger in order to see if they can be rehabilitated. On the event that they are deemed hopeless, Salinger pays them a visit as Foolkiller.

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REVIEW: Welcome to Pleasant Hill

Avengers Standoff: Welcome to Pleasant Hill #1 (review)
Marvel Comics, April 2016
Writer: Nick Spencer
Review by Neil Raymundo, April 13, 2016

American comic book publisher Marvel Comics, at least within the past few years, has been determined to publish stories that are inaccessible to the average reader due to over-reliance on continuity. Like British science fiction, North American professional wrestling, and television soap operas around the world, a majority of the regular monthly audience is helplessly ensnared by continuity. These colossal, hyper-meticulous plots, sometimes lasting decades, can be a substitute for quality writing: suffering from a form of literary Stockholm Syndrome, that sector of the audience which is devoted to the continuity will not just forgive but will actively defend the injudicious publisher.

This new title, “Avengers Standoff: Welcome to Pleasant Hill #1” is the latest hostage taker, to extend the continuity metaphor. But in this instance the problem – and it is a systemic problem to the North American industry – is exacerbated by the fact that the comic is meant to be a prelude to an upcoming crossover event. Ludicrously, the setup requires its own setup.

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The Old Game

Black Widow 1
Marvel Comics, May 2016
Writers: Chris Samnee and Mark Waid
Review by DG Stewart, 4 March 2016

In 2006 acclaimed British comic book writer Grant Morrison was engaged by American comic book publisher DC Comics to write a revival of the comic “The Authority”. This arrangement boded well: Mr Morrison is a very popular writer with a quirky and eclectic imagination, and “The Authority” had a cultish following and historically strong sales. But Mr Morrison wrote the comic as a “trade paperback”. A trade paperback is an aggregation of monthly series, usually a collection of a storyline laid out in four or five monthly issues of a title, or five consecutive issues forming part of a greater storyline. As a consequence, issue 1 of Mr Morrison’s version of “The Authority” was devoid of any action, and consisted of the narrative character engaging in such tedium as brushing his teeth. (The subsequent issues was also inexcusably late.) Mr Morrison was so disheartened by scathing reviews that he did not continue with the series. Mr Morrison had made the mistake of writing for the collection, and not for the individual issues.

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