Writer(s): Marc Guggenheim, David Von Allmen, Rich Koslowski, Kathryn Immonen
Artist(s): Dave Wilkens, Francis Tsai, Mico Suayan, Andrea Divito, Stuart Immonen
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Plot: The plot thickens in “Vanguard”. We flashback to the early days of Magneto’s Brotherhood. Canada’s own wrinkle on the Initiative comes to light. Patsy’s plagued by Patsies!
1) “Vanguard” – Two words; Yelena Belova. I’ve been waiting for her to show up somewhere in the Marvel Universe. Last we saw this second woman to bear the name of Black Widow was fatally injured and scarred in the pages of New Avengers. I thought she might be the new Madame Masque over in those very same pages but apparently she’s not. The reference to her here as part of the overall John Doe case and the picture of her in her original beauty lend some intriguing developments to this ongoing story line. I wonder who else is involved? Guggenheim has moved this from police procedural to cosmic mystery and now thrown in some espionage to boot. He’s melding genre’s well. Can’t wait to see what he has up his sleeve next! The art chores are split between Wilkens and Francis Tsai this time around. Tsai’s art compliments what Wilkens’s has brought before. Nothing jarring here and he maintains the noir feel throughout.
2) “Hateful” – This is a vignette of a tale of the early days of Magneto gathering his original Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. It’s drawn by former Moon Knight artist Mico Suayan. Suayan inks his own stuff here and it seems given time and not being up against a deadline he can turn in some pretty solid artwork. His last few issues on Moon Knight were a mess and I chalk it up to being a newbie and coming up against a too tight deadline; at least for him. The story itself is a personal story of tragedy and revenge as in the midst of recruiting for his mutant cause Magneto encounters a Nazi war criminal who is also a powerful mutant. Rather than overlook the man’s transgressions for the greater “good” (a world under mutant domination) Magneto takes time out for some revenge. It’s just good to see Magneto done well anywhere at this point. The cover and this story are worth the price of admission.
3) “Weapon Omega” – Koslowski finally has my interest peaked a bit with this installment but not because of Michael Pointer. I still can’t stand even the idea of the guy. It’s what’s going on behind the scenes that’s of interest to me. It seems that Canada is corralling super villains and registration dodgers not for the purpose of necessarily recruiting them into the ranks of Omega Flight but to be used as raw material to feed Pointer’s powers. It seems the resultant deaths are a small price to pay in order to have their very own version of the Sentry. Maybe things will get a little more interesting from this point on.
5) “The Girl Who Could Be You” – Still a labor of love from the Immonen’s. This time around we get an appearance from an old favorite from the old days of the Defenders. Three guesses and I’ll give you a hint. It’s an old man who at times takes on the appearance of a decoration you’d find on the cathedral in Notre Dame. This is a hoot for comics nostalgia buffs. Even though I really don’t care about Hellcat these snippets still make me smile.
Final Word: Another good if not great issue.
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