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411’s Comic Reviews: Infamous Iron Man #1, Mockingbird #8, More

October 27, 2016 | Posted by Steve Gustafson

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Hello and welcome to 411mania’s weekly Comic Book Review Roundtable! Each week we’ll be serving up a warm dish of reviews from Marvel, DC, and anything else that captures our interest. What did you pick up this week? Let us know in the comments.

Want to write a review? If you can write at least one review a week, consistently, email me at [email protected]!

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Yesterday we discussed Comic Books that Give Us Nightmares

Now on with the show!

Infamous Iron Man #1

Review by RobF

Redemption thy name is….DOOM? The new and improved Victor Von Doom has decided that he should take up the mantle of Iron Man (whether we like it or not). But is he worthy? Brian Bendis and Alex Maleev will lead us on the loooooong road Doom has to travel to respectability.

Deadlines, deadlines, why can’t Marvel make their deadlines? AvX, Secret Wars, and now Civil War II have experienced delays which have spoiled their own stories. C’mon Marvel get it together!

OK, I’ll climb off my soapbox and focus on the story. It begins one year after Victor Von Doom first appeared in the pages of Invincible Iron Man with a healed face and a new outlook on life. We still don’t know his motivation and he doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to tell us. But for reasons only known to Doom himself he feels the world needs Iron Man and he is the only one who can fill those large shoes.

Even though Doom is trying to turn over a new leaf his egotistical nature still bleeds through. Bendis is doing a fine job with his dialogue, each word dripping with just a hint of arrogance, even when he is issuing mea culpas.

Alex Maleev’s art sets the appropriate tone for this comic. His dark and brooding style works perfectly for someone who is comfortable operating in the shadows. Colorist Matt Hollingsworth’s duality reflecting Doom’s turn from darkness to light is a highly effective tool.

It’s always a challenge to make a villain the lead character in a comic: most writers are not up to the challenge. Bendis is one of the few that actually stand a chance but it is an uphill climb. I have my hiking gear on but I am cautiously climbing along.

Rating: 7.0 out of 10

Mockingbird #8

Review by Rob Bonnette

This is the last book in the series; unfortunately the book was cancelled and will not be coming back as part of Marvel NOW 2.0. And that’s a shame because it’s been such a joy to read, a smart and funny take on a character who could have very easily become what Black Widow has in both the Marvel comic and cinematic universes. This issue is also a tie-in to the big Civil War II event that has been going on since the Spring and will finally come to a close this December, so it has a twofold purpose of wrapping up the series and solving the issue that connected it to CW2. And it manages to do both while staying true to the spirit of the stories that we were given by writer Chelsea Cain. It also effectively retcons a key part of the main character’s history in a way that apparently ticked off a few people. Why changing one piece from the backstory of a C-level character (and that’s being generous) is worthy of a social media tantrum is beyond me, although it is a fairly important piece. But anyhow, onto the story here.

For the past two or three issues Bobbi (Mockingbird’s real name) has been on a cruise ship looking for a way to clear her ex-husband Hawkeye’s name while he is on trial for the killing of Dr. Bruce Banner, the original Hulk. The ship has been hosting a superhero convention and…a Corgi convention (yes, Corgi conventions are a thing at least in Marvel-land). Bobbi has been looking for a man who supposedly has the evidence to clear Hawkeye while several people on the ship have been turning up dead, while her current boyfriend Lance Hunter is under cover on another mission and has been helping her out. The man she’s looking for ends up a victim himself, and it turns out that the culprit is the Phantom Rider, another ex of hers who is responsible for she and Hawkeye’s divorce (he possessed her and caused her to kill some people, and Hawkeye wasn’t able to get over it).

The Phantom Rider is there to both win her back and kill some more people, and Bobbi has to find a way to stop him. While this is going on we get flashback scenes to Bobbi and Hawkeye in marriage counseling sessions, talking about the previous experience with the Rider. We got these same kind of flashbacks a few issues earlier, so now we get what is the ultimate resolution of it all. With this being the final issue you can guess that the bad guy gets defeated and we get to the bottom of why Bobbi and Hawkeye’s marriage fell apart, so the most important thing is the execution. And as has been the case for the previous seven issues it’s done well in a smart, charming, and funny way. And as the issue wraps up we get what the real mission of the story was for the character, to move her out of just being a pretty background player to someone with agency and ownership of her own journey.

If you’ve followed this book then you’ll like the way it ended while being bummed out that it’s over. For those who haven’t been it’s worth getting the entire run and giving it a read. It’s a departure from the other Marvel fare and more in the vein of Astonishing Ant-Man (which is sadly also ending) than Spider-Man or the Avengers. There is action but mostly witty banter and humor to go along with good artwork. If you prefer epic throwdowns then it not’s really for you but you’re cool with the occasional diversion from that then this is right up your alley.

Rating: 8.0 out of 10

Cannibal #1

Review by Stephen M. Lyon

Cannibal is a new horror/thriller comic from image. Cannibal is not an artistic masterpiece. It does not have a groundbreaking plot. It doesn’t try to be more than what it is – a horror/thriller/sci-fi story – and that’s a good thing!

The inside cover. gives a written backstory/introduction; the story is set after 1994 hurricane uprooted ancient mosquitoes carrying an old strain of yellow fever. A medicine called Y-PAK is rushed in to combat the fever, and it works … except for the the fact that it carried a virus that caused those who took medicine to crave human flesh. The cannibals in this story are not zombies – they are regular people with regular emotions, including remorse.

Cannibal begins at Hog’s River – a bar the town of Willow, Florida – a stereotypical, gator-hunting, swamp community, where no cannibalism has been seen… yet. It starts with a young kid of 14 years old taking out the trash while the bar is bustling. He goes outside, hears rustling, and assumes its a homeless man going through the trash. The man tells him to go inside but the boy keeps talking to him, and the man tackles him and begins to eat him, expressing regret and devastation all the while. The men from the bar find the corpse of the boy outside and with the Sheriff’s tacit endorsement, begin a hunting party for the cannibal. Almost everyone goes to help, except for the bartender, who appears to have a problem hunting people – and instead decides to meet up with a lady friend named Jolene. The story continues with the tracking continuing, resulting in the cannibal taking out one tracker with butt of his rifle, and shooting another. They eventually corner him in a cabin, and it appears as if the bar owner killed him. The story then moves back to the bartender who seems to be preparing his proposal speech, but when he arrives at the location where Jolene is supposed to be, the house is ransacked, leaving a cliffhanger ending.

This book won me over; I only purchased it because I heard about it on a podcast and thought I’d give it a shot. Historically, I’ve been a superhero purist when it comes to comics and graphic novels, but this was an exception. The art was fine, but nothing extra special (although the cover looking like a moonshine label is a nice touch). The true beauty of this book is in its simplicity. The author doesn’t over-complicate things, and lets this just be a good horror/thriller story. I’m looking forward to the next episode just like I would an episode of series on the SyFy network. As long as they keep the story contained, I have high hopes going forward – this is probably going on my pull list at my local comic book shop.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Steve here! That’s all the time we have. Tell us what you’re reading below and see you back here next week! You can now find our reviews on ComicBookRoundUp.com!