Sometimes you have to wonder if villains could really be the protagonist of their own stories. Their existence is often the byproduct of their archnemesis and stories that focus on them simply seem strange in their own way. Unless it’s in the right hands. 😉
This feature, published at an undetermined frequency (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, who knows), will present a couple of mini reviews on anything that isn’t in a physical format that I own (ebooks, comic books, TV series or movies).
Click on the covers to be redirected to their Goodreads/IMDB page!
Anything presented in this feature doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t get a full-review treatment in the future. That will entirely depend on how much I loved it, how interested you are in hearing more on it, and how much I have to still say about it! 🤣
Vote Loki by Christopher Hastings.
Loki is many things: god, trickster, brother, son, villain, even hero. Now he wants to add one more title to the list: President of the United States! That’s right, the God of Lies wants to be ruler of the free world! But is this just another scheme? One fact is certain: With Loki’s winning smile and silver tongue on the campaign trail, this election just got a lot more interesting! He’ll soon have the American people eating out of the palm of his hand, but can would-be President Laufeyson sway the media? And what will be his response when the heroes of Earth launch their attack ad? A crisis in Latveria offers Loki the chance to demonstrate his foreign policy…but surely he wouldn’t cause a national catastrophe just for a little good press? Would he?
This was an awkward exploration of a truly unlikely political context centered around Loki as the next leader of the United States.
Notwithstanding any timely coincidences and value it had during its release with ongoing elections, this had more plot holes than I could remember and even less intrigue than I dared imagine it would withhold.
Ultimately unappealing with an inconsequential story to go with it.
Magneto (Vol. 1): Infamous by Cullen Bunn.
Once the deadliest, most feared mutant mastermind on the planet, Magneto is no longer the man he was. After allying with Cyclops and the X-Men, he became a pawn in another man’s war. But now, determined to fight for mutantkind’s survival on his own terms, Magneto sets out to regain what he’s lost…and remind the world why it should tremble at the sound of his name. Magneto will safeguard the future of the mutant race by hunting down each and every threat that would see his kind extinguished — and bloody his hands that they may never be a threat again.
But as horrors from his past loom large and S.H.I.E.L.D. agents pursue him, will Magneto soon become the villain he once was? And how will a mysterious woman from his past affect his mission?
You’d think that writer Cullen Bunn would have something more interesting to tell with a character as emotionally and morally complex as Magneto but unfortunately, this one does nothing that you could even care about. Then again, that wasn’t the goal. There was no goal. You get a monotonous and emotionless inner conscious and a story that you’re bound to forget here too. But I guess there’s some fun watching Magneto destroy anyone who’s in his way.
Doctor Doom (Vol. 1): Pottersville by Christophher Cantwell.
From Christopher Cantwell (Halt and Catch Fire, She Could Fly) comes…DOCTOR DOOM. Victor Von Doom – scientist, sorcerer, disfigured face, twisted soul – has been spending much of his time warning against a trillion-dollar global effort to create the first “artificial” black hole. Wrestling with visions of an entirely different life, DOCTOR DOOM finds himself at a crossroads (what is he questioning?). A catastrophic act of terrorism kills thousands, and the prime suspect is… DOOM? Victor will have to push his unexplained thoughts aside and focus on remaining alive as the title of “Most Wanted Man” is thrust upon him…. Left with no homeland no armies, no allies indeed, nothing at all will the reign of Doctor Doom come to an abrupt halt?
This felt so all over the place. I expected something more grounded but it felt like it wanted to fit Doctor Doom into the Marvel universe while not fitting him into it at all at the same time. Somehow, they succeeded and all I could enjoy from this was the character’s basic personality but didn’t get much more else from this story arc.
Venom (Vol. 1): Homecoming.
Venom is back in his classic form, and deadlier than ever! The symbiote you know and love has returned to New York City. No more “Agent of the Cosmos.” No more Lethal Protector. It’s time for a new Venom, and it’s great to be bad. But now that Venom is back on Earth and back in the gutter, just who has bonded with him – and turned him back into the slathering, fanged monster?
This was such a forgettable and mundane attempt to refresh Venom’s character with a new host. The best part of it all is the end and even then, you’ll struggle in your desire to continue on.
Spider-Man: The Spider’s Shadow by Chip Zdarsky.
In the proud Marvel tradition of WHAT IF?, Chip Zdarsky and Pasqual Ferry imagine a world where Peter Parker became Venom! Spider-Man once donned an alien suit that nearly destroyed his life…but what if he never took it off? In this shocking new version of the story, Peter ignores every warning…and embraces his dark symbiote! Now, haunted by terrible nightmares and exhausted by an endless barrage of villains, he is at the end of his rope…and when Hobgoblin attacks, Spider-Man isn’t so friendly anymore. The rules of engagement are about to change — permanently! Wilson Fisk wants to put an end to this deadly new Spidey once and for all. But with Peter haunted by his past and present more and more each day, can anyone save him from his own mind?
Not exactly a Marvel villain story but more of a What if? story where you get to see your boy Spidy go full dark mode and not so much because he wants to but because he has to due to the symbiote in him! There are some pretty shocking moments and some pretty decent ideas here. Definitely something entertaining enough to check out if you need a quick read.