Monday, October 18, 2010


The Calling

Credits: Larry Hama (writer), Jesus Redondo (penciler), Sergio Melia (inker), Kevin Somers (colors), Jim Novak (letters),

Summary: SHIELD agents travel to Muir Island to recruit Kitty Pryde as an intern. For unknown reasons, their computer system is down and refuses to acknowledge anyone but Kitty. Kitty arrives in New York and befriends fellow intern, Rigby. Kitty fixes the problem, but the SHIELD Helicarrier soon loses power. Ogun reveals himself as the ghost infecting the computer system. Digitally disguising himself as Kitty, he asks Wolverine to meet at the Brooklyn Bridge.

Continuity Notes: Ogun explains that he’s acquired a taste for possessing technology after seizing control of Lady Deathstrike in Wolverine. Kitty still believes Ogun is dead, even though he already tried to possess her body months earlier in Excalibur #111.

Production Note: This issue is hand lettered by Jim Novak, making it one of the few Marvel comics of this era not to be computer lettered. Novak seems to be using the opportunity to create the biggest, widest letters of his career.

I Love the ‘90s: Kitty is ordered to purchase a pair of stone-washed jeans at the “G.O.P. Jeans Outlet” and head to a specific dressing room, which will transport her to the Helicarrier. Stone-washed denim had already been out of style for five years before this comic was published, so I’m assuming this was an intentional joke. Later, Kitty asks if the SHIELD computers can play Quake.

Review: Here’s another comic that fueled the internet’s contempt for Larry Hama in the late ‘90s. Hama even labeled this the worst series he worked on in an interview, so it’s hard to have high hopes for this one. The actual handling of Kitty in this issue isn’t bad, really. Peter Wisdom is given some atrocious dialogue (“SHIELD is an international spy ring of over-armed control freaks who are suffering from a deficiency of childhood toilet training!”), but Hama has a general idea of how he plays off of Kitty. She’s annoyed by his bad attitude and selfishness, so she views an internship with SHIELD to be a decent change of pace. She’s also much nicer to the SHIELD agents than they are to her. Hama goes out of his way to portray even established characters like Countess Valentina and Duggan as jerks. Revealing that Ogun is the behind the computer system’s reaction to Kitty is a nice reveal that I honestly didn’t see coming (I wondered if the computer mystery had something to do with the X-Men erasing all of the government’s files on them back in the ‘80s). I’ve never heard of Jesus Redondo before, and while I’ll give him credit for not turning in a bad manga pastiche, his style is so understated and dull it’s hard to believe Marvel ever hired him.

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