by Etienne Paul, CMRO Contributing Writer
Written by Jason Aaron, Art by Mike Deodato
Published: September 2014
Who is Midas? Why does he look like Ben Grimm with a severe case of blue-line-itis? Aaron has a thing for using the most Z-list of villains in this book and on the one hand I understand why he would do it, but this is a bizarre choice. Clearly he wants to give and take from Marvel history, so he has not simply created characters, but at the same time he does not want the villains to be Dr. Doom or Thanos because that would overpower the story with the character. However this guy is even more obscure than Mr. Eyeball and he at least made thematic sense in the context of the story.
So Ben Gri… sorry, Midas is a big orange rocky humanoid with blue shiny light in the cracks who turns anything his touches to gold. Other than apparently the robes he is wearing and the ship he is standing on? Well I can think my way out of that, obviously it is only the things he touches with his hands that turns to gold? No, wait, now he is stepping on the water and it is turning to gold and, yes, he is walking out onto it, not to mention he climbs down the rungs of the ships ladder which mysteriously do not turn golden. This is the first of quite a few utter screw ups in this comic, ones which simply were not necessary to the story and they really bug me. If I need to explain this, if he turned the surface of the water to gold when he stepped on it, it would simply sink to the bottom of the sea. Or ever worse, as he stepped onto it he would fall into the sea and become cocooned in a solid shell of water turned into gold as he sank.
That is not the worse this book has to offer, the really big screw up is that Captain America, Wolverine, Iron Man and Black Widow all died in the middle. Well obviously they did not die, but for all the logic a comic can contain, they should have. They are in the middle of Avengers tower (or at the bottom, or at the top, either of those are just as bad) in a big room clearly made of metal. They are all standing around the corpse of what is apparently not Nick Fury when it explodes. Firstly this clearly killed Wolverine and Black Widow because neither of them have any form of protection and are standing a few inches from the blast. Ok, you might then think that it was not a particularly powerful explosive and they merely got a bit cut up and bruised? Well again no, because it levelled the entire building, top to bottom and they walk away with torn clothing.
I have now written over half this review complaining about 2 completely throw away moments in the book because they are just that damn stupid. I realise I am struggling to suspend my disbelief of two things that would not happen in the ‘real world’ while at the same time having no problems with every other moment on every other page which equally is ‘unrealistic’ however it is down to internal consistency. I am told that Captain Marvel does not need space suit to survive in space, so when I am told that objects Midas touches turns to gold; I expect them to sink in water! All that being said; the rest of the book is fantastic just as the rest of the series has been. Finally the penny has dropped for the Avengers and what looked like a rather odd fight between one man many times over and his own team, just became a 3 way rumble and my bets are on the guy with the eyeballs.
I have made a lot of a couple of stupid moments in this book, but it is because this series has been so outstanding that they jump out at you. Many comics are full of idiotic moments, some because the writer does not care and others because they think the ‘rule of cool’ outweighs the need for consistency*. In this case I genuinely think that the writer and artist did not think it was a problem, but they made sure that Midas jumped the golden shark and Black Widow posed just right to show her boobs and butt so as to distract us from the stupidity.
I have no idea where this series is going, not only because there are lots of villains in the series, but also because I question how many of the ‘Good’ guys could be in on it. From what I see there are at least 4 people in this book who could have had a reason to kill the Watcher and there is an implication that there might well be more introduced over the remaining issues.
This is a fantastic book with wonderful art, I realise my review may sound very negative, but it should be read as if I were this comics friend and friends should always be truthful with each other. After the last couple of issues which were quite static, this has been dramatic and returns to the series leaping all over the planet and space as more elements are drawn together for what is sure to be a spectacular end to this series.
* Rule of cool states that so long as the end result is cool enough, you can ignore whatever stupidity it took to get there.