Ms. Marvel #41
Written by Brian Reed
Art by Sergio Arino
The M.O.D.O.K babies, better described as the second-generation storytellers-- A.I.M created reality shapers-- have been stolen under Norman Osborn and the new Ms. Marvel's noses by Deadpool. Meanwhile, the New Avengers struggle to piece together the information they have; finally revealing the identity of the spectral figure which have been plaguing Karla Sofen's life. Things are nothing short of chaos as Reed brings together the pieces leading up to War of the Marvels.
If one thing can be gathered from the summery above it's that things aren't just chaotic for Reed's characters, but for readers as well. Between the New Avengers, Deadpool, A.I.M, Norman Osborn, M.O.D.O.K babies and the now ancient storyteller plot lines it's difficult for even the most devoted fan of Reed's series to care about the current events. The old protagonist of Reed's series is presumed dead, and his new one has so little time on panel --and is so incredibly dislikable-- that there are really very little to root for in this convoluted plot that so far hasn't managed to make an once of logical sense.
If that wasn't enough, it's likely that most readers discovered the identity of these spectral figures long ago, possibly as far back as their first appearance. It isn't until a third of the way through the issue that Reed finally comes to restate the material he made perfectly clear at the end the previous issue. It is something forgivable enough if the pages did something for the story, or if Reed couldn't have used them more efficiently but as always is the case they don't and he could have. For instance, this issue contains two fight scenes that make up most of the additional two-thirds. Both are lackluster, and devoid of tension. If for nothing better Reed could have at least added more to these scenes by reducing his opening by two to four pages.
Even all the way down to the colorist there are issues with this particular issue. A discolored specter early on gives one the notion that there are five entities instead of four.
Reed's title has suffered significantly since he killed off Carol Danvers a few issues ago. The plot has been predictable, not engaging, and completely devoid of even a half-compelling protagonist. The near future of the series is only moderately more bright as it promises to bring back some focus to this series that has never quite topped the first year of it's publication.
RATING: 3 out of 10
Just don't read this title. I can't even suggest an appropriate jumping on point because of how long Reed had been pulling on old plot lines, and given its shaky sales I can't say it'll be around much longer once this story wraps up. Ah, it has fallen so far since that first wonderful story arc!