Contest Of Champions II #2
Marvel Comics (September, 1999)
“Process of Elimination”
WRITER: Chris Claremont
PENCILER: Oscar Jimenez
INKER: Eduardo Alpuente
COLORING: Atomic Paintbrush
EDITOR: Ruben Diaz
As Johnny Storm pushes his way through Spider-Woman (Mattie Franklin in this case…I know, there are too many) and She-Hulk, Reed Richards fares poorly against the Hulk. However, when Johnny fights Storm he manages enough self-control not to kill her, costing him the victory. Meanwhile, Iron Man tries to get control of the nanites while keeping a still-enraged Psylocke under control. He manages to restore her powers but her brain is still in battle thinking and she attacks Iron Man with her psychic knife and he passes out by landing on top of her. While this goes on Kitty Pride’s phasing power is at odds with the nanites, making her very sick, but not sick enough that she can’t recognize who their enemy is. (We have to wait on that.)
What they got right: The fights (if you don’t mind hero versus hero and I do) are very good. The art is better than the previous issue. And there is progression in the subplot that connects the miniseries.
What they got wrong: Claremont is still giving the letterer carpal tunnel having to write out so much dialog. Maybe he should try being a letterer on one of his own stories and see how hard it is.
Recommendation: I’m not sure why I stopped at this point. Was it the hero versus hero thing, even if mind control is a factor? Was it the overload of dialog? (Did we need Richards monologing about how the Hulk was beating him?) Perhaps a problem with being shorted, which Previews did often to smaller comic stores and probably still does? At any rate it seems like a story worth checking out.