"League of Losers"
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artists: Paco Medina(p), Juan Vlasco(i), Studio F's Marte Gracia(c)
Robert Kirkman compresses a month's worth of time through Paco Medina's and Juan Vlasco's panels in Marvel Team-Up. When last we left the lesser Avengers, they had just time-traveled to the year 2099, the period that served as a one-time basis of a whole slew of Marvel books.
Medina and Vlasco keep the team looking suitably disheveled. These characters look tired and as if they had been to war. They convey a feeling of vermisillatude that massively hyped darlings of the industry fail to display.
The team reunites and in some cases meets with a member of the original Fantastic Four. Kirkman in these scenes displays his finely honed wit and comprehension of continuity. Say what you like about Marvel Team-Up, but even when it's messy, which this issue is not, the continuity is spot-on.
The FF member brings readers and the time-travelers up to speed in bouncily crafted dialogue than proceeds to encapsulate everything that would happen in a massively padded storyarc. The events of the war in the past catch up to one of the heroes. Relationships, friendships and more, are formed. A natural leader arises from their ranks and forms them into a cogent and formidable team of heroes that tests their mettle against 2099 threats that have a basis in the past. Without a doubt this is the best these characters have been written for a long time, and that includes the new character X-23.
It's another fun chapter in the zany time-traveling storyarc in Marvel Team-Up. Calling Kirkman one of the terrific ten or fine fifteen may be pushing it, but he knows what works and what will attract readers who actually like Marvel's massive, teeming continuity.
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