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Ms. Marvel #45

Posted: Monday, September 28, 2009
By: Shawn Hill

Brian Reed
Philippe Briones, Dave Sharpe (l)
Marvel Comics
"War of the Marvels: Variations in Tactics"

Plot: Fake Ms. Marvel is getting fed up with the resourcefulness of Catherine Donovan. Not to mention the other Ms. Marvel, who's as violent as she is.

Comments: Norman and Karla make a formidably deadly team. Avengers Tower is theirs now and all the latent skills of Catherine (some sort of avatar of Carol) or the brutality of the new costume Ms. Marvel don't seem to be able to change that fact.

So Norman and Karla both take to their versions of final solutions. Karla starts dropping people from skyscrapers so one of the Carols (she doesn't care which one) will have to save them. And Norman puts a kill order out on Catherine and takes matters in his own (repulsor-powered) hands when his minions fail to take her down.

It doesn't seem to make a lot of sense, as none of this is going to do much for the Dark Avengers reputation, usually a paramount concern of Osborn's. Luckily for everyone, Carols of all non-Karla persuasions have some sort of guardian angels (who they are isn't that hard to figure out), who take matters into their own...well, floating glowy cubes, preventing Norman from doing his worst.

Reed has yet to run out of ideas for identity switches in this new series of setbacks for the title character (whoever that may turn out to be). Briones replaces Sana Takeda (who only does the cover), and his style of exaggerated anatomy this month recalls Brett Blevins (in a good way), but with a grungier paint job. His work fits the tone of Reed's potentially confusing story, giving each raving blonde her own distinct identity. Karla's glee at tossing people out of windows might be the most terrifying sight in the whole story.



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