Marvel Team-Up #20 Review
It really isn't Robert Kirkman's "fault." Really, if it's anybody's "fault," it is
A. The years and years of creators not introducing characters who aren't white, heterosexual males
B. The fans not supporting new characters, and since the ESTABLISHED characters were all mainly white, heterosexual males, that is what we have to go with.
Therefore, when I heard that Robert Kirkman was introducing a new superhero called "Freedom Ring," I figured that odds were that it would be some sort of unique background. And when I opened the issue, and saw that Freedom Ring was a white guy, I thought, "Oh, okay, so then he must be gay."
And, well, he was.
So that struck me as a pretty funny statement on creating new characters in 2006. Outside writing has come a far way (or, in the alternative, I read way too many comic books).
As to the story itself, it was an enjoyable issue, although I wonder if this book wouldn't make more sense if it was titled "Marvel Two-In-One," as there was no team-up in this comic. There was a fight scene with Captain America, as he tries to transport a powerful ring to SHIELD and the rest of the comic book was our young hero, Curtis, as he comes to terms with his new powers that the ring gives him.
I have enjoyed how Andy Kuhn has gotten better and better over the years. He does a strong job on the pencils for this issue.
The key to this issue, though, is how Curtis deals with having a magic ring that gives him anything he wants - even, PERHAPS, getting the cute waiter at the diner ask him out (Kirkman is keeping this unclear for now - although I think it seems likely that it is the case). Kirkman also creates a supporting cast for Curtis, made up of his three closest friends (two of them are dating). Good characterizations here.
The coolest aspect of the comic to me, though, is Curtis' personality. I do not know if this is intentional or not, but what Kirkman has created here is basically an ACTUAL mild-mannered person. An actual mild-mannered person is sooo rare, so to see one in a comic is a real treat, and a good piece of writing.
I would recommend this comic with the reservations that A. the Cap scenes were pretty superfluous. A full issue of Curtis, I think, would be cooler and B. not for nothing, but having Curtis being gay was kinda handled as a "reveal," which is really too creepy for words. I don't think it was INTENDED to be that weird, but it comes off pretty silly.