Comics : Trouble #5

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This review was first published on: 2004.


Hey, this is part five of a five part story. If you haven't read the preceeding issues, then this review ain't gonna mean much to you at all! So, I'm not going to even think about a re-cap. If you haven't figured out that May, Mary, Richard and Ben went to summer camp, that Mary & Richard and May & Ben respectively started shagging, then I can't help ya.

And if you don't know that horny little red-head May was shagging Mary's man Richard on the side... like... 47 times... and that May got herself knocked up, and then ran away... then don't expect me to give you the background, all right?

In Detail...

Trouble #5
Jan 2004 : SM Spin-Off
Editor:  Axel Alonso
Writer:  Mark Millar
Pencils:  Terry Dodson
Inker:  Rachel Dodson
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May is shacked up with some sleaze-ball named Pablo, who beats her. They live in a trailer, and May spends her evenings bringing beers to Pablo's mates, and trying to think up excuses to to have sex with Pablo when he staggers into bed drunk.

May agonises a lot. Then Mary turns up, and says a lot of really nasty things to May. Mary says she's happy that Pablo beats May, and she hopes he puts her in hospital and kills the baby. That makes everything alright, so May and Mary are now friends.

May and Mary stay go back to the Hamptons and carry on working there after summer is over. May has the baby. Mary takes the baby, and heads back to tell Richard that it's their baby... and forces him to accept responsibility for the baby, thereby proving that he loves her.

May goes back to her folks, who kind of guess that it was May's baby, but they're happy not to have to deal with that mess, so they just shut up about it. Time passes, Mary & Richard get married, and Richard joins the marines... next stop government agents, huh?

Meanwhile, May and Ben seem to be on a tentative track towards re-uniting with each other. But time alone will tell...

In General...

When this book was introduced, Bill Jemas said: "I hope that Marvel readers will be proud to call Trouble the origin of Spider-Man." Trouble was quote "The number one book from Epic", the newly ressurected and much-lauded line of comic books Marvel was pushing.

Well, barely six months later, Jemas is gone, Epic's future is uncertain, and as for Trouble? According to a post on Quesada's website, JQ says that Trouble hasn't been very well received and won't be part of the official Marvel canon. It has also been stated that Millar has no plans to reference the story in his new Spider-Man title.

Our own poll results were fairly clear on the matter too, with 71% of voters giving Trouble the boot, and only 28% rating it as a good title.

And now, here at the end of the series, what did I think of Millar's attempt to wrap all this up? Well, I really didn't think much of the first four issues, and it's really rather too late for a rescue now.

The final issue certainly does wrap everything up very neatly - but it's hard not to feel that the ending is all rather contrived and convenient, in a way which just leaves me feeling rather unsatisfied.

Millar does try and add some impact to the conclusion by throwing in some unpleasantness. There's Pablo, who beats May. There's Mary saying she wished Pablo would beat May so hard that she loses the baby. This is all high shock-value stuff... but to me it comes across as too extreme.

Shock tactics work if you're prepared the scene first, and if the reader has developed sympathy with the characters. I don't feel that Millar did either in this case, and instead I'm just left with the impression of an overbearing melodrama neatly bundled into 22 comic book pages.

Overall Rating...

Nice try, Mister Miller. But I never manged to get past feeling ripped off for being tricked into purchasing this "Spider-Man" title. Having been conned into starting, there was little here for me to enjoy.

At least this last issue was well-paced, and filled with plot, hence the two webs. But it's too little too late. My advice...? Don't Trouble yourself with Trouble.