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Old 04-20-2013, 01:23 PM   #101
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Default Re: The Ongoing Bought/Thought! 2013

DD #25 was probably the best issue of the series right behind issue 7. Issue #12, the Matt/Kirsten date issue was another of the series best as well.

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Old 04-20-2013, 05:50 PM   #102
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All excellent issues, but I think my favorite is #23. The whole thing epitomized Matt and Foggy's relationship, and the ending was just stunning.

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Old 04-21-2013, 12:47 AM   #103
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Definitely the biggest week of the month for me, but with plenty of spoilers to show for it.

DREAD'S BOUGHT/THOUGHT FOR 4/17/13:

BATMAN BEYOND UNLIMITED #15: DC Comics' anthology publication of their digital-first "Beyond" comic books continues to be an often neglected but often terrifically entertaining package for discerning fans of DC animation. Despite the title, the lead story every issue fluctuates and this issue the lead story is the "Superman Beyond" strip by J.T. Krul and Howard Porter. During the first year of this series, it was often the weakest strip of the package; however, for this latest arc it sometimes struggles for the top spot. This arc has seen an older Superman abducted by aliens whose world he meddled with during younger and more idealized times. Having liberated a class of slaves in the past (the feline Mangals), now those "slaves" have been waging a bloody and long term war against their former oppressors, the Trillians. The Trillians held Superman responsible and saw to his arrest and torture, but he has been liberated by the Mangals who see him as a god. Superman, however, doesn't want to further complicate an already dangerous situation, although the circumstances quickly cycle out of control. Krul has shaped a complex story where both sides of a war have some gray and Superman's typical actions are extended to a logical conclusion. This issue also has a "Justice League Unlimited" strip by Derek Fridolfs and Ben Caldwell and the titular "Batman Beyond" strip by Adam Beechen and Norm Breyfogle. The latter sees focus on Maxine, the Undercloud hacker cult, a giant robot and fall out from the Jokerz terrorist bombing of Gotham City - events made more disturbing by real history. Overall, this remains an often overlooked anthology from DC's library of titles.

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES MICRO-SERIES: VILLAINS #1: IDW Comics' extension of their TMNT franchise continues with yet another "micro-series" fleshing out some element of their regular series written by Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz. The previous "micro-series" devoted single issue tales to all of the series' heroes and supporting characters; this one seeks to focus on the villains. Taking place after the previous issue of the regular TMNT series, this issue focuses on the Dimension X warlord, Krang. Written Joshua Williamson, drawn by Mike Henderson and colored by Ian Herring, the IDW era's version of Krang is naturally a mixture of the foundation from the Mirage Comics as well as some trappings from the original 1987 cartoon series, with some tones lifted from the 2003 cartoon's original creation, Chr'ell. In this series, Krang is a member of the Utrom race who is the the son of their former ruler Quanin on their home planet, Utrominion. Originally weak and immature, Krang learned the brutal reality of war when he stole upon an ops mission against his father's enemy Traxus, who assumed command of a prison. The mission proved to be a disaster with Krang being its sole survivor, and he ultimately must complete it himself against the elements. The artwork by Henderson matches the tone of the regular series well, and it proves to be an entertaining look at the cosmic warlord. While these spare mini series may have been commissioned for pure profit, IDW has managed to usher in an era of quality which allows them to be welcomed instead of dreaded.

AGE OF ULTRON #6: At this point is where this long delayed, virtually irrelevant crossover "event" goes from bland to off the rails. Brian Bendis continues to write this rag, although at this point the schedule (needing two years to draw five issues) became too much for Bryan Hitch, so he has been replaced by Brandon Peterson and Carlos Pacheco (along with their own inking and colorist teams) on regular art. The issue covers two time spanning efforts by the heroes to save the world from Ultron. A squad of leftover Avengers, X-Men, and leftover heroes head into the far future to tackle Ultron directly, and get slaughtered. Wolverine and Invisible Woman head into the past to kill Hank Pym before he could invent Ultron - with the former betting that whatever time/space continuum catastrophe he is about to unleash can't be as bad as Ultron ruling the world. While such simple minded and hypocritically violent thuggery is acceptable from Wolverine, someone such as Sue who has witnessed no end of time travel paradoxes and alternate reality nightmares should know better. Solicitations for "Avengers A.I." confirm Pym's survival, thus putting this in the dustbin of history before history is even created. The only difference between this and the aimless alternate reality escapade in "Dark Avengers" is the promotion and the "pedigree" of the creators - although name brands don't always equal quality. This isn't as bad as "Fear Itself" in much the same manner as a concussion isn't as bad as a decapitation. It may be tolerated, but not enjoyed.

DAREDEVIL #25: The Mark Waid era of Marvel Comics' iconic "man without fear" is now officially into its second year, and this issue indicates there is no sign of slowing down. Previous stories have involved mobsters, super villain organizations, crossovers with "Amazing Spider-Man" and "Punisher" and even a trip into Latveria and within Matt Murdock's own brain. Along for this Eisner winning run has been colorist Javier Rodriguez, who will even get a chance to pencil the comic himself in July. The latest artist, Chris Samnee, is the third artist to grace the pages with his work, but he has continued to add to the run's reputation of providing some of the best artwork that a mainstream Marvel superhero comic has to offer. Furthermore, Waid has mastered and demonstrates serial storytelling at its best - each issue offers a satisfying chunk of story while having distinct arcs as well as all arcs leading in one steady direction.

A secret cabal has organized against Daredevil since the start of the run, although it hasn't become obvious to the readers or the titular hero until recently. To this end they have utilized knowledge of Murdock's origin and life to not only torment and manipulate him, but to create new enemies for him to face. They created the Jackal (a twisted improvement upon Spider-Man's lame nemesis, the Spot), and this issue sees another new creation in Ikari. Representing both "fury" as well as a dark parallel of Daredevil himself, this issue consists mostly of their duel. The cover is quite a fake out as it seems to show Daredevil fighting "himself" wearing his original yellow-and-red costume, which is actually displayed within. Waid writes the dialogue and inner monologue well, while he and Samnee naturally pace the fight brilliantly (and Rodriguez colors it with equally brilliantly). If there is one demerit, it is that Ikari is similar to another original villain, Bruiser, in that he is a design and a set of powers without much of a personality beyond being a minion for shadowy masters. In the long run this isn't a major flaw as additional stories should flesh him out, and Daredevil is a franchise which has so longed for new villains that even newer ones who serve as agents of masterminds are welcome.

At the end of the issue, both the character and the status quo seems shattered to the core, with only guesses being offered as to the next step. With a lot of focus on crossover events or heavier promoted runs such as Dan Slott's "Amazing/Superior Spider-Man", "Daredevil" remains a stoic but exceptional superhero series. In fact its only major flaw may be that it cannot come out more than once a month.

DARK AVENGERS #189: A dead book walking, although if I am honest this book, whether called Thunderbolts or Dark Avengers as written by Jeff Parker for over 2 years, it has been a dead book walking for a while now. The re-title was the last roll of the dice for it to buy it another year or so, and it didn't work. Frankly, there is little difference in terms of structure between this and AGE OF ULTRON. Both are overlong alternate reality stories which both feature a Hulk in the cast which at the end of the day won't matter much to the grand scheme of the universe. Hell, this is even drawn by Neil Edwards, who is often seen as a poor man's Bryan Hitch. The difference is the creative team is lower profile, there are no crossover tie in's, and there's zero promotion. At any rate, the Dark Avengers are still stuck in some parallel world where a prolonged war between Dr. Strange, Iron Man, and the Thing has split Manhattan into bits and ruined the world. Some AIM scientists are watching things from outside time and Dr. Strange's magical muddling may have been the cause of the trouble. In this issue, Moonstone turns out to not be dead, Clor finally wakes up, and Skaar starts to take on the Thing. Some final gambit with an alternate Mjolnir is taken and at this point I am just waiting for this to end. I adored Parker's AGENTS OF ATLAS stuff, but his T-bolts run has seen a lot of peaks and valleys, often due to too many roster changes.

IRON MAN #8: Second verse, same as the first - great story, so-so art. Kieron Gillen continues to craft the space era of Iron Man in time for GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY to get big. Having seemingly killed the Phoenix back in AVX, some retcon alien elders called the Voldi have put Tony Stark on trial for various galactic crimes. The android Recorder 451 sought to aid Stark by suggesting he go for an ancient Voldi "trial by combat" in classic "STAR TREK" style - which goes fine until the Voldi figure out that Stark's a better fighter than their peons and hire the intergalactic robot mercenary Death's Head to fight him. DH popped up in Gillen's short lived SWORD series, so it makes sense to see him here. But it turns out that Stark has been played like a fiddle by Recorder 451, and the Voldi pay the price. I see why these retcon aliens were made; essentially so they could be wiped out immediately. This run continues to be entertaining, although Greg Land's "art" is often at best a distraction. It seems Land's blu ray copy of "GLADIATOR" got a work out for this story.

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #8: Picking up from the previous issue, writer Dan Slott continues on with the second part of "Troubled Mind", with the premise being not only of certain parties beginning to catch on that something isn't quite right with Spider-Man lately (which is true since the mind of Dr. Octopus is in control of him) at the same time as Ock becomes aware that Peter Parker's mind (or soul) still lingers. The Avengers have staged an intervention which turns violent (as most superhero misunderstandings seem to be), while reoccurring antagonist Cardiac continues on with a terrific premise as a vigilante doctor to the downtrodden. Humberto Ramos continues his latest stint on art with Victor Olazaba on inks and Edgar Delgado on colors, and as usual is up to his usual standard; if one is used to his style, it is quite good. Natasha have a scene with "Spidey" in reference to their alliance during "Ends of the Earth" and Ock sees some of the consequences of his actions. Carlie Cooper has her own secret ally, and the finale if anything shows that the more things change, the more they remain the same.

While Ock tells himself that he is motivated by Peter's memories to be a better hero for the good of all, the moment he detects Peter's presence within the body which Ock literally stole from him, Ock's first instinct is to regain total control. Ock may have saved the life of a child, but he also is eager to utilize his own stolen technology to crush the spirit of the hero he left to die who has lingered despite all odds. This of course makes for no end of anticipation for the next issue - which will probably reveal how Slott plans to keep the train running for the rest of the summer. The premise of this series is great for an arc, but it will be a challenge it beyond natural limits. At the very least, Slott has refused to play things safely, which may be common for a stunt but is appreciated in general.

VENOM #34: Cullen Bunn continues on his upswing with the book that Rick Remender built, with former THUNDERBOLTS artist Declan Shalvey in tow. This issue is mostly a fight between Agent Venom and the new Toxin, who is hosted by Eddie Brock. It reminds me of a lot of Venom's comics of the 90's where it seemed that symbiote shenanigans always ruled the series of mini's that he had, which usually got more complicated and garish as they went. Bunn avoids that and scripts a good fight, with Thompson and Brock representing two extremes. Thompson survives more than wins, and this continues the upward trend he's had on this book after some shakier first arcs. Sales on this book are slipping, but it should survive until a 40th issue, which isn't too shabby these days. I've certainly enjoyed the ride far more than I expected to, and it made ASM spin off's viable again.

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Old 04-21-2013, 03:22 AM   #104
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Default Re: The Ongoing Bought/Thought! 2013

Bro. Brobrobrobro. Seriously. Hawkeye is a seriously good book. Just caught up on the last three issues; and it has to be one of my top 5 Marvel titles. I'm just sad the killed off poor Gil.

hawkeye gets 5/5

thunderbolts, though, seriously stinks. How long is Parker going to have them traveling through time and realities. It feels like the never-ending story. I'm enjoying the current Thunderbolts much more than this book.

Thunderbolts gets a 1/5

(Oh, I forgot that Wolverine has a fifth title: Ultimate Wolverine. That book has been a bit dull; but, this week's issue picked up a bit. It's just that Logan isn't in the book much, except for brief back stories. It's mainly about his Ultimate son.)

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Old 04-21-2013, 09:26 AM   #105
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thunderbolts, though, seriously stinks. How long is Parker going to have them traveling through time and realities. It feels like the never-ending story. I'm enjoying the current Thunderbolts much more than this book.
Do you mean Thunderbolts or Dark Avengers? Thunderbolts, written by Way in the NOW! relaunch is god-awful but I never thought Parker's work was bad. However, I did drop the title when it was renamed to Dark Avengers though. Seriously, F-list Hawkeye and Spider-man and clone Thor? No thanks. I'm already reading the real deals in Avengers. I love Songbird, Juggernaut, and the time-traveling crew but seriously, screw the cheap Avengers knock-off team.

Regardless, I dropped the title over a year ago and Parker is still on the time-travel storyline?!?!

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Old 04-21-2013, 01:10 PM   #106
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Do you mean Thunderbolts or Dark Avengers? Thunderbolts, written by Way in the NOW! relaunch is god-awful but I never thought Parker's work was bad. However, I did drop the title when it was renamed to Dark Avengers though. Seriously, F-list Hawkeye and Spider-man and clone Thor? No thanks. I'm already reading the real deals in Avengers. I love Songbird, Juggernaut, and the time-traveling crew but seriously, screw the cheap Avengers knock-off team.

Regardless, I dropped the title over a year ago and Parker is still on the time-travel storyline?!?!
Yeah, I meant Dark Avengers. The book makes me miss the old days of Thunderbolts.

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Old 04-21-2013, 06:26 PM   #107
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Whew! Got through all my back issues of Astonishing X-Men, X-Treme X-Men, and Age of Apocalypse. X-Termination hasn't been that bad. It's nicely tying up the two books that will be gone after it's all said and done. Sadly, my least favorite is Astonishing X-Men; and, it will be sticking around. Where new readers will be hugely confused by the large cast of characters if they haven't been reading Age of Apocalypse and X-Treme X-Men, events in Astonishing have nothing to do with this mini-event. It's all about killing off two books.

This weeks Astonishing X-Men #61 gets a 3/5. That's higher than any score I've given the book in quite some time.

I'm also catching up on my IDW titles. Currently I'm reading Rocketeer: Hollywood Horror. It's a very good story, especially if you liked DC's The Spirit title. (Not the last version; but the one that preceded it.)

Hollywood Horror gets a 4/5, easily.
Its true what you are saying about how the crossover event with x-Books is confusing if you don't read the two books that are ending. Astonishing is my regular book ( gotta get my Gambit fix). I don't read the other two an did find myself getting all of those new faces confused. It is certainly taking a lot of the oomph out of the crossover out it for me.

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Old 04-21-2013, 08:15 PM   #108
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Its true what you are saying about how the crossover event with x-Books is confusing if you don't read the two books that are ending. Astonishing is my regular book ( gotta get my Gambit fix). I don't read the other two an did find myself getting all of those new faces confused. It is certainly taking a lot of the oomph out of the crossover out it for me.
Dude, Gambit's solo is the s**t! It's the best book that no one is buying or talking about....

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Old 04-21-2013, 09:02 PM   #109
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Dude, Gambit's solo is the s**t! It's the best book that no one is buying or talking about....
I am buying it. And it is great. I do have a bias, but in this case the book is actually worthy of praise.

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Old 04-22-2013, 12:36 AM   #110
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Do you mean Thunderbolts or Dark Avengers? Thunderbolts, written by Way in the NOW! relaunch is god-awful but I never thought Parker's work was bad. However, I did drop the title when it was renamed to Dark Avengers though. Seriously, F-list Hawkeye and Spider-man and clone Thor? No thanks. I'm already reading the real deals in Avengers. I love Songbird, Juggernaut, and the time-traveling crew but seriously, screw the cheap Avengers knock-off team.

Regardless, I dropped the title over a year ago and Parker is still on the time-travel storyline?!?!
Yes, they still are, and not for the better. The book has had its peaks but when it ends next issue I won't really miss it.

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Old 04-22-2013, 04:08 AM   #111
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Default Re: The Ongoing Bought/Thought! 2013

By the way, Dread. In case you wrote it in your examiner review, the name of the Daredevil villain based after spot was Coyote, not Jackal.

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Old 04-24-2013, 12:45 PM   #112
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Uncanny Avengers #7 - This issue was good, though not as excellent as the last few issues. Remender's plots are as interesting and well-written as always but three minor issues prevented me from loving this book. First, the dialogue was a little weird. Remender has characters speaking in uncommon slang terms and akward over-phrasing. Secondly, the narration is a little exposition heavy and comes off as kind of cheesy. It's the artist's job to convey a scene. The setting shouldn't need to be described via text, especially not in paragraphs. Finally, I'm just not feeling the art. At all. It's a shame that Opena, Weaver, or any of the fanstastic artists from Avengers cannot get on this title. I know I'm going to get flack for this but I HATE Acuna's messy, simplistic, oil-painting style art and washed out coloring. It feels extremely out of place here and I wish Copiel woulf come back. Despite these criticisms, the story manages to save this book. In the end, I'd have to give this issue a 4/5.

Avengers #10 - I've made it quite clear that I think Hickman's work on Avengers is the best the franchise has been in 10 to 15 years but this issue really did nothing for me. I can now understand the criticisms that some have about Hickman's dialogue coming across impersonal or dry. Additionally, the story, while unique and incredibly smart, is really starting to drag on. I understand that a big payoff is coming but this title is starting to feel like a single, comprehensive arc. While great in scope, it can be exhausting maintaining enthusiasm each week and waiting for some closure. I'm worried that New Avengers is heading that same route. Finally, I was NOT a fan of the art in this issue. I love Deodato Jr. I really do. His work on Thunderbolts and Dark Avengers was fantastic. However, I've noticed a decline in quality since he was promoted to the major titles. Specifically, his backgrounds and robots are terrible. I hated the way he drew rubble and the mechs in the Fear Itself tie-ins and I hate the way he drew Boxx and the forest here. Deodato draws excellent creatures (i.e. Venom, Hulk, Wendigo) but he's horrible at tech and setting. As was discussed in the Avengers thread, such a dynamic title may not be the best fit for Deodato. He's much better suited for smaller scale, darker toned stories, such as the Thunderbolts relaunch. While he once was my favorite artist, I've grown tired of Deodato.

Despite these criticisms, Avengers #10 is far from what could be considered a bad book. It may very well be the weakest of the series but it is still a great direction and an enjoyable read that could be improved by breaking the overall story into smaller, more succint arcs and finding artists with better fit (such as Weaver and Kubert). Opena is great but he needs to be on Uncanny Avengers. In the end, I'd have to rate this issue a solid 3/5. Still better than Bendis though.

I haven't read New Avengers #5 yet, so here's hoping to it being better than these issues. At least the art definitely will be!

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Old 04-24-2013, 05:09 PM   #113
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BOUGHT/THOUGHT for April 24, 2013

I thought I'd have to wait for Friday to get my books, but nope, I got them today. Stoked! On to reviews:

New Avengers 5 - I don't know. I like the book but it seems the further it gets the more I feel like I'm just not 'getting' it. I have questions that I didn't understand while rereading the series this week and I think that's taking me out of the series. I love the characters, I love the art, Hickman's a good writer, but I'm just sorta losing interest in this book. And to be honest, I think that's probably a good thing for me. I need to drop stuff, so losing interest in this title is a bonus for that.

Still, the issue itself was decent. I wish Hickman would have played with the Galactus/Terrax story a lot more. That's what made me come back for this issue and it was brushed aside as an after thought in exchange for the Black Swan origin. All-in-all, it was decent, but not fantastic. One of these days, I would just like to see Epting on a book that I love. I love his art, but he's just never around the titles I like.

Young Avengers 4 - This is a middle of the road sort of book for me. I enjoy it enough to keep going, but not enough to really look forward to it each month. I think a part of that is the cast and a part of it is the somewhat boring storyline. I don't like how forced Marvel Boy feels in this book. His sleeping with Kate makes no sense and had no build up in any way, anywhere. That really bothers me. Also, I feel like with all he went through in the Avengers, he wouldn't act like he does in this title. It's distracting and takes me out of the series.

I'm pretty bored of this parents plot, but I feel like it's just the catalyst for whatever real story Gillen has planned (likely putting Kid Loki as the foil). I love the Young Avengers franchise too much to ever drop this book, but I'm really hoping the quality of story increases, because right now I'm buying it for cast and potential, not for what's on the page. Well, that's not entirely true... McKelvie's art is fantastic.

Uncanny Avengers 7 - I enjoyed this issue. It wasn't as good as last issue with Apocalypse vs. Thor, but it was still enjoyable. It's very early into the plot so I didn't expect to understand everything that was going on, but I liked the twins and their destroying of a celestial. I like Sword and Sunfire's role, but other character interactions weren't all that great. I disliked pretty much anything with Wasp in it. A lot of the Havoc scenes felt a bit stiff or something, I'm not sure.

I did love everything having to do with the SWORD scenes, and the opening sequence with the twins taking out the last rendition of the Horsemen of Apocalypse was pretty cool (though I hate that they all died). I hope Genocide somehow returns. He was a pretty cool villain.

All-in-all, good issue. Not as good as last issue, but enough to keep me coming back. I enjoyed it. I have a feeling this issue is just planting seeds for what will be a fantastic upcoming story.

Wolverine & the X-Men 28 - Thank God this arc is finished. It ended much better than it started, enough to where I don't feel like I wasted my time with it, but it was still very lackluster. It was cool seeing Kid Omega stepping up alongside his classmates, and I liked Wolverine's thoughts when they stood up like that. And this is the first issue since his introduction that I kinda liked Eye Boy. Shark Girl still sucks, but the Eye kid has potential. Seeing Glob Herman turn on the team was kinda sad for me. I liked him a lot in Morrison's run and was hoping that something more would come of him here, but I suppose his betrayal to the Hellfire Club could result in some good student vs. student confrontations, which is usually pretty good.

So yeah, it was a decent read. Probably the best issue of the arc, but still just decent. Bring on the Hellfire Club Saga. I want to see how this all plays out in the arc Aaron's been building the title to since it's inception.

Uncanny X-Men 5 - Irvin Frazier's art is either fantastic for a story, or really really bad for it. I felt that it actually fit this issue well, and it made me enjoy the book, I mean REALLY enjoy the book, for the first time. I don't mind Bachelo, but he just didn't fit this title. He was too playful for a book that was fairly dark. Frazier, I feel, hit the darkness how it should be hit. Now, I don't know if he'd be good for the title ongoing, or for just this arc dealing with the demonic Limbo, but I enjoyed him here.

As for the story, I liked it. Magik is showing us that she's not in as good of shape as we all believed, and it all ties to her link to Limbo. She has a confrontation with Dommammu which leads to the return of her Darkchilde persona. There's more, but that's the extent of it. It was a good opening story to the next arc and it has me curious about what happens next, something I've not felt before on this book.

I can say, for the first time, that Uncanny X-Men has potential to be as good as All New X-Men. The addition of Angel and the Cuckoos to the book is a great help, as are fleshing out Magik and some of the new students. I feel like Bachelo was holding the book back and I'm hoping it heads in the right direction now. Here's hoping.

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 - This was pretty decent. It feels like Bendis and reads like Bendis, which for someone like me is a good thing. I can see anti-Bendis people not really enjoying it, but I thought it was a good issue. Iron Man being there doesn't bother me near as much as I thought it would, and I'm growing to enjoy the characters under Bendis' pen. I still don't get the horrendous downgrade in quality of Star Lord's suit... it was so awesome but is now so stupid looking (though I can get use to it in time). And I didn't care for Gladiator's comment about Earth needing to be ruled, but it doesn't necessarilly fly in the face of his character. And I think Peter's father is going to turn into an interesting heal for the title.

McNiven's art is pretty as always, and I think Bendis is doing a good job. I'll be sticking with the book for a while, it seems. I'm glad I gave it a shot.

Justice League Dark 19 - The first issue of the next arc starts here and it was pretty decent. Guest starring Flash and Swamp Thing, the team is trying to recover the House of Mystery and hijinks ensues. Madame Xanadu is youthified and hotter after last arc's aging story, and Deadman takes notice (which I thought was funny). Frankenstein is really starting to grow on me, and I'm glad that it sounds like Lemire is going to be keeping him around for a while. I hated that Zatanna was nowhere to be seen, but two issues ago in Justice League, it made it sound like she got booted, so either that happened between arcs here, or will happen soon. That said, the title will be lacking without her. She was my main draw when I first started buying it.

I have no idea who Doctor Destiny is, but that's pretty much been par the course for me on this title. I knew next to nothing about DC's magical side of things prior to coming onto this title, so these villain reveals might as well be brand new characters. But the story is told well enough that I don't care. Lemire and Janin keeps me coming back.

Batman Incorporated 10 - It was literally last week that I realized the new Azrael is the 3rd Batman from early in Morrison's run. I'm glad I figured that out because he shows up here and I got a lot more out of it. It took me a while to get used to Chris Burnham's art, but I grew to love it with this title and will always associate his work to this book. I loved his work here, but man were those fill in pages painful. When I saw Tim, I thought it was a woman and had to read it over to figure out if there was something I'd missed. Not very good.

The issue itself, however, was fantastic. I very nearly dropped this book after issue 6 but stayed because of the rumors of Damian's death. While I hate that the rumors came true, it's resulted in a fantastic story that I eagerly await each issue of. I hate that there's only 3 issues left in Morrison's run, as it's what pulled me into the Batman universe. It's been great though, and this issue is no exception.

Jupiter's Legacy 1 - I don't typically go outside of Marvel or DC. I can list on one hand the amount of independant titles that I really stayed with (Sojourn, Project Superpowers, Black Terror, Umbrella Academy) though I've discovered some in hindsight (Planetary, Y the Last Man, Kirby Genesis, Walking Dead). I don't know what it was about this issue, but it really caught my eye. I wasn't planning on buying it, but Quitely's art pulled me in, then I read the premise and saw that it was only $3, and I just bit. I'm looking to drop books, but man, I just had to try it.

As it turned out, I really enjoyed this issue. The typical "Millar" billing of this story being "the greatest superhero epic of this generation" is annoying, but the story and art really set it off with a quiet bang for me. I liked it, and I think I'll come back for the next issue. It was very well done, it made me want to go back and reread it, and it made me curious about what comes next. Good job Millar and Quitely


Best and Worst of the Week

Best: Jupiter's Legacy 1 - It was between this and Uncanny X-Men, but I think this eeked it out just a bit. It was well-written, beautifully drawn, and it's bringing me back for the next issue... which is not an easy thing for an independant book to do.

Worst: New Avengers 5 - This issue just did nothing for me. If I'm going to start picking up Jupiter's Legacy then I HAVE to start dropping some books, and I think this is officially one. I was hoping to hold on until Infinity came around, but I think I'm going to drop it now and catch up later if it ends up recapturing my attention. For now, though, it isn't really doing it for me... art and characters aside.

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Old 04-24-2013, 07:59 PM   #114
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New Avengers continues to be an awesome comic. I love everything about this book, the story, art, the epic level the story operates on, the weight of the crisis at hand, the characters and how well they play off each other. I'm desperate to see Cap come back into the mix but I guess that's a major payoff Hickman wants to use down the road. Between this and Thor GOT, it's a back and forth swing for best (Marvel) comic out there. And I love the strict monthly schedule it holds, it makes me die in anticipation for the next issue.

The other Hickman Avengers book was very good too. I really enjoyed the mysterious nature of the story because it posed questions for the reader later on but not leaving us completely in the dark. It leaves you yearning for more, exactly what a good story should do. Agent Michaud's ending was tragic but I think that Hickman is going to come back to his past with Validator later on. The only thing I'm not sure of is if he's a new character or not. Wolverine knew him but Wolverine knows every spy on the planet, Canadian and American. It didn't take me out of the story but I doubt Hickman is just going to leave Michaud's suicide out there dangling. I have a feeling it's going to have more of a meaning later on.

Uncanny Avengers was solid again and it's great to see it rolling back on track. There was not a lot of action this issue but one of Remender's strengths is interaction between characters in a team situation so we got plenty of old with Simon and Wanda and new with Havok and Jan. Remender continues to play off what Aaron is doing on Thor just like they did recently with WATXM and UXF. The two books are like companion pieces and I loved the cliffhanger ending.

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Old 04-24-2013, 08:59 PM   #115
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Avengers # 10 ..it's been a "weird" book..and a lot of the now titles have had some sort of "weird" feeling to them, mostly in a positive way, but this issue kind of lost me. I just didnt understand what the heck is going on. I thought I'd have a clearer picture of what the hell is going on in this series, but I'm still pretty confused. I tended to like this feeling of confusion and chocked it up to some inventive writing, but I'm starting to be in the range when I hoped to have a grasp on it..and I don't. This was the most confusing issue of them all, and I just wasnt a huge fan.

Not to mention we've had two misses on the "conclusions" of arcs (Gardeners left inexplicably on Mars and NU characters left "in a box") so despite how I've enjoyed the book..I am starting to question that vibe.

Between this and NA we've had like 20 issues of "WTF is going on?"

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Old 04-24-2013, 10:07 PM   #116
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Avengers # 10 ..it's been a "weird" book..and a lot of the now titles have had some sort of "weird" feeling to them, mostly in a positive way, but this issue kind of lost me. I just didnt understand what the heck is going on. I thought I'd have a clearer picture of what the hell is going on in this series, but I'm still pretty confused. I tended to like this feeling of confusion and chocked it up to some inventive writing, but I'm starting to be in the range when I hoped to have a grasp on it..and I don't. This was the most confusing issue of them all, and I just wasnt a huge fan.

Not to mention we've had two misses on the "conclusions" of arcs (Gardeners left inexplicably on Mars and NU characters left "in a box") so despite how I've enjoyed the book..I am starting to question that vibe.

Between this and NA we've had like 20 issues of "WTF is going on?"
The Avengers were called into one of the Ex Nihlo sites in Canada one month after Omega Flight went into investigate and disappeared. They were accompanied by an agent of Department H.

When they were there, it seemed to them like were only there 49 minutes but the recording device on the agent picked up over 300hrs of footage. The Avengers knew they went through some kind of time warp but not much else and held back info from SHIELD and Dept H although Maria Hill and the other guy figured it out on their own.

Validator apparently has become infected somehow and coerced the agent (who Wolverine revealed to know in the past and also knew that Validator was his daughter) into committing suicide before revealing that a plan has been set into motion.

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Old 04-25-2013, 03:33 AM   #117
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In New Avengers... I get that the incursions are when two Earths from two different universes collide, which spirals and destroys the entire universe of both Earths... and that THAT'S what the Illuminati are trying to stop (over and over again), but that's where my understanding stops.

The Incursions we've seen... the team always steps into the red-skyed world, but no other hero is ever around. So I take it they keep stepping into the OTHER Earth that 616 Earth is about to hit? And if so, why does the 616 Earth not show any signs of this oncoming other Earth? No red sky?

And Cap managed to push the first Earth away with the Infinity Gauntlet, right? (and destroyed all but the time gems in the process) But what happened to the second one in this new issue? Correct me if I'm wrong, but Galactus destroyed it, preventing the incursion. Right? I thought the whole point of them TEGROFing Batman... er... Captain America, was because they realized they would HAVE to destroy other Earths and Cap would never allow it. So if Galactus and the Illuminati were essentially going for the same result, why were they fighting with Terrax to stop it? That would have resulted in the death of everything. That was never explained, or at least I missed it or didn't grasp the explanation.

And not really a question that can be answered, but why would Beast be going along with this? He would be right there along with Captain America, as seen in his constant debates with Cyclops over the past 5 or 6 years. In my opinion, Hickman is getting Beast's character horribly wrong. They needed to get Cyclops or Magneto in on this, because that's about the only ones who I think would have the cahonies to actually agree to destroying worlds to save universes. And why won't Marvel freaking make Eaton update Beast's look?! So this has all taken place prior to All New X-Men #1? Continuity, Marvel. CONTINUITY!!!

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Old 04-25-2013, 06:22 AM   #118
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In New Avengers... I get that the incursions are when two Earths from two different universes collide, which spirals and destroys the entire universe of both Earths... and that THAT'S what the Illuminati are trying to stop (over and over again), but that's where my understanding stops.

The Incursions we've seen... the team always steps into the red-skyed world, but no other hero is ever around. So I take it they keep stepping into the OTHER Earth that 616 Earth is about to hit? And if so, why does the 616 Earth not show any signs of this oncoming other Earth? No red sky?
So far they've stepped into other alternate Earth's with no heroes although those Earth's have been show, in particular issue #2 when Reed was explaining Incursions to the team. The alt Earth from #4 and #5 was one where Magneto quite possibly wiped out all heroes. Issue #4 showed the red sky over the 616 Ellis Island and that's where the NA crossed over. No red sky was seen in NA #3 because that alt Earth was not colliding with the 616, it was colliding with another alt Earth. When Reed broke it all down in issue #2, in the background the chart showed how all the collisions happen in a straight line.

Quote:
And Cap managed to push the first Earth away with the Infinity Gauntlet, right? (and destroyed all but the time gems in the process) But what happened to the second one in this new issue? Correct me if I'm wrong, but Galactus destroyed it, preventing the incursion. Right? I thought the whole point of them TEGROFing Batman... er... Captain America, was because they realized they would HAVE to destroy other Earths and Cap would never allow it. So if Galactus and the Illuminati were essentially going for the same result, why were they fighting with Terrax to stop it? That would have resulted in the death of everything. That was never explained, or at least I missed it or didn't grasp the explanation.
Galactus on the alt Earth basically did the New Avengers job for them, he destroyed the alt Magneto ruled Earth and saved the 616. They decided to not do anything about it and prioritize capturing the alternate Terrax as a way to find out more info on how to stop this. This is the exact decision Cap warned them about and got mind wiped for it.

Quote:
And not really a question that can be answered, but why would Beast be going along with this? He would be right there along with Captain America, as seen in his constant debates with Cyclops over the past 5 or 6 years. In my opinion, Hickman is getting Beast's character horribly wrong. They needed to get Cyclops or Magneto in on this, because that's about the only ones who I think would have the cahonies to actually agree to destroying worlds to save universes. And why won't Marvel freaking make Eaton update Beast's look?! So this has all taken place prior to All New X-Men #1? Continuity, Marvel. CONTINUITY!!!
This is slightly confusing to me as well but I look at it as one of two things:

Beast told Cap, "Are you asking a mutant if he's prepared to do anything to hold off extinction?". Too me he's making it pretty clear that he's willing to do anything to save his universe, his Earth, his world only or.......

When they mindwiped Cap, Beast never moved from his chair, he remained frozen in it and was the only one to not hover over Cap's body. I'm starting to think they mindwiped him as well but not as much to keep his big, useful brain around. This may be a twist that Hickman may reveal later. I find it real odd that Hank just sat there like a zombie.

As for continuity, remember that the scene I just talked about with the team standing over Cap was also shown months prior by Opena in Avengers #1. So all of New Avengers to this point is taking place waaaaaay before NOW began. That's why Cap was not in his new outfit and that's why Beast looks like that, he has yet to bring the All New X-Men to the present.

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Old 04-25-2013, 12:18 PM   #119
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So far they've stepped into other alternate Earth's with no heroes although those Earth's have been show, in particular issue #2 when Reed was explaining Incursions to the team. The alt Earth from #4 and #5 was one where Magneto quite possibly wiped out all heroes. Issue #4 showed the red sky over the 616 Ellis Island and that's where the NA crossed over. No red sky was seen in NA #3 because that alt Earth was not colliding with the 616, it was colliding with another alt Earth. When Reed broke it all down in issue #2, in the background the chart showed how all the collisions happen in a straight line.
Okay. I didn't get that they were stopping incursions from other worlds than 616 as well. I thought all of these were about to hit 616. That makes sense.

Quote:
Galactus on the alt Earth basically did the New Avengers job for them, he destroyed the alt Magneto ruled Earth and saved the 616. They decided to not do anything about it and prioritize capturing the alternate Terrax as a way to find out more info on how to stop this. This is the exact decision Cap warned them about and got mind wiped for it.
I somewhat question this. It seems to me that they should have not bothered squabiling with Terrax and get as many people as they could over to the 616 instead of letting them all die. Or at least put one or two people on that task. That was just wierd to me.

Quote:
This is slightly confusing to me as well but I look at it as one of two things:

Beast told Cap, "Are you asking a mutant if he's prepared to do anything to hold off extinction?". Too me he's making it pretty clear that he's willing to do anything to save his universe, his Earth, his world only or.......

When they mindwiped Cap, Beast never moved from his chair, he remained frozen in it and was the only one to not hover over Cap's body. I'm starting to think they mindwiped him as well but not as much to keep his big, useful brain around. This may be a twist that Hickman may reveal later. I find it real odd that Hank just sat there like a zombie.

As for continuity, remember that the scene I just talked about with the team standing over Cap was also shown months prior by Opena in Avengers #1. So all of New Avengers to this point is taking place waaaaaay before NOW began. That's why Cap was not in his new outfit and that's why Beast looks like that, he has yet to bring the All New X-Men to the present.
I'm not buying the mindwiping Beast idea since they already have big brains there. I think it was just a moral issue with Beast, but he still let it happen and went along with trying to wipe out the next incursion. That doesn't sit well with me at all.

And I guess it all makes sense as long as it's all taking place prior to the Marvel Now timeline's beginning. Still, it's annoying seeing Beast in his new form all over the place, but New Avengers still has "cat" beast.

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Old 04-25-2013, 06:39 PM   #120
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REVIEWS APRIL 24 2013

Uncanny Avengers #7: I have such a love/hate relationship with this title. It's usually the first one I read every time it comes out and I'm always interested in it from finish to end. But I don't necessarily love it. Right now I don't think UA is the right book for the story Remender is telling. The Apocalypse Twins/Genocide/Celestial stuff is really cool and interesting and shocking, but it has nothing to do with this "Unity" team. It bothers me seeing Thor and Captain America and other Avengers dealing with an X-men issue. So while I like this story, I don't think it should have been done in UA. Uncanny X-Force should have lasted longer if this is the story Remender wanted to tell. Get someone else to write mutant rights stuff, because Remender clearly has an awkward grasp on it.

And as for the characters. Havok, Wanda, and Wasp are all aggravating. There was nothing redeeming about Wanda this issue (and the art made her look like a full blown villain), Havok just seems incompetent and unable to handle the team (putting Rogue on tracking Magneto down? What?), and Jan just thinks mutants are dramatic while adding to the drama and trying to make hipster mutant fashion. Rogue and Thor are excellent at least.

Uncanny X-men #5: What a great example of finding an artist that works perfectly for the story that is being told. I haven't read too much of Limbo. I always just thought it was a complicated alternate dimension that I wouldn't understand because I haven't been reading comics for decades, but Magik was really cool in this issue. She looked awesome as Darkchilde and it's good to see that her powers have been altered as well. I wasn't really looking forward to this arc, but after seeing the art this issue and what's at stake for Illyana I'm definitely interested!

Young Avengers #4: Great issue! This is becoming one of my favourite titles, and kid Loki has a lot to do with it. He's so sketchy and entertaining. While the parents threat isn't that interesting, what Loki is doing to the team is. Loki has planted thoughts in Teddy's mind that his love for Billy is just part of Billy's reality warping powers. I sense some decent relationship drama in the future. Finally Kate and Marvel Boy show up, and I really liked how Marvel Boy was written. I've never read him before so I don't know anything about him, but he was definitely a highlight of this issue. While I'm not crazy about the parents plot, it's setting up some great stuff down the line. The art was really unique and did things with panels that most titles don't.

Avengers #10: Woah duuuude. This issue was trippy. It was pretty good, but it suffers from being made overly complex for a simple story. I mean the plot is that the Avengers went into an origin site and were caught in a weird time warp of evolution. But the way Hickmen writes makes everything unclear and confusing. My second criticism is that only the plot seems to have developed in ten issues. Characters are lucky to have any line, let alone one that has meaning. But the art was fantastic, and I am enjoying this garden/builders/origin site storyline.

New Avengers #5: Good issue, with great art, and an awesome ending. Like Avengers, NA has problems with being convoluted, but (also like Avengers) it has a very cool and interesting plot. While it's not my favourite title, I enjoy seeing the ways in which these "heroes" are trying to solve these huge problems.

Guardians of the Galaxy #2: Boring. There was nothing to like in this issue. It didn't feel like the team had any chemistry, Iron Man felt out of place, and the writing seemed amateurish. I'm probably only going to read this until the ANXM tie in. Maybe it will get better by than, but this issue was just a bunch of mindless action.

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Old 04-25-2013, 07:05 PM   #121
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I feel like I'm the only one that understands Avengers #10.

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Old 04-25-2013, 07:36 PM   #122
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Default Re: The Ongoing Bought/Thought! 2013

I picked up the Man-Thing Omnibus for $68 yesterday...


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Old 04-26-2013, 04:24 AM   #123
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Uncanny Avengers #7: I have such a love/hate relationship with this title. It's usually the first one I read every time it comes out and I'm always interested in it from finish to end. But I don't necessarily love it. Right now I don't think UA is the right book for the story Remender is telling. The Apocalypse Twins/Genocide/Celestial stuff is really cool and interesting and shocking, but it has nothing to do with this "Unity" team. It bothers me seeing Thor and Captain America and other Avengers dealing with an X-men issue. So while I like this story, I don't think it should have been done in UA. Uncanny X-Force should have lasted longer if this is the story Remender wanted to tell. Get someone else to write mutant rights stuff, because Remender clearly has an awkward grasp on it.

And as for the characters. Havok, Wanda, and Wasp are all aggravating. There was nothing redeeming about Wanda this issue (and the art made her look like a full blown villain), Havok just seems incompetent and unable to handle the team (putting Rogue on tracking Magneto down? What?), and Jan just thinks mutants are dramatic while adding to the drama and trying to make hipster mutant fashion. Rogue and Thor are excellent at least.
I agree with you on a lot of this. I don't necessarily mind Wanda, and even Wonder Man, but Wasp is annoying the crap out of me.

And how awesome would it have been if Uncanny X-Force had gone down how Remender planned without his ideas being spread elsewhere. This Apocalypse Twins story was supposed to be there, and so was the Descendants story from Secret Avengers (which had seeds planted in the second arc and .1 issue of UXF). There was also supposed to be a Deadpool arc that focused on his character, which would have been awesome based on how well Remender handled the character.

I like this story so far, and it doesn't bother me to have Avengers along for the ride, but I would have loved it in Uncanny X-Force.

Quote:
Uncanny X-men #5: What a great example of finding an artist that works perfectly for the story that is being told.
Completely agree. Frazier Irving's art is perfect for a Limbo story. And where this title has just sorta been lackluster with Bachelo on pencils, suddenly I'm interested under Irving. It's amazing what a change in artist can do.

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Old 04-26-2013, 09:03 PM   #124
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The Avengers were called into one of the Ex Nihlo sites in Canada one month after Omega Flight went into investigate and disappeared. They were accompanied by an agent of Department H.

When they were there, it seemed to them like were only there 49 minutes but the recording device on the agent picked up over 300hrs of footage. The Avengers knew they went through some kind of time warp but not much else and held back info from SHIELD and Dept H although Maria Hill and the other guy figured it out on their own.

Validator apparently has become infected somehow and coerced the agent (who Wolverine revealed to know in the past and also knew that Validator was his daughter) into committing suicide before revealing that a plan has been set into motion.
Yeah I got most of that, but there are important subtilties that are just not connecting with me...and don't get me wrong, I've raved about the book..and maybe even I do still like the frustration at the overall enigmatic complexity of this crazy weave that is NA, Avengers, and UA...but I'm kinda lost on the overall sense of everything tying together with a nice logic.

It's like 70s turtleneck sci -fi here...and I digged Remender showing Wonderman in the ole T'neck in UA #7 becuase it really hit the vibe.

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Old 04-27-2013, 01:04 AM   #125
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Bit of an average week to finish April on, but let get on with some spoilers!

DREAD'S BOUGHT/THOUGHT FOR 4/24/13:

INVINCIBLE #102: Robert Kirkman's iconic Image Comics superhero series continues to go on its own fascinating and occasionally bizarre plot paths. Unlike most superhero titles, it is creator owned and thus does not have to adhere to any editorially mandated edict or status quo. On the downside, there have been instances where Kirkman's zeal to avoid a rut and see what wonky plot threads stick has led to some "surprises for the sake of surprises" style narratives. This issue sees the subplot of Viltrumite regent Thragg (who still looks like Freddie Mercury) take on his fight to Nolan and reveal a festering grudge which emerged in previous issues (which dealt with the star Mark Grayson being depowered, killed, and resurrected all in a few insane issues). Turns out Mark's father Nolan is a direct relative of Viltrum's old sagely ruler, and Thragg's desire to cling to power winds up being his undoing. Ryan Ottley's artwork is always stunning and it is matched well with John Rauch's colors and Cliff Ratherburn's inks, even if this series has seen so many over-the-top brawls that they become routine when they occur. The issue does end on a romantic note, and overall this has been the best issue in quite some time.

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #21: An issue by the same creative team as most issues of the IDW TMNT series, just fewer of them. Kevin Eastman draws, inks, and co-wrote this issue alongside regular scripter Tom Waltz, and colorist Ronda Pattison. While it is a shorter and probably better story than the oversized annual he drew, its drawback is that it is very predictable. The Turtles have just returned from their adventure in Dimension X, saving the Neutrinos from Krang as the Foot Clan recovered some ooze from his forces on earth. They come across some mysterious fighter who knows all their secrets and seems intent to challenge them. Upon seeing the 6 page preview online I guessed the outcome, and I was right on the money - it's Master Splinter with a test for them. I wonder how he faked a French accent so well. Regardless, Pattison's colors work well with Eastman's art and it's a simple breather issue between arcs; the next one will follow up from the SECRET HISTORY OF THE FOOT CLAN mini and even include its artist. It isn't a bad issue and it is always good to see the Turtles' co-creator get more involved in the comic, but it would be hard to not describe this as a filler issue. It's an enjoyable filler issue, but it is a bookend issue taking place between more eventful ones.

MORBIUS THE LIVING VAMPIRE #4: This may as well be a dead book walking, as sales for the second issue were drastically low, and it appears unlikely this series will last beyond (or up to) a twelfth issue. It is the runt of the litter of "ASM" spin offs (behind "Venom", "Avenging Spider-Man", and "Scarlet Spider") and apparently the audience for vampires in comics remains small. It may not help that this series which writer Joe Keatinge and artist Richard Elson have crafted (alongside colorist Antono Fabela) has fallen in an area between "terrific" and "terrible" in terms of quality - it is "pretty good", which may not be enough for a third tier character to survive in this market. Regardless, this issue finishes the first arc in which Morbius has successfully escaped prison and wound up in Brownsville, Brooklyn and stumbled upon a conflict with the local violent street gang. Seeking to avoid being a "lethal vigilante" and maintain a low profile, Morbius has wound up fighting the gang and even seemingly murdering their leader, Noah St. Germain. While he's sought to protect a few eclectic local figures he's befriended, he's also stumbled upon a conspiracy which involves a secret cult and an apparent "physical improvement" process. It leads to a minor Spider-Man villain themed around a flower who hasn't been seen in about five years. In that regard it risks cribbing from "Venom", which breathed new life into another such masked mobster, Crime-Master. The bottom line is that this issue has introduced an interesting subplot and upped the ante for the series, although it sadly may have been too little, too late.

SCARLET SPIDER #16: While sales have dwindled a bit since this series debuted last year, one can imagine few would have bet that a spin off series to "Amazing Spider-Man" called "Scarlet Spider" and starring his reformed clone Kaine would even be in publication beyond a dozen issues - much less nearing an 18th. Former Marvel Animation writer Chris Yost has continued to steer Kaine into monthly adventures which seem to straddle the line between dark comedy and pseudo-mystical action. Previous issues featured some return of some dangling subplots from "The Gauntlet" (and to a lessor degree, "The Other") from previous years of "ASM", although this issue seems to delve back into what usually works for this series. "Scarlet Spider" has arcs and long term subplots, it often excels at single issue or two issue tales, which is nearly a lost art in "big two" comics. The art is produced by regular artist Khoi Pham with colorist Antonio Fabela and two inkers.

Kaine has overcome a lot in his flight from NYC to Houston, Texas; terrorists, bank robbers, werewolf mobsters, the Assassin's Guild, and even supernatural monsters. He has recently known that in a "life or death" choice, his true soul embraces being a monster and ravaging prey like a true "spider". Yet not even he is prepared to face this issue's challenge - enduring the "Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo". The reluctant vigilante thus becomes a reluctant dress-up cowboy and winds up fighting evil ex's, his own obliviousness to a woman in his life, and D-List "Captain America" villain, Armadillo. It could be argued that this is more of a "day in the life" issue, it succeeds because previous issues have defined Kaine's supporting cast so well that seeing them play off each other always works. The fact that this title has wisely avoided relying on Texan stereotypes as most other comics set in places outside NYC have historically done at Marvel throughout the decades is also a factor for its success. From the 60's through onto the 90's and early 2000's, characters from Texas or the South were often themed around stereotypes. Yost's take on Houston is far more cutting edge and realistic while setting it apart from New York, hence why the series genuinely works as offering an unlikely superhero in an area which has few - and those it has are characters from that older era based around cowboys and Indians.

Pham's artwork isn't often the favorite of many mainstream critics, but it has had extra pop with Fabela's colors on this series. The issue begins and ends with the promise of the return of several Spider-Man villains of the distant and recent past - including on the first page with a cleverly patterned letter which spells out who one is. Through consistent writing and its unique setting and cast, "Scarlet Spider" by this stage has evolved past "Venom" as the best spin-off to "Amazing Spider-Man" on the comic racks today. Issues such as this simply prove and reinforce why. It is a strange status quo, however, when the traditional Spider-Man has become possessed by the arrogant and sadistic Dr. Octopus yet Kaine has very quickly become an endearing anti-hero.

YOUNG AVENGERS #4: Marvel's energetically strange revival of the franchise that Allen Heinberg built continues on this week, produced by the "Phonogram" crew of writer Kieron Gillen, artists Jaime McKelvie, Mike Norton, and colorist Matthew Wilson. For the first time since the debut issue, the entire team as advertised on the cover is united against the opening threat of this new arc. Noh-Varr (the hero formerly known as Marvel Boy and Protector) acts as a charismatic alien action hero alongside Kate Bishop (the girl Hawkeye, most commonly seen in "Hawkeye"), one of the founders of the team. They team up with old friends Wiccan and Hulkling and their ally of convenience, "Kid" Loki, continue to battle against a space parasite which Wiccan summoned to try to revive Hulkling's mother which has instead employed all parents against them. The dialogue is hip and the artwork and panel layout is increasingly imaginative and eye-popping; only "Daredevil" can consistently match or top it. This may be a strange story to revive the franchise with, but the "devil may care" attitude to itself is often infectious, and even a random one page sequence with Cap and Thor is hilarious. Considering how many Avengers titles are on the shelves every week, this is unique among them, which is exactly as it should be.

UNCANNY AVENGERS #7: Rick Remender and new regular artist Daniel Acuna (the third within 7 issues) continue on his new arc involving the "Apocalypse Twins". It is at this point where I feel the most lost having not read Remender's run on UNCANNY X-FORCE, where the seeds for his stories on SECRET AVENGERS and now here began. The broad details are covered in the recap page and narration - apparently Archangel (the present one and not the cross time alternate reality younger version in ALL-NEW X-MEN) porked one of Apocalypse's lady Horsemen and produced two twins, who in a prior issue Kang kidnapped and raised himself. Named Uriel and Eimin, the former is armed with that Celestial-slaying axe which Kang tricked Thor into crafting for him in the previous issue. The problem I have with that is in a prior story from the 70's or 80's, Odin (and I think all the rest of the Norse gods save for Thor) possessed the Destroyer and utilized the far powerful Odinsword, and the Celestials destroyed them with ease. Here, a mutant with a shiny axe is able to slice a Celestial in two without any resistance. Apocalypse and his minions are further connected to the Celestials and they're laid waste with by the twins.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Uncanny Avengers are trying to recover after their disaster of a media event, which involved Havok preaching about minorities to abandon their distinctions and Rogue kill Grim Reaper by accident. Most of this section seemed to be about establishing some soap opera elements as well as showing that Alex is still in over his head as leader. He ends up siding with the Avengers more than backing up Rogue, who at worst murdered a violent killer who attacked a press event. Mayor Jameson probably held a parade after the "superior" Spider-Man executed Massacre after he was already defeated, for comparison. Wonder Man still has the hots for Wanda, but she's making doe-eyes at Cap and sees him as a "brother". Wasp has been resurrected for all of 5 minutes and she's going back to flirting with anyone (she used to gush about how hot Thor was in the 60's and was attached to Dane Whitman for a while), and rubs up to Alex while trying to reach counter culture with fashion. Meanwhile, the rest of the team is alerted to the events in space, which may end up costing Sunfire his life.

I imagine the whole will be greater than the sum of its parts, but I found this a ho-hum issue. It is sowing seeds and bringing up large elements, and I do like some of the character interaction. It hasn't clicked as quick as his run on Secret Avengers did, although with that he was coming on the heels of some mediocre runs. Mingling elements of the X-Men with the Avengers is interesting, although it is strange it has rarely happened before.

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Last edited by Dread; 04-27-2013 at 01:07 AM.
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