Bought NOW, Thought NOW July 11th

Discussion in 'Marvel Comics' started by Red, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. Red King Littlefinger

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    Scarlet Spider 7 Really enjoyed this series from the first issue. Yost has a great handle on Kaine and manages to add a lot of depth to the character. The supporting cast is starting to really stand out and you can see that while they're being used to push the story forward they also allow for different sides of Kaine character to be displayed.

    Venom 20 Part 3 of the 'Savage Six' arc. Though Venom tackles two of the six in this issue, it feels like padding. There are good moments, Venom's take down of Human Fly and Crime Masters identity is revealed. Remender makes good use of continuity for the reveal, though I'm not sure how this fits with past issues as I only jumped on board at the Circle of Four event

    Uncanny X-Force 27 Something seems to be lacking in this arc, perhaps a sense of urgency when compared to the Dark Angel Saga. I completely rolled my eyes when it was revealed Daken was leading the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Remender take on the character (although it's only limited to a few pages) doesn't do much to make me interested in the character than I have before.
     
  2. runawayboulder 2016 NFL Pick Em CHAMP

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    I was pretty shocked by Daken being involved. I thought for sure we weren't going to see that guy for a looooooooong time.
     
  3. JewishHobbit Registered

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    Seems like forever since I've seen Red around. Have you been gone or I just unobservant?

    Anyhow, on to my reviews. Much better this week!

    Uncanny X-Force 27 - And just here this week I was wondering when we'd next see Daken. Some of you kind posters convinced me that he was gone and likely not coming back but... but here he is!!! I was shocked that he got the group together and though we don't see anything more than a couple of pages I trust Remender to write Daken right. The fact that he strategized this whole thing so well shows that. Can't wait to see what else he has planned.

    This really was an "OH #$*&!" type of issue. First off, Fantomex dies... and not an off panel death or in an explosion, he gets his heart cut out by the skinless man and is shown lying there dead and bloody. And it is worth mentioning that his mutant powers of misdirection weren't working at the time so that's likely cast out as a quick save. Eva feels Fantomex die and and ultimately dies herself as a result but then evolves into her own "sexy robot" (as Deadpool calls her) in ode to Morrison's final new X-Men arc. Then, due to Fantomex's death, Ultimation, who has apparently been controled by Fantomex, reverts to his previous programming of wanting to know what the point of living was and he kills Gateway (SHOCK!) and then blows everyone up. All this, plus it's done in a way that Evan, who Daken had Sabretooth kidnap, hears Ultimation's confession of having created and raised Ethan. So now HE knows that the X-Men had lied to him and X-Force is just royally screwed.

    Yeah, there's a good chance that either Nightcrawler's going to port them away or Eva will protect them in some manor, but the fact remains, Daken just did a heck of a job screwing this team over. I don't know if Fantomex will stay dead since these ARE Marvel comics where death means absolutely nothing, but it's a heck of a way to die. Gateway's death came out of nowhere and as a character who's barely been used in decades I see that sticking (though I'd like to see Bishop come back from wherever he is and learn about this... Gateway being his grandfather and all).

    And this Brotherhood! I'm suddenly VERY interested in where this story is headed.

    Wolverine & the X-Men 13 - This was a good issue but I felt like a Gladiator vs. the Phoenix Five should have been a bigger deal than in a side story. The focus here was on Warbird and we learn her origin. We learn that her great flaw in the eyes of the Shi'ar is that she has a soft spot for kids and therefor she was assigned to take care of Kid Gladiator in order to make her hate children. I think it's cool that she stabbed Emma with an exploding sword. That was a nice touch.

    Gladiator himself fairs poorly against the Phoenix Five and is nearly killed. The Shi'ar drag him back to the Jean Grey School where Husk, Doop, and Kitty rush to give him medical aid. I was hoping for a stronger showing but oh well. Nothing big could have happened in a tie-in anyway.

    Oh, but Bradshaw is back! Love his pencils on this book. Fantastic! And I'm glad to hear that the book is living on beyond AvX. Hopefully Bradshaw lives on with it as well.

    New Avengers 28 - I was about to throw this book through a wall until the very end. Spider-Woman, Hawkeye, and Luke Cage are imprisoned at Utopia and escape. Hawkeye at first nearly breaks Magma's arm by yanking it through the feeding slot and refuses to let go. My first thought was, "Why is she not just turning to Magma and burning him?" Then Spider-Woman actually escapes by tricking Phoebe to get close enough to hold against the bars and threaten. Phoebe does as is told and Spider-Woman knocks her out. Then I was like, "She's a freakin' telepath! She could have just made Jessica go to sleep!" Then they had Luke Cage going toe-to-toe with Phoenixed-up Colossus and apparently beat him to get away. And I was like, "WHAT THE #&^#@?!!!!" Fortunately, we get to the end and we realize that they're not in cells but in the X-Brig where Danger runs scenerios for them to forever repeat, keeping them at bay until they can be transfered to, I'm assuming, the Limbo prison thingy. So none of it was real, which makes all the flaws acceptable.

    So in the end it really was a good issue. It's completely skippable in the greater scheme of things, as all it does is show a little of what's going on with the prisoners, but it was an enjoyable issue nonetheless (in hindsight anyhow).

    Avengers Assemble 5 - This book is issue-by-issue for me and I caved for one more due to my wanting to know what's going on with the Guardians of the Galaxy. Well, no answer or hint is given here how half of them are even alive but I wasn't really expecting Bendis to cover that, at least not so soon. He does an alright job with the Guardians, though he doesn't quite land the Racoon humor like DnA did. Granted, humor has never been Bendis' strong point, so that was to be expected. Everyone else was fine though and I MIGHT stick with the book until the end of this arc. We'll see.

    At least it has Bagley on pencils. I've always been partial to him. His pencils were the first I ever fell in love with during his run on Amazing Spider-Man.

    Defenders 8 - Eh, just an alright issue. The further along I get on this book the more ho-hum I feel about it. I keep buying it for Iron Fist and John Aman but I'm starting to think that's not enough. I just don't think that they're centered enough to make me care when I don't really care so much about the rest of the cast or plot. I might give it another issue but if that one flops for me I might just call this book done.

    Also, I kept hearing compliments on McKelvie around the hype so I was excited to see his art. I wasn't impressed. There was a panel of Iron Fist kung-fuing Aman and it was just HORRIBLE. It took me completely out of the story.

    Batman 11 - The Court of Owls epic concludes! I've really enjoyed this story (especially since I didn't get caught up in the mass Night of Owls crossover that was unneccessary to get caught up in). Last issue had the reveal that Lincoln was actually the little brother that Bruce never knew he had. Some people liked it, some hated it, and I think this issue took that plot in the right direction for everybody. It provided tons of evidence that what Lincoln said was true but left enough doubt that it could easily have been untrue. Bruce does discover that he did indeed have a younger brother who died but whether that was Lincoln or just the story that the Owls told Lincoln is left unknown... so there's room for doubt.

    In all I felt the issue was solid. Despite my not liking Capullo's art when the title started I've grown to love it. It really fits the feel of the book and the full Owls arc has just been an amazing read. I find myself REALLY excited to see what else he and Snyder have cooked up for us... and I'm ready for the Joker!

    Batman & Robin 11 - This title was boring when it started and I nearly dropped it. Then after tons of buid up it skyrocketed to the top of my buy list. LOVED it! It's losing steam again though and I feel its falling back to where it was about mid-way through Tomasi's first arc. It's not bad by any means but in a day and age when I'm LOOKING for books to drop and am already buying 3 Batman books, I want more than just mediocre good. Knowing how well Tomasi's payoff was last arc I'm willing to stick through this one. I'm hoping it picks up but we'll see.


    Best and Worst of the Week

    Best: Uncanny X-Force - This was nearly a toss up between this and Batman but in the end I felt this issue was done better and it pulled way more emotion out of me. Remender is a master storyteller and Noto's pencils are fantastic. He first caught my eye on X-23 and he fits in well here. A great cast of heroes, a great group of villains, a great creative team, and a great read.

    Worst: Defenders - There isn't anything wrong with the book really... it's just not doing it for me. It's one of those titles that I find trouble dropping but would be ecstatic if I heard it was canceled so I could just finish it out and be done with it. If only Iron Fist would leave the book. Things would be so much easier if that were to happen.
     
    #3 JewishHobbit, Jul 11, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2012
  4. Watchman Adios, Cowboy

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    Every comic this week pales in comparison to the Poyo special.
     
  5. Red King Littlefinger

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    Nah I'm still about. I just check in when I can but I rarely have the time to do my own reviews. This week was the exception however!
     
  6. Dread TMNT 1984-2009

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    5 books, which is roughly an average week for me. Prefer these to the wallet busters. Spoilers engaged!

    DREAD'S BOUGHT/THOUGHT FOR 7/11/12:

    CAPTAIN AMERICA #14: This is the finale to the four part "Shock To The System" arc as well as the beginning of franchise writer Ed Brubaker's final stretch on the character after a run of some seven years. Cap comes into conflict with the newer and deadlier Scourge, who is his former friend and comrade D-Man, to protect the life of an ex-villain in witness protection. D-Man has been brainwashed by Codename Bravo and his new HYDRA cell into poking at some of the moral dilemmas of current society and twisting them into attacks against the country. Is it worth using taxpayer money to aid and protect turn-coat criminals in the middle of a historic recession with many law abiding citizens starving on the streets? That's a complex question without an easy answer, which continues to fuel Cap's frustration and doubt about current times. His lover and frequent mission partner Sharon Carter is forced to make a life ending decision to save Cap's life, and this arc very much seems to be fuel for the fire for an ultimate conclusion. CAPTAIN AMERICA has been announced as canceled at the end of the year, although it seems likely it would be relaunched once Marvel can figure out who will lead the franchise once Brubaker departs. While some of Brubaker's stories for this volume have been off his peak, this one has taken an upswing in quality in playing to Brubaker's strengths. It also helps that he is matched by artist Patrick Zircher, who seems to be more in synch with him than more "over the top" artists like Alan Davis were. Mike Deodato also tags in for some pages, with Paul Mounts on colors. Considering that Brubaker's extended Red Skull arc was once drug along for some 4-5 years, it is probably good that this long term subplot is aiming for a conclusion this year. It will be hard to imagine CAPTAIN AMERICA without Brubaker's influence, and his run on the franchise has been a commercial and critical success. Hopefully his final arc goes out with a bang.

    DARK AVENGERS #177: This time both of this series' regular artists, Kev Walker and Declan Shalvey, tag team to handle this story by Jeff Parker which seeks to begin the attempt to merge the divided cast of this series. His former Thunderbolts cast are still in the midst of their cross time caper, seeking to escape the forces of Dr. Doom after they made the mistake of rescuing him from the past (where he was sent by Mark Millar's retcon mentor of his, the Muppet Of Deforestation). Doom has captured their time-tower and used it to bring himself back to Latveria, and set it to zap itself to the future. Meanwhile, the new cast of Dark Avengers are being led by Luke Cage into what seems to be the ashes of one of Parker's arcs on HULK involving yet another made up country and a power mad tyrant. The issue mixes action with exposition and naturally is swimming in characters, although this time it works a little better than similarly crammed issues did during the pre-FEAR ITSELF era. We see a peek of the "dark future" where it seems the Punisher has become Judge Dredd, which is an interesting satire. At any rate, I doubt the re-title will buy the book many sales but I do think it is on an upswing and seems headed for a conflict, of which I am interested in the outcome.

    DEFENDERS #8: Matt Fraction continues to steer his very odd relaunch of this often odd franchise, this time alongside a new regular artist James McKelvie (who apparently has Mike Norton on either inks or finishes), with colors by Dommo Aymara. The Maguffin of the piece remains the Concordance Engine, this strange Kirby-esque device which has power over time, imagination, and reality. The mysterious John Aman has pledged himself to protect it against all comers, and he has done so for a century. The city-state of Z'Gambo is literally built on the bones of his adversaries, and his recent victims appear to have been the other Immortal Weapons besides Iron Fist and the cult fave Fat Cobra, and most absurdly, Black Panther. This book doesn't jive with FANTASTIC FOUR right now at all; classic Marvel editors at work! At any rate, this issue sees the Defenders have another rematch with Aman while Black Cat has been hired by an oddball collective to steal other Maguffins from Aman. This time the battle appears to go better for the Defenders, if only because the Silver Surfer seems to get the upper hand this time, and it appears as if Black Cat has stumbled onto the team's roster by chance. She likely fills the "obligatory female feline character" spot which is usually filled by Hellcat on this team. Aman mumbles stuff such as the Engine being the only weapon to save reality from the Death Celestials, and I wonder if this series is steering towards an inferior version of a plot Jonathan Hickman just finished in FANTASTIC FOUR which also involved evil Celestials. A lot of it lost in techno-babble, honestly. The art is for the most part good but there are odd panels, such as Shuri's panther-mask suddenly seeming like face paint and Iron Fist launching the strangest looking jump kick I have ever seen. Then there's a panel where Aman grabs Felicia and aims two fingers at here and I expected one of those martial arts technique panels to arise that read, "THE EYE POKE OF THE STOOGES". He was about to moida her! While I appreciate that Fraction has embraces the historical weirdness of the Defenders rather than just play them as any generic superhero team, this remains a very uneven read from issue to issue and sometimes page to page. Some moments are awesome and others are baffling or lame. Given how low the sales are - this book is almost selling below the Top 100 - I doubt that even Fraction can keep this book in print past issue 12 or whenever he wraps his arc, whichever comes first. I get the feeling that Fraction had this very weird story to do with Iron Fist and the Immortal Weapons and he worked backward to spin it off from FEAR ITSELF and team up other heroes. I regret that the other Immortal Weapons have been wasted in such a manner (even by their co-creator) and I doubt heavily that Marvel would allow T'Challa to die for real in a book as trivial as this. While I hope the ending will be worth it, cancellation for this title seems inevitable and I doubt I will miss it much.

    SCARLET SPIDER #7: TV and DVD animation writer Chris Yost has steered this second major AMAZING SPIDER-MAN spin off beyond half a year and has gained a small but stable audience of over 30,000 readers in due course. This issue marks not only the start of a new story arc, but the first issue of the series drawn by the new regular artist, Khoi Pham, who is best known for INCREDIBLE HERCULES and CHAOS WAR. Pham replaces Ryan Stegman, who drew five of the last six issues as well as a prelude strip from POINT ONE #1 last year. In due course Yost has managed to make a series which is titled after a character best known from the 90's and starring an anti-hero most known for the CLONE SAGA of that era stand out by quickly establishing a cast in a different city than most superheroes star in. Kaine has been cured of his physical deterioration, although his mind and conscience are still slowly recovering from his past while he seeks to find his future. Kaine has found himself in Houston, Texas playing local superhero despite his often cranky attitude as well as taking care of a mysterious psychic youth and aiding a local cop, doctor, and bartender/rocker chick. Unfortunately, Kaine's enemies such as the Assassin's Guild and the Kravenoff family have followed him to Texas, and he's still out of his element.

    This arc sees the evil corporation ROXXON, which has long been Marvel's metaphor for southern based corporations of nefarious intent, become the catalyst for a new plot. Notice the similarity for Exxon, which in the 80's was infamous for a major oil spill? The story starts off with a British Petroleum style disaster at a drilling rig as an explosion at a Roxxon high rise manages to hook Kaine into a plot involving a ruthless tycoon and his attention seeking (and explosive utilizing) daughter, Zoe. While Kaine seeks to get the bottom of what exactly Roxxon is trying to drill for which sparked the entire incident, when he finds himself set upon by the official superhero team of Texas, the Rangers (who are not to be confused with the MLB team of the same name). This is a fascinating potential conflict because it will allow fans to see Scarlet Spider, a new hero for a modern Texas, battle against Texan heroes created decades ago who are very much walking stereotypes. Their leader is named Texas Twister and is dressed like a cowboy, for instance. It also sets up Roxxon and the tycoon Mr. Walsh as a similar adversary as Lex Luthor or even Wilson Fisk as someone who does dirty deeds but can't be attached to them legally. As usual, Yost has a flair for having Kaine do impulsive things (such as sleep with someone he just rescued without thinking twice) and using that to lead him into deeper plots. Pham's artwork is often hit or miss and usually relies on the strengths of the inks and colors alongside them; for instance when Pham inks his own work, the quality often suffers. Thankfully, Tom Palmer's inks and Edgar Delgado's colors are exceptional enough to make Pham's artwork pop more than usual. There are some fans who are wary of Pham's work, and to them one could say that this is the best that Pham's work has looked in some time.

    For the moment SCARLET SPIDER has been a rare title which is unique despite being a spin-off of a major franchise as well as being allowed to stand on it's own. As the "Marvel NOW!" news seems to illustrate, many Marvel comics have ceased to be unique entities and usually tell the same editorial narrative from different angles half the year, every year, since 2004. There has been a tease for a story called MINIMUM CARNAGE in October which could drag Kaine into at least a small crossover, such as OMEGA DRIVE between DAREDEVIL and PUNISHER. It would be a shame to see this simple-yet-effective solo superhero series bogged down in crossovers, although perhaps the exposure would also help things along. Regardless, for the moment SCARLET SPIDER is a book which proves detractors wrong every issue and proves that any character - even one best known for a terrible 90's story line - can be as good or bad as the creative team handling them.

    VENOM #20: Writers Rick Remender (who launched the series) and Cullen Bunn continue the "SAVAGE SIX" story arc alongside artists Lan Medina and Robert Atkins as well as two artists and colorist Chris Sotomajor. Remender will be leaving the title after this arc, and as the recent news noted, his next assignment will be to write UNCANNY AVENGERS in October. The gist of this arc is that Flash Thompson has sought to confront his enemy Crime-Master, who has threatened the lives of his family and ex-girlfriend Betty Brant as well as blackmailed Thompson to run errands for him as Venom. So far Thompson's plans have backfired and instead he has earned the wrath of Crime-Master's team of villains, called the Savage Six, against those he cares about most. In the previous issue, Flash narrowly managed to save Betty's life and begrudgingly revealed his identity as the new Venom to her. Unfortunately, in saving his sister he was unable to protect either Betty or his mother from landing into the hands of the criminals. This issue mostly features a battle between Venom and Death-Adder, one of the Six and a spare member of the Serpent Society. Meanwhile, Betty finds herself in the clutches of Crime-Master and he reveals his identity to her, which proves that not even characters axed off in 1964 are seemingly safe from resurrections. In fairness, it is quite a twist and it will be curious seeing how Remender and Bunn explain it. The tension for this arc has ramped up to high levels as Remender looks to end his run with a bang, and the spectacle looks to be very pleasing to fans of this successful relaunch.
     
    #6 Dread, Jul 13, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2012
  7. runawayboulder 2016 NFL Pick Em CHAMP

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    I thought the Crime-Master was going to be Ned Leeds for a moment. I thought Remender was going to try and pull off a near impossible resurrection but I'm glad he didn't. This works out better since it's a throw away character from the 60's that still ties in well with Betty Brant. He was one and done in ASM #11, so he's not new but a fresh face that can get some use as a bad guy in the years to come. (Provided Venom doesn't kill him before the arc ends...)
     
  8. RockSP MYTH SMITH ˆž∞!!!

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    Bloodhot #1 - The Valiant Comics relaunch continues. I only read the first few issues of this series back in the day so I can't recall how much of a departure from the original the new version is. Great art and coloring. Story isn't anything mindblowingly original, but it was executed well enough that I will stick around for a while

    Harbinger #2 - The new version of Pete is much more screwed up than the original...and that's saying something lol. Don't know if Harada will turn out to be a bad guy this time around.

    Revival #1 - An interesting take on the "zombie" craze. Though they aren't exactly zombies, since they retain intelligence and aren't rotting corpses out to eat our brains. But they are formerly dead people that have mysteriously come back to life. I like that the author is touching on how some of the religious community would react to such an event.

    Planetoid #2 - The story has a little "Mad Max" vibe to it, but has enough of its own thing going on to make it interesting.
     
  9. runawayboulder 2016 NFL Pick Em CHAMP

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    WATXM #13 was a pretty incredible issue. I'd dare say that it's the best one Aaron has done so far. The story gave a great insight into the "programming" of a Shi'ar Warbird warrior and was an interesting mix of heartwarming and tragedy in the middle of a chaotic situation. Kudos.
     
  10. Dread TMNT 1984-2009

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    Well, in ASM #11, Betty's brother was seemingly fatally killed by a gun shot wound in the final battle against Blackie Gaxton and his thugs (and Doc Ock). Of course, considering the ridiculous lengths taken to revive Hawkeye's brother Barney and make him the new Trick-Shot for Osborn's Dark Avengers, reviving Benny could be as simple as, "I got to a mob doctor in time" or something else.

    That said, it wasn't a death that fans reall attached to and because the character didn't get much panel time in '64, Remender can make him whoever he wants. I agree it was a fine move.
     
  11. runawayboulder 2016 NFL Pick Em CHAMP

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    Remender is a virtual wiz-kid when it comes to using continuity. He's the Continuity Wizard.

    He's also probably one of the longest tenured guys Marvel has. He was an artist and inker way before he started writing full time, dating back to the late 90's I believe.
     
  12. JewishHobbit Registered

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    I didn't know that. What did he draw back then?
     
  13. Dread TMNT 1984-2009

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    Really? I suppose it isn't too surprising as certain talents have been involved with Marvel for a long time, such as Dan Slott, Mark Bagley, and Steve Epting.

    Hence why as wary as I am about Marvel NOW! and UNCANNY AVENGERS, his name being there alone makes it tempting. Remender's only downer is he doesn't seem as good when he's doing a crossover, as the CIRCLE OF FOUR and SECRET AVENGERS show, but that's forgivable.
     
  14. runawayboulder 2016 NFL Pick Em CHAMP

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    Honestly I can't remember what exactly he drew. I checked his Wikipedia page but that only has his writing stuff. I remember seeing his name on the credits somewhere - it was minor stuff, like a back up story or 1-shot. I do know that he was an inker on Avengers during the late end of Busiek's run. So maybe I was a little off, not so much late 90's but about 2000-2001 is more accurate. A lot of his writing came in the past 4 years or so.

    Yeah, outside of the four you mentioned, he's got to be next in line as being there the longest in some fashion. It seems like he worked his way up the Marvel food chain while doing some independent creator owned work with Kieron Dwyer on the side.
     
  15. WOLVERINE25TH The Best There Is

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