Bought/Thought 19/12/07

Discussion in 'Marvel Comics' started by CaptainCanada, Dec 19, 2007.

  1. CaptainCanada Shield of the True North

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    Checkmate #21

    The Wall has fallen, and Checkmate as a new White Queen: Valentina Vostok, formerly of the Doom Patrol and the previous incarnation of Checkmate. I was sort of expecting a bit more of a story around the naming a new White Queen, but whatever, obviously Rucka has other plans, and, from experience, I’m sure those w ill be enjoyable. As goes Waller, so goes King Faraday and Count Vertigo, her bishop and knight, and their replacements haven’t been named yet. This is all incidental to the main story, which is the first part of a two-parter focussed on Jo "Mademoiselle Marie" Tautin, the Black Queen’s Knight, and a new character who hasn’t been given much backstory yet, apart from being exceptionally ruthless. The original "Mademoiselle Marie" was a WWII character from 1950s Sergeant Rock comics; Rucka makes a fairly major renovation of continuity here, claiming that while there were a bunch of M. Maries during the war, the name has been in use by French secret agents for centuries, and we’re given a number of flashbacks in this issue to the exploits of earlier Mademoiselles, starting with helping nobles escape the guillotine in 1791. In the modern day, Jo is assigned to rescue the daughter of her former lover (who she left in order to take the "Marie" title) from Muslim terrorists in Bialya. It’s another good issue, and a nice look at Rucka’s latest in a line of ass-kicking female characters.

    The Incredible Herc #112

    I’ve never had any interest in the Hulk, and I’ve never bought an issue of his title, World War Hulk aside. Now Hercules, though, I have a lot of time for. For all its flaws, Civil War reminded everyone that Hercules is a badass, and so I’m onboard for his own comic (appropriated from the Hulk). The bad news is that Amadeus Cho, easily the most annoying new character in a while, is also here, but I’ll do my best to stomach him, and hope against hope that this obnoxious twerp will get his comeuppance eventually. Anyway, after "World War Hulk," Herc and Cho go to make their peace with SHIELD (Cho has no desire to, but Herc is interested in resolving the situation, given that the Hulk utterly screwed up). Cho still insists that this is all SHIELD/the Illuminati’s fault, even though they didn’t cause the explosion (and, despite Cho’s insistence here, the warp core that exploded came from Sakaar itself; surely Pak can’t have forgotten his own story). Hercules, however, is confronted by the delightfully jerkass Ares (still annoyed at Herc for slaying his prize birds several millennia earlier), who rubs in the fact that Ares is now the big kahuna thanks to his mercenary employment with the Avengers, and sets the terms for Hercules’ new labours, the first being singlehandedly rebuilding Iron Man’s "palace" (Avengers Tower); Herc opts to punch Ares through a wall and leave with Cho, Cho carrying with him a SHIELD laptop he plans to use to destroy SHIELD. Ares, though, is ready to bust a cap in both their asses, bringing Wonder Man and Black Widow along for help. All in all, it’s a fun start to the story, with a good mix of mythic and modern stuff (and while Hercules is usually played as a loveable buffoon, Pak and Van Lente remember all the tragedy in his background, such as his being driven into killing his family). Pham’s art is nice, too.

    Mighty Avengers #6

    Bendis and Cho’s opening arc finally concludes, after lengthy delays that threw off all Bendis’ grand designs for coordination between this and New Avengers (of course, Bendis himself couldn’t keep the chronology straight, botching the continuity royally in New Avengers by throwing in a tie-in to the Ultron fight to the team’s return from Japan). This has been a pretty fun opening arc, all things considered, and Cho’s art is quite good for this story (he draws perhaps my favourite version of the Sentry). Yellowjacket devises a plan to defeat Ultron using obsolete computer code, executed by Ares, almost derailed by the Sentry, who goes berserk at the death of his wife, and, in a rare display of power, pretty much rips Ultron to shreds, with a last-second assist from Ms. Marvel (having absorbed the power of an exploding nuclear bomb) preventing him from totally destroying Stark’s body. The computer program causes all Ultron’s changes to revert Stark to his old form (I’m not really sure about this part; Stark seems almost a shapeshifter now) (in another bit of crude humour, he checks to make sure his penis is still there when he wakes up). At issue’s end, Spider-Woman arrives to see him with Skrull-Elektra’s body, having left with it several months ago (and Iron Man having already reacted to this in New Avengers: Illuminati). Sentry’s wife turns up alive, seemingly having been healed by the Sentry (I think not: Skrull!). Various other bits of personal drama are included, including a fight between Hank and Jan over seeing other people (in which Hank comes across as totally right; people say Bendis hates Hank, but I just don’t see it). It’s a good finish to the story.

    New X-Men #45

    "Messiah CompleX" passes the half-way point, with an issue mostly dedicated to a brawl between X-Force and the Reavers (with Cable trying to slip away). Since this is being written by Kyle and Yost, X-23 takes on Lady Deathstrike over the latter’s maiming of Julian a few issues back (we find out here that he and the others have been stabilized by Beast and co., although they aren’t totally out of the woods), and pretty much pwns her (not that she’ll stay dead; good villains always come back), which is satisfying. Caliban seems to bite the bullet here, saving Warpath’s life from a Reaver, and Wolfsbane semi-accidentally kills a Reaver who provokes her with a mention of Reverend Craig. Cable gets away in the commotion, stealing X-Force’s jet and leaving them stranded, with the rest of the X-Men (including Darwin and various X-Factor members who’ve been scarce the last few months) on their way to rendezvous. There’s a good scene between Emma and Surge where, surprisingly, Emma does not totally rip her apart for taking her team to fight the Purifiers; Kyle/Yost sometimes write her as too much the White Queen, but I really like how they handle her most of the time, such as here. We still haven’t seen much of Sinister and the Marauders yet; despite the Purifiers’ presence, they’re only secondary villains, with Sinister and his mutants as the primary threat, so the X-Men deal with others first. This is pretty much the best Ramos art you can come by; it’s pretty good, although he’s still a poor fit for this crossover. Luckily, he’ll soon be the Runaways’ problem.

    What If? Civil War

    What If?s are often caricatured as being "if things didn't happen the way they did, everyone would die!"; with this and the Planet Hulk story, Marvel seems to have developed a promising new formula: two stories, one of which is a "best case scenario", and one of which is the more familiar "worst case scenario." The whole thing hangs on Iron Man, since he's basically the main character in the Marvel Universe these days. Both of the stories in this one start from the premise that Tony was right that something had to be done; the dystopic one, where Tony died of the Extremis injection, and wasn't around for the war, has Gyrich assume the "futurist" role and engineer a rather labyrinthine plot that leaves most heroes and villains dead, peace restored, and himself in the Oval Office, with the spectre of Captain America and his rebel heroes kept around as an "Emmanuel Goldstein" to keep people fearful. The utopic one hinges on Tony asking for Cap's help at the confrontation in #3, and making a "more honest" pitch, leading Cap to decide not to sucker-punch him, and they eventually work things out and come up with a "third way" that leads to a new golden age of heroes. All in all the two stories are fairly balanced, highlighting the potential drawbacks of Tony’s "futurist" mentality while at the same time validating his belief that something had to be done. I also have to credit Brubaker and the other writers for making particularly effective use of the Watcher, who, in traditional fashion, narrates the story, but in this case he appears to Tony after Cap’s funeral as a mysterious stranger and tells him these stories essentially as an Aesop about cherishing one’s ability to influence the world ("Because some of us only wait...and watch."). The art is done by three different people; cover artist Djurdjevic does the framing sequences, which are beautiful, while Gustavo and Harvey Talibao do the two stories; Gustavo’s art is variable in quality, while Talibao’s is pretty good, although the bimbo-ish quality to his women that was evident in the Iron Man Annual remains here, albeit somewhat toned down.
     
  2. Dread TMNT 1984-2009

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    Larger than average week, but on the whole a good week, with a double dose of The Order, Wolverine, and a First Class do-over. As always, spoilers are set to kill, not stun.

    Less than a week to go before the damned holiday, and then the damned new year. Bah, humbug. I'll take comics every day.

    Dread's BOUGHT/THOUGHT for 12/19/07:

    THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY #4:
    The Apocalypse Suite continues on with Gerald Way & Gabriel Ba's brilliant, bizarre, and overall entertaining set of British former-teen heroes. The recap on the first page depicting the ho-hum media reason to the return of the Umbrella Academy after 20 years was a hoot to read, getting things off to a great tone. People are comparing this to Morrison's DOOM PATROL, which I never read, but I still am getting more of a SCREW-ON HEAD vibe from this, which is great by my book. Anyway, that one little article alone is almost funny enough for warrant $3 admission, and we have a whole comic to go! Vanya, a.k.a. 0.007, after a childhood spent lamenting her lack of powers, is turned into the deadly White Violin by the evil conductor, via a process that even their callous adoptive alien father felt too extreme. Naturally, she returns the favor almost immediately, which was a shame because I really liked that guy (his speech about finding death weapons was hilarious because of how true it is). Meanwhile, 0.005 is back in the present with his monkey professor trying to prevent the Apocalypse, and naturally the scene is an example of contradiction, him going, "isn't this worth saving?" amongst a neighborhood of smut shops, fighting hookers, and homeless bums. Space-Boy, Rumor, Seance, and Kraken continue to have their usual bickering about their past and current lives, and Seance all but steals the issue with one line. Reviewing a book like this is something like explaining a joke; you either get it yourself, or you don't, and no one can easily transfer the feeling. For those of you who need a break from fluffy franchises and want something a little different, the Umbrella Academy is for you. Newsarama has an interview with Way here: http://forum.newsarama.com/showthread.php?t=140261

    IMMORTAL IRON FIST #11: With sales modest but appearing to hold steady, Iron Fist continues onward with the 4th round of the tournament story, and things really start to click in this issue. There is a Heroes For Hire reunion and another HYDRA beat-down, and Davos proves his newfound power and ruthlessness against Tiger's Beautiful Daughter, and let us just say that Davos is a bad-ass now. As if it needed further proof, there it is. Kano does the art for the obligatory flashbacks and while it is Davos' origin again, it helps tie things together with his fight with TBD; he isn't exactly a warrior, but a killer, and he isn't noble, but power-hungry and jealous. These are fairly common themes for martial arts story villains, but they're assembled skillfully by Brubaker & Fraction so they work out well. The fact that Luke Cage and the Daughters of the Dragon technically work on opposing sides of the SHRA is addressed (finally) and it works out rather well. Rand & Misty share a subtle moment and there is a look at how some of the politics of K'un L'un are splintering. Rand makes his return and the "battle royal" should be starting soon. Like a few books that I get, this is essentially review proof. If you are reading it, you likely are enjoying the hell out of it, seeing Brubaker & Fraction handle Iron Fist and K'un L'un in a way that plays it straight up to their elements yet does so in a way that works for the modern age, with great art by Aja and whichever guest artist does the flashbacks, which link things to the past and embellish, but also give the regular artist a few less pages every month to keep things rolling. I only hope Rand won't have to wait 3 years to take down Davos like Cap/Bucky have had to wait to try to take down Red Skull. But regardless, it will be a good ride.

    MIGHTY AVENGERS #6: Wow, I guess Ms. Marvel looks just like Sentry without her mask and pissed as hell. Anyway, much like some other titles (*cough*ASTONISHING X-MEN*cough*), lateness has sucked all the wind out of this title, and the fact that it's sales have lapsed a bit behind the regular NEW AVENGERS is likely the result. This issue is about 2-3 months behind where NA is and they are supposed to tie in together. Now, why the **** should I care about the Symbiote Garbage when I already know what happens, and who caused it (or at least who they think sent it). For those who missed it, no one died, Janet becomes a Giant Symbiote, everyone gets nekkid, and it was sent by Dr. Doom. You now have zero reason for buying that issue, save for seeing Bagley draw stuff for Marvel, for perhaps the last time for a few years. And it is a shame for that, because MIGHTY AVENGERS actually isn't too bad. Yes, the thought balloons often are annoying, and mostly distracting, but that is just Bendis being Bendis, finding some way to ruin anything remotely good that he writes with something stupid, annoying, or terrible. Cho naturally gets the art down well, and Fembot Ultron ("Ultrona"?) is defeated by a shrunken Ares striking his "core" thing (which is precisely the way Donatello and Leonardo defeated Giant Krang in the 4th episode of TMNT, circa 1987) while Sentry tries to tear it's head off, and can tear through every Avenger in the room save for Ms. Marvel, who TKO's him with one punch. The reason she gives later is because she "absorbed a nuke" last issue (which, due the length of time between issues, I frankly forgot), but even that seems lame. I mean this was a guy who fought Fanboy Aura Hulk for 10 rounds in WWH #5 and Danvers bops him like Joker would bop Batgirl or something. It also turns out that Sentry's wife isn't dead, because he somehow willed her back to life, and Sentry's existance as someone with no limit to his power continues. Unless she is just a Skrull, of course, who swapped places when Sentry was busy going bonkers. I mean it isn't like Sentry wouldn't be hard for a Skrull to manipulate; he's a mental-case with the power of a god. With Thor back, I really see no use for him. But, there were good bits. It was neat seeing Pym's plan come together, and Wasp saving Ares at the end. Having Carol and Wonder Man start dating seems random, but they've been hanging out since CW in MS. MARVEL, and for all I know it was built up there. Pym & Janet have a scene that probably would have been better without the thought balloons. But I liked this issue better than a few of NA's and on the whole this series is probably what NA should have been, more of a sense of shared history and superheroics. Of course, the thought balloons reinforce the fact that every time Bendis feels the need to "reinvent" something, it comes off as annoying at best, yet when he relies on old school, established-by-others superhero formula, he can succeed. There is a lesson there, and Bendis won't learn it. After all, Marvel is holding a Creator Summit right now and SECRET INVASION and it's aftermath is the topic of discussion. But for right now, at least MA isn't so bad. It actually reaches areas of downright fun. Bagley should help the schedule, at least for the near future. This is about the best you can expect from Bendis on a team superhero book.

    MARVEL HOLIDAY SPECIAL: The 2007 X-Mas one shot which has 3 stories for $4, and a spiffy cover from Ron Lim. "Piece of Cake" by Farago & Garrity, with art by Lou Kang (a person, not the Mortal Kombat fighter, although if he is, I don't want to argue with him about it, lest I get my head kicked off) is actually more fun than I expected at the beginning. The sideplot of Peter/Spidey trying to get a cake home for some party with Aunt May reminded me of Dan Slott's FCBD story, but aside for that it was vaguely themed around X-Mas with a fired mall Santa firing up a Sentinal to smash Manhattan, and Wolverine trying to stop him (with Spidey in the way). Kang gets down some visual humor with Logan getting smashed now and again, and Spidey's banter was fun. There's a 2 page spread from Fred Hembeck, followed by the real reason I bought this book; "Secret Santa", a story from Cebulski & Urusov about the Loners, taking place some time after their 6th issue of their mini. The team plays a round of secret Santa while they try to bond with each other and Namie, their new member who has no memory of herself and just learned she is a robot/cyborg. Urusov is a little iffy with Ricochet & Darkhawk's costumes, but aside for that was made to draw a series about young characters, and would have worked wonders with the Runaways. I wouldn't mind her on a second Loners series if Moline wasn't available either. The story is very sweet and shows the team trying to grow from their last encounter. The final story is "The Meaning of Christmas", by Carey & Nelson, which is an amusing if even more pointless interlude that could almost be said to be another teaser for SECRET INVASION, about a beat reporter named Lester trying to impress his editor at the Bugle to avoid being fired for the holidays, and what comes is an amusing romp asking various Marvel figures about the holidays. A Skrull takes his boss' place at the end and that actually works out well for Lester. I actually enjoyed all the stories for what they were but the Loners' tale was easily the best. If you liked LONERS and hated that it ended so soon (for now), snatch this up. Think of it as an issue #6.5

    THE ORDER #6: The second issue within 4 weeks of this title, which hopefully won't mean delays are ahead in future issues. I also hope this double-dose will help to get sales stable, because they are slipping for this terrific new franchise way too quickly. As the cover notes, Milo Fields/Supernaut gets the introduction and the focus here, and as predicted by some, he is all action. A former soldier turned anti-war activist, who was shot in the spine for speaking the truth (and while he has issues with the administration, he DOESN'T have issues with the military or war itself, which is a good way to keep him from being a liberal cliche), he was naturally called to duty and given his giant mech armor. I don't quite understand why they empowered everyone else organically, at least for a year, but not him. Is it because of his injury? Or because with the armor, he could essentially work for the Initiative for as long as he cuts it, beyond a year? He certainly has the training and guts to do so. He are Aralune are taking out some giant turtle monsters, and a scorpian, in the middle of the desert until things go from bad to worse when they find out it is a S.H.A.D.O.W. testing facility, and a trap TKO's Aralune and shorts out the Supernaut armor. But does that stop Milo? Hell no, sir. He shoot the **** out of that giant scorpian, and when that fails, a big enough rock'll do. Meanwhile, Henry & Pepper get some more info about Muholland's past and her dealings with the Black Dahlias, who work with the M.A.N. to acquire enough SPIN-tech to capture her; nice to know Fraction is playing around with the rest of the MU. That fact is shown later on, when a very irked sea-king decides to make his presence known. Namor has had a rough year so I'll be interested in his appearance next issue. Much like IRON FIST, this is review proof. Frankly I think it is the best Marvel team book on the market right now, and it is taking the place of RUNAWAYS in my geek heart. Unfortunately, their sales had better get stable or it won't have a prayer of lasting even 18 issues. Buy it, people. If this book fails, trying to introduce good new characters into the MU will only get harder.

    TERROR, INC. #4: After skipping November, Terror returns for the holidays in one of Marvel's better MAX mini's. Marvel's motion picture dept. has tried to capitilize on their horror category with BLADE, GHOST RIDER, and MAN-THING, and came away with varying degrees of success. I think Terror's got a shot if they found someone with enough passion. I read this and I imagine all the gorey horror movies that it reminds me of, and how with a few tweaks in that in mind, it could probably work. It won't happen, but a guy can dream. Having been set up and losing the arm of his beloved Talita, Terror finds out that his enemy all this time IS Talita, who wants to become immortal and stick it to her ex. Terror finds himself on the chopping block, but is able to control his "metal arm" in order to save Ms. Primo. Talita is organizing a big death cult and wants to taste of the world before she tries to blow it up. Unfortunately, Primo wants to contact the feds for help, and Terror is still too in love with who Talita used to be, or at least who he used to be with her, that he doesn't seem to want to stop her now, forcing Primo's hand. Zircher's art is great and the tone of the series from Lapham is really fitting. I really get a cult horror vibe to all of this, which is a good thing, because it is fitting. Marvel MAX has mostly been a wasteland but this is not one of them, and I can't wait to see how it all unfolds. Worth the extra buck.

    WOLVERINE: FIREBREAK: Now this is something I haven't seen in a while; a random Wolverine one-shot. I got it due to the creative team; Carey & Kolins, who I figured couldn't POSSIBLY make a one-shot story that wasn't at least entertaining and worth my time. And I was correct. Nothing here that is earth-shattering to Wolverine, but that is why it works. He is best not when he is being tossed into conveluted origin retcons with magic and whatnot. Simply by being the best he is at what he does. Only this time, he has to help a struggling small family escape a wildfire after some chemicals have blinded him, which ends up having been a plot from HYDRA, who seem to be showing up all over these days (AVENGERS: THE INITITAIVE, IMMORTAL IRON FIST, CAPTAIN AMERICA, here, and likely other places). Naturally the focus of the tale isn't exactly Wolverine, but the family that he saves; husband Peter, wife Sue, and daughter Ginny (with her doll, Mr. Beak). Considering the real life wildfires that have raged through California in recent months, the timing of the story is odd, although I don't find it to be exploitive. The family needs him to survive various things and he needs them to act as his eyes. Kolins naturally draws everything well, and this may've been the last thing he did before going DC exclusive. There is another story from Blair & Lolos about a rescue mission gone back, but that one isn't nearly as good. The first is the main attraction and deservably so. If you are tired of Wolverine, you may pass it up, but it actually is a solid little read unto itself.

    X-MEN: FIRST CLASS #6: Call it a do-over. This issue shipped a week or two ago, but the pages were in the complete wrong order. So it gets shipped a second time, this time in order, and by golly, it actually isn't a bad story that way. Who'd have thunk. I am somewhat annoyed at having to pay twice for the same issue, especially as while XM:FC is cute and fun, it isn't a masterwork worthy of $6 an issue. If I was Marvel, I'd have made this one free if a reader redeemed the mistake issue at the shops, at no extra cost to retailers. But, that'd mean treating customers as something other than gullible walking wallets, and that's not the Marvel Way. I mean, it wasn't any of then shops' fault for the last issue, so don't make them have to eat some error issues, or force the fans to. Aside for that, it is another light hearted story where Xavier trying to make contact with some seemingly living asteroid causes the team to lose their powers the next morning, precisely when Sentinals attack. There is also another cute Marvel Girl story. A wonder what pages in the right order will do for an issue. I wonder if the error will cause a technical spike in sales for this issue.
     
  3. Manic User title? USER TITLE?!

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    My local shop had its annual Christmas sale this week, which means all trade paperbacks and hardcovers were 25% off. That means I'll make these reviews brief(ish), since I've got a few trades to read...


    She-Hulk #24
    One thing I found jarring upon David's takeover, was that Slott's humor was completely absent. It went from the best tongue-in-cheek superhero comic on the market, to a serious action book. David fixes that in this issue, with a few amusing gems. We also found out a little more about the Skrull working with Jen, these days: she's some sort of outcast (even her father said he'd kill her if he ever saw her again), and is living on Earth as a refugee-- the Annihilation wave wiped out her home.

    New X-Men #45 / Messiah Complex #8
    Congratulations, Deathstrike. You just got your ass handed to you by Wolverine's clone. Wipe yourself off. You're dead.
    Meanwhile, in the wreckage that was once the Xavier Institute, it appears Beast and David have stabilized Hellion and Nightcrawler. Because I can't help but feel complete hatred for the writing team of Kyle & Yost, I feel I should mention that there was a panel where Emma casually mentioned that an unknown number of students died in the sentinel attack.
    Multiple Man and Butterfly continue to explore the future. There's a moment where Layla implies that her powers are still working, as she tells Jamie that he will eventually forget the pain. She also points out that they have encountered absolutely zero mutants since entering the concentration camp. My guess: all mutants get their minds wiped, powers taken away, and are re-entered into society. And since everyone assumes all the mutants live in a caged ghetto, no one suspects a thing. I'm just guessing, of course.

    Angel: After the Fall #2
    All bloody hail Spike, the lord of Beverly Hills and our savior squared!
    That is all. :)

    Immortal Iron Fist #11
    It feels like forever since the previous issue. Anyway, we finally learn a bit more about Steel Serpent's insidious little plan. He's building a train that'll take him to the Heavenly Cities whenever he pleases, and he's taking a train with enough explosives to blow one of the cities up. This is intercut with some of his backstory, which easily leads me to believe he's going to destroy K'un-Lun out of pure spite.
    Also, we got more kick-ass kung fu.
    And... did they give Misty Knight a haircut? Really? But... she's Misty. She's supposed to have a large afro-- just big enough to hide a derringer. I feel so betrayed.

    X-Men First Class #6
    A re-release. They fixed that bad page order from last time. Finally.

    The Order #6
    Meet your newest reader.
    Yes, you crazy Hypsters have convinced me to pick this book up. I don't regret it. What was this team going to be called, again? The Champions?

    Justice League of America #16
    I didn't read Ion, damnit! What the hell is that thing?
     
  4. Dread TMNT 1984-2009

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    I didn't mind her losing the 'fro. It IS outdated after all.

    Yes, The Order was originally going to be called THE CHAMPIONS, but Marvel lost the liscence to title a comic that since they let it lapse during the 70's-80's and another company has been using it for their tabletop RPG and a comic based on it. So they switched it to THE ORDER, which I felt was a better move; give the original team an original name, not mooching off an old one.

    Glad you're aboard. Hope you can find the back issues too.
     
  5. GNR Registered

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    another convert to the cause,welcome aboard
     
  6. PhotoJones Registered

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    Is it just me, or is that avatar blurry?
     
  7. GNR Registered

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    that's Superman moving very fast yo,he cannot be contained
     
  8. GNR Registered

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    Umbrella Academy I wikied earlier,sounds like a familiar premise but I hear the execution is great.

    Atomic Robo involves Tesla and mad science/hidden history,might have to make a couple additions or trade wait.
     
  9. PhotoJones Registered

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    The Umbrella Academy and Atomic Robo are both excellent reads. :up:
     
  10. Darthphere Kneel before 'Drox!

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    Atomic Robo < Atomic Hobo.

    Think about it. Think about it. Now, help me make it so.
     
  11. ImrtlLimpWrist Registered

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    Messiah Complex - Yo, I totally did not get that Cable took the X-Jet. Duh! I thought it was Scott and Storm arriving with backup. Double-Duh! That makes more sense. Okay, I'm a little embarassed.

    Iron Fist - much improved.

    Wolverine Firebreak -- don't really get the explanation or lack thereof as to why Logan's eyes didn't heal right away.

    Justice League - boring.
     
  12. TheCorpulent1 SHAZAM!

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    Apparently my shop doesn't order Angel: After the Fall. I didn't see any copies of #1 last month, nor did I see any of #2 this week. Didn't see either of the two reprints for #1, either. I am mighty pissed. :cmad:

    Anyway, I had longer reviews before, but stupid goddamned Internet Explorer ****ing crashed, so now I'm putting up short, crappy ones.

    Incredible Herc rocked as hard as we all knew it would. Hilarious, poignant, and badass all at once--three shades of awesome for the price of one comic. :up:

    New X-Men felt like Messiah Complex by rote, even though there were two major casualties. X-23 killed Lady Deathstrike in revenge for her stabbing some other New X-Men character I don't give a **** about last month, which is kind of a shame because Deathstrike had finally just gotten a costume that didn't look like ass (a first for her). But ultimately I don't really give a **** about her, either. Oh, and Caliban takes some shots for Warpath, which, judging by Warpath's reaction in this issue, will probably be part of his motivation for sticking with X-Force when their mandate changes and the ops get blacker, the work gets wetter, etc. Of course, I never really gave a **** about Caliban either, so that fell flat for me. The rest of the issue doesn't really progress the plot much; we still don't know why Cable's keeping the baby away from everyone, we still don't know what's supposed to come of Jamie and Layla's impression of Doc Brown and Marty McFly, and although the X-Men take off for some new mission, they still don't really do much in this issue. Oh, and Ramos' art made me cry a little bit. :(

    Immortal Iron Fist was good. I still can't wait to see Danny back in action, but Davos and Tiger's Beautiful Daughter's fight was a good dose of action itself for this issue. Oh, and the "real" Heroes for Hire get back together and kill some more Hydra agents, which made me a little uncomfortable. Not as much as before, though. I'm getting used to the idea of half the current Avengers being murderers (or manslaughterers, at least) and the other half quietly tolerating it with no explanation. Anyway, Kano's art for the flashbacks was pretty great.

    Checkmate rocked on all levels except the primary story. That was kind of boring. But Valentina Vostok is an interesting choice for the new White Queen. I wonder if her Doom Patrol past will play a role in future Checkmate stories. I can't wait to see who her new Bishop and Knight are. The history of Mademoiselle Marie is pretty awesome, too. More awesome by far than Jo's present-day story, which is just about her saving her ex-boyfriend's baby from some terrorists. Hell, the fact that it's a favor from Checkmate to one of the UN's highest-ups is more interesting when you factor in the potential for future political intrigue that may stem from it. The art was cool but a drastic departure from Bennett's style. I actually prefer this art style more, though. It fits Checkmate a lot better than Bennett's style, which I've always thought was better suited to straight-up superheroics.

    Warbound started off pretty well. The Leader is a good enemy for them. I was kind of hoping Hiroim would regrow his arm somehow, but I guess that's not happening. The back-up story about Elloe's past and how it tied into Miek's unhiving was really great. I'm wondering if this is going to turn into one of those comics with main stories and back-ups where the back-ups are actually more interesting than the main story. There've been several like that recently, mostly at DC--Tales of Suspense with the brilliant Dr. 13 back-up, The Flash with its Flash World back-up. I don't have a problem with that at all, though.

    I also dropped some comics this week: JLA, Catwoman, and Superman/Batman, to be specific. I realized JLA was just boring the crap out of me every month, and Benitez's terrible art gave me a convenient excuse to ditch that **** this week. The only thing I'll miss from that comic is Firestorm. Catwoman I'll miss because of Daniel Lopez's art, which was looser and more expressive in a way that I usually only see in indie comics. Still, Pfeifer's story has been meandering pointlessly for months now and I'm just not interested now that Helena and Catwoman's entire supporting cast have been removed from the picture. Superman/Batman I struggled with because I always hope it'll be good again. The truth is, it hasn't been good since its very first arc. Not once. Every single subsequent story has ranged from mildly entertaining but mediocre to outright contemptible in its ****tiness. I keep coming back every now and then when a new creative team takes over because I love Superman and Batman, but it's time to give up hope. Crap is crap, no matter whom it stars.

    On the bright side, dropping those comics freed me up to buy the X-Men: First Class trade, so now I can start getting caught up on that series. :up:
     
  13. PhotoJones Registered

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    Was it just me, or was Ramos' horrible art not as bad as it's been in the past?

    As for Caliban, I'll be sad to see him go. He was sweet, dumb and fiercely loyal member of whatever group he happened to be running with. Warpath's concern for his fallen pal felt genuine to me, too.

    Kano is the man. Marvel needs to get him off of those Marvel Adventures books and give him a permanent assignment in the 616. If Travel Foreman isn't coming back, he'd make a good replacement for him on this book. Actually, I'd prefer Kano. :up:
     
  14. TheCorpulent1 SHAZAM!

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    Yeah, he gives the flashbacks a nice flavor. I can't really place what that flavor is, but it's delicious.

    Caliban just never interested me. He's been around for a long, long time, but he's never once actually made an impression on me. He's just... there. And now he's not. No big deal. His death does seem to be a springboard for a character arc in James, though. I'll look forward to that.

    Ramos' art did seem a little more stable, especially since I've been reading his older work in the X-Men: Supernovas HC this week. There was even a forced perspective panel of Cable reaching for his gun that actually impressed me. His women defintiely don't look as much like cracked-out ******s in this issue, too.
     
  15. PhotoJones Registered

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    There was this one panel in NXM with that blue haired chick. That was a good panel. :up:

    :(
     
  16. Dread TMNT 1984-2009

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    I think I preferred Kano on IIF too. :o
     
  17. PhotoJones Registered

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    Good. It's settled then. More Kano. :up:
     
  18. Darthphere Kneel before 'Drox!

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    I preferred Kano in Mortal Kombat.
     
  19. PhotoJones Registered

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    Yeah, that's weird. All the Mortal Kombatants seem to be drawing Marvel Comics now. First Kano, now Lou Kang.
     
  20. TheCorpulent1 SHAZAM!

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    Wasn't it Liu Kang in the game?
     
  21. PhotoJones Registered

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    A Wikipedia search says that it was.
     
  22. TheCorpulent1 SHAZAM!

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    I want to see some Goro art someday. :up:
     
  23. PhotoJones Registered

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    Haha, yeah. He rivals JRJR in terms of speed. :)
     
  24. PhotoJones Registered

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    It's not new, but I did pick up and read the complete Tellos series this week. Truely amazing stuff. Aside from the obviously awesome Ringo artwork, the story and characters were just about perfect. The surprise ending is legitimately shocking, but also very heartfelt and organic. Ringo and Dezago were at their absolute best here. :up:
     
  25. TheCorpulent1 SHAZAM!

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    I finished X-Men: Supernovas during lunch. Good stuff. The Children of the Vault were kind of lame, but the Hecatomb was pretty awesome, especially with Bachalo's composited artwork. Anyone wondering how comic art has changed over the years, this is a story that literally could not have been told 20 or 30 years ago--at least not in the same visually amazing way it was told here. I love how Carey's handling the X-Men so far, and I find myself liking Karima Shapandar as a character a lot. I'm planning to buy the X-Men: Blinded by the Light TPB next week to continue reading Carey's run, and I hope Karima gets some more of a spotlight. :up:
     

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