Bought/Thought - 9/26/12

Discussion in 'Marvel Comics' started by JewishHobbit, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. JewishHobbit Registered

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    Only four titles this week due to me deciding to skip out on Talon. I've been curious since it was announced but I'm still looking for books to drop and I wasn't impressed with the art, so I passed. I might go back and get it another day though, we'll see.

    Wolverine & the X-Men 17 - I don't know what to think about this issue. It's like Aaron knew Alred was drawing it and so he matched the goofy old X-Statix comic, which is good and all, but I don't think it fit with the rest of this series. This issue felt so far out of continuity that it was a little off putting. That said, it was a fun read about Doop but I'd rather a real story in the vein of the series pre-AvX. I'd rather this issue had been a silly oneshot that I could have skipped.

    Oh, but fun having the Ultimate Nullifier just sitting around Doop's desk :)

    X-Men Legacy #274 - Second to last issue and it was decent. Rogue and Magneto have a long talk about their relationship and decide to end it so that Rogue can be her own person not depending on anyone else. I liked the issue but it's about on par with what Gage has been doing with this title. I'm hoping that next issue is fantastic because so far it's been going out on a whimper.

    Justice League Dark #0 - As far as the zero issues go this one was decent. We see how John and Zatanna meet and it was an interesting story. My guess is the mysterious man who took the second magical house last issue is the guy who John took out in this one. I liked the issue but thank God September's over. I'm ready for the main stories to be back. I'm not a big fan of origin stories and I've had month full of them. Let's move on.

    Batman Incorporated #0 - I've not been a big fan of these generic #0 covers so when I saw there was another option for this series I jumped on it. It's a nice looking cover. That said, the issue was sorta bland. I'm not a fan of this artist so that took me out of the story, not that the story was that great to begin with. It's basically just Morrison showing how various members of Batman Inc. were recruited... a detail I never really cared about or needed to know. Maybe it'll make me appreciate the last issues of Morrison's epic run though. You never know.


    Best and Worst of the Week

    Best: Justice League Dark - The problem most of these zero issues have had is that you can usually see where they're going. This one had me unsure of how it would end so it gets points for that. I missed Janin's art but Garbett did a good enough job. The issue was decent.

    Worst: Batman Incorporated - There just wasn't really anything likable about this issue.
     
  2. TheCorpulent1 SHAZAM!

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    I couldn't disagree more with you on Wolverine and the X-Men, JewHobs. WatXM has always felt like a refuge for all the things I used to love about X-Men comics that are now missing from the majority of them--a family feel between the teachers and students, strong characters with strong bonds between them, a bit of wackiness to keep it fun and interesting--and #17 was no exception. Aaron and Allred clearly had fun with it, which shone through in the quality of their work. It gave me a few good laughs and revealed a heretofore unknown side of the Jean Grey School. Fun little one-off asides like this issue are what give the series its character, in my opinion, and I love them for it.
     
  3. JewishHobbit Registered

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    Oh, I agree with you. I just felt that this one was a little TOO far off to the point of being distracting. It was still an entertaining read though.
     
  4. JTStarkiller Registered

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    I 100% agree with you Corps. This was one DAMN fun issue. I laughed at loud multiple times. And Allred's art is just outstanding. I don't think I've read anything by him before. I would love if he and Bradshaw were to share art duties from here on out.
     
  5. El Bastardo Literary elitist

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    The Punisher #16 - This makes for a timely, fitting capstone to Rucka's Punisher run. We'll see five more issues to round out his Castle arc, but this is very much where the core story of his run - that of Rachel Cole-Alves - wraps up, and this run can certainly be defined as her story. To this end, it's nice that we were able to see Checchetto deliver these last two pieces of the tale, and a pity we won't get to see him do the upcoming mini. His art quality and page style only got better as the series continued.

    As for Rucka's writing, it remains subdued and concise, never becoming verbose nor making a shift into the didactic in the second half of the issue where many writers likely would. As with most of the series, the characterization we see of Castle is through the eyes of, or in response to, other characters. One can assume the closing mini-series will be much more involved and direct, so it will be interesting to see whether Rucka scraps this plan, or how he otherwise accomplishes it.

    I, Vampire #0 - Most of the zero issues have been a bust - a few notable standouts and, otherwise, a lot of mediocre and more dragged-through-**** issues than there should have been. For every Stormwatch #0, which was at least above-average and an original take on the idea of origin tales to accomplish a trifecta of past-illumation, present-storytelling, and future-foreshadowing, there were several Earth 2 #0's, aka ****. Fialkov's story, here, is not one of those latter issues.

    To be straight, this is nothing more than an origin story, focused on, unsurprisingly, Andrew (hero-now-villain of the title) and, to a lesser extent, Cain (the first vampire, his sire, yadayada). There's little in the way of originality to the construct of the premise, but it's presented as a full-on production rather than being a quick and easy tale because that's what the company was doing. The product is more than the sum of its parts - rendered in the dark, dreary, and yet very crisp hallmark visual style of the series by Andrea Sorrentino, who continues to crank out a surprising amount of quality without ever having missed an issue. And while the series is consistently well-written, Fialkov brings it up another level, immersing himself in the full flavor of the late 16th Century for purposes of cadence and diction.

    tl;dr - It's good. But then, it's one of the best DC titles, so.

    Talon #0 - The series that are starting this month get the most benefit of the #0's, because these stories are events or tidbits of information that should have come up during any of the issues preceding this month. Lucky them, they get a month devoted to getting stuff out of the way at the logical point in a book's life the stuff should be gotten out of the way. Gnarly how that works.

    Talon is good. The premise of the book is a cliche, but then everything is a cliche, and it's up to, in the case of comics, strength of word and art to make something worth reading. Snyder's no slouch in the word department, and it seems the actual writer, James Tynion IV, is no slouch either. Then again, Kyle Higgins seemed a good writer when he was partnered with Snyder on the Gates of Gotham mini-series, and his Deathstroke and Nightwing have been average at best, so who knows what quality the writing on this will be once Snyder is no longer credited, if it changes at all.

    Guillem March brings his talent to the drawing board, and it's the right fit. The character, Calvin Rose, is a trained escape artist - yeah, like that Houdini guy, ever heard of him? - and when March does his thing, the images leap off the page. Throughout the issue, there's a deliberate juxtaposition going on, in where we have Rose constantly locked in rigid, constrained panelwork, and March's art only really ever moves into that image-escaping freedom when the narrative allows Rose to be free himself.

    The narrative itself is well-written, using the time-honored structure of back-and-forth-past-to-present, though is first-person and very wordy. Whether this is due to its status as "origin story" or whether this will continue through the series obviously remains to be seen.
     
  6. CrimsonMist Registered

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    Anyone else pick up the first issue of Grant Morrison's "Happy!"? I did and it was crazy. I'm not a big fan of Morrison by any means, but I picked it up on a whim, given the subject matter and I was pleasantly surprised by it. It's fairly straightforward compared to his other work that I've read, but I expect it to plunge into insanity at some point. But the thing about the book, and this is either good or bad, is that it reads like a Garth Ennis book and I had to keep reminding myself that it isn't.
     
  7. chamber-music Infinity Ammo

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    I read Happy and all I could think was Grant Morrison did way too many drugs in the 90s :confused:

    Seems like Morrison has been watching your typical burnt out cop and gangsters story with the as well as of Space Jam, Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Drop Dead Fred.
     
  8. El Bastardo Literary elitist

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    I gave it a quick flip-through, but didn't have time to dig into it and decide whether I wanted to pick it up.
     
  9. TheCorpulent1 SHAZAM!

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    The Punisher #16: (Almost) the end of an era. I have to say, the ending of this issue--and, in effect, the Rachel/Frank relationship--surprised me. I was not expecting things to go the way they did. I was almost certain Rachel would either disappear or choose to remain with Frank; didn't count on the strength of her own guilt as a motivator to extreme action. But it was still very awesome. Rucka never ceases to amaze me. He makes me care about characters to a greater extent than almost any other comic writer. I am incredibly invested in Frank, whom I never cared for much, Rachel, who I wrote off as little more than a Punisher wannabe earlier, Ozzy, who didn't exist, and Norah, whose name I'd only heard in passing before this series. I'm gonna miss all of them when Rucka shuffles off into the sunset to do creator-owned stuff out of disgust with the Big 2. Really makes me wish they valued their creators more. I can't for the life of me understand how Bendis gets to do basically whatever he wants but someone like Rucka always has his hands tied or is getting swept up in whatever random event others want. Damn shame in my book. But oh well, it was great while it lasted. I'm considering buying the trades just so I can lend them to friends, since the Punisher usually seems to be a fairly accessible character to comic laymen. I can't think of a better hook into superhero comics in general for people who love good crime drama than this series or one of Rucka's others, like Gotham Central.

    Journey Into Mystery #644: Another excellent issue, which of course means it's one of Gillen's. This issue sees Thor come to grips with Loki's betrayal and give in to his (seemingly) inevitable doom. Meanwhile, his ostensible betrayer proves he's not quite such a betrayer after all. Or, perhaps more accurately, he's betraying so many people that he ultimately seems to be doing more good than harm. Hela becomes instrumental in this issue by facilitating two things: 1) Loki's return to the Fear Itself period so he can write his "fiction-Leah" a new ending, and 2) Thor's salvation from death--or maybe granting him his death and then immediately giving him back his life. It's not 100% clear what exactly happens, since Thor would've technically gone to Hel when he died anyway. Either way, the issue ends with all the pieces in place for the final showdown between Asgardia and Surtur: Loki and Leah are reunited and both have the free will to do as they please now, and Thor is on his way back to Asgardia with the armies of Valhalla in tow (under the leadership of Bill, son of Bill :-)awesome:) and Kelda :-)dry:), to boot). Yet I find myself much more excited for the inevitable fallout that will occur after the fact between Volstagg and his former comrades-in-arms, the Allmother and Asgardia, Loki and Thor, Loki and Leah, etc. Gillen's built such compelling relationships in this series that I care less about Asgard going to war with Surtur than I do about seeing how these people will react to each other in light of their recent actions. Impressive stuff. Carmine Di Giandomenico knocks it out of the park on art, as usual. Between this and Checchetto on The Punisher, these Italian artists are kicking some serious visual ass lately.

    Batman Incorporated #0: Pretty solid issue. Morrison gives a good primer for those not too familiar with the Batman, Inc. concept. Unfortunately, since this series has been slower than molasses coming out so far, it feels like an unnecessary review of stuff that just happened to me. Still, it's one of Morrison's more cogent issues and has very eye-catching art, so it's technically good.

    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #14: Another great issue of this surprisingly great series. It's split into two main plots--one focuses on Splinter and Raphael discussing their mutual rage issues while deciding whether or not to kill Casey Jones' abusive father and the other focuses on Krang's past, as explained to Dr. Baxter Stockman--and then it ends with Shredder declaring to Karai that he's chosen Leonardo as his true heir to lead the Foot Clan. All of them are exciting, as we get to see some insight into the moral fiber of Splinter and the Turtles, learn that Krang is in fact an Utrom in this continuity (although I suspect the rest of his history lesson to Stockman may turn out to be BS, since the Utroms are usually peaceful), and set up the next stage of the conflict between the Turtles and the Foot. Andy Kuhn's art is okay, but I miss Dan Duncan's more elegant linework. I was going to say I hope he comes back soon, but unfortunately Googling his name to make sure I got it right taught me that #12 was actually Duncan's last issue. Now I am sad. :csad:
     
  10. runawayboulder 2016 NFL Pick Em CHAMP

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    I loved WATXM. Such an out there story by Aaron and Allred is a terrific artist with a great style. If this is going to be the only X-title I'm getting post AvX and I'm fine with that.

    Punisher was a perfect ending to the Rachel Cole story. I have a feeling that in light of recent events, Rucka may have been so pissed at Marvel, the War Zone mini may be less than stellar to what we've become accustomed to. He wrapped up everything with this issue, so he could possibly had mailed in the War Zone mini out of spite. Bottom line, I don't have real high expectations knowing how disgruntled he is.

    JiM was another fine issue as was ASM, the conclusion to the Alpha story. It's become even more predictable that Alpha is going to become Spider-Man soon now that he's been powered down and Peter actually told him the next time he goes out as a hero it's with a mask and not as Alpha. If it does go down like I think, I wonder if the lack of set up time may hurt things. Dick Grayson was a sidekick for years before he took up the mantle after Final Crisis, Alpha doesn't have that going for him.
     
  11. El Bastardo Literary elitist

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    I'd prefer to consider Greg Rucka a professional writer. :o
     
  12. Shockdingo Symbiote luvin' loon

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    Sad to hear about Rucka's falling out with Marvel. :( The hell is wrong with them and DC these days? Sheesh....anyways, yea, it was a great issue and Rucka shows that Frank isn't a 2-dimensional psycho who sees in black and white to a manic degree. For anyone who has ever been close to Frank, this is the best ending one could get. The rose at the end was gorgeous.....I'm even more sad now that I remember that...that....Way is writing the following book.

    I'm just dreading he'll get Frank wrong and it'll stick (i.e. Deadpool now says "we" like a symbiote and has white boxes....). At the same time though, I want to give him a chance; despite his..work on Deadpool, he might turn in something good. Case in point, I didn't like some things that Remender did with Frank, but lightened up towards the end of his run and absolutely love his work on X-Force and am wishing he was working on T-Bolts. I'm in a strange place, I know. :/
     
  13. chamber-music Infinity Ammo

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    I agree.

    Doops fun.

    Wolverine is Doops pimp daddy.
     
  14. Dread TMNT 1984-2009

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    Average sized week, onward with the spoilers!

    DREAD'S BOUGHT/THOUGHT FOR 9/26/12:

    TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #14: As IDW's era of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics begins a second year, the company's output has increased as summer has stretched into fall. Since August 22nd, two issues of this ongoing series as well as two issues of the spin off "micro series" have shipped, offering quality Ninja Turtle tales for fans new and old. New regular series artist Andy Kuhn (FIREBREATHER) once again unites with series storytellers Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz, as well as colorist Ronda Pattison for another terrific issue of this exceptional revision of a 28 year old franchise. While one could state that this issue is light on action and heavy on dialogue and exposition in comparison to other issues, this is also an issue which offers a contrast of fathers. Often lost with the ninja action and catch phrases is that TMNT at its core is a story about families; the 2003 era animated series capitalized on this fact well, and this newer comic series also utilizes such contrasts for richer content.

    There are a lot of subplots which are furthered along in this issue, both from previous issues and the micro-series, which begin to gel into a cohesive whole. Three father figures are showcased in this issue - Splinter, Shredder, and Casey Jones' father - and the contrasts are surprisingly not quite as black and white as one would expect. The Shredder, who has been resurrected from Feudal times by his granddaughter Karai, still clings to ancient sexist traditions and seeks a male heir to his criminally violent Foot Clan. Mr. Jones is an alcoholic bully who verbally and often physically abuses Casey, and this situation comes to a head when Casey turns up with his new friends with bruises. Splinter is naturally the more positive role model, but this issue (as well as this series) have made certain not to paint Splinter as a flawless monk. Eastman and Waltz have wisely chosen to explain Splinter's endless patience for Raphael's reckless rage because he has battled it himself in his youth and prior life. This leads to a decision to expand the Ninja Turtle family to include their new human allies, as well as a declaration of war against their enemies. As a bonus, General Krang explains more of his past to Baxtor Stockman, which effectively merges lore from the 1980's cartoon series as well as the original Mirage Studios material.

    Kuhn's artwork still takes some getting used to after a year of Dan Duncan's pencils defining the book. His line work is simple and there are some people who may see some panels as rushed. However, there is always a charm to his illustrative style and Kuhn fearlessly dives into the fantastic sci-fi/ninja designs which this series requires. Over time the look of the book will become Kuhn's own if he remains on it long enough, and he is well on the way towards that reality.

    This is a "quiet" issue of TMNT with more character development and exposition than combat within 22 pages, but it is an issue which gets right to the core of the franchise and executes it excellently. It remains the best Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles product released by any medium since Viacom purchased the property in 2010 and an excellent example of how to mine a franchise's many incarnations and adaptations into a cohesive and entertaining new whole.

    INVINCIBLE #95: This issue of Robert Kirkman's seminal Image Comics superhero series has shipped late; probably due to co-creator Cory Walker having the task of drawing most of this issue. Walker's struggle with monthly deadlines are why he originally handed off art chores on this series to Ryan Ottley after issue eight or nine many years ago. By this stage it is easy to claim that Robot and Monster Girl have taken over the book for months. The narrative has been driven by the centuries they spent in another dimension attempting to stop a threat to earth, which has now bitten them and their fellow heroes in the face. This might be a problem if this narrative didn't burst with imagination with every panel and benefit from top notch artwork from Walker along with colors by John Rauch. World building, kinky alien sex, space armor, and more are all woven into a saga told in flashback of how Robot and Monster Girl saved and then lost both an entire world and their romance. While there are moments where the action comes to a halt for a ride on a flashback train, but it is a fair alternative to reliance on gore (which Kirkman has done for stretches on this title). The spotlight on these long term supporting characters has been interesting, although one hopes the title will not ware out their welcome and shine the spotlight back on the stars soon.

    SUPER-DINOSAUR #14: Lost in the promotion cycles for WALKING DEAD #100 and even INVINCIBLE #100 is this title; another Robert Kirkman written SKYBOUND publication, although one which sells at the bottom of the Top 300 (at best) and unless trades and merchandise (t-shirts and a coloring book) are selling SUPER-WELL, can't be making much profit by itself. Regardless, this collaboration with Jason Howard continues with with a very imaginative world and a tightly woven stories around an extending cast. Despite the title, the real star for much of the series was the super genius kid Derek Dynamo. He has since been kidnapped by his enemy the Exile and brought to "inner earth", the world within earth's hollow core where dinosaurs and apparently a race of reptile-men come from. The Exile it a literal exile from the royal family of his people who was banished for claiming a surface world exists; he has since brought Derek there to lead a rebellion against the monarchy. Meanwhile, Super-Dinosaur and the rest of Derek's friends have traveled to "inner earth" to rescue him, and wind up having to battle giant dinosaurs and sleep outdoors. Kirkman writes an interesting story in which he has painted the Exile as a fairly sympathetic villain seeking to save his people from a stubborn monarch, but from Derek's perspective Exile seeks an invasion of his world, and thus betrays him. Some may say this is tailor made for an animated TV series on a cable network, and frankly Western animation probably needs more series like this. It is perhaps a shame, but nothing too surprising, that this series is struggling in sales as much as it is. I imagine Kirkman's earnings from WALKING DEAD and other works allow him to fund as many vanity projects as he likes, but surely this is better than some ARCHIE material or JUNGLE GIRL, which usually outsell it. It is an acquired taste, as usual. One has to like their Saturday morning cartoons and dinosaurs.

    AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #694: With a cover which pays homage to the crossover comic of 1976 between Superman and Spider-Man, the "ALPHA" story line comes to an action packed and character heavy conclusion after three issues. Longtime solo writer Dan Slott once again unites with reoccurring regular artist Humberto Ramos, inker Victor Olazaba and colorist Edgar Delgado to finish a story which got media attention and has become one of the biggest challenges of responsibility that Peter Parker has faced. One of his experiments for Horizon Labs empowered random teenager Andy Macguire (named after two of the actors who have played Spidey in film) with limitless cosmic energy which he has used to become a superhero named Alpha. Despite training by Spider-Man and an abduction by the Jackal, Alpha remains a reckless, often selfish and completely shameless superhero more concerned with media appearances than battling evil. Spider-Man considers Alpha his responsibility, although with Alpha seeming to appear more and more unworthy of the powers of a demigod, he has thus decided to try to strip those powers away. While MJ sought to make the point that Andy is simply being a normal teenager, the story has developed him into an overpowered brat. This issue contrasts the suspense of Spider-Man trying to save his aunt and new step-uncle from a private plane crash with the over-the-top spandex brawl between the Avengers and Terminus. Slott has made better original characters than Alpha before, and this story does risk being seen as skillfully promoted filler. However, it did pose an interesting moral dilemma for the titular hero and promises a much more suspenseful arc to come. As always, Ramos' art works best with far-out characters as well as action sequences, and this issue provides many of those; he even draws Captain Marvel's new design well. With Slott's solo run on this longstanding title nearing a second anniversary, he shows little sign of rust or ware, even if some arcs are better than others.

    FF #22: Against my better judgement I picked up this issue of the FANTASTIC FOUR spin off - which I abandoned once FANTASTIC FOUR returned after Johnny's resurrection - because the last issue of Fan 4 posed quite a cliffhanger between Wizard and his cloned son, Bentley 24. While the issue itself is perfectly fine, it doesn't quite live up to that cliffhanger for me. FF has naturally become the series in which Jonathan Hickman follows his child characters of the Future Foundation (while Fantastic Four covers the adult heroes). Val decides to take Bentley to A.I.M. Island for a last chance to meet his father. Naturally this leads to a confrontation between Bentley and the Wizard. Naturally, Bentley proves to not simply be the sum of DNA and Wizard continues to be a lunatic (although the source of that being a brain tumor isn't bad). It is a good scene but for me it wasn't quite worth the price of admission. The art by Andre Araujo and colors by Cris Peter isn't bad although the large eyes the kids have can seem a little jarring, making them look like dolls (or ASTRO-BOY characters). Perhaps that is intended. The issue does state Val's physical age as 3 years old, so a romance between her and Bentley should satisfy that fringe of "loli" fans who troll Deviant Art. This isn't a bad issue by any means, but perhaps my expectations for it were too high as Hickman winds down his long run on the franchise.

    SECRET AVENGERS #31: It is interesting to read this alongside WINTER SOLDIER. This issue has Black Widow fighting a brain-washed Hawkeye, and WINTER SOLDIER has Hawkeye and Bucky fighting a brain-washed Black Widow. It's as if Chris Claremont has become senior editor somewhere; that man loved him some brainwashing stories. Writer Rick Remender has been picking at the leftovers of Ed Brubaker's launch run on this series by having Max Fury organize an island of villains as well as assemble all of the Serpent Crowns they were after. Unfortunately, the attempt to recover it by the Secret Avengers failed, and now the mystical Abyss has possessed Taskmaster and now spread to possess everyone on the island. It seems only Venom and Ant-Man are immune; the former due to his symbiote and the latter due to his ant-helmet (or being a Super Adaptoid replicant). Venom and Ant-Man seek to stop the possessed masses from spreading the condition by flying to other countries, and Black Widow beams in to assist - which means fighting their own teammates. This might seem boring but the art by Matteo Scalera with Matthew Wilson's colors makes wonders of the action segments, and all of the villains showing up are essentially Remender showing off his continuity skills - Vengeance and the Squid of all villains get some notable sequences here. This is clearly a middle chapter, but Remender manages to make it fun and exciting enough in a manner which this title never was for much of the time I read it before. I am quickly dismissing the AVX crossover as an editorially mandated hiccup and enjoying the rest of the Remender run here. I do wonder what he'll bring to UNCANNY AVENGERS.

    WINTER SOLDIER #11: As much as I enjoy Ed Brubaker's work on this title - more so than I have his work on CAPTAIN AMERICA since its relaunch - his suspenseful stories are also themselves predictable. Essentially, a Brubaker suspense thriller will consist of a mastermind villain who is always one step ahead of the hero yet leaves enough bread crumb clues behind for variable reasons to keep the chase alive until they reach the stage direction which calls for the villain to finally lose. To a degree this happened with Red Skull for years until CAPTAIN AMERICA REBORN, is happening with Codename Bravo in CA in a more crude manner and will ultimately happen with Leo Novokov, the former Soviet super-soldier giving Barnes all sorts of problems. He's successfully re-programmed Black Widow into being a deadly Commie spy again and is rubbing Barnes' face in it for revenge. Barnes has recruited Hawkeye and Wolverine to attempt to rescue Natasha, although not even they seem to do more but hammer A.I.M. grunts. As always Brubaker establishes a great mood and is a master at Barnes' voice to the point that regardless of it being predictable it is always a good read. The art by Butch Guice and Brian Thies is up to its usual standard of quality and perhaps the best scene is the cliffhanger, in which Leo offers a terrible choice for Barnes - submit to his own re-programming or never get close enough to save Natasha. It will frankly be a shame to see Brubaker leave this title and character after so many years - I often found him easier to relate to than the often flawless Steve Rogers. Still, there is still a chunk of story left to enjoy here.

    X-MEN LEGACY #274: In this issue of Christos Gage's run on XML - an adventure starring Rogue! Next in other surprises, water is wet, fire is hot, and politicians lie. By this point literally the only issue of Gage's run which didn't star or heavily focus on Rogue was the one about Frenzy. David Baldeon returns to art chores as Magneto enters this issue to allow Gage to tie a bow on their "relationship". I imagine with Rogue set to join the Uncanny Avengers and Magneto off to whatever awaits him after AVX, these two have to be split up. They come together to save some trapped civilians in a subway tunnel and naturally spread their soap opera all over the scene as only X-Men seem to do. The final act relies upon the two coming across a mortally wounded man with regrets regarding his own lover which does broach the point of becoming preachy - a trend which Gage sometimes indulges in. In the end Rogue and Magneto agree to just be friends for various reasons - namely that Rogue wants to live life under her own personality without being led by a figurehead again. What a wonderful time, then, for her to join a team featuring Captain America led by Havok, right? Regardless, that isn't Gage's fault and the issue is perfectly fine and readable, although I would hardly call it a home run. It hits that average of "good, but not great" that it seems most of his run on XML has become. Whatever knack Gage has for Avengers series seems to escape him on X-Men stuff, which is quite curious. The final issue is the last for him and I don't expect anything epic, but I wouldn't mind being surprised - especially since AVENGERS ACADEMY has seen an upswing in quality as it winds down.
     
  15. oglop44 Registered

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    Hello everyone, I only read a select few titles (most not read in this thread by the look of it) but I'll pop my thoughts in every now and again anyway. I always enjoy the discussion although have never taken part until now...

    Amazing Spider-Man #694
    Glad this one is over to be honest and quietly looking forward to the Hobgoblin arc up next. It's a real shame that the Alpha story has turned out the way that it has, although it was never heralded as a particularly novel idea it certainly had scope to be interesting and challenging for Peter however Alphas personality dragged me straight out of the story.

    I appreciate that he is meant to be a bit of a *****e and Slott was using this to highlight the choices that Peter made during the arc (the de-powering moral conundrum being definitely the most interesting part of this tale) however, when he is finally depowered during the finale, I just felt smug. Shame. This story might say more about the reader than Alpha or Peter actually.

    Captain Marvel #4
    I'm really enjoying this series so far. I understand why certain readers don't like the art style, it is certainly an acquired taste, however, it is different from anything else I read so I approve of that at least. (It should be noted that Mr. Soy seems to be a little behind schedule on the last few issues so how long will that be tolerated). As for the story, thoroughly enjoyable so far. A shed-load of mystery, a carefully plotted storyline (at least I hope it is, without knowing the ending it's hard to say with time travel) and fun characters. At the moment I'm hoping that this arc doesn't end.

    X-treme X-men #4
    Loving this one. It started out pretty slowly but with each new issue, the writer begins to develop a much firmer grasp on his characters, Howlett in particular is developing very nicely. Dazzler can be a bit too much to handle at times but if you're willing to look past her satisfy-the-fanboyisms then this is a fun little story. Alternate x-men, dimension hopping, hunting down evil Xaviers. Simple, honest fun.

    Ultimate Comics Ultimates #16
    Not much to say about this one to be honest. I only usually read UCSM but decided to give "Divided We Fall" a go just to catch myself up (call me an event sucker if you like). Anyway, in general I've been dissapointed by Divided We Fall/United We Stand, particularly with the quality of the Ultimates book and how it has dragged UCSM right off course. This issue isn't really any different. Although there is something oddly satisfying and at the same time disturbing about seeing President Steve Rogers cavalierly charging around the states and enforcing "his" law. With a bit more class, this story could have been a genuine talking point. I won't be continuing with either X-Men or Ultimates after this event.

    I always like seeing JH's Best and Worst of the week so here goes:
    Best: X-treme X-men - Evil cowboy Xaviers manic expressions were a joy to behold.
    Worst: Ultimate Comics Ultimates - Daft title, good concept, poor overall.
     

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