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BOUGHT/THOUGHT for January 9, 2008


Mar 4, 2005
Reaction score
Hulk #1 - I honestly don't know how anyone could be disappointed with this. For the people that legitimately are, I'd like to know what your expectations were. Loeb has said numerous times that his doing this book was basically a gift for McG. It's going to be filled with huge muscles beating the goddamn **** out of each other. Add to that a good supporting cast and brilliant art and I'm in.

The obvious question as to who the Hulk is is revealed in this issue. I'm glad for it. It gets it out of the way, and the story can move on. I'm also glad the Banner has joined the cast. Even if he's not the Hulk, a Hulk book just wouldn't be the same without his presence.

It's not groundbreaking, and it's certainly not trying to be. This is what I had hoped Mighty Avengers would be: a slick, blockbuster action movie as told in comic book form. Solid first issue.

X-Factor #27 - This is one of the better chapters so far. We now know Bishop's motivations for killing the baby, which confirmed my own suspicions. I like the "team-up" of Charlie and Cable. It's almost like Xavier needs something to put him back in the good graces of the mutant community, and he sees Cable as his meal ticket. And how about the Sinister shocker? I totally didn't see that one coming. The only plotline I couldn't care less about is this Predator X nonsense. I don't know what the hell it is, and I don't care. Someone just kill it already.
X-Factor #27 - This is one of the better chapters so far. We now know Bishop's motivations for killing the baby, which confirmed my own suspicions. I like the "team-up" of Charlie and Cable. It's almost like Xavier needs something to put him back in the good graces of the mutant community, and he sees Cable as his meal ticket. And how about the Sinister shocker? I totally didn't see that one coming. The only plotline I couldn't care less about is this Predator X nonsense. I don't know what the hell it is, and I don't care. Someone just kill it already.

I also thought this was a solid chapter, probably bc it only had a small dose of the new x-men and a good dose of Jamie n Lyla. I thought the baby was a boy!?! Though i am a bit upset that
the sinister death had to happen off panel
. And man, they sure are overdoing the point that X-Force kills, I don't think the ongoing will have much steam, i mean wolverine already has a body count in his own book(s), why tarnish the other mutants characters?
Amazing Spider-Man 546

It wasn't bad... but... The end, it felt--Screw "felt"--it WAS already done. So the story as a whole, all I have the say is huh. Not exactly meh, but not bad, either. I'll get the next two issues.

Also, the best things were the back ups... that's not good, is it?

Jackpot - Will have to grow on me.

Aunt May - I'm shocked, she isn't pointless, so far. She, in the story, wasn't that bad, and she, in the back up, was kinda funny. She was cute.

Oh, and Speaking of cute. Harry - Just cute. The look. The hair wasn't even that bad, and he actually seemed like a cool person in the story. And even cooler in the Back up.

Overall, I hope they fix up some the this confusing ****.
Nova #10
One of those issues where not a lot happens, but so much happens. I mean it can all basically be summed up as "Nova and Gamora fight colorful aliens" which, granted, is probably worth the price of admission alone, but then you get oodles of pathos and psychoanalysis on both those characters who were already so deep and interesting even before this issue.

I think I've gleaned more about the Phalanx's process and what it actually means to be a select from this series than from any of the others which have actually, directly tied into Annihilation: Conquest. It reinforces my theory that before the end of all this, Nova will end up doing something incredibly significant to that event itself and maybe even show up directly in that series, even if we're meant to think that he won't. I mean, his destination is the homeworld of the Phalanx. You don't get much more direct than that.

Spectacular art, btw, although I don't see Richie's scar. Well, it may have healed by this point, to be fair.

(8.8 out of 10)

Green Lantern Corps #20
Kyle+Guy BFFs4life?

I don't think I'd mind at all if this series turns into the space adventures of Chandler and Joey (O GOD someone please stop Magno from drawing in this series ever again), but I do hope that the wonderful cast that Gibbons built up for seventeen issues isn't just going to be relegated to background fodder. Especially since Tomasi proved in the last issue that he's perfectly capable of doing them all great justice. Hey, did you know that Isamot is Tomasi spelled backwards? Great fcking Guardians! I totally just found that out. Now I'll never forget that damn lizard's name.

With all that said, what a fun issue. Not fun like hilarious, but just fun; Guy and Kyle's lo-tech U-Haul, Guy and Kyle and Salaak...and not enough credit can go to Gleason for pulling off a style that really, really works for this. It's a constant reminder that the GL mythos can be fun on top of being epic space opera.

And there's a fair bit of that, too, lest we forget. There's some forebodding Guardians speechifying and...well, Mongul, who I actually liked here. He's totally crazy. And not crazy in an annoying way, but crazy in that there's totally a method to his frightening darkness. I'll probably get sick of him by the time all is said and done, but for now I'm curious about his plans.

Incidentally, I don't know if Tomasi even realizes this, but he totally made a spot-on characterization of Kyle when he had him sound off on Guy's long-distance relationship. 'Cause we all know what happened the last time Kyle left a girlfriend on Earth; ****ting and ****ing, that's what. And of course Kyle would be sensative about that; props if it was intentional, props if it wasn't.

Looking forward to more.

(8.5 out of 10)

Amazing Spider-Man #546
Peter Parker: Inept Manchild round 54323. Yeah, I wasn't into it when Bendis wrote it, either.

Seriously, did he just get his webshooters ganked by a hobo?

I stand by what I've said otherwhere; in truth, when you strip away the layers, Brand New Day really doesn't change so much. This Peter Parker is the one we've been getting for a long time now. Still, the Peter Parker of years prior was obviously a child forced into man's life, which is why it was often so painful to watch; maybe it's fitting and will turn out for the best that we're now truly treating him like the child he is. Those of you who read Spider-Man to see that...have fun, 'cause I suspect it's something you'll be seeing a lot.

Pretty art, though, even if McNiven tends to straddle the line between realism and putty-people.

(6.5 out of 10)

Green Arrow and Black Canary #4
Ha. Good try there, Winick. You almost had me.

I almost bought this, because this was a pretty damn good issue. Yes, you heard me correctly. This was extremely well written. The dialogue, the interaction, the narrative...all of that was Winick at his best. With everything that's wrong with DC at the moment, with everything that has been horribly handled (some of it coming from this very series), it's just sort of comforting to know that this still the same universe where Superman will come if you call for his help.

(Which...kinda begs the question of why Ollie wasn't screaming himself hoarse when he was kidnapped by Shamazons, but stilll)

And of course, ultra special mega mention shoutout goes to Cliff Chiang for art that is awesomerock.

Now, the reason I didn't buy this issue, and am very glad right now that I didn't, is the "plot." To even call it a "plot" is truly an insult to real plotlines.

First of all, to get it out of the way: Sorry, Judd, Kevin Smith already wrote this story and wrote it better. It was exponentially more organic and natural and, well, it actually made sense as a story.

This issue is just not a story, and to take it further, this whole series has not been a story at all. Ignore the actual characters for a moment and look at the plot we've had so far: Some characters go to rescue the protagonist from an island that has had nothing to do with any of the characters and will likely henceforth have nothing to do with them, and on the way back a magic bullet appears from the skies and shoots someone, who is now in a coma.

What? What?

It's pure shlock and shock. This entire series right from the beginning has not been built on plot but on shock and cheap twists. Which is inexcusable enough by itself, much less when Judd in this very issue shows he could be capable of so much more.

(4.7 out of 10)

Wonder Girl #5
Question: How do you redeem an issue filled primarily with action when your artist completely sucks at action?

Answer: You probably can't. Sorry.

There's nothing overtly wrong with this series -- the characterizations are fine, the plot is fine, everything is fine -- but it struggles all the same. At this point I really just hope that Cassie keeps the cool new armor she got.

There's some nice bits, though. The gauntlets of Atlas being used was nice. Acknowledgement that Cassie actually led a team once instead of moping in the background is nice, though anyone looking to get their Cissie/Anita fix will probably end up being disappointed; Arrowette really doesn't show off any of her old attitude (the exact opposite, in a lot of ways) and Empress gets no speaking lines at all. Still, by comparison it's more than they've gotten in years.

(6.4 out of 10)

52 Aftermath: The Four Horsemen #6
Has it even been a month since the last issue? It seems like I was just read issue #5. For once, I actually question why they didn't just release this later, because almost all the art in here looks half-finished. And the fact that Olliffe isn't exactly the cleanest penciler in the first place doesn't help matters (I love his depiction of action and motion, though). The companies don't seem to mind delaying books for the flimsiest of reasons, and I wouldn't want to encourage them on that, but this is definitely one of those situations that could have used a delay.

Other than that, a pretty good ending. The heroes do save the day...though not, perhaps, in the way that you'd expect. And there's loads of spiffy action and even the dialogue is...marginally...improved from some of the unreadable lines of prior issues.

Giffen is apparently, squarely within the realms of Morrisonesque Batgod worship. I don't usually approve of Batgod -- the notion that his "hunger" is so extreme he trumps even an Apokoliptian hunger god? -- but it's been used here as a bit of tongue-in-cheek wit that actually works as tongue-in-cheek wit so, hey, I'm cool with it.

All in all, this was a pretty enjoyable mini. I think I may have expected more from Giffen, though, and I'm not sure how much I'm going to be looking forward to any of his future works with these characters...really, he too often makes Clark, Bruce, and Diana sound like the same character talking out of three different bodies, where their greatest charm has always been the contrasts and comparisons in their personalities. But the plot of this series itself along with some of the characters it's highlighted has been pretty solid from beginning to end.

(7.8 out of 10)
(7 out of 10 for the entire miniseries)
Mighty Avengers #7

The second arc of Mighty Avengers finally begins, after months of delays, and, with the Fastest Artist Alive, Mark Bagley, handling things for the next five issues, we shouldn’t have to worry about that (in fact, he’s already done). This arc has to deal with the fact that the developments of at least the first two issues have already been spoiled by issues of New Avengers released on schedule (albeit with horrible art from Leinil Yu). The story picks up from last issue, with Spider-Woman delivering the corpse of Skrull-Elektra to an hospitalized Iron Man (as we knew from November’s New Avengers: Illuminati #5); they convince each other they aren’t Skrulls, and Tony drafts her onto the Mighty Avengers. Her reception among the team ranges from enthusiastic, if guarded (Ms. Marvel), to hostility (Black Widow; who doesn’t get any thought bubbles here, for anyone on Skrull stakeout; if not for her role in Captain America, I’d think her the most obvious suspect), to befuddlement (most everyone else), to lust (Ares). Iron Man’s plan is to wait and see who the infiltrator on his team is by using Jessica’s joining to throw them off balance. Afterwards, Wasp strongarms Wonder Man into changing his costume (although what he ends up with, to her obvious annoyance, is basically just his pre-Cho costume, except without sleeves. Lindy asks Tony to find a way to depower the Sentry before he kills them all, which, given her rather ambiguous return last issue, makes me think of her as the most likely Skrull present. Oh, and there’s the whole symbiote bomb, but we already know how that ends. I’ve never been a particularly big fan of Mark Bagley’s art. It may partly be a result of all those years on Ultimate Spider-Man, but I associate his art overwhelmingly with teenagers, and it’s kind of odd to see him draw adults (there’s a thinness to his characters, as well, that often doesn’t look quite right). But he’s above-average, and his ability to deliver on schedule sets him apart from most others in the business. Bendis' dialogue is also pretty good here, apart from one groaner from Wasp.

X-Factor #27

"Messiah Complex" is two issues from completion now, and its looking likely to sustain the hype calling it the best crossover from Marvel in quite a while. A lot of this issue was a semi-recap of stuff that has already happened, including Professor X fillin in Cable on the various things that have happened since then, and kid Bishop's explaining the future to Layla and Madrox (which I had mostly already guessed: the MC baby grows up to save the mutant race and then kill one million people in six minutes, in this timeline), but it also includes three jolting developments: first, Layla kills Madrox-dupe with a hand grenade to send him to the past (and identifies herself as "Layla...Madrox" while repeating her catch-phrase, perhaps suggesting that she'll eventually return from the future as a grown woman, all set to get hitched with Jamie like she's been saying all along); Mystique (allied with Gambit) has seemingly killed Mr. Sinister (although next issue promises to reveal his "fate") and taken his place; and Wolverine guts Lady Mastermind (David writes some excellent Logan characterization this issue; the character works best when he's just allowed to be himself and do cool stuff, rather than Loeb and Way's convoluted crap). This whole arc has been kind of a world tour of X-Men lore, and we're now heading for a big final showdown on the ruins of Muir Island, with X-Force facing down the Acolytes/Marauders, and the rest of the X-Men heading in to back them up. And Predator X arrives at the Mansion, now garrisoned only the New X-Men and Beast, with numerous critically-injured mutants in sickbay just waiting for him. X-Force had earlier annihilated the Reavers, the Purifiers' strike force, so perhaps they're out of the game for the last two issues, or perhaps they'll also turn up and join the melee. Anyway, fun stuff, and the best X-Men story in a while.
Naturally, the issue of the day for many will be the first BND issue by Dan Slott & McNiven, ASM #546, on the heels of OMD and all of the outrage about it. As I answered in the NYC Signing topic set up by Slott himself, I didn't actually buy the issue. I flipped through it in Brooklyn, and I was tempted, but after I flipped it, I saw some images I wasn't happy with and it hit me that regardless of how good, bad, or mediocre the issue is, the emotions are too raw and I just wouldn't give it a chance and wasn't in the mood to buy it. I may inevitably buy 'em in back-issues, or trades, but for now, nope. There may be some who don't believe me, but that's up to them, really. I got to meet Dan Slott and have some comics signed, so I actually am in a chipper mood.

Plus, Dan Slott apparently knows me by my long reviews, which is always a plus. :D

As always, spoilers ahoy.

Dread's BOUGHT/THOUGHT for 1/9/08:

The last issue of the Cooke & Co. launch of this title ends with a bang, with one of the best stories of the run so far, which is saying something. Cooke, Bone & Stewart have managed to take a Golden Age franchise and present it in a new and very cinematic type way, without trying to "hip" it up too much, but playing with the moody period a bit. This issue sees a showdown between Spirit and his arch-nemesis, the Octopus, but the crux of the story is having to get involved in a case that involves his murdered contact Hussein and his first and lost love, Sand Saref. It is an emotional tail of things that couldn't be and star crossed lovers and all that, but it manages to work here. Spirit is also a bad-ass, not afraid to throw a martial-arts chick face-first into a table, by her leg. OUCH. There may be some that may be irked at no real "resolution" of some events, save for the El Muerte storyline from last issue, but with a franchise as old as this you really can't make any bold moves, but to play with the toys you have. The series will continue with another creative team, but I came aboard for Cooke, and I doubt I will stick around with him. A great run while it lasted, the inevitable HC will be worth getting.

GHOST RIDER #19: The end of the Daniel Way run, and he seems to be cribbing from more of his "Ennis Ripoff" notes because he throws in more Southern cop stereotypes than a hundred Hollywood pictures. Oooo-weee, ev'ryone tokes lahke ann ee-diot 'n is my-tea stoopid to boot, y'all! Dixie has to somehow keep the police outside her motel room from storming in for the next 30 minutes, and the cops oblige through sheer hick stupidity. I get this sort of humor was all the rage during the height of Bush-phobia a few years ago, but with the president a lame duck it has more than worn out it's welcome. Ghost Rider is still coming off another demonic Marvel retcon, that is that he isn't bonded with a demon at all, but an angel. The only way that works is that either Zarathos was a fallen angel, or you just don't count a lot of the past generation's worth of stuff, and it doesn't really work. But what does work is Saltares' great art and Blaze's rather clever plan to kill off the Devil from the mortal plane without sticking all of his power into one body; he kept one of Luci's avatars alive but brain-dead, so when the Devil expects a final-showdown, he's actually at 50% less power than expected, which gives Ghost Rider the element of surprise. Still, one might argue that being able to slay a demon with even half the power of a Hell-Lord is a feat worthy of a Sorceror Supreme more than a Spirit of Vengeance, but I thought it was pretty cool. Unfortunately, Dixie is killed in a police crossfire and Blaze is too angry at the two-timing angels to give a fig about her, which I saw as rather cold, even for a man bonded to a demon/angel thingie. Even Frank Castle feels remourse for the woman he accidentally got killed in P:WJ. As the Way run ends, I can only say that his 19 issues would have gone down a lot better had he decided not to muck with GR's past, from trying to wiggle Mephisto out to the angel nonsense, and simply got down to his stories, because without that stuff it is more readable. Jason Aaron & Roland Boschi start next month with #20, and seeing as this book's sales have skidded into the Top 70's, they may only have an arc to prove themselves before it reaches axe territory. Much like MOON KNIGHT, this is a book I don't hate at all, but I was starting to grow apathetic too, and the change of creative team is just the breath of fresh air that I need to stick things out another few issues and see what sticks. Considering The Initiative, though, it is amazing no other heroes care about a flaming biker roaming around the midwest. Go loopholes!

MIGHTY AVENGERS #7: Running at least 2-3 issues behind due to Frank Cho's sluggish schedule, Mark Bagley reunites with Bendis for his last Marvel gig before jumping ship to DC for the first time in his career (beyond his SPIDER-MAN/BATMAN crossover one-shot of the 90's), and it is for yet another symbiote story. Good lord, this man has had to draw so many of them, I'd love to get his opinion on 'em. It also is amazing how despite a cover that calls for hulking "venoms" standing over the fallen Avengers like victorious wolves, Cho still manages to aim some lady's ass at the camera (in this case, Natasha's), albeit I have seen more obvious cheesecake from him. Is Cho a mainstream professional or trying out for Eros Comics? Jena Jameson's got a comic coming out, he'd be perfect. :p Anyway, I have written at lenth about my detest for the symbiote invasion story from NEW AVENGERS, which this was supposed to tie into many moons ago. Symbiotes have pretty much been DOA for nearly a good decade now, and much like ninjas and Ronin, Bendis keeps trucking them out in stories, and people still keep on not caring. But, luckily, this issue has very little to do with that until the last few pages. As the cover notes, it is more of a SECRET INVASION thing, as well as some time to breathe after the end of the Nekkid Ultrona arc. As we have seen in every on-time Bendis book, Jessica Drew takes the Skrullektra body to Stark and informs him of the theories of invasion, which Stark buys. He also allows her back on his team, an act that Ms. Marvel is appalled at not even being informed or briefed of, further proving the theory that she was merely handed "leadership" position over the team to placate her pangs of guilt and also because she's probably the only one who would GIVE authority back to Stark if he ever goes down in a mission, as he did against Ultron. The Avengers talk in the tower about stuff and the thought balloons are kept to a minimum, so they aren't so stupid. But there are still the annoying Bendis quibbles. One of them is illustrated perfectly by this exchange.

"I want to make a toast."
"You want to make a toast?"
"I want to make a toast."

Seriously, that is an entire panel. And that is a WASTE. Why do we need two characters to basically say the same line thrice? In the name of his "ghetto realistic dialogue", Bendis creates dozens of scenes like this in every arc that are just complete wastes and they annoy you especially when he DOESN'T have certain characters say, maybe, 1-3 lines that often could cure half his continuity hiccups. There are reasons why fans can imitate Bendis' style to mock him and yet are 100% accurate; sometimes they almost seem as if by machine. Bendis brags about being about 6 months ahead of all of his books in scripting, but seeing how he basically copies & pastes lines like this a LOT, I can understand how. Bagley, as always, does a great job with mainstream Marvel work, especially when he has more time with these issues than he did with many of his USM issues, which sometimes shipped bi-weekly. There also is a bit where Wasp trucks out some new designs for Wonder Man, deeming it a "fashion intervention" because he is wearing his old 70's gear. It is cute if you look at it like that, but begin to think and it seems irritating. Firstly, none of her models have good designs that aren't rip-off's. Secondly, Wasp has literally had hundreds of designs for her own costume, and 85% of them stunk; the one she has on now is basically Hitch's from Ultimates, streamlined (which she has had for years now). And thirdly, blaming Wonder Man's character for Cho's decision to dress him retro-style seems almost insulting, especially as he's back in his superior costume from before MIGHTY AVENGERS #1 anyway (the one from the Busiek/Perez relaunch, basically). And finally, Ponsor the colorist, or Lanphear the Letterer, must be color-blind if either believe tiny (font 7-8 maybe) light green text on bright yellow captions is natural to read. But aside for that, MIGHTY AVENGERS is still Bendis' better and more enjoyable Avengers title. At the very least, Bagley is a stronger artist than Yu for the symbiote stuff, considering how many he has drawn over the past 15 years. He shines with the hero scenes and Bendis does have some cute moments here. Frankly, this is the book many may have wished NEW AVENGERS would have been; more mainstream superheroic instead of "Bendis seeks to fix what ain't broke about superheroes, and instead makes them brooding whiners". Not a fan of the symbiote story, but I will only have to bare with one issue of it, before seeing how Bendis ruins Dr. Doom. But for now, not too shabby. Bendis still won't grow beyond his faults, because he has been editorially coddled for the past 3-5 years, but for what it is, not too bad for him. Some timely issues from Bags will be appreciated.

NOVA #10: Hey, the scene on the cover actually happens in the issue! Abnett & Lanning (DnA) score again. While Nova himself is mostly on the sidelines of ANNIHILATION CONQUEST, his own ongoing is still a high caliber space adventure series with great art (Alves does a great job as usual) and solid story from the Han & Chewie of Marvel Space Heroes. After teleporting from Knowhere last ish, with Gamora & Drax close behind, Rich and Gamora, his ex-lover turned techno-organic enemy, wake up in an unfriendly mystery location, at each other's throats and then forced to rely on each other again to survive. Not only does Nova have to rely on waning powers and an inhuman Worldmind, but on being near "the deadliest woman in the galaxy" in more ways than one. Yeah, Alves has some cheesecake moments with Gamora, but he keeps them to a minimum. Much like the prior 2 issues, DnA mix things up by having some classic "horror" moments intertwined with their space stories, such as being in unknown territories haunted by strange sounds and weirder creatures. Rich and Gamora go over their past relationship during ANNIHILATION, noting why they worked and ultimately, why they didn't. Rich learned that Gamora really was a bit too bloodthirsty for his liking, and what attracted Gamora to Rich, his bold-faced, fly into the heart of evil-esque heroism, also made her feel too guilty over her own past (even if she has been on the side of angels a few times). They manage to escape together despite their differences, and the crippling virus, and the scene on the cover comes about, and the result may be shocking for some! I doubt anyone is really dead, though, because it "isn't his style". The issue ends with Rider literally 2 hours away from either death or Phalanx posession, rocketting into the heart of the Technarch race. This sets up the annual, which hopefully is of the IMMORTAL IRON FIST variety and essentially acts as another issue rather than a filler. I didn't think anything could get me to actually not go, "Hey, I miss Cosmo already", but this issue did, because it was very strong despite only 3 major characters. Hopefully this isn't the end for Gamora, because the pair have a bit of play together.

PUNISHER: WAR JOURNAL #15: This book by this point is an acquired taste; it has Punisher, but it is often lighter-hearted, or at least less serious than the MAX books, and has him fighting super-villains constantly. And he doesn't always kill 'em. You either like this, or you don't. If you take Punisher seriously, seeing him basically become a stereotype like Brock Samson for laughs may irk you. But I don't, so I have really enjoyed the hell out of this. The sequence where Castle takes on Gibbon while narrating about how he did and didn't envision dying is ****ing priceless, and doesn't feel as awkward as stuff from NEXTWAVE did. Yes, the Frog-Man in this issue is the mysterious "third one" who is probably the Leap-Frog from Dardevil a few years back, and he is swiftly killed by Al Kravenoff, who is not only friggin' insane, but seems to be inhaling some MGH from the Impossible Man, which allows him to "pop" and teleport about the area. It isn't outright said the MGH was lifted from Impy, but it seems the only possible solution, and given the events of Parker & 'Ringo's SPIDER-MAN & THE FANTASTIC FOUR mini last year, it is very possible to have swabbed some of Impy for MGH. Considering the potential of Tiger-Shark and how often he has missed it, I was somewhat miffed that Castle seems to overpower him rather quickly, but I let it slide for now. It was cool seeing Castle's reactions when he found weapons, like Man-Bull's horn (punched off by Grizzly), or a pipe when he's having his showdown with Kraven, which is interupted by the Rhino. Gargoyle & Swarm also have a cameo, and Silver Sable is recruited by G.W. Bridge into his new Wild Pack, and it is good seeing her somewhere. One minor quibble; Wegener, who has done a great job coming in after Cory Walker's issue, forgot that Vulture's fingers were supposed to be broken, because they looked fine here (unless we want to say that even Vulture can regenerate now). Rhino even gets to save Punisher and he gets off by accidentally making Castle recall Stuart Clarke's lover, who he "accidentally" killed while at the mercy of Hate-Monger's hate-rays. And hasn't everyone wanted to knee Kraven in the nuts? Frank does. I never thought I'd see "fun" and "Punisher" in the same book, but that is really the best way to describe Fraction's run at this point. Not for serious vigilante/Punisher fans, but for those of us weary of grim/bleak anti-hero fare, like the typical issue of MOON KNIGHT, this is a great interlude.

THE TWELVE #1: The other big launch this week, JMS & Christ Weston seek to add to Marvel's vastly underutilized Golden Age characters, considering DC has been making hay with JSA for years now, and that quite a few of their longtime characters from that generation, like Jim Hammond and Steve Rogers, are dead. The designs from Weston have been previewed and debated, and some of JMS's hints about how the team survived into the modern era were met with some skepticism, especially in the wake of his Spider-bungles. But, THOR at least shows that JMS still has some pep, he simply had been on ASM far, far, FAR too long (to which everyone replies, "YA THINK!?"), and The Twelve can also be put into his "good" pile, at least for the moment. With 12 characters and each issue seeming to center around one of 'em, people are even calling this a WATCHMEN rip, and to that I say, "So?" Shouldn't most writers at least try to match the character depth, the flowing artist direction, the mature subject matter, and the relevance that WATCHMEN gained? Especially with characters who are relative clean slates. The story is introduced by Phantom Reporter, one of a bunch of Golden Agers who took part in WWII in 1945 and wound up being captured and cryogenically preserved by Nazi scientists. The Nazi's wanted to dissect them to create their own "supermen", or at least more of them as they already had a few, like Master Man, Power Princess, and so on. Note at this point, Red Skull himself could have been considered a "tourist", a cute past term that JMS coins for a costumed character with no superpowers; no cloned super-soldier body, Skull was just a wonk in a mask with "death dust". Weston's art is great, detailed but not too much so, and while he is as faithful to their outdated costumes as he can be, the last page notes that at least some of 'em don new duds, so I am being lenient for now. It made sense that the Nazi's didn't anticipate the Russians, or at least some didn't, and fortunately after the heroes are found, they are revived by U.S. forces and in the wake of CIVIL WAR, their placement as leftovers from "the greatest generation" is exploited to get some extra hands on the Initiative side that some of the old time generals can trust. It makes sense, and I liked the subtle way that Phantom Reporter figures out what year it actually is. This is obviously the first part of a 12 issue story and after introducing the characters and the status quo, there are few pages left, but for an intro issue, it did more than plenty of others I could mention (the entire team is assembled in this issue, for instance). And if the last page is any hint, Blue Blade may not be surviving it. We have a long way to go and probably quite a few flashbacks and flash-forwards until the end, but with so many characters to dust off, I expect it so I don't mind it. JMS & Weston convince me this has direction and promise, and that is most of the battle right there. Even for an intro, I liked it. And yes, the cover is supposed to look like a beat-up comic. Dynamic Man looks like he is about to poo on the cover, though, and Blue Blade is the swishiest superhero, ever. But that's no biggie for now. Bring on more, I say. Perhaps it does seem odd that with so many "neo-Nazi" elements to have survived WWII, from Skull to Hydra and so on, that they'd have so easily lost track of 12 frozen metahumans and a robot, but I've seen wonkier elements be utilized for far worse storylines (heroes with over a decade of friendship and experience suddenly becoming mortal enemies who hate each other in the hour of need over a law very similar to one they debunked about 15 years prior, for instance). Color me interested.
Glad to see other people liked Hulk and The Twelve. I really thought people were going to protest the one, and ignore the other. I liked both, and hope people give them a chance . (Good reviews, PJ and Dread. No sense making my case when you already did.)




I'm ok.
Aww, Dread. I was hoping for a spider-man Review.:(
I was on the fence with Hulk and the 12.
X-Factor #27 - This is one of the better chapters so far. We now know Bishop's motivations for killing the baby, which confirmed my own suspicions. I like the "team-up" of Charlie and Cable. It's almost like Xavier needs something to put him back in the good graces of the mutant community, and he sees Cable as his meal ticket. And how about the Sinister shocker? I totally didn't see that one coming. The only plotline I couldn't care less about is this Predator X nonsense. I don't know what the hell it is, and I don't care. Someone just kill it already.

As I've said before, Predator X is nothing but an excuse for Yost and Kyle to kill more kids. They tried to justify its inclusion in this crossover by having it go after the baby, but then they just had it up and abandon it to go to the school, where it's going to confront the kids. And of course, the solicits for the next issue, which just happens to be New X-Men, say that it's going to kill someone. Yost and Kyle are going to off another student. Color me surprised. :dry:
Glad to see other people liked Hulk and The Twelve. I really thought people were going to protest the one, and ignore the other. I liked both, and hope people give them a chance . (Good reviews, PJ and Dread. No sense making my case when you already did.)

Thanks. THE TWELVE was pretty cool so far.

Aww, Dread. I was hoping for a spider-man Review.:(

Sorry. The desire to review it online was overruled by my desire to get a break from Spider-agita for now. I went from giving up on monthly Spider-titles after the Clone Saga to reading ASM for the past year and a half, and MAN, has it been a long year. I need a break from the strife, so I am taking it.

May as well keep NEW AVENGERS as the only book I buy that I basically loathe. ;)
Glad to see other people liked Hulk and The Twelve. I really thought people were going to protest the one, and ignore the other. I liked both, and hope people give them a chance . (Good reviews, PJ and Dread. No sense making my case when you already did.)

Yeah, The Twelve was excellent. I was kind of worried that since JMS has 12 issues to tell a story, he might go the decompression route and drag this one out. Nope. The pace moves at a very quick speed. It's actually pretty jam packed with characterization and background info. And of course Wetson's art is gorgeous. :up:
The guy with the sword is easily the gayest costume design ever, though!
It's from a different time. I'm glad Marvel didn't try to update their costumes. Plus, the costume he will apparently get is less gay. ;)
I liked everything in X-Factor except the ending. Sinister's big return happened... so he could be offed by Mystique? That's kind of pathetic for Sinister. Still, I'm looking forward to seeing what Gambit and Mystique's (and, if the next issue's variant cover is any indication, Random, Sunfire, and some others') agenda is.
Did you see the solicit for the next issue?

I only read X-Factor, so I don't think I've totally understood was has been going on with this event. :(
No mention of WOLVERINE? Striking a pact with the Angel of Death, Logan kills Phaedra and as a result is no longer "immortal" and his healing factor is likely to be affected as well. I'm guessing this is a move to get Logan back to an earthier, grittier guy whose healing factor is not instantaneous. I like the return to that but I hate supernatural storylines. They really messed with the mutant side of WOlverine with this storyline.

Messiah Complex - loving it but why can't Emma reach Logan? I'm guessing Logan already suspects Bishop.
No mention of WOLVERINE? Striking a pact with the Angel of Death, Logan kills Phaedra and as a result is no longer "immortal" and his healing factor is likely to be affected as well. I'm guessing this is a move to get Logan back to an earthier, grittier guy whose healing factor is not instantaneous. I like the return to that but I hate supernatural storylines. They really messed with the mutant side of WOlverine with this storyline.

I read it. The storyline started out pretty stupid, got better and ended pretty stupid. The only good thing to come out of it is that it brought Logan's healing factor back down to normal.

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