Bought/Thought - Happy Halloween!


Aug 4, 2003
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Happy Halloween! I opted to call in sick with the full expectation of being lazy until it's time to take the girls trick-or-treating. Daddy wants some reece cups!

As for comics, I picked up four new issues plus some more back issues of Daredevil (so now I've bought 14 to now plus the Annual, which wasn't that great). I've cut so much of late and my wife still budgets me at a full $100 a month that I can work toward getting what I've missed. Sadly, my shop is hit and miss from this point on, only having 6-8, 10.1, and 11, and that's it. They're also out of the Omega Drive issues of Punisher and Avenging Spider-Man. I'll have to do some ebaying.

And now, on to the new ones:

X-Men Legacy 275 - Last issue. Ever since I was a kid I had this thought... "How wierd will it be when X-Men hits issue 300, the first issue of Uncanny that I ever bought?!" Well, now I'll never know. I guess I can count issue 25 of X-Men Legacy (vol. 2) as issue 300 but it's not as fun... if it even makes it to 25. I wonder though... with Marvel NOW... will they relaunch to 300 with issue 25? Or perhaps with issue 21 if sales are bad and they count AoA's Amazing X-Men 1-4?

As for the issue, it's about on par with the rest of Gage's run. I liked that it focused on Mimic and hated that he left the team at the end of the issue. Mimic was always one of those characters that I wanted to see get a push. I was stoked when he joined the team and he's done absolutely nothing since then. So his leaving now was a complete bummer. To be honest though, he likely wasn't going to be showing up post-Gage anyway so at least he got a send off.

The issue itself was fine. Rogue and Mimic are all that's available to stop a prison break and there's some conversation regarding whether Mimic would find himself like Rogue did, in a group, or individually without powerful personalities to pull from. It makes sense, and really, what's the point in having Mimic around when you have Rogue. Sadly, I think Gage gave a very good reason in this issue before sending Mimic away.... he's basically in the spot that Rogue filled for years... the power copier who couldn't find himself. He could have been a great character to have on the team, maybe over in Wolverine & the X-Men, but alas, he's gone. Sucks.

For what it was, the issue should have been a bigger deal. Sadly, it was forgetable.

Wolverine & the X-Men 19 - This was a great issue. Wolverine and Rachel Grey hunting down the Hellfire kids due to their shooting Broo. It's small beans until the end where they find a gift left by the kids... a bunch of freshly dug graves prepared for the Jean Grey Academy students. Now THAT'S a way to declare war on the X-Men!

Beast is trying to save Broo's life. His heart is beating but he's brain dead. He can't get it going again and so he contacts some help in the form of Reed Richards, Tony Stark, and... wait for it... PETER PARKER! I was totally stoked about that. Mr. Parker from Horizon Labs was put in the brain trust with Beast, Tony, and Reed. That was a totally cool little thing for Aaron to do. Me likey.

I was frustrated last issue when Husk left. As a Generation X fan I get frustrated when they get dissed. Her joining this book got me stoked, nothing came of it, and then she left. Well, it seems more is happening. She's really starting to freak out and, to me, she doesn't sound like herself. I'm starting to wonder if she's using Toad (who has an interesting seen of frustration in the issue) for some sinister purpose, and I'm hoping it's not her in control. I'm curious where this goes. And speaking of Generation X, even Chamber got a one panel cameo! Give him more dang it!

Also, Angel reclaims Worthington Enterprises with the help of Matt Murdock, puts the Jean Grey Academy kids in charge as the board of trusties, and then mentions something about a new calling with the newly appearing mutants.

The main story though seems to be Kitty Pryde interviewing people to replace Husk and ultimately adds Storm to the roster. The fun though were the other applicants.

So, besides Mr. Fantastic, Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Daredevil... we had guest stars: Blade, Hellstorm, Puck, Sasquatch, Longshot, Dr. Nemesis, Gorilla-Man, Ghost Rider, Deadpool, Werewolf by Night, Firestar, and Fat Cobra.

To be honest, Spider-Man, Sasquatch, and Firestar would likely have been great teachers at the school. Fat Cobra would have been fun to see (as he once taught an all-girls college class in martial arts, mostly just for the view). But of course, as previously announced, we get Storm. It was fun anyway.

So yeah... all this in one issue. Aaron really makes that extra buck worth it.

AvsX: Consequences 4 - I've missed the past two issues of this series so for the first time in years I actually read the recap page. The issue ended up being good and I'm annoyed at having missed those issues. I'll have to find them somewhere.

This reads as if Gillen pretty much just continued his Uncanny X-Men run here (minus the Unit plot, which is a shame). For the first time since Schism we see Wolverine's respect for Scott. It also looks like Magneto is taking the villainous turn again and it feels authentic, and he's taking Danger and Magik with him. I also liked Namor's side of the Phoenix thing. I thought that quick scene was well done.

All in all this issue reminded me of why I liked Gillen's run. His last two pages of the final issue killed me but at least he can redeem himself here. I'll have to call my comic shop next week and have them put a copy in my file for me. They sold out of this title in the first 4 hours of the day the past two weeks and were nearly out today after only 1 hour. Crazy.

Justice League Dark Annual 1 - And the first major arc of Lemire's run is concluded, leading into the next. In addition to the main crew, Constatine pulls in help in the form of Amethyst, Frankenstein, and Andrew Bennett. Then, alongside Deadman, Madame Xanadu, Black Orchid, and Tim Hunter, Constatine and his people march to war to find the Books of Magic and to save Zatanna.

They take on Faust, Dr. Mist, Blackbriar Thorn, Black Boris, and legions of grunts and have a final conflict with the main villain, Nick Necro. Ultimately, the Books of Magic are found and opened, which leads to a bit of a cliffhanger ending. I like that the villains are defeated but are noticably still awake and alert at the end, making their story not quite over. I'm hoping for a redeeming story for Dr. Mist. I've grown to like him a great deal.

I have to say, this title is easily in my top 3 favorite titls and it just keeps creeping higher on that list. Lemire is an amazing writer and Janin's art is possibly my favorite to look at at the moment, and that's saying a lot. I want this guy on X-Men (being the X-Men fan that I am).

Best and Worst of the Week

Best: Justice League Dark - This and W&tXM were pretty close but I think this one won me over a bit more. It was just a solid read that I loved. And to think... I nearly dropped this book.

Worst: X-Men Legacy - While not a bad issue it wasn't anywhere NEAR the level of the rest. I felt that, as a final issue to the current longest running consecutive title, it needed to be bigger. Starring only Rogue and Mimic in a forgettable story was the wrong approach. Editorial needed to step in and make Gage step it up. They needed a larget cast, larger spotlight, and a villain that'll make you remember how this series went out. This one felt like one of those short stories in some X-Men anthology that you read and promptly forget. Very disappointing.

I'm eager for Legion's book. It'll hopefully be much less mundaine than Gage and the majority of Carey's run.
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Don't worry JewishHobbit Chamber is going to be a big part of the new Legion focused X-Men Legacy.

The biggest shock from AvsX: Consequences 4 was wolverine actually acting like we would expect instead being mister angery stab stab man.

Writers actually remembering Logan and Scott been X-Men for years and have some sort of bond. Logan admitting he looked up to cyke.
I love AvX consequences. Gillen is actually managing to salvage this event. In #4 Cyclops continues to be sympathetic. It was nice to see Wolverine be less hypocritical. Writers seemed to have forgotten that they got along fine for a while before Schism, with Wolverine giving a lot of respect to Cyclops. I'd love it if Cyclops, Emma, Magneto, Magik, and Danger got their own title.

I'm also liking Colossus more now. His relationship with Magik has made him so much more interesting, and I can't wait to see what he's like in Cable and X-force. I was digging the facial hair this issue. It was good to see Namor, the Phoenix force hurting his pride was a good character touch.
Justice League Dark was awesome!

Great conclusion to the arc.
Don't worry JewishHobbit Chamber is going to be a big part of the new Legion focused X-Men Legacy.

YES!!! I must have missed that. Where was it announced?

And I agree about Consequences, at least regarding the two issues I read. I'll have to check with the flea market this weekend and see if they still have the second and third issues.
YES!!! I must have missed that. Where was it announced?

In an interview with new writer Si Spurrier and series editor Daniel Ketchum at CBR.

In terms of supporting cast, there will be a number of other X-Men that make an appearance. "I'm a big fan of the character Chamber, so he's destined to appear in the story, but we get them all rocking up,"
Getting comics was more complicated due to this hurricane named Sandy that rocked NY as well as other states along the northeast. Still, I once walked through 5 miles of post-blizzard snow for comics (2009 or 2010 I think), so this didn't stop me either. Spoilers aplenty.


ACTION COMICS ANNUAL #1: While not technically the first annual ACTION COMICS has had historically from DC Comics, it is the first for the series in the "New 52" continuity. It is written by Sholly Fisch, who usually writes the back-up strips in ACTION COMICS, and drawn by the exceptionally talented Cully Hamner (with colors by Val Staples). For $4.99 the reader gets at least 41 pages of story between the main story and an 8 issue back up strip by Max Landis and Ryan Sook. The annual expands on stories taking place from the parent title; in particular ACTION COMICS #8. An abusive husband who Superman curb stomped has become involved in yet another attempt by Lex Luthor (and later General Lane) to create some countermeasure to Superman. Infused with Kryptonite energy, he becomes the "Kryptonite Man" (or "K-Man") and seeks nothing more than Superman's death. In a sense he is an altered version of Conduit, a villain with similar powers along with a personal vendetta from the mid 1990's. Also getting a large chunk of focus in this issue is John Henry Irons, who has utilized his technology as well as his hammer-carrying armor to assist Superman in battle and ultimately carry out his work to other nations. Nothing in this story may be terribly original, but what it seeks to do it does with entertaining execution. The action works, the villain is presented simply and effectively, knowledge of prior stories rewards the reader and provides the foundation, and the climax leaves open strong possibilities for the future. Hamner's art is a joy as always, working well with bombastic action and brightly colored alien characters. The back up strip merely offers the origin of a new Atomic Skull with silent panels, and while fine by itself, the main story is the draw here. Not every story has to remake the wheel so long as it gets on a roll as well as this tale does.

BATMAN BEYOND UNLIMITED #9: The cover is more accurate than the title as this time the Superman Beyond strip by J.T. Crul and Porter takes over most of the book. The elder Superman manages to take down Lex Luthor's last doomsday robot with Eradicator armor to protect him from the Kryptonite asteroids. We get a finale which is vaguely similar to the climax of "SUPERMAN RETURNS" only much faster. This finale is fine but this strip was easily the weakest of this anthology. The JLU strip by Derek Ridolfs and Dustin Ngyen has a lot of action as the team takes on the planet destroying serpent as well as Kobra. Micron gets possessed by Spellbinder and Wayne's big idea was to have Terry bond with Entrigan the demon; didn't the last guy who bonded with Entrigan wind up poorly? Finally, the Batman Beyond strip by Adam Beechen and Norm Breyfogle has more pummeling of suicide bomber Jokerz with characters from both Beehen's canceled ongoing series as well as his initial mini for this franchise. While Tim Drake refuses to pitch in during Gotham's darkest hour - and considering he was literally possessed by the original Joker for years, I can't blame him too much - Dick Grayson and the multiplying Catwoman are on deck, along with Vigilante (who was the trigger man in the murder of Terry's father, which was ordered by Derek Powers and Mr. Fix). I've always enjoyed Beechen's Beyond and it is a shame that it isn't a monthly comic anymore; but this digital anthology beats nothing at all. I'm glad the Superman story is over and I am looking forward to more of the others.

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES ANNUAL 2012: A labor of love from co-creator Kevin Eastman, who co-writes as well as draws this entire 48 page tome; Tom Waltz as usual also aids in the scripting. The full cover is a work of art and the annual itself is more like a small trade than an annual with the glossy paper and thick covers. This is TMNT at its roots, a gritty story which features a lot of eccentric characters, a lot of dialogue and a lot of action at the end. That said, I honestly wish I could say it was better, but it does seem to show some age. Eastman's art is a bit rough for some panels and the story is a fun caper surrounding various criminal groups (the Foot, the Savate Ninja, some corrupt cops, a few bar flies and two hapless street punks) all chasing after a MacGuffin (a tribute between ninja gangs in diamonds) which is instigated due to Raph and Casey having another random rough-housing section. Raph and Casey are obviously Eastman's favorite characters; hence why they've factored very heavily into the IDW series he's helped steer and are the focal characters here. At $8.99 for a little more than 2 issues worth of material the price may be steep for some people, but considering IDW represents about 4% of the industry on a good month, I can let a little gouging slide. It is truly good to see Eastman drawing the TMNT again beyond inks and layouts (which he's long since stopped doing on the regular title); I simply wish it was a better story. As it is, it is a novelty one shot story which probably matters less to the continuity than a typical micro-series issue. I don't regret buying it, but I'll probably forget the tale before too long. Fans of simple Turtle stories involving urban elements and eccentric side characters will have a ball, though.

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #15: Once again, IDW delivers with a double dose of TMNT within one month, even if its intended shipping date was the final day of it. Writers Kevin Eastman (franchise co-creator) and Tom Waltz pen both this issue as well as a massive 48 page annual issue (which Eastman also drew). While the annual is a fun if a little overlong romp, when it comes down to brass tacks this regular issue offers the superior narrative this week. New regular artist Andy Kuhn and longtime colorist Ronda Pattison continue to bring life to this second year of excellent Ninja Turtle comics. This issue carries over more elements of horror in keeping with Halloween, as well as borrows more from TMNT: MICRO-SERIES #7 than it seems to from the previous issue.

As revealed in that micro-series issue as well as the extended flashbacks in this issue, Stockgen Labs (run by Baxtor Stockman to perform contracted genetic experiments for General Krang) engaged in more mutation experiments since the creation of the titular turtles and Splinter. Their newest product is a vicious snapping turtle who has evolved into a massive monster with only a limited intellect and an instinct to hunt specific targets. Longtime fans will recognize this character instantly who is even named in this issue - Slash. Never appearing in the original Mirage Studios series, he was a villain created by the toy line and subsequently the original animated series - although the licensed ARCHIE COMICS of the 90's probably developed the character best. He is a character similar to Venom in that he's a massive twisted version of the heroes who relies on brute force and terror rather than sheer skill. Slash spends most of the issue stalking the Turtles as they go about their lives and seek out a new lair to settle into, since April's antique shop is too open and exposed. The progression of the plot is well paced; some comics would have bled out Slash's hunt of the Turtles another issue or two, but this one cuts to the meat and has him find the Turtles before the end of the issue.

Kuhn's artwork benefits from the horror elements - such as heavy shadows - even if his style can be off putting for some who see it as "simplistic". He is at home with the expressive Turtles even if sometimes they can seem off model. The dialogue between the characters also remains strong as they continue to debate Splinter's choices for the family, rather than all fall lock step behind him (which Leo usually does). While Slash may have been a more recent creation than most of the founding characters of the franchise - even Krang was always based on the original Utrom aliens - he finds a fitting home here in IDW's universe where the entire 28 year wealth of material related to the TMNT is mined for ore and refined into greatness. Eastman was always more flexible about that sort of thing than the other co-creator, Peter Laird, and with Waltz alongside him on scripts the result has been the strongest TMNT comic in years. Marvel and DC seem to reboot old franchises every second month yet never seem to wash off the dust - here IDW has seemingly made every right move with an old and well known franchise of their own and made it look easy. This series deserves all the praise it gets, and frankly deserves more. Every issue is a pleasure to read from cover to cover for fans new and old. The cliffhangers often leave one lamenting that the next one is a few weeks away, which is exactly as it should be.

Don't dismiss this series as "yet another 80's relaunch"; it is the real deal when it comes to re-imagined quality.

AVX: CONSEQUENCES #4: The penultimate issue of this five issue wrap-up series written by Kieron Gillen with art by rotating artists; this issue's by Mark Brooks. While Cyclops still remains a vital character, this issue does a better job of splitting focus around a few characters as well. Hope has set out on a quest to find Cable, otherwise she can't make peace with herself. This leads her towards a meeting with Namor. Storm takes Magik's tip as to where Colossus is, but finds that her longtime comrade seeks only isolation after his Phoenix possession and can't turn him in. I do like his beard and him making sculptures, and I can't fathom how Colossus works as a member of Cable's outlaw X-Force; at least he's no longer cosplaying as Juggernaut. Magneto waxes philosophical about whether he's a hero or a villain and Agent Brand claims that she may be a half alien/human hybrid, her energy powers are from being a mutant. Her genetics are now officially complicated enough for her to be a member of the Summers family - or Adam X the X-Treme. Cyke's subplot is still where the series is its most weighty, although this issue does bring some awkward bits. Scott agrees to some scans by Iron Man, who wishes to understand the Phoenix on a philosophical level. He gets a visit from Logan, who claims that he'd always been inspired by Cyclops as a leader; which seems weird because if that's the case, when would Cyclops have EVER considering pre-emptively murdering a teenage girl a viable option? Since SCHISM, between his connections and his holier-than-thou attitude, Wolverine has evolved into an immortal hypocritical nepotistic jackass; akin to that horrible person with more skeletons in their closest than most Nazi's suddenly "finding god", getting some connections and then acting like his poop doesn't stink. Imagine of Vandal Savage were allowed on the JLA regardless of his crimes because he's best chums with Superman and you're not far off. That said, I can see Logan as being a hypocritical violent a-hole who gets away with murdering entire countries worth of people because he's pals with Nick Fury or Capt. America. The bit which didn't quite work for me is the ending, which seems the polar reverse of the last few issues.

In summary, Cyclops sees himself as a martyr whose mission is complete and who is now just sucking up extra air on borrowed time. He's been dumped into a privately run prison because he doesn't have connections or is rich like Emma Frost is, and while Captain America has enough pull to get his ex-girlfriends (Wanda and Diamondback) in with SHIELD he can't apparently get Scott out of a dump hole prison. Thus Cyclops knows he will never go to trial and this prison is intended to be his tomb sooner or later. He's befriended another mutant prisoner and defended against one staged attempt on his life from cell thugs. Last issue he made a dramatic stance about refusing to be broken out because "I'm a political prisoner. I won't let them turn me into a criminal". Well, in this issue Cyke's buddy gets shanked to death, and Cyclops does a 180 and basically goes, "**** politics, bust me out, Magneto". While I can understand the reason - the prison is just a mutant slaughterhouse seeking to capitalize financially on the reversal of M-Day - it seems to run counter to Scott's ideals. While I knew that he wouldn't be in prison forever, I didn't think he'd cave on that bit so quickly. It is worth a mention that Luke Cage was once imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit and tormented by a racist warden; he subsequently broke out of prison, changed his identity, proved his innocence and is now the flipping leader of two damn teams as well as a happily married father. But I imagine things won't end that cleanly for Cyclops because the current kick is to make him an anti-hero. That, and one bit where Ororo claims that Magneto isn't a villain because they were on a team together for a month seems a bit odd considering the long history Storm has with the X-Men which included no end of showdowns against Magneto. On the upside, Brooks' art is great and the story is still more nuanced and interesting than AVX proper was.

WINTER SOLDIER #12: Ed Brubaker's final arc on this series continues to wind along in suspenseful ways, with art by Butch Guice, Brian Thies and Bettie Breitweiser. In order to track down Leo Novokov and save Black Widow - who has been reprogrammed as a KGB spy - James Barnes agrees to become the Winter Solider again via another "reprogramming" gadget. While Hawkeye, Cap, and Wolverine have been pulled into the case, they become pawns in this twisted game of espionage. Naturally, now that he's back "under", Barnes is more dangerous and efficient than ever - nearly killing an X-Man who literally survived a nuke to the skull. The Winter Soldier's target seems to be Daredevil, although the reasons are unknown (besides the fact that Brubaker wrote DAREDEVIL for a few years). The art is terrific as always and the tension for the piece couldn't be higher - and the fact that there is an ending on the horizon does increase the suspense a little. Brubaker has always been in his element here and this issue merely reinforces it. It will be a shame to see it end.

X-MEN LEGACY #275: Up until now this was the only major Marvel Comics series whose numbering had yet to be altered - even if the title itself had been. That changes next month as despite a "final issue" tease on the cover, Marvel seeks to sell the new X-MEN LEGACY #1 to readers by the end. At any rate, this issue completes writer Christos Gage's ten month run on the series; a run which involved having to oblige at least two crossovers. Such things quickly dissolved whatever team element he desired and this series quickly became "Rogue & The X-Men" at best. To that end this issue seems to involve most of Gage's hallmarks on the series as well as at Marvel in general. It features a strong heroine, a lot of obscure characters handled well, as well as at least 1-2 extended monologues from the starring character. Rogue shares the issue with Mimic, a far older character from the 1960's who was essentially a prototypical version of her: a former villain whose gimmick is copying the powers of others. Gage has painted Rogue as someone who has found herself (or tries very well) after a lifetime of using other people's skills and dreams to rule her life. Mimic seeks to emulate her and find his own destiny. In the meanwhile, they quell a riot at the Raft which means there are enough obscure villains to punch than one can throw a Marvel Handbook at. David Baldeon handles the art with Jordi Tarragona on inks with Rachelle Rosenberg on colors, and they have a lot of room to play with in regards to extended action scenes, bizarre designs and a variety of characters. Gage is the sort of writer who can have a D-lister like Equinox appear for one page and handle him well, yet his decision to cut his losses in regards to editorial demands as well as his growing trend to rely on preaching scenes has undermined this work in comparison to his opus, AVENGERS ACADEMY. Yet despite all that this issue is a great deal of fun and puts a book-end on the previous 14-15 issues as best Gage can, leaving both the issue's stars in better places than where they began. While hardly Eisner material, this is one of the run's stronger issues, and as fitting a story to end it as one would expect.

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