Bought/Thought - The Post-Election Day Edition


Aug 4, 2003
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This little Hobbit voted for the first time yesterday at the age of 31. I found it to be pointless and the act of getting involved in the candidates only led to frustration and bitterment that I've never had to deal with, and that bitterment all stems from the horrible way the candidates treat one another in order to win votes. I'm so glad America is portraying itself in that manor to the rest of the world... our own leaders turn us against each other and we reward them for it by voting for them. What good is supporting someone--anyone--who belittles and degrades their opponant? I would't support someone in my life like that, so why should I bother with a presidential candidate? For now on, I don't think these sort of elections are worth my consideration.

And that's my opinion of the 2012 political year.

Hey, how about those comics?

Defenders 12 - And the series ends in a way that I half expected and am fully frustrated at. Ultimately, I've been just waiting for the series to end, spending $4 an issue, to get the Iron Fist/Immortal Weapons story. In the end, everything is undone (which is fine, as that means the IW are alive again) and the entire series has now never happened. And the concluding chapter wasn't even done well. It was rushed and left without any closing. It just finished. No confirmations on people never dying, no dramatic ending for the heroes who were wiped away from existance due to time travel, nothing. It just ended.

So ultimately, I wasted $48 on this series that ended up meaning absolutely nothing. It's my own fault really. I decided a while ago to stop buying books that I wasn't that interested in and made this series the exception until the Iron Fist plot resolved. Now it just never happened.

Maybe I can get $10 of the $48 back on ebay :rolleyes:

New Avengers 32 - NOOOOOOO!!!!!!! I am likely the only person to say this but "THEY KILLED VICTORIA HAND!! NOOOOO!!!!!" I don't know what it was about her but I just really enjoyed her character. I was curious what would come of her after Bendis left and it appears... nothing. Daniel Drum (Brother Voodoo's brother) kills her in this issue and Dr. Strange is blamed and on the run. SUCKTITUDE!!! Oh, and Daniel Drum killed Damian Hellstorm as well, which is likely the bigger deal, but I don't care so much about that.

That aside, the issue was very good. It kept me very intrigued and I'm eager to get the next issue... next week, I think. Only two more issues and Bendis' New Avengers run is over. I've not yet decided if I'm going to pick up Hickman's Avenger books, but if not, then a 9 or so year-long Avengers epic run will end for me with issue 34 :(

Uncanny X-Force 33 - I have loved Remender's run on this book but I think he's leaving at the right time. It feels like it's losing steam and I think a part of that is that he's trying to shove more into Final Execution than necessary. The main thing is the Daken/Logan relationship. There was no build to it in this title so it feels out of place and takes me out of the story. Sabretooth isn't as big of a character but he also just randomly showed up. And I'm not a fan of the new Omega people. Remove all that and you still have Skinless Man, Shadow King, and AoA Blob... all of which make sense being there and are powerful enough to put up a fight and deal with the Evan plot.

That aside, the story was decent. Nightcrawler gets his final revenge in an awesome way (Seriously? Teleporting a shark into Blob's stomach to chomp away at him from the inside out?!), but now either he's going to die (by EVA) or redeem himself. We'll find out next issue I suppose.

I'm real curious how this all ends. It sounds like Evan will continue to be a student at the Jean Grey Academy, but Apocalypse has been confirmed as one of the villains for Uncanny Avengers. I'm curious how that all happens.

AvsX: Consequences 5 - The mini concludes! Cable and Hope find each other, but that's small potatoes. The big story here is Magneto, Danger, and Magik free Cyclops from prison. Danger goes her own way, leaving Magneto, Magik, and Cyclops to become their own extreme team of X-Men. I like where this is going and I'm assuming they'll be the main team from the (likely) new Uncanny X-Men title that Bendis and Bachelo are coming out with. I'm curious who else would join them. They're going to be in All New X-Men starting next week so we have 6 issues there to figure out what's going on with them.

It was a good issue and gets me ready for what is to come. I hated AvsX, but I'm finding myself a little excited for what comes next.

Green Lantern 14 - I wasn't much on the past two issues but this one picks up. Simon takes on the Justice League, though I like how he tried not to. Black Hand shows back up and I'm real curious where that plot's going. And we realize that Hal and Sinestro are trapped in Black Hand's ring... with a mysterious 3rd person who I'm expecting to be Abin Sur.

Rise of the Third Army is a lead-in to the next big event and I'm growing more interested now. I've loved Johns' run and it's continued being great (with a few dips here and there). Good issue.

Stormwatch 14 - I bought last issue on a whim and liked it enough to complete the story this month. Apollo and Midnighter take on Etrigan and it was pretty awesome. The other Stormwatch members get involved but they're more minor and I know nothing about them.

The story was very good and might have just hooked me to keep going. I'm also eager to go backwards to see what I've missed. I'm particularly interested in whatever happened to Martian Manhunter. Good stuff :up:

Best and Worst of the Week

Best: Green Lantern - It was between this and New Avengers. They were nearly tied, but I think GL edged ahead just a little.

Worst: Defenders - I think I said enough above.
That sucks about Victoria Hand. She was one of the few aspects of Bendis' run I liked. I thought she had a ton of potential. Hopefully another writer brings her back soon.
Well, her body died after being killed on the astral plane... plenty of room for a revival if someone wanted. I just don't see it happening.
Victoria Hand and Maya Hansen getting bumped off in the same week. Bad time to be a women who doesn't have superpowers.

I flicked throught the final Avengers Academy issue. Didn't know that Power Pack girl is dating Karolina Dean from the Runaways.

Shark death for AoA Blob was awesome.
Wolverine and Daken's father son talk was weird. I've read a bit of Daken stuff and his portrayal seems inconsistent. I don't know if writers want him to be a psycho villain or redeemable anti-hero. Reminds me of how Jason Todd was handled the first couple of years he came back.
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I don't know...ever since Daken bumped uglies with Sinister...he sort of weirds me out.
Well, it was at least the hot girl version of sinister. She was her own person that Sinister indwelled. It was her with his mind in her head, though with her mostly in control. He didn't take over her body until later.
Do I bought AvX collected, the $75 one, having not read x-men in years I have a couple questions. When did Cyke become a dick?
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Gradually but he was worse in AvX than previously portrayed. It was out of character to be honest. That's part of the reason why I hated the story.
Well the last time I read the character it was in astonishing xmen #1-6.
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Turned out to be a larger week than planned since I got impulsive with one Marvel NOW! launch. Spoilers for all!


GUARDING THE GLOBE #3: At least this first official spin off series to INVINCIBLE is coming out on a steadier and more timely clip than the mini series which proceeded it. Phil Hester and artist Todd Nauck (alongside INVINCIBLE's new colorist Jim Rauch) continue on with exploring the dozens of side characters on the edges of the "Invinci-verse". As the cover shows, this includes a guest appearance by Wolf-Man, creation of Robert Kirkman and Jason Howard whose ongoing series is still one that I miss. With a cast of a dozen or so, naturally the focus shifts from page to page, much like some issues of AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE used to. We learn a little more about Black Samson before we get an appearance from the Elephant (who has always been Kirkman's homage to the Rhino) and a chance at redemption for him. As Set steals a MacGuffin from Atlantis and the rest of the team rebuilds Europe, recovering alcoholic Chupacabra is investigating a series of grisly murders in Mexico which bare the marks of a monster. He runs into Wolf-Man and they have a standard misunderstanding brawl until they learn the murders were caused by another werewolf - and ultimately an alien life form which possesses bodies and is seeking a higher form to bond to. Every issue is packed to the gills and I found myself liking this issue more than the last. The artwork is great and while this may not be the best superhero comic ever made, it's a fun and perfectly enjoyable romp for those who can't get enough of the world of INVINCIBLE as well as many of those nice side characters created both there and in other Kirkman series like CAPES and so on. Considering this is the first INVINCIBLE spin off in which Kirkman has no role in writing or editing, things are moving along smoothly.

SUPER-DINOSAUR #15: The series by Robert Kirkman and Jason Howard continues, and while things are still moving along fine I still admit to missing ASTOUNDING WOLF-MAN (especially since the character still pops up in GTG). While one could easily see this as a Saturday morning cartoon or (more likely) an animated series on a cable network, it may actually be too well written for those networks to jump on. There isn't as much violence as in most Kirkman books but there's still the same level of nuanced storytelling. Derek Dynamo has betrayed the Exile in his attempt to overthrow the ruler of the reptile-men of Under-Earth (who is Exile's own brother) and Super-Dino and the rest of his pals happen to arrive for the rescue party at the right time. The issue has a lot of action as well as more characters than appeared at the start of the series, and this essentially wraps up the second (or third) major arc of the series. Sales for this series keep sliding down the top 300 so unless those trade sales make up for it I wonder how long this will be worth it for Kirkman and Howard to work on financially without some sort of alternate media adaptation (and no, a coloring book isn't enough). ASTOUNDING WOLF-MAN made it to a 25th issue (albeit after some 3-4 years) and I will be curious if this series makes it that long. It's hardly my favorite comic created and written by Robert Kirkman, but it's perfectly entertaining to me at this price.

ACTION COMICS #14: Grant Morrison and artist Rags Morales once again unite for an issue of this Superman series, which is a run that will soon come to an end. I came into this series because Morrison scored a home run with ALL-STAR SUPERMAN, but this has hardly reached those heights. This issue sees Superman attempt to save a team of astronauts on Mars from first the Metalak (a construction virus from Krypton), and then ultimately their enemies the Multitude. It was this Multitude that apparently caused the death of Krypton, which Jor-El stifled and prepared his only son to combat on earth. While the Multitude at first appear to be a flock of ravenous angels, they turn out to be a weapon from am agent from the 5th Dimension - who may or may not be the Devil himself. The art is pretty and the plot isn't too bad, but it isn't as good as I was expecting this run to be. The back-up strip by Sholly Fisch and Chris Sprouse isn't bad, which sees Superman cut out of a generic Justice League battle to get a glimpse of Krypton from a team of astronomers in NY. It isn't a bad little sci-fi story using actual cosmic science as its foundation to allow Superman to actually see his home world exploding via the length of time it took its light to reach earth. Much like GUARDING THE GLOBE and SUPER-DINOSAUR, this book is "good enough"; the difference is at $3.99 that isn't always enough, so this is likely a series I will depart once Morrison does and not miss much.

AVENGERS ACADEMY #39: The journey began by writer Christos Gage and artist/co-creator Mike McKone in June 2010 officially comes to an end with this "series finale" issue. Via double shipping and a "point one" issue, this series has managed to publish a run of 40 issues within 29 months and in that time has had to tie into roughly 3-4 crossovers (which didn't include some guest appearances in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN or THUNDERBOLTS). However, all good things must come to an end and so it is that this series featuring a cast of brand new characters alongside other recent creations (X-23, Reptil, the new White Tiger) and C-List Avengers such as Pym, Tigra, and Quicksilver should say its farewell. The artist for this issue is Tom Grummett, who became the new regular artist for the last stretch of this series, along with colorist Chris Sotomayor and inker Cory Hamscher. It picks up right from the previous issue and much like it, there are no villains to fight and more dialogue than action. Such things are required when one has to wrap up an entire opus in only twenty pages.

As the title of the story says, this is "Commencement". Both the students and their teachers have decided that their time together has ended and that they all need to move on, only from different angles. It involves the students finally confronting their teachers about the fact that their mentors were less than honest about the purpose of the school - which was to prevent at-risk metahumans of becoming villains more so than training new Avengers. For their part, Pym does most of the talking for the faculty in that they'd learned from their students as well, and that they'd proven their heroism, worth, and trust. The issue provides a couple of audience pleasing "ship" moments (such as Mettle and Hazmat), along with the last two pages being focused on Veil to provide a book end to the series. Veil starred in the debut issue and was initially the point of view character, although that went by the wayside when the cast expanded and she entered the background for a while. Finesse actually becomes the centerpiece of the issue to a degree as she is the one who is the most alone and perhaps still the one most likely to turn bad. As often when he appears, Quicksilver seems to get some of the best lines and even a tender moment as well. To a degree the entire issue is more a series of moments than a story, but as a wrap-up issue with a large cast, such things are expected.

Grummett's artwork is up to the same level of quality as his prior issues. He has very much a "Marvel/DC house style" of the 80's and 90's which is timeless but may not dazzle people as much as artwork by artists such as Paolo Rivera or Chris Samnee. Gage himself writes a very long farewell column for this issue thanking everyone who has worked on the book as well as the fans for making it such a success; any book lasting this long in the market has done something right. The finale offers a wealth of possibility for many of these characters who have been built up over this time; thus it is a shame that the next work promoted to feature them is AVENGERS ARENA, a shock value slaughter fest which brags about who dies every issue.

To a degree, the Marvel Universe seems a little more empty without this book to look forward to. While it can't be said that all of the last year has been its prime, it was still a consistently good and enjoyable series which spotlighted new and more obscure characters. Without it, besides some occasional co-writing work on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, it is unknown what Gage will work on at Marvel in the near future. Marvel will be lucky to be able to duplicate the success in terms of quality and longevity of this book in regards to series about teenage heroes who aren't a spin off the X-Men. Those who haven't read the series are encouraged to do so in inevitable omnibus and trade collections. This finale may have been a case of quitting while it was ahead, but that is more than some other series finales can claim in the industry. Godspeed, AVENGERS ACADEMY; you will be missed. Here's hoping all the potential this finale ends on isn't rendered moot by the "mighty Marvel manner" by this time next year.

AVENGERS VS. X-MEN CONSEQUENCES #5: In a week full of conclusions from Marvel titles (such as the final issue of the latest incarnation of DEFENDERS, or AVENGERS ACADEMY above), this continues that trend with the finale of this five issue weekly mini series. This epilogue saga from this summer's AVENGERS VS. X-MEN event has been skillfully written by Kieron Gillen (the departing writer of UNCANNY X-MEN) and has proven far more interesting and well handed than the event itself. Each issue has featured a different artist as per deadline; this issue's artist is Gabriel Hernandez Walta, with colors by Jim Charalampidis. While it does wrap up a subplot regarding Hope and her search for Cable, it concludes the arc involving Cyclops which was the centerpiece for the series. As detailed at the start of the series, Cyclops had been arrested for his "Dark Phoenix" moment and been placed in a private run prison run by a tycoon who sought to exploit the newly budding mutant population for his own gain. While at first Cyclops considered himself a political prisoner, the sanctioned murder of his fellow mutant inmate by a bigot within the cell walls prompted a response at last. Gillen cleverly establishes his swan song with Cyclops by properly swapping the dynamics between him and Wolverine. Now that Wolverine is Xavier's chosen disciple, intent on running a school and being a proper hero, Cyclops can be the lone wolf who gets things done even if they're ugly. The difference is Logan has all the connections (being friends with everyone at SHIELD and the Avengers who look past his murder sprees, his long history of being brainwashed as a weapon and his hypocrisy) that Cyclops never had. The art is great but it is the establishment of an interesting new status for some longtime characters. While it doesn't have to last forever, it is perfectly fine for the next year.

DEFENDERS #12: This finale of Matt Fraction's latest canceled ongoing series proves to be such a debacle that it has stopped dead any consideration I had of trying out his run on FANTASTIC FOUR and FF. Signs of the end were likely once any decent named artist was taken from this series (from Terry Dodson to James McKelvie) and replaced by someone you'd never heard of just to fill the pages. At first sprung from the aftermath of FEAR ITSELF, the plot has devolved into some cosmic nonsense involving time loops and reality warps. The mechanics of it is that there are Death Celestials who seek to destroy universes due to extreme boredom, with Chaos Engines being set up to help push along the creation of Earth based superheroes across the multiverse to combat them. Dr. Strange and his team botched that by moving one of them, so this finale issue acts as a time loop to essentially undo the entire series. By that logic naturally all the deaths didn't happen (such as John Amon killing Black Panther and most of the Immortal Weapons), and I guess Nul was never stopped at all. The narration is so lazy that half the issue is Fraction typing "AND THEN" like a 5 year old telling a story. I used to get on Brian Bendis for his "copy and paste" style dialogue, but this is worse. The art is by Mirco Pierfederici and colorist Veronica Gandini and on the whole it is good, strong work. The final issue offers both a rip off and a platitude and renders the entire tale a waste of time. The previous DEFENDERS mini series was essentially a four issue comedy routine, but this may have been even more disappointing. Amazingly, Cullen Bunn will be relaunching Defenders next year as FEARLESS DEFENDERS, which looks to be Lady Liberators under another name with an all-heroine roster led by Valkyrie, Misty Knight and Dani Moonstone. This series did have some amusing moments - and the issue based in a wacky mod-style spy world remains among the best - but overall it has been a disaster that I regret shelling out for. Maybe I'll think twice before buying a team book with a hit-or-miss writer and a shaky premise on the virtue of it featuring one character I like in the future. "Holy cats", what a disappointment. At least Bride Of Nine Spiders is alive again, though.

IRON MAN #1: As the doors to writer Kieron Gillen's run on UNCANNY X-MEN (and Cyclops) seemingly close with AVX: CONSEQUENCES #5, the start of a new run for him on a longtime franchise begins. This series effectively replaces INVINCIBLE IRON MAN and features the "art" of one of Gillen's collaborators on UXM, Greg Land. The term "art" is used loosely since his "style" consists of a lot of obvious tracing and editing of photographs, stills, and screen shots. In fact it is Land's "art" which is the only demerit to this otherwise fun and entertaining start of a new Iron Man run. One can almost relive sequences of the Iron Man films through Land's panels; even if one could argue that a man in an emotionless armor suit is best suited for him. It is the story where things shine. Tony Stark is back on top of the world, wooing floozies in bars and tricking out yet another suit of armor. This naturally means that something has to go wrong, and it does; one of his associates from Warren Ellis' run some years back is murdered, and her primacy technological creation - the EXTREMIS tech virus - winds up in the hands of A.I.M. and thus other criminals. An obligatory action sequence is established to end the issue - so obligatory that even Iron Man sees it as routine and outdated - but it does properly set up the MacGuffin which will have to be chased for the next four issues. Besides the cribbed photograph traces, Land's "art" style also involves a lot of people having ghastly smiles on every panel, and this issue is no exception. How is this as a relaunch? Solid story, blah art. If one can endure Land's artwork for a superior script, then it is for you.

SCARLET SPIDER #11: The entertaining and bizarre "MINIMUM CARNAGE" crossover continues with this issue by Chris Yost and artists Khoi Pham and Reilly Brown, with an issue which is mostly all out action on two fronts. The title of this crossover is naturally a play on MAXIMUM CARNAGE in the 90's as well as the acknowledgment that it takes place in the Microverse and involves the legally renamed Micronauts, the "Enigma Force". The issue begins with a brutally enjoyable fight between the titular hero and Carnage; considering it took a dozen heroes to take on Carnage in the 90's, Kaine does pretty well by his lonesome. Meanwhile, Venom's symbiote continues to go haywire within the Enigma Force's ship as they engage the forces of Marquis Radu , a tyrant who wants to replace the Enigma energy as god of the realm via harnessing symbiotes as weapons. There is a bit of exposition alongside the action and it is a bit of a strange and unexpected story involving Venom, Carnage, and Scarlet Spider, but it still is coming together as a decent space opera. It's hardly the best story for SCARLET SPIDER and VENOM that I've read, but it's been better than CIRCLE OF FOUR so far.
I'm glad to see I'm not alone in my disdain for Defenders. Good riddance.
I'm glad to see I'm not alone in my disdain for Defenders. Good riddance.

It really is a shame. I admit I got it against my better judgment and while a few issues were promising the later half really devolved. Between this and FEAR ITSELF, Matt Fraction is responsible for some of the most disappointing stories Marvel's had for the last two years. Quite frankly he should be an "ixnay" writer for me from now on, a writer I do my damnedest to avoid no matter what, such as Brian Bendis a.k.a. "Bendis The Horrendous" or Jeph "The Colitis Touch" Loeb. The best nickname I could come up with for him was "No Traction Fraction", and that was back when I ditched his INVINCIBLE IRON MAN for "needing 27 issues to tell a 3 issue story" syndrome.

They may be Marvel Architects, but I don't want to enter the house some of them are building. ;)
Well, it was at least the hot girl version of sinister. She was her own person that Sinister indwelled. It was her with his mind in her head, though with her mostly in control. He didn't take over her body until later.
Does it matter, though? Not like Daken's ever been that fussy about who he takes for a roll, lol, of either gender. :p
I'm convinced Johnny Storm is willing to be Daken's butt bandit.
They would make a cute couple, lol. :p
Death of Victoria Hand? Who gives a rat's hind end! The big death was in X-Factor!!! Easily, the best issue since the book was relaunched a long while ago. This book just jumped much, much higher in my "must read" pile.

BTW, I'm loving the new relaunch of the Marvel books. How nice that they aren't doing it all at once; and, it's more about getting new writers into old books. A vs. X gets only better with the final issue of A vs. X Consequences #5. How cool to see Cyclops go to "the dark side."

Deadpool #1, while it didn't blow me away, was much better than the crap Daniel Way had been putting out for the past couple years. I've been screaming to get him off the title, as he seemed to have lost any creative spark with that character. I can't recommend people jump on board; but, it was a decent start. I liked the dead president storyline, and the fun seems to have come back to Wade.

Books that keep ending are ending up like those when DC ended their titles. Final storylines feel a bit rushed, or just trying to get in a final, unspectacular story. Defenders #12 was simply awful. The exception, though, was Avengers Academy. Great ending that seemed to wrap up the series nicely.
Obviously a few people do since we were talking about it for half the thread.

Or, more to the point, nobody reads X-Factor any more.

Yeah, Victoria Hand is an okay character; but, I never got the sense it was a true death (unlike being shot point blank in the head). Also, X-Factor's death is from a character who's been a somwhat major player in the Marvel Universe since the 70's. (Maybe not THAT major; but, he's been a crucial involvement in some major storylines that have effected the 616.)
A demon crushed her heart and she sprayed blood out of her mouth. Seemed pretty final to me. I was another one sad to see her go.
I dropped X-Factor a few issues ago and find that I don't miss it. I miss some of the characters but not the book.

So who died?
I dropped X-Factor a few issues ago and find that I don't miss it. I miss some of the characters but not the book.

So who died?
Pip the troll took a shot to the head but I am not convinced he actually died seeing as how he's not really human.
Dial #6 was great. In addition to having a plot and dialogue that made me laugh out loud, it added some interesting details to the mythos of the dials. Mieville is really making a unique DCU book with this one. I also enjoyed David Lapham's guest spot on art, though probably not any more or less than the regular guy.
Eh, I'll miss Victoria Hand more.

While I liked her well enough, she was a pretty generic character. There are many bit players in Marvel that she resembles, and I can think of a few DC characters, too. On the other hand, name another character like Pip that Marvel has? The closest would be Puck, and that's only with stature. The worst part was that Peter David finally made the character interesting in his book at the very same instant he killed him off. He just pisses me off sometimes. He takes one of his best characters, Layla, and ruins her by aging her; and now this. Plus, I wish the book got back to the detective angle.

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