Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Dark Wolverine #82 & X-Factor #201

I still have to put the finishing touches on my most recent Comic Gazing post(which should be up sometime tomorrow night), so I'll save the lame small talk for that post. This post will be strictly business(well, for the most part). I'll be looking at two Marvel titles tonight, and guess what, one of them gets the rare perfect score from me! Read on to find out which one.

Dark Wolverine #82: Writers: Daniel Way & Marjorie Liu. Pencils: Giuseppe Camuncoli.

This issue is a part of the Siege storyline, just so you know. We get underway with a nervous HAMMER soldier accidentally vomiting on Daken's boot as Daken passed by. The soldier apologizes profusely and blames his nerves on the fact that he's afraid to be invading Asgard. Daken screws with the guy's head before beating the hell out of him, which sends the soldier to the infirmary, not the battlefield, which is probably a blessing in disguise. From there Daken runs into two of his Dark Avengers teammates, Moonstone and Venom. Daken tries to strike up some small talk with Moonstone, but due to the events of last issue, she blows him off. From there, Daken frightens some of the HAMMER soldiers by slashing himself across his brow and proceeding to lick the blood from his claws. By this point, Norman "Marvel" Osborn arrives on the scene and tries to rally his troops, which is met with sarcasm by Daken. Osborn proceeds to warn Daken that he'll be keeping a close eye on him. The scene shifts to some strange women who are watching Daken through mystical means, and who fear that he will be the man responsible for Ragnarok. Back with Daken, he runs across his favorite object of ridicule, Bullseye. Bullseye fears Daken will stab him in the back during the battle for Asgard, but Daken continues to toy with Bullseye's mind, referring to Bullseye as his puppet. Bullseye prepares to attack Daken, but before he can, Osborn intervenes and decides that since Daken and Bullseye are so eager to fight, they'll be on the front lines of the upcoming battle. From there we head to the battle between Osborn's forces and the forces of Asgard. Daken strolls through the carnage, killing Asgardians and ignoring cries for help from HAMMER agents until he runs across a massive Asgardian warrior. Daken whispers to the Asgardian warrior that he'd be willing to betray his side and deliver Osborn to the leaders of Asgard. Before the surprised Asgardian warrior can make up his mind, Osborn arrives on the scene and blows the Asgardian warrior's head clean off. Osborn confronts Daken and tells him to stop playing games, but Daken tells Osborn that war is the ultimate game. Finally having had enough of Daken, Osborn orders him to head to the area where HAMMER is meeting the most resistance. After receiving his orders, Daken screams to Osborn to look out behind him, and when Osborn turns to face the threat, Daken stabs Osborn clear through the back with his metal-coated Wolverine killing claw!!!!!!! This issue ends with Daken walking up to the bloodied, kneeling Osborn and placing the palm of his hand on Osborn's face, presumably to pop the metal claw through Osborn's head.

WOW!!!!!! It's not often I'll read a comic book and it will actually elicit a verbal response from me, but when Daken put his metal claw through Osborn's back, let's just say that a rather loud expletive left my mouth and leave it at that! That was probably the most shocking thing to happen in a Marvel or DC comic that I can remember reading/seeing in quite some time. I mean, that was COMPLETELY unexpected! Now, with all that said, there's NO way I can believe that Daken really stabbed Osborn... I mean, that had to be a hallucination, or just something that Daken played out in his head, because I can't imagine Marvel would have the audacity to kill Osborn off in an issue of Dark Wolverine. If and when Osborn buys the farm, it will be in an issue of the main Siege mini-series, at least I'd think so... Regardless of whether Daken really stabbed Osborn or if that was a dream, fantasy, whatever, the rest of this comic was pure gold. The way Daken interacted with everybody, from the common HAMMER agents, to his teammates, to the Asgardians was magnificent. I can honestly say that this was one of those rare comic books that I read with a huge smile on my face from start to finish. It was that good.

Score: 10 out of 10!!! You know, this is only the second perfect score I've given out in 2010. The first one? Dark Wolverine #81! This series is frigging amazing!Well, I think it's time for me to say it... Dark Wolverine is THE best comic book coming out of Marvel today, period.

X-Factor #201: Writer: Peter David. Pencils: Bing Cansino.

We begin this issue with Reed Richards plotting with a hologram of Dr. Doom in the Baxter Building... Huh, OK... Valeria Richards overhears the conversation and after shocking her father with an electric teddy bear, she collects her brother Franklin and the two children get the hell out of the Baxter Building. In the meanwhile, X-Factor decides to head to Latveria where, according to Longshot(after talking to Layla Miller with his psychometric powers), the Invisible Woman was taken to by a runaway Fantasticar. While that's going on, Monet is trying to get some kind of word on her father who was kidnapped by terrorists last issue. Guido promises to help her by calling some government contacts he still has back from his early X-Factor days. X-Factor heads to the roof so Shatterstar can teleport them to Latveria, but they are interrupted by the arrival of the Thing, who is still miffed about the way he was defeated by Guido and Shatterstar last issue. Guido and the distraught Monet arrive on the roof, and needless to say, a brouhaha breaks out between Guido, Monet and Thing. The rest of the X-Factor members head into Shatterstar's portal, while Monet, Guido and Thing fall into it, teleporting to Latveria. Upon arriving, Thing spots the imprint of the Fantasticar in the grass, and realizes that X-Factor was telling the truth when it came to the Invisible Woman being abducted to Latveria. Thing, Guido and Monet decide to attack Castle Doom, while Jamie and the rest of the team follow Layla's cryptic instructions and wind up arriving at a cemetery, where they find a freshly buried grave. This issue ends with Jamie and company digging up the grave and opening it to reveal... Mr. Fantastic?!?

You all should know by now that X-Factor is my current favorite X-book, but this issue did absolutely nothing for me. I'm just not digging the Fantastic Four storyline. If I felt like reading an FF story, I'd pick up the latest issue of the Fantastic Four! As usual, there were a few funny moments here, but for the most part, this comic was a drag to read. Maybe that's because I read the FAR superior Dark Wolverine #82 before reading this issue, but this comic just never really did anything for me.

Score: 6 out of 10.Man, Doom is one bossy hologram...

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