After I purchased the full run of the LEGION series off of eBay the other day, I discovered that LEGION continued into a series called REBELS(not the current REBELS, which is AWESOME by the way, but an earlier one)... Upon learning of this I of course went back to eBay and managed to track down the REBELS books(it only went like 18 issues)and picked them up as well. The moral of this story? If you have poor impulse control(and a credit card!)you should avoid eBay at all costs! And that is my Public Service Announcement for the day.
Doomwar #1(of 6): Writer: Jonathan Maberry. Pencils: Scot Eaton.
This comic deals mainly with events that have been occurring in the Black Panther comic(I guess...). Since I've never really been a big fan of Black Panther(although I do like his costume), I've never collected Black Panther comics. So needless to say, most of this comic was like trying to read a foreign language... With that disclaimer out of the way, here's what I did gather. Black Panther has been dethroned in Wakanda, and a group called Desturi has taken power. The Desturi have been secretly backed by Dr. Doom, all for the purpose of Doom gaining access to the Vibranium deposits that reside in Wakanda. If Doom was able to get his metal mitts on the Vibranium, he'd be the most powerful being on the planet, make everybody eat liver for dinner and purge the world of puppies... You know, basic evil stuff. While Black Panther and his sister(who is also a Black Panther)managed to escape Wakanda, Panther's wife, Storm, was captured by the Desturi party. She was tried as a witch, found guilty and sentenced to death. Since Storm's life was now in danger, Black Panther reaches out to the X-Men to help him overthrow the Desturi, save Storm and throw Doom out of Wakanda. Cyclops explains that he can't openly assist Black Panther, since that could put his wacky mutant island in danger, but he doesn't stand in the way of the few X-Men who are willing to join Panther's cause(and yes, Wolverine is OF COURSE one of those X-Men.). Back in Wakanda, Doom forces Storm to help him break into the Vibranium vault by killing her in-laws, and this issue ends with Panther's sister, with some help from the supposedly pious Nightcrawler, sneaking into Wakanda and murdering the leader of the Desturis.
Nope, I didn't care for this comic at all. The problem is when I see a title like “Doomwar”, and look at a cover that shows the X-Men, the FF and Deadpool on it, I go in expecting to see Doom vs those aforementioned characters... Not a Black Panther story... Doesn't Black Panther have his own series anyway? Why couldn't this mini have just taken place there? I guess Marvel was hoping to entice(TRICK!) people who don't normally buy the Black Panther comic into picking this mini up. Well it's only going to work this one time Marvel! This mini didn't grab me enough to make me want to spend $3.99 for the next 5 issues to find out how this story ends. If you follow the Black Panther series, then I'd guess this is a must read, if not, then I'd recommend skipping it entirely, which is exactly what I'll be doing.
Score: 3 out of 10.To answer Wolverine's question, oh HELL NO!!!
Gotham City Sirens #9: Writer: Paul Dini. Artist: Guillem March.
This issue gets started with the Riddler walking into his office and discovering the Sirens waiting there for him. It seems they are being framed for a murder and they want to enlist the help of the Riddler in clearing their collective names. The Riddler interviews the three Sirens and learns that a woman fell through the skylight at the Sirens headquarters, and that the woman had all of the markings on her body that would indicate that the Sirens did indeed commit the murder. With his interest now piqued, Riddler heads to the Sirens headquarters while the ladies lay low at his office. Upon looking the dead woman's body over, Riddler concludes that the wounds were most definitely NOT made by the Sirens, rather they were created by a cheap imitation. Before he can leave the Sirens headquarters however, Riddler is attacked by whole mess of animals, from eagles to wolves to a lion. This issue concludes with Riddler coming face to face with the man responsible for sending the animals loose, as well as framing the Sirens, Dr. Aesop... Wha?!?
First off, a confession... I'm a huge fan of the Riddler, especially in his Private Eye role. The Riddler never appealed to me as a villain because... Well, let's face it, as a villain, he's quite the loser. As a hero/pseudo-hero however, I'm really into the character. I only say this because it seems that we'll soon be seeing the Riddler return to his criminal roots(he's been hearing voices in his head), which is really too bad. Much like the Juggernaut over at Marvel, Riddler is a much more interesting character when he's trying to do good, as opposed to being constantly beaten up by Batman and his ilk. OK, that's my thoughts on Riddler, as for this comic, since it was so Riddler heavy, I have to say that I really enjoyed it! The story was extremely interesting and it had me going right up until the last page... Why Paul is bringing Dr. Aesop back is simply beyond me... Wasn't he the same writer who mercifully had Hush gun that loser down in the first place? Anyway, besides the letdown of Aesop(which probably cost this comic an extra 1/2 to its score), everything else about this comic was very good, and as such, I'd happily recommend this comic.
Score: 9 out of 10.Am I the only one who is going to be really bummed when Riddler turns back to crime?
X-Factor #202: Writer: Peter David. Pencils: Bing Cansino.
This issue gets started by explaining exactly who this other Reed Richards is(he's an alternate version of Dr. Doom who became trapped in the body of Reed). With that info out of the way, we head back to X-Factor's base of operation, where Franklin and Valeria Richards have run to in order to escape their fake daddy... You know, only in a comic book(or maybe a soap opera...)could I type out that line and not feel like an idiot. The kids tell Guido what was happening, and after he watches the way fake Reed acts around his kids, Guido decides to attack fake Reed. While those two are battling back in New York, the Thing, Shatterstar and Monet have decided to attack Doom's castle in Latveria, since it appears Doom has been working in cahoots with fake Reed, and as such, Doom has been holding Invisible Woman captive. The trio of heroes make quick work of Doom's defenses, which alarms Thing a bit, and they wind up rescuing Invisible Woman from a machine that was allowing her to peacefully live out her fantasies(which included Namor and a bottle of wine, BTW). Taking Invisible Woman with them, the four heroes run into Doom, who was painting a portrait of Layla Miller(!?!)in the middle of one of his corridors. Weird... Thing and Shatterstar decide to attack Doom, and wind up getting knocked out by an invisible force field. From there, Doom explains that he means the heroes no harm, and that he was only keeping Invisible Woman captive for her own good, since fake Reed had some nefarious plans for her. Doom goes on to explain that he figures fake Reed will eventually betray him, and as such, he has no interest in assisting his alternate self any longer. Meanwhile, Mr. Fantastic, Madrox and the rest of the X-Factor crew have also arrived at Doom's castle and storm it, running into Doom and the rest of the heroes. Madrox is immediately shocked to find Layla standing with Doom, and Doom tells the Fantastic Three and X-Factor to take their leave from his castle. Shatterstar opens up a portal to fake Reed, just as Guido is punching the impostor in the head. After all of the heroes exit the portal, Layla disrupts Shatterstar's concentration, which causes him to close the portal, severing fake Reed's head from the rest of his body... Ouch. So this issue ends with Madrox realizing that Layla was fully aware of what she was doing(helping Doom and allowing fake Reed to get decapitated), while Layla and Shatterstar remain behind in Latveria.
There's nothing like reading a good issue of X-Factor! After reading this comic, I've got to ask the powers that be over at Marvel a simple question... Why the hell haven't you guys ever let Peter David write the main FF comic?!? He's obviously got a good feel for the team, as well as Doom, who he's used brilliantly in consecutive story arcs now... It seems pretty simple to me... As for this comic, it was good. I can't say I enjoyed this storyline as much as a few past ones, but it was definitely better then 80% of the comics I tend to read in a week, so I'm happy with that. I guess the next few issues should explore what's up with Layla and why she's been secretly assisting Doc Doom for the past few months. If nothing else, these developments should put Madrox in an even more melancholy mood then usual, and that's always fun to read about!
Score: 8 out of 10.I don't think Reed is going to be winning any father of the year awards...