Friday, July 30, 2010

Birds of Prey #3

Birds of Prey #3: Writer: Gail Simone. Pencils: Ed Benes & Adriana Melo.

Review: This issue gets underway with Penguin, delusional from blood-loss, fantasizing about getting some of Huntress, Black Canary and Lady Blackhawk in a particularly revolting scene. While Penguin is making out with nothing, Oracle alerts BC that Savant and Creote had been killed by the mystery attacker tormenting BC and the Birds. From there, the crooked Gotham City police break into Penguin's club where the Birds were hiding and try to kill them. Oracle tries to coordinate the escape effort, but all of the computer systems in the Batcave shut down much to Oracle's shock. While Oracle becomes frustrated by her inability to help her friends, she realizes that somebody else is in the Cave, and turns around to find Savant and Creote?! The Birds continue to battle through the crooked cops, and Hawk gets seriously injured by a poisoned knife throw by White Canary. Meanwhile, Savant and Creote kidnap Oracle from the Cave, while Babs thinks about how miserably she failed in the rehabilitation of Savant and Creote. BC realizes that the only way to end this is to face White Canary in one final showdown, possibly to the death. After saying her good-byes, the rest of the Birds carry Penguin and Hawk to safety and BC sneaks up to a nearby rooftop where White Canary was overlooking the action. BC decides to banter a bit with White Canary to see if she can discover her identity, and realizes that White Canary seems to hate BC's family, leading her to believe that WC couldn't be Lady Shiva or Cassandra Cain. The two women then fight, and BC realizes who White Canary must be since the whole situation seemed so personal to WC. BC threatens to hurt or cripple WC in order to make sure her friends would be safe from WC. This issue ends with WC telling BC that she needed money for her “operation”, and that everybody seemed to forget what a monster “he” could be, with the final scene in this issue being the Birds carrying a smiling Penguin to safety.

What I Thought: Hmm... So conventional wisdom says that White Canary is Black Canary's adopted daughter Sin, and that she has been in cahoots with Penguin the entire time. At least that's what makes the most sense right now. Could White Canary be somebody else? Well I guess Cheshire would make sense, but I don't think she's a good enough fighter. As for the mastermind, all signs now point to Penguin. Why would Penguin do these things? I'd guess to get as much information out of the now captive Oracle as he can about the super-human community. Oh, with all of the talk about this storyline, I forgot to mention, this comic was great! I really enjoyed it, and I CAN'T wait to find out how it ends next issue.

Score: 9 1/2 out of 10.Ugh, I think I feel sick...

Batman #701

Batman #701: Writer: “Mad” Grant Morrison. Artist: Tony Daniels.

Review: This storyline is actually a flashback to what happened to Bruce Wayne between the Batman: RIP storyline and Final Crisis. Bruce manages to swim out of the murky Gotham City waters just after the climatic helicopter crash at the end of RIP. Bruce watches the water for a while to see if Dr. Hurt/the fake(real?)Thomas Wayne emerges from the waters, but Hurt never shows. Once he's positive Hurt wasn't going to show, Bruce walks back to the mansion and after thanking his allies, goes to sleep for a few days, although he continues to think about Hurt's last words to him, “The next time you wear it(the Batman costume)will be the last time.” This leads Bruce to check the wreckage of the helicopter at the bottom of Gotham harbor to see if he can find the body of Hurt, but he discovers nothing. Upon returning to the Cave, he is alerted by Superman of the events of Final Crisis, and he decides to put the cape and cowl on again, figuratively spitting in the face of Hurt in order to investigate the murder of the New Gods.

What I Thought: Well. This was the best Grant Morrison written Bat-story I've ever read hands down. It actually SEEMED like a classic Bat-story. No long-time mythos were destroyed, Damian didn't show up, and the supernatural garbage was kept to a minimum. Wow... I didn't realize Grant could tell a regular, interesting Bat-story. Color me impressed. And yes, to all of you Morrison Followers, I'm wrong, and Grant Morrison is the greatest writer in the history of the world, and I'm an idiot for not realizing that. *shrugs*

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.Hey look, it's that Bruce Wayne guy!

Batgirl #12

Batgirl #12: Writer: Bryan Q Miller. Pencils: Lee Garbett & Pere Perez.

Review: We kick things off with Batgirl arriving at the secret base of Calculator where Oracle was being held captive. While Oracle battles Calculator in his mind, Batgirl(being assisted by the Calculator's daughter, Wendy)breaks into the base and begins to sneak around. During her travels Batgirl runs into the corpse of Marvin, Calculator's dead son and Wendy's twin brother. Batgirl tells Wendy about what she found, and Wendy gets into a jet and begins to head towards Calculator's base. Oracle and Calculator continue to battle through Calculator's memories while Batgirl manages to shut down the machine that was allowing Calculator to control most of the citizens of Gotham City. Before she can pat herself on the back though, a giant security robot attacks Batgirl. The robot tries to make mincemeat out of Batgirl, but Wendy flies the jet through the wall of Calculator's base and destroys the robot. From there Wendy and Batgirl head to Calculator's lab where Calculator and Babs were linked up mentally. Wendy manages to shut down her father's machines, freeing Babs and Calculator. Calculator tries to tell Wendy that he had changed after being forced to live through his memories, but after seeing her dead brother's corpse propped up in the corner, Wendy traps Calculator's mind in an endless loop where he would be forced to relive his painful childhood. With that, Calculator(now insane)gets sent to Arkham, while Wendy decides to train with Babs in order to assist Batgirl during her missions, which ends this issue.

What I Thought: No complaints here. The story ended kind of predictably, but what other way could it have ended? Calculator HAD to lose, and on top of that he HAD to forget that Babs and Oracle were one and the same. So mission accomplished on that front. I like the idea of Calculator's daughter Wendy deciding to assist Babs and Oracle under the codename of Proxy, since that frees Babs up to be more in the Birds of Prey and less in this comic. Besides that, what can I say? This was another in a long line of great Batgirl comics.

Score: 9 out of 10.Well I'm glad SOMEBODY remembered poor Kid Eternity!

Titans #25

Titans #25: Writer: Eric Wallace. Artist: Fabrizio Fiorentino.

Review: I'm just going to hit on the main points of this issue, because some parts of this comic definitely left me confused... Deathstroke realizes that it was a shapeshifter that was trying to kill Lex Luthor, and he manages to save Lex by frying the shapeshifter's brain with an EMP pulse. Before that though, Deathstroke ends up angering Osiris, who now trusts Deathstroke even less, while shooting Cheshire(because the shapeshifter had taken her form). Back at his base, Deathstroke repeatedly insults the recovering Cheshire, hoping to snap her out of the funk she'd been in since the death of her daughter Lian, but his actions may have worked too well, as Cheshire now seemed intent on killing Deathstroke. As for Lex, he takes the shapeshifter back to Lexcorp and after studying it, he realizes that some of his own lab people had created it to kill him. Lex then calls a meeting and warns his scientists that if they ever try to use a Lexcorp made experiment against him again, they would become HIS experiments. This issue ends with Osiris returning to his room and seeing that the statue of his sister had changed slightly, giving him hope that maybe she was beginning to break free from the spell that turned her into a statue.

What I Thought: Meh. I guess this issue was okay, but some of the action scenes were really confusing. Sure, at one point the shapeshifter took Deathstroke's form, but then Deathstroke himself was also running around, and I was never quite clear on which Deathstroke was which... I know that was supposed to be the case with the two Cheshire's, but the action sequences with the Deathstroke's were all over the place. All in all, this issue wasn't horrible, but I'm hoping things pick up next issue.

Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.See, yet another reason why you shouldn't mess with Lex!

Batman: Streets of Gotham #14

Batman: Streets of Gotham #14: Writer: Paul Dini. Pencils: Dustin Nguyen.

Review: This issue begins with an old-school mobster getting let out of prison and swearing that he'd kill Bruce Wayne. Meanwhile, the man who was pretending to be Bruce Wayne, Hush, continued to dream about killing all of the various super-heroes who were babysitting him. We also get a rather strange story from the past about Hush's mother, as well as Bruce Wayne's parents, Martha and Thomas Wayne, before they were married. The moral of the story seemed to be that Thomas was a raging drunk or something... Strange. Anyway, this story suddenly ends with Hush deciding he wanted to use his pull as Bruce Wayne to free Jane Doe from Arkham Asylum, no doubt for some nefarious reasons. There was also a second feature with Two-Face, but since I never review second features, I'm just going to skip it as usual.

What I Thought: Wow, there really wasn't much to this story... It was only like half the comic, and half of that was all about some weird flashback... As for Jane Doe, all I can think is that she'll be let out either to imitate Thomas Wayne(which I wish was the case, but I doubt it since Grant Morrison is currently doing the whole “evil Thomas Wayne” story), or more likely, imitate Bruce/Hush, which would free Hush up to run wild again. If this story was a bit longer I'd give it a higher score, but as it is I'll give it a...

Score: 7 out of 10.Ahh how I miss classic Hush...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

New Comic Day!

Hey there guys and gals, it's time for a very brief New Comic Day post. I just walked in the door after school and a quick stop at the comic shop, and I figured that before I begin what should be at least 2 straight hours of studying, let me get this post up and out of the way. So enough small talk, let me get to the books. I picked up Detective Comics #867, Return of Bruce Wayne #4(although since I haven't gotten an issue of Return #3 yet, I can't read this), Captain America: The Newspaper Strip #2, Fantastic Four #581, Teen Titans #85, Wolverine Weapon X #15, Outsiders #31, Fraken-Castle #19(which I can't read until I get the most recent issue of Dark Wolverine in the mail), Superman/Batman #73 & 74, and Batman: Streets of Gotham #14(which arrived in the mail today). So I'd be willing to review anything listed above with the exception of Return #4 and Franken-Castle #19, since I'm waiting for the issues before those two books. Okay, that'll have to do it for me, I've got myself some heavy-duty studying in front of me. X out.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A quick update and a legitimate excuse!

So two nights ago I posted that I wanted to do a few reviews, and that I'd try to have them up by Wednesday night. Well you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men... See, I'm currently halfway finished with my summer Spanish course(only 11 days and 3 more tests to go!), and while I've been doing GREAT(so far I've gotten a 94%, 98% and a 96% on my first three tests!), the current topic is REALLY tough. For those of you who have taken some Spanish classes, I'm dealing with the preterite and imperfect tenses, and when each should be used. Going into this course, my professor warned us all that this would easily be the toughest topic, and it sure as hell is! It took me a good hour and a half to just do the homework, and then I spent an extra hour or so trying to study this stuff. So what this all means is that with the test on Thursday, there's NO way I'm going to be able to get any posts up until Thursday night at the absolute earliest, with sometime Friday being way more likely. Sorry, but getting an “A” in this class is more important then comics. Trust me, that line surprises me too! :-) I'll still make sure to check the blog out nightly to respond to any comments you guys leave, as well as frequenting my favorite blogs, but don't expect to see any substantial new material up until after I'm done with this test. I'll throw up a VERY quick New Comic Day post on Wednesday, but expect it to be pretty brief, since I should be studying like a madman come Wednesday afternoon/evening. So there you have it, my legitimate excuse for not doing those reviews anytime soon. Just so this post isn't a complete waste of time for whoever decides to read it, I'll end it with another scan of an alternate Batman costume. That's it for me, my tank is empty, and I NEED some sleep pronto! X out!From Batman: Knight Gallery(1995).

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Comic Ramblings.

Hey all, I got a few comics in the mail, as well as a small package of back issues, so I figure I'd list a few of them and see if there's any interest in me doing a post on them. Okay? Alright! First off is Batman #701, which I've heard some pretty good things about. With that said though, I'm not very confident that it'll be any better then most of the rest of Grant Morrison's Bat run. REBELS #18 is something I'm pretty sure only I am interested in, so I'll just move on from there. Birds of Prey #3 is something I've been looking forward to for a while now, so I'm REALLY pleased to see it finally arrive. Titans #25... I'm still undecided on how I feel about the direction this series has gone... I guess this issue will probably help me decide how I feel about the Deathstroke Titans. And finally there's Batgirl #12. What more can I say about Batgirl? It's one of my favorite comics. Period.

As for back issues, I picked up a few FF comics that were recommended by Kello, although I doubt anybody besides me and Kello would care about those! :P I also grabbed two Scarecrow books, a New Year's Evil one from the late 90's and a Joker's Asylum one from 2008. Speaking of New Year's Evil, I also got one of those on Darkseid. Nemesis: The Impostors was also in this order for some reason, as well as a Batman/Demon one-shot from 1996. That's all for the back issues. Not a lot, but a little something to bring a smile to my face.

Besides that, I only have THREE more issues of Robin to read, so I may just do a Robin-centric/”What I learned from reading LOTS of Robin comics” type post if I have some free time later on this week. I also started reading the first Invincible Trade last night. So that's about the long and short of it. I have a few post topics in mind for the next few weeks, it's just a matter of finding the time to type 'em up... Anyway, feel free to post a comment about what I was just rambling about, or anything else for that matter. As for me, it's time to read REBELS #18! X out!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Avengers #3

Avengers #3: Writer: Brian Michael Bendis. Pencils: John Romita Jr.

Review: This issue begins predictable with the Avengers being attacked by the alternate version of Apocalypse and his Four Horsemen. After a few pages of pitched battle, Iron Man figures out that Apocalypse was as confused by his sudden appearance at Avengers Tower as the Avengers were, but Apocalypse, being ultra arrogant, refuses to assist Stark in figuring out how/why he had appeared there. While arguing with Stark, Apocalypse and his Horsemen begin to vanish, and seem angered that they are being shunted through the timestream again. With Apocalypse and company gone, Stark reveals that he was able to scan Apocalypse and picked up several locations throughout time where Apocalypse had been. Stark figures if he follows the trail back to Apocalypse's original location he'd be able to discover the point where time was fractured. Maria Hill decides to split the team into two groups, with one group traveling through time to see if they could right the damage(that group included Stark, Protector, Wolverine and Captain America), while the rest of the team had to travel around NYC dealing with whatever other chronologically displaced creatures were popping up. Stark and his team head off to create a time machine, while the other team heads to Midtown Manhattan and discover a big guy with a sword and a huge red T-Rex.

What I Thought: I've got to say, I'm STILL loving this storyline! Lots of Classic Avengers action, problems in time, Apocalypse, I mean it's like Marvel is specifically trying to cater to me! I don't have a single thing to complain about here... Even Bendis's usually painful dialogue was kept to a minimum! I can't wait for issue #4!

Score: 9 1/2 out of 10.Ahhh... What says classic Avengers better then Thor pulverizing some losers?

Brightest Day #6

Brightest Day #6: Writer: GEOFF Johns & Peter Tomasi. Artists: Ivan Reis, Patrick Gleason, Scott Clark & Joe Prado.

Review: *Sigh* Here we go again... So a crazed Martian is running amok in an attempt to breed with the Martian Manhunter(I guess), and the Manhunter himself seems to kill anything green he touches. Hawk and Dove convince Deadman to try to bring Dove's sister back to life, but she ends up coming back as a Black Lantern and attacks them. We discover though that the attack never really happened, and that Deadman's ring made the heroes see that. Oh, and for some reason the White Ring wanted Hawk to eat a cheeseburger. The Firestorms continue to have problems, and Jason and Ronnie both realize that there is a third voice in their combined head. And finally Mera explains to Aquaman that she was from some sort of Atlantian penal colony and was sent to assassinate him. But naturally she fell in love with him and couldn't do it. We then retcon a bunch of stuff and she explains that Black Manta killed their baby(Aquababy), as punishment for Mera not killing Aquaman. This issue ends with the Manhunter deciding to search for Miss Martian and discovering her ravaged body at her secret base.

What I Thought: Meh. Sorry, but I couldn't care any less about this series. I don't enjoy it, I don't like reading it, every one of the stories are tedious and boring to me, and simply put, I just want this whole Brightest Day thing to end. Next issue promises to reveal the secret of the White Lantern, but a)I expect the reveal to be horribly weak, or b)it'll be a cop-out. And then people wonder why DC has been spanked by Marvel market share-wise for the past three straight years...

Score: 3 1/2 out of 10.Yeah a cheeseburger, why not? After reading this I wanted arsenic...

Supergirl #54

Supergirl #54: Writer: Sterling Gates. Pencils: Jamal Igle.

Review: This issue kicks off with Bizarro Supergirl(or Bizarro Girl)tearing through the Centennial Park area of Metropolis. Jimmy Olson manages to get close enough to Bizarro Girl to snap a picture and send it to the Daily Planet, but ends up getting kidnapped by Bizarro Girl in the process. Upon seeing the picture of Bizarro Girl, Lana Lang e-mails it to Supergirl and once again implores the reluctant teen to suit up and help save the city. After some soul searching, Supergirl decides to suit up and face down the Bizarro with her face. It seems Bizarro Girl has been collecting several prisoners near her ship, which crash landed under Centennial Park. Supergirl arrives on the scene and battles her Bizarro clone to a standstill, that is until a rock from the battle strikes Bizarro Girl's spacecraft, sending Bizarro Girl into a panic. SG warns Bizarro Girl that if she doesn't release the prisoners she'd tear Bizarro Girl's ship to pieces, and this issue ends with Bizarro Girl using the reverse of Supergirl's X-Ray vision to turn SG into a solid statue! Huh, how clever!

What I Thought: I've got to say, once again, this was a strong issue of this series! I never thought I'd become a big fan of the Girl of Steel, but Sterling Gates has done some fantastic work in this comic. Not only is the main story gripping, but it seems every issue he's planting seeds for future stories, and I for one can't wait to see those seeds bloom. For example, last issue we had the quick scene with Superwoman, and her weakened bonds, while this issue Cat Grant, SG's greatest detractor at the Planet, managed to eavesdrop on Lana's phone call to Supergirl, meaning that Cat will now be able to connect Lana and SG... Will she also make the connection between Linda Lang(SG's alter-ego)and Supergirl? I guess we'll find out pretty soon. So yeah, the main story was great, the back stories are heating up, and I for one can't wait for the upcoming issues.

Score: 9 out of 10.No he's not!

Ultimate X #3

Ultimate X #3: Writer: Jeph Loeb. Pencils: Arthur Adams.

Review: In the first issue we meet up with Jimmy Hudson, the son of Wolverine. Issue number two we learned that Jean Grey had gone into hiding and was calling herself Karen Grant. That issue ended with Jimmy finding Jean/Karen. In this issue we meet a police family. You have the older brother, Joe Morgan, who followed in his deceased police officer father's footsteps, his(very)pregnant wife, and his high school drop-out brother, Derek. While working his beat one night, Joe and his partner are called to a mugging in process, but discover only a frightened woman, who was telling the officers that her attacker was swooped away into the sky. Joe's partner decides to head to a rooftop to investigate, and when she arrives, she discovers a winged mutant holding the mugger over the ledge of the building demanding money from the criminal. The mugger complies and hands over his wallet, and the officer warns the mutant to freeze at gunpoint. The mutant manages to knock out the officer with a quick flick of his wings and after tying up the criminal he flies off. Joe and a few other officers discover his partner, bruised but otherwise unharmed, and she tells them that she was attacked by the creature the people in the neighborhood had been calling The Guardian. Eventually Joe returns to his small apartment and tells his wife about his day, while at the same time Guardian sneaks into a back window of the apartment, draws in his wings with a scream and collapses onto the floor... That's right, Guardian is Derek Morgan. Joe goes to check on his brother, who explains that he must have fallen out of his bed, before handing Joe the money he took off the mugger earlier on as rent. Some time passes, and the police decide that since this Guardian is a mutant he needs to be taken down hard. As such, the police take to the rooftops of the neighborhood and wait to find Guardian. Derek swoops down and grabs his brother, who was waiting on one of the rooftops with his fellow officers, and tells Joe that he was Guardian. Joe, being a law abiding citizen first and a brother second, pulls his gun and orders his brother to land with him and tells him to turn himself over to the proper authorities. Derek refuses, and after a tense standoff(in the air)Joe shoots his brother and the two go tumbling to the ground, hitting the water below. The police fish Joe out of the water, while Jimmy(who arrived on the scene with Jean a bit earlier)swims over to Derek and pulls him out of the water. Later on, Derek awakens in the sewers where Jean had patched up his shoulder. Jimmy and Jean explain that they were mutants and that they were hoping he'd join up with them. Derek is hesitant, since he still wants to try to talk to his brother, and Jean tells him that after a quick scan of his brother's mind, there's no way Joe would accept Derek and would undoubtedly turn him over to SHIELD. Jean offers to plant some memories in Joe's head which would cause him to forget that Derek was Guardian, and make him believe that Derek had moved to Cincinnati to take a construction job. After some thought, Derek okay's the idea, and the three mutants decide to head to their next target... Disneyland!(cue ominous music!)

What I Thought: You know, this comic is probably my biggest guilty pleasure. I had given the Ultimate Universe up for dead after the horribly disgusting Ultimatum storyline, but low and behold, this series continues to be VERY strong. Say what you will about Jeph, but his characterizations for the three characters we've met these past three issues have been spot on. The first issue made me into a fan of Jimmy, while issue #2 made me care about Jean. This issue did a fantastic job of pulling me into Derek's story, as well as his brother, who narrated this issue. Great dialogue, wonderful art, a story that is slowly developing into something interesting, I can't WAIT until August for issue #4!

Score: 9 1/2 out of 10.And then there were three.

Zatanna #3

Zatanna #3: Writer: Paul Dini. Artist: Stephane Roux.

Review: This issue gets started with Zatanna rushing backstage to get ready for her show, but instead finding creepy effigies of her crew trying to kill her. After defeating the effigies, she forces one to tell her who sent them(Brother Night)and where he was(Mt. Diablo). With that, Zatanna begins to head for Diablo. Upon arriving she finds her crew members tied up, while Brother Night and his goons wait for her. Zatanna makes very quick work of Night's goons, and buries Night under some rocks. With a temporary reprieve, Zatanna frees her crew and sends them back to the auditorium. By this point Night has freed himself, and he calls forth the spirit of Zatanna's father, the Great Zatara. After gloating about how Zatara was his slave, Night tells Zatara to kill his daughter, which the spirit tries to do. Zatanna shields herself from her spirit father's attack and pulls the nightmare demon she had defeated last issue out of her hat and tells it to enter the dreams of the spirit of her father and awaken him from Night's spell. Night tries to stop the nightmare demon, but it is too powerful for him, and the demon enters the mind of Zatara and breaks Night's hold over him. After a quick and happy reunion, Zatara explains that his spirit must move on, and he leaves a VERY angry Zatanna behind. Zatanna releases the nightmare demon and tells it to go away as thanks for assisting her, before turning her full attention to Night, who was looking to slip away. Zatanna defeats and binds Night before entering his mind and forcing him to renounce his dark powers, freeing the thirteen souls he had stolen to gain his evil powers. Now powerless and defeated, Zatanna turns Night over to the police, knowing that whatever punishment Night faces on the mortal coil would pale in comparison to the hell he'd be facing when he died, since he failed his dark masters. And on that pleasant note, this comic comes to an end.

What I Thought: Hey, I've been pretty lucky with the comics I've been reading lately! This was yet another good one! The story here was completely satisfying, with Zatanna freeing her father and defeating Night, although I do have one slight complaint... This storyline seemed like it ended WAY too soon! I was hoping for maybe three more issues of Zatanna versus Brother Night, but wham, just like that, Night is defeated, Zatanna's father is saved and this storyline is over... But that's a very minor little quibble. Everything else here was great, and I only have good things to say about this series.

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.Yeah, pissing Zatanna off probably wasn't a very smart move...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

New Comic Day!

¡Hola mis amigos! Es X aquí con Nueva Cómic Día! Oops, sorry about that, but I've been doing some heavy Spanish studying these past two days, so yeah, my brain is a bit fried... And since I still want to get in one more good hour of Spanish studying for tomorrow's test before going to sleep, this is gonna be a pretty short post. So instead of babbling, let me just get right to business. I picked up Age of Heroes #2 & 3, Avengers #3, Brightest Day #6, Deadpool #25, Supergirl #54, Thunderbolts #146, Ultimate X #3 and Zatanna #3. I also got Black Widow #3, Superman/Batman #74 and Wolverine Weapon X #14, but I'm still waiting for the issues before those three comics(Widow #3, Supes/Bat #73 and Weapon X #13), so I can't review those comics yet. Not a huge pull, but that's fine, since I really don't have that much free time to just lay around reading comics! Anyway, you guys know the drill, if you want me to do a review of one of those comics, drop me a comment. I'll try to get some reviews up by Friday at the earliest, and Saturday at the latest. If I don't get that many requests, then I'll try to post a new Let's Talk About type post, so keep that in mind too. *sigh* Well, it's back to the flashcards for me... X out.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Random Scan of the Week!

Yep, it's the Random Scan of the Week. Sure it's a day late, but what can ya do? This week should be VERY busy for me, as I just took one Spanish test today(and I think I aced it!), with another one scheduled for Thursday. So I'll have two days(Tuesday and Wednesday)to learn all of the information on Thursday's test... So yeah, I probably won't be putting a whole lot of new content up here until Thursday night. I'll still respond to comments, and check out as many other blogs as I can, but I probably won't post anything new until Wednesday, and that'll probably only be a New Comic Day post. Anyway, that's how my week is shaping up as I fly through my Summer semester at school. After this week I'm already halfway through with the course! Now THAT is crazy! As for this week's Random Scan, it's the alternate ending to the Dark Phoenix Saga. Enjoy.From Phoenix: The Untold Story #1(April 1984).

Captain America #607

Captain America #607: Writer: Ed Brubaker. Pencils: Mitch Breitweiser.

Review: This issue gets underway with Falcon being rushed into the hospital emergency room while Bucky broods. Meanwhile, outside the hospital, Baron “Hey, I'm evil again!” Zemo sends Iron Hand Hauptmann into the hospital to create a scene with Bucky. Once Hauptmann enters the hospital, Zemo calls the cops and alerts them to the disturbance at the hospital. Bucky(who is still somewhat groggy thanks to Zemo's drugging of him last issue)is barely able to hold his own against the Nazi, and decides to take the fight outside, throwing Hauptmann out the window. Bucky joins Hauptmann outside, and finds himself surrounded by a bunch of Nazi stormtroopers, so he does what any good American does when they find themselves in such a situation, he hands the stormtroopers a righteous beating. While Bucky is thrashing the stormtroopers, Steve Rogers arrives on the scene and stops Bucky's assault. Bucky is confused as to why Steve stepped in, until he realizes that the men he was beating up weren't Nazis, but were in fact police officers! Whoops! And to make matters worse, Hauptmann managed to escape during the fray. Steve takes the disturbed Bucky back to Avengers Tower, and after some tests, Steve and Bucky learn that Bucky was still suffering from the drugs that were introduced into his system last issue, and that the drugs were releasing controlled doses of a hallucinogenic and a muscle relaxant. After the doctors eradicate the drugs from Bucky's system, Bucky, Steve and Black Widow get together and try to figure out who drugged Bucky and why. Oh, and to make matters worse, footage of Bucky beating up the police is picked up by the media... Well, when it rains, it pours! Steve decides to go back to the hospital to check on the injured Falcon, while Bucky and Black Widow figure out that the bartender who served Bucky his drinks the prior night must have been responsible for his drugging. After learning the name and address of the woman who served him the tainted drink, Bucky and Widow head to her home, only to be attacked by a woman wearing modified Beetle armor and carrying a bazooka. This issue concludes with Baron Zemo purchasing secret files from a former KGB agent detailing the Winter Soldier Project.

What I Thought: What did I think? What do I usually think after reading an issue of Captain America? It was great! Granted, I'm still a bit miffed about Zemo's sudden(and thus far unexplained)decision to become a villain again, but I'm confident that by the end of this storyline Ed will have given an adequate reason behind Zemo's villainous shenanigans. Besides that, the fight scenes were good, the story is moving forward at a brisk pace, and I really don't have anything to complain about. What more can I say?

Score: 9 out of 10.Oh those wacky Nazis!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Dr. Doom VS Lex Luthor.

Hey there X-Maniacs, I'm taking a momentary break from studying to try out a different type of post... We'll see how things turn out, and if there seems to be any interest in this sort of post, then maybe I'll do another one someday. So, here's the plan... I'm going to take two characters(or two teams)and pit them against each other in a no holds barred fight to the end. Each character will have access to any of their usual weapons/equipment(so Thor will have his hammer, Hal Jordan will have his GL ring, etc.)and the battle will take place in a neutral site with no chance of interference. I'll give my reasons as to why I think each character would win said battle, and then I'll pick a winner. From there it'll be up to you guys to comment to give this post life. As comic book fanboys(and fangirls), we're always wondering/debating over who would win certain battles, so I figured why not make a post about that!? Okay, not very original, but humor me... All right? All right! And away we go!

Dr. Doom

VS

Lex Luthor

Why Dr. Doom Should Win:
-Doom has that funky armor of his, with all sorts of built in weaponry. Not only does Doom's armor have the standard energy blasters and stuff, but it also contains a personal force field AND a built in time machine!
-Unbeknownst to many non-Fantastic Four fans, Dr. Doom is a master sorcerer. Doom's mother was a powerful witch, and it seems he has inherited some of her magical prowess.
-Doom is a master of manipulation and scare tactics, and rules his home country of Latveria with a literal iron hand.
-Doom is acknowledged to be one of the smartest characters in all of the Marvel Universe, if not THE smartest. It's Doom's massive intellect which prevents his various enemies from bringing him to justice.

Why Lex Luthor Should Win:
-Sure Doom has his suit of armor, but Lex is no slouch in the armor department. Lex's battle suit contains the standard flamethrowers, missile launchers, and energy blasters, but Lex has also been known to fire radioactive Kryptonite blasts as well, something Doom wouldn't have in his vast arsenal.
-Lex is one of the smartest men in all of the DC Universe, and has used his intelligence to amass a large fortune. Lex is at least a multi-millionaire, and could very well be worth billions. Not only does Lex have business savvy, but he's also very well versed in biology, physics as well as several other scientific disciplines.
-Lex has repeatedly butted heads with arguably the most powerful super-hero in the DCU on several occasions, and although Lex has never managed to kill Superman, he almost always manages to stay one step ahead of his mortal enemy, and has(for the most part)avoided being imprisoned for his various acts of evil.
-While Doom rules over the minuscule Eastern European country of Latveria, Lex managed to get himself elected President of the United States. 'Nuff said!

Who Would Win?
-Good question! Intellectually both villains are well matched, as well as being pretty similar physically. Armor-wise I wouldn't be able to pick a winner, although the fact that Lex leaves his head exposed could very well come back to haunt him. I'm sure both characters would have a great strategy for facing the other, but in the end I would have to think that Doom's magical abilities would be the deciding factor. A few well placed magic spells and I could very easily see Dr. Doom emerging victorious against Superman's greatest enemy.

Friday, July 16, 2010

You want reviews? Here's your reviews!!!

Hey X-Maniacs, X here with another batch of Friday reviews. I did all of the comics requested of me, with the glaring exception of Flash #3... I just don't want to read that comic! It's sort of like New Avengers #1... I have it, and I know I should read it, but I just can't bring myself to open the cover because I'm almost certain I'll be let down. So instead of Flash #3 I figured I'd review Red Robin #14, which arrived in the mail yesterday. Honestly, I think I made the right choice, since Red Robin was actually a VERY good read. So that's it for tonight, I might try putting up a new Let's Talk About: or a Versus type post Saturday, but that all depends on what plans I have and how heavily I plan on studying. Okay, enough babbling, here's hoping you guys enjoy the reviews, X out.

Red Robin #14

Red Robin #14: Writer: Fabian Nicieza. Pencils: Marcus To.

Review: This issue opens up with Damian Wayne cracking Tim's password on the Bat-computer and learning something that absolutely infuriates him. What is it? You'll have to wait to find out! While Damian is hacking the computer, Tim is doing the Red Robin thing, and he manages to apprehend Brutale, although Brutale's accomplice, some female assassin with a knife manages to get away, thanks to a certain small, cloaked figure dropping a billboard in front of Tim. Tim heads back to the Batcave and types into the computer that he had apprehended Brutale, just as a certain cloaked figure, Damian, arrives. Damian indicates that he'd like to go out on patrol with Tim, but Tim pretty much blows him off, telling Damian that if Batman wasn't back from some Justice League business he had to deal with by the following night, Tim would take Damian with him. Tim accosts some crooked detectives he had been working with, and tells them that not only was he(Red Robin)angry with the crooked cops, but so was the Wayne Foundation(which just so happens to be headed up by Tim). The next day Tim and Damian head out on patrol, and Tim manages to find the female associate of Brutale hiding out in a hotel room. Before Tim can make a move on the woman, Damian cuts Tim's Bat-line and sends him hurtling towards the pavement. Tim manages to regain his senses and lands gracefully, but is soon attacked by an infuriated Damian, who rants about Tim bringing this fight onto himself. While Tim parries Damian's attacks, he notices the female assassin making a break for it, so he snares the woman with his grappling rope and flings her into Damian, momentarily knocking the wind out of Damian and taking the woman out all together. Tim grabs the groggy Damian by the cape and tosses him on a nearby rooftop, where Tim then proceeds to beat the hell out of the current Robin. Before he can continue the beatdown, Batman arrives on the scene and ends the fight, shaming both Robins by pointing out that they had allowed their fight to cross into Crime Alley, right in front of the movie theatre where Bruce Wayne's parents were killed. Bats takes the Robins back to the Cave, and Damian demands that Tim show everybody the secret program he had created. With the cat out of the bag, Tim reveals to Bats and Alfred that behind the screen where he was keeping tabs on the various villains in his life, he had a separate screen where he was keeping an eye on various heroes, Damian included. Damian complains about how he'd done everything that had been asked of him, and that Tim STILL not trusting him just wasn't fair. Bats agrees and sends Damian and Alfred out of the Cave so he could speak to Tim in private. Dick explains to Tim that deep down all Damian wants is acceptance and that Tim's actions, and especially how easy his password was to crack was a big mistake. In the end, Dick realized that the relationship between Tim and Damian would always be icy at best, and that there was nothing he could do to change that. This issue ends with the two crooked cops from earlier hiring Scarab to assassinate Tim Drake.

What I Thought: This was probably my favorite portrayal of Damian EVER! Instead of being shown as an unstoppable, emotionless killing machine, we FINALLY get a glimpse into Damian's head, and see that all he really craves is the acceptance and approval of his father's colleagues. Why Grant Morrison can't write Damian like that is beyond me, but hey, if you ask me Fabian is 10 times the writer Grant is, so I guess that explains that. That's right, I went there! Besides the great Damian/Tim interactions, Tim continues to check villains off of his list, with this issue ending with Tim tricking the crooked cops into hiring Scarab to kill Tim Drake, exactly as Tim hoped they would. Once again, good job done here that has me eagerly anticipating the next issue.

Score: 9 out of 10.You had to know I'd pick a scan where Damian was getting beaten up!

Wonder Woman #600

Wonder Woman #600: Writer: A LOT of people. Art: See Writer.

Review: Hmmmmm.......... I'm not sure where to start here... Okay, here goes. There were 5 stories told in this comic by 5 different writers. To be perfectly honest, the first 4 stories didn't really matter, because they were all from the past. It's the final story by new series writer J. Michael Straczynski that needs to be spoken about. Basically Straczynski has decided that Wonder Woman as she was sucks and that WW needed a HUGE revamp. And that's exactly what he did. Forget everything you knew about Wonder Woman, because apparently it never happened... Somehow the past 20 years have been altered and Themyscira has destroyed long ago and WW's mother was killed off. WW was smuggled from the island as an infant and has lived in the world of man ever since. The bottom line is that WW wants to find out who destroyed Themyscira and why.

What I Thought: This was HORRIBLE!!! What the hell happened here?! The first four stories were all pretty flawed, but I wasn't expecting much anyway. I mean let's face it, this was an anniversary comic, so I expected lots of filler. But the fifth story... That was a travesty. What I don't understand, and probably never will understand, is why a writer would take on a character if said writer hates that particular character... I mean, if Straczynski didn't want to write Wonder Woman, then why not let him do an Elseworlds WW story, or better yet, how about an All-Star Wonder Woman comic? That way he could take the character in whatever direction he wanted. I mean really, would you take Superman and suddenly say that he's actually not from Krypton, but that got his powers after being bitten by a radioactive orangutan? No, of course not! That's how I feel about what I read here. There was absolutely NO reason to tear up the past 60(? 70?)years of Wonder Woman because some writer felt that was the way to go... One last thing before I hop off the soapbox. If Straczynski thinks this version of WW is going to last then he's either delusional or flat out insane. Once he leaves this series(if not before)I'm sure WW's origin will be right back where it was before this, and we'll all look back at the Straczynski years the same way we look back at WW's costume back in the 90's, with a collective, “What the hell were they thinking?!?”.

Score: 2 out of 10. I was tempted to just give this comic a 0, but some of the artwork was amazing, so that 2 is for the artwork and nothing else.The only good thing about this comic? The artwork.

X-Men Origins: Deadpool #1

X-Men Origins: Deadpool #1: Writer: Duane Swierczynski. Artist: Leandro Fernandez.

Review: This comic is pretty much exactly what it sounds like, Deadpool telling his origin story. The twist is that Pool is telling his origin story to a screenwriter in order to get his life story on the big screen. According to Deadpool, his father left the family early on and his mother became a raging alcoholic, which led Pool to join the army once he was of age. After spending some time in the military, Pool went solo and became a mercenary, but he'd only take jobs that he felt strongly about. Eventually Pool discovers he has incurable cancer and learns of a secret program up in Canada. Pool joins the program, gets his healing abilities, but becomes horribly deformed as a result of the procedure. Since he was considered a failure, the scientists lock Pool up. Eventually Pool escapes the prison and Deadpool is born. After several months, Pool goes to the world premiere of the Deadpool movie, and is horrified to learn that the director took WAY too many liberties with his life story, turning it into something unrecognizable. After killing everybody in the movie theater and destroying the director's car, Pool decides to pay his father a visit for the first time since he was a child.

What I Thought: For what it's worth, I enjoyed this comic. The problem with this issue though was the fact that Pool's origin has been told, retold and then re-retold! I was under the impression that Pool's father was in the army, and that little Wade was a punk. According to this, that's not the case. Then of course there was the whole T-Ray debacle, where T-Ray was supposedly the real Wade Wilson and Pool had stolen his identity... So yeah, it's hard to take anything I read here seriously. The way I looked at this was that maybe Pool was telling the truth, and maybe he wasn't. Who knows...

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.What's a Deadpool comic without the obligatory fight with Cable?

Justice League: Generation Lost #5

Justice League: Generation Lost #5: Writers: Judd Winick and Kieth Giffen.

Review: We find out in this issue that Max Lord had indeed been the driving force between the former JLI members getting back together, and that he wanted them to remain a team and do good in the world, so long as they left him alone. Needless to say Booster doesn't buy Max's spiel, and Super-Perfect-Fake Beetle uses his powers of Mass Perfection to trace Max Lord's signal, even though it was established that Skeets(who is from several hundred years in the future)couldn't trace Max... Yeah, and then people wonder why I hate this series. Blah blah blah, stuff happens and Booster decides to take the fight to Max.

What I Thought: Yeah, I think it's safe to say that I won't be collecting this series anymore. I just can't stand the direction it's gone since the arrival of our Lord and Savior, Super-Fake Beetle. I mean come on! He's pretty much now used as a skeleton key to get the writers out of any sort of jam. You're being hunted by dozens of OMAC's? Don't worry, Super-Fake Beetle will shut them all down. Can't find Max Lord? Don't worry, Super-Fake Beetle can trace him no problem! Yep, that's enough for me, so long Gen Lost... See you in HELL!!! BWA-HAHAHAHAH

Score: 6 out of 10.It's an explosion. Whatever.

Green Lantern #55

Green Lantern #55: Writer: GEOFF Johns. Pencils: Doug Mahnke.

Review: This issue is basically a knockdown, drag-out brawl between Lobo(the baddest man in ALL of the universe)and Hal Jordan, Carol Ferris, Sinestro and Atrocitus in the streets of New York. It seems that Lobo has decided to collect on a bounty that was on Atrocitus's head, and Hal, Sinestro and Carol are tasked with assisting the leader of the Red Lanterns at the behest of the White Power Battery. Long story short, after much destruction, Hal chases Lobo off, since the bounty wasn't worth the trouble it was giving Lobo to collect it. At least that what Hal and company believe... Later on we find out that Atrocitus hired Lobo to attack him in order to gain the trust and assistance of Hal and company. Lobo's payment for the staged fight? A Red Lantern ring! There was also a back-up story about Dex-Starr, the feline member of the Red Lantern corps, but it was so pathetic that I'm just going to pretend that it never happened...

What I Thought: For what it was, this was a great comic. It was pretty much Lobo running roughshod over everybody in his path. The artwork was fantastic, and the story was minimal, which was perfectly fine by me. I was almost furious about the way the battle ended, with Lobo turning tail and running from Hal, but since that was explained away I really don't have anything to complain about here.

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.Sadly Lobo had no hope of winning this battle since he hasn't been around since the early 1960's...

Action Comics #890

Action Comics #890: Writer: Paul Cornell. Artist: Pete Woods.

Review: This issue kicks off with Lex Luthor dangling from a building while a bunch of kidnappers watch him. Lex seems perfectly fine with his predicament, stating that if the kidnappers wanted him dead they'd have killed him already. Since he felt he was in no trouble, Lex decides to have a flashback... Yeah, I guess that's what I'd do if I was hanging upside down over the edge of a skyscraper... We discover that Lex has become obsessed with acquiring a Black Lantern ring, and as such has put nearly all of his resources into that endeavor. Besides that, Lex has managed to create a robot version of Lois Lane from Kryptonian technology and his own vast intelligence. Lex pretty much does mean spirited things to people, such as firing one of his workers for telling him something couldn't be done, and then has the man executed after he had the audacity to strike Lex. Besides that, Lex basically acts like a jerk. After finishing up his flashback, Lex heads back to the present where he discovers that Mr. Mind was the one behind his abduction.

What I Thought: Meh. I was expecting SO much more from this comic! I mean come on, it stars Lex freaking Luthor, probably one of the most complete villains in all of comics! How can't that be a lay-up? This comic just never really jelled for me though. Maybe it was the overly long flashback, or maybe it was the weak reveal at the end(Mr. Mind? Really!?!), but I just never got into this comic like I thought I would... Oh well, hopefully next month will be more cohesive.

Score: 5 out of 10.Note to self: Do NOT mess with robot Lois...

Supergirl #53

Supergirl #53: Writer: Sterling Gates. Pencils: Jamal Igle.

Review: This issue gets underway with Supergirl(still hurting over the loss of New Krypton)telling Lana Lang that she wanted to give up her Kryptonian name and go by Linda Lang full time. Lana tells SG that would be fine, and SG goes on to state that she was done with being Supergirl, since she wasn't able to save her mother or her planet. Lana decides to take SG to a restaurant for lunch, and while they are there, a huge meteorite smashes through the STAR Labs installment that was holding Superwoman captive. Luckily for Dr. Light and Gangbuster(who were working at the lab)Superwoman isn't broken free, although her bonds seem slightly damaged(a story for another day I'd say). Light and Gangbuster decide to chase after the meteorite to see what it's deal was, and the flaming meteorite flies right past the restaurant Lana and SG were lunching at. Lana implores SG to go and help, but SG refuses, stating once again that she was finished with the super-hero business. This issue ends with Light and Gangbuster tracking down the meteorite(which turns out to be an alien ship), just in time to see Bizarro Supergirl emerge!

What I Thought: This was a very satisfying issue of Supergirl. It touched on all that SG lost during the War of the Supermen storyline, and her refusal to want to help anybody anymore did make perfect sense. After losing all that she had lost(her mother, her best friend, her people)it's no real surprise that she'd be in the mother of all funks. I thought Lana was kind of harsh after the restaurant was wrecked and she was yelling at SG to go and be a hero... I mean really, why should she? If SG chooses not to suit up anymore, shouldn't that be her choice? I'm sure the sight of Bizarro Supergirl next issue will be enough to push Supergirl back into action, and down the road it seems that Superwoman will be once again menacing the Girl of Steel. Not only was this issue good, but the future issues are also setting up to look good as well!

Score: 9 out of 10.Bizarro Supergirl am happy!

The Heroic Age: Uncanny X-Men #1

Heroic Age: Uncanny X-Men #1: Writer: Matt Fraction. Art: A bunch of guys.

Review: This comic is actually a collection of three stories that take place post- X-Men Second Coming. What was Second Coming all about? Not only don't I know, I don't care. Since Christopher Yost was the driving force behind it I'm sure a bunch of X-characters were senselessly killed/maimed, but I digress. I'll take this story by story to try to keep this review somewhat orderly. Beast winds up running into Molly Hayes of Runaways fame, and she begins to question him about what exactly extinction means. Beast goes all scientific on her, and she winds up asking if it was true that mutants like her were on their way to extinction. Beast talks to her like a scientist, and says yes, muties are a thing of the past, which nearly drives Molly to tears. Eventually Beast softens his words and tells Molly to live life to its fullest, that way if there are no more muties, at least the ones who did exist would be looked back on fondly... Next up we get Hope Summers getting a check-up at the Baxter Building by Mr. Fantastic. After she checks out fine, Reed asks the girl if she has any family so he could check for any potential genetic diseases. Hope responds that she doesn't know who her real family was(since they were all slaughtered up in Alaska), which leads her to want to learn of her parentage. The final story follows Cyclops as he runs around killing innocent dinosaurs in the Savage Land. While Scott is “clearing his head” or as I'd say, going on a dinosaur killing rampage, Steve Rogers comes along and tells Scott that he'd like to honor him with a Presidential Medal of Freedom for his bravery during the Second Coming stuff. Scott decides to receive the medal, and Rogers hopes this signals a new age of understanding between humans and mutants. We end this issue with Scott meeting up with Hope at the X-Men's base. Scott begins to order her around, and she complains that she wants to find her family. Scott thinks for a moment, tosses his Medal into the sea, and tells Hope that she's free to do whatever she wanted, and that he'd send a team of X-Men to Alaska with her...

What I Thought: Umm, okay... The Beast and Hope stories weren't that bad, but the Cyclops one was kind of all over the place. I didn't get why Scott was hunting dinosaurs at the Savage Land(I guess that's now the X-Men's personal gaming resort?), and I sure as hell couldn't figure out what the symbolism was behind him throwing away the Medal... Something about him not wanting to have to deal with expectations anymore... I just didn't get it. If nothing else it seemed insanely disrespectful, considering Cap pulled a bunch of strings to get Cyclops the Medal and the positive press that went with it. And then you wonder why I hate Cyclops...

Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.Sure, that makes about as much sense as anything else that's happened in the X-books for the past 5 years...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

New Comic Day: July 14.

Hola fellow comic enthusiasts, it's the most wonderful day of the week for a comic book fan, that's right, it's new comic day!!! Not a huge pull from my comic shop today, I only picked up 8 books, but to make up for that I also brought 4 new trades, thus proving once and for all that I should NEVER be allowed into a comic book store with excess money in my pockets... First off, before I get to what I picked up, allow me to thank all of you who took the time to comment on my “Let's Talk About” post last night. Since it seemed to go over well, I'll try to have another post like that up either this weekend, or early next week. Okay, enough about yesterday, let's talk about today! I picked up; The Heroic Age: Uncanny X-Men #1, Supergirl #53, Avengers Academy #2, Booster Gold #34, Iron Man #28, Justice League: Generation Lost #5, Thanos Imperative #2 & X-Men Origins: Deadpool #1. Besides those comics I also brought the following 4 trades; Iron Man/Captain America, Deadpool: X Marks The Spot, Amazing Spider-Man: American Son & Invincible: Family Matters. Besides that, I've also received several comics in the mail lately including Green Lantern #55, Secret Avengers #2, Captain America #607, Action Comics #890, Justice Society of America #40, Justice League of America #46, Wonder Woman #600 & Flash #3. Whew! So there you have it. Those are the comics I have in my possession that I'm willing to review. If you want me to review any of the aforementioned comics, drop me a comment, and I'll try to have a few posts up come Friday. As for right now I'll be responding to any comments you guys left for me yesterday and earlier today, and then it's the boundless fun that is my Spanish homework! Huzzah! That's all for tonight, thanks for reading, X out.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Let's talk about: Blackest Night characters!

Hey there X-Maniacs, tis your loyal servant X with a quick post. I'm going to try a new type of post tonight, so we'll see how it goes. See, I really don't have the time to do a lot of review type posts until the latter part of the week, because I'm usually buried with homework Monday through Thursday. So instead of doing a bunch of reviews, I'm just going to list a topic, and let you guys, my most loyal and wonderful X-Maniacs, Nerds of Prey and LoL's give this post life. I'll pick the topic, give my thoughts, and then throw the floor open to you guys. So if you want to put your two cents in, please feel free to do so. There are no right or wrong answers here, this is just to create some conversation. All right? All right then!

So what's the first topic? How about an easy one... I've made no bones about the fact that I hated the way Blackest Night ended. It started with such promise, and instead of ending with a bang, it ended with a whimper. One of the things that really bugged me about the way Blackest Night ended was the characters that were(and weren't)brought back to life. So here's your mission, should you choose to accept it... Which character who returned to life at the end of Blackest Night do you think should have stayed dead, and conversely, which character do you think DC should have brought back but didn't? Here's my picks... I say Reverse Flash should have stayed dead, since as a time traveler he could have just come back to menace Barry Allen from before he was killed. Time travel is funny like that. As for the character I think DC should have brought back to life but didn't, I'm going to go with Damage. He was a young character with a chip on his shoulder who, I think anyway, had some serious untapped potential. So there you go, those are my picks, what do you guys think?

RIP George Steinbrenner.

As somebody who spent the first 24 years of his life living in NYC, and grew up a HUGE New York Yankees fan, it's pretty sad to hear that the famous Boss of the Yankees has died this morning. Sure, I haven't watched a baseball game since those cheating, roided up Red Sox stole the World Series a few years ago, but I still wanted to throw out a quick post on the one and only George Steinbrenner. Anybody who has ever been a fan of the Yankees(or hell, even baseball)owes George Steinbrenner a debt of gratitude. So from this former Yankee fan, thank you Boss. Thank you for the memories, thank you for the championships and thank you for your contributions to New York City. There will never be another like you.

That wacky Batman!

What can I even say here? How can't you chuckle just a bit when Bats says, "I'll miss him... I guess!"

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Random Scan of the Week!

This is going to be a quick post, since I'm still cramming as much Spanish vocabulary into my head as humanly possible. That's really all I have to say... After I'm done posting this scan, I'll be spending the next two hours or so trying to get in some last minute studying. Trust me, it's not as fun as it sounds! Until tomorrow, X out.From The Thing #1(Jan. 2006).

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Return of the Blog Posting Machine?!

Well, there ya have it, I managed to post all 7 requested reviews tonight! Red Hood #2, Steve Rogers #1, Shadowland #1, Brightest Day #5, Children's Crusade #1, X-Men #1 AND Avengers #2, all posted and done! Whew... And I have to say, with the exception of Brightest Day, all of the comics I listed were good to excellent, with a few of them coming in at 9 to 10 out of 10! Reading comics I actually enjoyed sure made doing reviews for them a lot easier! Anyway, feel free to leave me any comments on those books(or anything else), I'm going to give my typing fingers a break for now! X out!

Red Hood: The Lost Days #2(of 6)

Red Hood: The Lost Days #2: Writer: Judd Winick. Artist: Pablo Raimondi.

Review: We kick this issue off with Jason flipping out and destroying a hotel room like a rock star after learning from a newspaper that Joker was still alive. After beating the tar out of the guys running the hotel, Jason lays down and has a good, hysterical cry. From there the scene shifts back to the Al Ghul's, with Ra's yelling at his daughter Talia for allowing Jason to use the Lazarus Pit. Ra's explains that the Lazarus Pit probably drove Jason insane, but Talia doubts it. Ra's finishes his tirade by warning Talia that she has unleashed a pestilence on the world, and that she'll be sorry. Back with Jason, after a quick flashback to his brutal death at the hands of the Joker, he takes the money Talia gave him and heads to Gotham to avenge his death on the two people he felt were most responsible, Joker and Batman. After shaking the tail Talia put on him, Jason catches a ride to Gotham and plays the Batman like a fiddle, setting up a bogus gun sale with the Penguin, and allowing the information to be leaked to Batman. After watching Batman head to the gun sale sight, Jason sneaks up to the Batmobile and places a bomb underneath the fuel tank before leaving. From there Jason slinks back into the shadows and waits for Bats to get back in the car. After Bats leaves, Jason stands on a rooftop ready to push the button to set off the bomb, but at the last moment, he changes his mind. Later on Jason speaks to Talia and tells her about what he did, stating that he didn't blow Batman up because he wanted Bats to know that it was Jason who killed him. Upon hearing this, Talia realizes that her father was correct, and that by allowing Jason to use the Lazarus Pit, she did indeed unleash a pestilence on the world.

What I Thought: I LOVED this story!!! If I thought it had any chance of succeeding I'd start an on-line petition to get Judd back as the writer of the Batman books instead of Grant “The Butcher” Morrison. Whereas Grant nearly ruined the Jason Todd character in Batman and Robin, Judd shows that he has an EXCELLENT feel for Jason. Not only that, but it now seems that most of Jason's evil actions are due to his exposure to the Lazarus Pit, which is something I hadn't thought about before. As Ra's said, the insanity from the Pit could either come immediately, or gradually, and it seems that his time in the Pit has drawn out more of Jason's darker instincts. What more needs to be said? I'll definitely be looking forward to next month's installment of this mini.

Score: 9 1/2 out of 10.Now THAT'S a temper tantrum!

Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier #1

Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier #1: Writer: Ed ”The Best Comic Book Writer In The World Today” Brubaker. Artist: Dale Eaglesham.

Review: This issue begins with a scientist getting blown up in his car. From there we head to a meeting between Steve Rogers and Pete Wisdom, English super-spy extraordinaire. Pete tells Steve that the scientist who was killed in the beginning of this issue worked for Nextin Pharmaceuticals, and that he was killed because he knew too much about Nextin's activities. When pressed, Wisdom tells Steve that Nextin was being run by a Professor Jacob Erskine, who was the grandson of the man who invented the Super Soldier Serum that turned Steve into Captain America. It seems that Jacob Erskine had managed to recreate the Super Soldier Serum, and Wisdom goes on to tell Steve that the younger Erskine didn't seem to have the same high scruples his grandfather had. Wisdom explains that he was afraid that Nextin would be willing to sell the Super Soldier Serum to the highest bidder, which could lead to some evil countries creating an army of Super Soldiers. Upon hearing this news, Steve decides to find the younger Erskine and have a little discussion with him. Later on, Steve heads to the corrupt country of Madripoor where Nextin was throwing a shindig, and sneaks inside, running into three goons who seemed to have been empowered by the Super Soldier Serum. Steve fights the goons, and during the course of the fight, one goon drops dead, causing Steve to believe that the Serum wasn't quite perfected yet. Eventually Steve makes his way to Erskine's office and confronts him, but Erskine explains to Steve that he only wanted to use the Serum as a cure for cancer. When Steve tells Erskine about the Serum empowered goons, Erskine is shocked, and begins to tell Steve that his head of security must have done something, but before he can tell Steve anything else, a single bullet flies through Erskine's window, hitting him in the chest. This issue concludes with Steve cradling the dead body of yet another Professor Erskine.

What I Thought: First off, it was HARD to type out this review without continuously referring to Steve as Cap! To me Steve Rogers IS Cap, so my instinct is to type “Cap” instead of Steve! But enough of my idiosyncrasies, let's talk about this comic. This wasn't the best Captain America/Steve Rogers story I've ever read from Ed, but it was still better then most comics on the market today. This was simply a set-up issue, with us learning about the threat(the Super Soldier Serum), and getting a good old fashioned mystery(Erskine being shot). There's still ways to go here, but so far so good.

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.Who would be dumb enough to try to take Cap in a fight!?Check it out, some Jack Kirby art from the 1940's!!! How awesome is that?!?

The Awesomeness that is Shadowland #1!

Shadowland #1: Writer: Andy Diggle. Pencils: Billy Tan.

Review: We open with a few mystics from the Hand talking about allowing Matt Murdock to do something that would corrupt him, so that they could awaken their master and he could destroy the world of man... Okay than... The scene then shifts to a cargo plane that was carrying Bullseye to the Raft prison in New York. Bullseye tricks the guards, gets free and manages to kill them all, taking the plane to Hell's Kitchen in order to find his old enemy Daredevil. At Avengers Tower, Luke Cage and Iron Fist discuss the Daredevil situation with the Avengers. The Avengers explain that they're willing to give DD his space and allow him to help the people in Hell's Kitchen in his own way, but the moment he steps over the line, they'll be there. After hearing that, Iron Fist and Cage decide to go and speak to DD about some of the more unsavory things they'd been hearing were going on in the Kitchen. Bullseye makes his way to the Kitchen, and spots the huge Hand castle that DD had erected on the ruins of the tenement building Bullseye destroyed, killing 107 innocent civilians in the process. DD and a battalion of Hand ninjas show up and DD sends his minions after Bullseye. Bullseye makes a break for it, running to the Javits Convention Center, where he figured there'd be plenty of cameras to catch him in action. Bullseye stands his ground and begins to ravage the ninjas, killing several of them before DD calls off his dogs and attacks Bullseye himself. After an brilliant fight scene between the two arch-foes, DD manages to dislocate BOTH of Bullseye's shoulders, leaving him on his knees and completely helpless. By this time Luke Cage and Iron Fist had made their way to the scene of the battle, and they arrive just in time to see DD drive a sai straight through the chest of Bullseye(!!!!), ending this issue.

What I Thought: Now THIS is the way to kick off a mini-series!!! This was absolutely perfect. I don't have a single thing to complain about. The fight scene between Bullseye and the Hand ninjas was great, but the fight between DD and Bullseye was AMAZING! And the ending! What poetic justice! DD doing Bullseye in, in the EXACT same manner as Bullseye originally killed Elektra was magnificent! The only question I have is, is Marvel going to wimp out here or not? So DD stabbed Bullseye straight through the chest... Are they going to let Bullseye die, or will Iron Fist and Cage manage to get him to a hospital in time? I personally hope that the death stands, because Matt has had cause to kill Bullseye for SO long now, plus his stepping over the line fully should lend itself to a much better/more interesting story. I CAN'T wait for the rest of this mini to come out!

Score: 10 out of 10This is my current Windows Desktop picture.He may be a totally evil remorseless killer, but you've got to admit, Bullseye seems like a pretty funny guy!This scan will probably end up being my desktop picture eventually! Yeah, I liked this comic SO much I posted THREE scans from it!

X-Men #1

X-Men #1: Writer: Victor Gischler. Pencils: Paco Medina.

Review: This series begins with a vampire strolling to a busy outdoor cafe in San Francisco and exploding in a mass of blood, saturating Jubilee, as well as several other civilians. Pixie, who was lunching with Jubilee, takes Jubilee back to the X-Men's headquarters and the doctors look her over. After some investigating, the X-Men realize that it was a vampire who exploded, and that somehow the vampire's blood had infected Jubilee with vampirism. Wolverine, Pixie and Archangel decide to see if they can find any more vampires, and they come across an abandoned vampire lair, full of dead bodies that had been drained of their blood. Now positive that vampires were involved, Wolvie reports back to Cyclops that Dracula was indeed in town, however, unbeknownst to Wolvie, it's not Dracula who was leading the army of vampires, but his evil son. This issue concludes with Cyclops ordering Wolvie to bring in his team so they could hold a war council to decide what should be done about the vampire problem.

What I Thought: Meh. This comic was okay, and probably better then all of the other X-books on the market today combined(except for the usually great X-Factor), but it was mainly a set-up story, and it featured all of the characters that have made me despise the X-Men so much as of late(Cyclops and to a lesser extent, Wolverine). I was hoping this title would give us a new X-team without Cyclops and Wolvie, but alas, that doesn't seem to be in the cards. Oh well... Hopefully next issue will feature less Cyclops and more vampires.

Score: 7 out of 10.Wolverine: Vampire Slayer!

Brightest Day #5...

Brightest Day #5: Writers: Geoffy Johns & Peter Tomasi. Artists: Ivan Reis, Ardian Syaf & Joe Prado.

Review: This comic starts with some Atlantians attacking Aquaman and Mera. Next up Deadman tries to bring the original Dove back to life at the urging of Hawk, but can't. Hawkman and Hawkgirl are trapped on some weird world where animal people battle each other, and I could care less about any of it!

What I Thought: My GOD, is this mini STILL going! Ugh, I just want it to end already... I've got to say, I find myself reading less and less of this comic, and simply browsing the pages, because I'm just completely bored by Blackest Night/Brightest Day... The only person this is a Bright Day for is Geoffy and his ilk, not me. I just want this damn storyline to end...

Score: 3 out of 10.Since I could care less about this mini(?)series, I'm not gonna bother with a caption here!

Avengers: The Children's Crusade #1(of 9)

Avengers: The Children's Crusade #1: Writer: Allan Heinberg(!). Pencils: Jim Cheung(!). The ORIGINAL Young Avengers creative team!!!

Review: We get started with the Young Avenger kids battling some crazy racist bible-thumping terrorists. The YA's pretty much have matters in hand, until one of the terrorists claim to have a nuclear device on his body, and that he'd be happy to martyr himself. At this time Captain America(Steve Rogers), Iron Man and Ms. Marvel arrive on the scene, just as the nutjob was about to detonate himself. Before he can though, Wiccan uses his magic in a way he never had before, and the world quickly turns white(ala the Scarlet Witch). When things go back to normal, only the YA and Avengers are still standing, while all of the terrorists lay around comatose. The three Avengers take the kids back to the YA headquarters, and Iron Man reveals the whole ugly truth about what the Scarlet Witch had done after she went crazy(among other things, killed Vision, Ant-Man and Hawkeye, rewrote reality, and de-powered almost all of the mutants). With Wiccan most likely containing the soul of one of Wanda's thought to be dead twins, the adult Avengers are kind of concerned that Wiccan could potentially have inherited Wanda's reality warping powers, and as such want to bring him in for testing. Wiccan tries to explain that he isn't his “mother” and hadn't done anything wrong, but all the Avengers can see in him is his “mother” Wanda and his “grandfather”, Magneto. Feeling betrayed, Wiccan storms off in a huff, telling the Avengers that he wouldn't go through with their evaluation. The Young Avengers follow Wiccan outside and for the most part they seem to think Wiccan should go along with the Avengers, which only upsets him more, and causes him to storm away from them as well. Upon arriving home, Wiccan finds Captain America talking to his parents about his powers. Feeling completely boxed in, Wiccan finally relents and agrees to go with Cap, who tells the Young Avenger that the Avengers would only hold him until they knew what he was capable of. While Wiccan and Cap are flying to the Avengers Tower, they run into Wiccan's boyfriend Hulkling, who tells Cap that nothing had better happen to Wiccan while he was in Avengers custody. Cap tells Hulkling that he's invited to come along to see that the Avengers mean Wiccan no harm. Hulkling and Wiccan end up in a guest room at Avengers Tower, and before they can get comfortable, Speed breaks in and tells the boys that he was there to break them out. Before the two can stop him, Speed runs them through the wall to the rest of the Young Avengers, who were waiting outside. Wiccan explains that while he appreciates the trouble the team went through to get him out of the Tower, he was going to stay, since wherever he ran to the Avengers would ultimately find him. Stature tells Wiccan that instead of giving up, the team should try to find the Scarlet Witch, and show her the her thought to be dead twins(Wiccan and Speed)were alive and well. Stature reasoned that if Wanda learned of this, maybe Wanda would bring Stature's father(Ant-Man)back to life, as well as undo the spell that decimated the mutant race. The team begins to lean towards this course of actions, but before they can decide on a course of action, Magneto(!!)arrives on the scene, stating that it was about time he met his grandchildren.

What I Thought: Ahhhhh....... How I missed this series... I'm so glad to be reading a new Young Avengers story that I can't really say anything negative here. Although to be honest, there really isn't anything negative that I COULD say! I guess I could complain about how easily Wiccan gave up and decided to allow himself to be jailed by the Avengers, but even that was explained away when Wiccan stated that no matter where he went, the Avengers would always find him. No, this comic was nearly flawless. Sure some of the characters didn't get a lot of talking time, but the ones who did sounded exactly as I remembered them. What a satisfying comic book!

Score: 9 1/2 out of 10.I'd guess the answer to that is that it depends on the prison...

Avengers #2

Avengers #2: Writer: BENDIS! Pencils: John Romita Jr.

Review: This comic gets started with the Avengers searching out Noh-Varr, the former Marvel Boy and current Protector, hoping that he'd be able to use his advanced Kree technology to help them see into the future to ascertain if Kang was telling them the truth last issue. Noh-Varr agrees to help, and after a while he creates a device that can look into all possible futures. The Avengers watch the many images, and spot the one they were looking for, the future Kang warned them about where their children ended up murdering Kang's future self, Immortus. After the team watches Immortus die, the timestream begins to break apart, and Noh-Varr's machine ends up being destroyed. The fact that the timestream seemed “broken” severely concerns Iron Man, who explains to the team that if time was damaged, not only would the future be affected, but the past and present would as well. Before Noh-Varr can construct something to allow the team to enter the timestream to repair it, they are attacked by Wonder Man(!?!). Wonder Man shouts that the Avengers shouldn't have reassembled, and that the Avengers would only wind up causing more trouble then they stopped. Wonder Man beats the team up for a bit until Noh-Varr blasts him with some sort of Kree weaponry, which causes Wonder Man to retreat, but not before he threatens the team one final time. Still reeling from Wonder Man's betrayal, an alternative version of Apocalypse and his Four Horsemen(!!!)appear thanks to the fractured timestream, ending this issue.

What I Thought: Wow, this comic was Fan-freaking-tastic! This storyline is TOP-NOTCH, and the return of Noh-Varr, a favorite character of mine, was like the icing on the cake. So it's all good then? Not so fast my friends! I'd have EASILY given this comic a 10 out of 10, but Bendis's(that's right, I am officially UN-capitalizing his name, he's earned my respect again!!!)horrid dialogue really hurt my enjoyment of this comic. There were just pages and pages of unnecessary dialogue here... Where a simple yes or no answer would have sufficed, Bendis would fill scenes with TONS of unneeded wordage. For example, in one scene, Maria Hill was talking to Bucky about Kang. She asks Bucky if he knew who Kang was, and Bucky says no. Now a normal writer would have probably done something like this, Maria: “Have you read the intel reports on Kang yet?” Bucky: “No.” Maria: Explains who Kang is and what he's done to the Avengers in the past. Simple and concise. Instead Maria rambles about how she thinks Kang is setting a trap for the team, how Kang is crazy, and then they suddenly start to talk about how Tony Stark loves to make plans... I mean really!? Imagine being the significant other of Bendis and asking him what he wanted for dinner!?! Bendis: “I-I think I'd like one of those things... The thing with the skin on it. What's it called... The thing with the-the skin. Um... Not one of those little fishy guys, the skin thing... You know the thing! It-it has two legs and wings! I think-I think it's called a chickie? No wait! A-A chicken!!! That's what I want to have for dinner! A chicken... Or-or maybe one of those other things...” Okay, that went on for WAY too long, but I think I made my point! Just say you want the DAMN chicken!!! Not EVERY conversation needs to be an epic. If Bendis could only reel in his inane babble, I think this storyline might actually go down as one of my favorite Avengers stories in a LONG time...

Score: 9 out of 10. Like I said, if not for the dialogue, this comic was an easy 10 out of 10...Blah blah blah...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

New Comic Day!

Hey X-Maniacs, X here with some good news! First off, it turns out that I DON'T have classes tomorrow after all, as there was some kind of mix-up with the Registrar's office. That means my first Spanish test isn't tomorrow, but is Monday, which means I have the whole weekend to study. With those three extra study days, I should easily ace that test(fingers crossed!).

On the comic book side, the good news continues, as I went to the comic book shop and picked up 11 new books. Before I go any further, let me list them, so you guys can let me know which ones you are interested in hearing about.

Young Allies #2
Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier #1
Shadowland #1
Hawkeye and Mockingbird #2
Brightest Day #5
Avengers: The Children's Crusade #1
JSA All-Stars #8
Red Hood #2
X-Men #1
Avengers #2
Fantastic Four Annual #32

So yay for me, I've got me some good comics to read! If you guys give me your picks by tomorrow, I'll probably have a post with a couple of reviews up ala JT's Rantings and Ratings(or my old Best of the Rest post... Ehrm...)tomorrow night. Anywho, I think that'll do it for today, drop me your comments to let me know what you'd like to hear about so I can get to reading! That's it, X out.