Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Quick Hits: 3/22/11

Hey there X-Maniacs, another day, another three Marvel reviews. We have one good comic in this post, and two... well, not so good comics. But thems the breaks sometimes. It can't be all flowers and sunshine everyday. I received 5 subscription books in the mail today, so I really have to get a move on with these reviews... Okay, preamble over, let's get to the reviews.

Invincible Iron Man #502:

Summary: We kick off with Tony Stark still trying to figure out a way to save Dr. Octopus from death. You see, Octopus tasked Tony with helping to save his life or Octopus would set of a thermo-nuclear bomb in New York. Basically Octopus felt his case was hopeless and wanted to see Tony admit defeat before he died. While that scene is playing out, Pepper Potts is confronted by Electro and Sandman at the home of one of Tony's employees. Pepper nearly takes the two Secret Sixers out, but is halted when Electro threatens to electrocute the employee. Another Stark employee happens across the scene and tries to help, but only manages to get Electro angry enough to send a pulse of electricity tearing through the building. Back with Tony, after some thought he figures the best way to help Octopus was for him to head to real doctors like Mr. Fantastic, Hank Pym or Dr. Strange. This pisses Octopus off since he told Tony to figure out a way to help him, and he wanted Tony to admit that he couldn't accomplish that feat. Eventually Tony DOES admit that he can't help, which doesn't bring Octopus the pleasure he hoped it would. The two fight for a bit and Octopus tosses Tony into the bombs, setting off the timer and ending this issue.

Thoughts: This was a very good little comic. I've never been much of a Dr. Octopus fan(he's a short, fat guy with a bad haircut! What's to like?), but Matt Fraction has actually made Octopus interesting here. Basically all Octopus wants is to humble the ultra-arrogant Tony Stark before he dies due to some perceived slight from Tony years ago. Tony DOES come up with a logical solution(go see a REAL doctor), but Octopus refuses to take that advice since he wants to see Tony admit that he can't do something. So it looks like Octopus wants to see Tony humbled more than he wants to live... That would make more sense if it were Spider-Man in Tony's place, but it still makes for a good read. I guess that's probably my one real complaint with this storyline. It would make SO much more sense if this was playing out in an issue of Amazing Spider-Man instead of Iron Man...

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.No, he can't stop talking...

Captain America and Crossbones #1:

Summary: We start this one with Crossbones being visited by some mysterious government official in his prison cell. The official wants Crossbones to use his “unique abilities”(or in layman's terms, his killing skills) on some secret mission. Not really having anything to lose, Crossbones decides what the hell and goes with the official. Crossbones gets loaded onto an airplane and dropped onto an island somewhere in Eastern Europe, where he finds his equipment(lots of guns) and the dossier for his mission, which tells him he is to locate and extract a boy. After some wandering, Crossbones discovers a mess of half-eaten corpses all over the town, and discovers that the few remaining villagers were holed up at an abandoned nuclear power plant. Crossbones convinces the villagers that he was an Avenger sent to help, and learns that the town was under siege by werewolf creatures. He also learns that anybody bitten or scratched by the werewolves suffer a horrible death or becomes a werewolf creatures themselves, with the notable exception of the boy, who has proven immune to the werewolves scratches. Crossbones winds up betraying the villagers in the plant, and leaves them to be attacked by the werewolves, taking the boy outside during the confusion and getting picked up by a helicopter containing the official from earlier. We learn that it was the government official who introduced the werewolf plague to the town, to see what the success rate was. Needless to say, the official wanted to study the boy upon learning he was immune to the werewolves. Realizing that the official and his scientists would basically be dissecting the boy to learn why he was immune, and seeing some of himself in the boy, Crossbones throws the boy out of the helicopter to his death, figuring the boy deserved a quick death as opposed to a slow, agonizing one. And that basically ends this issue.

Thoughts: This comic book was interesting... On one hand, I enjoyed the Resident Evil-esque story, while on the other hand, I HATE when Crossbones is shown in a sympathetic/heroic light. That's why I was so annoyed that he was a member of the Thunderbolts. Usually a place on the T-Bolts is reserved for villains who have a chance of reforming, and Crossbones has none. He's an unrepentant Neo-Nazi who idolizes the Red Skull. Throughout this issue we were shown a few flashbacks from Crossbones life, which almost showed him in a sympathetic light, especially the flashback from when he was a boy. The fact that he killed the boy towards the end of this issue instead of handing him over to the government official, could also be looked at as the right thing to have done(in a warped sort of way). Like I said, the story WAS enjoyable, but Crossbones is kind of like the Red Skull to me. There's no way I'll ever see Crossbones in a sympathetic light, and when I read a comic like this, I do get a bit annoyed.

Score: 6 out of 10.Crossbones: Nazi and savior of abused children the world over...

Uncanny X-Force #5.1:

Summary: X-Force heads to Australia after being warned by Gateway that Lady Deathstrike and the Reavers were plotting against the mutants on Crazy Mutie Island(Utopia). This leads to a big battle between X-Force and the Reavers(with the main event being Wolverine vs Lady Deathstroke). X-Force manages to take out most of the Reavers with the exception of two, who manage to teleport to Crazy Mutie Island. Psylocke follows, and is very careful to avoid being seen by anybody since nobody on Crazy Mutie Island was supposed to know about the existence of X-Force. Lord Summers learns that the two Reavers had snuck onto the island and takes Magneto to hunt them down. As for the Reavers, they're trying to find the generators powering Crazy Mutie Island to detonate near them, hoping to sink the island. Psylocke manages to hunt down the two Reavers and kill them before they're able to blow themselves up, all while staying hidden from Lord Summers. Back in Australia, Wolvie gets the upper hand on Deathstrike, which leads to her switching her mind out of her body, but not before promising Wolvie that he hadn't seen the last of her.

Thoughts: Ugh. I did not like this comic at all. First off, I've never been a fan of Deathstrike or the Reavers, so that immediately put me off of this comic. Add Gateway(another character I'm not a fan of) and Psylocke running around slaughtering people, and yeah, that's a recipe for a bad comic in my eyes. Will some people enjoy this one? Sure, fans of the Reavers, Deathstrike and Psylocke will enjoy this comic. But me? I'll pass.

Score: 4 out of 10.There they go again...

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