Friday, March 18, 2011

Really Quick Hits! 3/18/11 edition

So remember yesterday when I promised I'd do a post on 10 new comics today? MAYBE that was a bit too optimistic... You see, I have 14 comics to get through, so I decided to do 7 books today, and then do another 7 books tomorrow. So this is STILL going to be a much bigger post than I usually do, just not quite as big as originally promised. Okay, before I get down to business, a quick word to the wise. Usually I break my reviews down into two parts, a summary of the comic, and then my thoughts on said comic. Since there's simply no way I can possibly do 14 full reviews in two days, I had to tweak things a bit. The first half of each “review”(and I use that term VERY loosely!) will tell you what happened in each comic in VERY broad strokes. The second half will still have my thoughts, just an abbreviated version of them. As always, if you want to know more about any comic I reviews, feel free to drop me a comment, and I'll be happy to go further in depth. With all the legal mumbo-jumbo out of the way, let's get on with the show!

Onslaught Unleashed #2(of 4):

What Happened: Throughout this comic, Onslaught and Nomad battle for possession of Nomad's mind. After getting past Onslaught's army of child soldiers, most of the Secret Avengers and the Young Allies manage to break into Onslaught's inner sanctum. Upon entering the room, Beast warns the heroes that Onslaught has indeed returned, which gets Beast attacked by Onslaught. However, Beast's warning has come too late, as it appears Onslaught has managed to possess Nomad completely, after Onslaught reveals that she was never truly alive, simply a creation of Franklin Richards.

Thoughts: Ugh. If you like lackluster artwork, and a story that involves heroes running aimlessly around, while Marvel's biggest mistake from the 90's attempts to possess a powerless girl, then THIS was the comic for you!!! Me, I could have done without reading this one... I mean, I like the Young Allies(for the most part), I like the Secret Avengers, I don't hate Onslaught NEARLY as much as many of my comic reading brethren do, and I usually enjoy Sean McKeever's work, so you'd think I'd really enjoy this comic. But alas, I didn't. I'm just not able to get into the story, I don't get why Onslaught is trying to possess the weakest member of both teams, and the revelation, that Nomad doesn't/shouldn't/can't really exist did nothing for me. Add that to artwork that has me straining my eyes trying to figure out just what was going on in some scenes, and you have a recipe for disaster. Oh well... Maybe next issue will be better.

Score: 3 1/2 out of 10.I have NO idea what happened to Beast in this scene...

Captain America and the Falcon #1:

What Happened: Falcon returns to Harlem to try to find a high school quarterback who had gotten himself tied up with a gang. Basically Falcon has to find the boy before he misses the big game and loses his shot at getting a college scholarship. Falcon tries to locate the kid as Falcon, but quickly realizes that Falcon carried no clout on the streets, so he switches to his civilian identity of Sam Wilson and scares some answers out of some fools. He eventually finds the boy stabbed in the home of a rival gang member, which blows the kid's shot at going to college. In the end though, Falcon offers to help the kid as Sam Wilson: Social Worker.

Thoughts: There's really not much to say here. I've always been a fan of Falcon, so it was nice to read a solo story about him. The story itself was nothing special, it was just a good, solid read. In other words, it was(say it with me, everyone!) a perfectly acceptable comic book.

Score: 7 out of 10.That's right, don't mess with Falcon!

Weird Worlds #3(of 6):

What Happened: Lobo was double crossed by an old foe and with some help from his bounty, killed the foe and went to war against his dead foe's entire planet. Garbageman was still trying to remember who he was, and after remembering a bit of his pre-Garbageman life decides to find his former secretary, and Tanga decides to drunkenly battle a giant.

Thoughts: This is such a weird mini-series! And I'm not talking about the name! Usually I enjoy the Lobo and Garbageman tales and hate the Tanga part. This month it was the Lobo story that didn't do anything for me, while the Garbageman story was solid and the Tanga portions stole the show... Go figure. Three issues in and I have to say that the Garbageman story is my favorite overall. Lobo's story kind of stalled this issue, while it took me three issues to warm up to Tanga. So basically I'm reading this comic to follow the adventures of a big pile of muck named Garbageman... Weird indeed...

Score: 7 out of 10.Hey look, it's Lobo!

Outsiders #37:

What Happened: Doomsday mysteriously appears in Markovia intent on killing/capturing/doing something bad to Eradicator. Doomsday struts through Geo-Force, Looker, Katana, Halo and Achilles before impaling Eradicator and teleporting away with him.

Thoughts: Hey, I actually liked this comic! That tells me three things. Number one, the characters in this comic are good enough that this SHOULD be a solid monthly read. Number two, when Dan Didio doesn't actually have to come up with a story, he can do a good job at writing it. And growing out of number two, number three, Dan Didio sucks. I mean let's face it, he sucks as DC's executive editor/publisher, he tanked the Outsiders series, and he obviously can't write a cohesive story unless he's piggybacking off of a larger storyline(The Reign of Doomsday). Yeah, I obviously don't respect Didio's work. But really, can anybody blame me?

Score: 7 out of 10.I'll say it for Eradicator, OUCH!

Batgirl #19:

What Happened: Steph is still being stalked by her unwanted helper/sidekick, Grey Ghost, while Slipstream(a costumed faux-speedster) is running around Gotham stealing stuff. Steph runs into Slipstream and nearly gets killed by him thanks to Grey Ghost's bungling. Slipstream is prevented from killing Steph thanks to his unseen masters, which leaves Steph eagerly anticipating her next run-in with Slipstream.

Thoughts: First off, 7,000,000 awesomeness points to Bryan Q. Miller for the “Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right” reference. All that was missing was “B, A, Select, Start”! Unfortunately that was pretty much the high point of this comic for me... This was probably the first issue of Batgirl that I just didn't get in to... I don't get why the Grey Ghost is there, unless it's purely for humor, in which case, he's not needed since this series is funny enough. I don't get what's up with those Reaper dudes, and I have no clue what's up with Slipstream. So yeah, I didn't like this issue. Even still, the humor and characterizations were strong enough here for me to still not hate this issue. That's when you know a writer is great, when you don't like the story, but can still tolerate the comic itself.

Score: 6 out of 10.I laughed at the tombstone line because it's so true!

X-Factor #216:

What Happened: J. Jonah Jameson hires X-Factor to investigate the death of an old army friend of his, and two mysterious women run amok.

Thoughts: Yeah, that was basically all that happened here... I mean nothing of any real note went on here. There were a lot of conversations between the various X-Factor characters, which were naturally well done(hey, if Peter David is writing it, you KNOW the dialogue is gonna be solid!), Jameson told his story to Madrox, Spidey had a quick cameo, and that was basically it. This was another one of those perfectly acceptable comic books.

Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.See, funny dialogue!

Captain America: Hail Hydra #3(of 5):

What Happened: This comic starts off with Black Panther giving Falcon his first wing harness. From there Cap(Steve Rogers), Falcon and Black Panther wind up battling Hydra created zombies in both Wakanda and Haiti. Dr. Geist, a crazy Hydra scientist, is still trying to create a formula for immortality, and by the end of this comic, Cap is wondering if he had been drugged by Geist back during WWII, which would explain why he seemingly wasn't aging.

Thoughts: The first 1/3 of this comic was actually kind of slow, but the final 2/3 really did a great job of pulling me in. The early stuff with Cap, Falcon and Panther was okay, but not all that exciting. However, once we got back into the Hydra parts of this tale, business most definitely picked up. I was so into this comic by the end that I was actually pretty bummed that it was over! I particularly enjoyed the end, with Cap being shaken by the words of the Hydra agent. All in all, another solid issue from Jonathan Maberry and this mini-series.

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.Ah, the CLASSIC Avengers.


  1. Somehow I'm not at all surprised that a comic with "Onslaught" in the title managed to score that low. And Cap & Falcon and Captain America Hail Hydra seem to have a nice "classic Avengers" feel to them, which makes them look interesting to me.

    I also love how socially inept Shatterstar has been in recent years. He was such an over-the-top, ridiculous character (in a nineties kind of way) to begin with, that I think this is really the only direction they can go with him at this point...and it works!

  2. Yep, I definitely should have picked Onslaught as last week's Runt of the Litter... Either this or Superboy... But yeah, I was at least trying to give that series the benefit of the doubt. My bad!

    I've really enjoyed the character work Peter David has done with Shatterstar since he got his hands on him. If nothing else, the past few years have actually given Shatterstar some depth as opposed to simply being "That guy with the swords"

  3. And by that you mean "that constipated-looking guy with the swords who's always scowling"! At least, that's how I'd describe the Rob Liefeld version of the character...

  4. "that constipated-looking guy with the swords who's always scowling" Ain't that the truth! One of my favorite things about the direction Peter David has taken Shatterstar in is the fact that I KNOW Liefeld hates it! And that, in and of itself, makes me happy.

  5. Is it just me or does Eradicator look like Debbie Grayson in that pic...

  6. Honestly, before giving Onslaught a shot, I was actually thinking about ignoring it. But then , what the heck , I decided to drink the glass &... I LIKED IT!
    No srsly people, there were so many FUCK YEAH! moments in Onslaught that it made it good in my book . It had a Crisis feel to it, the Heroes are HEROIC (unlike most of the BS we have now...), Apocalypse was used WELL (a miracle nowadays, for fuck do I have to kidnap the x-men staff & brainwash them with the cartoons to get them to write En Sabah Nur correctly then bash their brains to stop using the phoenix & sentinels...) & his interaction with Uatu, Sue & Cable was DELICIOUS! Nate Grey meeting X-force & Mr Sinister was chilling, Peter Parker & Ben Reilly fighting Sentinels together was epic (& I fuckin miss you Spiderman both of you...),Dr Doom helping the Avengers

    The thing is I wish they had the cojones to off Xavier at the end (say what you will, For me Chuck created the damn thing!), & went with Lobdell's idea for Joseph (who wasn't a clone until Seagle fucked it up...)
    The biggest mistake in the mid 90's was the fear of change actually:
    -Nicieza should have written the trial of Gambit & what his debt to Sinister was...
    -Lobdell's original plan for Operation zero tolerance should have been used
    - Joe Casey should have written Cable vs Apocalypse , since he understood how both worked

    Oh BTW Mark, 90's ridiculousness is not more ludicruous than the guys with speedos on their trousers SOOOO....


  7. I'm going to kind of agree with you, Saidi... I don't think Onslaught was THAT terrible, especially the X-titles in the story. I've always been more disappointed with how it turned out, as opposed to how it SHOULD have turned out.

    To be honest, my main problem with it was the way it let EVERYBODY in the Marvel U join in. If it would have been a purely X-event, like the AOA before it, I think people would have remembered the story in a different light. The Heroes Reborn stuff was never going to be a good idea, and like I said, when the Green Goblin and Punisher have Onslaught tie-ins, there's a problem. Even the Spidey stuff was unnecessary. What they needed to do was run a tighter story, taken a mess of characters out of the x-over, and I'm telling you, it would have been remembered like AOA is today. Unfortunately, all Marvel was thinking about was getting as much money out of the event as they could, and the story suffered for it.