Monday, April 30, 2012

Battle Scars #6

Last review for the night is the final issue of the Battle Scars mini-series... Now, I read this comic before I typed up this review(which I normally don't do), so I'll refrain from saying anything else until we get to the “Thoughts” section of this issue, because there's A LOT to talk about!

Battle Scars #6(of 6):

Summary: While Orion is torturing Nick Fury in order to keep him distracted long enough for Orion's telepaths to tear the info about the new SHIELD from Fury's head, Marcus Johnson is sneaking through Orion's base, stealthily taking Orion's goons down out. Orion manages to get the info he wanted out of Fury's head, but gets shot in the head by Marcus while gloating(luckily for Orion, he was wearing a helmet!). That pisses Orion off so he attacks Marcus, but that's exactly what Marcus wanted, as the building suddenly shakes with several explosions, explosions set up when Marcus sabotaged Orion's ammunition bunkers before confronting the villain. The explosions take out Orion's computers, which causes him to lose all of the information he had gotten from Fury's mind. With that, Orion has had enough and moves in to kill Marcus, at least until his friend Cheese and the Avengers(!) burst onto the scene. During the fight, Orion decides to make a break for the door, and Marcus, not wanting the man responsible for murdering his mother and turning his life upside-down to escape, lunges at Orion, affixing a grenade to Orion's chest... You can guess what happens next. Marcus, being close to the blast, ends up going unconscious, but blacks out with the satisfaction of knowing he had accomplished his mission. Some time later, Marcus wakes up in the hospital, with Nick Fury standing there. Fury tells Marcus that Marcus had two choices... Go into hiding and hope that no other villains of Fury's try to hunt him down, or get into the game himself and hunt down the scum before they came for him. With that, Fury has a quick bonding moment with Marcus, telling him that he too was an army ranger, before gracefully heading off into the sunset. As for Marcus? It turns out his birth name was actually Nicholas Fury, Jr, and the newly named Nick Fury joins up with SHIELD to carry on the family name.

Thoughts: Okay, I KNOW I'm going to take A LOT of heat for saying this(although not as much heat as I took for that Iron Man/Magneto fight... I'm STILL puzzling THAT out!), but I LOVED turning Marcus into a total rip-off of the Samuel L. Jackson version of Nick Fury(right down to his name!). Most casual fans only know Nick Fury from the movies anyway(it's only us more hardcore fans who know the LOOOONG history of the 616 Fury), so why not make the change? The fact that this mini-series was really strong helps make the change more palatable for me too. If this mini-series sucked I'm sure I wouldn't be so willing to forgive the switch, but this mini WAS really good! It made Marcus into a character I wanted to root for. He's a good guy. He does the right thing. He's likable. His history is easy to understand and isn't as convoluted as the 616 Nick Fury's. Seriously, if you would have told me 6 months ago that Marvel was going to swap out the 616 Nick Fury for the Ultimate/movie version, I'd have told you I hated the idea. But as it is, I not only like the idea, I'm extremely interested to see where Marcus pops up next and look forward to seeing him rise through the ranks of SHIELD to claim his rightful position as director.

Score: 9 out of 10.
battle scars #6
Sweet, they even gave Marcus Cap's awesome Super-Soldier outfit!

Teen Titans #8

It's Monday(I think...) so we're reaching the end of the comic week, and as such are starting to get near the bottom of the comic pile. We'll start off the night in DC land with the latest issue of Teen Titans. Now, if history is any kind of indicator, this comic should be bad. The only question is how bad...

Teen Titans #8:

Summary: This issue starts off with the Titans locked up and being tormented by Omen, one of Harvest's MANY goons. When the hell was Omen introduced anyway... Did I miss an issue or block something out or something? Anyway, Omen plays evil mind games on the team like making Tim think he was a real bird, making Skitter think she was split into two different beings and making Bart think he was running around in his boxer briefs... The horror!!! In the end, the team finds out that none of that really happened(or at least I don't think it did...) and Harvest has Omen hand the Teen Titans over to yet ANOTHER random goon of his, this one named Leash.

Thoughts: Yup, this issue happened alright. That's really about all I have to say about it actually... Nothing of any major importance happened here. If you missed this issue? You really didn't miss anything. The Titans are still in the clutches of Harvest, and are no closer to getting free. So while this comic wasn't the worst thing I've ever read, it was kind of a big waste of time.

Score: 5 out of 10.
teen titans #8
What can I possibly say to THIS?!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

I, Vampire #8

Last review of the night is the last issue of the Rise of the Vampires x-over. Here's hoping it picks up big time...

I, Vampire #8:

Summary: It seems that Andrew has returned to life and is able to siphon the magic powers away from Cain and use them against Cain. First Andrew kills all of Cain's vampires and then brings them all back, but under his control. Andrew sics his vampires on Cain and heads over to Mary to make out for a while, apparently forgiving her for, you know, trying to kill him and murder everybody and all. When he was done sucking face(heh, get it, “sucking”? Yeah, it was lame...), Andrew simply decapitates Cain, ending his threat... From there Andrew decides to take the vampires away from Gotham and hide them away somewhere since they had already revealed too much of their secret lives to the world. Andrew uses his uber-vampire powers to erase all records of the day from the minds of the world(except for the JLD and John and Tig). With that, he goes to leave, but not before telling John to enact “Plan B”... What is Plan B exactly? Plan B is to find the Van Helsings, who are vampire hunters and are, according to John, worse than the vampires.

Thoughts: Well, here I was hoping this x-over would make JLD better. In actuality, this x-over made I, Vampire worse! How annoying is that! This series was rolling along nicely until the x-over with JLD, let's hope the Rise of the Vampires was just a minor bump in the road and now that it's finished this series will get back on it's roll of solid comics.

Score: 5 out of 10.
I, vampire #8
So Andrew is kind of/sort of/maybe evil now?

Justice League Dark #8

Tonight we'll tackle the final two parts of the Rise of the Vampires storyline crossing over between Justice League Dark and I, Vampire. First up is the penultimate issue of this x-over.

Justice League Dark #8:

Summary: Deadman and Constantine fail in their mission to get Andrew Bennett to return to life, mainly because Andrew felt he had done too many evil acts while “alive”. Meanwhile, Madame Xanadu begs some god-like being for assistance against Cain, who was draining the world's magic into himself. The Shade's technicolor dream coat goes crazy and transports him to a world with his dead girlfriend, which makes Shade happy so he decides to stay there... Wha?! Deadman and Constantine meet up with Zatanna, Xanadu and Mary(the vampire), as they prepare to make their final stand against Cain and his overwhelming vampire horde. However, this issue ends with Xanadu's master returning Andrew to life.

Thoughts: I don't really have much to say about this one... The “team” here still hasn't ever been called the Justice League Anything, and don't exactly act like a team. Shade left in a very offhanded manner(“Yeah, they don't need me anymore. I'm out.”), and Andrew suddenly comes back to life after having whined about the fact that he didn't want to. Whatever says I.

Score: 5 1/2 out of 10.
justice league dark #8
Hey look, it's a random Batman appearance! That's how you can tell the setting here is Gotham City.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Mighty Thor #13

Finishing off this evening is none other than a review for the newest issue of Thor. Now that Thor has returned to his proper place in the Marvel Universe and is remembered by everybody, this series should be great, right???

Mighty Thor #13:

Summary: A dwarf heads to the All-Mothers and tells them he had a mystery that he needed help solving in the dwarf world(I don't remember the name...), one that somehow involved Odin... *cue ominous music* Thor jumps at the opportunity to do some adventuring and follows the dwarf, eventually opening a chamber sealed by Odin himself and coming across a mess of bug-like creatures, followed by a horde of ultra powerful beings. The creatures seem to overwhelm Thor, with the key word being “seem”... The dwarf follows after Thor and discovers a single creature straddling Thor, apparently messing with Thor's mind... I guess... Meanwhile, Donald Blake has a few drinks with the Enchantress and offers his soul in exchange for being a god again.

Thoughts: The hell?! I'm sorry, but I just can't get over that image of that thing straddling Thor... That's just TOO bizarre! And you KNOW I'll be posting that! Besides the hilariously absurd image you'll see for yourself down below, the story here didn't really do anything for me.. So Thor fights some creatures... Or so we think. The more interesting revelation was Blake wanting to become a god again and turning to the Enchantress, of all people, to help him achieve his goal. Hopefully we get more of that and less of Thor being molested by weird creatures next issue.

Score: 5 out of 10.
mighty thor #13
Um...... What the hell is that thing doing to Thor.....

American Vampire #26

First comic to be reviewed tonight? Let's head over to Vertigo and Scott Snyder's awesome American Vampire series. Yeah, I think that's a good idea, let's do that!

American Vampire #26:

Summary: Some vampire named Calvin heads to a small town in 1954 Alabama to see a friend of his play a music gig(incognito since Cal doesn't want his friend to know he's there since Cal had faked his death to join the Morning Stars). Cal ends up getting hassled by some of the town's teenagers, but the kids are chased off by an old man. Later on, Cal again runs into the teens, and they try to warn him that the town wasn't what it seemed. At that point the old man comes racing over and smashes one of the teens in the head with his cane before scolding the teen for airing the town's dirty laundry. With that, the old man transforms into some sort of new vampire creature, surprising Cal and ending this one.

Thoughts: Meh. My problem with this issue was the fact that I don't remember Calvin... At all! I assume he met Skinner Sweet during WWII, but for the life of me I don't remember for sure... While the story as it was wasn't bad, I can't help but think it could have been even better if I knew who the hell Calvin was!

Score: 6 out of 10.
american vampire #26
You always have to watch out for those tricky old men!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Wolverine #305

The final review for the night is the first issue of the Cullen Bunn era of Wolverine... I think... I know Jason Aaron has left the series, but I'm not sure if Bunn is taking over for good, or if he's just a placeholder until the next regular writer takes over...

Wolverine #305:

Summary: Wolverine has been blacking out and apparently murdering people during those blackouts. During the last blackout, a witness saw Wolvie kill some guys and gave the feds the description... As for Wolvie, he figures Dr. Rot was behind the blackouts and murders due to the victims having their brains cut out, which was kind of Rot's calling card. Wolvie heads to the sanatorium he first met Rot and finds nothing but bizarre monsters. Wolvie kills the monsters, but doesn't find Rot anywhere. As he's leaving the sanatorium, Wolvie is being recorded by a camera and watched by Rot himself.

Thoughts: This comic never really grabbed me. It was an okay read and all, and a fine way to kill a few minutes, but it just didn't pull me in. So Rot is somehow manipulating Wolvie, making him blackout and kill people... All of a sudden... Seeing as that Wolvie is on like EVERY hero team there is, and as such is teaming with pretty much every hero there is, you'd think he'd say to... oh, I don't know, Iron Man, or Rachel Grey, or Hank Pym, or somebody, “Hey bub, I've been blacking out and killing people. Can you fix that for me?” Instead, Wolvie goes off on his own, has NO idea how to find Rot, and tells nobody where he'd gone... Very dumb, Wolvie... Very dumb.

Score: 6 out of 10.
wolverine #305
Very bloody...

Secret Avengers #26

Wait, did I really put the comic I chose as my Runt of the Litter THIS high in my comic pile... What the hell is that about?! I guess the AvX banner tricked me or something. Oh well, tonight, as opposed to Monday or Tuesday we'll take a look at this week's Runt.

Secret Avengers #26(AvX tie-in):

Summary: The space Avengers head out to capture the Phoenix in a cage Beast created that was based off of his earlier designs back from when Jean Grey was the Dark Phoenix. War Machine is the key to capturing the Phoenix, since the cage was attuned to his suit. The space Avengers(except for Beast who was calling strategy from inside the spaceship) end up getting trounced by the Phoenix(what a shock... and yes, that's sarcasm!), although Beast's creation DID seem to have some sort of effect on the Phoenix. With the Avengers mainly defeated, Beast calls for a retreat so that the team could alter their strategy a bit and try again later. Capt. Britain doesn't want to listen to that, since he figures the longer the Phoenix is out there, the more beings it would kill. Capt. Britain then takes Beast's device and tries to use it on the Phoenix himself, even though Beast is shouting that the machine was only compatible with War Machine's tech. Naturally, Capt. Britain gets defeated by the Phoenix, and the device is destroyed... After that, the space Avengers set course for Hala, homeworld of the Kree. Beast absolutely tears into Capt. Britain for being impulsive and costing the team their best shot at stopping the Phoenix in a great scene. Meanwhile, some crazy Krees do something involving Capt. Marvel's corpse and the Phoenix. Ms. Marvel and Protector speak outside the ship on Hala and Ms. Marvel reveals that she knew that Protector was secretly working with the Supreme Intelligence and that she was on his side. This issue ends with the apparently resurrected Capt. Marvel telling Protector and Ms. Marvel that the only way to ensure the Intelligence's plans was to kill the Avengers.

Thoughts: Ugh... This was awful! No wonder I had it pegged as this week's Runt! I should have followed my instincts and left this one at the bottom of my comic pile! The only thing I liked about this issue was Beast tearing into Capt. Britain. Seriously. I didn't like, nor at times, get, the story, and the apparent return of Capt. Marvel just annoyed me. If ever Capt. Marvel is to return to life, it needs to be in a better way than this! With Ms. Marvel taking up the Capt. Marvel name soon, I doubt this is the real Marvel, but still...

Score: 4 out of 10.
secret avengers #26
This page took Beast from simply great to flat out AWESOME!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

X-Men Legacy #265

Last review of the night goes to X-Men Legacy. Um... That's all I've got.

X-Men Legacy #265:

Summary: So after the events of last issue, Rogue, Weapon Omega and Mimic are all walking bombs now. Beast tries several ways to get the three to lose the energy that was soon going to make them explode, but it's no use as Beast can't seem to fix the problem. He does tell Rachel that if worse comes to worse, she should use her telepathy to put the trio into a comatose state that would prevent them from exploding. Rachel doesn't like that idea, but realizing it was either that or let them blow up, taking the school with them, she had no real choice. Eventually Mimic recalls a fight he had against the Super-Adaptoid and how he defeated it(by absorbing it's powers as it tried to absorb his, causing it to short out), and figures that using the same strategy was worth a shot. With time running out and no other options, Beast gives the trio of bombs the go-ahead and the gamble seems to work as Rogue and Mimic lose the bomb energy... However, Omega still has it(as he expected). Omega seems resigned to his fate, but Mimic convinces him to not give up on his life and to allow Mimic to place Omega in a coma, that way Beast could keep looking for a cure/fix. Mimic and Omega say their good-byes to each other and Mimic shuts down Omega's mind. With that, Mimic asks Rogue is he could remain at the school since he didn't want to leave his friend behind, and seeing how heroically Mimic acted throughout this entire ordeal, Rogue tells Mimic he could stay.

Thoughts: Eh. This issue was okay, and all, but I never really felt anybody was in any real danger. We all knew Rogue and/or the school wasn't going to blow up, and we knew Rogue wasn't going to be placed in a coma, which meant that at the very least, she'd be cured, and by that logic, if she could be cured, so could the other two. In the end though, Omega WASN'T cured, but to be honest, I really don't care about Omega, so his plight didn't really touch me much. And for a story like this, one that's supposed to be emotional and all, not caring about one(or two) of the tragic characters kind of reduces the impact of the story. Or at least that's my feelings on things here.

Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.
x-men legacy #265
I'm glad SOMEBODY remembers that Mags is the scum of the Earth!

Captain America #10

And now the comic books left in my collection take a nosedive with regards to my interest in them... Don't get me wrong, I love Ed Brubaker's writing and his is(imho) THE definitive run on Captain America, but this current Cap series? I just haven't been that into it... But hey, I'm currently riding a TWO comic book perfect score streak(which NEVER happens!), so maybe this issue with extend that streak to three!

Captain America #10:

Summary: Sharon Carter shares the information Machinesmith gave her last issue with regards to Captain America losing his powers with Iron Man, and IM rigs a device that destroys the nanites Machinesmith had infected Steve with, returning his Super Soldier Serum derived powers to him. After that, Cap and Sharon get word from Hawkeye that Falcon had gotten caught by a Madbomb and was rioting with several others. Falcon sneak attacks Hawkeye and decides to kill him with one of his arrows, but Cap comes in and makes the save. Cap and Falcon fight, and Cap is soon jumped by (ugh) Codename Bravo... Bravo and Falcon double team Cap and manage to take him down, at which time Bravo gets called back to base. Falcon prepares to kill Cap by dropping a big rock on his head(worst death EVER!), but Iron Man arrives on the scene, using a device he created(Tony was BUSY in this issue!) to reverse the effects of the Madbomb, turning the rioters(and Falcon) back to normal. Later on, Cap demands to know why Sharon allowed Machinesmith to escape, so Sharon informs Cap that she had suckered Machinesmith into hopping into a robot body that had a virus in it that was eating away at Machinesmith's memory banks, making him useless to Bravo and the Hydra Queen.

Thoughts: Well this issue sure moved along at a brisk pace! In this one issue Cap was cured, the Madbomb damage was undone and Machinesmith was rendered harmless... Most of this issue was taken up by the fight between Cap/Hawkeye/Sharon and Falcon/Bravo/the rioters(some of whom were undercover Hydra agents for some reason), and those scenes were good. That's this issue in a nutshell. Good. Not great, but good.

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.
captain america #10
Damn you, “The Man”!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Captain America & Hawkeye #629

Last review of the night? Hows about a little Captain America/Hawkeye action? Some of my favorite Cap issues from the 80's had Cap and Hawkeye teaming up, and when written correctly, those two characters have, in my humble opinion, the best dynamic out of all the Avengers. Yep, I'm a HUGE mark for both of these characters, so this BETTER be good!!

Captain America & Hawkeye #629:

Summary: This issue opens with Captain America and Hawkeye battling a bunch of armed goons in New Mexico. It seems some environmentalists had gone missing so the two longtime Avengers have decided to look into it... At which point they ran afoul the armed goons. Cap and Hawkeye manage to take the goons out(while bickering with each other the entire time), at which point a woman by the name of Kash shows up to tell the two Avengers they were trespassing. Long story short, Kash heads the Damocles Research Facility, and she had sent the armed men out to look for the missing environmentalists herself... Or so she claims... Cap, and especially Hawkeye, don't exactly believe her. Regardless, Kash takes the two Avengers into the research facility and reveals that they they had found a lot of dinosaur bones in the caverns around the facility, and oh yeah, a horribly mutated member of her security team that was caught and carried off by some sort of weird creatures. Hawkeye figures that Kash and her people were somehow trying to figure out a way to weaponize the dinosaur bones and Kash doesn't confirm nor deny that accusation. After some more information, Kash takes the two to a secure doorway that leads into the caverns where the creatures first broke into the facility. Cap and Hawkeye go in for a look and are soon attacked by a creature that looks like a combination of Venom and a dinosaur's skeleton. Hawkeye manages to down the creature with an explosive arrow, but unfortunately, the explosion ends up drawing A LOT more of the creatures to Cap and Hawkeye's location, ending this issue.

Thoughts: Huh, this comic was pretty much perfect... By the time I got to the end I was desperately looking for something, anything, that I could point at and say, “Nope, I didn't like this.” However, I never found that thing. Great dialogue? Check. An inviting story? Check. Good art? Check. And the biggie for me since I'm such a huge fan of both, Cap and Hawkeye portrayed properly? Yep, that gets a check too. Not only that, but this comic actually felt more like a team-up book between two equals. It didn't feel like Hawkeye guest starring in Cap's book. Both characters have their strengths and weaknesses, and Cullen Bunn did a great job displaying those here. Seriously, I don't have a bad thing to say about this issue... Which means, for the SECOND time in ONE night...

Score: 10 out of 10. Awesome, after months WITHOUT a perfect score, I've got two in a row!!
captain america & hawkeye #629
The dialogue between these two was just perfect here...

AvX: VS #1

First review of the night? The first issue of the AvX: VS mini-series. From my understanding this mini is supposed to bring us the battles from the AvX event in more detail... So this should either be a great companion to the AvX event, or a serious waste of money. Let's hope it's the former and not the latter!

AvX: VS #1(of 6):

Summary: Well hot damn, this comic was EXACTLY what I was hoping it would be! One issue, two fights that took place during AvX #2. The first one gives us Iron Man vs Magneto. Now in theory, Mags should trounce Iron Man, right? WRONG! Iron Man has been able to counter Magneto's powers since the 1980's(yeah, for THAT long!), and this battle proves no different. Eventually, the two have to resort to a fistfight high above Crazy Mutie Island(since power-wise they were too evenly matched). Mags becomes distracted when he senses the Phoenix Force eat a planet(I'm not sure how, but whatever), and Iron Man brings the hammer down, defeating Magneto... Hell yeah baby!! Avengers 1, Brotherhood of Evil Mutants 0! Next up we have Namor taking on the Thing. The two combatants wind up plummeting into the water and Thing manages to pin Namor to the bottom of the sea with the teeth of a giant sea creature, defeating Namor yet again... Yeah, the FF owns the fish-man. That ends this issue with the Avengers 2, the X-Men nil.

Thoughts: Well hell, I LOVED this comic book! The Iron Man/Magneto battle was PERFECT. Jason Aaron had those two characters DOWN. The banter, the dialogue, the fight itself, I couldn't have dreamed up a better fight between those two. And yes, it ended the way I'd have expected it to end. Tony Stark is just too smart to be defeated by Magneto, and his massive intellect was the x-factor in that battle. On the other hand, while I enjoyed the fight between the Thing and Namor, I was fully expecting Namor to win... Yeah, the Thing is strong and all, but he was fighting Namor in Namor's element... On the land? Thing wins, hands down. But under the sea? I'd have expected Namor to pull out the win. So yeah, I can't say I agreed with that outcome. Regardless though, this issue, and this mini-series? It's an absolutely BRILLIANT idea! Seriously, I don't know why Marvel or DC didn't think of something like this before. Oh, and before I forget, they also had awesome little fun facts that were in caption boxes during the battles... Yes, they thought of EVERYTHING! I only have good things to say about this one, and you know what THAT means...

Score: 10 out of 10. Yep, it's the second perfect score of 2012! Huzzah!!!
avx vs #1
Stark resilient all the way, baby!!!

New Comic Day! April 24th edition.

Hey all, it's time for ol' X to welcome everybody to yet another New Comic Day post. Huzzah!! Yep, it's Wednesday again(and the last Wednesday in April to boot! Where has all the time gone?!), and as usual, I'm currently at work... But, I won't be at work forever, and when I get out, the first place I'll be headed is to the comic shop. And when I get there? Here are the comics I know I'll be getting... American Vampire #26, I, Vampire #8, Justice League Dark #8, Teen Titans #8, Voodoo #8, AvX: VS #1, Battle Scars #6, Captain America #10, Captain America and Hawkeye #629, Daredevil #11, Mighty Thor #13, Secret Avengers #26, Wolverine #305, X-Men: Legacy #265. So that's a definite 14 books... Which is a perfect number. But here's the thing... I also might pick up as many as 4 other books, so yeah, that number could possibly get as high as 18... But we'll see what happens when I get to the shop. This week's Pick of the Litter? That's a pretty easy choice, I'm going to go with AvX: VS #1. I'm extremely curious to see what we get in this mini-series... If done correctly, it could be an awesome read, and a great addition to the AvX event. If done wrong though... Well, let's not think negatively. Huh, just as I type that, I have to turn all negative and reveal this week's Runt of the Litter. That (dis-) honor goes to... um, for no real reason, Secret Avengers #26. I didn't like the last storyline at all, but since this is the beginning of a new storyline, I probably shouldn't expect this issue to be as bad. Eh, it was either Secret Avengers or Teen Titans, but I'll probably read Titans first, so Secret Avengers gets the call. And that's that. I'll be doing two reviews every day for the next 7 days, starting tonight with reviews for AvX: VS #1 and probably Cap and Hawkeye #629... But don't expect those review up until REALLY late(like 3 hours later than I usually post my stuff), as I have a ton of other junk to take care of before I finally get home tonight. So until then? X out.

The (not so) Random Scan of the Week!
nightwing vs batman
I think I've officially beaten this joke not just to the ground, but under it...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Defenders #5

One more review and this week is finished. We'll close out the week with a series that is thisclose to being dropped, Defenders. This series just hasn't clicked for me, AT ALL, so this will be the issue that decides whether I keep this series, or whether I drop it... You know, if I DO drop it, that'll give me the perfect excuse to start picking up Scarlet Spider and/or Avenging Spider-Man...

Defenders #5:

Summary: Dr. Strange, the Silver Surfer and Red She-Hulk join Namor under the sea to look into a massive door Namor had discovered. The Surfer impetuously blasts the door open, releasing some ancient Atlantians. Namor tries to exert some control over the Ancient Atlantians since he was the king of Atlantis and all, but before bowing to him, the ancient Atlantians want to look around to see what kind of job he'd been doing as king. Meanwhile, Strange locates a picture inside a ship that was locked behind the door with the ancient Atlantians(a picture Namor seems enamored with), as well as a dead Prestor Omega guy. Iron Fist uses his money to fund the Defenders bringing the ship to the surface(so THAT'S why he's on the team!), while the ancient Atlantians return to tell Namor they found his leadership wanting and as such were going to kill him. This issue ends with Fat Cobra bursting through Iron Fist's door ranting that somebody was killing the Immortal Weapons.

Thoughts: Well, this issue sure made my decision to drop this series easy! Sorry, but I'm not going to pay $4 for a series that I have zero interest in. Plus the next issue brings us Fat Cobra and the Immortal Weapons?! The only thing missing would have been an appearance by Our Lord and Savior Hope to really up the suck quotient! So yeah, this is officially the final issue of this series I'll be buying. But then, with the way this series has been falling down the sales charts, it may not be around much longer anyway.

Score: 3 1/2 out of 10.
defenders #5
That is what you'd call the final straw.

Hellblazer #290

Next up tonight, the latest issue of Hellblazer... To be honest, I have no idea why this issue is so low in my comic pile, but whatever, I guess...

Hellblazer #290:

Summary: Epiphany makes a deal with the First of the Fallen to bring her father back to life in exchange for her father's soul, since there was something the First wanted Terry to do... Something he was uniquely suited for... From there, the now live Terry heads to his club and surveys the damage, and figures Constantine had something to do with it. As for Constantine, after dropping Gemma off at the hospital, he heads back to his apartment to finally take a break, since he'd been going non-stop since heading to Hell. Before he can do any resting, Terry arrives and pulls a gun, ranting at Constantine for killing his men as revenge for what Terry did to Gemma(which Constantine had no idea about). Constantine quickly realizes that Terry's soul had been vouched to a demon, and proceeds to beat Terry unconscious with a flower?! Constantine RULES!! The First chooses that time to appear, telling Constantine that if he left Terry alone, he'd allow Constantine's sister's soul to move on to heaven, since it was trapped in Limbo due to Constantine reneging on a deal he made with the First in Hell. Constantine reluctantly makes the deal, and then has the First teleport him to Epiphany. The two have a quick conversation about what had happened, and this one ends with Constantine deciding to deal with his evil twin once and for all.

Thoughts: Another good issue from this series. This storyline in particular has been really good, and Epiphany giving her father's soul over to the First should make for all sorts of fun going forward... I can't wait to see why the First was so eager to have Terry's soul to begin with... Everything wasn't great though, as the ending kind of came out of nowhere... So suddenly, to end this storyline, Constantine is going to face down his evil twin? Why exactly? His evil twin is already in Hell, what more can he do to it/him? So yeah, the ending was a bit weird to me, but everything else was quite enjoyable.

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.
hellblazer #290
Yup, Constantine's life sucks.

Supergirl #8

We're gonna start the night off in a pretty bad way... And that's all on me, not the comic book I'm reading. Here's the story. Usually when I do a review, I'll either do it once I finish reading a comic(while it's fresh on my mind), or I'll take a day, and then type up the review with the comic on hand for reference. This time though? I read this comic two nights ago and don't have the issue readily available... So I'm gonna totally wing it. Needless to say, expect me to miss LOTS of info here!

Supergirl #8:

Summary: The cops surround a tired Supergirl in Times Square after her battle with the Worldkillers last issue. A recent Irish immigrant named Siobhan Something(sorry, blanking on the last name...) rushes to SG's aid and scolds the cops for threatening SG after she had saved the city. Oh yeah, and Siobhan can also speak Kryptonian... More on that in a few. Eventually SG gets tired of the cops pointing their weapons at her, so she grabs Siobhan and flies to a nearby rooftop. While there, Siobhan explains that she has some sort of powers that allows her to know and speak any language. The cops track the two females down by this point, so SG and Siobhan escape to Siobhan's apartment. Siobhan has SG change her clothes, since her super-hero outfit was a wee bit conspicuous, and the two head out to a club, since Siobhan had a gig. While Siobhan is singing, Siobhan's father, some evil magic type named the Black Banshee attacks. SG tries to step in, but since Black Banshee is magic fueled, he easily knocks SG aside. This issue ends with Siobhan turning into the Silver Banshee to confront her evil father.

Thoughts: Well, here's hoping that issue was relatively close to what happened here! Anyway, there was a lot of good here. I thought this was a good, solid issue, which is par for the course when it comes to this series. There was NO doubt that Siobhan was Silver Banshee, since the cover of this issue(as well as Siobhan's over-the-top accent) spoiled that, but I DID like the fact that, for now at least, Siobhan appears to be a good guy. I'm definitely interested to see where things go with regards to that.

Score: 7 out of 10.
supergirl #8
Why grandma, what a big mouth you have!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Thunderbolts #173

One more review for tonight, three more for tomorrow and I'm all caught up and ready for some new comic books on Wednesday! Without any further ado, let's get this issue taken care of!

Thunderbolts #173:

Summary: After stalemating against the original Thunderbolts, Satana manages to bust out an uber-powerful magic spell that knocks out both the original T-Bolts as well as her own team of Bad Bolts(except for Fixer, who was standing next to her). Satana and Fixer take the Bad Bolts back to their tower, but are soon met by Baron Zemo and the other original T-Bolts. Zemo had overheard Fixer and Satana talking about the fact that they were from the future, and offers to assist them in getting back to their proper time... You see, Zemo knows all about Dr. Doom's time machinery at Castle Doom, and since Doom(as well as the Avengers, Fantastic Four, Hulk and others) was gone due to the Onslaught event(which is the time period this issue is taking place in), Zemo offers to help the Bad Bolts break into Castle Doom to swipe the equipment. In exchange? Zemo wants all of the other weapons Doom almost definitely had stocked there. Fixer agrees to those terms and after both teams wake up, they hang out together... Or at least most of them do... Techno, Fixer's younger, T-Bolt self, being consumed by curiosity, sneaks off and gets into Fixer's personal files at the Tower while the rest of the Bolts(both T and Bad) are partying. Fixer realizes what was happening and rushes out of the room, slowly followed by the other Bolts. By the time Fixer arrives, Techno has learned everything and is horrified with the way things turn out for the Thunderbolts in general, and Fixer/Techno in particular. Techno then goes on a tirade, tearing into Fixer for allowing everything to fall to pieces... Fixer listens for as long as he can, but eventually his younger self pushes him too far, and this issue ends with the other Bolts arriving in Fixer's lab just in time to see Fixer murder his younger self(!!!) by making Techno's weaponry self-destruct.

Thoughts: Wooo, that was a VERY good comic! Everybody was written so perfectly! From Fixer, to the Moonstones, to Baron Zemo. Jeff Parker knows his Thunderbolts! Zemo's alliance suggestion was brilliant, not just because it ended a battle that wasn't doing Zemo any favors(remember, the early T-Bolts only cared about currying the public's favor so they could stab everybody in the back eventually), but because it benefited Zemo as well! Sure, getting a time machine from Castle Doom would send the Bad Bolts home, but it would also allow Zemo to take credit for ridding Central Park of Bad Bolts Tower(which accidentally killed some civilians upon it's arrival), as well as give Zemo access to Doom's advanced weaponry. It's that kind of scheming that made me into a Baron Zemo fan to begin with, and Parker hit the nail right on the head when it comes to Zemo, his character and his motivations. Besides that, you have a great cliffhanger, with Fixer killing his younger self, and the ramification that would surely come from that... All in all, really good stuff that has me eagerly anticipating the next issue.

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.
thunderbolts #173
To the Thunderbolts!!!!!

Uncanny X-Force #24

Next up is a series that I used to love digging into... Hell, it used to be one of, if not THE first comic books I'd read every week... Nowadays it's relegated to end of the week status... Sad...

Uncanny X-Force #24:

Summary: Psylocke is in mourning over having killed her brother Jamie last issue, and as a result blows Fantomex off. From there we head to Madripoor, where Deadpool, Wolverine and Nightcrawler are planning on killing off AOA Iceman. At first, AOA Iceman manages to stymie the trio, but Nightcrawler, being familiar with his old teammate's powers, abilities and tendencies, manages to trap him in a factory near an open boiler. The heat in the air prevents AOA Iceman from using his powers to their fullest, so Nightcrawler agrees to a fair fight with his former friend, no powers, no weapons, to the death. The two battle for a bit, and Nightcrawler manages to defeat his one-time ally. AOA Iceman begs Nightcrawler for a second chance, promising he'd change and be a good guy again, but Nightcrawler, recalling how callously AOA Iceman betrayed and murdered his teammates, tosses AOA Iceman into the boiler, killing him. From there, Psylocke heads to Fantomex's apartment, strips naked and makes out with him(wha?!).

Thoughts: Well, this issue WAS a step in the right direction. We got away from Otherworld(which is a place/concept I HATE!), the art was WAY better, and the scenes with Nightcrawler and AOA Iceman were well done. I can't say I liked the way this one ended, with what went down(Psylocke!! HA!!!!), and how it happened(really, just like that?), but I can't say I didn't see it coming. Fantomex has been pining for Psylocke since like the first issue of this series, and after how he stuck by her during the Otherworld fiasco, it really was a matter of time before the two hooked up. Still, there's something about a Psylocke/Fantomex relationship I just don't like... I can't quite put my finger on it, but there's something there that I don't quite like...

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.
uncanny x-force #24
Is it wrong that this scene made me laugh?

Nightwing #8

First of the three reviews on tap for tonight? Nightwing. Much like Red Hood and the Outlaws, this is a series I REALLY want to like... Sadly, that hasn't happened yet... Will the Night of the Owls give this series a good storyline to follow, something that has been missing from it since it's beginning? I don't know... But let's find out!

Nightwing #8:

Summary: While investigating some crime that occurred in Gotham with one of his own escrima sticks, Nightwing gets the call from Alfred(which happened in Batman #8) to assist the city's movers and shakers since they had all been targeted for death by the Court of Owls. Nightwing, being near the mayor's mansion, heads there, just in time to prevent one of the Talons from killing the mayor. However, another Talon takes the fallen one's place, and this Talon is? An angry ancestor of Dick Grayson, embarrassed by what his descendant has become.

Thoughts: There we go, a nice, short review! With how many hours I've been putting in at work, I really needed a comic like this! Anyway, this was a good read. It was a lot like Red Hood and the Outlaws in some ways... The main character(in this case, Nightwing) got away from the bad main storyline that's been plaguing the series(same as Red Hood), and as a result the comic was a much better read(for me anyway). Maybe ALL of the Bat-writers should just follow whatever Scott Snyder is doing in Batman, because following his plot is working big time.

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.
nightwing #8
Yeah, that's not going to help those “Nightwing is a murderer” rumors go away...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Red Hood and the Outlaws #8

Oh boy... It's time for me to check out the latest issue of Red Hood and the Outlaws... This series? Out of ALLLLL the comics I read? This is the one I WANT to enjoy the most. I so desperately WANT to love this comic book... It should be so good, and yet, thus far, for me anyway, it just isn't. Well, ever the eternal optimist, here's hoping THIS is the issue that turns it all around...

Red Hood and the Outlaws #8:

Summary: We kick things of here with a bit of a backstory concerning Jason. After leaving the All-Caste, he decided to take over the crime families of Hong Kong to make some money that he would use to kill the Joker(what happened there?) and pester Batman for NOT killing the Joker. Needless to say, the crime families of Hong Kong weren't exactly pleased at the idea of an American teenager taking over their racket so they try to kill him. Repeatedly. And fail. Repeatedly. In the end, Jason had gotten the money that he wanted and was planning on leaving, which was when Suzie Su arrived to pick up the pieces. Why are we learning all of this? Because a few issues back Jason shot Suzie(but didn't kill her), so she went to Gotham with some of her goons and has taken the entire children's ward of Gotham General Hospital hostage. Red Hood, Arsenal and Starfire sneak into the hospital and while Arsenal and Star kill Suzie's goons, Hood confronts Suzie by himself. That goes about as you'd expect, considering the fact that Jason is a highly trained fighting machine and Suzie is a morbidly obese woman. In the end, Jason gets Suzie at the point of his gun and asks if she could ever let her vendetta against him go. She tells him no, so he shoots her in the head. From there, Jason gets the call that Alfred put out to all members of the Bat-family in Batman #8, asking for assistance against the Court of Owls. Hood doesn't plan on getting involved until he is asked specifically by Red Robin(?!). It turns out the two have a really good, almost brotherly, relationship going on behind Batman's back(as if ANYTHING goes on behind Batman's back!), so Hood decides to stay in Gotham to help out. His target during the Night of the Owls? Mr. Freeze.

Thoughts: Well I'll be damned! A good issue of this series! Huzzah!!! Yeah sure, it wasn't great, Hood and the Outlaws were more murderers than heroes and the villain of the piece blew chunks(Suzie Zu, the morbidly obese Hong Kong mobster? Really?), but it WAS good! And the ending was, dare I say it? Great! See what happens when you get away from all of that All-Caste/Untitled crap? Jason Todd is such a good character that even with a crappy opponent like Suzie Su, he CAN rise to the top. So this issue told us definitively that yes, Jason WAS killed by the Joker in the post-reboot DCU(we still don't know how though), and that he still has at least one ally in the Bat-family, and an unlikely one at that, in Red Robin. Yeah sure, it would have been nice if this info came out 6 or 7 issues ago or so, but hey, better late than never, right?

Score: 7 out of 10.
red hood and the outlaws #8
Um, not to be a jerk and all, but can somebody explain to me why/how Jason's helmet is so expressive?

Venom #16

Second review of the night belongs to Venom. After that awful Circle storyline, this series is still trying to regain it's footing, but I'm confident that Rick Remender will be able to bring back some of the awesomeness that we were getting from this series before that Circle storyline took place.

Venom #16:

Summary: We get this one started by finding out that Venom had been asked by the Avengers to escort a train carrying the Fly to the Raft prison where he'd be safe from the Kingpin(who the Fly stole money from). But here's the rub... The Fly tells Venom that he stole the money to care for his 9 year old son, a child who the Kingpin would undoubtedly target in order to exact his revenge on the Fly. Venom offers to move the Fly's son into protective custody, but the Fly scoffs at that, because this is the KINGPIN we're talking about! In the end, the Fly asks Venom to make sure to give a letter the Fly wrote to his son after the Fly was taken to the Raft to serve his sentence. From there, one of the guards looking after the Fly with Venom alerts Venom that one of the other two guards was dirty and working for the Kingpin... Before Venom can decide what to do, Hobgoblin(!!) attacks, killing the guards and threatening to do the same to the Fly. Venom tries to battle the Hobgoblin as best he can, but really, THIS Hobgoblin is the PERFECT foil for Venom, what with his sonic scream and flaming sword. Eventually the fight ends up on top of the train the Fly was being transported in. Venom manages to get rid of Hobgoblin, while a guard falls off the train, barely managing to hang on. That leaves Venom with a decision... Save the guard or stop the Fly from escaping... The Fly promises Venom he would turn himself back in to custody once he used the Kingpin's money to save his son, and with little choice, Venom choses to let the Fly leave, saving the guard instead. Before leaving though, the Fly implores Venom to read the letter the Fly had written for his son. This issue ends with Venom opening the letter, which simply read, “I don't have a son!”... And that my friends, deserves a ZING!

Thoughts: This was a really good comic. The action was great, the story wasn't bad, and the twist at the end? About the Fly's “son”? That was frigging brilliant! Not only was the twist written well, the art did a wonderful job of conveying Venom's reaction to getting screwed over like he was. Who knew a two-bit loser like the Fly could lead to such a great comic! Kudos to Rick Remender for that one.

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.
venom #16
Yeah, that's not something you want to see coming your way...

X-Factor #234

First comic up for this Sunday night? X-Factor. Man, I'm just coming up empty with the intros lately...

X-Factor #234:

Summary: We discover early on that the woman hanging out with the Isolationist is named Jezebel and that she wants to bring about the Apocalypse(the event, not the person) with Isolationist's help. Meanwhile, Havok and Polaris hang out in Central Park. The rest of the team returns to base to find Layla and Madrox standing there. Monet is furious because she feels that Layla brought Madrox back from the dead as some sort of soulless ghoul(as she feels Guido is), and flies away with Layla to exact some sort of righteous revenge. Layla manages to convince Monet that she didn't bring Madrox back from the dead and the two women kind of/sort of come to an understanding... Well, maybe a truce is a better word for their situation... This one ends with Havok and Madrox meeting up(and Havok exerting his leadership over X-Factor) and Jezebel and Isolationist beginning their nefarious scheme.

Thoughts: Not bad. This was mainly an issue of character development, as we got some page time for Monet and Layla, Havok and Polaris and even Jezebel and Isolationist. So while it wasn't the most exciting thing in the world to read, it was a good, solid read nonetheless.

Score: 7 out of 10.
x-factor #234
The hair joke made me laugh... So sue me.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Irredeemable #36

Wow, one more issue and then this series is history... I think it's one more issue... It may be two, but regardless, the Irredeemable saga is almost at an end. I can't wait to see how it all shakes out...

Irredeemable #36:

Summary: Gil, Kaidan and Scylla are attacked by one of the Plutonian's goons on the orders of Modeus(who was in the guise of Bette Noir). In order to defeat the villain, Sy sacrifices his life... well, his ghost life, to save the woman he loves in Kaidan. Meanwhile, Modeus is gloating after having had sex with the Plutonian in Bette's body last issue. However, Qubit arrives on the scene and attacks Modeus. Qubit can't stop Modeus/Bette on his own, and tells the recently awakened Plutonian to do it... The only way Modeus could be stopped was if the Plutonian killed him/her, and all three characters present know that. The Plutonian makes Qubit ask the Plutonian to kill Modeus, just to prove that Qubit wasn't as high and mighty as he liked to think of himself as. Once Qubit asks, the Plutonian blasts Modeus/Bette violently, killing Bette's body. Modeus leaps into Qubit's mind, hoping to take him over, but soon realizes that Qubit had planned for this, and had erected massive psychic barriers in his mind to contain Modeus. With Modeus now at Qubit's mercy, Qubit goes through Modeus's mind and discovers the way to save the Earth from the massive radiation fallout that was threatening it. Qubit tells the Plutonian that once he did what was necessary, Qubit would allow the Plutonian his second chance at life... Unfortunately for Qubit, the Plutonian discovered that Qubit had been lying about that second chance all along, and this issue ends with the Plutonian calling Qubit on that very fact(!)..

Thoughts: I'm gonna miss this series when it's gone.. It's been a really good read. Anyway, as for this issue? It was okay. It wasn't great or anything, but it WAS good. It all does seem rushed(for example, why have Modeus sleep with the Plutonian in Bette's body and then kill Bette's body off this issue... That seemed like it could have led to something...), but the cliffhanger here, and the final confrontation between the Plutonian(the world's strongest man) and Qubit(the world's smartest man) to close out this series should be awesome... Or at least I hope so...

Score: 7 out of 10.
irredeemable #36
You got caught, Modeus!  HA!!

Amazing Spider-Man #684

First up tonight? Spidey. Yep, that's all the intro I have, so imagine how lackluster the review is going to be!

Amazing Spider-Man #684:

Summary: Silver Sable, who was running around in an invisibility granting outfit and flying an invisible plane(...), rescues Spidey and Black Widow from the Sinister Six(or Sinister Five, since Electro was knocked into space or something last issue.). Doc Ock is a bit perturbed by Spidey's escape, but moves forward with his plans, and tells the world's governments what he needs(several missiles outfitted with a special payload that would protect the Earth's atmosphere from global warming). In return, Ock asks for the other Sinister Six members criminal records to be wiped clean, and 2 billion dollars for each member of the Six... Except for Ock, since he was dying and all. Ock simply asks for a school that would teach the brightest minds in the world, as well as serve as a testament to the man(Ock) who saved the world. Still smelling a rat, Spidey and the ladies decide to head to the missile location in the Sahara Desert to see what was going on at the base, as well as to hopefully take Sandman out of the picture, since it would make sense Ock would send Sandman to guard a missile base in the Sahara. Spidey and the women search the missile base, and realize that there was nothing in the satellites Ock was planning on sending into space... Interesting... From there, they bump into Sandman, and after a bit of a battle, defeat and capture the villain. Upon finding out what Spidey has done, Ock once again turns to the world's governments and tells them that before he could save the world Spider-Man had to be hunted down and brought to justice.

Thoughts: For whatever reason, this issue just didn't do anything for me... I mean normally I love Dan Slott's work and all, but this issue was strangely flat for me. I really can't explain it... I enjoyed the first two issues of this storyline, but this issue didn't do it for me. Oh well, hopefully I get back into the story come the next issue.

Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.
amazing spider-man #684
I loved the tip of the hat to Sandman and Sable's past relationship here.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Avengers #25

We'll close out the night with one more AvX crossover comic. This one comes from the mind of Bendis, so who knows what I'm in store for... Say what you will about Bendis, but he usually has a big problem trying to coordinate his regular books with event books, so I'm not feeling optimistic going into this one...

Avengers #25(AvX tie-in):

Summary: This is pretty much a flashback issue from before the Avengers invaded Crazy Mutie Island. Bendis DOES give us a splash page from the battle on the Island, thus explaining how this is an AvX x-over issue, I guess... Anyway, Captain America is feeling glum due to the way things have been going down lately. Thor stops by to lift Cap's spirits, and Cap gets even better news when Protector shows up and tells Cap where a major AIM base was located. Cap assembles the Avengers and heads to the AIM base, bringing the criminals down, and finally giving Cap a win after a string of embarrassing losses. This issue ends with Protector being told by the Supreme Intelligence(who sprouted an extra set of eyes specially for this issue) that he was to intercept and contain the Phoenix Force, and was to eliminate anybody who got in his way of doing so.

Thoughts: I'd have given this issue a full half-point higher if Norman Osborn didn't appear here! Seriously, I can't even remember the last Avengers book Osborn DIDN'T appear in! Sure, it wasn't actually Osborn, just Osborn talking on TV, but goddamn it, enough is enough Bendis!! NO MORE OSBORN!! Anyway, this wasn't an awful issue. It shouldn't have been labeled an AvX tie-in, because it barely tied into that event, but what can ya do? The end with the Supreme Intelligence talking to Noh-Varr was kind of interesting, if only because Noh-Varr(which is a better name than Protector...), to my knowledge, hasn't had any dealings with THIS dimension's Intelligence. The Intelligence he dealt with was from his dimension. Besides that, I thought the Inhumans led the Kree now, NOT the Intelligence... Eh, I'm not gonna thing too hard about it, because it'll just give me a headache... Bottom line, this wasn't a very good comic, but it wasn't a horrible comic, and sadly, that's about as good as it can get for this series.

Score: 6 out of 10.
avengers #25
I love that battle cry... It had better be in the movie...

Wolverine and the X-Men #9

And now for something a bit different... The comic I'm about to review is the one I named my Runt of the Litter this past Wednesday, or the comic I was least looking forward to reading. However, upon actually getting it I saw that it was an AvX x-over issue, so I'm kind of hoping it won't be as bad as the past few issues have been... We'll see I guess.

Wolverine and the X-Men #9(AvX tie-in):

Summary: Captain America heads to Wolvie's school in order to alert Wolvie and Beast about the impending arrival of the Phoenix. Beast is ready to head into space with the Avengers Cap was sending out to try to intercept the Phoenix(really? That's the worst plan EVER!), while Wolvie agrees to go with Cap to attack Crazy Mutie Island to take Hope into protective custody(in Cap's mind). In Wolvie's mind, he's heading to Crazy Mutie Island to kill Hope if it turns out the Phoenix was corrupting her, since he didn't want to deal with another Dark Phoenix situation. As for other events, Rachel and Kid Omega get hit with a telepathic shockwave from the Phoenix, which leads the student body into thinking the rumors of the Phoenix's return were true, since Omega and Rachel both had dealings with the Phoenix in the past. This one ends with Gladiator deciding to head to Earth to retrieve his son, since the Shi'ar realize the Phoenix was headed straight there... Honestly, if I was Gladiator and MY kid was Kid Gladiator? I'd HAPPILY leave him on Earth to be destroyed...

Thoughts: Meh. No new ground was really covered here, with the exception of the Gladiator/Earth thing. There were a few things I skipped over, but I did say on Wednesday I'd be forced to breeze through a few reviews due to my work schedule, and this was one of those cases. Anyway, this issue was better than most of the issues from this series have been, but overall? I'm still not a fan of this series, and I'll still be dropping it after AvX ends.

Score: 6 out of 10.
wolverine and the x-men #9
A B-minus?! No way!

JT's Take: Justice League #8 with Brightest Day Rules

Hey X-Maniacs, JT here once again with a very in-frequent post. Some of you may have noticed I haven't been around much, due to the fact I'm usually busy, lazy, or X has already reviewed the books I planned on reviewing, that damn Hippie. In my absence from this blog, I've taken over the Uncanny Scan blog, so feel free to drop by and see what I post daily over there. But enough of that, today I'm doing what was requested by you readers, a review of the Justice League comic book using Brightest Day Rules! What are Brightest Day Rules you ask? Oh, you didn't ask? Well refresh your memory anyway by clicking here. Now that you're all caught up, let's get things started!

Justice League #8

Summary:  After some prodding by the Government to add someone new to the Justice League, Green Arrow runs into the League during a fight with Amazo. He asks to be on the team and is supported by Superman but Green Lantern and Aquaman don't want Arrow on the team. The Justice League then takes Amazo's body to decommission him and leave Arrow standing there. After that we jump forward a week to see the Justice League fighting the Talons because they want to make sure everyone reads Batman. Green Arrow decides to crash the party but is once again left standing by himself once the League moves out. The following week Green Arrow helps again and is told to back off by Aquaman, because they have a past that neither of them will mention. Afterwards, we see Steve Trevor meet with Green Arrow, and they argue, with Arrow saying the League needs him as a social compass because they're not really Superheroes. Okay... We later see the League talking about Green Arrow and how they don't need a new member, and what happened the last time they allowed someone in, we then see a scene of a fight between the League and Martian Manhunter. Interesting. The issue closes with the League discussing Martian Manhunter as he listens from afar and states "They're not prepared." Also, there was an awesome SHAZAM comic at the end of this book, words can't describe how great it is, basically is Billy Batson was Damian Wayne, that's how he's written here.

Thoughts: Okay, Let's see... -20 for taking a major baddie like Amazo down off-screen! +5 for a question about Batman being answered with the sentence "He's Batman." That's all you really need. -10 for the stupid idea that every 1,000 times Cyborg teleports the League with his Boom Tube technology they end up in Apokalips and it's already happened twice. Stop using it you idiots! -5 For them finding out they've used it over 1,000 times since they were last sent to Apokalips, proclaimed they were overdue, and continued to use it. -3 for Green Arrow being shown as a fanboy instead of a Hero. +5 for Green Lantern being sick of Green Arrow already. +15 for the awesome line Green Arrow said that earned Line of the issue as seen below. -10 for them dragging out this past between Aquaman and Green Arrow by mentioning it three times in this one issue. -25 for Batman not being with the League while they fought the Talons but magically being with them when they left. -100 for the stupidity that the Court of Owls thing is happening present day, yet Hal Jordan is Green Lantern in this even though Sinestro is the Green Lantern of this Sector currently. Boom, continuity bomb bitch! +15 for how happy Wonder Woman was that she could use her sword on the Talon's since they aren't technically alive. -10 for Steve Trevor waiting in Green Arrow's secret base like he's Batman or something. +30 for the awesome scene with the League and Martian Manhunter, and +15 for that actually making me interested in this book. +5 for of everyone in that splash page with the League vs. Martian Manhunter fight that we of course got the view from behind Wonder Woman, go feminism! Lastly, +15 for the awesome but short SHAZAM story at the end, I'd much rather buy that book than this.

Score:  -78 out of 10! Not too shabby Justice League! You guys actually stayed in the double digits!

Green Lantern: We've already got one guy who can't do anything. If Batman sprains his ankle we'll call you.

Well this was fun, I'm looking forward to the next one. Any recommendations for other books to get the BDR treatment? Feel free to let me know in the comments, and that's it for me guys and gals, until next time, this is JT, signing off!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Invincible Iron Man #515

I have to say, I've been enjoying the hell out of this series for the longest time now... Iron Man has gone from a character I didn't care much about, to one I loathed(after Civil War), to one that I actually like. And this series has gone a long way in changing my opinion of Tony Stark, so kudos to Matt Fraction for that. As for this issue? Here's hoping it's as good as the past few issues have been.

Invincible Iron Man #515:

Summary: With the Iron Man suit shut down thanks to one o the Hammer girls and General Babbage, Tony Stark is unable to assist War Machine against the trio of Melter, Whirlwind and the Living Laser. Pepper Potts decides to put her Rescue suit back on to assist War Machine, but ends up being too late as the villains kill(!!!!!) Rhodey! By this time, Tony has arrived on the scene(after getting a lift from his head of security, Bethany Cabe, but there's nothing for him to do. Meanwhile, Babbage has invited the Hammers and the Mandarin to the Pentagon(!?). Back with Tony, he accompanies Rhodey's body in the ambulance and after getting passed the throngs of witnesses and media, Rhodey reveals he was only playing dead... Whew... Since Tony now knows that the Mandarin, Ezekiel Stane, the Hammers and Babbage are conspiring against him, he realizes he needs to change up his strategy. As such, he now has War Machine in the background ready to strike the unsuspecting villains when the time is right(since they think he's dead), as well as the fact that Tony admitted at an AA meeting that he had a relapse, something else the villains almost definitely didn't expect Tony to do. So while the villains have won the opening salvo in the war, Tony is just getting warmed up.

Thoughts: Okay, first the bad. I am so pissed that Melter appears to have devolved into your common, dime a dozen villain. I always felt he was better than that. So yeah, that annoyed me. Going into this issue, I didn't expect Rhodey to die, because he's all over several other books... I mean he's in AvX, he's in Secret Avengers, etc. But yep, I TOTALLY brought his death when I read this one! That's some good writing from Fraction, because like I said, I was sure Rhodey wasn't going to die, but Fraction got me here... He tricked me but good! Overall? As usual, this was a strong, above average read. Par for the course with this series.

Score: 8 out of 10.
invincible iron man #515

New Mutants #41

First up for the night? Nate Grey and the New Mutants... That's right, I will not rest until this series gets that as it's title!

New Mutants #41:

Summary: Blink pops in on the New Mutants(I didn't realize she was so friendly with them...) and notices they were all down in the dumps. To rectify that, she takes them to some sort of crazy new year's party in Madripoor. Huh... Weird... Anyway, Dani, Magma and Blink start to spontaneously dance(weird...), while Cypher tries to teach Sunspot how to pick up girls(weird...). Warlock bumps into a woman and the two hit it off, with the woman giving Warlock her phone number(I guess I have to say it again. Weird...). Nate stays off on his own, at least until Dani tracks him down and offers to teach him to dance, since, as Nate put it, there was no disco in the Age of Apocalypse... HA!!! Awesome line there... The two do some dancing, and then naturally share a kiss. In the end, the team takes a group photo and this issue ends.

Thoughts: Huh. This was a very weird issue... But you know what? I liked it!! I mean I didn't love it or anything like that, but dammit, I did enjoy it, and that's all that matters! Yeah sure, there were several parts here where I just looked dumbfounded at what I was reading, but in the end? I did enjoy reading this issue, weird or not.

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.
new mutants #41
You da man, Nate!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Batman #8

Last review of the night is the latest issue of Batman, which is priced at $4 for some bizarre reason... I guess this issue is double sized or something, because, as far as I know, this isn't normally one of DC's $4 books.

Batman #8:

Summary: This issue gets started in earnest with several Talons from the Court of Owls breaking into Wayne Manor in order to kill Bruce Wayne. Bruce manages to fight his way through a few of them, while Alfred heads to the Batcave to try to tell Bruce where the Talons are coming from. The answer? Everywhere. Bruce has to retreat to the Cave, and is soon followed by several Talons. Alfred manages to pin one beneath that giant penny in the Cave, which allows Bruce to snatch a piece of tech from the Talon's arm bracer. Bruce and Alfred manage to get into the heavily reinforced armory in the Cave, and Bruce tells Alfred to drop the temperature in the Cave(since that would short out the Talons' healing factors), as well as to figure out what info was on that tech. As for Bruce, he puts on his... well, his Hulkbusting Batman armor(that's what it looked like!) and heads out of the armory to buy Alfred some time. Alfred manages to crack the tech and learns that the Court was targeting every major mover and shaker in Gotham that evening. Upon learning that, Batman tells Alfred to put a call out to all of the members of the Bat-family, asking them to try to help as many of the targeted figures as they could before it was too late.

Thoughts: This was a very strong comic. Sure, the Hulkbuster armor was a bit much(when did Bruce Wayne become Tony Stark?!), and I have no clue why Damian wasn't in the Manor but was in Gotham, alone, in his Robin attire... Besides those two very minor points though? No complaints here. Oh, and this comic had 30 pages, so it DID have a few more than usual, thus explaining the cover price, so kudos to DC for giving us some extra bang for our extra buck... Unlike a certain OTHER comic book company...

Score: 8 out of 10.
batman #8
See! Hulkbusting armor!!

Avengers vs X-Men #2

The first review of the new week is an easy decision... It's obviously going to be AvX #2, since everything in the X-Men and Avengers books are going to be revolving around this story. I have to say, as much as I've complained about Marvel and their damned double shipping? I like the idea of double shipping a major event like this. It keeps the excitement level high(for me anyway). So yeah, double shipping a major event? Good. Double shipping EVERYTHING? Bad. Now, on to the review!

Avengers vs X-Men #2(of 12):

Summary: Picking up from last issue, the X-Men and the Avengers fight... Considering the name of this comic, that should go without saying. As news of the battle breaks and the world news agencies report it, Quicksilver decides to join in on the side of the Avengers and asks the Scarlet Witch(wait, she was living with him?) to join him. However, Wanda remains behind and we see that she had been keeping a journal that says the world would end with the return of the Phoenix(or something along those lines). Meanwhile, Hope is starting to go insane due to the Phoenix getting closer and closer to the Earth. With everybody else battling outside, Wolverine(and Spider-Man) sneaks into the bowels of Crazy Mutie Island(Utopia) to capture Hope and book. However, Hope is now on fire(literally...) and burns Wolvie and Spidey, before walking across the Pacific Ocean. This issue ends with the team of Avengers that were sent into space finally coming across the Phoenix Force in all it's terrible glory.

Thoughts: If you're a fight scene fan, THIS was the comic for you! Even though I'm more of a story/dialogue guy, I still enjoyed reading this issue. What's not to like about two relatively evenly matched teams beating the hell out of each other. There were several moments that had my inner fanboy cheering, such as Quicksilver joining the fray on the side of the Avengers(and immediately attacking Magneto!), Iron Man standing up to Magneto(see, I said Tony would have built plenty of safeguards against Mags!), and Captain America slamming his shield into the arrogant face of Lord Summers. Storywise, the only thing of note was the fact that Hope seems to be getting more powerful(and crazier?) as the Phoenix draws closer, as she is presumably copying it's powers. Lord Summers is still acting off the charts crazy(which several people noted, including Luke Cage and Wolverine in a funny exchange), and the crazier he acts, the more I have to believe he's being influenced by Hope/the Phoenix Force/Emma/somebody, because his actions are just too irrational... On top of all that, we still have the Scarlet Witch in the background... What role will SHE play in all of this? All in all, this was a really good fight issue. Sure, I could have used a bit more story advancement, but with 10 more issues to go, I guess Marvel can afford to slow-burn the story here.

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.
avengers vs x-men #2
Captain America is so awesome it's painful...

New Comic Day! April 18th edition.

It's Wednesday, which means yes, it IS time for another New Comic Day! Huzzah!! As usual, I'm stuck at work, and as of this moment, I haven't gotten my comics for the week yet. I get off at 7 and probably won't have any reviews up until 11 tonight, at the earliest. But wait, I should probably check out what I'm expecting to pick up later on today... Irredeemable #36, Batman #8, Hellblazer #290, Nightwing #8, Red Hood and the Outlaws #8, Supergirl #8, Amazing Spider-Man #684, Avengers #25, Avengers vs X-Men #2, Defenders #5, Invincible Iron Man #515, New Mutants #41, Thunderbolts #173, Uncanny X-Force #24, Venom #16, Wolverine and the X-Men #9 & X-Factor #234. So 17 comics... That's a bit more than I was hoping to see... The rest of my week is REALLY busy with work, so I'll probably be taking some shortcuts on certain books... More on that in a second.

This week's Pick of the Litter is easy, and to be honest, every other week the Pick will probably be the same series... This week it's Avengers vs X-Men #2. Two weeks ago it was Avengers vs X-Men #1. Two weeks from now I'm sure it'll be Avengers vs X-Men #3. You get the picture. On the other side of the equation, this week's Runt of the Litter is Wolverine and the X-Men #9. I really don't like this series and WILL be dropping it after AvX wraps up(yeah, I made my mind up). Hopefully the AvX stuff will make this series somewhat more bearable... So yeah, 17 issues this week... I'll probably do 2 reviews for the first 4 nights and then 3 reviews for 3 nights. But the comics I'm not all that enthusiastic about(Wolvie and the X-Men, Defenders, Nightwing, etc) will be getting some really half-assed reviews... Sorry. As for tonight, I'll eventually get reviews for AvX #2 and probably Batman #8 up much later. I'm still kind of undecided on that second review though... It may end up being something other than Batman. But for now, expect a Batman review. And that'll do it. Until later, X out.

The (not so) Random Scan of the Week!
batman vs nightwing
Yep, I'm STILL doing it!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Thief of Thieves #3

One more comic review and this week is complete... And that review? The third issue of Thief of Thieves. This is a series that is moving along at a snail's pace... It's not awful or anything, it's just moving sooooo slooooow... Maybe things will heat up here... Hopefully?

Thief of Thieves #3:

Summary: This issue opens with an FBI agent named Elizabeth Cohen meeting with Redmond to drop the fact that Redmond's son had been arrested by the FBI. It seems that Cohen has been after Redmond for years(and has failed spectacularly) and this turn of events has her feeling a bit smug. Redmond isn't pleased to learn of this fact. From there, Cohen gets yelled at by her superior since Cohen was supposed to keep away from Redmond due to that previous “failed spectacularly” moment. This one ends with Cohen heading to jail to meet with Redmond's son.

Thoughts: Um... Yeah. This issue happened alright... I really don't have anything to say here... Yes, I know how odd that must sound... I mean here I am, somebody who has posted over 2,500 posts to this blog, as well as a few hundred posts to others. Somebody who has commented thousands of times on all things comic books, and yet I have nothing to say about this issue. It just sort of happened. I didn't hate it, I didn't love it, it wasn't boring, it wasn't interesting. It just was... I could go on, but really, what's the sense? I wouldn't recommend this issue, but I wouldn't NOT recommend it either...

Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.
thief of thieves #3
Yipes, consider me out of the kitchen...

Secret Avengers #25

We've reached that point in the week where it's time for me to scrape the bottom of my new comic pile and check out the comics I least want to read out of this week's batch... Needless to say, I am NOT looking forward to this one...

Secret Avengers #25:

Summary: Huh, I JUST read this comic and barely remember what happened at the beginning... That's the definition of a forgettable story! Anyway, I'll just go through this issue page by page in order to do a quick review... The original Human Torch manages to catch up to robot Miss America, who tells him the (supposed) origin of Robotland. Basically, three scientists wanted to recreate the original Torch. With some magic they succeeded in creating 20 human/robot hybrids. However, one of the scientists(the Father) wanted to create hundreds(thousands?) of these hybrids. The magic scientist(the Son) doesn't think that's wise, as the hybrids would compete with humanity(like mutantkind) and leaves. The third scientist(the Mother... Rick Remender wasn't feeling very creative here, was he?) decides to free the hybrids, at which time they head into the world with no clue they were half robot. The Father creates a bunch of robots, and bides his time, capturing the hybrids and any offspring they managed to have. Having some understanding of things now, the Torch heads for the Father's base, and is joined by Capt. Britain. Meanwhile, Venom joins the battle to assist Valkyrie, who is inexplicably playing the “damsel in distress” role here... Really? Eventually Hawkeye, Black Widow(who was still safeguarding the child the Secret Avengers went to Robotland to rescue), Beast and Ant-Man manage to meet up while the Torch and Capt. Britain are confronted by a Master Mold robot. The Torch flies into the sentinel's head and tells it to self-destruct in five minutes. With that, the Avengers all meet up and are about to leave when a robot stabs through the Torch's chest. The Secret Avengers take the Torch back to The Watchtower The Lighthouse, where Hawkeye swears the team to secrecy about the Torch's condition... For some reason... I don't get what he's hiding from Captain America here, but whatever... This issue ends with us discovering that Ant-Man was secretly a robot...

Thoughts: Ugh, I hated that reveal at the end of this one... I'm not using the word “dislike” or saying I “wasn't fond of it”, I'm using the word HATE. Ant-Man as a secret robot(on the Secret Avengers... heh...) means a) Ant-Man is really dead(for now) and b) this storyline will continue... Yeah, since the Avengers never even bumped into the Father, it was obvious this story was going to pop up again... Still, if robot Ant-Man wasn't here MAYBE this storyline could have simply been dropped, never to see the light of day again. Ah well. On the plus side, while this comic was SUPER-forgettable, it wasn't horrible!

Score: 6 out of 10.
secret avengers #25

Monday, April 16, 2012

Ultimate X-Men #10

One more review for the night, to complete the comic book trifecta, as this one is from Marvel. Well, actually Ultimate Marvel... Same difference...

Ultimate X-Men #10:

Summary: Camp Angel has fallen and the government's officials have been taken prisoner by the angry mutants who used to be captives there. Storm doesn't think the mutants should kill the government officials who were in charge of the camp, since that would make the mutants as bad as, if not worse, than their former guards. On the other hand we have Stacy X, who feels the mutants should wreak a bloody vengeance on their former guards. Storm manages convince all of the mutants in the camp to take a democratic approach to the situation and vote on which direction they wanted to go. The vote comes back tied(really?!), at which point Colossus, who had been locked in solitary confinement emerges to cast his vote. Storm seems confident that Colossus would see things her way, at least until he crushes the skull of one of the officials(!), throwing his lot in with Stacy X and her followers.

Thoughts: Here's the thing. The story here is good, the art is good, everything is good. Except for the fact that we STILL haven't gone back to Jimmy and the real X-Men for a whole mess of issues now... We just keep setting up different stories in different areas... Which is well and good and all, provided we actually get to see the main characters from time to time! The flow of this series is just so weird...

Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.
ultimate x-men #10
This scene desperately needed a comical “CRUNCH” sound effect...

America's Got Powers #1

I don't know why I picked this mini-series up... I don't know anything about the writer(which is what I'll usually base my random comic purchases on), BUT Bryan Hitch is doing the art, which is always a good thing. So yeah, this was a pretty random pick up for me, hopefully it works out...

America's Got Powers #1(of 6):

Summary: Seventeen years ago in San Francisco, a crystal fell from the sky and caused every pregnant woman in a five mile radius around the crystal to give birth to healthy children. Not only that, but all of these kids received powers. All except one, Tommy Watts. Most of the other powered teens compete in a show called America's Got Powers, which has become a cultural phenomenon. Tommy's brother had competed in the show last year and ended up dying(I think...) in the finale, which brought the show it's highest ratings... To capitalize on the show's reach and power, a senator and the army have taken it away from it's producer and are planning on using it as some sort of superhuman training grounds. As for Tommy, he does various errands at the arena... He tends the store, dresses as the mascot, etc. During the opening bout of the new season, the robots the teens battle against are set on too high a difficulty setting(due to the evil army guy and the evil senator), leading to the robots breaching the walls holding the cheering crowd back. Tommy sees a young child about to get pulped by a robot and runs over, at which time he glows brighter than anything ever seen on the planet, and when the light show subsides, all of the robots are de-powered and Tommy is standing surprised in the middle of the arena while the crows cheers him on.

Thoughts: I enjoyed this. The story was interesting, and the cast of characters are easy to follow. You have your likable protagonist in Tommy, your evil government officials in the senator(who's just evil) and the army guy(who seems to believe he's doing good), Tommy's rival in the Quarterback, who WAS the fan favorite before Tommy's display, and the (inevitable)mentor, in the show's producer who was axed by the government's power play. See, easy to follow. After this issue, I'm definitely willing to give the next one a chance.

Score: 7 out of 10.
america's got powers #1
The hosts of the show were hilariously wooden throughout this issue.

Grifter #8

Another day, another new comic review. Tonight we'll start with the latest issue of Grifter, and the final issue before Rob Liefeld's awful shadow falls over this series...

Grifter #8:

Summary: This issue opens with the Daemonites crashing an airplane Grifter was in, killing his ally, Sofia, in the process(guess Liefeld didn't want her around). From there, Grifter's brother, Max, shows up, possessed by a Daemonite... Wait, what?! Max attacks Grifter, who parries Max's blows, trying desperately to reach some part of Max in his body, but only finding the Daemonite. After a while, Max manages to get in touch with Grifter telepathically and begs Grifter to kill him, since he didn't want the Daemonite who had possessed his body to kill Grifter. Grifter sadly obliges his brother, and shoots him in the head(I guess Liefeld didn't want him around either!). From there, Grifter shoots several other Daemonites, while another Daemonite seems pleased by this, since this Daemonite seemed to believe that now Grifter would take out his vengeance on the Black Curate, leaving the mystery Daemonite to pick up the pieces.

Thoughts: Woo, this comic was ALL over the place!! I don't blame the writer, Nathan Edmondson, at all though. He was forced to wrap up ALL of his stories in this one issue, which made for a VERY jarring experience. Sofia dies like four pages in, and then we discover that Max had been possessed by a Daemonite, even though the last we saw him(last issue I think), he was back with the government... And then Grifter has to kill Max, giving us a death with little meaning, since Max has appeared in a grand total of four comics, mostly on a page or two. Yeah, he's Grifter's brother, but other than that, we have zero reason to care about him... You know how sometimes I'll say a comic was rushed? THIS comic right here was the embodiment of a rushed book! It's hard for me to even give this issue a proper score, since everything was so forced, and not because of the writer, but because of the future co-writer... I guess I'll just go with a middle of the pack number and leave it at that. Before I end this post though, here's one good thing... Liefeld isn't actually writing this series, he's just doing the scripts, with Frank Tieri doing the writing, so maybe Tieri can make Liefeld's ideas somewhat good... Oh, and the best thing? Liefeld isn't drawing this series! Because if he was, I'd have no choice but to drop it!

Score: 5 out of 10.
grifter #8
So wait, Max is a Daemonite now!? I thought he was in the hospital!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Batman and Robin #8

Continuing with the DC trend, here's a look at Batman and Robin #8.

Batman and Robin #8:

Summary: Batman takes Robin(who had just murdered Nobody) back to the Batcave to get patched up by Alfred. Bats then gets depressed that Nobody's blood was on Damian's hands as opposed to his own. Bats leaves Damian with a recorded message about Nobody, telling Damian that he had wanted to kill Nobody back in London and then after he brutalized Damian. But Bats managed to fight back his urge to kill. The lesson being? Much like Bruce, Damian has an urge to kill, he has to learn to fight those urges back lest he turns out like the villains he was battling. Bruce and Damian then have a bonding moment and decide to take some time off, as Alfred recommended, and play ball outside with Damian's dog(which he named Titus). Unfortunately for Alfred, while playing ball outside, Bruce and Damian spot the Bat signal high in the Gotham sky, and know what they had to do...

Thoughts: This was a pretty good read. The art was strong(as usual) and the story was solid. Yeah, I was a bit bugged by how easily Bruce pushed aside Damian murdering Nobody right in front of him(can you IMAGINE what he'd have done to Jason Todd had he pulled a stunt like that?!), but I guess I'll chalk that up to Bruce finally looking at Damian as more than another expendable soldier in his war on crime and more like a family member. So yeah, this was a good issue, but it's probably not something I'll remember two months from now.

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.
batman and robin #8
That poor dog has no idea where Damian's fingers have been...