Thursday, January 31, 2013

Teen Titans #16

Oh good, it's another Scott Lobdell written comic...  I literally have no idea what to expect out of this issue...  Maybe the Teen Titans will be in it, maybe they won't...  Maybe Red Robin will be in it, maybe he won't.  Hell, maybe Red Hood will be in this issue!  It's not like he was in the comic that has his name in the title!  Well, here we go.  I'm really hoping for a pleasant surprise here...

Teen Titans #16(Death of the Family tie-in):

Summary: This issue opens with Red Hood and Red Robin trapped by the Joker.  Joker wakes them up and shows them that he had caught their fathers(who were wearing hoods), telling them if they wanted the two men to survive, they'd have to fight to the death.  Because Joker is SO trustworthy!  Red Robin wants to think up a plan, but Red Hood decides to attack, even though his father had died in prison...  The two fight for a while, until Red Robin is positive the man who is supposedly his father is a fake, at which time he shatters the window Joker was watching the fight from, leading to Red Hood shooting Joker a few dozen times.  Finally!  But wait!!  It turns out that wasn't the real Joker, but a dummy filled with Joker toxin.  The two Reds pass out and Joker drags them to a cave.  This issue ends with Joker revealing not one, but TWO silver platters to the two.

Thoughts: Hey, here's some good new, Lobdell didn't do the script for this issue, the infinitely more talented Fabian Nicieza did.  Honestly, Nicieza SHOULD be the guy writing this series, but c'est la vie.  This issue was okay, but man were there a mess of holes in it...  Why would Red Hood, of ALL people, even entertain the thought that Joker was really holding his suddenly alive father captive, and would let him go if he DID kill Red Robin!?  I'd believe a politician before I'd believe Joker!  I was happy to see that Jason was going to kill Joker in this issue, because SOMEBODY should, but did anybody really think that Joker was going to die in this issue?!  However, that would sure make Batman #17 an interesting read...  Jason: "Hey Bruce, guess what?  Joker's dead!!"  Bruce: "Already?  Now what do we do..."  All in all though?  This comic was miles better than Red Hood and the Outlaws #16, so that's a win for me.

Score: 6 out of 10.
red robin red hood joker
So Jason Todd doesn't appear in the comic with his name on it, but DOES star in this series...  Weird.

Hawkeye #7

All right!  Here's one of my favorite comic characters in one of my favorite comic series!  Since I can't wait to dig into this once, I'm going to skip the intro and get right to the action!

Hawkeye #7

Summary: This issue looks at Hawkeye(Clint) and Hawkeye(Kate) and how they dealt with the events of that bastard hurricane/tropical storm Sandy.  Clint ends up helping a friend's father in Far Rockaway, who refused to leave his house before the storm came.  Luckily for Clint and company, they manage to survive due to a rowboat in the old man's attic.  Meanwhile, Kate heads to New Jersey for a wedding, but the fancy hotel she was in loses power and she's forced to head out to try to get some medication for a friend's mother.  She runs afoul some looters, but the neighborhood comes to her defense and the looters get arrested.  The two Hawkeyes meet up later to trade war stories and that's it for this one.

Thoughts: First things first, I grew up in Queens(Ozone Park, to be more specific), my family moved around a lot, but we were always in the Ozone Park/Jamaica area when I was a kid.  My first real job was in South Jamaica, which is right near Far Rockaway, so yeah, I knew all about the various Rockaways Clint and his buddy were talking about.  I've been to 'em all.  But enough about me, back to this story.  It was... well, it was only okay for me...  It never really interested me.  I didn't have any emotional attachment to Clint's friend, or Kate's wedding party...  So I wasn't really all that interested in their plights.  For me, this was a VERY rare miss for me with this series...

Score: 6 out of 10
hawkeye kate bishop
Blast it, foiled by a can of beans!

Invincible #100

First review of this week?  That'll be the 100th issue of Invincible.  This series was once right at the top of my must read list, but has recently fallen way down that list...  I don't know what it is, but this title has lost something after the Viltrumite War.  Nothing really important has happened.  The past 25 issues or so are just a blur.  Here's hoping THIS is the issue that turns all of that around, and begins a new era of greatness for this series.

Invincible #100

Summary: This issue begins with Dinosaurus killing Invincible off(!?!).  Well, I figured that was a possibility, but that was pretty low on my list!  But wait!  It turns out Dinosaurus had switched the real Invincible with a clone, which he had learned how to create during his time on the Viltrumite ship, meaning Invincible was still alive... Well, that was a fast death and rebirth!  Dinosaurus tells Invincible that with everybody thinking he was dead, they could continue their work(really!?).  Invincible basically has my response to that, which is, "really?!", and tells Dinosaurus that instead of pushing humanity towards doing things differently, and looking towards cleaner energy, their actions may have had the opposite effect, leading humanity to stagnation and the same old ideas.  Dinosaurus realizes that Invincible was right, and asks Invincible to kill him, which he seemingly does, but off-panel, so who knows.  Invincible walks out of Dinosaurus's base, and is met by Cecil Stedman(Yeah!!).  Cecil and Invincible talk, and Invincible learns that Dinosaurus's plot killed nearly 1 million people.  Invincible is ready to head off to jail for his role in Dinosaurus's mad plans, but Cecil offers him an alternative...  Work with Cecil and the government again, and there's no prison.  Invincible agrees to this idea and heads home to see his parents and Eve.  This issue ends with Eve telling Invincible that she was pregnant...  Again...

Thoughts: Hey, this issue wasn't bad!  This issue was actually going to decide for me whether or not I'd continue buying this series or not.  After reading this?  Yeah, I'll be sticking around for a while.  Invincible basically admitted that he had been making all the wrong decisions and basically acting like a jerk, which is what's been bothering me with him for several issues now.  Now he's working with the awesome Cecil again, and Eve is pregnant again.  Yeah, this isn't exactly breaking any new ground, but hey, this is what I liked about Invincible when I got hooked on the series.  I also liked the fact that NOBODY died!  Well, except for maybe Dinosaurus and like a million people, but none of the characters in this series!  So kudos to Robert Kirkman for avoiding the old tried and true, "It's an anniversary issue, somebody big MUST DIE!!!!!"  So I'll be hanging around for the near future.

Score: 8 out of 10.
invincible atom eve invincible #100
I wish I could just blame everything on a clone...

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Happy Anniversary!! Plus pictures!!!

Hey, guess what?  It was a year ago today JT added his first post here at the blog!  So a big HUZZAH to that!  Bringing JT aboard was one of the better moves I've ever made, and I think all of you guys would have to agree with that.  So congrats on your one year anniversary, mi amigo!  Here's hoping you end up sticking around for many, many, MANY years to come.  Or for as long as you can tolerate me...  And now, a few pictures of JT's namesake, Jason Todd, doing what he does best!

Jason Todd, kicking ass and taking names!

So long, suckas!!!

This is how I oftentimes feel working with JT! :P

New Comic Day! January 30th edition

Hey comic fans, JT here with this week's New Comic Day post! After a week of getting my ass kicked by the flu, I'm back in action baby! First things first, thanks to X for covering my books last week, while I sat in bed, ate soup and felt miserable. And that was just from reading Red Hood... but enough about last week, let's see what I'm getting this week. My haul this week includes Aquaman #16, Batman and Robin Annual #1, Injustice: Gods Among Us #1, Invincible #100, Hawkeye #7, Superior Spider-Man #2, Teen Titans #16, and Deathmatch #2. So, with a total of eight books this week, I'll be reviewing Superior Spider-Man #2, Injustice: Gods Among Us #1, and the Batman and Robin Annual. You can expect those reviews on Friday, Sunday and Tuesday, respectively. So now I'll pass things over to my buddy X, and til next time, this is JT, signing off!

And now it's X time!  Hey all, happy New Comic Day, and all that jazz.  It's the fifth Wednesday of the month, so I'm kind of surprised to see JT getting so many books...  Usually they reserve the fifth Wednesday for annuals and...  well, nothing...  Hmm, let's see just how many books I should be picking up...  I, Vampire #16, Teen Titans #16, Invincible #100, Avengers #4, Dark Avengers #186, Hawkeye #7, Punisher War Zone #4, Superior Spider-Man #2...  Wait, so I'm only getting 8 comics!?  But that's as many as JT, and I usually get WAY more than him!!  Weird...  Well, I may pick up Deathmatch #2, but only if my shop got the first issue in as I had requested.  So I may get 9, which makes me feel a little bit better.  So 8 books...  Man, my wallet is gonna be SO happy!  Anyway, I have 7 books I can review there(since JT is taking care of Superior), so I'll post three reviews on Thursday, and two on Saturday and Monday.  As for Thursday's reviews?  Definitely Invincible and Hawkeye.  As for the third comic?  It's probably going to be Teen Titans. It's either that or Avengers, and I'm not expecting good things from either of those comics.  And that'll do it.  Another NCD post in the books.  Until tomorrow night?  Yep, X out.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

DMC: Devil May Cry #1

Well, here's a first for the blog.  Since I don't have anything else to review for the week, I'm going to review that DMC digital comic that came out last Wednesday.  Not only is this the first digital comic I've ever reviewed here at the blog, it's the first digital comic I've ever read!  So let's see what we have here...

DMC: Devil May Cry #1

Summary: This issue kicks off with a girl named Kat getting caught in the middle of what seemed to be a terrorist attack.  However, it turned out the terrorist was actually killing demons who were posing as humans.  The "terrorist" is a guy named Virgil, and it turns out he had been searching for Kat, who has some sort of psychic abilities(which she knows nothing about).  However, he is forced to abandon her with the arrival of the police.  Kat ends up in prison, since the cops suspected she was Virgil's accomplice.  While there, she has a nightmare where a massive demon is trying to kill her, when Vilgil's voice tells her to allow him into her dreams so he could help.  With no real choice, Kat does as Virgil asks, and Virgil kills the demon before helping Kat wake up.  Virgil then tells her his story, that he was a demon/angel hybrid who was trying to save the planet from the clutches of a demon-lord named Mundus, while explaining she had psychic powers which allowed her to travel through the demonic Limbo dimension.  Virgil goes on to tell her that she would almost definitely be taken to a demon-run prison called Hellfire, where Virgil's long lost brother Dante was being held.  It seems that Dante is the best hope in defeating Mundus and halting the demonic incursion.  With that, Virgil drops into Limbo, while Kat sends her astral projection there(since only demons could physically travel through Limbo).  The two chat some more while Kat gets dragged to Hellfire since the prison guards spotted Virgil in her cell, thus confirming(to them) that the two were working together   Virgil tells her she has to be tough and try to find out what became of Dante, all the while enduring the worst punishments the demons would be throwing at her.

Thoughts: Eh.  This comic was alright, I guess...  The focus was more on Kat than Virgil, even through the comic's subtitle is "The Chronicles of Virgil".  Virgil gives us a super-brief look at his past(he ended up in a foster home with rich parents), but we know little about him besides the fact that he's a hybrid and that he was trying to stop Mundus.  That kind of bugged me since I picked up this mini hoping it would be more Virgil-centric.  I loved playing as Virgil in the third Devil May Cry game for the PS2, as well as Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 for the PS3, so yeah, I'm a bit of a fan of the character.  All in all, this comic was an okay read(although the $3.99 cover price was STEEP for a book from a publisher I'd never heard of before!), but little more...  I'll have to think long and hard before shelling out for the second issue...

Score: 5 1/2 out of 10.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Superboy Annual #1

One more review for the night, and it's also the 2,900 post here at the blog...  That's a hell of a lot of posts!  Anyway, back to the comic at hand.  This issue is a part of the H'El on Earth storyline that I haven't been following in the least.  Let's take care of this.

Superboy Annual #1

Summary: The set-up here is that Superman and Superboy have been transported to some alien prison world thanks to H'El.  The two do a lot of bickering with each other before Superboy realizes that the prison world was sentient.  Then Supes and SB then run into two aliens who had been locked on the prison world for a very long time, and we naturally get a battle.  In the end, Superboy outsmarts the two aliens and convinces the prison world to let him and Supes back to Earth.  That about wraps this one up.

Thoughts: Well, that was pretty succinct, no?  Really, there was no reason for a more in depth review, because that's the gist of what happened here.  This comic was more or less Superman and SB getting to know each other.  I will say one thing before ending this post though...  Tom DeFalco writes the New 52 Superboy SO MUCH like the pre-reboot Superboy.  And that?  That's a good thing to me.

Score: 7 out of 10.
superboy annual #1
Supes does tend to be an annoying know-it-all at times, doesn't he?

Hellblazer #299

This is the penultimate issue of Hellblazer.  Why is that?  I honestly don't know...  I have a theory, but it involves DC being run by a bunch of trained monkeys...  So yeah, the "geniuses" over at DC have decided to cancel this series, which has been going since like 1987 or so, and will replace it with a Constantine series detailing the New 52 version of Constantine...  Because we as comic book fans are SO stupid in the eyes of DC, that we could never deal with TWO Constantine oriented series, even if one is being published under the Vertigo banner...  I don't know how you can cancel a series with a character as important as John Constantine...  Yep, what a company...

Hellblazer #299

Summary: This issue opens with Terry Greaves attacking the goon who shot Constantine last issue since he knew that would infuriate his daughter, Constantine's wife, Epiphany.  From there we learn that Constantine was indeed dead(!), and Epiphany heads to her father for a reckoning   Terry explains to Epiphany that he hadn't okayed the hit on Constantine, and takes her to the tied up goon who did, handing her a gun and telling her to get some closure.  With that, Epiphany shoots the goon in the head, killing him.  We next head to the funeral hone holding Constantine's body, where Epiphany is confronted by a demon that consisted of women Constantine had discarded.  Epiphany calls Angie Spatchcock, an old girlfriend of Constantine's, who is also a magician, to help.  Angie comes by and destroys the demon before angrily leaving Epiphany.  Epiphany heads back to her apartment and sees Finn(Constantine's recently discovered nephew) outside.  It turns out Finn's life has gone to hell since meeting Constantine and he was there to kill him...  HA!!  So after talking for a bit, Finn and Epiphany sleep together.  Next up is the funeral, which goes on without a hitch.  Epiphany heads back home, and turns down Finn's offer to stay with her for a bit.  This issue ends with Epiphany opening the door to the apartment and finding Constantine standing there!

Thoughts: This was a great issue!  It's funny, I didn't care for Epiphany when she first popped up, but as the issues have gone on, I've begun to really like her.  And this issue has me liking her even more!  So it figures that she'll be gone in another issue...  Damned DC...  As for the cliffhanger?  Man do I hope that's really Constantine...  I really, truly do...  Let him have somehow cheated death...  Let this all have been some big elaborate ruse he's pulled...  Even though it would go so counter to Constantine, who would be the first to say has lived a fucked up life, I really want to see him and Epiphany live happily ever after at the end of the next issue.  Regardless, out of everything DC has done recently, cancelling this series is probably one of the dumbest moves, and, to be honest, leaves me more pissed off than just about anything else that company has done...   And I've been REALLY pissed off at DC for a while now!  But cancelling this series?  THIS takes the cake.  Oh, and in case there's any doubt, there's NO chance in hell I'll be reading that watered down, PG-rated Constantine book DC is replacing this title with.  No bloody way.  There's only one John Constantine, and it's not that little bitch version over in JLD.

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.
hellblazer #299
Only Constantine would look better as a corpse!

Ultimates #20

Three reviews for this Monday night, with the first one being the Ultimates.  This series has really picked up since Jonathan Hickman left it(although, in fairness, I can't stand Hickman's writing), to the point where I actually look forward to it every month.  The team is still trying to pull America back together and just last issue have discovered that Nick Fury(the 616 one), appeared to be working with Hydra.  Onward!

Ultimates #20

Summary: We begin with the guy who looks like 616 Fury(going by the name of Scorpio) working with the Death's Head faction of Hydra.  It turns out that this particular Hydra faction was more radical than the rest of Hydra and that they were actively hunting SHIELD tech.  On top of that, they had managed to get their hands on some powerful SHIELD weapon called the Torch.  After analyzing the tape of Scorpio, SHIELD and the Ultimates have come to the conclusion that it actually wasn't Scorpio, but was their own Nick Fury in disguise.  Captain America is disturbed by the prospect that Nick had gone rogue, but many longtime members of SHIELD refuse to believe that Fury has turned.  Hawkeye asks to be let into the Hydra camp so he could extract Fury and prove that Nick was still on the side of the angels.  Cap okays the mission and Hawkeye sneaks into the base, under the cover of an explosion.  Hawkeye finds Scorpio in the tent with a fellow Hydra agent, as well as The Torch.  Hawkeye holds the Hydra agent at gunpoint and asks Scorpio a question only the real Nick Fury would know the answer to, but Scorpio doesn't answer, instead drawing his own gun and aiming at Hawkeye.  With Hawkeye momentarily thrown by Scorpio's action, the Hydra agent gets free and Scorpio knocks Hawkeye down.  By now, the leader of the Death's Head Hydra sect arrives(a woman named Crimson) and demands that Scorpio executes Hawkeye before Hydra abandoned the now exposed camp.  This issue ends with Scorpio lining Hawkeye up for the fatal shot.

Thoughts: I enjoyed this issue.  I was a bit thrown by the fact that Scorpio was apparently Nick Fury in disguise  if only because it would have been kind of cool to see 616 Nick running around in the Ultimate Universe causing all sorts of hell.  If I had a gripe here, it would be that Cap and most of the Ultimates were so quick to believe that Fury had gone bad...  Why couldn't he be undercover?  Other than that though?  This was a perfectly acceptable comic book.  No more, no less.

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.
ultimates #20
Damn you, 616 Nick Fury!!!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Nightwing #16

Tonight's review?  Nightwing's Death of the Family tie-in.  I've been pretty down on the tie-ins to this storyline, while I've enjoyed the main story going on in Batman...  So here's hoping this issue is better than the other tie-ins I've read thus far.

Nightwing #16

Summary: Nightwing heads to Amusement Mile to check on Haly's Circus, and finds that Joker has already been there.  Joker, via the PA system, leads Dick to the big top, where Dick finds...  Well, literally dozens of corpses...  And I'm not even overstating things, there are literally dozens of corpses there!  Where does Joker find the time...  So yeah, Joker tells Dick that the corpses were former members of Haly's Circus(Really?!), before Joker detonates the corpses, filling the tent with Joker toxin.  Dick manages to get his rebreather in, but not before he's knocked a little loopy from the gas.  Dick is then thrown from the tent as it explodes(Overkill much, Mistah J?!).  As he picks himself up from the ground, Joker strolls over and pushes a button that destroys the entire circus, as well as most of Amusement Mile, knocking Dick in the process.  When Dick returns to consciousness, he is confronted by that dead clown, Jimmy, as well as Raya.  The two taunt him, but Dick manages to shake off the hallucinations and attacks Joker, beating the hell out of him.  However, Dick is stopped in his tracks when he sees every member of Haly's Circus walk over in a Joker-ized state.  Dick tries to reason with the now crazed circus folk, but ends up getting beaten back into unconsciousness.  Dick wakes up in a cave(I think) where he sees Joker standing above him with the now familiar silver platter and dome.

Thoughts: This comic wasn't bad...  If you read it in a vacuum ..  If you haven't been reading all of the other Death of the Family books(or even if you were only reading this and Batman), then this was a pretty good comic book.  However, this issue really falls apart if you try to fit it into the rest of the Death storyline...  I mean really, Joker had the time to dig up DOZENS of graves, bring the bodies TO Amusement Mile, and then set them up in the big top?  Even with a mess of help, that's GOT to take a few days, at the least!  And then, on top of that, he managed to track down all of the people who were working at the circus(presumably before Dick sent them out of town), drug them with his toxin, have them hide around Amusement Mile, where they attack Dick(who saw none of them as he walked through the Mile), after the circus exploded?!  Like I said, if Joker wasn't doing anything else?  Then sure, I could see him doing all of that...  Maybe...  But on top of ALL the other things he's been doing in this story!?  It would take somebody with Superman's powerset to do everything Joker has been responsible for!  So for me, while this wasn't a bad issue, it was actually hurt by the greater Death storyline, because everything that happened here is just too unbelievable.

Score: 6 out of 10.
nightwing #16
That's a pretty awesome Joker pic...

Saturday, January 26, 2013

FF #3

Well, with how horrible the past two comic books I've reviewed tonight have been, this comic almost HAS to be better than them!  I mean the only way it could get worse is if this issue was written in backwards pig-Latin.  And gave me a paper-cut...  So on that note, let's see just what we have here...

FF #3

Summary: We find out right off the bat that they guy who popped up at the end of the last issue was a much older version of the Human Torch.  He goes on to tell the FF that he had been running through space and time trying to get home after the Fantastic Four were attacked by a combination of Dr. Doom, Kang the Conqueror and Annihilus...  All in the same body!  Doom the Annihilating Conqueror I LOVE that name!!) wound up killing(probably) the rest of the Four, which is why Johnny wanted the portal at the top of the Baxter Building closed, so Doom the Annihilating Conqueror wouldn't be able to get through.  Realizing that he needed the full FF together to deal with this, Ant-Man(Scott Lang) heads to Darla Deering's apartment to try to convince her to come back to the team.  The two end up getting hassled by the Yancy Street Gang(well, she IS going by Ms. Thing), which leads to Darla deciding to head back to the team.  This issue ends with Scott deciding that the best thing to do was to eliminate Doom from human existence.

Thoughts: Well, this was WAY better than the other crap I've read tonight!  This was a good little issue.  There was nothing overly fancy about it, we learned about older Johnny, we get Darla back on the team, and Scott decides to end Doom.  That last part, Scott deciding to go after Doom, is the main reason I picked this series up.  After Doom killed Scott's daughter, Stature, in Children's Crusade, I've been eagerly anticipating Scott's eventual meeting with Doom.  This issue brought us a step closer to said meeting.  So while nothing huge happened here, we did lay the foundation for future stories(get it? "foundation" "future"??), and got solid writing and good art.  And really?  That's good enough for me.

Score: 7 out of 10.
ff #3
Why can they only say the name of their street?  Is there something wrong with them?

Avengers #3

Second(of three) reviews tonight is going to be Avengers.  I have not been a fan of this series at all thus far, but hope springs eternal, and I'm optimistic this will be the issue that draws me in...  I mean, it has to!  I don't want to drop an Avengers title from my pull list!!

Avengers #3

Summary: Stuff happened   The end.......  No?  That won't do?  Trust me, it's better that I stick with that instead of trying to sift through the mess that was this comic...  *sigh*  Fine...  I'll give it a shot.  Ex Nihilo manages to create life on Mars, but his life only speaks in gibberish...  Nihilo is pleased because that was unexpected...  Yeah...  Anyway, Cap and his AVENGERS ARMY arrive and attack Nihilo and his group of weirdos.  Even with an AVENGERS ARMY at his side, Cap sees that Nihilo and his crew were proving to be too tough for him.  Luckily for the AVENGERS ARMY, one of them is Captain Universe, and Nihilo and his weirdos seem to recognize her as... Their god?  The universe?  I don't know, but something.  Oh yeah, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that Capt. Universe was randomly talking about pies the whole time.  So yeah, all of the weirdos agree to stop fighting except for Aleph, who didn't think Capt. Universe was their god/creator/universe/whatever.  Capt. Universe disintegrates Aleph to end his trouble.  With that, Nihilo agrees to stop destroying/creating on inhabited worlds and decides to stay on Mars.  As for the Avengers, they go back to Earth.

Thoughts: Wow, it's finally happened.  Jonathan Hickman has officially out-crazied Grant Morrison.  Compared to Hickman, Morrison's work is a piece of cake to understand...  There's a surefire way for me to tell I'm not enjoying a comic book...  After a few pages, usually by the halfway point, I'll just start skipping dialogue and looking at pictures in an attempt to decipher the story.  This issue had me doing that about two pages in...  The villains were uninteresting and confusing, the story was bizarre  and the ending came out of nowhere.  Hickman has his fans, which is good.  I, however, am definitely not one of them.

Score: 2 out of 10.
avengers #3
Yeah sure, pies...  Makes about as much sense as anything else in this mess...

A+X #4

First review of this Saturday evening is going to be the forth issue of A+X.  Or as JT likes to call it, "Why are you still collecting THAT?!"  This issue has Beast and Spidey teaming up(although this takes place before ASM #698, which sucks), and then Cap and the most overexposed of all the X-Men students, Quentin Quire teaming together...  Yeah, this does NOT look promising...  Prove me wrong, A+X!

A+X #4

Summary: Ugh...  So two stories as I said in the intro.  Story #1 deals with Beast and Spider-Man getting transported to a future that was being ruled by folks that looked like Beast.  As for the humans?  They're zombies now, because zombies are cool.  The leader of the Beast-people, a woman named Talia, brought Beast and Spidey to her time so she could mate with Beast because... he was the first Beast?  And why is Spidey even HERE?!  The Beast-people throw Spidey to a giant, rabid Beast-guy, who tries to eat Spidey, while Beast fights off the advances of Talia.  He ends up teaming with Spidey(oh-HO!  See that, they teamed up, as is the premise of this series!!  Nice!!!) and defeating the giant, rabid Beast-guy, which pisses Talia off, so she sends them both home...  Huh.  Next story was Cap bringing Quentin Quire with him to take out an AIM base because... Well, from what I gathered, Wolverine asked Cap to bring Quire along because Cap wears the flag?  Or maybe because Cap's human?  I don't know what's happening here...  As expected, Quire doesn't want to help Cap, but comes to his aid and helps Cap defeat a bunch of midget MODOKs...  Yes, really...  Trust me, I couldn't make that up if I tried!  So yeah, the two beat back the invasion of the midget MODOKs, who can only say their names, just so you know, and then Quire goes back to the school, possibly understanding Cap better.  Or possibly not, I gave up trying to figure all this out a few pages ago.

Thoughts: JT?  I get why you dropped this series, mi amigo!  This issue sucked!  And just to temper it for the people who are all, "Wait, this didn't suck, I loved it!!" I'll change that statement to, this issue sucked, in my opinion!  The Beast/Spidey story made little to no sense(Why was Spidey there?  Were the Beast-people Beast's offspring?  If so, why was Talia trying to sleep with Beast?  And of course, why were there zombies?!), and the Cap/Quire story just seemed wrong...  Why would Captain America take Quentin Quire to an AIM base!?  I mean it's not like they were dealing with a band of muggers, or drug pushers, AIM is dangerous!  If he wanted to take Quire out to... show him humans were cool? That Cap was cool?  For whatever reason Cap wanted to take Quire with him, why not pick something less dangerous?!  This issue made my head hurt...

Score: 1 out of 10.
A+X #4
Yeah, sure.  Zombies will make anything better, right??

Friday, January 25, 2013

Red Hood and the Outlaws #16

So yeah, this comic...  I don't even know what to say here...  I'll just say what I always say before I suffer through an issue of this series...  I love the characters Jason Todd and Roy Harper.  If not for them, I'd have dropped this series 12 issues ago.  Now you know what you're getting into here...  Read on at your own peril...

Red Hood and the Outlaws #16: 

Summary: This issue gets underway with the Teen Titans, along with Arsenal and Starfire, locking the Joker-fied hobos of Gotham City in a warehouse.  From there, Roy uses his spaceship to discover that the bums weren't fully Joker-fied yet(the hell?), as well as a place where Joker had stashed the cure to his Joker toxin...  Because he's a nice guy now or something...  Roy sends away everybody but Bunker to get the cure, while he and Bunker hung out near the warehouse waiting for the Joker-fied goons to break out.  Then Roy has a flashback to Killer Croc telling him to stay in AA...  Good lord, this CAN'T be happening..........  The heroes who went after the cure discover a mess of boxes helpfully labeled, "Cure", and are about to take them.  But wait!  The boxes are wired to explode when touched, so Kid Flash rushes his teammates out of the way of the explosion, before snagging the cure boxes.  The heroes return just before the Joker-fied hobos are ready to overcome Roy and Bunker, and Kid Flash injects them all with the cure, which Joker helpfully had in individually wrapped needles...  Really?!  Oh, and to make matters worse, the cure actually WORKS!  Why would Joker leave the cure to his...  You know what, never mind   So the heroes are triumphant.  Huzzah.  This issue ends with Joker painting a Red Hood helmet.

Thoughts: Yep, Scott Lobdell definitely wrote this comic...  It's always fun when a comic titled RED HOOD and the Outlaws doesn't even feature Red Hood...  At all...  Anyway, I'm honestly of the mindset that Lobdell is messing with everybody now.  That's the only explanation for the Killer Croc flashback here.  He must sit back and laugh at how utterly idiotic the whole thing is...  As for this issue, it was about as bad as I've come to expect from this series...  The explanation for Joker having the cure to his Joker toxin was that he was "probably going to use them(the cure) to hold the city hostage at some point!"  But if that's the case, why make a real cure?  Wouldn't a fake cure work just as well?  But then, why am I trying to make sense of this?  I think I'll just slowly shake my head and move on...

Score: 2 1/2 out of 10.
red hood and the outlaws #16
This has to be a big joke, right?  I mean it HAS to be!!

While JT's away...

Hey X-maniacs, X here!  Now I know this is usually the time you guys stop by the blog to see what my great friend, JT, has posted.  However, JT has come down with a wicked illness and asked me if I could handle his posts for the week.  Since I'm already planning on reviewing 9 books as it is, what's another three?  So I'll be handling Red Hood and the Outlaws #16(tonight at 8), Nightwing #16(Sunday night), and since I don't read Green Lantern, I'm gonna do a review on the DMC: Devil May Cry digital comic book for Tuesday night.  Sorry, GL fans.  Anyway, those are the current plans.  Feel better JT!  And for the rest of you guys, until tonight, X out.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Winter Soldier #14... Ed Brubaker's final issue...

So this is it...  This is Ed Brubaker's final issue of Winter Soldier...  After I put this comic down, there will be no more Brubaker writing Captain America or Winter Soldier ..  That's going to hurt...  A lot...  To put in perspective how much I love Brubaker's Captain America run(which brought us the Winter Soldier), I consider Brubaker's Cap run the greatest run, by any comic writer, on any comic series, ever.  And just by taking a gander at the number of reviews I've done here at the blog should tell you that I've read A LOT of comic books written by A LOT of writers...  And Brubaker's Cap run is arguably my favorite.  And this is his swan song...  After this issue, Winter Soldier is being taken over by Jason Latour, who I only know from that abysmal A+X #4(review for that coming Saturday)...  Needless to say, I am going to desperately miss Brubaker's take on Bucky...  Probably more than I'll miss Brubaker's take on Cap himself!  I mean before Brubaker, Bucky was one of the Big Three...  Along with Uncle Ben and Gwen Stacy, he was one of the characters I never expected to be brought back to life.  He had served his purpose, he was Cap's sidekick, he died.  What more was there to do with him?  Well, Brubaker showed us there was A LOT more that could be done with Bucky, and crafted one of the greatest comic stories I've ever read with his original Winter Soldier storyarc.  And then, he seamlessly worked Bucky into the mainstream Marvel U, after Bucky had been gone since the 1940's!!  AND turned Bucky into one of my favorite characters to boot!  Amazing...  So yeah, reading this comic is going to be bittersweet for me...  Ah well, I'll always have the back issues.  So without further ado, I should probably open this comic and end this era...

Winter Soldier #14: 

Summary: This issue gets underway with Captain America, Bucky, Wolverine and Hawkeye finding the weapon maker that Leo had been using, attempting to leave Washington DC before Leo detonated the bomb the weapon maker had built.  SHIELD gets the weapon maker to dish on what type of bomb it was, as well as it's blast radius, which leaves them with three potential locations for maximum damage.  The heroes split into three groups, with Cap sending Bucky to the least likely spot, since Bucky had been acting irrationally since Leo surfaced.  That spot?  Arlington National Cemetery.  As Bucky heads to the Cemetery, he knows deep down that THIS was the spot Leo and the brainwashed Black Widow would be, and he's proven right when he finds a dead guard at the entrance to the cemetery.   Bucky alerts Cap that Leo and the Widow were there, but disobeys Cap's order to simply watch and wait for back-up, instead confronting Leo and the Widow.  Bucky manages to take the Widow out of the equation and defeats Leo in hand to hand combat, leaving Leo down and in the cross-hairs of Bucky's gun.  However, even after all Leo has done, Bucky finds himself unable to pull the trigger.  At that point, SHIELD and Bucky's allies arrive, but Widow manages to get to Leo and tries to get him to safety.  Realizing that there was no getting out of this mess, but wanting to hurt Bucky as much as possible, Leo grabs Widow by the throat and puts a gun to her head.  Bucky tells Leo to let Widow go if he wanted to walk away, but Leo seems content with dying, and tells Bucky there'd be no deal.  Before Leo can pull the trigger, Hawkeye fires an arrow into Widow's leg, knocking both her and Leo off-balance, at which time Bucky shoots Leo a few times, taking him down...  But not out, as SHIELD manages to save his life.  From there, we learn that SHIELD is able to return almost all of the memories Leo had wiped from the Widow's head...  All except for her memories of Bucky...  Maria Hill and Cap tell Bucky that while they hadn't been able to get Widow her memories of him back yet, there were still other options, including telepathy and magic.  However, Bucky tells the two to just leave it be, since Widow had had her head messed with enough for ten lifetimes and that she was better off not knowing him.  With that, Bucky takes one last look at the love of his life, and leaves.

Thoughts: In it's own way, this was the perfect ending to Brubaker's portion of Bucky's life.  One final heartbreak...  Poor Bucky...  This issue was, pretty much the perfect comic for me.  If I had any gripes, it would be that Leo would leave such a large loose end in the weapon maker, since he knew so much of Leo's plan.  With how cagey Leo had been all storyline long, you'd think he would have killed the weapon maker after the bomb was created, depriving the heroes of the only lead they would have had on him.  Besides that little quibble though, no complaints here.  I actually read the final few pages twice because they were so powerful.  I felt for Bucky.  I really did.  Not only were Brubaker's words magnificent here, Butch Guice's artwork was perfect, especially that one final scene where all you see is Bucky's downcast reflection in the window of the Widow's door.  This was a great issue, written by a great writer, about a great character.  There's nothing left but to give Ed Brubaker a HUGE thank you for all that wonderful stories he's crafted over the past several years.  Marvel is undoubtedly worse off without him.

Score: 10 out of 10.
Winter Soldier #14
Poor, poor Bucky......

Uncanny Avengers #3

Okay, so I've had my first perfect score of 2013 with the first review of the night, let's hope this issue gives me perfect score #2!  And honestly, with how good this series has been over the first two issues, a perfect score isn't out of the realm of possibilities.

Uncanny Avengers #3

Summary: We kick things off with the Red Skull, now with the telepathy of the late Professor X, arriving in Manhattan with his S-Men, as well as Rogue and the Scarlet Witch, who he captured and mentally tampered with last issue.  The Skull uses his mind control to make the people of New York turn against anybody with an X-gene, whether the person in question knew they had the gene or not...  With New York a mob scene, the Avengers show up, or at least Havok, Captain America, Wolverine and Thor do.  Havok has the group spread out to try to contain the madness all around them, which isn't exactly the way Cap would have handled things, but he goes along with Havok's orders.  Thor heads straight to the center of the madness and finds the Red Skull, immediately attacking him.  Unfortunately, Thor ends up being mentally corrupted by the Skull and one of his henchmen.  The attack does manage to free Rogue and the Witch from the Skull's power.  The two women end up coming across Wolverine, and tell him that the Skull was behind the riot,  and oh yeah, that the Skull had stolen Prof. X's brain to do so.  That pushes Wolvie over the edge and he heads off to kill the Skull.  While that's going on, Cap is slowly starting to succumb to the Skull's influence and nearly comes to blows with Havok.  Back with Wolvie, he manages to lop off the Skull's hand, but is attacked and defeated by Thor, who ends this issue by bowing to the Skull.

Thoughts: I did enjoy this comic, but there was something missing that I just couldn't put my finger on...  Plus, I didn't really like how easily Thor was overcome by the Skull and his goon.  I mean Thor IS a god and all, you'd think he'd be harder to corrupt than that!  The limited number of Avengers that showed up was a bit concerning too...  I mean I get that this series stars Cap, Thor, Havok, Wolvie, Scarlet Witch and Rogue, but with a full-scale riot in Manhattan, and there being like 5 million Avengers now, shouldn't a few more have popped up to lend a hand?  So yeah, there were a few things here that bugged me, but overall, I did enjoy reading this issue, and that's good enough for me.

Score: 8 out of 10.
uncanny avengers #3
I love that the Red Skull has one guy who's just there to serve him drinks!

Young Avengers #1

Now THIS is the series I've been most looking forward to out of ALL the Marvel Now! titles.  Around the same time I got into comic books(the second time around...), the original Young Avengers came out.  And I LOVED it!  It was everything I wanted in a comic book!  Young Avengers, and Morrison's New X-Men run, are probably the two books that had the most to do with me becoming the comic book reading machine I am today.  Now, this Young Avengers series doesn't have the original creative team(Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung), but it does have Kieron Gillen as the writer...  Gillen was really good on Journey Into Mystery(dare I say great?), but I wasn't a fan of his Uncanny X-Men or Generation Hope work(which is no fault of his, I hate Hope and didn't really like any X-books post-House of M).  Now he's getting to write several of my very favorite comic book characters(Hulkling, Wiccan, Hawkeye, Marvel Boy), I am REALLY hoping this series is good.......

Young Avengers #1

Summary: This issue gets started with Kate Bishop(or Hawkeye, if you prefer), waking up in some guy's bed...  Huh.  While Kate tries to figure out what she was doing there and what she should do next, the guy in question strolls in the room.  And that guy?  Marvel Boy!  Marvel Boy seems more... hippy, than last we saw him, and starts dancing like Mary Jane Watson circa 1970 to some oldies music(?!?).  Kate and Noh-Varr(that would be Marvel Boy's real name, fyi) talk a bit before Skrulls attack his spaceship, because that's what Skrulls do.  From there we head to the streets of New York where some punks are mugging a woman.  Spider-Man appears on the scene to stop them, but ends up getting shot, much to the punks' surprise.  However, "Spidey" hops up and attacks the two with shape-changing abilities before vacating the premises.   It turns out that "Spidey" was indeed Hulkling, who had been secretly going out to do the superhero thing since his boyfriend(that would be Wiccan), had basically forbidden the two of them from being superheroes after the events of Avengers: Children's Crusade.  Hulkling climbs in the window of Wiccan's parent's house(which is where he was living after the death of his mother), where he finds an angry Wiccan waiting for him in his bedroom.  Wiccan rants about how "they" promised not to be heroes anymore because of all the deaths they had seen.  Hulkling tells Wiccan that he was through living a lie and was a hero, and that he fell in love with a hero, not whatever Wiccan had become.  With that, Wiccan realizes how selfish he had been, and promises Hulkling that he would support him with his super-heroics   From there, Wiccan heads to his own bedroom and begins searching through other dimensions...  Next we head to (the maybe evil, maybe not evil) Kid Loki, who senses that Wiccan was using his powers, and as such he had to do something about that...  Kid Loki teleports to the roof of Wiccan's apartment and prepares to unleash a magic spell against the unaware Wiccan.  Before he can though, he is confronted by Miss America, who warns Loki against doing anything to Wiccan.  That leads to the two having a bit of a skirmish.  Hulkling hears the disturbance upstairs and heads to the roof, just in time to see Kid Loki teleport away, while Miss America flies off, not telling Hulkling what that was all about.  From there, we head back to Wiccan, who finds what he was looking for and manages to transport Hulkling's mother from an alternate dimension to his room.  Hulkling heads back downstairs and is shocked to see his formerly dead mother standing in the hallway.  The two embrace and eventually Hulkling heads back to sleep.  Later on, Hulkling's mother tells Wiccan's parents that she didn't approve of Hulkling wasting his time on Wiccan, and proceeds to smother the Kaplans(not "Caplans", Kaplans!!).

Thoughts: Well, you know what?  I really enjoyed this comic!  Gillen did a really good job with characterizations(Although Wiccan and Hulkling could turn down the drama just a bit) and I have to say, I was thoroughly impressed!  I'll admit, when I first opened this comic and saw that Kate was having a random fling with Noh-Varr, I was a bit... let's say taken aback.  But the more I thought about it, the more it worked...  I mean, why not?  The hero she looks most up to is Clint Barton!  Or Hawkeye, for those of you not in the know...  Hawkeye is... well, he IS rather promiscuous   On top of that, Kate is comfortably over 18, as is Noh-Varr, so why not?  If anything, I hope this isn't going to end up a one night stand, because Kate and Noh-Varr actually work for me.  Two of my favorite characters hooking up?  Yeah, I can deal with that.  Wiccan and Hulkling were also written very well, as you had Wiccan still acting up due to Stature's death at the end of Children's Crusade, while Hulkling was trying to keep the peace with Wiccan by sneaking around to help people, because that's who Hulkling is, a hero.  And it was Hulkling who reminded Wiccan that he too was a hero.  I mean Gillen wrapped up the whole, "Wiccan's self-loathing" storyline in a few panels.  And he did it in a way that made sense to all the characters involved.  The ending was also great, because while Wiccan may have though he was bringing back Hulkling's "mother"(actually a random Skrull who raised him), he was bringing over an alternate version of that woman, and alternate versions don't always equal identical version...  I mean, this comic was great!  Now the question is, is it perfect...  And after literally sitting here for several minutes after typing that last sentence, for me personally, as a fan of these characters?  Yes, it was perfect for me.

Score: 10 out of 10.
young avengers #1
Those wacky dancing Krees...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

New Comic Day! January 23rd edition.

Hey comic fans, JT here with this week's New Comic day post! After an awesome last week of X posting like a mad man, a crazy amount of visits to the blog according to our stats, and me, finding my comedic voice once again in my reviews, let's see what this week has for us. The comics I plan on picking up this week are Green Lantern #16, Justice League #16, Nightwing #16, Red Hood and the Outlaws #16, Bedlam #3, Uncanny Avengers #3 and Young Avengers #1. So, being the great guy I am, I've decided to let X take Uncanny Avengers and Young Avengers, meaning I'm gonna torture myself by taking a Lobdell comic... So this week I plan on reviewing Green Lantern #16, Nightwing #16 and Red Hood and the Outlaws #16. You can expect those three reviews on my review days, which are Friday, Sunday and Tuesday.  Now, with that settled, I'll hand things over to my fellow Uncanny blogger, X. Til next time, this is JT, signing off!

Hey all, X here to polish this here little post off.  Let's get started with me filling you guys in on what books I'll be getting this week...  Hellblazer #299, Nightwing #16, Red Hood and the Outlaws #16, Hell Yeah #6, A + X #4, Avengers #3, FF #3, Ultimates #20, Uncanny Avengers #3, Winter Soldier #14, Young Avengers #1(!!!).  So 11 books(possibly 12 if I decide to get the Superboy annual, I'm on the fence with that), makes this a nice, easy comic week!  Any time I'm getting under 14 books, I'm happy!  Anyway, when Marvel first announced Marvel Now!, I was looking forward to a number of books, but none more so than Young Avengers.  THAT is the series I've been waiting SO long to get my hands on.  So needless to say, expect that review up before any other comic.  Speaking of my reviewing schedule, I'll be covering Thursday, Saturday and Monday this week.  And since JT is taking care of Nightwing and Red Hood, that leaves me with 9 comics to review, which works out to a perfect 3 comics each of my review nights.  On Thursday I'll be posting Young Avengers, Uncanny Avengers and... um, either A+X or Winter Soldier.  And that just about wraps this post up.  Until next time(which should be tomorrow), X out!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

All New X-Men #6

Hey blog readers, it's me, it's me, ya boy JT! And I'm here with my third and final review (which doesn't seem like a lot since X wants to Marathon Man his reviews...) but it's quality over quantity, and luckily neither of us have much of that! But, enough about that, here's my final review of the week.

All New X-Men #6

Summary: This is the first issue with Kitty Pryde, former Headmistress, as the appointed Guardian of the Original Five X-Men. We start things off with Jean having a nightmare, and she's comforted by Kitty. Jean's psychic powers overwhelm her once again but Kitty is able to help her get them under control, by using a technique she learned from the other Jean, kismet eh? After having a moment with Kitty, Jean is confronted by Storm who tells her she needs to get ready to lead her team. Jean says Scott is the leader, but Storm tells her since she made the decision for them to stay, she's the leader now. Girl power and whatnot! Speaking of Scott, he's tired of being judged by everyone for something he hasn't done, so he decides to leave the campus, via stealing Wolverine's motorcycle. Wolverine hears his baby being driven away and jumps in a truck, following Scott and talks him into coming back to the school, at least it seemed that way until Scott blasted him and took off with his bike again. Also, Angel finally gets to stop pretending he's on a show with Poochie the Dog, as he finally got the answer to the question "Where's Angel?", which popped up more times in this issue than a Buffy the Vampire Slayer forum.  Angel runs into his present self, who calmly asks "What are you, like me from the past?" and the two decide to fly around, because present-Angel is pretty much a stoner or a gnarly dude, either way, Old School Angel seems to be confused by his present self. (If you want to know why Angel's so different, click here, although it includes past spoilers.) The issue comes to a close as we see Mystique watching viral footage of the scuffle Wolverine and Cyclops had earlier, which was recorded and uploaded to the net. Mystique realizes that Cyclops is noticeably younger than usual and then she then proclaims she wants  to see this for herself.

Thoughts: I know I say it every issue, but BENDIS continues to kill this series. I'm happy Scott stopped taking shit from everybody for something he hasn't even done, so seeing him leave out on his own, while knowing absolutely nothing about this world, which is kinda dumb, still made me happy. I also really enjoyed the scene where he commented on how expensive Magazines are today, and asked why the water was bottled, it's almost like listening to my Grandma, but in the form of a young, energy-blast eye-beam shooting mutant. I also liked seeing Angel meet up with Angel, if only for the pure... awkwardness of it all. Just seeing straight laced old-school Angel meeting up with "Chillax bro" Angel was entertaining. It was like watching Ben Stein meet up with Snoop Dogg/Lion or something. If anything slowed this comic down, it would be the beginning. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the little exchanges with Jean, Kitty and Storm, but other than Storm making Jean the leader, without confronting the rest of the team with her choice, nothing happened here. You could argue Jean was able to relax and control her powers a bit, but that seemed like the slowest part of the issue, which isn't bad. All in all, this was a decent issue of a great series, and adding Mystique can only make things better.

Score: 7/10

Scott Summers: Why is the water bottled now? Did something happen to the water?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Dark Avengers #185

And this is it, this is the last X review of the week, my ninth overall and the third tonight.  I'll be ending my reviewing week on Dark Avengers, the first issue under the Marvel Now! banner(if I'm correct...).  Well, let's see what we've got going on here...

Dark Avengers #185

Summary:  This issue shows us that the Dark Scarlet Witch has managed to get the Hank Pym of the weird dimension the Dark Avengers were trapped in under her control.  With that, DSW goes about working on the Dark Avengers Iron Man's forces had managed to capture.  Meanwhile, Dr. Strange has decided to use Moonstone and Skaar to start a war between Iron Man and the Thing, figuring he could swoop in and take over both of their territories in the ensuing chaos.  Strange's plans work to perfection as he has Moonstone attack Thing's territory, and then sends Skaar to attack Iron Man's territory, leading to Thing sending his hordes into Iron Man's section, while Iron Man figures Skaar was the first of Thing's invaders.  Iron Man calls all of his forces to the street, including Pym, which leaves DSW alone in Pym's lab.  With no one to supervise her, she wakes up US Agent, who is shocked to discover that his arms and leg had been restored by Pym and DSW, ending this issue.

Thoughts: Okay, first things first, I am a HUGE sucker for dystopian alternate dimensional stories, so this storyline is right up my alley.  With that said, I'm not sure how many other comic fans this kind of book would appeal to...  I mean, there aren't any big name characters, and the characters who are here aren't even in the 616 Marvel U...  So yeah, while I liked this issue, and am enjoying this storyline, I worry that I may be alone there.  Anyway, I liked Strange's plan, setting Iron Man and Thing against each other, I like US Agent getting the use of his limbs back, hell, I liked most everything here.  This was a perfectly acceptable comic book, nothing more, nothing less.

Score: 7 out of 10.

Grifter #16

Now here's a review I expect nobody to read.  Mainly because nobody has been reading this series, which is why this is the last issue.  That's kind of sad, because the main(and only!) thing I liked about the DC reboot was the fact that it brought the Wildstorm characters into the mainstream DCU.  Unfortunately, DC has seemingly zero interest in actually promoting those characters, which has led to most of the Wildstorm related series being canceled.  Seriously, would it have hurt DC to add a big name writer to this series?  A Scott Snyder, or Grant Morrison, or somebody of that stature, instead of Rob Liefeld!?  Eh, no sense crying over spilled milk or missed opportunities, here's the final issue of Grifter.

Grifter #16(Final Issue): 

Summary: Grifter meets up with the ever mysterious Warick in a zoo, where Warick was apparently going to provide some insight into how/why Grifter had powers.  Apparently, Grifter was created/enhanced by Daemonite scientists who were opposed to the Daemonite highlord, Helspont.  Helspont learned of this and destroyed everybody involved with the program, with the exception of Warick and Grifter.  Grifter doesn't buy the story and tells Warick he was done with this whole Daemonite mess, which leads to Warick punching Grifter in the face and then running away...  Wha?!  Grifter, annoyed by the whole, "being punked out" thing, chases after Warick, eventually catching up to him at the polar bear habitat.  However, the two are approached by Amanda Waller and a mess of agents.  Waller tells the two that she had been following Grifter with the purpose of capturing Warick...  For some reason...  Warick tells Grifter he was on his own from now on, before hopping into the waiting claws of the polar bears, leading to him getting mauled to death.  From there, Grifter visits his brother Max's grave and states that he needed some time to himself before deciding what to do next.  This issue(and series) concludes with Helspont watching as Grifter walks away from his brother's grave, knowing that one day their paths would cross again.

Thoughts: Hmm...  I have to say, the addition of Warick to this series?  Terrible.  I didn't get it when he first popped up, and I still don't get what his purpose was after finishing off this series.  All he'd do is pop up, say weird stuff, and disappear.  Or in the case of this issue, pop up, say weird stuff, and then get eaten by polar bears...  Seriously, who would choose suicide by polar bear?!  That's gotta be WAY low on my list of potential ways to off oneself...  I didn't like the reveal that Grifter was supposedly a Daemonite science experiment, and I didn't get why there was no Voodoo in this issue...  Wasn't she supposed to be co-starring in this series after her book got the axe?  Bottom line?  DC has seriously botched the origins of so many of the ex-Wildstorm characters...  Why couldn't we get the Grifter we saw in the Wildstorm U?  Or the same Voodoo?  I don't know...  Oh well, here's hoping we end up getting a WildCATS series sometime down the road, written by a big name writer.  And here's also hoping that when that time comes?  They ignore 90% of what went on in this series.  Good-bye Grifter.  Here's hoping they do right by you down the road...

Score:  6 1/2 out of 10.

Superboy #16

First review(of three!) for this Monday evening is Superboy.  On the bright side, this series has gotten WAY better since Scott Lobdell stopped writing it.  On the negative side, this series is locked into that H'El on Earth storyline that I have zero interest in and haven't been following in Superman or Supergirl, so yeah, this should be a rough review...

Superboy #16: 

Summary: Apparently H'El and Supergirl are in the Fortress of Solitude planning on destroying the sun in a bizarre attempt to bring Krypton back to life... Or something.  Anywho, Batman(sporting a snazzy woolen cape!) makes plans to break into the Fortress along with the rest of the Justice League and Superboy.  The objective is to get a shard of Kryptonite that Supes had locked up in his trophy room, because that Kryptonite was going to somehow defeat H'El...  Or something.  Cyborg, Superman, Batman and Superboy manage to make it into the Fortress, but find that H'El had already gotten his hands on the Kryptonite, thus ruining the Justice League's plans.  And then a giant alien prison attacks the heroes, resulting in Superman and Superboy being sucked into some alternate dimension.

Thoughts: Meh.  This issue really didn't do much for me...  It was okay and all, but since I'm not following, nor do I care about, the H'El storyline, this issue was neither here nor there   I mean it wasn't Lobdell levels of awful or anything, but it didn't do anything for me.  I'd guess that your enjoyment of this issue would be directly connected to the H'El storyline.  If you're enjoying that storyline?  Then I'd venture that you'd enjoy this issue.  If you're like me and could care less about the H'El story?  Then this was a totally missable issue.

Score: 6 out of 10.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Avenging Spider-Man #16

Hey guys and gals, JT here with my second review of the week, which is the first official issue (not a .1) of Avenging Spider-Man, starring the self-proclaimed Superior Spider-Man. So what do you get when you mix Superior Spidey, Wolverine, and a giant arachnid? Let's find out right now.


Avenging Spider-Man #13

Summary: This issue started things off with New York being attacked by a giant Spider. Doc Parker, still getting used to fighting crime instead of inciting crimes, tries to take down the giant spider, which he notices has human-like eyes for some reason. Superior Spidey doesn't get paid by the hour though, hell, he doesn't get paid at all, so he says screw this "figuring it out" nonsense, and plans to just stab it to death with a pointy object. If that's not heroic, I don't know what is. Fortunately for the Exterminators of New York, this trade secret doesn't get out because Spidey's subdued by the X-Men, who decide this is a job for them, since the Spider is part mutant. Thanks to his goggles, which probably include google, Spidey has info on each of the X-Men, including Wolverine, Storm, Beast, Kitty Pryde, Iceman and Rachel Grey. Spidey realizes Rachel being there may be a problem, since she could read his mind and destroy his entire plan. In between his thinking, Spidey leaps into action to save Storm from a blast that the Spider spits at her, after hearing from beast that the spider has three different strands of DNA for some reason, Mutant, Spider and something else. After saving Storm, Superior Spidey manages to stop the spider in an surprising, yet unconventional manner, which rubs Wolverine the wrong way. Wolverine approaches Spidey and pushes him back, leading to Spidey decking Wolverine. He recounts the memories of Logan teasing Peter, but Doc won't put up with it, as he's stronger, faster and superior in every way. Surprisingly, Spidey makes short work of Wolverine, and we find out that the Spider is actually a woman, as she transforms back into a young woman, but when Rachel reads her mind, she doesn't have any memories. Rachel's findings are cut short when Spidey is attacked again by Logan, who tells Rachel to read his mind, cause he's not himself. Doc decides to play the "Parker card" and starts lobbing insults at Logan, to seem like his usual joking self, and asks who hasn't wanted to clock Wolverine, to which his own team agrees. Afterwards, Beast realizes the girl has human, mutant and arachnid DNA, and they say it couldn't be Mr. Sinister since he's apparently dead. The X-Men decide to take the girl as Spidey swings off, already having figured out that the girl is a clone, and he has an idea who's behind it, but he's not looking forward to dealing with it. Turns out Spidey's guess is right, as the issue ends with a shot of The Jackal, who now apparently has access to Mr. Sinister's vials of genetics.

Thoughts: This series just got a whole lot better. I enjoyed the idea of Spidey teaming up with his friends and such, but now, seeing Spidey team with and fight his friends is even better. I loved all the jokes he made here, about Logan, Iceman, calling Storm "Stormy", and such, as well as seeing him fight Wolverine and not pull any punches. The return of the Jackal is always a plus, considering the last few times we saw him were around Spider-Island and of course the amazing Alpha arc. Plus, Jackal vs. Superior Spider-Man has awesome written all over it, especially since he's one of the people who may actually realize he's not Peter Parker... he MAY even be the one to give Peter his own body again... so yeah, a ton of things may have been set up for the future, and this is a great way to start it off.

Score: 8.5/10

Spider-Man: The blue ape or cat or whatever it is...

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Venom #30

And we have arrived at the last review of this Saturday night, with that review being the thirtieth issue of Venom...  Wow, who would have ever thought THIS series would last thirty issues!  That's quite the accomplishment nowadays.  Anyway, I actually enjoyed the last issue, which was the first time I enjoyed this series since Cullen Bunn became the writer.  Let's see if Bunn can stretch his good comic streak to two issues!

Venom #30: 

Summary:  This issue kicks off with the Venom symbiote operating independently of Flash Thompson, who was knocked out last issue.  Instead of Flash, the costume is being controlled by... um, either the symbiote itself or a demon...  I have NO clue which.  Anyway, Venom attacks the U-Foes and their hired goons, somehow turning the goons against the U-Foes by leaving little pieces of symbiote on them...  Huh, that's new.  By this point Valkyrie wakes up and rescues that incredibly annoying reporter that has unfortunately become a supporting character in this series.  Valkyrie opens a portal and rescues the annoying reporter, as well as the other people the U-Foes had captured, and leads them to safety.  Meanwhile, the Venom possessed goons have wrecked the U-Foes weird devices which... um, let's say opened a portal to somewhere else, just to keep things somewhat simple...  So yeah, the U-Foes all get sucked into this empty void, while Venom just strolls away from the battle...  Even though he was in the same room as the U-Foes and the weird portal...  Yeah...  Anyway, Venom lets Valkyrie know he's okay, and then makes his symbiote look like Valkyrie and the reporter so he can have a heart to heart with them...  What the HELL is happening here?!?  From there, the scene switches to Brooklyn, where the cops raid a home and discover a really creepy looking Eddie Brock/Toxin(!), who claims he had personal business to attend to.

Thoughts:  Well, it's safe to say Bunn's good comic streak ended at one issue with a resounding thud...  I mean this issue was horrible!  Where to begin...  I guess with this idiotic, "OMG!  Venom is possessed by a demon!!!" storyline...  Why in the world have we added a demon to the mix here exactly?  Isn't it enough to have Flash battling with the symbiote for control?  Now we have a demon thrown into the mix for absolutely NO reason I can think of...  Seems like overkill to me...  Then there was the demon/the symbiote showing an ability to control goons by putting a little piece of itself on them.  When did Venom turn into Starro the Conqueror?!  And top it all off with the end of the battle with the U-Foes, which I couldn't make any sense of... Where did the U-Foes go?  Why didn't Venom get pulled in with them?  What did it all mean?!?  Oh yeah, and Flash was talking to symbiote version of the annoying reporter and Valkyrie!  Terrible...  On the plus side, Eddie Brock popped up at the end of this issue, which will hopefully lead to an Eddie/Flash showdown, which is always fun.  But the rest of this issue?  Ugh...

Score:  3 1/2 out of 10.

Saga #9

I'm not sure if anybody around here is reading this series except for me, but I did say I was gonna review a ton of comics this week, therefore, I'll give this series a post.  Anyway, this series has been fantastic throughout, and is probably in my top ten when it comes to favorite books.  And now, the post.

Saga #9: 

Summary: This issue actually focuses completely on The Will, and not Marco, Alana and their family.  The Will is still trying to figure out how to get Slave Girl off of Sextillion, when he is approached by one of Marco's people, a woman named Gwendolyn.  Gwendolyn wants to know why The Will has ceased going after Marco, as her people were paying him to do, and he tells her that he was looking to kill Prince Robot IV for the death of his longtime partner, The Stalk.  Gwendolyn offers The Will information on Robot IV's whereabouts, so The Will demands some extra money so he could buy the freedom of Slave Girl.  Gwendolyn decides to try a different tactic to get Slave Girl off Sextillion, and calls the head of the world, Mama Sun, and tries to convince Mama Sun that Slave Girl was actually an runaway from Wreath.  And that if Mama Sun didn't quietly hand Slave Girl over, Gwendolyn would leak that the people of Landfill had been sleeping with a "dirty moonie".  With that, Sun agrees to send Slave Girl to a neutral world, and The Will and Gwendolyn head there.  However, they find Slave Girl surrounded by a mess of Sextillion guards, who know that Gwendolyn was lying and have no plans on releasing Slave Girl.  That leads to the obligatory fight scene, which ends with The Will and Gwendolyn triumphant, and Slave Girl rescued.  Later on, Gwendolyn admits that she used to be engaged to Marco, at which time Slave Girl interrupts by saying that Gwendolyn's necklace sounded sad because it wanted to be with a ring, since the necklace and ring were part of a set.  She also claims she could "hear" the ring.  And where is the ring?  With Marco.

Thoughts: I enjoyed this issue.  It was a good solid little look at The Will.  Besides giving us more insight into the type of person The Will is, we met Marco's ex-fiancee, Gwendolyn, who was determined to capture Marco on account of him leaving her and cavorting with the enemy and all.  While I would have preferred something(a page?  Maybe two?) dealing with Marco and company, this issue will leave me satisfied until issue #10 drops.

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.

X-Factor #250

First review(of three!) tonight is X-Factor.  This issue begins the Hell Lords storyline that I've been looking forward to.  Still, a Hell Lord storyline in an X-comic seems... odd...  Eh, let's see how it plays out before I say anything else.

X-Factor #250

Summary:  We get this party started with Wolfsbane's son, Tier(who is twelve now), wandering around Manhattan trying to find X-Factor, as his mother had told him to do.  Unfortunately for Tier, Darwin ends up finding him before he finds X-Factor.  And Darwin has a very big gun and seems prepared to use it on Tier.  Or not, as Darwin hesitates and is run down by Wolfsbane, who tells Tier to hop in while they head to X-Factor.  The two make it to X-Factor's office and upon hearing of their plight, Madrox tells the duo they were welcome to remain with the team for as long as they'd like.  It's then that Darwin bursts in the door.  Naturally.  Darwin fights his way through the team and manages to snag Tier and puts his gun to the boy's head, telling X-Factor that by killing Tier he was saving every life on the planet.  However, Darwin realizes that he wasn't a murderer and can't shoot Tier.  Before things have a chance to calm down, Guido strolls in and begins to beat the hell(heh heh) out of his former teammates, led by Jezebel   Jezebel tells Guido to stop toying with X-Factor and to kill Tier, but before Guido can, everybody is transported to a butte(I know my geography!), where all of the Hell Lords are waiting.  They decree that one of them would kill Tier, at which point their war would be over, ending this issue.

Thoughts:  I liked this comic...  I liked it a lot, actually!  It had everything I enjoy, great dialogue, a good story, engaging characters, and great villains.  I mean, come on, you aren't gonna find better villains than the DEVIL!  And there were a load of devils here!  Mephisto, Satannish, Pluto, Hela, Satana, a who's who of the most powerful demons in the Marvel U.  And I have always been a fan of that aspect of Marvel(in Ghost Rider, Hellstorm, etc), so this storyline seems tailor-made for me.  Throw in Tier, who I like after just one issue, and you have yourself a winning combination.  So yeah, great issue that set the stage for what I'm expecting to be a great storyline leaves X a happy camper.

Score:  9 out of 10.
x-factor #250
When Mephisto shows up, you KNOW it's getting serious!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Batman #16

Hey Todd Squad, JT here with my first review of the week, and it's the penultimate issue of Batman's Death of the Family arc. Bats has finally returned "home" to Arkham Asylum to see what The Joker has planned for him. 


Batman #16

Summary: Batman finally arrives at Arkham Asylum and we see The Joker's master plan unfold, although he isn't exactly done putting it together. It starts with having a bunch of guards dressed as him and Batman, dancing in puddles water, for days on end or The Joker will electrocute them to death. Bats manages to save them with relative ease, then is led into a trap that has him fight at least a hundred goons, armed with riot gear and flaming weapons. Batman disposes of them, although he has a bit of trouble, and is greeted by The Joker's present for him, courtesy of the Dollmaker, he'd sewn a bunch of people together, while still alive, and made them into a tapestry with some of Bats and Jokers greatest moments, including the Joker Fish and the Death of Jason Todd. A very annoyed and pissed off Batman continues his trek through the asylum where he makes short work of Mr. Freeze, Clayface, and Scarecrow before arriving at The Joker's last room, a.k.a. Batman's Throne Room. Batman charges in and is shocked to be greeted by his Court Jester, The Joker, as well as his Man of the Cloth, The Penguin, his Strategist, The Riddler, and his Judge, Two-Face. Joker tells Batman they could have served anyone, gesturing to some civilians he has dressed as Superman, Aquaman and Wonder Woman. Joker has them play "Excalibur" with a chainsaw, which leads to "Superman" getting electrocuted to death. Batman gets past Joker's last line of defense, or so he thinks, when Joker drops a cage, separating Bats and Joker's crew. The Joker, with flies starting to circle his rotting, decaying face, stops Bats in his tracks by showing him video Nightwing, Red Hood, Red Robin, Batgirl and Robin all having fell to The Joker, as Joker says that Bats can be as good as he wants, he'll never be able to win as long as they're around. Batman asks what he's done with them, but Joker tells him he'll find out if he sits down, but if he doesn't, he'll never find a trace of them unless he sits down in his throne. Batman, defeated, walks up to his throne, which is actually an electric chair, and sits down, pulls down the head strap and is shocked so badly his mouth foams and blood gushes out of his nose as the issue ends.

In the back-up, Two-Face, Riddler and Penguin want to shoot Bats to make sure he's dead but Joker stops them, saying there's more to his plan. The three villains want to join him, but this is just Joker, Bats and family, so he drops a cage on them. They turn to Riddler to free them but he passes out, due to some tiny tranquilizers Joker put in the suit he gave Riddler. Two-Face wants to shoot Joker, but Joker throws out a ton of variables, including the fact he gave Harvey that gun, so it may backfire and shoot Harvey, or it could shock him to death, or it may be a perfectly fine gun, but Harvey, given too many choices, can't depend on his coin so he just silently gives up as The Joker laughs. Lastly, Penguin offers Joker money, but he doesn't want or need it, but he does offer to show them a bit of what comes next. Joker gets a platter and removes the lid, showing only Penguin and Two-Face, who are in awe of what they see. The issue ends as Joker gets ready for his final act, the family dinner, with him and the Bat-Family.

Thoughts: I have mixed feelings on this issue, and I'll tell you guys why. First things first, I enjoyed the end result, with Joker yelling at Bats to sit on his throne, the back-up where Joker systematically picked apart Two-Face and made a lot of excellent points, the way Batman finally had to admit that his kids are his weakness, because if they weren't in danger, he'd clearly have won by this point. The things I didn't necessarily enjoy was the way Batman just ran through the asylum disposing of everyone with ease. Don't get me wrong, I played Arkham Asylum, I beat up a shit load of goons to get to the end, so I'm not shocked that Bats could take out all those goons and punch a horse in the head. I also get that he was supposed to be motivated and tired of Joker's crap, so that's why he didn't spend much time beating them, but seeing the way he easily disposed of Freeze, Clayface and Scarecrow kinda annoyed me, because over the last year, those three characters were built up as threats, hell Freeze especially by none other than Snyder himself. Just seeing each of those guys taken out in a page each kinda annoyed me. Other than that, I enjoyed this issue, and I am curious about what's under the platter. Obvious money says it's Alfred's head, face, something, but I doubt that because it's too obvious. At the same time, it has to be something that's easily recognizable to Two-Face and Penguin... and the platter shows up at the end of Batman and Robin, as well as Batgirl. So I literally have no idea what it could be, but I AM interested in what you guys think it is, so let me know in the comments.
 
Score: 7.5/10

Joker: You'll grow old wondering what happened to them. What i did to each one... NOW SIT YOUR #%^ DOWN!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Daredevil #22

Final review of this Thursday night is going to be the other Mark Waid comic I picked up yesterday, Daredevil.  Now THIS one should be interesting as we have the new, Superior Spider-Man and Ol' Hornhead meeting up for the first time.  I expect nothing but great things here.

Daredevil #22

Summary:  This issue gets underway by showing us that Matt Murdock was very nearly broke after he split with Foggy Nelson after a fight.  While Matt is contemplating what to do about his lack of income, he's attacked by Spider-Man, who had been told by Assistant DA McDuffie(who had heard from a drunken Foggy) that Daredevil had gone insane and become a public menace...  It's a long story...  Anyway, the two fight and Daredevil tries to puzzle out what was wrong with Spidey, especially since physically he had passed all of DD's tests.  Before the fight can go too far, Stilt-Man tries to rob a helicopter...  Yes, really.  The two heroes(I'm not sure I should use "heroes" here, actually...) put aside their differences and even manage some teamwork in taking down Stilt-Man.  Afterwards, the two talk and DD manages to convince Spidey that he wasn't insane or a menace.  DD asks Spidey if anything was bothering him, but Spidey naturally says no, before swinging back to his own book.  From there, Matt buys a pie from Foggy's favorite bakery and gives it to Foggy as an apology, which leads to the two talking out their differences and going back into business   However, this one ends with a shock as Foggy reveals to Matt that his doctors believe he had cancer...

Thoughts: Well that ending sure hits close to home...  This issue was extremely good, of which I'd expect no less.  Waid captured Spidey/Ock's dialogue SO well here, and actually made me laugh out loud a few times, especially when Spidey and Stilt-Man were using the same dialogue.  I'm glad somebody, in this case, Daredevil, called Spidey on his super-villain-ish dialogue!  Everybody in Superior Spidey seems oblivious to Peter's recent dialogue.  The dialogue was great, the story was good, this was a very solid issue with a strong cliffhanger.  What more could a DD fan like myself ask for?

Score:  8 1/2 out of 10.
daredevil #22
Spidey's dialogue here is epic!

Indestructible Hulk #3

Next review of the night is going to be the thus far exceptionally good Indestructible Hulk series.  I think this is the first time JT or I reviewed this series here at the blog, but it definitely deserves a good, early week review, especially after how great the prior issue was.  Anyway, let's see what kind of magic Mark Waid weaves with this issue.

Indestructible Hulk #3

Summary:  Some AIM goons break into an old professor's home and put a fancy electronic hood on his head.  However, before the AIM agents can leave they are met by SHIELD, who were apparently watching the house.  The two sides have a firefight, and the AIM agents manage to escape with the professor.  Or do they?!?  At the AIM base, the AIM agents pull off the hood and are shocked to see Bruce Banner!  It turns out SHIELD swapped Bruce and the professor during the shoot-out and Bruce immediately Hulks-up.  The head of this faction of AIM, Colin Thirty-Three, manages to make his way to a huge AIM robot called the Quintronic Man, hops inside and activates it.  Hulk and the robot fight, and the two fall into some magma, with the Quintonic Man figuring he could survive the heat and pressure, while the Hulk couldn't.  That proves to be a costly miscalculation, as the Hulk breaks into the robot, which lets the magma fill it, presumably killing Thirty-Three.  With that, Bruce Banner wakes up in a SHIELD hospital and this one comes to a close.

Thoughts:  Eh, this issue was one of those "Hulk Smash!!!" types of Hulk comics.  It was an okay action romp, but I prefer the issues like last issue where we get Tony Stark and Bruce Banner talking, as opposed to Hulk smashing.  Things were being set up for the future, which is good, as we got SHIELD hiring Bruce's science team, and Bruce being saddled with a robot that would monitor him for SHIELD, something Bruce wasn't fond of.  Bottom line?  This was a good comic, but not a great comic, as the two issues before it had been.

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.
indestructible hulk #3
Yeah, let's shoot the Hulk with a gun...  That's SURE to work!

Captain America #3

First review of the night(and week)?  That'll be Captain America #3...  I've been SO looking forward to this one, especially since I named Cap #2 as my favorite single issue from 2012.  So yeah, I'm salivating at the thought of reading this one!

Captain America #3

Summary: This issue opens with Cap using the last of his energy to prevent Ian from getting beheaded by the strange aliens.  Unfortunately, the alien leader decides that he'd beat Cap to death with his own shield for that affront.  Before Cap is trounced, the lead alien's second in command tells the leader that he had witnessed Cap battling against Zola's mutates, meaning Cap wasn't their enemy.  The leader decides to take mercy on Cap and Ian and lets his second take them into his home.  While there, Cap tries to explain that the second in command doesn't have to be subservient to the leader, but the leader overhears that insubordination and decides that now he was really going to kill Cap.  The second stands up for Cap and is callously shot in the head by the leader, which infuriates Cap.  Cap manages to get his hands on his shield and smacks the leader with it, but the leader just shrugs it off and slashes Cap across the gut with a blade.  Cap gets his hands on a piece of rock and beats the hell out of the leader, taking him down to the delight of the rest of the tribe.  With the leader down, Cap staggers off and looks down at his wound, discovering Armin Zola's face in his chest, taunting him!

Thoughts:  I enjoyed reading this issue, but it was definitely a major step back from the last issue, although anything short of perfection was going to be a big step back from the last issue!  Regardless, I DID like it.  After this issue it seems that Cap will take up the leadership of the tribe now that he has felled the leader, although if the tribes members see Zola's face in Cap's chest, I don't know how readily they'd follow him...  Speaking of which, that sure came out of left field!  I don't know if Cap is hallucinating due to his fight with the leader/blood loss(although I doubt that), but how did Zola's face get IN Cap?!  And why did it take so long for it to show up?!  That was weird, but a good kind of weird.  The kind of weird that has me looking forward to the next issue.

Score: 8 out of 10.
captain america #3
Take THAT, alien scum!!