Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Ultimate X-Men #8

Last review of this evening is the latest issue of Ultimate X-Men. I'm still extremely hopeful about this series, especially considering who the writer is and the fact that we don't have the idiotic “No More Mutants” rule to follow here, but so far this series, while good at times, hasn't quite reached that “great” plateau... Here's hoping the greatness starts............ Now!

Ultimate X-Men #8:

Summary: This issue opens with Valerie Cooper meeting with Nick Fury, mainly to complain about the fact that Fury had allowed Karen Grant(that would be Jean Grey) to fall into the hands of Xorn and Zorn... While Valerie is complaining, Nick shocks her by having Karen walk into their office, even though Karen was supposed to be on the other side of the world in the Celestial City. Karen explains to Valerie that she was powerful enough to trick the entire world into thinking she was in the Celestial City, including anybody who thought they saw video footage of her. Valerie is thrown for a loop and leaves the office, at which point Nick has Karen force Valerie to forget ever seeing Karen there. From there we head to Xorn, who asks to see Karen. We learn that in actuality Karen was physically with Xorn, and had sent a telepathic manifestation to fool Nick Fury into thinking she was actually with him. This issue ends with Karen changing into her true Jean Grey form and swearing her allegiance to Xorn.

Thoughts: Well, there were a few interesting little things going on here. Unfortunately, I don't care about the SEAR, Celestial Cities, or Xorn/Zorn... So yeah, that definitely hurt my enjoyment of this one. If you liked the Ultimate Hawkeye mini-series from a few months ago, then this is a must read comic. If, like me, you weren't a big fan of that mini, then this issue probably isn't going to be very impressive to you.

Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.
ultimate x-men #8
So wait, this is a double-double cross?!

Invincible #89

Two reviews on tap for tonight, with the first one being this week's Pick of the Litter... What is that book? Invincible. I'm quite curious to see what Robert Kirkman has up his sleeve for this issue...

Invincible #89:

Summary: So Invincible is deathly ill due to his being exposed to the Scourge Virus last issue. The king of the Viltrumites, Thragg, has taken it upon himself to try to assist Invincible, and has taken three of his men with him(as well as a mess of heroes) to the secret Viltrumite ship on the moon to try to discover a cure before it was too late. Meanwhile, Allen the Alien brings Dinosaurus to the moon ship, where Dinosaurus offers his assistance to Thragg and his goon squad. Thragg initially turns the offer down, but Dinosaurus manages to convince Thragg that they both wanted Invincible better for their own reasons, so Thragg allows Dinosaurus to remain behind. However, Thragg tells everybody else that was present(the Guardians of the Globe, Cecil Stedman, Allen, Oliver, Atom Eve) to leave since they were only serving as distractions. Back on Earth, Eve gets a call from Invincible Inc for some assistance in defeating a monster, so Bulletproof steps up, hops into one of Invincible's outfits and heads off to battle. Other than that, Thragg learns from one of his scientists that Invincible is “a match” for something, and this knowledge causes Thragg to murder the scientist so nobody else would discover that fact. And that's about it here.

Thoughts: Um, not much of anything happened here... The issue ended pretty much that same way it began, with Invincible in the throes of the Scourge Virus. Besides the whole “match” thing, there really weren't even any major character development/set-up for the future events in this one... Yeah, I have to admit, I was expecting a bit more from this comic...

Score: 6 out of 10.
invincible #89
There had to be a neater way to kill that guy!

New Comic Day! February 29th edition

Okay, here's the REAL New Comic Day post, complete with customary, “Huzzah!!” For those who don't know what I picked up today, here's a quick listing... Invincible #89, Amazing Spider-Man #680, Avengers #23, Ultimate X-Men #8, Venom #13.4. Yes, that's right, this isn't a dream, nor did I forget to list a bunch of books, I only came home with 5 new comics this week... I feel like I'm 12 years old again and all I can afford are 5 books... Well, I have to say this much, this week's Pick and Runt of the Litter is sure as hell going to be easy to choose! Our Pick this week is Invincible #89... Why? Because out of the 5 books I picked up that's the one I'm most interested in reading due to the strong cliffhanger last issue. This week's Runt is a no-brainer, it has to be Avengers #23. Why the comic gods decided to punish me by dropping an issue of this series, with this storyline on such a short week is a mystery to me... Do I not worship at your alter enough, O Mighty Comic Gods?!? Do I not spend hundreds of dollars dedicated to you?!? Why do you torment me so?!? So yeah, there you have it. With so few books, I honestly have no idea what this week's posting schedule is going to look like... I'll probably post two reviews for three nights(I'll add Green Lantern New Guardians #6 from last week to make this an even number), but then? I'm not sure what I'll do... Maybe some Retro-Reviews, maybe some random scans, or maybe I'll try to come up with some sort of collaboration with JT... We shall see. But that's for later this week. For tonight, expect a review for at least Invincible, and probably Ultimate X-Men #8 later on. Until then? X out.

New Comic Day... Maybe...

Hey there X-Maniacs, it's the most malfested comic book blogger on the net, X! Trust me, if you ever play Soul Calibur 5, that reference will make WAY more sense... Anyway, I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to make it to the comic book store tomorrow due to two factors... The first is the fact that I'm working tomorrow. I get out at 5, so that in and of itself shouldn't be a problem... The problem is the fact that my area is expecting some nasty winter weather... Now, if it was just some snow, no biggie. But we're supposedly going to get hit by an icestorm, and ol' X isn't too keen on driving an extra 25 minutes to the comic shop on roads covered with ice... So, if the various meteorologists around these parts are right(and really, who knows if they will be!), I probably won't be picking up this week's comics until sometime Thursday afternoon(after work). I figured I'd list the books I EXPECT to pick up this week here, so even if I don't wind up with them, you guys have some idea of what I SHOULD be getting eventually... Invincible #89, Amazing Spider-Man #680, Avengers #23, Ultimate Comics X-Men #8, Venom #13.4... Wow, THAT'S IT?!? Five comic books!? Wow... Considering I'm regularly coming home with 3 to 4 times that amount on any given week, I am shocked... Sure, that number may increase depending on if my shop has gotten I, Vampire #2 in, or if I see any impulse items worth picking up, but as it is right now, I'm only expecting to walk out of the comic shop with a lowly five books... Huh. I'm not going to name a Pick or Runt of the Litter in this post, in case I do decide to pick some other comic up from the rack whenever I do get to the shop. That's about all I can think to say right now. Here's hoping the weather isn't as bad as anticipated so I can pick up my measly five books tomorrow! Until next time, X out.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Flash #6

Now, I had a lot of new comic books to get through this week... I think the number was something like 17. So yeah, Ol' X was busy pumping out those reviews... BUT, I couldn't forget to review Flash #6! Sure, it's a few years old, but since I've never read it before, it's new to me! So pull up a chair(unless you're already sitting down, in which case don't do anything) and relax as I regale you with an early tale of the greatest Flash of all time...

Flash #6:

Summary: This issue kicks off with Wally finding Tina laying around some fire, but otherwise unharmed after last issue's fuel depot explosion... Um, okay, I guess... Since Tina survived, it stands to reason that Tina's insane estranged husband Jerry also survived, so Wally calls on some of his Teen Titans teammates to help him try to track down Jerry. Wally takes Tina to Titans tower and she tells Wally that Jerry had become increasingly angry with his boss, a Dr. Bortz. With a clue as to where Jerry may go next, Wally rushes to Bortz's heavily fortified home to warn Bortz that Jerry was probably coming. Bortz was already prepared for that, and has a gun that he figured would drop Jerry if it came to that. However, what Bortz really wanted was to try to help Jerry return to normal... The only problem with that was a) catching Jerry, and b) the doctor who'd best be able to help Jerry was working in Siberia... It's at that moment a very deformed Jerry smashes his way into Bortz's home and downs Wally. Jerry goes to kill Bortz, at least until Wally catches his attention by bringing Tina up. Wally manages to lead Jerry into some unbreakable glass and a wall, damaging the madman, but eventually Jerry gets his hands on Wally and locks him in a bearhug. Wally can feel his spine reaching it's breaking point and hits Jerry a few dozen times square in the face, causing Jerry to pass out and release Wally. With that, Jerry is taken to a hospital where Bortz reveals Jerry has very little chance at survival... Since Tina still had feelings for her insane husband, and Wally was still trying to win Tina over, Wally decides to head to Siberia to get the one scientist who may be able to save Jerry's life. This issue ends with the Soviets testing out three speedsters in Siberia with speed that rivaled that of Wally himself.

Thoughts: This was a pretty good comic. It wasn't as much fun as the prior issue was, but it was a pretty good read nonetheless. Sure, the next issue should be odd, what with Wally heading to Siberia to kidnap(?) a Soviet scientist so he could save Jerry, who IS a rival for the attentions of the woman he loves, but that's Wally for you. Anyway, this was another good, solid issue of this series and the ending has me mildly interested in the next issue.

Score: 7 out of 10.
flash #6

Uncanny X-Force #22

Two reviews to close the week out(finally!). It was going to be three reviews, but I just can't bring myself to read Green Lantern: New Guardians #6... Not even the prospect of using Brightest Day Rules has me interested in cracking that comic open... However, since the upcoming comic week looks to be VERY light, I'll probably read and review GL:NG sometime during the coming week. Probably... Anyway, let's polish off the final books in this week's new comic pile!

Uncanny X-Force #22:

Summary: Nightcrawler manages to shame Wolverine into assisting the citizens of Otherworld against the Goat-headed Guy. While Wolvie and Deadpool are hunting down Goat Guy(with Nightcrawler and Meggan standing guard over their exit), Psylocke is preparing to ferry the rapidly healing Fantomex to the portal back to Earth. Before they reach the portal though, they are stopped by some skinless villain named Weapon III. Apparently Fantomex screwed Weapon III over some years ago and Weapon III became stranded in Otherworld. Needless to say, Weapon III was intent on getting revenge against Fantomex and Psylocke, since it was her father who sentenced him to having his skin torn off... Huh. Back with Wolvie and Pool, they wind up getting attacked by Goat Guy. This issue ends with Weapon III cutting Fantomex's face off in retribution for having lost his own skin.

Thoughts: This issue wasn't that bad! It stayed away from Captain Britain, his idiot brother and that annoying Captain Britain Corps and focused more on Wolverine, Nightcrawler and Deadpool, as well as Psylocke and Fantomex. The parts with Psylocke and Fantomex in particular were well done. Could I have done without Goat Guy and Otherworld? Hell yes! But considering how terrible the past two issues of this storyline have been, this issue was miles better, and that makes me one happy comic fan.

Score: 7 out of 10.
uncanny x-force #22
Give me more of this and less of Capt. Britain and I'll be VERY happy!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Venom #13.3

Well, there's no way this comic can be as bad as the last review I posted... God, at least I hope not!!

Venom #13.3:

Summary: Having died last issue at the hands of Blackheart and his minions, Venom, Red Hulk, X-23 & Bad-Ass Ghost Rider find themselves trapped in Mephisto's Hell. Mephisto first gives them their greatest fantasies, and then has it go horribly wrong, which is actually pretty awesome, as Mephisto points out that the anguish was better after the heroes have their fantasy life destroyed as opposed to simply tormenting them. After having some fun, Mephisto summons the quartet and offers them a chance to leave Hell and get revenge on Blackheart... For a price... Mephisto tells the four heroes that he would need them to band together at a later date to preform an important task for Mephisto, and that once they promise this to him there would be no backing out... With no choice, the four enter into this contract, and this issue ends.

Thoughts: Well, this was WAY better than I expected it to be! Jeff Parker, in this one issue, did a fantastic job fixing the mess Rob Williams made in the past two issues... Now, if Parker was anything like Williams, he'd have made this issue ALL about Red Hulk, since Parker writes the Red Hulk comic book(like how Williams made the past two issues ALL about Bad-Ass Ghost Rider since he wrote her series). Instead, Parker focused on all four characters in this comic(imagine that!), which led to me enjoying this comic way more. I believe with the next issue Rick Remender takes back over, and I can honestly say that this story is now finally moving in the right direction thanks in large part to the efforts of Jeff Parker.

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.
venom #13.3
Now there's the Mephisto I remember!

Avengers Solo #5

Okay, two more reviews tonight, and then we'll finish out the week with the final two comics in my new comic pile tomorrow... You know, it's really seemed like the reviews this week took WAY longer to get through than usual... I don't know if that was because the books I read this week were sub-par or if it was because I've been tired due to work... Whatever it is, I've been pretty let down by most of the books I've read this week, and after looking at the comic books left in front of me, all I feel is a sense of dread...

Avengers Solo #5(of 5):

Summary: Okay, I'm going to be 100% honest with everybody right here... I have NO idea what happened in this comic book... Seriously, usually I can at least string together a few sentences about a comic book(even one that I hated) describing the actual story. But I literally don't know what happened in this comic. Plain and simple. Let's just say that Hawkeye beat the bad guys(he did, I understood that much), and the Avengers Academy kids were being tested in the back-up feature and leave it at that.

Thoughts: Wow, this was seriously terrible... It is a rare occasion indeed when I can't give a review for a comic book, but this was one of those times. I mean I've been really down on the main story in this mini since it began, but I could at least understand some of it. But this issue? Forget it. My brain was just NOT understanding this story at all. If you are a fan of Hawkeye, as I am, this mini-series was a serious kick to the gut...

Score: 1 out of 10.
avengers solo #5
This page was literally the ONLY thing I liked about this entire comic book!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Justice League Dark #6

Ah, now here's a series I am seriously considering dropping... The first storyline was, in the vernacular of John Constantine, rubbish. This issue has to be REALLY good for me to keep this series on my pull list.

Justice League Dark #6:

Summary: Constantine, Zatanna, Deadman & Shade all have some really bad nightmares. They all head to Madame Xanadu since the nightmares began after the end of the battle with the Enchantress. Before Xanadu can shed some light onto why these four characters were experiencing these terrible dreams, the creature from the Shade's nightmare attacks. Somehow Deadman and Shade pool their talents to defeat the creature... And no, I haven't the slightest idea what they did... With the threat over, Xanadu tells the group that the nightmares were actually glimpses of possible futures that would occur if the heroes didn't remain together as a team. Before she can impart any more wisdom, Xanadu screams as she senses something gone awry with the vampires, signaling the beginning of the crossover with I, Vampire.

Thoughts: Well NOW sure would be a great time for my comic shop to FINALLY get I, Vampire #2 in stock so I can catch up on that frigging series! As for this issue? It didn't do enough. To be perfectly honest, if it wasn't for the I, Vampire crossover, I'd be dropping this series this Wednesday when I hit the comic shop. It just doesn't do it for me. With that said, I'll continue reading through the I, Vampire x-over stuff, and once that ends? I'll be dropping this series. I'm sure I can find a more creative way to waste $3 every month.

Score: 6 out of 10.
justice league dark #6
Well, at least I can still read about Constantine in Hellblazer...

Wolverine and the X-Men #6

Next up on X's rolling review show of HORROR is the latest issue of Wolverine and the X-Men... You know, I'd be happy if this issue's score broke a 7... That's all I ask, that it gets a 7. I'm not asking for perfection, or even a really good read... I just want to read an okay story... Will I get that? Experience says no, but here's hoping I'm wrong...

Wolverine and the X-Men #6:

Summary: Wolverine and Kid Omega head to a gambling planet so Wolverine could win enough money to keep the school open... Yes, that really did happen... Wolverine is going to use alien money to fund his school... Maybe Cyclops was right... Anyway, Kid Omega counts cards and uses his telepathy to fleece the aliens. Back on Earth, the faculty enters Shadowcat(...) to find Kid Gladiator and to deal with the Broodlings that were inside of her. For some reason Lockheed is in her too... Meanwhile, that big Brood-ish looking guy from last issue invades the school and declares that he was going to kill that Brood kid, Broo. Back in Shadowcat, Kid Gladiator has been infected by the Broodlings and transformed into one. Finally, back with Wolvie and Omega, the aliens running the casino realize something fishy was going down and attack Wolvie and Omega.

Thoughts: This comic was... not terrible actually... I mean I expected to hate it with a passion, but it kind of/sort of won me over. Was it stupid? Yeah. Were there parts that made no sense? Damn straight there were! But for some reason, I didn't hate this issue... I didn't love it, and wouldn't recommend it to anybody, but it wasn't horrible, which I guess is about as good as I can expect from this series...

Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.
wolverine and the x-men #6
Wolverine: the best there is at tying bow ties.

Voodoo #6

Only seven more reviews to get through this week! And you know what that means... We're starting to get towards the books I'm really not all that keen on reading... Let's hope at least one of the next few books turns out to have been worth the money I spent on it...

Voodoo #6:

Summary: Voodoo heads to a Daemonite warship and demands an audience with the Daemonite war council, since she was in a state of confusion after learning that she was seemingly a clone. As for the real(I guess?) Voodoo, she is broken out of government custody by government agents Fallon and Black Jack. Fallon and Black Jack seem to think the real Voodoo would be able to help them find the clone Voodoo... Uh-huh... Fallon and Black Jack are successful with their breakout, and escape with Real Voodoo. As for Apparent Clone Voodoo, she fights her way through several angry Daemonites and enters the room of the war council, demanding answers to her many questions.

Thoughts: Yeah, I didn't like this issue much at all... I don't get why we need TWO Voodoos, especially since you KNOW one of them is probably going to get killed off, and the one to go will probably be Apparent Clone Voodoo... Meaning the character we've spent the past 6 issues reading about will be dying... And will probably be replaced by Real Voodoo, who has been around for all of TWO issues... Sure, I could be wrong, and maybe Real Voodoo will die for some reason, or hell, maybe neither one will die, but whatever the case may be, I just don't get the direction this comic has gone in.

Score: 5 out of 10.
voodoo #6
Sooo... This is the real Voodoo? I guess? Probably?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Magneto: Not A Hero #4

One more speed review for the night, and it's the final issue of the most recent Magneto mini-series. I thoroughly enjoyed the first two issues of this series, but was a bit let down by the third issue. I'm hoping issue #3 was just a minor bump in the road, and that things will pick up again with this issue.

Magneto: Not A Hero #4(of 4):

Summary: Joseph tells Human Now(yes, yet ANOTHER anti-mutant group) leader Christopher Bach that he wanted to change their prior agreement in which Joseph was to kill a few of Bach's fellow Human Now bigots(which would garner Bach greater attention)... Instead of killing a few, Joseph wanted to kill a few HUNDRED, figuring that would cause the world to fear the name Magneto again... From there we fast-forward a few days where Joseph and his clone Brotherhood of Evil Mutants attack a massive park rally. Magneto gets wind of what Joseph was up to(not to mention the fact that Joseph was doing it dressed AS Magneto), and has Astra teleport him to Joseph's location. From there, Astra escapes. Mags kills the Blob clone, before engaging Joseph in battle. Joseph continuously attempts to kill innocent civilians and bigots alike, while Mags is forced to save the people. Eventually Mags manages to subdue his wayward clone, and tells Joseph that Mags didn't have to be “evil”, as long as he got his way. And if that meant siding with Lord Summers and his X-Men, then that was what Mags would do... For as long as it served his purposes. With Joseph done for, Bach and some of his fellow bigots approach Mags shouting anti-mutant rhetoric. Bach tells Mags to show them what kind of a man he was, and Mags proceeds to drop a ton of rubble on top of Bach and the rest of the bigots(!!). By this point Lord Summers and his team have arrived on the scene, and Mags hands over Joseph, but claims ignorance as to Bach's whereabouts.

Thoughts: Now that's more like it! That's the way I like my Magneto! Not the whipped one that currently follows Lord Summers around like a toothless little puppy dog, but as the man who all of humanity SHOULD fear. The true mutant bogeyman. As this issue was winding down, with Joseph defeated and all, I figured Mags would simply leave Bach and his fellow bigots alone to show that Mags was the bigger man... Mags dropping all of that rubble on them and probably killing them? That was a great surprise, and a satisfying way to end this mini-series. So sure, Magneto is currently playing the role of Lord Summers' lapdog, but once Mags feels that isn't the best direction for mutantkind to go? He made it perfectly clear here that he'd be willing to do whatever it took to make sure mutantkind survived... By any means necessary.

Score: 7 out of 10.
magneto not a hero #4
Magneto madness!!!

Captain America & Bucky #627

Next on the list? This month's issue of Captain America and Bucky. This storyline has been... lacking for the most part, but here's hoping it picks up here. That's me, the eternal optimist!

Captain America & Bucky #627:

Summary: Bucky II, that would be Fred Davis, manages to narrowly halt an attempt on his life by an android nurse. Realizing that something was awry(no kidding!), Fred decides to head to where the Human Torch(that's the WWII version) had gone. As for the Torch, he is being beaten up and reprogrammed by Adam III. Adam III then sends the Torch to “grow their family tree across the globe”... Whatever THAT means! As for Adam III himself, he confronts Captain America, who was busy beating up androids that looked like him and Bucky. Adam III apparently hugs Cap to death(seriously, he did!) and this issue ends with Adam III taking on Cap's look to become the new Captain America.

Thoughts: Okay, first things first, Cap was a JERK in this issue! He makes a comment here stating that he was tougher than the other Captain America Adam had killed(that would be William Naslund)... I don't know about anybody else, but that just seemed very un-Cap-like to me... The fact that he basically said he was better than Naslund(while true), just didn't seem like the type of thing Cap would say. Other than Cap's unfortunate choice of words, this issue really didn't interest me much. I am now officially to the point where I just want this storyline to end.

Score: 5 1/2 out of 10.
captain america & Bucky #627
Man, that line from Cap TOTALLY took me by surprise...

Mighty Thor #11

Okay, I'm gonna try to bust out three more reviews as I try to(rapidly!) make my way through my new comic pile. I'm somewhat sleep-deprived right now, so if the reviews happen to suck more than usual tonight(as if they COULD suck any worse!) that's why.

Mighty Thor #11:

Summary: While Thor and the other “dead” gods are making their way to the heart of the Demogorge to destroy it and set themselves free, Tony Stark is unveiling the new Asgardia to the All-Mothers. It's at that time that Tanarus is given the order to assassinate the All-Mothers by his father, the troll king. Before he can carry this act out, he is attacked by Heimdall, who says that he had finally figured out who/what Tanarus was, and tears Tanarus's face away, revealing his true guise, Ulik the Troll. While Heimdall and Tanarus battle, Loki and the Silver Surfer head to the Weird Sisters, where they find the Queen of the Norns emerging from her hiding place, inside one of the Weird Sisters... Yuck... Anyway, this issue ends with all of the forces of the trolls preparing to launch a wide scale attack on Asgardia.

Thoughts: Eh, this comic wasn't terrible. It wasn't great either though... We had some good parts(mainly anything with Thor or the battle between Heimdall and Tanarus), but there was also a bunch of stuff I didn't really care about(pretty much everything else!). The cover for the next issue claims that we'll FINALLY get Thor vs Tanarus/Ulik, so that right there is something to look forward to. If that battle is as awesome as it could be, the rest of this storyline will have been well worth it.

Score: 6 out of 10.
mighty thor #11
It's nice to see Heimdall do that whole “all-seeing, all-hearing” thing of his finally...

Weekly Comic News for February 25th

It's comic news time! Yep, that's my opener because I've immediately lost any semblance of making a creative intro for this thing. So instead of rambling and stalling, I'm cutting straight to the point. So let's get you your weekly dose of comic news.

Daniel to Snyder: "Can I play?"

News broke this week that Detective Comics, the only Bat-book previously not involved with the massive "Night of the Owls" event besides Batwoman, would also join in with the other cool kids. Last month Detective Comics was said to not be involved due to Daniel's current storyline, but apparently he's changed his mind and wanted to join the bandwagon along with Catwoman, Birds of Prey, Red Hood and the Outlaws, Batman and Robin, and the other Bat-Books. Considering Tony Daniel's first issue of Detective Comics had so much controversy that no one knew if it too place in present day or five years prior, I can't say I'm excited for this news. (Source)

Young Justice for All (with Game consoles)

It was also announced this week that there will be a Young Justice video game called "Young Justice: Legacy" based on the cartoon network animated series, released in 2013. The game will feature twelve playable characters that have yet to be announced, but will obviously include Robin, Aqualad, Kid Flash, Artemis, Miss Martian and Superboy. Also the game will feature twelve unannounced villains to take on. The tagline simply states "One Will Rise. One Will Fall. One Will Die." (Game Site)

Bendis to take over X-Men?!

Rumor has it, Brian Michael Bendis will take over the writing duties for the X-Books after the conclusion of the Avengers vs. X-Men storyline. It's been known for some time that Bendis would be wrapping up his writing for the Avengers books soon, but having him jump over to writing the X-Men books once again is interesting to say the least. (Read more) When asked for his thoughts about Brian Michael Bendis taking over the writing duties for the X-Men comics, X-Man75 was quoted as saying:

New Spidey Game: Tougher than Rhino Skin

This week we also found out the first villain to be announced in the new Amazing Spider-Man game, that will be released June 26th to tie-in with the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man movie, is none other than The Rhino. Sporting a new look and possibly a new attitude, this Rhino is said to be more focused and smarter than the past incarnations, but I doubt the Amazing Arachnid will have a problem with him. To see a trailer with the Rhino as well as an interview with the game developers, click here.

Man makes 3.5 Million from Selling Comics

It wasn't me, and I'm jealous. (Read more here)

Is The Rock a Demi-God?

Although the Wrestler-turned-Actor is slated to face WWE Poster boy John Cena at this years WrestleMania, that doesn't mean The Rock isn't keeping busy. The People's Champ may soon play the role of the strongest man (Sorry Mark Henry) as rumor has it Brett Ratner's upcoming film focused on Hercules may star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. I can't say I'm too excited, but personally I'm still waiting for The Rock to play Black Adam in a SHAZAM movie.

Spidey swings onto Disney XD

After the travesty that occurred when Spectacular Spider-Man was ended, word spread that a new Spider-Man cartoon would come to Disney XD. That new cartoon is Ultimate Spider-Man, which debuts April 1st. The series has a few plusses so far though, as it will be written by Paul Dini, Brian Michael Bendis and more. (Source)

That's it for this week's comic news, as always guys and gals, feel free to comment with any news you think I missed or you want to discuss. Another short week of news but I hope you all enjoyed. Until next time, this is Jason Todd signing off.

Friday, February 24, 2012

X-Men Legacy #262

Last speed review of the night, and it's the most recent issue of X-Men Legacy. Christos Gage writing Exodus SHOULD make for a good comic book... Here's hoping that's what we get here.

X-Men Legacy #262:

Summary: With Exodus now on his way to Crazy Mutie Island(Utopia) to kill Lord Summers, Wolverine takes Rogue, Cannonball, Frenzy, Gambit, Iceman and Rachel Grey to try to halt Exodus before he can attempt his grim act. Rogue wants to warn Crazy Mutie Island, but Wolverine tells her not to since Exodus was their responsibility to stop. The team heads after Exodus, but not before Rogue secretly sends a message to Crazy Mutie Island on a time delay, just in case Exodus can't be defeated. From there Wolvie's squad manages to ground Exodus, but prove unable to stop him... At all. Exodus spends most of this issue beating up on Wolvie's team, and this one ends with Our Lord and Savior Hope(REALLY?!?) and her band of brainwashed misfits arriving to assist Wolvie after intercepting the message Rogue sent to Crazy Mutie Island.

Thoughts: Oh, well thank the gods, Our Lord and Savior is on the case!! Why the hell should I even bother reading the next issue of this series since we ALL know what's gonna happen! Here's a hint, it involves Our Lord and Savior Hope defeating Exodus, probably with ease, while every other character in the comic book(as well as probably Exodus himself) stands around kissing her ass. So yeah, basically I HATED the ending of this one... This issue was moving along fine and good until the appearance of that damned Hope... I mean come on, I drop every series where she may pop up and what happens? She pops up in this series! I just have no luck sometimes...

Score: 6 out of 10.
x-men legacy #262
Oh Wolverine... How many times have we seen this happen to you...

Secret Avengers #23

And we'll continue speeding through this week's comic books with a quick look at Secret Avengers #23.

Secret Avengers #23:

Summary: Hawkeye is disturbed by the fact that Ant-Man still hadn't reported back to the Secret Avengers after hitching a ride with those androids last issue. As a result, he hasn't slept for well over a day and is VERY short with everybody, including Captain America, who tries to add Venom to the Secret Avengers. Cranky Clint tells Cap to take Venom and to get lost before collecting the Human Torch(the one from WWII) and Beast, as well as the rest of the Secret Avengers, since he had finally gotten a signal from Ant-Man. Ant-Man manages to save the child kidnapped by the androids last issue, but is unable to save the child's mother from the leader of the androids, some feeb named the Father. The Secret Avengers follow Ant-Man's signal to some weird underground robot city, but are unable to get to Ant-Man before he is apparently beaten to death by the androids while making sure to give the child enough time to make a run for it.

Thoughts: Well, if this was the end of the Eric O'Grady Ant-Man, he went out like a true hero, which is always a good thing. Granted, I don't think we needed a death here, but you know what happens when a new writer takes over a series... Somebody usually has to die so said writer can “make an impact”. Speaking about impacts, this issue really didn't make much of one with me... Sure, I enjoyed Hawkeye acting like an ass to Captain America, because that's Hawkeye, and you'd think Hawkeye, with NO sleep and worrying about a teammate, would be even more of an ass than usual. One thing I didn't enjoy was the strange jab Beast threw at Pym when Beast told Pym that while Beast was alive he'd never allow Pym to create another artificial intelligence... Throwing Ultron in Pym's face seemed unusually nasty and uncalled for from Beast, who's a character I usually find myself enjoying... I have to say, I didn't like the way Remender wrote Beast in that scene at all... I think Hank Pym has done MORE than enough good things with his life to have made up for the accidental creation of Ultron. As for this issue itself, it really didn't do much for me. It wasn't awful, but I definitely wouldn't say it was all that good...

Score: 6 out of 10.
secret Avengers #23
Cranky, sleep-deprived Hawkeye rules!

Teen Titans #6

I've got work EARLY tomorrow, so the three(that's right, THREE!) reviews for tonight are probably gonna be on the brisk side... If you want any extra details, feel free to leave a comment and I'll do my best to fill you in. Okay, let's get moving here!

Teen Titans #6:

Summary: Kid Flash is injured from last issue's battle with Superboy, so the Titans take him to STAR Labs, where Static is working as his alter-ego. While Static is trying to figure out a way to slow down Kid Flash's molecular destabilization, Bunker, Skitter and Wonder Girl end up running afoul some dweeb named Grymm. Grymm manages to take control of the bodies of the three Titans, but Bunker is able to knock Grymm out since Bunker's powers were psionic based. From there, Static's solution to Kid Flash's unstable molecules is to put him in a new costume... Um, okay... This costume will keep Kid Flash from vibrating himself to oblivion, and with that, this issue ends.

Thoughts: We also got some set-up stuff for the upcoming Teen Titans/Legion Lost x-over, with who I'm guessing was Chameleon Kid/Lad/Boy/Girl/Whatever recognizing Kid Flash as somebody who was supposed to still be in the future. Anyway, this issue was okay. There wasn't anything great or horrible about it, it was just a nice, easy way to waste a few minutes. We'll see what next issue brings, but I honestly wouldn't mind if next issue was similar to this one.

Score: 7 out of 10.
teen titans #6
So this is how the Legion Lost/Teen Titans x-over is going to start...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Morning Glories #16

Ah, here's a comic I truly love reading when it comes out! This'll be the first non-Marvel review of the week, and here's hoping THIS is the comic to finally get me a perfect score for 2012!

Morning Glories #16:

Summary: Okay, this is an all Casey and Guidance Councilor(why did I cap that?) Hodge issue... We discover that Hodge had managed to get Casey back into the past after that strange ritual from a few issues ago. Unfortunately, the two wound up in an army base... Fortunately, Hodge has some kind of weird telepathy, and makes the soldiers let her and Casey go free. Hodge gives Casey a bag with some clothes, money and a note that tells Casey EXACTLY what she needed to do to help herself, her family and friends. Besides that, Hodge reveals that Casey can also control the minds of others... Huh... With that, Hodge tells Casey to run, and Hodge herself returns to Morning Glories Academy. As for Casey, she does as she was told by Hodge, and uses her newfound powers to escape the army base(and her own father). Casey heads to an airport and books a flight for New York City, ending this one.

Thoughts: Well this was weird... It was good and all(as usual), but everything that happened here was just damn weird! I guess that's par for the course with this series though. So now Casey has been sent back in time, and has some sort of instructions from Hodge that will, I'd imagine, help the rest of the Morning Glories kids in the present... Man is time travel hard to write about! Now, while this WAS a good issue and all, I can't shake the feeling that this issue may well be the catalyst to end this series... I mean I haven't heard that this series was getting canned or was gonna end or anything, but IF Nick Spencer and Joe Eisma wanted to pull the plug, Casey escaping Morning Glories sure as hell would be the way to start knocking down those dominoes and bringing this series to a close... Here's hoping that doesn't happen for a very long time though...

Score: 8 out of 10.
morning glories #16
So the Morning Glories kids and faculty have telepathy? Or is it hypnosis... Or is it only Casey??

New Mutants #38

First review(of two) tonight? New Mutants! Um, I really don't have much else to say here except that Nate Grey is in this comic, thus meaning it should be at least readable.

New Mutants #38:

Summary: This issue opens with Cypher waking up from a nightmare with a scream, which wakes all of the other New Mutants up(well, except for Nate, who was staring at the refrigerator...). Cypher tells the team that he had been thinking about Paradise Island and his death at the hands of the Ani-Mator(ugh...) and that he needed to go there to get closure. With that, the team hops a Blackbird and head to the island, where they find nothing, although Warlock's systems start to pick up conflicting reports about life signs on the island... After some searching, the team runs into Birdbrain(UGH!), who flies(heh-heh) into a rage and attacks them. Nate and Warlock manage to halt Birdbrain's rampage, and after a quick scan, Warlock realizes that the multiple life signs he had been picking up was a highly contagious virus... And by coming into contact with Birdbrain, all of the New Mutants had been exposed to it. Moonstar decides to take the team back to Crazy Mutie Island(Utopia) to try to find a cure, but Warlock tells the team that he wouldn't allow them to leave the island since they would be carriers of this virus(!), meaning the team was trapped there.

Thoughts: Okay, first a confession... When I first saw what this comic was about(the Ani-Mator, that dumb-ass island, Cypher), I was expecting to hate it... A lot! I was already preparing myself for the worst, but you know what? That was totally unnecessary! I should never have doubted Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning's abilities... Stupid X... Anyway, this issue was good. Really good! First off, the Ani-Mator wasn't there, and that right there helped my enjoyment of this issue a load. Seriously, the Ani-Mator makes the Penguin look like a bad-ass... Really. The twist with the virus was also really good, as was Warlock's reaction to it(although you have to wonder if Warlock was also infected or if he was truly immune, as he claimed). Add Nate and Moonstar possibly being interested in each other romantically, and this was a very enjoyable read that should only get better next issue.

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.
new mutants #38
Oh course she's attracted to him! He's Nate Grey!!

Deadpool #51

I'm gonna have to rush a bit here as I've got work tomorrow and would like to at least get the rough drafts for tomorrow's comic books typed up... Yeah, so the introduction for this issue sucks... What can ya do?

Deadpool #51:

Summary: Deadpool's wacky, convoluted plans continue here as X-Force battles the Hand, since X-Force believed Kingpin had the serum that could negate Deadpool's healing factor, while Kingpin wanted to get his hands on the serum... Oh yeah, and X-Force and Kingpin both think the serum could negate any mutant power... Meanwhile, Daken is also looking for the serum, since he was led to believe(by Deadpool) that it could negate healing factors, which meant he could use it to kill his hated father, Wolverine. As for who actually has the serum? Tombstone. After nearly getting into a gang war with Kingpin set up by, you guessed it, Deadpool, Tombstone decides to head to the lab to get the last remaining vial of the anti-Deadpool serum before things got too hot. Unfortunately for Tombstone, Daken had been eavesdropping on his business and beats him to the warehouse, burning it down and presumably taking the serum. Meanwhile, Deadpool has gambled that if anybody was savvy enough to get his hands on the serum it would be Daken, so he tells X-Force to find the serum while he deals with Daken, since the two wouldn't be able to kill each other due to their healing factors... Not realizing what Deadpool was up to(or that Daken most likely HAD the serum), Wolverine sends Deadpool after Daken, and possibly his death.

Thoughts: This comic was ALLLL over the place, but in a good sort of way. There was a lot to follow, what with all of the plans Deadpool has put into motion, and if I'm being honest, all of those various plans did hurt my enjoyment of this one just a bit. I mean I loved how clever Deadpool ended up looking coming out of this one, but between Kingpin, the Hand, Typhoid Mary the various X-Force members, Hydra Bob, Deadpool himself, Tombstone, Daken, Spider-Man(yep, he was here too!), and some assorted hitmen and gangsters, this issue was a bit hard to follow from time to time... That's not to say I'm not enjoying the story, and that I didn't love the fact that the ending should set up Pool vs Daken, to the death(!), but I didn't enjoy this issue as much as I enjoyed the previous one.

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.
deadpool #51
Deadpool vs Daken next issue? You KNOW I'm there!

Avengers Academy #26

First review of the new week would be this week's Pick of the Litter, and my favorite ongoing comic series, Avengers Academy. Before saying anything else, if you haven't read JT's post on why Avengers Academy is so great, you should definitely give that post a read(you can find it here). Before I even open this comic, a quick note... I haven't handed out a single perfect score thus far in 2012... In 2011 I gave out 27 perfect scores, so about two a month... This year? Zip... Here's hoping I'm looking at the first perfect comic of 2012!

Avengers Academy #26:

Summary: So Jocasta and Veil have returned to the Avengers Academy and(surprise, surprise) are working with Jeremy Briggs(that presumably evil kid from a few issues back). Jocasta feels that the Avengers are an outdated idea, and the Academy would only lead to children dying, so she wants all of her work taken from the Academy, as well as the Academy's students joining with herself, Veil and Jeremy. Pym suspects that Jocasta's programing had been tampered with and Pym and Jocasta reach a compromise where they'd allow the Sentinel to scan Jocasta for any virus's or outside influences. While Pym and Jocasta are fixing the Sentinel, Jeremy arrives on campus with several of the Initiative cadets(including Hardball, thus instituting the Hardball Rule to this issue!) and makes his pitch as to why the students should join with him... He'd pay them and they'd be doing humanitarian work. After being repaired, the Sentinel scans Jocasta and reveals her free of outside influences, at which time Pym gives an impassioned speech about what the Avengers mean to him, as well as what they've done for him personally. Reptil makes a speech of his own, basically stating the obvious, that both sides wanted to make the world a better place, meaning there was no need for hostility and that they should be working together. Pym and Jocasta agree to keep in touch and try to work together, and the students pick sides(only Rocket Racer and Machine Teen leave the Academy). Hazmat is about to leave since she wanted Jeremy to try to cure Mettle of his powers, but Jeremy instead takes the pieces of Mettle Hazmat had acquired last issue(that's actually kind of creepy...) and promises to do something “good” with them, before telling Hazmat she should stay with Mettle. From there we jump to the future and find the future Academy members wondering if sending Reptil back in time had accomplished anything, at which time their leader, an old and probably crazy Pym says that future Reptil's actions will help their future(which seems to be a technological madhouse) come into being.

Thoughts: Oh well, the streak of non-perfect scores continues... This was an okay issue of this series, but sadly, that's all it was... Okay. I'm so used to getting great from this book that only getting okay is almost a disappointment! This issue seemed to simply be putting pieces into place, moving characters around and showing that Jeremy Briggs was still out there in the background. There were some really good moments, like Pym's speech, Ricochet's comments to Prodigy(that was SO awesome for the 8 or 9 of us that read the old Slingers series!), and of course Hardball(oh, and just so you all know, the Hardball Rule means that I add an extra 1/2 to the score of a comic where Hardball appears in, no questions asked)! So while I'm sure this comic will end up being better than like 80% of the books I'll read this week, it was still slightly disappointing...

Score: 8 out of 10.
avengers academy #26
Pym really would be insane or dead without the Avengers... Probably in that order...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

New Comic Day! February 22nd edition

Hey there X-Maniacs! As luck would have it the comic gods smiled on me and gave me off from work today, meaning I was able to hit the comic shop nice and early to pick up this week's books! Huzzah! Here's hoping I get EVERY Wednesday off! Before we go any further, I'd ask anybody reading this post to check out something my buddy and co-writer here at the blog wrote about my favorite comic book series, Avengers Academy. He did a fantastic job summing up why that series is so awesome, and why everybody should give it a shot. Here's a link to JT's post.

Okay, with that taken care of, here's the comics I walked out of the comic shop with this week... Green Lantern: New Guardians #6, Justice League Dark #6, Teen Titans #6, Voodoo #6, Morning Glories #16, Avengers Academy #26, Avengers Solo #5, Captain America and Bucky #627, Deadpool #51, Magneto: Not A Hero #4, Mighty Thor #11, New Mutants #38, Secret Avengers #23, Uncanny X-Force #22, Venom #13.3, Wolverine and the X-Men #6, X-Men Legacy #262. So 17 books this week... That's definitely more than I wanted to see... What happened to the good weeks of 13 or 14 books? On the plus side, we have some REALLY good comic books here... On the flipside? There are also a few books that I seriously considered leaving at the shop due to how craptacular they promise to be...

First up, this week's Pick of the Litter, or the comic I most want to read... There are several Pick-worthy comics sitting here in front of me, but I have to go with the book that hasn't let me down yet, my favorite comic book currently being published, Avengers Academy #26. Morning Glories & Deadpool are also two books I'm also really keen on reading. On the other side of the fence is the Runt of the Litter... That (dis)honor goes to Uncanny X-Force #22... Yes, a comic that was ALMOST my pick for series of the year in 2011 is now my Runt two months into 2012... How times have changed... Seriously, the current storyline is so mindbogglingly bad, I very nearly stuck this one back on the rack at the comic shop. Justice League Dark & Venom were close to being the Runt, but I'm holding out hope that this is the issue where JLD turns the corner, and I have WAY more confidence in Jeff Parker to tell a decent Venom story than I did Rob Williams, who wrote the past two issues. Now, a few quick notes before I go... I'm not sure if I'll be reading Green Lantern: New Guardians #6, if I was reading it, it would have been the runaway winner of Runt of the Litter for the week, but if I DO read it, I'll definitely be reviewing it using Brightest Day Rules. Finally, I'll try to get a review for Flash #6 up as well... The GOOD Flash #6 that is... With about 17 books to read and review this week, Expect 2 reviews a night with a few three review nights thrown in there when I have the time. And that is that. Later on tonight(much later on tonight) I'll have review up and posted for Avengers Academy #26 as well as Deadpool #51. Until then? X out.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

5 Reasons: Why you should read Avengers Academy

Hey X-Maniacs, this is JT bringing a feature to X's blog that was pretty popular over at my own blog, 5 Reasons. The premise of a 5 Reasons post is basically when I read a comic series that I enjoy so much, I list five reasons for anyone who isn't reading the series or is on the fence about checking it out that should hopefully sway them towards picking up a few issues. Previous 5 Reasons posts were about great series like Y The Last Man, Invincible, and Morning Glories. And as of 4:30 AM today, I'm all caught up on Avengers Academy, so I now present to you, 5 Reasons: Why you should read Avengers Academy.

1.) The Story - The idea for this comic alone is pretty genius. The plot features a six teenagers, all super-powered in their own ways, who were recruited by Norman Osborn while he was in power. He tortured most of the kids in order to jump start their super-powers because he intended to create his own team of super villains. When Osborn is taken down, these teens become the inagural team of the Avengers Academy. While the team is being trained as heroes and told they have the most potential, we soon find out that this team may actually have the most potential to do bad instead of good, so the Avengers are trying to lead them down the right path. Add that in with the whole gimmick of super powered teens with attitude and you've got a hell of a plot. I've often heard this book, and described this book as Morning Glories mixed with The Runaways. (I know this came out before Morning Glories, but let me have this!)

2.) The Cast - The six teens are pretty much made from scratch, which is great because they can be used in any way, and we don't know a ton about their past so there's always more to learn. The team features Reptil, a young man that idolizes heroes and has always wanted to be an Avenger, his powers include being able to transform his body into pretty much any type of dinosaur. We also have a former, lonely nerdy girl named Veil, who can turn into different types of gaseous forms, Mettle, a very mellow surfer dude that now has skin not unlike the mutant Colossus, but Mettle is always stuck in his current form, Finesse, a photogenic fighter that can learn any fighting style by sight but has trouble understanding emotions and other human quirks, Hazmat, a former average girl with an average life that is now confined to a suit since she's now a living radiation bomb, and Striker, a guy that wants to get famous by any means possible, even if it means using his powers of electricity to shock the world every step of the way. Normally that cast would be enough, but when you add in the faculty of Avengers Academy, Hank Pym, Tigra, Justice, Quicksilver and Speedball, formerly known as Penance, you have a hell of a cast that delivers one great issue after another.

3.) The Guest Stars - If you thought the cast was amazing, you're going to love the guest stars that pop in from time to time to help train the Avengers Academy. So far we've seen everyone from Cyclops, Emma Frost, Magneto, Captain America, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Hawkeye, The Juggernaut, and we've even seen the Academy students pop up in a two-issue arc of Amazing Spider-Man. As of the time of writing, there's even an upcoming fight between The Avengers Academy and The Runaways, which I personally can't wait for.

4.) It's Hilarious - This is probably the funniest book that doesn't have Spider-Man that I've ever read. Don't get me wrong, it's not always humor but when the humor is there, It is dead on! You can bet, pretty much any time you see Hazmat, Striker, Quicksilver or Finesse you're going to get at least one line that will make you laugh out loud. Where else can you get a kid literally confronting Hank Pym about slapping his wife around? Where else can you see Emma Frost compliment Tigra on her outfit and say it's perfectly acceptable attire for a teacher? This book has a lot of moments that will shock you, surprise you, and may even make you sad, but it also has quite a few moments you'll enjoy, even if it's something as simple as breaking the first wall and mentioning that Reptil is on a cartoon. Now I just gotta cross my fingers and hope somehow Deadpool becomes a substitute teacher one day.

5.) Christos Gage - Prior to reading Avengers Academy, I don't think I'd ever heard of Christos Gage, and upon further search I've confirmed I had not, which is amazing that as of this moment, he's one of my top five comicbook writers. After only twenty-eight issues (25, a .1 and two issues of ASM) he's already one of my favorite writers, along with people like Judd Winick, whom I've read for years. Gage has a special talent of making you connect with his characters, he makes each of the students relatable in their own way, he makes the faculty show concern for these kids that they want to succeed. He makes me care about how much Hank Pym cares about his wife, how much he hates his past mistakes, and I'm someone who didn't know much about characters like Pym, Tigra, Quicksilver and Justice before reading this book. What I'm trying to get across is that this man is an amazing writer, and not because he strings you along wondering what's next, he gives you answers, he puts little things in to make you think about and even if they aren't mentioned for ten issues, he seems to tie in everything. He handles a scene with Striker and a female cast member, that I won't mention because I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't read it yet, so well that it has that uncomfortable moment that would come from witnessing it in person, yet the dialogue all seems real. There's countless scenes I can mention where he does the same thing, but my words aren't nearly as strong as his, so all I'll say is this, Christos Gage has IT. What Geoff Johns had during Blackest Night, what Judd had during Under the Hood, what Spencer brings to Morning Glories, what Brian K. Vaughn brought to Y the Last Man, and what Bryan Q. Miller brought to Batgirl, Christos Gage is one of THE best writers right now in my opinion, all from reading what he's done solely in this book.

And there you are, five reasons that I feel you should read Avengers Academy. I hope you enjoyed it and feel free to list your own reasons that you think people should pick up Avengers Academy in the comments. Until next time, this is Jason Todd, signing off.

Avengers #22

And we've finally made it! One more review this week, and it is the comic book I least wanted to read upon getting home from the comic book shop last Wednesday. That comic? Avengers. The cover looks cool enough, but with Brian Bendis writing this, it's always a crap-shoot as to what we're going to get... Last issue as pretty good... Let's hope this issue follows suit.

Avengers #22:

What Happened: The Avengers have been captured by Norman Osborn(yes, that Green Goblin guy) and the combined forces of Hydra, HAMMER, the Hand and AIM. The villains do a lot of taunting while Quake(who escaped capture somehow...) looks into ways to free her captive teammates. Vision is also out and about(I guess he evaded capture the same way Quake did and then split up with her?) and he confronts Norman Osborn, who was holding court on the front lawn of Avengers Mansion. Vision goes to apprehend Osborn, so Osborn throws Vision through the door of the Mansion, after Osborn presumably overrides Vision's systems... Somehow... With that, the president of the United States decides to see if he can cut a deal with Osborn... Really?!?

Thoughts: Ah yes... One of my greatest comic book pet peeves... The cover that has NOTHING to do with what happens inside the book... Besides the misleading cover, this comic book was terrible. It was truly a Bendis special. I don't even know where to start... The fact that Quake is going to ultimately be responsible for saving the Avengers is the most clich├ęd thing that could have possibly happened(new team member saves his/her experienced teammates), so I'm not at all surprised that's the direction Bendis is going to go here. I also don't get the argument Bendis was trying to make with the president and his cabinet... It's not like Osborn was flying around as the Green Goblin, tossing girls off bridges and was locked away with no trial or anything... He was the leader of SHIELD/HAMMER, went insane, had several US citizens murdered in a terrorist attack AND instigated a war with Asgard! Seeing as that he was the head of SHIELD/HAMMER, why the hell WOULD he get a regular trial?! If anything he'd probably get some kind of court-martial trail, or if we want to get REALLY particular, since he DID organize a terrorist act on US soil, there's probably some special set of guidelines in place for dealing with a situation like Osborn's. Besides getting me good and annoyed by Osborn's bizarre self-righteousness, this issue really didn't give us anything important. The only event of any importance was Quake finding the guy who delivered the hologram of Osborn at Avengers Mansion a few issues back and forcing that guy to take her to Osborn... Which is another oddity if you really think about it... I mean Bendis has laid this story out to make Osborn look smarter than everybody else, and then leaves this HUGE loose end dangling. Why wouldn't Osborn have the guy who delivered the hologram killed, or even better, why would that guy even know where Osborn was!? Why would Osborn have a high ranking member of his organization, one with knowledge of where Osborn's bases were, deliver the hologram? Ugh... This comic really gave me a headache...

Score: 3 out of 10.
avengers #22
*sigh* Yeah, yeah, yeah... Norman Osborn is GOD. We get it...

Nightwing #6

Ugh... It's one of my least favorite comic books, starring one of my favorite comic book characters... Yes, it's once again for me to read Nightwing, this week's Runt of the Litter. Now, I usually write these introductions BEFORE I read the comic book, but in this case I read the comic first since I wasn't sure if I'd be using Brightest Day Rules here. As it is, after reading this one, I decided to go with a regular review... For this month at least...

Nightwing #6:

What Happened: We find out the Saiko, Raya and Mr. Haly's son Bryan were all plotting to eliminate Dick Grayson because Saiko blamed Dick for his death, Bryan was jealous of how close Dick was to his father, and Raya... Well, she really has no reason to go along with this nefarious plot, other than the fact that she seems to be mindlessly following Saiko. To kill Dick in the most flamboyant way possible, the trio plans a Grayson family tribute show to be held in Gotham City the very week the Flying Graysons were murdered. Not being able to come up with a good enough reason to call off the tribute show(besides the fact that Dick is the owner...), the tribute show goes on as planned, and Dick is pushed out to center stage to give an impromptu speech. While Dick is pontificating, Saiko sneaks into the building and sets off some silent alarms Dick had placed there. Dick rushes backstage and changes to his Nightwing attire and faces off with Saiko. For no reason at all, Saiko unmasks to Dick during the battle, revealing that he was the thought to be dead Raymond(who is... um, I've got nothin'...). While Dick is shocked by this revelation(and is probably trying to remember who the hell “Raymond” was), Saiko sets off a bomb under the big top

Thoughts: The best thing I can say about this comic was that it moved along quickly enough. There is just SO much wrong with this story... First and foremost is Saiko... Yeah, I know he's named Raymond, and I think he was involved with Haly's Circus in some way before his “death”, but that's it! I even googled “Saiko Nightwing” and STILL couldn't find out more info on Saiko! That's on Kyle Higgins, who, as the writer of this mess, should have done more to show WHY Raymond was important in the grand scheme of things... Besides that is Raya... Now, I get why Saiko is acting villainously here(he blames Dick Grayson for his “death”) and I get why Bryan Haly has sided with Saiko(he wants what Dick has, namely the Circus), but why the HELL is Raya working with those two?! She had nothing but good things to say about the Graysons! All I can piece together is that she felt somehow abandoned by Dick as a child... Which doesn't make any sense at all considering Dick was a minor when his folks died, and as such had to go wherever the courts put him(with Bats)... I'd say that maybe she was jealous of Dick and Batgirl's relationship, but she was already working with Saiko before she ever saw Dick and Batgirl together, so that shoots down that theory... So yeah, I'm totally blanking on why Raya would want to screw Dick over and allow dozens/hundreds of people to die at the tribute show... I guess I'll just chalk it up to bad storytelling and move on.

Score: 6 out of 10.
nightwing #6
Yeah sure, why not reveal your identity to Nightwing for no good reason... Makes as much sense as anything else going on in this series.

Fear Itself: The Fearless #9

Well, we've finally made it to Tuesday, and the impending end of this comic week... I have three comics left to review, and one night to review them in, so I'd best get to work!

Fear Itself: The Fearless #9(of 12):

What Happened: After a bit of a chase, Valkyrie makes quick work of Storm, and leaves Crazy Mutie Island(Utopia) with the Serpent hammer the Brotherhood had stashed there. Meanwhile, the presently evil Daimon Hellstrom tells Sin that there were secret codes hidden in the mystic texts Sin had gathered, codes that claimed Valkyries could permanently banish the Serpent's hammers. Upon hearing that, Sin demands that Crossbones goes out and finds the hammer she wielded during Fear Itself. Valkyrie returns to her hideout and finds Captain America and Dr. Strange waiting for her. Long story short, Valkyrie reveals to the two heroes that she was collecting the Serpent's hammers so she could banish them forever... Upon her own death. After some talking, Valkyrie realizes that if Strange could find her using magic, others could, and this issue ends with Crossbones blowing up Valkyrie's hideout.

Thoughts: You know, I need a frigging scorecard to keep track of what Daimon's allegiance is nowadays... He's good in Venom and Journey Into Mystery, but evil in this mini... I mean I'm all for Daimon getting some more face time, but now that he IS popping up more frequently, can we keep his hero/villain status steady? Anyway, back to this comic... This issue was okay. It's odd, I was way more into the early issues of this series, but as we approach the end, I'm finding myself getting bored with it... This story has just gone on for too long now... Plus the way Hellstrom has been handled has been kind of annoying. I still think in the end he's going to screw Sin and Crossbones over, but his turn to the dark side here, especially considering the other titles he's currently taking part in, is really bugging me with this series.

Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.
fear itself the fearless #9
This week, Daimon Hellstrom is... evil.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Daredevil #9

Last review of the night, and it's a series that most everybody is REALLY high on, Daredevil. As for me, I've liked this series, but I'm still waiting for that “like” to turn into “love”.

Daredevil #9:

Summary: Moloids are stealing the caskets of the deceased and taking them deep underground for some reason. One of the stolen caskets in question belongs to Daredevil's father, which naturally sends DD underground to see what was going on. After stealthily following the Moloids, DD is shocked to “see” the Mole Man breaking into each casket he was brought by the Moloids in some sort of insane attempt to find something. This action drives DD into a rage, as he knows one of those caskets could be his father's, so he springs into action and wrangles the Mole Man while demanding to know what he was doing. Mole Man uses his trick cane to fire some electricity at DD, which incapacitates Ol' Hornhead. With DD out of the way, Mole Man continues opening caskets until he finds a woman inside and begins to dance with her(!!!!???!!!). As for DD, Mole Man has the Moloids toss DD into a pit with a large mole-creature's gaping mouth awaiting him at the bottom.

Thoughts: This was a pretty weird comic... Moloids robbing graves, Mole Man dancing with a corpse... Hell, I don't even NEED to list anything else! Just read that again... Mole Man was dancing with the corpse of a woman!!! That is BEYOND creepy! You know, I've never been a fan of the Mole Man. In many ways, he reminds me of the Penguin. Not only in stature and build, but in the fact that I always saw them both as characters that had no business being in modern comic books. They seemed like relics of the more comical 1940's-1960's. You know, joke characters that I could never take serious. After reading this issue, I may have to rethink my view on Mole Man! Mark Waid did a marvelous job taking a character I've always seen as boring and one-dimensional and making him seven different flavors of creepy! All I'm going to say is I seriously hope Waid doesn't even bother to try to rationalize Mole Man's actions here. Just make it look like he's gone TOTALLY off the deep end and leave it at that.

Score: 8 out of 10.
daredevil #9
This is definitely an early frontrunner for the What the HELL?!? Moment of 2012!

Amazing Spider-Man #679.1

The second(of THREE!) reviews tonight is Amazing Spider-Man #679.1... Now, I like Spidey as much as the next guy, but why the HELL does Spidey need a Point One issue?! I mean there are like 4 Spidey comics released a month between Amazing and Avenging, so why add ANOTHER?! On the plus side though, this issue was a dollar less than your normal Spidey story, so there's that.

Amazing Spider-Man #679.1:

Summary: This issue deals with Peter Parker and his fellow scientist, Uatu(no, not the Watcher... Obviously Uatu is a common name in the Marvel U), being curious about what lays behind the mysterious Lab 6 of Horizon Labs. Uatu has decided a monster was behind the door, while Peter isn't sure WHAT is behind the door, only that it tends to set off his spider-sense. Eventually Peter's curiosity gets the better of him and he changes to his Spidey duds and sneaks along the ductwork, spotting the head of the lab, Max Modell, talking to the sole occupant of Lab 6, Morbius. Spidey hops into the lab when he thinks Morbius was going to attack Max, and the two fight their way into the hallway. Uatu grabs some of his vampire hunting equipment(sure, why not) and goes to help Spidey subdue Morbius. The duo manage to defeat Morbius, but instead of praise, Spidey is lambasted by Max for sneaking around the Labs and attacking Morbius, who was only trying to cure his vampirism. Later on, Morbius is put back in Lab 6, where he continues his experiments, experiments that apparently would soon include the Lizard(!?).

Thoughts: You know, this wasn't a terrible comic or anything, but DAMN did it seem LOOOOONG! I don't know what it was, but it just kept going and going and going... It could have been worse, this could have been a terrible comic that kept dragging on, instead it was just kind of boring. In all honesty, I have NO idea why THIS warranted Point One status...

Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.
amazing spider-man #679.1
Hey look, it's Morbius! He was drinking blood before drinking blood was cool!

Venom #13.2

Here's a comic that I normally LOVE to read, and is usually near the top of my new comic pile... Except for this month... The first two issues of this Circle of Four storyline have been REALLY lacking, as we've been focusing on the guest stars at the expense of the star of this series... The reason I enjoy this series, besides Rick Remender's above average writing is because I like reading about VENOM! Not Bad-Ass Ghost Rider, not X-23, not Red Hulk, but VENOM! Sadly I get the feeling I'll be getting LOTS of X-23 here and not much Venom...

Venom #13.2:

Summary: Surprise, surprise, this issue IS all about X-23 and Bas-Ass Ghost Rider! Needless to say, Rob Williams is the writer... Anyway, X-23 makes her way through Blackheart's lair while being heckled by her Antithesis. Yes, heckled. Meanwhile, while Red Hulk and Venom are being treated like little bitches, Bad-Ass Ghost Rider manages to save them by threatening Blackheart's girlfriend, which causes Blackheart to call all of the Antithesis's off of the hero they were currently tormenting so they could attack Bad-Ass Ghost Rider. The Antithesis's do as ordered and threaten Bad-Ass Ghost Rider, but she is soon joined by Venom and Red Hulk... Um, why? She's a BAD-ASS and needs no help! Red Hulk tries the logical strategy and tells the heroes to switch Antithesis's, hoping to confuse their enemies. Unfortunately, this works out TERRIBLY, and Venom's Antithesis kills Red Hulk(!). Red Hulk's Antithesis mortally wounds Bad-Ass Ghost Rider, but she's just too damn BAD-ASS to die immediately(you know, like Red Hulk did), and rushes off to stop Blackheart's girlfriend from destroying the talisman that was keeping Hell contained in Vegas while Venom holds the Antithesis's off. Back with X-23, she is tricked by Blackheart's smooth talking and is dropped into a pit of fire. Venom shockingly manages to kill two of the Antithesis's, but winds up being murdered by Blackheart's girlfriend. While that's going on, Blackheart is telling Bad-Ass Ghost Rider that he would use his powers to fix some mess she seemed to have made in Nicaragua... Provided she destroyed the talisman. Bad-Ass Ghost Rider does as Blackheart asks, and Dr. Strange and the presently NOT evil Daimon Hellstrom watch in horror, as they realize Hell was now free to spread across the entire planet.

Thoughts: Yup, Venom FINALLY got a chance to shine a bit here, so that's a good thing. Unfortunately, most of this comic revolved around Bad-Ass Ghost Rider... Which is, for me at least, a BAD thing. Seeing as that there are still three more parts to this story, I somehow doubt everybody died in this issue, although I WILL be holding out hope that for some reason Bad-Ass Ghost Rider DID die for real!

Score: 5 out of 10.
venom #13.2
That's gonna leave a mark...

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Wolverine #301

Last review for the night? The latest issue of Wolverine... Man, I'm so tired my introductions are all the exact same now!! Terrible!

Wolverine #301:

Summary: Wolverine is trapped between an all-out war between the Hand and the Japanese Yakuza, with his adopted daughter Amiko being held captive by the leader of the Hand. Oh, and Sabretooth and Mystique are also working for the Hand. The bastard son of the Silver Samurai is also here, as he's been dating Amiko, and he wants to try to free her. He's sporting a super high-tech Silver Samurai suit, naturally. After a WHOLE load of fighting, the Hand ninjas manage to get their hands on what they REALLY wanted out of this whole mess, the new Silver Samurai, as with his father dead, he was the acting head of the Yashida Clan, whether he knew it or not. Having Kid Samurai in their custody, the Hand ninjas(along with Mystique and Sabretooth) teleport away. Wolverine does some sleuthing and discovers where the Hand's secret headquarters was. However, Amiko follows after Wolvie, which is something that will almost definitely make Wolvie's life difficult going forward.

Thoughts: I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I just plain don't like Wolverine's adventures in Japan. Sorry. I mean the story here is pretty solid and easy to follow, but I just can't get too in to it because in the end it's ANOTHER Wolverine in Japan story. To end this review on a positive note, this IS one of the better Wolverine in Japan stories that I've read, so that's good.

Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.
wolverine #301
Wolverine's life really sucks sometimes...

Ultimate X-Men #7

First up today is the latest issue of Ultimate X-Men. The best thing about the Ultimate version of the X-Men? No Decimation.

Ultimate X-Men #7:

Summary: This issue basically recounts Quicksilver's last few actions, which all led to the Nimrod Sentinels gaining access to Cerebro technology. Quicksilver blames his thought to be dead sister, the Scarlet Witch for this calamity, since he was following her plans... However, Wanda points out that Pietro DIDN'T follow her plans to the letter, as he boinked some random woman when he was supposed to be meeting with “God”, an action that screwed up her well crafted plans... Supposedly. Wanda tells Pietro to go and beg for God's forgiveness, so Pietro heads to Egypt, where followers of God were worshiping outside a cave. Pietro enters and begs God's forgiveness, and is granted the absolution he wanted. And who was God you ask? How about his father, the thought to be dead Magneto!!

Thoughts: I love that Nick Spencer is basically undoing all of the bullshit that Jeph Loeb did during that horrendous Ultimatum event... Now I'm I'm sure some of you are thinking that's a somewhat hypocritical thing for me to say seeing as that I'm usually such a stickler for continuity. But when it comes to Ultimatum? I say it was SUCH a terrible event it SHOULD be forgotten, and erased from continuity! I mean hell, if DC can erase their entire history, why can't I pretend Ultimatum never happened? Anyway, this was an okay comic with an ending I never saw coming, seeing as that EVERYTHING was pointing towards Apocalypse being the “God” in the cave. The Magneto reveal was a HUGE swerve that has me mildly interested in the next few issues here.

Score: 7 out of 10.
ultimate x-men #7
Man do I hope that's not a shapeshifter...

A word to the wise...

Okay, a quick word before we get back to the comic reviews... I recently got a new job, and as such, have a bit less time to sit around reading and reviewing comics. On the plus side, a job equals MORE comics, but on the negative side, a job also equals less free time... But job or no job, I STILL intend on reviewing every comic I pick up during the week, I just may have to be a bit brisker with the reviews. So, expect a bit less in the next several reviews, especially since I'm a bit behind as it is with my reviewing this past week. As always, if you want to know more about a comic I'm reviewing, leave a comment and I'll do my best to fill in any blanks left by my shoddy reviewing! With that out of the way, let's get back to the comics!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Supergirl #6

Last review of the night? Let's go with Supergirl... Why not?

Supergirl #6:

Summary: Still pinned to the wall in the remains of Argo City, with the city slowly drifting into the sun it was orbiting, Supergirl pretty much gives up and seems ready to accept her fate. Meanwhile, Reign teleports herself to Earth and tells a police officer to tell the greatest warriors of the Earth to meet her in the middle of Manhattan where she would defeat them. Back with SG, she has a vision of her parents who tell her not to give up, and to try to cut out a new life for herself even though Krypton was no more. Upon “hearing” that, SG manages to unpin herself from the wall and flies away from Argo City. SG returns to Earth and attacks Reign, who is a bit disappointed by SG's actions, since she was hoping SG would join with her to conquer the Earth. With that, Reign manages to erect a massive forcefield over Manhattan and has several other Worldkillers teleport to her side, much to SG's dismay.

Thoughts: Much like Thunderbolts #170, this was an issue that was saved by a strong cliffhanger. Nothing really happened in this one except for SG hallucinating(presumably) and Reign attacking the Earth. I figured this was all building towards a Reign/SG showdown, but the addition of the other three Worldkillers really added a great twist here. I can't wait to see how SG manages to defeat FOUR Worldkillers considering the fact that she was battered by ONE of them an issue ago!

Score: 7 out of 10.
supergirl #6
As far as hallucinations go, SG's parents were really helpful!

Thunderbolts #170

Hey all, X with a duo of reviews to start off the weekend... I KNOW I need to get three reviews up and posted soon, but I just got myself a new job, and it's getting a bit tough to find the time to review comics... But fear not, I SHOULD have two reviews up today, tomorrow, and three up for Monday and Tuesday... Hopefully.

Thunderbolts #170:

Summary: Ghost finally reveals that he was secretly spying on the evil Thunderbolts and frees them from the dungeon Merlin had tossed them in to. The T-Bolts make their way up to Merlin's personal tower and take back their equipment, while Satana checks out some of Merlin's more powerful magical items. Fixer spots the Black Knight preparing to slice open the T-Bolt's time traveling tower, and fearing that they'd be stranded in the past if Black Knight was successful, he tells Moonstone to stop him... At which point Moonstone is attacked by Merlin's pet dragon. With that, the rest of the T-Bolts rush outside and take advantage of the chaos that was ensuing due to them releasing the other magical captives in Merlin's prison. The T-Bolts make it back to their tower, and are met by Merlin, who tells them that by releasing the magical beasts from the dungeon, they had pretty much damned Camelot to fall in a few years time... Whoops! Since Merlin knew the event was destined to happen, he isn't angry with the T-Bolts and offers to assist them in returning to their own time... How magnanimous of him! Merlin tells them they needed a timeless object that could tether them to their proper time period, and points out the moonstone that grants... um, Moonstone her powers. Using magic, science and the moonstone as a tether, the T-Bolts are transported forward in time, but wind up a few years away from their destination, and look out their window to see Citizen V(Baron Zemo!) and the original Thunderbolts heading to T-Bolts tower to investigate(!!).

Thoughts: I have to admit, most of this comic did nothing for me... I've never been a fan of Merlin, Arther or the Camelot stuff, so yeah, most of this issue left me unimpressed... However, the cliffhanger? Awesome! That cliffhanger probably added a full point to the score of this one! Seriously, that one page, with Zemo as Citizen V, and the original T-Bolts(/the Masters of Evil) approaching T-Bolts tower was fantastic! Those early Thunderbolts comics are among my ALL time favorites, so getting to relive them should be incredible. So while I wasn't in love with THIS issue, the next issue should be great.

Score: 7 out of 10.
thunderbolts #170
Next issue should be AWESOME!

Weekly Comic News for Feb. 18th!

It's that time once again, for your favorite weekly review of comic book news, brought to you by your favorite blogger not named X-Man. This unfortunately has been a pretty slow news week but I'll give you guys the few news stories I did come by. So let's get down to business and see what news we found out over the last week.

Ravagers Roll Call

Last week I posted the picture above and asked you all to speculate on who you think the team members are. Well guess no longer, in an interview with Howard Mackie, it was confirmed the Ravagers squad will consist of Caitlin Fairchild, Beast Boy (Boooo), Terra, Thunder, Lightning, and a newcomer by the name of Ridge. We also find out some info on the upcoming crossover between Teen Titans, Superboy, and Legion Lost, known as "The Culling". We also learn that Beast Boy's change in color is due to Animal Man. Here I thought I was just so annoyed by him that I was seeing red. (Source)

DC has Doomed Mark Waid

News recently broke on Twitter that Mark Waid, writer of the Justice League "Tower of Babel" storyline had been snubbed by DC Comics. After voice-over actor Phil Lamarr (Green Lantern on JLA/JLU and Static Shock on his animated series) remarked how he wish he could have been involved in the recording of the upcoming Justice League animated move "Doom", based on Mark Waids' Tower of Babel storyline, adapted by Dwayne McDuffie, Mark Waid commented that he'd been left out as well, as he wasn't even invited to the premiere of the film. When Lamarr replied that he was shocked, Waid responded by saying "Dude, I’ll be lucky if they send me a comp DVD." Some may know that Waid has been very vocal about his displeasure with DC Comics as well as J.M. Straczynski, as well as Mark Waid being hired and fired from writing for his favorite character, Superman, over the course of a few days due to alleged office politics.

Venom vs. The Savage Six?

(The following news story includes spoilers.)
Just when I thought I couldn't enjoy Venom anymore, word has spread via the talented Rick Remender, that Venom is about to get his own Rogue's Gallery, in an upcoming five-issue story arc, we'll see Venom take on the Savage Six. The Savage Six will consist of The Crime Master, Jack'O Lantern, The Human Fly, and more, including Toxin! Also, Eddie Brock will join the cast, and apparently starts hunting to eradicate the symbiotes, and we'll also see Brock don yet another symbiote?! (read more here)

The Walking Dead are coming

To a game console near you. That's right, this week we got a few peeks at the upcoming Telltale Games Walking Dead video game. It's going to be a point and click style Horror Adventure game, so take that for what it's worth. I'm a big fan of The Walking Dead show and comic series, and I really enjoyed the Back To The Future games that were produced by Telltale Games, but I can't say I'm too interested in this personally. I'll play the demo when it's released and take it from there but this art style doesn't really get me too excited for the game. There's a picture below for those interested and more info on the game here.

Judd Winick is WINNING!

Forgive me for the outdated Charlie Sheen reference but coming up with these titles is a lot harder than you'd think. Anywho, Judd Winick, a personal favorite writer of mine that re-established Jason Todd in the DC Universe is writing not one, not two but three stories for the upcoming Bat-Family story, "Night of The Owls". Judd will bring his feline femme fatale Catwoman, the African-Batman known as Batwing, and he'll temporarily take over Batman: The Dark Knight #9 for a tie-in starring Red Robin. To say I'm excited for that is an understatement. To read more and see what Winick has to say about these three stories crossing over for the Night of Owls storyline, click here.

Nightwing 1, Marvel 0

Anyone that has picked up the most recent issue of Nightwing may notice that the former Dark Knight is laying the smack down on a bunch of thugs on this month's cover. More eagle-eyed readers may notice that Nightwing is actually beating up thugs that represent the Marvel Universe. One thug has the Punisher Logo on his jacket, another has Cap's star on his back, and the third has a Spider-Man logo tattooed on his arm. So it seems someone taking shots at Marvel comics, and it wouldn't be the first time. (Cover)

Cartoon Network gets New Teen Titans

That's right, fans of the former Cartoon Network Teen Titans show may be delighted to see we'll be getting the original voice cast back with a new Teen Titans short cartoon that will be shown in between episodes of Young Justice and the Green Lantern animated series. This new mini-series (no pun intended) will be called "New Teen Titans" and will also feature guest stars including Plastic Man, The Doom Patrol and Lego Batman. Yes, you read that right, Lego Batman. See more info as well as a trailer by clicking here.

And that's it for this week everyone, as I said, this wasn't the best week for comicbook news, but hey, I tried! As always feel free to comment and post any news I missed, and until next time this is Jason Todd, signing off.