Saturday, March 31, 2012

Secret Avengers #24

Here's a series that has been really disappointing to me for some time now... Not even a change of writer and the addition of one of my favorite comic book characters has managed to make this comic better... Well, hope springs eternal and all that jazz, so let's hope this is the issue this series becomes as great as I want it to be.

Secret Avengers #24:

Summary: In Robotland(I don't know what else to call it...), the Secret Avengers get themselves taken down, one by one, by the various robots living there... All but Valkyrie, who manages to find the child the Secret Avengers were looking for, save Black Widow and beat up and escape from those dastardly robots. Valkyrie sets Widow and the child down on a rooftop and heads off to find the other Avengers, at which time she is immediately attacked by other robots. Back at the Avengers knock-off Watchtower base, Venom gets word the the Secret Avengers were in trouble and isn't sure what to do since he wants to help, but was told by Captain America to report any trouble to the other Avengers teams. As for Hawkeye, the alleged leader of this team, he's been captured with Beast, who was shot and badly wounded. Hawkeye banters with the injured Beast, and this issue ends with Ant-Man showing up in Hawkeye and Beast's cell to rescue them.

Thoughts: I guess the real question here is this; was that the Eric O' Grady Ant-Man, or was that Hank Pym, come to help the team as the cavalry? Other than that though? There's nothing happening here that I am the least bit interested in. Hawkeye's been written as a terrible leader, the story isn't doing anything for me, there's just nothing here I can point at and say, “THIS is why you should be reading this series!” I guess I'll just move on...

Score: 4 out of 10.
secret avengers #24
Yep, this is Hawkeye's life alright...

Superman #7

Well here's a series I didn't expect to be picking up anytime soon! A quick confession... I've never been much of a Superman fan... Sure, prior to the DC reboot I collected all of the Superman books, but it was mainly because he was the FIRST comic book superhero, and as a comic fan, I felt that I HAD to read Supes. Post reboot though? I don't feel that way anymore... DC doesn't seem to care that Supes was The First, so why should I? Plus I really didn't enjoy the first issues of Superman or Action Comics. So why did I pick up THIS issue? Mainly because it looks like it's gonna have ramifications on both Grifter and Stormwatch, which are comics that have characters that I do like. So for at least this month, it's back to Supes...

Superman #7:

Summary: Supes is attacked by some weird robot-like creature in Metropolis and manages to dispatch it, leaving it for STAR Labs to take in. Meanwhile, we learn the robot was sent by the uber-powerful Daemonite, Helspont, to test Supes. Seeing that Supes was as powerful as he had hoped, Helspont decides that he wants Supes to team with him so he could cull the Earth and get revenge on those who wronged him... Yeah, I don't see Supes going along with that... With that, the robot Supes defeated earlier tracks Supes(as Clark Kent) down at the Daily Planet, which leads to Clark having to pull a quick change in order to battle the robot as Supes again. This time though, the robot teleports Supes to Helspont's hidden lair, where Supes meets Helspont. Helspont blathers on for a while, questioning why the Daemonites hadn't conquered Earth, why Earth had so many super-beings and why there was no Kryptonian domination of the universe. Supes gets tired of listening to Helspont ramble(and really, who could blame him?!), and says as much, which leads to an infuriated Helspont blasting Supes into unconsciousness with ONE blast(!!). For all intents and purposes, that ends this issue.

Thoughts: I skipped a lot of the Clark Kent stuff that happened in this one because, in plain English, I could care less. Once the storyline with Helspont ends, I'll be dropping Superman again. The character just does nothing for me. As for this issue? It was a bit of a letdown. Supes fought a robot, the robot brought Supes to Helspont, Helspont rambled, Supes insulted Helspont, Helspont blasted Supes, comic over. Since Helspont will be showing up again next issue, I'll be getting that one, but once Helspont is out of this book? So am I.

Score: 6 out of 10.
superman #7
Damn, even Helspont's dialogue bubbles look badass!!

I, Vampire #7

First review of this Saturday night is the second part of the JLD/I, Vampire x-over. The first part(which I reviewed yesterday) was okay, let's see if this issue reaches higher than simply “okay”.

I, Vampire #7:

Summary: Andrew Bennett is dead, and his death has unleashed Cain, the first vampire onto the world. Andrew ends up “In the between”, which is where dead vampires go... I guess? While there, Andrew hears a voice telling him his work wasn't finished yet and that he had to return to Earth. Andrew isn't keen on that idea though... Back on Earth, Cain steals all of Mary's vampire minions, which naturally pisses Mary off, and leads to her joining up with the JLD members who were in Gotham City trying to halt the vampire madness. This issue ends with Cain further empowering the vampires in Gotham, while Gotham's defenders fight a losing battle.

Thoughts: I know I've said it before, but it needs to be said again... Meh. Much like JLD #7, this comic wasn't terrible, but if somebody was to stop me tomorrow and ask me what happened in it, I'd be totally blank. It just left no impact. The vampires were acting crazy under Cain's thrall, Andrew isn't really dead dead, since he's talking to a disembodied voice “in the between” and the JLD did nothing of any major note here. This crossover may have made JLD into a slightly better read, but it looks like it's going to be hurting I, Vampire, which I thought was a damn strong series prior to this x-over...

Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.
I, vampire #7
I already told you who it was! A disembodied voice!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Justice League Dark #7

Last review of the night is the first part of the I, Vampire/Justice League Dark crossover. The first part of this x-over takes place in JLD #7, so that's what I'll be reviewing here. I bet you can guess what the first review for tomorrow will be!

Justice League Dark #7:

Summary: Madame Xanadu has Shade teleport the JLD team to Gotham City, where Cain(the apparent first vampire) was drawing magic into himself and dramatically powering the other vampires in the world. Xanadu tells the team that she had to take a stroll on the astral plane to find some help. Before Xanadu has her out of body experience, she tells Constantine and Deadman to go to the afterlife to find Andrew Bennett, whose death allowed Cain to escape. As for the rest of the team, they meet up with Batman and battle vampires.

Thoughts: Meh. That's my thought on this issue in a word. I mean it wasn't horrible or anything, it just didn't grab my attention. On the plus side, this was probably the best issue of JLD since it debuted, so that's something...

Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.
justice league dark #7
Of course Constantine is insane!

X-Men Legacy #264

First up tonight is X-Men Legacy, which I was originally going to review on Wednesday... And then Thursday... But hey, better late than never, right?

X-Men Legacy #264:

Summary: Mimic brings his friend and former Dark X-Men teammate Weapon Omega to the school, hoping Beast could help stabilize Omega's rapidly deteriorating condition. It seems that Omega has become addicted to siphoning mutant powers, so Mimic was allowing Omega to feed off of his powers. The only problem there is that Mimic isn't really a mutant and siphoning from Mimic actually messed Omega up even more. Beast brings Mimic and Omega into his lab and after some examinations realizes that Omega's body was so messed up that he was going to explode, resulting in a massive release of energy. Rogue and Mimic offer to take some of Omega's powers away, figuring that would help stabilize Omega, but unfortunately, duping Omega's powers turns Rogue and Mimic into bombs as well.

Thoughts: I have to admit, I wasn't really that into this comic during the early stages. But the cliffhanger? The cliffhanger definitely saved this one for me. See, my thing is that I've NEVER cared for Weapon Omega. He's never interested me in the least. And Mimic? The only Mimic I ever cared about was the Exiles one, and this Mimic is definitely not that Mimic. So seeing those two characters pop up here just did nothing for me. But the ending, with Mimic and Rogue also becoming ticking timebombs of mutant energy was a great way to leave this issue off, and has me really interested to see how Beast, Rogue and the rest of the team wiggle their way out of this mess.

Score: 7 out of 10.
x-men legacy #264

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Teen Titans #7

Slight change of plans! I was going to review X-Men Legacy #264 here, but JT asked that I read/review Teen Titans instead, which is a pretty good indicator that it was either really, really good, or really, really bad. But either way, now I'm curious, and as such, can't help but check it out!

Teen Titans #7:

Summary: Red Robin convinces the Teen Titans to rescue Superboy from NOWHERE, since their whole deal was to take down NOWHERE and rescue the kids NOWHERE were capturing... Now, I'm not sure why Red Robin thought SB needed rescuing, since the last time the Titans saw SB he was mopping the floor with them FOR NOWHERE, but whatever, I'll let that one pass. So Red Robin manages to get the Titans to NOWHERE's top secret base thanks to the help of Danny the Street, who is, apparently, a street with teleportational abilities......... Yeah. So Danny the Street(the teleporting street), takes the Titans to NOWHERE's base where they engage NOWHERE's forces and ultimately rescue SB, who was being tortured by NOWHERE for disobeying them. The Titans go to leave(why not just have Danny the Street, the teleporting street, teleport them to safety?), but are confronted by the head honcho of NOWHERE, some creepy looking freak calling himself Harvest.

Thoughts: Well, if you overlook Red Robin walking around the Titans unmasked, Red Robin telepathically knowing Superboy needed rescuing and was no longer working for NOWHERE, and the whole Danny the Street(the teleporting street) thing, this wasn't a horrible comic. Now, I can overlook one, maybe two things, but come on, a teleporting street? Really?? How the hell can I turn a blind eye to THAT?! What's next, a telepathic wall? A spunky dishwasher? A burly building? Methinks Scott Lobdell had either gone totally insane or is REALLY scratching the bottom of his idea barrel... Okay, I've GOT to get off the teleporting street thing... Yeah, moving on, ignoring the deus ex machina that is Danny the Street(the teleporting street), this issue wasn't horrible. It did the thing that I've been waiting for since the first issue dropped, and that was get Superboy one step closer to joining the Titans and becoming more like the pre-reboot Superboy. The Titans rescuing SB SHOULD force SB to join the Titans due to them risking their own lives for him, even after he beat them up. So, in closing, while there was a teleporting street here, the story moved along in a way I liked, which was a good thing.

Score: 5 1/2 out of 10.
teen titans #7
That's probably one of the most hilariously awful pieces of dialogue I've read in some time! Oh, and to answer Templar's question? For me it was last Monday.

Morning Glories #17

The middle review for the night is the lone Image comic I picked up this week, Morning Glories. Now THIS is a series I can always count on for at least an 8 for a score. It's that good. Here's hoping tha trend continues.

Morning Glories #17:

Summary: So this issue is all about Jade and Ike, who as you may or may not recall, were tasked with watching over Hodge and Casey in that mysterious cave. We learn about Jade's past, her mother's death and the strange prognostication powers she believes she has. Ike, being a dick and all, doesn't buy into Jade's ideas that she could see into the future, and wants to abandon Casey and Hodge, but ends up staying with Jade, showing a bit of a softer side. The two pray(?!?) and when they're done, Hodge and Casey had vanished(to the past as we learned an issue or two ago). This issue ends with the faculty beating up on that Abraham guy(possibly Ike's real father?) and then sending that weird freaky thing that was living in the basement of the school in to see Abraham.

Thoughts: Well, this was kind of boring. Now, as I said in the intro, I do enjoy this series. A lot. But this issue just didn't do it for me. Which is weird since Ike is one of my favorites here. You'd think an issue where he was one of the leads would have been great for me, but alas, it wasn't. I just found all of the talk between Jade and Ike to be, well, like I said, boring. It didn't really do anything except fill us in on Jade's life story, and she's just not a character who I've ever found that interesting. Oh well, they all can't be gold, I guess.

Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.
morning glories #17
There was a whole lot of this in this issue...

Daken: Dark Wolverine #23

Three reviews tonight, with the first one being the final issue of Daken: Dark Wolverine... There are A LOT of ways this issue could go, so instead of talking about it, how about I simply get to it?

Daken: Dark Wolverine #23(Final Issue):

Summary: The Avengers and FF chase Daken around Manhattan(after they save Mr. Fantastic of course), finally cornering him in Times Square. Wolverine arrives on the scene and approaches his wayward son, at which time Daken apologizes to Wolvie... Apologizes for lying about there not being one HUGE bomb still out there! Daken tells Wolvie that the final bomb was at the Jean Grey School. With that, a massive explosion rocks Times Square, scattering the heroes. When the smoke clears, Daken is nowhere to be found(maybe he was incinerated? Maybe he escaped? Maybe aliens abducted him, we don't know...), and Wolvie has Thor rush him to the School. Upon arriving, Wolvie charges through the building and heads to his room where he finds a Wolverine toy that Daken left for him, ending this issue and this series...

Thoughts: Uh-huh... This was... something. On the plus side, more than likely, Daken escaped since, as we all know, if you don't see the body, presume the character is still alive. I kind of liked the way Daken stuck it to Wolvie one final time here, but that Heat drug REALLY hurt the flow of this series, and, in my opinion, hurt this issue as well. I don't know, the Daken who became one of my favorite characters was a manipulative, sneaky, controlled bastard. The Daken we've gotten since Rob Williams took over as writer was needy, drug-addicted and easily used. While I do love the Daken character, I find him a magnificent yin to Wolverine's yang, I think this series needed to be canned. Have Daken disappear for a while, and then have him resurface in Wolverine, or hell, Thunderbolts/Dark Avengers. So while I'm sad that I won't be reading about Daken one to two times a month anymore, I do think the character needed a bit of a break, and look forward to seeing Daken come back strong sometime soon.

Score: 6 out of 10.
daken dark wolverine #23
I did love Daken messing with Wolvie's head one final time here.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Avengers vs X-Men #0

The final review for the night is the very first issue of this year's Marvel MEGA EVENT©, Avengers vs X-Men. Needless to say, I am VERY curious to see how things get set up in this issue. Before I get to it though, a quick note... I may be a bit late responding to comments left on any posts over the course of the next day or so, as I have a lot of comics to read as well as my work responsibilities. I always strive to respond to comments ASAP, but I may be a bit slow in responding. But I WILL try to respond to every comment left for me, as always. Okay, enough of that, I can't wait any longer to read this comic!

Avengers vs X-Men #0(of 12):

Summary: Two stories in this one, the first one is written by Brian Bendis and stars the Scarlet Witch, while the second one is written by Jason Aaron and stars Our Lord and Savior Hope. First story first... MODOK tries to murder a Wakandan scientist who had betrayed AIM. Fortunately for the scientist, the Scarlet Witch shows up on the scene to help him. Awesome! Wanda uses her hex bolts to bedevil MODOK for a while, but MODOK's forces manage to overwhelm her... At least until Spider-Woman and Ms. Marvel arrive on the scene to help Wanda take out MODOK and his cronies. With the battle done, Wanda wants to simply slink back into the shadows, but Ms. Marvel wants Wanda to head back to Avengers Mansion to say hello to everybody. Wanda REALLY doesn't want to, but Ms. Marvel refuses to take no for an answer and brings Wanda to the Mansion, where she is met by an angry Vision. Vision bitches Wanda out for the events of Avengers Disassembled, and Wanda meekly apologizes. Vision doesn't care to hear it and he tells Wanda to get lost since Avengers Mansion wasn't her home anymore... See, I told you Bendis hates Wanda! With that, Ms. Marvel flies the devastated Wanda away while Vision walks off crying... Next story sees Our Lord and Savior Hope doing what she does best, beating EVERYBODY up... Because she's Our Lord and Savior! Duh! It doesn't matter if it's Lord Summers or the Serpent Society, Our Lord and Savior drops the hammer on them all. Basically the Hope story was here to show us that Our Lord and Savior Hope was ready for the Phoenix Force(or at least claimed to be) if it was coming to Earth to choose her as it's next host. And honestly? That's as much time as I can bear spending on that story.

Thoughts: The Wanda story was WAY better than the Hope story, but then I hate Our Lord and Savior with a white hot passion, so that probably colored my opinion just a tad. The Wanda story basically proved what I had guessed after reading Avengers Disassembled all those years ago, as well as Avengers #24.1... Bendis really, REALLY hates Wanda... As much as I hate Our Lord and Savior Hope? That must be how much Bendis hates Wanda! I'm waiting to see her kicking puppies and stealing candy from babies! One thing that really bugged me about the Wanda story was Vision's treatment of her... I get that he's mad about the whole, “being brutally murdered” thing and all, but why would he deliberately provoke her? And why would the other Avengers who were standing around let Vision tear into Wanda like that? I mean the last time she was at the Mansion she was on an epic rampage, is it that smart to mess with her head again!? So yeah, you'd think one of the Avengers would have shushed Vision here or something. As for the Hope story? It was a Hope story. Naturally I hated it. 'Nuff said. For me, the Hope story really brought the final score for this one down a good amount.

Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.
avengers vs x-men #0
Bendis is the writer here... Of course he's going to talk a lot!

Avengers #24.1

Okay, we're going to start the night off with a slight change of plans... The first comic I'll be reading/reviewing is going to be Avengers #24.1. Next I'll be checking out Avengers vs X-Men #0. And that'll do it for tonight. My hours got switched around at work for tomorrow, and as it is now, I have to be in there really early, which means no Daken review tonight, plus the three comics I plan on reviewing tomorrow night(Daken, Morning Glories and X-Men Legacy) will probably wind up being posted later than usual... Okay, with the housekeeping taken care of, let's dig into tonight's books.

Avengers #24.1:

Summary: Finally having a few moments of downtime after the Norman Osborn Saga, Vision asks Iron Man why She-Hulk “killed” him during Avengers Disassembled. Iron Man hedges and haws for a bit before revealing that the Scarlet Witch(Vision's one-time wife) had been responsible for She-Hulk's actions as well as disassembling the Avengers and decimating the mutant population... Yes, Bendis obviously hates Wanda... With this knowledge, Vision heads to She-Hulk and She-Hulk apologizes profusely for what she did to Vision, with Vision accepting the apology. From there Vision heads to Crazy Mutie Island(Utopia) and picks a fight with Magneto(!), since Vision felt most of the problems in Wanda's life were due to Magneto. The two argue and threaten each other for a bit, before the two come to a sort of truce, since Mags felt that Wanda's only real shot at happiness may just come from Vision. However, pissed by the way Vision spoke to him, Mags literally throws Vision from Crazy Mutie Island back to San Fransisco just to show who had the real power between the two of them. Vision returns to Avengers Mansion where he's scolded by Captain America for starting trouble on Crazy Mutie Island. Vision offers to quit the team, but Cap tells him that he understood what Vision was going through and this one ends with Cap comforting Vision.

Thoughts: Not bad. This issue was definitely a HUGE step in the right direction for this series, especially in light of what we had been getting for the past several issues. I mean it wasn't fantastic or anything, but it was a good read. Not only that, but Bendis managed to keep his dialogue(mainly) under control. Sure, there were a few moments of unnecessary dialogue(Magneto's scene and Cap's weird conversation with Hawkeye and Spider-Woman being two examples), but for the most part this was a highly readable comic. So hey, it looks like we're starting this week off on a high.

Score: 7 out of 10.
avengers #24.1
It's time to take out the trash!

New Comic Day! March 28th edition

Hey all, it's Wednesday, which means two things lately... The first is that I'm currently at work... The second, and WAAAAY more important thing? It's New Comic Day! Huzzah!! So yeah, as I just said, I'm actually slaving away at work at the moment, and haven't actually gone to the comic shop yet. But I will, and when I do, here are the books I'm expecting to pick up... American Vampire #25, I, Vampire #7, Justice League Dark #7, Teen Titans #7, Voodoo #7, Morning Glories #17, Avengers #24.1, Avengers vs X-Men #0, Captain America and Bucky #628, Daken: Dark Wolverine #23, Daredevil #10, Mighty Thor #12, Secret Avengers #24, Uncanny X-Force #23, X-Men Legacy #264. Huh, so that's a total of 15 books... That's not a terrible number, although I have a feeling that number is going to increase since there are some other comics I'm interested in getting that aren't on my pull list(namely Superman #7)... Anyway, this week's Pick of the Litter shouldn't come as a great shock, it has to be Avengers vs X-Men #0... It's the start of the yearly Marvel MEGA-EVENT!!! and all, so this issue should give us some idea of what to expect in the upcoming months. This week's Runt of the Litter? Um... Let's go with Captain America and Bucky #628... I just haven't been able to get into the storyline in this series, which is the only reason this comic is the Runt. Honestly, there's not one comic out of this bunch that I'm openly dreading... Sure, an issue of Avengers drops this week, but I'm hopeful that Bendis will give us a decent story now that the Norman Osborn Saga has finally come to an end. And that'll do it. Later on tonight(probably much later) I'll have reviews for Avengers vs X-Men #0 and probably Daken up. Until then, X out.

The (not so) Random Scan of the Week!
batman vs nightwing
Hmm, this all seems so very familiar...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Great Comic Depression?

Okay, I just polished off my final review of the week and I have to admit, it was much better than I had expected. But still, it only came away with a 7, which is, by my loose definition, an average comic book. That 7 actually got me thinking about how lackluster this year has been for me comic-wise... So far in 2012 I've given out ONE perfect score. We're almost 1/4 of the way through the year and that's it. At this rate I'll have given out 4 perfect scores by year's end, which would make my decision for Favorite Single Issue of the Year really easy at my year end awards, but would cap an incredibly depressing year! Since I was off from work today and had some extra time on my hands(and am a huge numbers nerd...), I decided to compare 2011 and 2012, through March 27... In 2011 I reviewed 173 new comics through March 27th. In 2012 I reviewed 167 new books through the same date, so the numbers are pretty similar. However, in 2011 I handed out 7 perfect scores during that timespan(an issue of Children's Crusade, two issues of Captain America: Man Out of Time, Hawkeye: Blindspot #1, two issues of Captain America and an issue of Batgirl), as opposed to the aforementioned one in '12(Avengers Academy #27). So what's the difference? Is it me? Have I become more critical of the books I read? Is it the comics themselves? Are they just not up to par this year? Are the comic companies waiting until the spring/summer to bring out their really good books? Is it the fact that I'm reading less mini-series now than I did then? Four of those seven perfect scores from 2011 were mini-series... Is it some combination of those reasons? Something different? I really don't know what it is... Before I go any further here, I do want to say that I've read a lot of damn good books this year. I have handed out a fair share of 9's and 9 1/2's, so I have read a lot of great books, just not a lot of “perfect” books... I guess I'll finish this post with a question... Is it just me? Have you also noticed the quality of the books you've been reading lately to have been slightly more disappointing than last year at around this time? Eh, it's probably just me... Anyway, until tomorrow and New Comic Day(as well as hopefully 7 perfect scores!), X out.

teen titans year one #1
new titans #55
batman vs nightwing
nightwing vs batman
And now, in the grand tradition of DC, here are some previously posted scans of Batman beating up Dick Grayson! What, if it's good enough for DC, it's good enough for me!

Nightwing #7

One more comic to go and I've successfully completed another week's worth of reviews... And I have to say, this week was somewhat disappointing... There were a lot of books that dropped last Wednesday that I was REALLY looking forward to that were just good or very good... Nothing I'd call great. Ah well, let's hope this week ends with at least a 5, which is about as much as I can hope for out of this thus far WAY sub-par series...

Nightwing #7:

Summary: This issue opens with Saiko and Nightwing battling it out high above the burning big top. Saiko tells Nightwing his super-villain origin story©(which is something about the Court of Owls kidnapping Saiko as a youth since Dick was unavailable) while Dick tried to stay alive and figure out a way to save the people trapped below. Eventually Raya unseals the exits to the big top, allowing the people to trapped inside to escape. With the people safe, Dick is able to concentrate on Saiko, who ends up falling to his death(even through Dick tried to save him). From there, Raya is taken into police custody, and we get a direct copy of the scene between Dick and Batman from Batman #7(really?). Finally, Alfred hands Dick a file about some murders that were committed with escrima sticks, leading to Dick setting out on his next case.

Thoughts: Well, this was WAY better than I expected it to be. Sure, it was REALLY predictable at points(who DIDN'T see Raya betraying Saiko?), but overall it was much better than I had been expecting. That's not to say it was great or anything, because it wasn't, but it WAS a perfectly average comic, and for THIS series? That's a major step in the right direction. Oh, before I forget, I will say that I was a bit miffed about the scene in the Batcave here... Did we really need that scene replayed here almost word for word? You'd think most readers of Nightwing already read Batman, thus making the Batcave scene unnecessary filler...

Score: 7 out of 10.
nightwing #7
Sweet! This gives me a chance to right my wrong from the Batman #7 review!! *ahem* “I'm the Goddamn Batman!!!”

Wolverine #303

Hey look, Wolverine and Sabretooth are battling it out on the cover of this issue... How much do you want to bet we don't get that scene on the inside of this one?

Wolverine #303:

Summary: Wolverine goes around Japan killing all of Goda's Hand ninjas, which is exactly what Goda wanted... Wha-huh? It seems Goda feels the best way to be a villain is to play puppet master from the shadows, and as such he didn't need any flashy ninjas around. From there, he has the Silver Samurai kill a mess of Japanese Yakuza heads, leaving a large power-vacuum in Japan's criminal underworld. To complete his plan, Goda has Mystique impersonate him at which time Deathstrike shoots Goda/Mystique in the head. Goda is smug that he was now dead to the world, at least until Mystique gets up and attacks Deathstrike. Goda is naturally furious since that wasn't his plan, and is shocked to find Wolverine storming his private building. Sabretooth reveals to Goda that Wolvie was there because Tooth had led Wolvie there, before flying away, leaving Goda to face Wolvie alone... It shouldn't be a big shock as to what happens there... In short, it involves a sword, Goda and impalement. While Wolvie is killing Goda, Tooth flies to the scene of Mystique and Deathstrike's battle and manages to convince Deathstrike to join with him. From there, we learn that Mystique has sent the photos of Wolverine having sex with her(in the guise of Yukio) to Wolvie's girlfriend, Melita. This issue ends with Tooth, Mystique, Deathstrike and the Silver Samurai killing the heads of all of the east Asian crime families, effectively making Tooth the head of ALL of east Asia's crime.

Thoughts: So, Sabretooth was brought back to life to basically do the plan Daken was doing about a year ago... Um... Huh... I don't even know what to say about that, so I'll say nothing until I see how it plays out down the road. But still, why not simply have Daken in Sabretooth's place here, especially since a) Daken was ALREADY doing this, and b) Daken's series is ending and he'd make a good reoccurring crimelord-type foe for Wolvie. I will say this, Mystique sending the photos to Melita? That was an awesome move by Jason Aaron, one I didn't see coming at all. I was thinking more along the lines that Mystique was trying to get pregnant during that scene, but breaking up Wolvie and his girlfriend is an even eviler move, so kudos to Aaron for that. Overall, this was one of the better “Wolverine goes to Japan” stories I've read, but considering how much I hate “Wolverine in Japan” stories, that's not saying much...

Score: 6 out of 10.
wolverine #303
So wait, Sabretooth is Daken now?

JT's Take: Jungle Book #1

It's me once again everyone, JT back with yet another review, this time for Zenescope's first issue of The Jungle Book. I've read a lot of Zenescope comics over the past few years, Grimm Fairy Tales, Fly, The Theater, The Wonderland Series, and Jungle Book is the most recent release for the company. I'm aware a lot of people may not even be aware of Zenescope so hopefully anyone who isn't may garner a bit of interest for the company, so let's see what I thought for the inaugural issue.

Jungle Book #1

Summary: In this first issue we start things off seeing a story about four kids being kidnapped, I'm guessing to be sold. While the kids are being transported by sea, a storm breaks out which knocks the ship into land. On the land we see a bunch of different animals fighting a war, and the crashing ship stops the fighting as the four kids, the oldest one had to be less than five years old, walk away unscathed from the shipwreck. A Panther speaks up and says the kids arriving has done something that's never been done before, stopped the Great War, so clearly the kids must be special, some kind of omen. They decide to each raise one of the kids in their own corner of the island, with the monkeys taking a young red-headed boy, the Meerkats taking a young blonde girl (the cover girl, but younger), the Tigers taking the oldest and bravest boy, and a pack of Wolves raising a young girl, who they name Mowgli. Each of the clans raise their child to an adult, never telling them of how they got there and that the others exist, which should be interesting in the future. We eventually see an adult Mowgli, with her pack of Wolves before she strays away and runs into a giant Black Bear by the name of Baloo, that engages her in a fight as this issue comes to a close.

Thoughts:  Going into this book I didn't expect much, I left pleasantly surprised. The story of how the kids got there, the war, the animals deciding who took who and the way the kids don't even know of one another anymore were all great ideas that were executed great. I'm actively looking forward to the next issue, and this was a very good first issue to get you acclimated to the characters and what you're getting in to. It was a bit hard to explain for the review, so I'd recommend picking it up and reading it yourself, because it comes off a lot better in story form, and I doubt you'd be disappointed. While this book wasn't perfect, it was exactly how a first issue should be, Informative, Interesting and Engaging.

Score: 8.5 out of 10.

Head Tiger: Here, Dog. You take the smallest. It will need the most care. The runt will most likely not survive the night.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Thunderbolts #171

Last review of the night will see me sticking with Marvel and checking out the latest issue of the soon to be canceled Thunderbolts. After last issues awesome cliffhanger, I can't wait to see what happens between the Evil Thunderbolts and the original T-Bolts.

Thunderbolts #171:

Summary: Songbird winds up going on vacation in Tahiti and is naturally kidnapped by a mad scientist named Dr. Dorcas, who was apparently an old foe of Namor... I have to say, I consider myself VERY well-versed in all things Marvel, and even I have no idea who Dorcas is... Anyway, Dorcas reveals that he had fixed Songbird's powers so she wouldn't need her sound harness anymore... As for why he did it, I'm a bit foggy on that... Anyway, Dorcas heads off to sleep with some(presumably) brainwashed woman, while one of Dorcas's sea creatures licks Songbird's feet... Yes, really. Trust me, I couldn't make shit like that up if I tried... Songbird uses her voice to slightly hypnotize the sea creature and gets free, sending some other sea creatures after Dorcas. And that's pretty much that.

Thoughts: What in the blue hell was THAT?! Seriously, these last few comics I've read have been SO disappointing... Here I was, all happy and expecting an awesome issue featuring a battle between the Evil Thunderbolts and the original Thunderbolts and what do I get? A sea creature licking a woman's feet... Seriously, what more is there to say?

Score: 5 1/2 out of 10.
thunderbolts #171
I've died and gone to comic book hell...

Fear Itself: The Fearless #11

Huh, it looks like we're almost finished with this series, meaning the final piece of Fear Itself still floating around Marvel has almost come to an end. That's good, seeing as that next week Marvel's NEXT crossover event gets started!!

Fear Itself: The Fearless #11(of 12):

Summary: So Sin has transferred her mind into a Destroyer-like suit of armor that was wielding all of the Serpent's hammers... Needless to say, that's a bad thing, as Sin smacks around all of the Avengers and Defenders. Valkyrie actually manages to slightly hurt Sin with her sword, at which time Sin and her cronies(including the currently VERY evil Daimon Hellstorm) leave the area to head to a more populated area, hoping to cause the greatest damage. The heroes head off to go after her, except for Dr. Strange, who is met by Crossbones. It seems Sin never told Crossbones what her true endgame was here(destroying the Earth), which annoyed Crossbones since he was all about “bustin' heads and raisin' hell”, not the end of the world. Crossbones hands Strange a bunch of the magic scrolls Sin had used to animate her Destroyer armor, with the hope being Strange could undo want Sin had done. From there we head to Charleston, South Carolina(weird...) where Sin and her forces are running amok. The heroes arrive and engage them, with Valkyrie telling the heroes to run interference so she could deal with Sin. Unfortunately for Valkyrie and the heroes, Valkyrie flies too close to Sin and gets her neck broken, ending this issue.

Thoughts: Eh. This issue was okay, but I'm kind of over this series at this point. It doesn't seem like there's going to be any major ramifications here... Strange will probably put Sin back in her own body, and Valkyrie will probably come back to life(seeing as that she's on the Secret Avengers)... If anything, the only real change will be to Daimon Hellstrom, unless(and I REALLY hope this is the case) he was actually a planning on betraying Sin all along, and does just that next issue. In the end though, I'll be happy to see this series end next issue. It started off strong, but it kind of petered out at the end.

Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.
fear itself the fearless #11
In this issue Daimon Hellstrom is currently: VERY Evil.

JT's Take: Justice League #7

Hey everyone, JT back once again with a review of this month's issue of Justice League. After not enjoying the last few issues of this super team's book, I'm hoping this issue with the promise of a new storyline will interest me enough to keep picking it up, so let's see shall we?

Justice League #7

Summary: In this issue we saw The Justice League ban together to take down a guy who transformed into a monster and uses little spore monsters to do his bidding or something. Colonel Steve Trevor and his team, A.R.G.U.S. try to take down the spores but basically held them off for the Justice League who came in and finished the job. Afterwards we saw a press conference where people asked why the Justice League don't just replace congress because they always save the world and are a good team. (What?) Anyway, from there we see Steve get questioned by his superiors about The League and Steve's relationship with Wonder Woman, but he basically says the people want the League to take Congress' job and maybe they should, so congress lays off. (What?!) After that we see a Video Chat with Steve and Wonder Woman that's interrupted by Cyborg, Batman, Green Lantern and The Flash who all say something to Steve, basically Tell Cyborg's dad not to try to hack communications, Batman says shut down the JLI (WHAT?! HE'S IN THE... okay...), Green Lantern asking for more food for the Watchtower, and Saint Barry being Saint Barry. After all of that, Wonder Woman asks Steve how he's doing, he says fine, she says good, and the chat ends. (WHAT?!?!?!?!?!) Then Steve tells his new secretary he loves Wonder Woman and told her so, so I guess she turned him down. The issue ends with the guy who wrote the book that documented what heroes the Justice League were in the last issue, writing a new book about how they're menaces and how Steve Trevor is the key to taking them down. WHAT?!

Thoughts: I'm done with this book. The last book took place five years ago, and before it debuted we were told we'd see a new team when the new arc started, yet, same team. Also, Geoff Johns still feels the need to give EVERY CHARACTER a line when all of them are on the page, so we get a bunch of panels with people saying one or two lines for no reason. Add that in with the fact the baddie of this issue was taken down off-camera for some stupid reason, and the fact that we're about to have an arc revolving around Steve Trevor, and you've got a recipe for a stupid book. If there was anything good about this, it's Jim Lee's art and that's about it. I really wanna drop this book but I'm tempted to keep it just so I can review this with Brightest Day rules... I'll let the comments section decide. Until next time, I'm Jason Todd, signing off.

Score: 1 out of 10.

JT: What?!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Supergirl #7

Well, seeing as that the last comic I reviewed came away with a ZERO, there's no way this comic can be any worse!

Supergirl #7:

Summary: The four Worldkillers attack Supergirl in Manhattan, which the Worldkillers had managed to close off from the rest of the world with a Kryptonian forcefield. The Worldkillers basically have their way with Supergirl, until Reign(the leader of the Worldkillers) let's it slip that only a Worldkiller can defeat another Worldkiller. Realizing that Reign meant that literally, SG manages to get one Worldkiller to stab another, severely injuring it. With that, Reign calls the battle to an end and has the other three Worldkillers teleported to their ship to take care of the injured Worldkiller. Reign tells SG that the Worldkillers, much like Frosty the Snowman, would be back again someday. Before teleporting away, Reign tells Supergirl that there is a mystery fifth Worldkiller out there somewhere... With that, Reign and the Worldkillers are gone and SG has saved New York.

Thoughts: Meh. This issue was alright and all, but that's about it. I kind of expected more here... I mean out of the DC books I read, this one is regularly one of my monthly favorites. Basically Reign told Supergirl HOW to defeat her team, and then when ONE of the Worldkillers were injured, she quit the battle. Why not simply send the injured Worldkiller and one other Worldkiller away, a tactic that would have left a tired SG still outnumbered 2 to 1. Or hell, why not send the other three Worldkillers away, since Reign had already proven that she could defeat Supergirl on her own? That way, there wouldn't be another Worldkiller around Reign, thus guaranteeing her victory... On top of all of those little logic gaps, where the hell were the other heroes? I know Reign said last issue that she had sealed NYC off while the JL was away(or something to that effect), but you're telling me there wasn't a single other hero somewhere in Manhattan who could have teamed with SG? After a slew of really good issues, this one was definitely a bit of a misfire, but that's okay, as long as Michael Green and Mike Johnson right the ship(which I'm confident they will) next issue.

Score: 6 out of 10.
supergirl #7
And I'm X.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #7

Alright, two reviews tonight, both from DC. First off, it's the comic book that stars two of my absolute favorite DC characters(at least pre-reboot...). Unfortunately, that fact hasn't exactly led to really good stories... Here's hoping THIS is the issue that Scott Lobdell gets it all together and the awesomeness finally ensues.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #7:

Summary: Good god, I actually have to review this... *sigh* Well, let's make it quick... Red Hood breaks the sedated Crux out of Arkham Asylum since he felt Crux wouldn't be properly punished for what he did to Starfire(which was what exactly? Because she seems fine here...). Hood, Arsenal and Starfire fly around in Crux's spaceship(yes, really, his spaceship), until Jason starts talking to Essence(remember her from the first issue? Yeah, I hardly do either), who Arsenal and Star can't see. Jason reveals that Essence betrayed the All-Caste, and we get some horrible story about Essence being Ducra's daughter(which means nothing since we barely know anything about Essence or Ducra as it is). Hood makes his magic sword appear(I can't believe this is happening in a Bat-book) and attacks Essence, who appears before Arsenal and Star. Essence beats everybody up, at least until Jason... um, teleports(?) or disintegrates(?) Essence with a gun not “made by man”... Essence is gone, and this issue ends with the fat woman from a few issues ago waking up in Gotham swearing revenge on Red Hood...

Thoughts: Sweet Christmas, this was absolutely horrendous! I don't have the slightest idea what the hell Lobdell is going for in this series anymore, and quite frankly, and it pains me to say this, I don't think I care anymore... After this absolute catastrophe of a comic, I am seriously considering dropping this series... And THIS is a series I NEVER thought I'd drop, no matter how bad it got, due to the characters in it. But this? I mean, words can't even describe how bad it was. This All-Caste garbage has gone on long enough... Please, end it now! There was just so much wrong with this issue, starting with the cover, which claimed in bold letters, “At Last! The return of Essence!” at which point I honestly wondered, “Who the hell is Essence and why should I care?” We quickly learn she was the woman from the first issue who informed Jason that the All-Caste had been slaughtered, and then NEVER APPEARED AGAIN! She was on like 3 pages tops, and we get an “At Last!” on the cover of this issue? And then we learn that apparently she betrayed the All-Caste to the Untitled? So? Seriously, we have NO reason to care about Essence(she was on like THREE pages in six issues!!!), and little reason to care about the All-Caste since they were all dead by the end of the first issue. Again, so? I don't get why I'm supposed to care in the least about Essence at all. And then there's Starfire... Wasn't she mortally wounded, depowered, hurt, something by Crux? This issue she seemed fine... She was fighting Essence, blasting her, the whole nine yards. Didn't Crux say something to the effect that he had made Starfire “human”? Well she sure as hell didn't seem like it here, what with her blasts and flaming hair and all. I don't even have anything positive to say to end this post... Um, at least there won't be another issue of this series for another month? That's about the most positive thing I can say...

Score: 0 out of 10. Yep, the imperfect score. Congrats, Red Hood, you earned it.
red hood and the outlaws #7
Mayhap this was the worst comic I've read thus far this year.

JT's Take: Catwoman #7

Hey everyone, JT here with a review of what I think is one of the most consistently well written comics coming out of DC since the reboot, Judd Winick's Catwoman.

Catwoman #7

Summary: In this issue we started off seeing Catwoman steal an obscenely expensive 2011 Ferarri California from a very, very rich man. After stealing the car we see a hooded man on the rooftop that planned on stealing the same car. From there we got a feel of Catwoman and her new partner Gwen's relationship. She basically reiterates what Batman had said to Catwoman, that she's taking a bunch of risks that will get her caught or killed, but Catwoman maintains that she has everything under wraps. After coming across another job stealing cars, Catwoman runs it by Gwen but Gwen says it's too good to be true and wants to look into it first. Catwoman, not wanting to let the chance and the money get away, decides to take it into her own hands and go after the cars. Unsurprisingly it was a trap by the police, but before they can apprehend the Feisty Feline, the masked man from earlier drops down and blows up all of the cop's vehicles with his electricity powers. The two escape on Catwoman's motorcycle as the man introduces himself as Spark, and says he wants to steal things with Catwoman.

Thoughts: This was an alright issue, nothing big happened besides the debut of Spark so I'm wondering where they'll take that. I really like that Gwen is yelling at Selina and setting boundaries, considering what happened to Selina's last fencer. There was also a scene where a man in a van knocked out two prostitutes with darts or something then loaded them into his van, that was odd and creepy but I'm sure we'll see more on that in the future. I wish I had more to talk about but sadly not much happened here, it seemed to fly by and not accomplish much this month.

Score: 6.5 out of 10.

Spark: Get on.
Catwoman:That's my bike.
Spark: I know. It's nice. Can we go?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Hellblazer #289

Last review of the night? Hellblazer. Yes, that was practically the same intro as I used for X-Factor earlier tonight... But like I said, I'm running on a very tight schedule here and don't have time to come up with a different intro! Just be lucky I replaced “X-Factor” with “Hellblazer”!

Hellblazer #289:

Summary: Constantine gets booted from Hell by a vengeful demon, and winds up trapped in a grave... Ah, Constantine... Meanwhile, Constantine's wife Epiphany is visiting Constantine's niece, Gemma, who was put in the hospital by Epiphany's scumbag of a father, Terry... Whew, get all that? Anyway, seeing Gemma in that state puts Epiphany in a rage, and she decides to confront her father and forgets about digging Constantine up at their prearranged time. The demon from Hell tries again to get Epiphany to give Terry's soul away, but Epiphany again turns the demon down. Eventually Epiphany finds her father and the two argue, culminating with Epiphany shoving her father into a ditch where he dies(!!). As for Constantine, he's rapidly losing air, but gets saved by Gemma, who saw an image of her mother(probably sent by Constantine) telling her to dig Constantine up. This issue ends with the demon from Hell offering to bring Terry back to life... If Epiphany signs Terry's soul over to him.

Thoughts: No complaints here. This was a good, solid comic that didn't really give me anything to gripe about. Hey, sometimes that's all I want in a quick read. This storyline finishes off next issue as Epiphany will make her decision, while Constantine no doubt tries to stop her from making any deals with demons. It SHOULD be good.

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.
hellblazer #289
Ah Hell-demons... Always chopping heads off...

X-Factor #233

First up this weekend? How about some X-Factor? Meh, that's what I'll be reviewing anyway, so there's no turning back now...

X-Factor #233:

Summary: Some weird being meets up with Josef Huber(remember him!!) in his secret base to offer to help Josef rid the world of mutants... Meanwhile, Havok and Polaris are running X-Factor smoothly, while working with Valerie Cooper, just to make this issue that much more awesome. Finally, Layla tells Madrox about all of the recent changes that happened with X-Factor(namely the arrivals of Havok and Polaris, as well as the team working for Wolverine on retainer).

Thoughts: Yep, that's as much of a review as I can get done tonight... What? I have an early work day tomorrow! Ol X has to support his comic habit somehow! Even though that review I just did was HORRIBLE, this comic most certainly was not. As usual, Pater David gave us a great story, dropped some legit funny lines here and there, and set up some stuff for the future(the parts with Huber). All in all, really good stuff here.

Score: 8 out of 10.
x-factor #233
Yeah, I found that bottom panel flat out hilarious... What?

Weekly Comic News for March 24th!

Hey everyone, time for another edition of Weekly Comic News, coming live from your favorite blog, by your favorite blogger who's name doesn't have an X in it. I realize I've been MIA recently due to being extremely busy, but since I finally got a day off I'm gonna stockpile some reviews after this post, so be on the lookout for those as well, but let's get into this week's news.

Judge, Jury, and Bad-Ass

This week we found out that comic publisher IDW will debut a new Judge Dredd series this fall. The creative teams involved have yet to be announced but a lot of fans are excited about the return of Dredd, as this just so happens to be the 35th anniversary of the character. When asked for a quote, Sylvester Stallone reportedly said "If I could read, I'd definitely read this." (That comment may or may not have been made up by me.) To read more about the upcoming Judge Dredd comic book, click here.

Walking Dead, Killer Ratings

Walking Dead's season 2 finale aired this past Sunday, and pulled in huge ratings as over 9 Million people tuned in to see what Rick Grimes and the rest of the crew would do. As a fan of both the comic series and the television show, I'd highly recommend anyone who isn't to give the books and/or show a chance. You have plenty of time, as The Walking Dead returns with sixteen new episodes this Fall for Season 3.

Teenage Alien Ninja Turtles?!

The comic fandom has been in an uproar recently after hearing the news that Transformers director, Michael Bay, will take helm for the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film. The thing that's gotten everyone so upset is a recent quote from Bay himself. "These Turtles are from an alien race, and they are going to be tough, edgy, funny and completely lovable." Fans of the TMNT all know that the turtles were exposed to some toxic waste that mutated them into large man-sized turtles, and they weren't aliens as Michael Bay says these will be. To see comments by numerous fans as well as Bay's reply, click here.

Avengers Assemble Again

The current Avengers Animated Series, Avengers Earth's Mightiest Heroes returns for a second season on Disney XD. Below is the most recent trailer that shows the team, as well as a few more characters that will be involved, including Red Hulk!

Ms. Captain Marvel

Last week I mentioned that Ms. Marvel, Carol Danvers, would soon take a new name, costume and comic book, becoming Marvel's own Captain Marvel. This week we got an interview from artist Jamie McKelvie, the man who designed the new costume, as well as his thought process for Ms. Marvel's new look as Captain Marvel. To see pics of the costume as well as read what Jamie had to say, click here.

Book not selling? Why not Liefeld?

Rob Liefeld said this week "the sales for Grifter, Deathstroke, and Savage Hawkman have fallen off a cliff." A quick look at the charts would confirm that, in February Hawkman placed at number 103 on the sales charts, Deathstroke at 104 and Grifter at number 126. Two of those comics I actually followed and dropped. For some reason DC thinks that adding Liefeld to these books that are already selling poorly will help, even though he's been writing Hawkman the whole time and his other book, Hawk and Dove, which was at number 136, has already been cancelled. (Source)

Not-So-Green Arrow

A teaser picture has been released for the upcoming Green Arrow based CW Television show known as Arrow. In the pic you'll see that this is a less Green and a darker more Batman-like version of The Green Arrow.  To read more about the upcoming show, click here.

Well that's it for me everyone, thanks for reading and feel free to comment with any news or thoughts you have. I'll be back with a few reviews between now and comic day, so until then, I'm your friendly neighborhood Blogger Man, Jason Todd, signing off.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Invincible Iron Man #514

Ah, here's another series that's been quietly really good lately, Iron Man. Matt Fraction has been doing a great job of taking Tony's life apart in this storyline, let's see what happens to old Shellhead this issue.

Invincible Iron Man #514:

Summary: Just to mess with the government, Iron Man sends 19 massive trucks full of records of his actions in the Iron Man suit since General Babbage wanted to see Iron Man's records to prove that Tony had piloted the IM armor while intoxicated. From there, the Mandarin prepares his next attack on Iron Man, this time using Whirlwind and the new Melter... This is where ominous music would play... Back with Tony, Babbage and Justine Hammer visit and tell Tony to wear a special piece of tech that would basically serve as a Breathalyzer. If Tony is “unwell”(and that's an important choice of word for later in this comic), the piece of tech would shut down Tony's access to the armor and weaponry of the Iron Man suit, but wouldn't interfere with it's life support systems. The two hand Tony the tech, tell him to look into it on his own, and that if he chooses to wear it Babbage would drop the government's inquiry into Tony's drunken actions. Eventually Tony does decide to put the tech on, and ends up battling Whirlwind, while Melter attacks a street in Los Angeles a short distance away. Tony manages to put Whirlwind down and upon hearing about Melter, prepares to head after him, but is shocked when his armor shuts down. Hammer tells him that after his battle with Whirlwind, they(Hammer and Babbage) had decided to enforce a mandatory cool-down period for Tony. This issue ends with Melter being confronted by War Machine, apparently sent to take Melter down at the behest of Babbage.

Thoughts: Nice... Things are really starting to kick into high gear as the noose around Tony's neck gets ever tighter. Before I get too into this issue though, I do want to say that I hate the fact that Melter is the bad guy here, and will almost definitely be doing severe damage(or worse...) to Rhodey next issue... I thought he had some potential during that Dark Reign: Young Avengers mini-series, and hate to see him turned into your basic, run of the mill, super-villain. Back to this issue though... Fraction has done a fantastic job of basically having ALL of Tony's foes come at him from ALL sides(the Mandarin and Stane, along with ALL of their lackeys, as well as the Hammer girls and Babbage) at the same time. Now, it seems definite that War Machine is going to catch a major league ass-whipping(or worse...) next issue, with Tony just scant miles away, unable to do anything to help. That should light the fire even more under Tony, leading to an eventual confrontation with the Mandarin, as well as a reckoning with Babbage and the Hammer girls as well. Man, Fraction has set this series up for like a full YEAR of awesome storytelling!

Score: 8 out of 10.
invincible iron man #514
Oh Melter... I expected more from you...

Amazing Spider-Man #682

Okay, after putting out 4 reviews out yesterday, I'm pretty much back on schedule and should be able to do two reviews a night until next Wednesday. Tonight we start with the first part of the latest Spider-Man event, the Ends of the Earth. Onward.

Amazing Spider-Man #682:

Summary: With all of his plans in place, Dr. Octopus unleashes a massive heatwave upon North and South America. Doc Ock turns the heatwave off and broadcasts himself all over the Earth, telling everybody that he was showing the world a glimpse of what was going to happen to the planet due to global warming. Doc Ock then tells the world's population that since he was dying he wanted to leave the planet a gift, and sends several scientific reports to the top scientific minds of the planet, reports which seemingly detailed ways to prevent the Earth from being destroyed in a few generations time. Needless to say, Spider-Man isn't buying this tripe, and changes into his newest armor, his Sinister Six-busting armor. This issue ends with the Avengers debating whether or not to take Doc Ock up on his offer, while a furious Spider-Man enters the room and tells the team that there was no need to discuss anything, except for attacking Doc Ock and the Six.

Thoughts: This was a really good beginning to this storyline... A really good start. I especially liked the swerve here with Ock claiming that he wanted to SAVE the Earth as opposed to destroy it... I definitely didn't see that one coming. There were a few other little story pieces going on here, like Mayor Jameson wanting to close down Horizon Labs. All in all, I was pretty happy about this one and can't wait to see where Ock is really going here.

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.
amazing spider-man #682
One of these days I HAVE to do a review in Thor-speak, because it must be a blast to write Thor's dialogue...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Batman #7

First DC book I'll be reading this week(and the final review for the night)? Batman. This has definitely been one of the better books coming out of DC since the reboot, but I wasn't a huge fan of the last issue... Let's see what we've got here.

Batman #7:

Summary: Some random girl(am I supposed to know her?) saves Batman after fishing him out of the water, at which time he storms back to the Batcave, where he discovers that Alfred had managed to get a hold of Talon's corpse(which was also dumped in the drink last issue). Bats decides to forgo resting and examines Talon, finding a tooth in Talon's mouth that granted him a healing factor, some level of immortality and apparently no real mind. Nightwing comes to the Cave to check on Bats, and Bats reveals the Talon was Nightwing's great-grandfather(!). Nightwing is obviously surprised by this fact, and lashes out at Bats for keeping secrets from all of the people closest to him. After listening to Dick rant for a bit, Bats smashes Dick in the face, knocking a tooth out. Bats then picks up the tooth and reveals that it was just like the one in Talon's head(...), and that when Dick died, the Court of Owls intended on bring Dick back to life as their murderous minion, much like they had Dick's great grandfather. After that, everything is good between Bats and Dick again(or at least as good as things get between those two...) and this issue ends with the Court sending an army of Talons out to take Gotham City over.

Thoughts: See, now this was a comic with a fantastic cliffhanger. The ending here saved this one for me, as most of this comic was Bats explaining to Dick(or more accurately, the readers) the events of the past few issues, dating all the way back to Dick being insinuated in that murder in the first issue(Grayson DNA was present due to Talon being his great grandfather). Basically, Batman told us how everything we've seen these past few issues happened. If that was all we would have gotten here, I'd have been mildly annoyed. As it is though, we got a great ending, which apparently heralds the start of the Night of the Owls storyline. So yeah, ending good, beginning not so good.

Score: 7 out of 10.
batman #7

New Mutants #39

Next up, Nate Grey and the New Mutants. Hey, if Red Hood can have his Outlaws, Nate can have the New Mutants.

New Mutants #39:

Summary: Warlock leads the plague infected New Mutants across Paradise Island, in search of the Ani-Mator's labs, figuring(hoping) that a cure would be located there. The team manages to get past all sorts of strange creatures before entering the lab. While Warlock is looking for clues in th Ani-Mator's files, Sunspot passes out from overexertion and Nate and Moonstar's hands meld together... Weird. Eventually the Ani-Mator, who created the virus and had become some sort of bacterial, plant-like creature, enters the lab to attack. This issue ends with Cypher and Warlock combining to face-off against the man... um, thing... um, creature(?) that murdered Cypher once before.

Thoughts: Before the ending I was REALLY enjoying this issue. But the addition of the plant Ani-Mator and Cypher and Warlock combining really bugged me. Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning did a great job prior to those actions though, as they gave us great character development moments for pretty much EVERY character in this issue, which is an amazing feat. Not only that, but they also managed to get me to like Warlock for the first time since... well, ever. A better ending would have probably put this comic in the 8 to 8 1/2 score-level, but as it is, I'll give this one a...

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.
new mutants #39
Um, really smooth lines there, Nate...

Kick-Ass 2 #7

Next up, the finale to the second Kick Ass book... Let's see if this one has a decisive ending or if Mark Millar is planning a third book/movie...

Kick-Ass 2 #7(of 7):

Summary: The heroes and villains square off in Times Square and naturally Mother Russia squares off with Hit Girl while Kick-Ass gets his arch-nemesis, the Mother-Fucker. Mother Russia beats the HELL out of Hit Girl, until she is momentarily distracted by some random heroes, at which point Hit Girl kills and decapitates Mother Russia. Meanwhile, Kick-Ass chases the cowardly Mother-Fucker around and the two eventually face off on the rooftop of a building. The two fight for a bit and Kick-Ass ends up knocking the Mother-Fucker off the rooftop(!). Kick-Ass is horrified that he killed somebody, at least until the Mother-Fucker... um, all fucked up from the fall, begs Kick-Ass to call an ambulance for him since he was broken and probably paralyzed and all. The Mother-Fucker promises not to tell anybody that Kick-Ass dumped him off the roof, and Kick-Ass ends up calling the fuzz for help. The cops find the Mother-Fucker's broken body and also see Kick-Ass(who is an idiot) staring off the rooftop. Hit Girl manages to cause a distraction by stealing a cop car, which allows Kick-Ass to escape. As for Hit Girl, she ends up crashing the squad car after swerving to avoid an angry police detective. This series ends with the cops cuffing Hit Girl while a crowd of people cheer her on.

Thoughts: Meh. This was a surprisingly lackluster final issue here... But then, how could this one really end in a satisfying way? Honestly, I can't think of a scenario that I wouldn't dislike... The Mother-Fucker gets arrested after a beating from Kick-Ass? I guess that could have worked. As it is, the Mother-Fucker is out of the picture, the awesome Mother Russia is dead(and she really had some fantastic lines in this issue), Hit Girl is locked up and Kick-Ass is... um, with his father dead and all, I don't know what he is. There really wasn't any closure here, which makes me think that Millar IS planning a third Kick-Ass, and for the life of me I can't figure out what Kick-Ass 3 will be about...

Score: 7 out of 10.
kick-ass 2 #7
That's gonna leave a mark...

Avengers: X-Sanction #4

Okay, after putting in 9 long hours at work today, I figured, what the hell, I'm already in a working mood, so why not bust out four reviews for the day? So that's what we'll be getting here. Naturally, the combination of a lack of sleep, work and all around lethargy is going to lead to me shortchanging a few of the reviews I do now, so if you want to know more about the comic I reviewed, leave a comment, shoot me an e-mail, etc. And now, let's see how Avengers: X-Sanction finishes up.

Avengers: X-Sanction #4(of 4):

Summary: Man, Cable REALLY looks like Colossus on the cover of this one... Anyway, Wolverine attacks Cable, who's already pretty much humbled the Avengers, while Spider-Man tries to reason with Our Lord and Savior, Hope. Lord Summers ends up getting shot in the back by Our Lord and Savior, which leads to him blasting Spidey(whose Spider-sense was apparently broken or something...) out of the ship. From there, Blaquesmith goes into the head of Our Lord and Savior and helps her disconnect Cap and Iron Man from Cable's super-villain-esque deathtrap. Oh, and Red Hulk burns the TO Virus out of his system. With that, the Avengers beat Cable up(over the course of two pages, after I had to suffer through Cable beating up the Avengers for THREE issues!!), and Lord Summers asks to take his wayward son home to Crazy Mutie Island to die in peace. Cap, not being a scumbag like Lord Summers or Our Lord and Savior, agrees to those terms. While on Crazy Mutie Island, Our Lord and Savior manifests the Phoenix Force(wait, how, what, WHA?!) and destroys the TO Virus within Cable once and for all... Lame. Cable, still unconscious and recuperating, telepathically tells Lord Summers that “Hope is the Phoenix”(roll that around in your head for a while, especially with what we know about AvX), and the two promise to protect her from those damned, evil, evil, damned, evil, Avengers.

Thoughts: This was a weird comic book... I didn't hate it, but I definitely didn't like it either... I don't get how Hope is ALREADY the Phoenix, especially since the previews in the back of several Marvel comic books have Cap and Iron Man telling the president(or somebody) that the Phoenix was coming to Earth... Are there two Phoenixes? Did Jeph Loeb simply misunderstand what Marvel's editorial told him? Am I the only one bothered by this? Probably, due to my irrational hatred of Our Lord and Savior Hope and Lord Summers. So now we'll have Cable, not only back from the dead, but apparently fully powered(for some reason), and living on Crazy Mutie Island. Well, if nothing else, after his actions in this mini he's proven beyond a shadow of a doubt he belongs in a place called Crazy Mutie Island... Eh, I enjoyed typing up the review for this comic more than I enjoyed reading it... Go figure.

Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.
avengers x-sanction #4
Spider-sense? What Spider-sense?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Deadpool #52

X here with one measly review for the night... I have to be at work VERY early tomorrow, which means I don't have a lot of time for typing up reviews tonight. Hopefully I'll be able to get a few reviews up and finished tomorrow afternoon after work, but we shall see... As for tonight, I'll be reading and reviewing this week's Pick of the Litter, the comic I'm expecting the most out of, that's right, Deadpool. You're all I've got tonight, Deadpool, don't let me down...

Deadpool #52:

Summary: Okay, as per my messed up schedule, this is going to be a REEEEEALY fast review, so hang on... Kingpin captures Hydra Bob, since Kingpin figured Bob knew more than he was letting on. Deadpool uses Bob's capture as an excuse to get X-Force to attack Kingpin's headquarters, which leads to a lot of ninjas being eviscerated by Wolvie and company. With Wolvie slowly becoming wise to the fact that there was more going on here than meets the eye, Deadpool betrays his X-Force teammates and chases Kingpin to the roof. Before anything can go down between Kingpin and Deadpool, X-Force and Hydra Bob manage to reach the rooftop. Deadpool decides to toss some grenades at X-Force to get them out of his hair, but Fantomex shoots the grenades back at Pool, destroying Kingpin's getaway helicopter. Kingpin leaps off the roof and escapes via a parachute(??!), while Daken shoots Wolverine in the back from a nearby building with what Deadpool presumed was the serum that would rob Pool of his healing factor and finally allow him to die. Pool moves to teleport to Daken to get the serum, but before he can, Bob grabs Deadpool and stabs him in the chest with what appears to be the real serum(!?!), ending this issue.

Thoughts: Wait, so when did Bob get the serum?! And more to the point, where was he hiding it?! You'd have to think Kingpin would have had Bob searched thoroughly before being brought to his base to be tortured, so it's kind of weird that Bob was the one with the serum in the end... I would have sworn Daken had the serum considering the way the last issue ended. Regardless of what happened though, it looks as if Pool FINALLY doesn't have his healing factor(unless Bob messed up and gave Pool a fake serum, which is definitely possible...), which means Pool will be doing EVERYTHING in his power to die next issue. After betraying X-Force, as well as Bob, and using Kingpin and Daken as pawns, I'll be interested to see what happens next. Oh, and yes, I was kind of bummed that we didn't get the Deadpool/Daken battle I was anticipating here...

Score: 8 out of 10.
deadpool #52
Yeah, I laughed when Psylocke caught a bit of Deadpool's internal monologue...

New Comic Day! March 21st edition

Hey X-Maniacs, X here with a New Comic Day post! Huzzah! I'm actually at work right now, and plan on going to the comic shop when I get out, so I don't actually have any new comics in my hands at this time... However, here's what I expect to get upon hitting the comic shop later on today... Batman #7, Hellblazer #289, Nightwing #7, Red Hood and the Outlaws #7, Supergirl #7, Amazing Spider-Man #682, Avengers: X-Sanctions #4, Deadpool #52, Fear Itself: The Fearless #11, Invincible Iron Man #514, Kick Ass 2 #7, New Mutants #39, Thunderbolts #171, Wolverine #303, X-Factor #233. So that's 15 books up for this week... That's really not that bad a number, but there is a problem with it, which I'll get to later on in this post... This week's Pick of the Litter isn't really that straightforward, as there are A LOT of good to very good books coming out this week. If I could only afford one to read, I'd go with Deadpool #52. The Dead storyline has been pretty good thus far, and with a Deadpool/Daken confrontation on the horizon, I'm really looking forward to this one. X-Sanctions, Kick Ass 2, Batman, Spidey, Iron Man, New Mutants and X-Factor, could all also be really good, which I'm pretty excited about. On the other hand, this week's Runt of the Litter, the book I'd leave at the comic shop if I ran out of money, is Wolverine #303. I'm tired of Wolverine's adventure in Japan. Sure, it hasn't been as bad as I expected it to be, but I'm ready for it to end. Red Hood and Nightwing were also in consideration for this week's Runt. Now, normally a week where I have 15 books would see me doing 2 reviews for 6 nights and 3 reviews on a single night. However, my work schedule this week is a killer, and I'm not sure if I'll have the time to do 2 reviews nightly... I'll try my damnedest, but I'm not making any promises... Take tonight for example... Normally I'd promise two reviews, but since I have an early day of work ahead of me tomorrow, I can't make that promise... I will say I'll definitely review Deadpool, and I'll TRY to review another comic, but that might not happen... We'll see. And that'll do it. Expect 15 new reviews over the course of the next 7 days, but who knows how many reviews I'll be doing per day... Anyway, until next time, X out.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Avengers #24

Well, this can't be any worse than the last review, now can it? Oh wait, it's Norman Osborn and Brian Bendis... Of course it can be worse...

Avengers #24:

Summary: So Norman Osborn is a Super-Adaptoid now... Sure, why not? He goes around absorbing the Avengers powers, until Iron Man figures that Osborn would have some difficulty adapting to Protector's alien physiology. This proves true, and with Osborn's system a mess due to trying unsuccessfully to adapt to a Kree, the rest of the Avengers grab a hold of him, overloading his adaptoid-ability and ending the threat of Norman Osborn... After a good 3 years... In the aftermath, Osborn is in a coma, the president wants Captain America to make a speech to calm the public down, and Madame Hydra still has many of Osborn's HAMMER forces working for her under the Hydra banner.

Thoughts: That's about as much time as I plan on spending on this one. If I never see Norman Osborn again, it'll be too soon. That's how terribly Bendis has written both Osborn AND this story. To end this review on a positive, I'm going to say that I'm happy this storyline is over.

Score: 4 1/2 out of 10.
avengers #24

Wolverine and the X-Men #7

Man did I ever save the worst for last! Tonight I'll be taking a look at the two Marvel comics I probably detest the most, and are the front-runners for my least favorite ongoing series of the year, from ANY comic company, Wolverine and the X-Men and Avengers. We'll start the pain with Wolvie and the X-Men...

Wolverine and the X-Men #7:

Summary: So the giant guy who attacked the school grounds last issue is an alien professor named Starblood. He feels that Broo shouldn't be alive since Broo goes against everything the Brood are. Meanwhile, Wolverine and Kid Omega barely escape the casino world... However, Wolverine's ankles seem to have been broken... Somehow... Inside Kitty(yes, really), the X-Men manage to destroy the Brood nest that was in there, while Kitty tries to defend Broo from Starblood. Starblood smacks Kitty out of his way, which leads to Broo going crazy and attacking Starblood like a true Brood would. From there, SWORD arrives and takes Starblood into custody, although he seems smug that he had managed to get Broo to embrace his heritage. Kid Gladiator also gets taken away by SWORD, so they could revert him back to his non-Brood self, since that's apparently so easy to do now. Oh yeah, and Krakoa can grow diamonds on trees, thus solving the school's money troubles and making Wolvie's trip unnecessary.

Thoughts: Yeah, I pretty much hated this comic... Plain and simple. When there are three separate stories and I can't find a good thing to say about ANY of them, that's when I know there's a problem... To be honest, if the Avengers vs X-Men event wasn't beginning next month, I'd drop this series this week. That's how much I hate it. Sorry, but I needed to get that off my chest.

Score: 3 1/2 out of 10.
wolverine and the x-men #7

Monday, March 19, 2012

Superboy #7

Moving along, we'll head back to the DCU(and I STILL refuse to call it the DCnU, because that just looks dumb) and Superboy. I've yet to fully warm up to the new Superboy, but maybe this will be the issue my opinion of him changes... I don't know, I need SOMETHING to say in these intros!

Superboy #7:

Summary: Picking up from last issue, Ravager tries to attack Superboy, who had returned to NOWHERE seeking answers to the questions he had about himself. SB pretty much disposes of Ravager with little trouble, but is soon attacked by some of NOWHERE's other goons. SB manages to take those goons down, but is a little worse for wear. Eventually Ravager attacks again, and shoots SB with a gun that apparently fires Kryptonite rays. This weakens SB enough for Ravager to drive a sword through SB's chest, ending his attack. From there, SB is taken to a holding area where his tactile telekinesis is locked down and he is watched over by Templar. This issue ends with Wonder Girl sneaking into NOWHERE's facility and knocking Ravager out, since WG still had a score to settle with SB.

Thoughts: Okay, basically this was a pretty good comic book, with a good fight scene and some interesting reveals(we learned that SB was the second thing NOWHERE had cloned and got a shadowy glimpse of what I'm guessing is NOWHERE's big boss), but with a horrible ending... Why the HELL would the Titans have any interest in SB after how he treated them?! I mean we all know what this is going to lead to, the Titans storm NOWHERE's base, rescue Superboy, who is so grateful he joins up with them. It's funny, I was talking to fellow blogger JW the other day about how DC was going to make SB a Titan, since we ALL know it was going to happen eventually due to the teaser images from before the DC reboot. We were trying to figure out a satisfying way for SB to join the Titans after their battle... Let me tell you, the Titans magically finding NOWHERE's base, and then inexplicably rescuing SB, a proven enemy, is NOT the satisfying way I was hoping for. Oh well, maybe when SB DOES finally join the Titans he'll quit being the jerk he currently is and will be more like the SB from before the reboot... If things shake out like that, I guess I can overlook the nonsensical way it appears SB will wind up becoming a Titan.

Score: 7 out of 10.
superboy #7
HA!! That'll teach him!

Thief of Thieves #2

First comic that I'll be flying through today is the second issue of the Thief of Thieves series. Like I said last issue, the writers for this one(Robert Kirkman and Nick Spencer) are top of the line, but the first issue just didn't do anything for me... Let's hope business picks up with this one.

Thief of Thieves #2:

Summary: Redmond is still insisting that he's retired, which is still pissing off/shocking Celia. From there Redmond heads to a restaurant and meets with his ex-wife. Redmond tells her that he had quit being a thief, which angers his ex, since she had wanted Redmond to quit that life years ago, but he couldn't let go. Redmond's ex makes it clear that they had no shot at reconciliation, but she does tell him to tell his son that he had gotten out of the life.

Thoughts: Yeah, there was some flashback stuff involving Redmond and his ex-wife, like how they got together and stuff, but it didn't seem important enough to put in the summary. Anyway, once again, like the prior issue, this issue just didn't produce for me. We're getting little bits and pieces of Redmond's(and other character's) history, but what I've read thus far really isn't all that interesting. So Redmond stopped being a thief. And he has an ex-wife. And a son. It's just not grabbing me yet. Oh well, here's hoping that changes come the next issue.

Score: 6 out of 10.
thief of thieves #2
This is the part of the movie where the sad music would play right before the scene shifted.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Ultimate X-Men #9

Okay, I'm gonna start hitting speed-review mode, seeing as that I still have a few books to read and the coming week is gonna be murder on me work-wise. So let's start blowing through these reviews! As always, if I skip something or glance over it, send me a comment or an e-mail and I'll be happy to fill you in more.

Ultimate X-Men #9:

Summary: This issue takes place fully in Camp Angel, which is a mutant... um, let's say internment camp, just to be nice. Storm has had a large role in keeping the mutants relatively calm, at least until the mutants see Valerie Cooper's broadcast where she says the US government was responsible for creating the world's mutants. This sends the trapped mutants into a tizzy, so the commanding officer at the camp tries to calm the mutants down by making a speech which basically amounts to him saying that he had no clue what the government was talking about. By this point Storm has cut her hair and is through playing nice, which leads to this issue ending with Storm confronting the commanding officer after destroying a Sentinel.

Thoughts: Meh. This was the third(it was at least the third actually) issue of this series where we didn't see Jimmy and his band of X-Men... Which is kind of weird. Last issue was a spotlight on Quicksilver(or Jean, or something), while this one was a spotlight on Storm. So we had a storyline about a Stryker(I don't care to remember which one), and then we moved away from the main team for a few issues... Of a new series!!! That's just plain bizarre. And since this issue ended in a cliffhanger, you'd have to think we'll STILL be away from the main team of X-Men for at least one more issue. That's all kinds of strange...

Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.
ultimate x-men #9
Now that Storm cut her hair you KNOW it's on!

Battle Scars #5

First up today is the penultimate issue of the thus far, WAY better than expected Battle Scars mini-series. Last issue ended with a hell of a cliffhanger, let's see what this issue gives us. Oh, and one thing before I get started... Why is the “Shattered Heroes” banner STILL on top of this(and other) Marvel books?! Since most of the major players who “died” during Fear Itself are back and/or on their way back, what's there to be shattered about?

Battle Scars #5(of 6):

Summary: Nick Fury tells Marcus about how he used to work with Marcus's mother during his CIA days. Fury and Marcus's mom apparently did more than just missions and nine months later, Marcus was born. Wanting to protect her from his various enemies(since he had been named SHIELD director by this point), Fury gave Marcus's mom a new identity(as a school teacher) and pledged never to see her again. From there, Fury tells Marcus that an old enemy of his called Orion had been trying to find Fury, since he needed the Infinity Formula in Fury's blood to stay alive, and somehow learned of Marcus's existence, which would explain the bounty on Marcus's head. Hearing all of this, and learning that everything he thought he knew was a lie pisses Marcus off, so he does the only sane thing there is to do, attack Fury. Fury stays on the defensive, at least until he realizes that Orion's agents had followed Marcus, at which time Orion's men storm Fury's safehouse. Fury manages to down a few of them, but they gas the room, knocking Fury and Marcus out. The two wake sometime later, hanging from chains. Being unconscious seems to have brought some clarity to Marcus(wha?), as he tells Fury that he believes his story and probably is Fury's son. At this time Orion is wheeled into the room and has one of his men tear out Marcus's eye, so he'd look more like Fury... HA! Fury manages to get free during that macabre action and shoots a few of Orion's goons. However, some bullets hit the chains holding Marcus up and he takes a long fall into the sewer system below. Eventually Fury is brought down, at which time Orion gives himself a blood transfusion from Fury's blood, restoring himself to his former strength. Since Marcus's body continuously produced samples of the Infinity Formula, Orion sends some of his men into the sewers, hoping to find Marcus alive. The goons find Marcus more than just alive, as this issue ends with Marcus killing the two goons and swearing vengeance on Orion.

Thoughts: This issue was okay. It was a perfectly acceptable comic. We got the reveal out of the way, learned how Marcus came to be, and set the stage for the showdown next issue. Nothing spectacular happened here, but this one was a good read, so we'll simply move on.

Score: 7 out of 10.
battle scars #5
Is it really that easy to pluck somebody's eye out?