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Comics

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Daredevil #11 - So that's the end of the Omega Effect crossover? Did anyone notice that the Omegadrive plotline wasn't actually resolved? That was kind of disappointing. I think there's also a fine line between amusing and annoying for Spider-Man, and by this issue we were beginning to cross it. Still enjoying Waid's Daredevil run, but i think it's time to wrap up this storyline.

Uncanny X-Men #11 - I've liked what i've read of Gillen, but i initially passed on his X-Men because i didn't want to get dragged into the next X-Event. The jokes on me, though, because the next X-Event was Avengers vs X-Men, so i got dragged in from the Avengers side anyway. Then i saw this issue's cover featured in a House Ad, and i'm a sucker for a Hulk vs. Juggernaut fight, so this was no-brainer, even if the Hulk is really General Ross and the Juggernaut is really Colossus. So i had high hopes going into this. But i should have factored in the fact that all of these tie-in books are designed to do nothing, so we just got a bunch of random narration about people's feelings. This is why everyone hates crossovers nowadays. What there was of the Rulk/Colossonaut fight was pretty disappointing. It's partially that was just 6 pages, and that those 6 pages had less content than (grumpy old man mode ahead) you'd get in two pages of, say, the Rogue/Nimrod fight from Uncanny X-Men #194 back in 1985. It's also that instead of just being a Hulk/Juggernaut fight, Colossus had to turn into some big dumb demon thing. Which no one buying this book on the basis of the cover or out of interest in the crossover wants to see. So i know it's probably not a fair judgement of Gillen's run on this title, but i don't think i'll be sticking around.

New Avengers #25 - I'm not sure about the implications of this issue, but i know that i'm glad we went to Veggie Heaven this weekend, because this story put me in the mood for House Special Dragon & Phoenix in brown sauce.

Captain America #10 - I feel like it's been a long while since i last read this book, but i see i reviewed the previous issue on March 18th. Maybe it's just that every other book has been double-shipping lately. Anyway, Brubaker, Davis, Kirby Madbomb, Machinesmith, etc., so i'm happy. This is kind of a random comment, but this plotline, and previous "Cap de-powered" storylines, kind of ruin my idea that Captain America isn't really a super-steroid user. I was thinking that we could say that the super-serum gave him a one-time boost to "peak" human, but since then it's all been Cap exercising, training, eating right, etc, to maintain his form. But if his strength can just be turned off like a switch by nano-technology, then he really does have super-powers. Oh well, not a problem with this issue; just a random general observation.


By fnord12 | April 29, 2012, 9:41 PM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link



You could always go the Kirby route and just make a crazy movie about midgets and teleporting frog statues

Pondering a Black Panther film.


By fnord12 | April 27, 2012, 4:03 PM | Comics & Movies | Comments (0)| Link



SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Punisher #10 - Spidey was funny, but this was missing some of the energy from the Marvel Team-Up issue. Also, it finally hit me... the good guys plan is to destroy the hard drive? Waitbutwhy? Give it to SHIELD!

New Mutants #41 - We're back to the previous artist and i don't love him. He's generally ok, especially for a casual fun downtime issue like this, but when people smile it's like they've been possessed by the devil.

Blink!

Yeargh!

I do like his Warlock, though, and there were fun scenes with him and in general.

X-Factor #234 - I can definitively say i wouldn't be getting this book if i wasn't contractually obligated. It's not bad... it's just kind of blah.

Avengers vs. X-Men #2 - This is pure fanboy fun and i'm loving it. Red Hulk vs Colossonaut. Magik zapping Dr. Strange to Limbo, where's she's the sorceress supreme. Iron Man taking out Emma Frost and resisting Magneto's powers. Captain America repeatedly love-tapping Cyclops and essentially saying "Please don't make me hurt you for real." I mean, there's no plot, so i don't know how the rest of this series will go, but i had fun.

Avengers #25 - I want to start by making it clear right now that i'll never be trying to sync up the fight scenes depicted in this issue with the main AvX series. Here we have Colossus decking Iron Man (which would be a cool fight) and Captain America decking Magneto (seems unlikely), and more, and while i'm sure there's a way to make those moments scene fit into the main story, i'm not going to try. Let's get my complaints out of the way as well: we know that Hawkeye and Spider-Woman are dating; they don't need to start making out now every time they're on the same page for two panels. And is that actually Spider-Woman? It's a weird look for her. I also don't love this idea that AIM's love of science somehow makes it a quasi-religion. It should be quite the opposite, in fact, and having their new leader meditating in a rose garden doesn't work for me. If you're going to use AIM, play up the science angle. Plenty of other groups out there if you want a religious cult. All that said, Avengers vs. AIM is fun, the Iron Man/"Protector" dynamic is done well enough, and Kree angle on the Phoenix arrival could be interesting.

Thunderbolts #173 - So the "meeting the original team" plot is a great way to show how some characters have grown - especially Fixer - in addition to setting up some nice fights. I have some geeky half-baked concerns about the "raid Dr. Doom's castle" scheme; i'm fairly certain i remember reading a post-Onslaught X-Force comic where SHIELD secured the castle to prevent exactly something like this from happening, but of course it's an alternate timeline plus maybe that just hasn't happened yet and/or we'll see where it actually goes next issue. And whatever happens when this book becomes Dark Avengers, i hope we can have a break-out Mr. Hyde and Troll series.


By fnord12 | April 27, 2012, 1:51 PM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link



Hulk times a hundred equals a headache

So min and i were saying maybe we shouldn't have skipped on Pak's Incredible Hulk series featuring Bruce Banner and his son Skaar. But when i went to add the issues to my want list on mycomicshop, i got a little lost. There are too many Hulks! Too many Hulk characters! Too many Hulk books! Too many Hulk events! And too many one-shots (Fall of the Hulks Gamma?). How is anybody supposed to follow this stuff? And worse... some of these comics are written by Jeph Loeb!

I guess i'll stick with Incredible Hulk #601-611 for now and then see if i need to expand outward.


By fnord12 | April 26, 2012, 2:36 PM | Comics | Comments (0)| Link



The original, British, Rocket Raccoon

In the spirit of what i did for the Femizon story in Savage Tales #1, here's another comic that's only vaguely in continuity and which i don't actually own, so i'll look at it here instead of in my timeline project.

I recently read the Mantlo/Mignola Rocket Raccoon mini-series and read in the text piece at the end of issue #1 that Rocket's first appearance wasn't Hulk #271. He previously appeared in Marvel's black & white magazine Marvel Preview #7 (actually the afterword incorrectly says it's issue #16, but there are no raccoons in that issue).

I don't own that issue and probably never will, so i took a peek and, well... i'm not so sure it should count.

The story (by Bill Mantlo) in issue #7 is actually a continuation of a series called The Sword In the Star. The first installment appeared in Marvel Preview #4 (which was also, incidentally, the first appearance of Star-Lord). The story is introduced as the Odyssey in space, basically. The intro also indicates that it takes place in the "distant future". Comments in the issue itself put it about fifteen thousand years forward, in fact. Beyond that, the details of issue #4 aren't important to our Raccoon history. The next (and final) installment of the series was in issue #7, and that's where the main character, Prince Wayfinder, meets "Rocky".

Cor, you bloody well couldn't cram in more stereotypical British slang into these bleedin' panels if you tried, mate.

I guess it's worth noting this issue was published for Summer 1976, well before Yoda tormented Luke in Empire Strikes Back.

Art is by "talented newcomer" Keith Giffin.

He's a raccoon, so he really does mean 'grub'.

His name really is Rocky.

I... I'm glad you told me.  I was sure you were a hyper-evolved wolverine.

And while the Rocket Raccoon we know and love has never gone by that nickname, the biggest discrepancy is his manner of speaking.

'One should look before one plucks' just never made it into Bartlett's Quotations, for some reason.

On the other hand, like our Rocket, he does have a love for firepower.

That thing has fire shooting out of its shoulder pads.  That is AWESOME!

The story ends on a cliffhanger, and it's never continued.

The pilgrims didn't do their job.

Now, at the end of the Rocket Raccoon mini-series, Rocket Raccoon leaves his home planet for the first time. And more importantly, this storyline takes place in the future. So if this is the same character, it must take place after the mini-series, and probably involves time travel. Or alternatively, it's one of Rocket Raccoon's great-great-super-great descendants. Good fodder for a future Abnett & Lanning story, maybe. But either way, as far as i'm concerned, Hulk #271 is still Rocket Raccoon's first chronological appearance.


By fnord12 | April 22, 2012, 11:16 AM | Comics | Comments (0)| Link



Sometimes you just have to move the plot along

I've never turned my party into mice, but i can't say it won't happen in the future.

No you didn't! You didn't actually say that you were casting the spell so now you're a mouse, ok?


By fnord12 | April 20, 2012, 2:41 PM | Comics & D&D | Comments (0)| Link



SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Winter Soldier #4 - What the--? Last issue promised "Gorilla madness!". This is not gorilla madness. I did manage to locate three hazy, sketchy panels with gorillas towards the end of the story, but i would not qualify anything going on there as madness. The only madness is that you have a story whose plot is Dr. Doom vs Super-Apes and four issues in, it has delivered exactly no Dr. Doom vs. Super-Apes. I'll grant a decent Dr. Doom vs Doombot fight, but that's about it. The art in this comic is just inexcusable. There's so many pages where the action sequences aren't really comprehensible. You've got that scene where the Black Widow is (i guess?) running a red light for no good reason and looking very pleased with herself about it, and the scene where the Doombot is waving his hands around Dr. Doom's portrait before the real Doom shows up in his plane? I mean, i could tell you what's going on, but i don't think it's done very well. Never mind the random drawings that constitute the fight scenes. I have enough good will toward Brubaker and the opposite towards Guice at this point that i'm telling myself the plots just say "And then Super Apes fight Dr. Doom!" and Guice is just ignoring them and drawing whatever he wants, but i know that's not true. Even if next issue actually delivers, this does not bode well for this series.

Avenging Spider-Man #6 - I know i said i was coming around to Mark Waid again, but what's he doing in my Zeb Wells comic book? And what's Greg Rucka doing here?!? Anyway, i did like this and i'm glad i've caught up on Waid's Daredevil series (except #2 and #8, dammit!). I am somewhat unhappy with the idea that a piece of a Fantastic Four costume is being used as a super hard drive; unstable molecules exist to allow super-heroes to use their powers without destroying their costumes and that's all they should really be used for. The idea that every time a hero loses a scrap of clothing AIM can collect it and build something crazy and evil out of it isn't a good long term move. But accepting that, this is a good issue. I enjoy the interaction of all the heroes; Spidey and Daredevil dealing with the Punisher and his ladyfriend is good stuff; this is what a Team-Up book is all about.

New Avengers #24 - Using these issues to more fully develop the scenes and behind-the-scenes goings-on in AvX is appreciated, but i'll just point out that it's the same thing that was done in Fear Itself except this issue isn't using the much-derided talking heads device. I thought this was good, but i'm less interested in Luke Cage and Jessica Jones' drama and much more pleased and surprised by the way Bendis is using the Red Hulk as a military commander and Cap's second in command. It's perfect characterization for the former General Ross and it's done very well.

Avengers Assemble #2 - Do we have it in writing that this is actually in continuity? Because while there's been several iterations of the Zodiac and they look different from time to time, there's no way Captain America (or Thor, or Iron Man, or Hawkeye, or Black Widow) says "We know it was a member of something called the Zodiac". It's ok... you wanted to put out a reader-friendly comic with these characters to collect as a trade in time for the movie and you didn't want it to be bogged down in continuity, so you wrote an out-of-continuity story. You can admit it. We won't be mad if you come clean now. Of course, using an Ultimate Nullifier is way more continuity-ish than having the Avengers drop a quick line like, "Oh, the Zodiac. Hrmm, they seem different than previous Zodiacs we've fought." And does the Hulk's characterization and intelligence seem all over the place? One panel it's "He stole something shiny! There was army!" and the page he's using slang like "Don't put that on me!" At least decide whether or not he refers to himself as "me" or "Hulk"; my god, that changes from one panel to the next. Can't say i love Bagley's designs for this Zodiac, either, but his art in general is nice.


By fnord12 | April 16, 2012, 10:19 PM | Comics | Comments (0)| Link



Joss Whedon passes on making Captain America political

I understand why he might want to avoid doing so, but this is a little disappointing:


Apparently Joss Whedon was going to have Captain America give a speech in The Avengers that would have been partially about the loss of the social safety net, but he decided to cut the scene:

One of the best scenes that I wrote was the beautiful and poignant scene between Steve and Peggy [Carter] that takes place in the present. And I was the one who was like, 'Guys, we need to lose this.' It was killing the rhythm of the thing. And we did have a lot of Cap, because he really was the in for me. I really do feel a sense of loss about what's happening in our culture, loss of the idea of community, loss of health care and welfare and all sorts of things. I was spending a lot of time having him say it, and then I cut that.

As a product of the New Deal, Cap's speech would have flow entirely in character. I can believe that the soapbox speech might have killed the flow of the movie and i'm sure Marvel/Disney didn't need the PR headache. But it would have been cool. Maybe for the DVD.


By fnord12 | April 16, 2012, 5:02 PM | Comics & Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



You didn't know we were an alien species

In order to blend in with you Earthlings, we stick to a strict vegetarian diet to reduce our 'vast bulk', and file down our horns.

While doing a little "research" for my review of Avengers #255, i came across this entry in the Marvel Handbook and realized i missed an important fact about the Colossus from Tales of Suspense #58. And i decided it was time to come clean about myself and min. Don't worry, we're not staging an invasion. We're just here for your Daiya cheese and Gardein products; you can't get that stuff out in Vega-4.


By fnord12 | April 14, 2012, 8:54 PM | Comics | Comments (0)| Link



SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Daredevil #10.1 - I have succumbed to Waid-Daredevil mania and started reading this series. I'm also working my way through the back issues (still missing issues #2 and #8!) but this point one issue is, appropriately, the first issue i got in real-time and the first one i've read. And... it's about what i expected, which, considering the hype, is quite an accomplishment. I enjoyed the retroactive telling of the fight with, er, Pyromania, the way Matt's secret identity issues are handled, and the dysfunctional "megacrime" alliance. Waid seems to be navigating Daredevil's membership in the Avengers as best he can (although i'm not convinced he couldn't have just dumped the Omegadrive on them). I bailed on Waid's FF run pretty early and had decided that he wasn't the writer he used to be any more, but so far i'm ready to say i was wrong about that. And i know this wasn't the regular artist, but i appreciate the clean, easy to follow artwork as well as the non-muddy coloring. Now when do i get to hear more about that lady's malpractice suit against Dr. Strange?

Avengers vs. X-Men #1 - Wanyas picked up the "I'm with the X-Men" variant cover for me, but i think from this seminal SuperMegaMonkey post (and the follow-up) we all know my feeling on how an Avengers/X-Men fight would go down. Although with Magneto and Namor and Colossonaut on the team, it's a somewhat different story. I think this "jam writer" concept is working out rather well; at least i like the basic plot set up, with the Avengers getting alerted to a cosmic threat via Nova and how this is the culmination of the Hope saga and the beginning of the House of M reversal (so Cyclops thinks, anyway). Cyclops is being written as really unreasonable but that's in line with his characterization lately, and Cap is also too unwilling to discuss alternatives (like, could we maybe just keep an eye on Hope instead of demanding to take her into custody pre-emptively?). But we've all seen worse set-ups for hero vs. hero fights. I wanted to say that putting Bendis on scripting was playing to his strengths, but i'm afraid i can't. Because Captain America doesn't say, "Thor, could you do us a favor and see if anything is following him?". Cap has "a voice that could command a god", not "a voice that could ask a god a favor." JRJR's stylized art is toned back a bit, with things looking a little more conventional, and i think that's the right move for this series. The one thing that bugs me is Captain America's nose, of all things. It looks like Romita is using Marvel vs. Capcom conceptual art as the model. Maybe that's the right move, in anticipation of mainstream interest. Anyway, i have low expectations for this event, but so far they are met or exceeded (and it's worth noting that i feel like i read about half the book in preview form already).

P.S. What were the little AR logos that appeared at the bottom of many of the pages?

Avengers Academy #28 - I should probably be annoyed by a "we all share our thoughts and sing Kumbaya" resolution, but i wasn't because i feel like it was done really well. It's not so much that Gage has a handle on these characters; he just seems to be able to find the essence of any characters he's working with. Which really makes me doubt my decision to not read X-Men Legacy (which will be remedied for the AvX crossover, at least). The other thing about Gage is that he's the sort of guy that thinks "Hrmm, the Runaways have a dinosaur. And Reptil can turn into a dinosaur. So why not have them get together and meet Devil Dinosaur. Oh, and Victor was created by Ultron? I guess that makes Henry Pym his grandfather." So he's got that Roy Thomas/Mark Gruenwald eye for connections, but he's also really good with characterization and plotting. It's a great combo! I was also really intrigued by the Moonboy & Devil Dinosaur/Celestial teaser/throwaway.

Hulk #50 - So they were going to have that cross-over with Venom and X-23 and Ghost Rider but then they decided to just put it all into "point" issues of Venom instead. Which is fine with me, except now the Hulk book is building off of that storyline. And there's not even a footnote or anything, so it had me thinking i missed something. Which, i guess, i did. Anyway, good stuff. "I knew this would turn into some hippie smoke-up" is perfect General Ross. And i liked the Red She-Hulk/Defenders reference. I was surprised that the green Hulk's somewhat inexplicable ability to see astral forms was never referenced considering that's what's happening to the Red Hulk now, but i guess it's entirely unrelated. I enjoyed the back-up story as well. Note for future self for my Marvel Timeline project: this is the first time Daredevil becomes aware that the Red Hulk is on the Avengers.

New Mutants #40 - Again, if you focus on Warlock i'm going to love it. The fact that this issue was basically 85% techno-babble accompanied by pictures of Warlock running from the Ani-Mator didn't escape my notice, but i still enjoyed it. And while the ending was a bit too neatly wrapped up, that was sort of the point, right? What's important here is that Bird-Boy is now available for Gage to have to join Avengers Academy.

Thunderbolts #172 - Now we know why this time travel story has been dragging a bit, by some measurements. It's so this issue could sync up with the Thunderbolts 15 year anniversary! Well done. I enjoy the continued side-speculation about the metaphysics of time travel. Acknowledging the changes to Mr. Hyde head-on was nice. I think i used the phrase "head-on" because that scene of Hyde headbutting Goliath's giant nose was pretty memorable.


By fnord12 | April 13, 2012, 9:16 AM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link



Marvel Sales

February.

The top selling Marvel comic (at position #11 on the chart) has under 60,000 sales.


By fnord12 | April 6, 2012, 11:03 AM | Comics | Comments (0)| Link



Since i'm linking to Comic Critics

There's this one about Comic Book Men.

And this was the one about the Spider-Man movie.


By fnord12 | April 3, 2012, 11:42 AM | Comics | Comments (0)| Link



SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Avenging Spider-Man #5 - Lenil Yu has his "everybody looks like a zombie" tendencies kind of under control in this issue, but i still don't like his art. Especially the weird panel on page 3 where Spider-Man and Captain America are posing together like they're on the cover of a romance novel, but more generally i don't like the facial expressions and poses, even if you ignore the bloodshot eyes. As for the story, it's odd that the fact that Steve Rogers had a career as a commercial artist for a long period in the 80s isn't even mentioned in the context of this "you should revive your childhood drawing skills" plot. I know it's more focused on "young Steve Rogers drew super-heroes" but it still seems odd. I think the whole premise was kind of shaky. A clearly very young Steve Rogers once drew a super-hero comic so therefore Peter Parker, who, as the story points out, was a science nerd, not a comic geek, wants to bond with him? Even if Peter was a huge comics geek, just because Rogers drew some super-hero comics as a young child... i don't really get it. The banter was all good, but i wasn't buying the story.

New Avengers #23 - For a story that built up and dragged on forever, it sure got wrapped up quickly. Skaar's on our side; all done! I liked it, though.

Avengers #24.1 - So i'm reading this and feeling like the art is falling apart, getting worse and worse as i get further into the book. To the point where Captain America was really looking his age on page 17. And i'm like... this is a Point One issue... it could have been published at any time. So why rush it? Then i read Avengers vs X-Men #0. Oh. Yeah, i guess having this issue come out after that one would have been even more of a trainwreck than it already is. More on that in a minute. I did think the Vision/She-Hulk scene was pretty good. The Vision/Magneto scene, on the other hand, was awful. Awful. Histrionic. Really poorly written. And that's not even getting into the geeky question of "is the Vision even made of metal?". The scene with Cap was about right, i guess, but i don't think anyone likes the Hawkeye/Spider-Woman "romance" and that scene surely isn't going to endear anyone to it. Pretty bad. I mean, i'm the internet's last Bendis defender, but i can't work with this.

Avenges vs. X-Men #0 - So ok, we just read the issue where the Vision has been going around looking for his wife and ready to get himself killed in order to find her. Here, she shows up at his doorstep and he acts like a complete ass, completely out of character even based on what we just read three minutes ago, forget 40 years of backstory, and sends her away. And the two issues were BY THE SAME WRITER! Sure, we can make up a story that some time has passed between the two issues, even though they came out on the same day, and the Vision has had some kind of revelation or change of heart, but why am i doing your work for you, Marvel? But i just can't stay mad at you. Because in the same story, you give me Devil Dino-DOK and MONKEY-DOK and many other strange little MODOK derivatives, and that's enough to make up for the Vision's poorly written bad behavior, and the fact that the awesome MODOK was used as the disposable villain of the month, and the Scarlet Witch's giant boobs, and everything else. On to the second story... Man, no one can keep the Serpent Society locked up for long, huh? The Avengers just defeated Anaconda and Cottonmouth over in Avenging Spider-Man, which, again, came out the same day, and they're already over on the West Coast robbing a bank or whatever. Maybe Sidewinder just teleported them all out of jail, except that he was just defeated in the previous issue of Avenging Spidey and in Villains For Hire #.1 just a few months ago (and that's not even counting the Serpent Squad guys that were in the Captain America book two issues ago). I know i was complaining when it was the Wrecking Crew who was getting dragged out for an ass kicking every time Marvel needed generic villains to fill pages, but i didn't mean to just swap out one villain team for another. That aside, i have an impression of Aaron as being a "zany" writer, but this was relatively straightforward and a decent introduction to Hope, who i've had limited exposure to. So it worked as a zero issue in that regard. I'll note that neither of these stories did anything to set up any kind of Avengers/X-Men conflict.


By fnord12 | April 2, 2012, 9:36 PM | Comics | Comments (5)| Link



Many worlds

My considerations on X-Men vs Avengers were pretty much the exact opposite of Josh's here, but i'll link to anything that ends with a DC Crisis jab using quantum physics*.

SpeedReview including the zero issue probably tonight**.








*Not a guarantee
**Also wic


By fnord12 | April 2, 2012, 11:59 AM | Comics | Comments (0)| Link



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