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By fnord12 | February 28, 2012, 10:32 AM | Comics | Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Point One #1 - This is several weeks old at this point, but they were giving them away for free at Wanyas' comic shop, so he picked it up for me. And... Marvel really had some balls charging $5.99 for this. It's clearly a promo/advertisement book. It should be free. Anyway, i don't think anything here really changed my mind about the books i've planned on getting. The X-Terminated or whatever seem pretty lame. I still don't want to read about Kaine the Scarlet Spider. Nothing in the Dr. Strange piece convinced me to ignore the bad reviews i've seen of Fraction's Defenders. Absolutely nothing happened in the Ultron story but i'll still be completing Bendis' Avengers run. And the Phoenix preview was written by Jeph Loeb, who thankfully won't be working on the X-Men/Avengers crossover so it didn't help with deciding on whether or not i'll be getting that (although i hope they didn't really kill Terrax in that throwaway scene; i really hate when they feel they have to kill off some long established and often cool character just to show how powerful some new threat is. and we already know the Phoenix is powerful, so what's the point?). I did think Van Lente did a good job introducing the new fire & ice characters, but where will they be appearing? Most of all, i really enjoyed the framing sequence with the Watcher.

Avengers vs. X-Men Program Guide - Since we're reviewing promo material, i might as well say that, having read this, i guess i will get the crossover. It doesn't seem like it'll be great, but the premise makes sense and the writing wasn't too bad. I had withdrawal symptoms when i didn't get Fear Itself even though by all accounts i seem to have made the right move, so if this crossover seems like it'll be even a notch better i guess i may as well go with it. So bring it on.

X-Factor #232 - I think i just picked the wrong time to start reading this book. Another alternate universe fight, and now all these alternate universe characters are in the real world so i guess we're not moving on yet. It's been a weird book, honestly.

Winter Soldier #2 - Not nearly enough super-ape action. It's partially a problem with the art: in theory, this book contained a machine gun toting gorilla who punched out Bucky and then escaped in a jet pack. In practice there were a lot of angular muddled panels further obscured by snow. I had a similar problem with what should have been a cool action sequence with Nick Fury. But beyond the art, this is still mainly a spy story that just happened to feature a gorilla. I was hoping for a more super-hero-ish story. And more Dr. Doom. This is still a good book and i expect things will continue to build, but i want my super-apes vs. Dr. Doom, and i want it now.

Avengers #22 & New Avengers #21 - I go through the same thing every time these books come out: prior to actually reading the issues, i agree with the criticism that this is a rehash of the previous Dark Avengers storyline, but then when i read them i actually enjoy it. I thought the battle with Clor was well done, and the scenes with the captured Avengers in the other book was handled nicely as well. I like the way Osborn is manipulating the public and the government, which is the sort of thing the Avengers aren't well equipped to handle (and i know people don't like that Luke Cage is so easily goaded by Osborn, but go back and read any issue of Power Man & Iron Fist: Cage is a hothead). So, i'm liking this. I'm still confused about the Vision though and all the comments that he's "back". Is there a Young Vision and a Vision now? That wasn't the way i understood things when the Vision was revived in Young Avengers. I also didn't like the way his face was drawn, but the art was generally ok (although i prefer Deodato's art in New).

Thunderbolts #170 - Favorite book. Great characterization. Nice art. Troll have dragon! The team can time-travel for as long as they like.

Avenging Spider-Man #4 - This one issue did a better job with character development for Hawkeye than both issues of Jen Van Meter's Avengers Solo that i read, and it also managed to be funny and a good adventure story at the same time. Good stuff. Glad to see this book can still be good without Joe Madureira's art, but i hope the sales numbers agree.

Avengers Academy #26 - Well i guess that thinned out the herd a bit. I enjoyed this while i read it but thinking about what to say now i realize it's an entire issue of people standing around arguing with each other, and i know some people don't like that.

New Mutants #38 - Very few writers would dare revisit Bird-Brain and the Animator, but not only do Abnett & Lanning do it, they do it well. I also really enjoy this interpretation of Doug Ramsey, which Zeb Wells should get the credit for but Abnett & Lanning have continued it nicely. "Isn't she spoken for?" "But I would speak for her much more articulately!" Glad to see someone new on art. I like it. Bird-Brain was nicely creepy and i liked Fernandez's Warlock, especially that menacing final panel. The regular humans looked fine, too!

By fnord12 | February 26, 2012, 12:43 PM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link

I'd rather have a Transformers knock-off than a Gobot

Sheesh, these were bad.

It's a car that transforms into... a car with a face and broken side panels.

To be fair, these were actually model kits that still kinda sorta transformed, which is actually pretty cool, but, i mean, hee hee:

I have a big head and little arms. I'm just not sure how well this plan was thought through.

And from what i've seen, the actual toys weren't any better.

By fnord12 | February 25, 2012, 9:39 PM | Comics | Link

No website is complete without a picture of Puzzle Man

It's not all fun 'n' games being a super-hero, but sometimes it is.

By fnord12 | February 25, 2012, 1:41 PM | Comics | Link


I added three new items to the "Webcomics we read" drop-down:

Not necessarily endorsing them yet. We'll see how it goes.

By fnord12 | February 25, 2012, 12:58 PM | Comics | Link

And like someone says in the comments, it's getting worse, not better

I don't think this article says anything new about the depiction of women in mainstream super-hero comics, but it certainly lays it all out very clearly.

By fnord12 | February 22, 2012, 11:37 AM | Comics | Comments (3)| Link

Yeah, But Can They Power Things?

Scientists think they're soooo smart just cause they created a working transistor that's only the size of a phosphorus atom.

Their transistors can't power all sorts of gadgets, though, can they? No. And that's what makes Tony Stark better than these smarty-pants scientists.

By min | February 21, 2012, 2:32 PM | Comics & Science | Link

Good news, i guess

I was kind of annoyed by the upcoming Venom crossover since i'm only reading the Red Hulk book and i didn't want to get the other books or read part 3 of a 4 part story in Hulk. Luckily, as i was reading Paul O'Brien's reviews for the week, i saw this:

In the interests of completism, I'd better say something about the "Circle of Four" storyline running through this month's weekly Venom issues, oddly numbered as issues #13.1 to #13.4. This storyline appears to have started life as a planned crossover between Venom, X-23, Ghost Rider and Hulk, only to be thwarted when half of those books were cancelled. Now it's been reassigned as a Venom storyline with a whole load of guest stars.

Works for me.

By fnord12 | February 21, 2012, 1:11 PM | Comics | Link


I saw this ad in the Feb 1985 issues of Marvel comics...

The Trans-bots may or may not be from Planet Transsexual

...and i originally thought, "Oh. Transformers knock-offs.". Then i realized that this was probably an ad for the Transformers toys before they were officially brought to the US and named by Marvel's staff. Despite the snark in that Comics Critic strip, looking at this ad you have to admit that Marvel added some value. Surely "Soundwave" is a better name than "Transforming Communicator!".

By fnord12 | February 20, 2012, 1:55 PM | Comics | Comments (3)| Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Captain America #8 - Alan Davis sure knows how to draw a fight sequence. That battle with the Serpent Squad seemed like the first fight i could actually follow in a comic in decades. I'm liking the direction of this book. I feel like it's been more... traditionally super-heroey since David took over. Yes? No? Serpent Squad, Madbomb, Machinesmith? I guess it really isn't but Davis' classic style and the brighter colors give everything a different emphasis. Anyway, i like it.

New Mutants #37 - Now, let me start by saying that this was a well written, amusing book. With good art (the bar is set pretty low: does everyone have eyeballs and are they a reasonable size? But the semi-cartoonish style was fitting for the story and i liked it.). However, it's pretty hard to reconcile this version of Mephisto with anything we've ever seen before. He's the living personification of all evil! And now he's a nerdy guy that wants to go on a date with a random super-heroine? I mean, the story had a nice Sandman-ish feel and, if it wasn't about Marvel's Mephisto i'd leave it at that. And i'm really not complaining, but i think this issue leaves some open questions that will need to be addressed - is this really a new phase for Mephisto or part of a grander scheme? And if the former, why Magma, of all people? Surely not just because she has fire powers... As for where to address those issues, it's odd for Mephisto to become a supporting character for the New Mutants. I'm not into strict segmentation of characters (Mephisto must appear in Dr. Strange and Silver Surfer only!), but he doesn't really fit into the "tying up the X-Men's loose ends" remit or even mutant themes more generally. These are really all just random thoughts; i liked the issue.

By fnord12 | February 15, 2012, 10:40 PM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

X-Factor #231 - I was pleasantly surprised by last issue. But after min read it, we had an, erm, disagreement on whether or not the issue was new reader friendly. Since i'm familiar with all the characters and i had a vague idea of what's going on in the series thanks to Paul O'Brien's reviews, i didn't have any problems, but min didn't know who anyone was and felt like she was dropped into the middle of a group of random people's boring conversation. Considering it had a Regenesis banner and was heavily promoted, i certainly agree that one should expect the issue to be new reader friendly. And i'll also agree that an all talk issue is not a great way to greet new readers. And that there was nothing in the story itself that introduced any of the characters or would make anyone care who they were or what they were talking about. Where we disagreed was the degree to which one should be expected to read the recap page in order to jump into a new series. Whatever one thinks of that, it should be very clear that this issue's recap page was absolutely useless. It had a jokey gag for the characters section and half of the actual recap was used to describe something in Peter David's personal life (this was true of the last issue as well, but i think at least the remaining content was helpful). The personal journal thing, and the fact that these issues are dropping readers into the series with no context, does a lot to reinforce my impression that this book is more like Peter David's Pension Fund than an actual book that Marvel cares about. Basically it's a book for Peter David to write that Marvel is happy to publish as long as his small but loyal fanbase continues to support him (i felt the same about Tom DeFalco's Spider-Girl). New readers aren't really expected. Compound all that with the fact that this issue read like a bad What If? (What if Scarlet Witch said "no more humans" instead of "no more mutants"? Sentinels would be Iron Mans and Captain America would be a Deathlok who murders unarmed secretaries!) and there wasn't even the slightest attempt to explain who Tryp is, and i really didn't enjoy this issue. And the puns! "Been a while"... "You don't have any more whiles"... "Maybe not, but I still have some wiles"? Who talks like that? Not good.

Avengers Academy #24-25 - There was some trouble getting issue #24, so thanks to Bob for pulling through. I really like Gage's ability to use disparate characters and concepts to build a really nice story. Since i'm currently sensitive to the new reader problem, i wish we could get some actual footnotes, but i think Gage is much better at introducing all these characters (he did a great job making me interested in the Sentinel-boy character, for example, and i may have to pick up his back issues). There was an art error in the Wraith War flashback, showing Storm in the wrong costume, but at least there was a flasback. I wasn't really excited by the "evil future self" storyline but Gage did a great job of making me care.

Hulk #48 - Good story. I wish the art was a little better at depicting the fight scenes. The panels where the Hulk used Black Fog to cut off the jaw of the giant fish monster should have looked really cool but instead it had me scratching my head. That aside, this has been a really good book. I'd like to see something "new" so it was somewhat disappointing to see all the bad guys get away to fight again another day, but no complaints.

Villains For Hire #3 - Meh.

Winter Soldier #1 - So i'm reading it and saying, "Yeah, this is good, but do i really need more stories about Bucky and the Black Widow doing spy stuff and fighting terrorists?". And then they hit me with Super Apes vs. Dr. Doom. So... yeeeeeeaaaah!

By fnord12 | February 10, 2012, 3:45 PM | Comics | Comments (2)| Link

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