Review Time! Marvel books

I haven’t done any comic book reviews in a long time, so I’ve decided to (Try really, really hard) and keep up with the newest releases from the big two….and sometimes the big three and four and five…..

Here are the books that dropped from the House of Ideas on 9/17/14

All New X-Factor 14: This was my first time reading this book and I was dropped into the start of a new storyline, but I have to admit, I really liked the book. Peter David proves that he is still, some twenty years later one of the best writers to ever grace the pages of X-Factor. Here we find a new, corporate owned version of X-Factor. David gives us a Girl’s day out in Colonial Williamsburg and showcases his trademark wit. Pop Mhan and Scott Hanna handle the art chores and deliver some inconsistently good work. There is some good depictions of the lead characters here, especially during the hilarious conversation between Polaris and Danger but overall the art could use some improvement.

I would look past the choppy art and certainly read this book again.

8/10….A smooth moving book that quickly builds a rapport with its main characters but is held back a little by the inconsistent artwork.

All New X-Men 32: It has been a long while since I’ve read this book and now I really think I’ll have to go back and play some catch up. Our team of time displaced Original X-Men encountered a young mutant in the previous issue and she sent them all to the Ultimate universe. If you loved the Ultimate books as much as I used to than you’ll like the concept of seeing a young an inexperienced team of X-Men in a strange new world. As usual Brian Michael Bendis is on his A game with his dialogue and witty banter. I have to read the rest of the storyline, but so far Bendis has done a good job crafting an engaging story. The art by Mahmud Asrar does a great job of balancing the look of the All-New X-Men and the classic Ultimate Universe. His art really reminded me of Mark Bagley which is not a bad thing.

9/10….Engaging story coupled with excellent art usually makes for an amazing book and I would recommend this….but it doesn’t get the 10 because it is not an easy jumping on point for new readers (Or old ones who took a break on the book)

Avengers 35: What this book is seriously lacking is a “Previously…..” prose page. Yes, each issue starts with a cinematic “Previously…” section made up of a few panels, but it never gives new readers enough info. Johnathan Hickman has been building a very interesting, long form story but new readers coming into this are going to be very lost. What did Tony Stark do? Why is SHIELD after him and the rest of the Illuminati? That’s not really explained here. We do get some awesome scenes with Amadeus Cho, Marvel’s resident young super genius. The art is inconsistent, a major pet peeve of mine. This is due to the fact that there are four artists working on one issue. Jim Cheung, Paco Medina, Nick Bradshaw and Dustin Weaver all provide the art making for a constantly shifting look in the issue. I could understand the multiple artists if this was an anthology of stories, but this is too much for one single issue, especially if that single issue is part of a much larger story.

5/10…..While there are some cool super spy scenes with Amadeus Cho taking on SHIELD and an interesting last page reveal, take a pass on this one. Wait for the trade paperback collection and get the story as a whole. As a single issue this is too confusing.

Avengers World 13: What a mess. Avoid this issue. While there I usually like Nick Spencer’s team books this is just flat out ridiculous. Unlike the previous Avengers book, this one does have a good recap for new readers, but it doesn’t help much because the story is just so silly even for comic book standards. Raffaele Ienco produces some quality artwork and moves the story along, even amazing art can’t save such a silly, silly story. The idea that the dark and dangerous city of Madripoor has been a major feature of countless Marvel adventures and has been used as a great setting in the first Wolverine limited series. This plot puts that once realistic backdrop on top of the head of an ancient dragon. There’s a lot more too the plot than that, but even for a comic book it just comes out as silly. Many of the heroes featured in the book are written out of character and I get the feeling that they’re also wondering what the heck they’re doing in such a stupid story.

2/10…..Flip through this book at the store for the artwork, but keep it on the shelf for the ridiculous storyline. Maybe Nick Spencer will have something better worked up for another time. This one was a real letdown.

Daredevil 8: Mark Waid and Chris Samnee are hands down one of the best creative teams to work on Daredevil in decades. This issue has the feel of an episode of a well written tv drama. We have an eerie crime happening in the beginning and unveiling the ruthless villain behind it then our hero is introduced and he gives us just enough back story to keep us up to date. Matt Murdock is publicly known as Daredevil, he lost his law license in New York and now has a practice in San Francisco. Meanwhile, an old mind controlling villain has his sights set on building a family and will do anything and kill anyone to achieve that….when his plan backfires there are some sinister results and the beginnings of some very cool new villains. He is out of his element, but thriving in his new life. It’s a great build up and Samnee’s very fluid, animated style of art surprisingly fits the dark tones in the story. If the Netflix Daredevil show is half as good as this book,they’ll have a hit on their hands.

10/10….This one is a winner. The art and plot work hand in hand to bring us a great Daredevil story and bring a really fresh take on the character, proving that he can work outside of New York’s Hell’s Kitchen. Highly recommended.

Deadpool Bi-Annual 1: While the usual writing chores are taken over by Paul Scheer and Nick Giovannetti, Deadpool is still in good hands. In fact a SHIELD agent tells Deadpool just that when he realizes the writers are different. This issue brings us the return of the absurd 90s heroes Brute Force, a super team consisting of animals in cyborg suits. While the whole concept of these super animals attacking a Sea World type theme park is just silly, unlike the stupidity of Avengers World 13, this is played purely for laughs and it is a truly funny book. The cartoonish, madcap artwork by Salva Espin works well to drive the nutty story home. We still get to see the blood, guts and humor of a regular Deadpool book, just by a different creative team. This is a perfect jumping on point for new readers.

IMAGE OF THE WEEK

IMAGE OF THE WEEK

10/10….One of the funniest books to roll out in a while. I’ve always liked weird 90s characters so seeing Deadpool team with oddities like Brute Force is a plus. And there’s some really funny Phil Coulson related jokes in here as well.

The Edge of the Spiderverse 2: In case you didn’t know there is a large event weaving (See what I did there?) through all of the Spider-Man books in which some force is killing various incarnations of Spider-Man throughout the multi-verse…in this case, the Spiderverse. It’s a really cool idea and this book, is showcasing new, unestablished Spiderpeople. Here we see an alternate world where Gwen Stacy was bitten by a radioactive spider and became Spider Woman….Peter tried to gain super powers and became the lizard, dying in a rampage. Now Gwen must juggle her super hero career with her punk band as an assassin stalks her father for the Kingpin. It’s a fun story in the vein of classic Spider-Man. Written by Jason Latour with art by Robbi Rodriguez.

9/10…..If it were a stand alone and not connected to a big mega epic, I’d give it the full 10. It’s worth your comic buying dollar. As a whole, it really interested me in the entire Spiderverse saga and I will pick up the collection once it hits stores.

Elektra 6: Elektra takes on a mission in the ancient spot where the Inhumans once called home. She has a rag tag team of assassins and hired guns as she is being hunted by the Guild of Assassins. It’s a pretty good jumping on point for the book, but it didn’t really hold my interest all that much. It reads like a typical summer blockbuster and it would be far better to see on screen than the Elektra movie. The art by Alex Sanchez was incredibly engaging and depicted some very solid action sequences. W. Haden Blackman provides a journeyman’s effort with the plot but doesn’t lure me in. If I didn’t write reviews, I’d probably skip the next issue…

7/10….A solid issue, but not really intriguing enough to warrant continuous reading.

Hulk 6 The new direction for the Hulk sees the Green Goliath taking on yet another incarnation, this time calling himself Doc Green. Doc Green sports a spiffy green mohawk and is a no holds barred, ruthless scientist. Seeing gamma based weapons as a threat to society, Doc Green begins a campaign to take Gamma powered beings off the table with a cure he devised. With this cure, he takes on A-bomb, his friend Rick Jones. The story by Gerry Duggan is very fun and left me wanting more, especially at the cliff hanger ending. The end hinted at an awesome battle yet to come. The art by Mark Bagley is magnificent as always. Bagley is a present day craftsman and his art will certainly be called classic once he’s retired. Hopefully that won’t be for a long time.

10/10…Go back and get Hulk 5 and keep reading this excellent take on the book. Waid did an amazing job on his run and Duggan is taking the ball and running with it in his own unique direction. It appears like the whole point of this storyline is to clear the playing field of all the Hulk-ish characters running around the Marvel-U….that’s not such a bad thing.

Hulk Annual 1…What a drastically different and pretty disapointing follow up to the previous Hulk book. This issue still features the Doc Green Hulk, but in an adventure that could be suited for any Hulk, any super hero for that matter. A woman is caught in a lab accident and becomes some sort of plant creature that can control plants. The dialouge is stiff and the pacing is clunky and slow. Even the artwork by is just flat out boring.

0/10…. This is pure filler, skip it.

Miles Morales Ultimate Spider-man 5 With a Bendis story, the dialogue is always strong and this is obviously no exception to that rule. The plot, Miles encounters the supposedly resurrected Peter Parker (Ultimate Peter Parker died and Morales became the new Spider-Man.) is very intriguing and hooks the reader. The artwork by David Marquez reflects his unique style yet harkens back to the days of the classic Ultimate Universe. While I recommend this issue, I think you should do yourself a favor and journey to your local comic shop and pick up the collected edition when it arrives.

9/10…Excellent story, great concepts but yet another small piece in a big yummy pie.

Nova 21 Gerry Duggan is now on my watch list for the next great Marvel writer. I had no idea who the guy was until he started writing Hulk and now he’s really nailing it with Nova as well. This is a fun issue that sees Sam, the new Nova using his powers to help his family move while looking for his father, a drunk who was once a former Nova himself. The story is accompanied by David Baldeon who provides cartoony and fun art that suits the tone of the adventure.

10/10….This is a really fun book and I would recommend it to anyone trying to get a young reader interested in comics.

Original Sin Thor & Loki 5 A letter to Original Sin Thor and Loki: Dear book, you look good and you have a borderline interesting concept but get to the damn point already. This damn book does not need to be six issues. The idea of Thor and Loki having a secret sister is interesting and could have been done in three issues and expanded on in the upcoming Angela: Asgard’s Assassin series.

This story is just dragged out and ends up feeling like a money grabbing tactic. It is good to look at though. 1/10….Just pass this one up. If you’ve seen the solicits for Asgard’s Assassin you know what happens in this book. Don’t bother, even if it is good to look at.

Savage Hulk 4 Go out to your friendly comic book retailer and purchase the Essential Incredible Hulk by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and skip this book. This is an homage to the classic stories but it just misses the fun and excitement of those early tales. I love Alan Davis 99% of the time but this book just doesn’t do the job it was meant to do.

5/10….Davis’ art is always fun but the story falls flat.

Superior Spider-Man 33 Before you read this make sure you’re caught up with all the other Spiderverse books otherwise you’re going to yell “WTF” and everyone will ignore you because you are obviously a crazy guy just yelling at his comic books. Stop that nonsense. Anyway, in this here issue we find the Spider-Man with Doc Ock’s brain lost in time and space and he is forced to team up with multiple Spider-Men from other universes to fight an otherworldly assassin. The story is heavy but entertaining and the art by Guiseppe Camuncoli and John Dell is amazingly inspired, looking like a fusion between Marvel and Castlevania. 10/10…While it may be a portion of an even bigger story this is stylish and fun and you should just start following the whole Spiderverse storyline.

Thor God Of Thunder 25 Sadly this is the end of this amazing title as writer Jason Aaron takes Thor in a new direction next month with Thor issue 1. This issue starts in a wraparound story in which the Grand daughters of Future Thor are reading various stories of characters throughout the Thor Universe. These tales include a really in depth origin of the dark elf Maleketh which explains where he got his facial scars and shows us the disgusting dietary habits of the Dark Elves. The second story is a Young Thor Adventure with art by the always awesome Simon Bisley. Mr. Bisley really evokes his classic Heavy Metal work here to deliver a swashbuckling viking adventure. The final tale gives us a sneak peek at the new female god of Thunder who is shrouded in mystery. It is a good farewell to an excellent title and a great teaser of what is to come.

10/10…Buy it and save it, it’s a final issue after all and a very good one at that!

Uncanny Avengers 24 Writer Rick Reminder and artist Salvador Larroca bring us another story arc featuring the Unity team of Avengers. The story picks up where the war with Kang left off and we see Havock is badly disfigured. The Red Skull’s crew kidnaps him, Scarlet Witch and Rouge in another attempt to utilize the the power of Charles Xavier’s stolen brain. We are treated to an eerie trip into Rouge’s psyche where a ghostly professor X (with the top of his head missing in gory fashion.) tells her that she can defeat the Red Skull once and for all because Wonderman is trapped in her subconcious from the previous issue. You get all that? Well of course not because this is a cool issue but a horrible, horrible place to start. 7/10…Pick up the collection at your local comic book dealer.

Uncanny X-men 26 How many times can “Professor X has a dark secret that has come back to haunt the X-Men” be used as a damn plot. This is the continuation of that same tired concept and it is just not that interesting. 3/10…The art is serviceable but the story is just stale and tired.

Wolverine and the X-Men 9 Jason Latour and Jorge Fornes bring us the conclusion of a pretty boring tale with spotty, inconsistent artwork. While Latour was able to really craft an amazing story with Gwen Stacy as Spider-Woman, this is going in all the wrong directions. The whole idea of making Quinten Quire more nefarious has great potential Latour butchers the good name of every character around him. The art does the same thing the writing does, making Wolverine and company just flat out ridiculous looking. Maybe the new story arc in issue 10 will be better.

0/10…I was never a fan of Jason Aaron’s “Wooohoo we have jetpacks and crazy adventures” style of storytelling on the first volume of this book, Jason Latour doesn’t do much better here and his art partner needs some improvement.

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The new Apple/Dell/Toshiba/Samsung of her Father’s eye.

The release of yet another damn I-Phone had me thinking a lot about children.  I know it sounds weird at first but bear with me.  Consumer electronics change so constantly by the time you buy something, leave the store and bring it to your car, it’s already obsolete.  Try buying an I-phone and see how long it takes the money hungry parasites at Apple before they churn out a new version.  3.2 seconds.  Before you even pay for your I-Pod 34, the company has already created a superior version that not only has GPS, but it will fly you to your destination…..or it just has a new Silver and Gold cover.  “It’s the Malibu Stacy I-Phone with a new hat!”

The "Malibu Stacy New Hat Effect".  Same product, one superficial new feature.

The “Malibu Stacy New Hat Effect”. Same product, one superficial new feature

To Parents, children are not too different from technology.  They are constantly changing and evolving and it is at such a rapid speed, each new variation is slightly more improved than the previous.

Baby 1.0:  Zero to Four Months

 

"Dad fell asleep, I was on his chest and his nipples do nothing!  NOTHING!"

“Dad fell asleep, I was on his chest and his nipples do nothing! NOTHING!”

The first version of the baby to premier.  The company i.e. Parents/God are all very proud of what they’ve made and show him or her off to everyone.  I mean everyone.  Even the custodial team at the hospital has seen this baby.  However, like most consumer products the Baby 1.0 is primarily aesthetic.  The features are very minimal.  The Baby 1.0 can gurgle, vomit, eat, sleep, poop/pee, vomit, cry, sleep, cry, eat, poop/pee and sleep and that’s pretty much it.  A baby’s sleep cycle in this stage is not unlike charging a brand new smart phone.  The baby sleeps for about 19 hours a day and you’re just sitting in the room, paranoid that something’s going to happen.  While the Baby 1.0 isn’t doing much of anything besides improving his/her sonic screech of a howl that is emitted right as your head hits the pillow, you are still showing him/her off to everyone.  While you see this amazing new addition to your life, your friends just see a bald, slobbering, completely dependent life form and it scares the hell out of them.  You see the greatest thing that has ever happened to you.

Baby 2.0:  Four to Eight Months

This second version of the baby has a hell of a lot more features.  Besides the pooping, peeing, vomiting that comes standard with the all models, the Baby 2.0 can communicate through coos and jibber jabber.  They can crawl, stand and even chew on its own feet.  With the addition of more independence and mobility the Baby 2.0 begins the trend that all babies have from this point on….an uncanny ability to find new and exciting ways to almost kill themselves.  From eating change, hair and various floor debris there will never be a moment of rest while the baby is awake….enjoy!

"Look, I was doing Yoga before it was cool...now change me."

“Look, I was doing Yoga before it was cool…now change me.”

Baby 3.0:  Eight months to a year.

This is when babies start walking, talking and building their own individual identities.  Sentience.  Like in any good science fiction movie, once sentience is gained, world domination is not too far off.  Like Terminator in a diaper the Baby 3.0 will begin to enslave your entire life.  Fun!

"DAH THIS MACH-INE IS MORE UNSTOPPABLE THAN ME AHHHH"

“DAH THIS MACH-INE IS MORE UNSTOPPABLE THAN ME AHHHH”

Baby 4.0:  The first two years….

Total domination has been achieved.   Apple products are everywhere we look now, from the I-Phone to the I-pad to the I-Toaster and I-Toilet….the Apple product has just become an omni-present factor in our daily lives.  But…..even that took awhile.  Total baby domination is much, much faster.  At first you don’t really see it coming.  The baby shower gave you a lot of gifts but at least all of those can be contained in the baby’s room….but rapidly the baby’s possessions begin to outnumber yours.  By the time the baby has reached the Baby 4.0 phase, there is no place in your house that has not been conquered by the baby.  Like a tiny explorer planting his/her flag in a newly discovered land the baby’s presence can be felt EVERYWHERE.  Want to chill out in the living room and watch some T.V.?  You might just sit on a Elmo who has taken over the couch.  Do you want to take a shower….watch out!  Ariel and like 40 of her aquatic friends are occupying your bathtub floor and that bastard Sebastian is just waiting for you to slip on him and break your coccyx.  (That’s your tail bone…get your head out of the gutter.)

Before you know it your house looks like this....but messier....a lot messier.

Before you know it your house looks like this….but messier….a lot messier.

 

Baby and Beyond:

While an I-phone is nice and the galaxy tablet is sort of cool, nothing beats knowing you have a little person who loves you unconditionally.  Yeah, I guess one day the I-phone will have a Siri program that will awkwardly tell you it loves you in that dead robot voice, your child will actually mean it.  At the end of the day that makes stepping on a deadly Lego in the middle of the night while heading to the bathroom worthwhile…..sort of.

Gummy legos....the only non deadly Lego known to mankind.

Gummy legos….the only non deadly Lego known to mankind.