Thursday, May 29, 2008

May 2008 Reads Part III.

Fantastic Four #557: Well, this story's finally over with, I think. I dunno, I found it kind of lame at the end. Basically, good guys win and nothing really happens. I still don't understand why they couldn't have run the FF: Secret Invasion story here instead of making it a separate series. Seems like they could have ditched this story and run that one instead. I think it's just another way to get you to buy more comic books. Kind of lame in my opinion. Speaking of which, I need to buy a couple more long boxes, I just realized that when I was organizing stuff over the weekend. Unfortunately, I only know one place to get them cheap and it's online and you kind of have to order a lot to justify the shipping, which sucks.

Incredible Hercules #117: I love this series. From now on, the best of the week will have a slightly larger picture associated with it. I didn't do it the other day because I wrote about the two comics that I thought were the best of the year so far, so, obviously, they were the best of the week. Anyways, this comic was pretty awesome. You have the pantheon of Gods arguing and fighting with each other and at one point, Herc finally had enough of it and assembled a God Squad to go fight the Skrull Gods. Can't wait for next month. A God was also revealed to be a Skrull, which is very interesting, because they haven't revealed what happened to that God, and they better explain real soon. Like in the next issue. I can't say enough about this issue and the series, it's awesome and you should definitely go pick it up.

Mighty Avengers #14: This was interesting. It was a Secret Invasion tie-in and it was told from some of the Skrulls point of view and it was mainly about the Sentry. By now you've probably heard that Jarvis is a Skrull. Well, he asked Tony Stark if he browse through the Avengers files and Stark gave him full access. Bad move Stark. So that's how they're getting intel on everyone. I really like this series (even though it's been hijacked by Secret Invasion) and it's my favorite Avengers title. It's normally a fun read and I've been enjoying it for awhile.

Wolverine: Origins #25: This is the end of the storyarc that features Deadpool and, I gotta say, I enjoyed it. The reveal at the end was kind of predictable, but I love me some Deadpool, and this was a fun story with lots of fighting, so I thought it was pretty good. I can't wait for the new Deadpool series to come out in the summer, from what I've heard, he's going to have a big impact on the whole Secret Invasion cross-over. One gripe about this particular comic; it was an extra dollar (because it was the 25th issue) and the only thing that was extra was that it reprinted Deadpool's first appearance from the New Mutants, which I already have. So, I'm not really sure that the extra dollar was justified and I was kind of surprised about it when I was paying for it. Thanks, Marvel.

X-Factor #31: I'm going to say it, this one was kind of boring. I have been enjoying this series for the last couple of issues, but for some reason, I had a hard time getting through this one. I guess it's because it's still wrapping up that Arcade story (he escaped) and it deals with Mutant-town, which is kind of irrelevant now because of the House of M/Decimation story. So, I guess that's why they burnt the town down to the ground in this issue, and hopefully, X-Factor will move along. At the end of this issue, someone put a call into Tony Stark, so hopefully he'll be in the next issue. Because that guy hasn't been around a whole lot lately, and he really needs to have more appearances*.

X-Men: Divided We Stand #2: So, I really don't understand the reason behind releasing these two books, they are kind of nice short stories, but they don't really accomplish anything, other than reinforce the fact that all of the X-Men teams are in a state of flux. Also, it really didn't feel like it needed to be an extra dollar. I have been a little disappointed lately with Marvel's random pricing and tie-in madness.

Today I'm planning on getting Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men (even though I've never read a page of the series and it's $4.99), King-Size Hulk, Marvel 1985 (I've been looking forward to this series ever since they announced it), Ms. Marvel #27, New Avengers #41 (from what Bendis said a couple of weeks ago, this was should be pretty awesome), Uncanny X-Men #498, Wolverine: First Class #3 (I love this series), X-Force #4 (Love me some X-Force too), and X-Men Legacy #212 (Didn't the last issue just come out? I'm confused). That's kind of a lot. The last couple of weeks my buy list as grown exponentially.

*Denotes sarcasm

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

May 2008 Reads Part II: The Rest.

Genext #1: I was very interested in this when I first heard about it, even though Chris Claremont's run on the New Exiles has failed to impress me. It's basically a series about what would happen if the X-Men actually aged in real time, so it deals with the Next Generation of Mutants. A lot of them are the children of some of the X-Men. The first issue was pretty good, I'm going to add it to my buy list (which seems to keep getting bigger every month, I need to start scaling back, hopefully when this Secret Invasion madness is over with, it will return to normal). I thought it was pretty solid and it's an interesting twist on the X-Titles. And really, the only guy you really really want to write something like that is Claremont, and he really delivers. So check it out if you get the chance.

New Exiles #6: Man, I just don't know why I keep buying this title. I want to stop buying it, but I'm afraid I'm going to miss something good. I guess I don't know when I should just cut bait with this series. I don't think I'll be buying the next issue, it's kind of a wacky storyline right now, it's reminiscent of a storyline that happened in the original run of Excalibur, so it's almost like Claremont is ripping himself off. The only difference is, the original story involved original characters that I cared about, and this one has alternate variations of characters that originate from different dimensions, so I really don't have a huge vested interest. I think I'm going to stop, I gave it an extended try and it's the book I always read first so I can get it out of the way. So, good-bye New Exiles, sorry.

Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four #1: Interesting, but I don't really know why this couldn't have just run in the regular FF series, which finally wrapped up with it's current storyline. I think next month's issue is a Secret Invasion tie-in anyway. I think it's just a ploy to get you to buy more comics. Anyways, a Skrull infiltrates the FF by impersonating Susan Richards and basically takes the FF out by sending them to another dimension. They never say what exactly happens to Susan, she's probably still alive, and since Reed was KO'd at the end of Secret Invasion #1, it's really only Ben and Johnny that are affected by this.

The Twelve #5: This one is kind of hitting a lull. Don't get me wrong, it's still good, it's just getting to the middle of the run and they're still doing some back story on all of the characters. I imagine it will start to ramp up again rather soon, because they've only got about seven issues to go, so they've got to start wrapping things up soon. I still love this series, just because of the nature of the story, it was bound to have a slow issue here and there, mainly because they've got a lot of balls in the air right now that they're trying to juggle. I'm hoping they'll be able to pull it out. I still highly recommend this series and you should check it out if they release it as a trade. It's an excellent read.

Wolverine #65: Ok, so at some point, Wolverine and Mystique are supposed to fight. Well, it finally happened and Wolvie hurt her pretty bad and left her in the middle of the desert to die. BUT, this storyarc isn't done yet! There's still another issue to go. Why we need another issue is beyond me. I'm guessing that somehow, someway, Mystique survives and the last couple of issues have been a total waste of time. Thanks, Marvel. Just get to the "Old Man Logan" storyarc already. I can't wait for that one to start. Let's go already.

Wolverine: The Amazing Immortal Man & Other Bloody Tales: I actually liked this one a lot, it was pretty fun. It had three stories based on Logan and the fact that he's been around for a long time (hence the "Immortal Man" tagline). Oh, and it's bloody. I think my favorite two stories were the opening story about when he was a carnival act (The Amazing Immortal Man) and the second one where he inspired a bus driver to strap some knives onto his forearms and to go out and fight crime. Just a couple of fun stories that add to his mythology.

X-Men: Legacy #211: It's getting very interesting right now. Professor X is still missing a whole lot of his memory and he's trying to get it back by visiting certain people and reading their minds. This one revealed that Mr. Sinister was involved in the Professor's life at a very early age. Very interesting. I don't think we've seen the last of Sinister, and I hope we don't just see him in flashbacks. I want him back and kicking butt. It might take a year or two, I think once this Secret Invasion cross-over starts affecting the X-Titles, there won't be a whole lot of room for him to come back, but maybe he's biding his time, licking his wounds and waiting to come back. I can hope, can't I?

Monday, May 19, 2008

May 2008 Reads Part II: Best of the Year?

I'll review the rest of what I bought tomorrow (like anyone really cares or reads those reviews), but I thought I'd focus on two comics that really blew me away when I was reading them. I read them back-to-back and so far, they're the best comics I've read this year. They were both sold out at my regular comic store, so I had to go elsewhere and pay full price. They were both worth it. I highly suggest getting both of them, one is a new series, so you'd be getting in on the ground floor. You might have to do some searching to find them, but it's well worth it. Anyways, here we go:

Guardians of the Galaxy #1: On the awesomeness scale of 1 to 10, I would give this a 24. It is that awesome. It basically picks up where Annihilation: Conquest ended. The team features Star-Lord, Drax the Destroyer, Adam Warlock and Rocket Raccoon (who I thought had been tragically lost to the sands of time). If you don't know who Rocket is, he's a raccoon with human-level intelligence. Oh yeah, and he's a demolition expert. His inclusion in this comic alone raised it's awesomeness rating by 10.

The other thing that is pretty awesome about this book is the action combined with the dry wit. Drax is already one of my favorite characters. I think he really embodies the spirit of the book and it's also cool to see him stab and smash stuff.

Their headquarters, brace yourself for this, is located in a severed head of a Celestial that is floating in a crossroads dimension. It's run by a telepathic/telekinetic dog that was launched into orbit by the Russians in the '60s. And he has a Russian accent. This is the part of the review where I say, "What else do I have to say to convince you go out and buy this? It's got an intelligent Raccoon that loves to blow stuff up and Telepathic Russian Golden Retriever in it for Chrissakes. RUN to your nearest comic book store and buy it. Now. Seriously. Go." Before you do that, read the next couple of paragraphs though.

Thunderbolts #120: Wow. That's all I can really say about this one. Ok, I guess I can write a little more about it.

To borrow a term from about 5917 movie reviews, this issue of the Thunderbolts is an "edge of your seat thrill-ride". It starts out with Norman Osbourne walking down to the basement in Thunderbolt Mountain and he's going down there to don his Green Goblin gear to go kick some ass. Yeah, that's right, things have finally gotten that bad and they're about to get worse. The first five pages involve Osbourne talking to himself as he's walking down the stairs to the basement. That's it. And it's some of the most brilliant dialogue I've read in a very long time. His monologue is basically about how unappreciated he feels and what he will do when he is elected President. You read that right, he said when he's President. He is totally whacked out of his mind. Then he proceeds to compare himself to Hitler, only Hitler had it easy because everyone followed his orders, no one listens to poor Norman but he always manages to get the job done. After that tirade, THEN he goes into full-on psycho-killer mode and takes out The Swordsman. It is totally awesome.

Things are finally coming to a boiling point in this "Caged Angels" arc and I really think that the next issue is going to be the craziness. It better be, because after that it's like four months of Secret Invasion tie-ins, and hopefully they'll bridge the gap between Caged Angels and what happened in Secret Invasion #1.

Big Pun Teaser.

Marvel released an article about the new Punisher teaser poster. Looks pretty cool. I hope the movie is good, Marvel's on a roll, but I think that one bad movie could derail thing. Look at how many years Daredevil and Elektra set them back. I'm just sayin'.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Captain America's Shield in Iron Man

Haven't been able to find too much information on this but apparently Captain America's shield makes a cameo in Iron Man. It's way early, but my guess is when Cap got frozen, he either didn't have his shield or it was recovered before his body. Billionaire Tony Stark would have been purchased the shield and kept it, which will lead to their friendship when Cap is found and defrosted. Awesomeness. I can't wait for Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor and the rest of these films to come out and keep interconnecting.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

May 2008 Reads Part I.

Cable #3: Man this is a slow moving series. I'm actually thinking about dropping it. It's been three issues already and nothing has really happened. They kind of keep going over the same stuff each issue. There was a little more action going on in this issue, but I was still bored when I was reading it. There was a "shocking" ending, but to be honest, I don't really know who showed up at the end to help Cable out. And there's a whole B story about how the town that they're in is in trouble, and Cable can't help because he's gotta keep the baby safe, but you just know that he's going to get involved. So, it's kind of predictable.

Logan #3: I have no idea why this series was produced. I think it was just to get people to spend $3.99 on a comic and to move books. I just don't get anything about the story or why it had to be produced. The last issue was just ok, and it was probably the best one of the series. I am really disappointed in Marvel for putting this out and jacking up the price because they know that people are going to go out and buy it regardless of how good it is, just because it's about Wolverine.

Mighty Avengers #13: Interesting. Again, this entire comic was devoted to Nick Fury, only this time it focused on what he's doing to counter the Skrull threat. He went out recruiting. Well, to be more accurate, he had Daisy Johnson go out and recruit. They didn't target existing Heroes, they went after the sons and daughters of some obscure Heroes and Villains. I am very interested to see where this story goes and what kind happens with them. Does Fury train them as a team, or as separate agents? Is he putting together a new agency? I have to admit, this Secret Invasion storyline is getting better with each issue and tie-in that I pickup.

Moon Knight #18: All the sudden, this one got ratcheted up like five notches. Lots of action going on in the middle of the book and lots of psychological drama going on in Marc Spectre's mind. I think I've said this before but, he's one messed up dude. The beginning with Tony Stark was actually kind of funny, in a messed up way and then it finally got to some action. I liked this issue a lot and it was good to see the Black Spectre in full force. It did seem a little rushed though, I thought there was going to at least be one more issue where Marc hits the bottom again before he goes back to donning the Moon Knight cape, but that's what happened at the end of the issue. Next month, it's offically on.

Secret Invasion #2: Ok, I liked this book a lot, I just wish it revealed more of what is going on. The Mighty Avengers and the New Avengers are still in the Savage Land and they started attacking the Super-Heroes that came out of the spaceship. The Spider-Man and Hawkeye that came out of the ship were killed and reverted back to Skrulls, but Mockingbird also came out of the ship and was verified to be real by Ronin. She mentioned that she thought that the Captain America that was in the ship with them seemed to be the real Captain America. I swear to God Marvel, if that is the real Captain America and his recent death was a stunt and/or retcon, so help me, I don't really know what I will do, but it will be bad, do you hear me? Technically, it can't be Steve Rodgers, because when he was killed, his body didn't revert back to a Skrull. So either the Cap that came off the ship was a Skrull, or they've got some other crazy story to explain it all. Whatever, I just want answers Marvel. I will give them an A for the Secret Invasion story so far, I'd just like some questions to be answered pretty soon is all.

Thunderbolts: Reason In Maddness: This one was pretty messed up. But it was very good. Basically, the moral of the story is, you don't mess with Norman Osborn. It will end badly if you do.

This was an interesting book, but it was a little hard to follow. Maybe it's because I'm not fully up on the current storyline/situation. I bought a pretty complete run of the series and it finally arrived about two weeks ago, so I'm starting from issue #1 and working my way up. So far I'm on issue #11, so I've got a ways. I'm missing about 10 issues, and I don't really know how I'm going to bridge those gaps, because buying individual comics on eBay can get expensive. I'm going to see what my regular shop has tonight.

X-Factor: The Quick and the Dead: Quicksilver is one of my favorite characters, but I thought this book was kind of boring. Lots of taking but the characters weren't saying much. The last quarter of the book really picks up though, and in the last panel, it appears that he gets his powers back. I've been a little disappointed that they've basically forgotten about Petro ever since the Son of M series about two years ago and I hope they use him now that they've established that his powers are back and that he wants to try and be a hero again. This was a one-shot, and I haven't heard about what book he's going to end up in.

Young X-Men #2: This one was good. I've been surprised by this series and I like it a lot. They're really starting to flesh out the new characters, and they're also doing a great job of expanding on the existing characters. There was a pretty shocking ending at the end, and I'm disappointed that I have to wait a month for the next issue to come out. It's very good, and I hope it stays that way for awhile.

Today, I'm going to pickup Genext #1 (I'm very interested to read this one), New Exiles #6 (yeah, I know I'm a moron), New Universal: Shockfront #1, Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four #1, The Twelve #5 (Awe yeah!), Thunderbolts #120, Wolverine #65 (Wolvie and Mystique FINALLY go at each other; should be entertaining), and X-Men Legacy #211.

Stuff I'll flip through at the store: Giant-Size Incredible Hulk #1, Guardians of the Galaxy #1, Wolverine: The Amazing Immortal Man & Other Bloody Tales #1, X-Men Origin: Colossus.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Iron Man Review #2.

I saw Iron Man yesterday. I thought it was very good. My girlfriend had been dreading the thought of seeing it for about a month, and she even admitted after it was over that she was it was so good. I guess "shocked" would be a good word to use. So that should pretty much tell you what the average non-comic fan thought about the film. She even thought the part after the credits was worth waiting for.

I thought it a very good movie, nicely-paced (but it did lag a little in a couple of spots) and it was very faithful to the comics. Stark's Mansion in Malibu was exactly like his West Coast mansion in the comics; I thought that was really well done. Robert Downey was very convincing as Tony Stark and Terrance Howard was great as Rhodey. There were a lot of subtle nods to the comics and a couple of hints at what will happen in the sequel. I do have a couple of complaints though. They are:

1. Jeff Bridges as Obadiah Stane. I am a huge Jeff Bridges fan, but a couple of times during the movie, he sounded like he was reprising his role as The Dude from The Big Lebowski, only he had a goatee with a shaved head; and he was in a block-buster comic book action movie. I thought he did a great job in the last half of the movie, but he played it a little too Dude-like in the beginning of the movie.

2. Jon Favreau inserting himself into the movie. Did we really need this? Couldn't they have casted someone else in this meaningless role? And he got a lot of face time very early on in the movie. I just found it highly annoying. I hate it when Tarantino does it, and I hate it when other directors do it too.

3. The Stan Lee cameo. Can we please stop this as well? It's getting real old, real fast. I know he was great and all, but I'm just really over his cameos in every single movie Marvel is involved with.

4. Gwyneth Paltrow/Pepper Potts. She was serviceable, but the character she played (Pepper Potts), was very badly written. I thought there were times where she came off as a ditz, and then a few minutes later she would be doing something very outrageous; like hacking into a Stark Industries server. Yeah, ok then. Her character was just very uneven. And obviously they needed her to be the love interest, but that part of the movie seemed a little forced.

Overall, I thought it was a pretty good movie, I'll probably buy it when it comes out on DVD. So go out and see it if you haven't already.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Secret Invasion: Ka-Zar.

Really interesting article on Marvel's site about Ka-Zar and his role in the Secret Invasion. Brian Bendis kind of explains the next couple of issues of the New Avengers in the article and I was very interested in the following two quotes:

About New Avengers #41 - "Not only that but what exactly did we see going on in the Savage Land in that first arc of NEW AVENGERS. There was vibranium mining, slavery, the Avengers almost wiped off the face of the Earth. What was all that about? You'll find out here."

About New Avengers #45 - "Issue #45 is [about] what did the Skrulls do during the House of M. How about them apples?"

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Wolverine and the X-Men Trailer.

Marvel released a trailer for Wolverine and the X-Men. You can see it here. It. Looks. AWESOME. I can't wait for it to start. As I've said before, I've gotta figure out a way to get Nicktoons Network before the end of the year. Hmmm, I just checked my cable provider, and it looks like I get it. I will have to verify that tonight. If I do get it, that makes me even more excited for this show to start.

April 2008 Reads Part V.

New Avengers #40: This one was interesting because it had nothing to do with the New Avengers. It was kind of a selected history of the Skrulls and how the Secret Invasion started. The one thing that was kind of annoying is that they explain that there was a genetic breakthrough and they can encode any superhero or mutant DNA into a Skrull, but they never really fully explain what the breakthrough was. They know more about "our" DNA than we do. Some of it was a little confusing because I'm not fully up on my Skrull/cosmic history. I was never really into the Fantastic Four when I was growing up, so there's a little bit of a learning curve when it comes to these kinds of things. It was pretty interesting though, I think all of the Avengers issues are going to be like this, that's why they have the throwback covers where the Avengers are Skrulls instead of normal.

X-Men: Legacy #210: Pretty darn good. The first story arc is done (Professor X/Magneto) and the second arc started at the very end (Rogue). This is a really well-written series and it's very well-versed in the history of the X-Men. It's interesting to see things from Professor X's viewpoint and it's interesting to see how fractured his mind is right now. I can't wait to see where this goes, I'm interested to see what happens with Rogue and if they are going to weave the two stories together. Two very big thumbs up. I was a little worried about this when I first heard that they were totally changing the series, but I think it's a good move. Do we really need two X-Men teams? I like how this series will address characters in transition, and I hope they keep that premise for awhile. I think they could explore a lot of characters that way.

Tomorrow, I've got a pretty long list. It includes; Cable #3, Logan #3 (last issue), Mighty Avengers #13 (is this coming out every two weeks now?), Moon Knight #18, Secret Invasion #2 (can't wait to read this one), Thunderbolts: Reason in Madness (I love the Thunderbolts), X-Factor: Quick and the Dead #1 (I don't know if this is a one-shot or a limited-series, but it's about Quicksilver, so I'm in either way), and Young X-men #2 (I am looking forward to this one too). Decisions to be made while flipping through a book off the rack: Avengers/Invaders #1 and Omega: The Unknown #8. Whew! That's a lot.

Movies Assemble!

Chris talked about this yesterday, but Marvel officially announced the next batch of movies on their the website. That's good news, because I was starting to think that the Avengers Movie was going to end up like the Justice League movie that has been delayed for awhile now. I am planning on seeing Iron Man this weekend, and it looks like a good popcorn movie, so I'm pretty stoked.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Iron Man Review

In a single word, Iron Man is: awesome. Robert Downey Jr. is absolutely perfect as Tony Stark. Everything about the story was perfect, even the little things that had to / chose to change to update it. Make sure you stay past the credits for a great tease at what's coming up. I usually enjoy the first comic books but get a little bit frustrated because first movies are primarily origin stories. I understand they have to do this and Iron Man's was well-paced and didn't feel tedious at all. The technology in the movie is superimpressive. Overall, a great great movie and probably one of my favorite comic book movies ever.

Hot on the heels of Iron Man's $100M+ success, Marvel announced Iron Man 2 to be coming out in 2010 as well as Thor, Captain America and the Avengers movies all coming out in 2010-11. I absolutely love that Marvel took over producing its own movies so now we can start to see some crossovers. Downey has a cameo in The Hulk movie which I'm still not excited about, but at least it's all weaving together for The Avengers. Obviously, The Avengers movie will feature Iron Man, Cap and Thor and probably the Hulk, and they can introduce secondary characters like Vision, Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye or whoever else without necessarily giving them their own movies first. 2010-11 will be movie greatness.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

New Venom/Iron Man's Armory.

So Marvel recently released an article about Spider-Man's newest enemy, only it's kind of an old enemy. It's Venom and he gets a new look. I guess it's not the real Venom, but maybe another symbiote, and I think they're calling it Anit-Venom. Here's the story.

Another cool article: Take 10: Iron Man's Armory. Personally, I'd have the Stealth Armor higher on the list, but there's no doubt that the War Machine Armor is tops. That armor is badass.