Thursday, July 31, 2008

Guardians of the Galaxy: An Enemy Within?

Continuing with more Guardians of the Galaxy news, Marvel released an article today about how the Secret Invasion will affect the book. Someone might be a Skrull. The article also included a preview of issue #4, which hits the stands next month:

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Guardians of the Galaxy Must Have: Legacy.

Marvel is releasing a book today called Guardians of the Galaxy Must Have: Legacy. It's $3.99 and it collects the first two issues of the Guardians of the Galaxy series. I highly suggest picking it up, you should even make a special trip to the comic book store if you don't normally go. For $3.99 you really can't go wrong. It's a great series and I really can't say enough about it. Just get it and thank me later.

Marvel also published an article today about this whole War of Kings thing that they were promoting before the comic con. It's going to be written by the same team that writes Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy and it's supposed to pick up on a couple of different comsic fronts. It also looks like it's the next saga in the Annihilation saga, so you should pick those books up if you're into the whole cosmic side of the Marvel Universe.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hulk vs. Wolverine Update 7/29/08.

Another Hulk vs. Wolverine update. Some pretty interesting stuff, especially the part where they say that the Hulk will show up in the Wolverine & the X-Men series. I also like that they've inserted Deadpool, Sabretooth and Omega Red into the story. Can't wait to buy it when it comes out.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

July 2008; The Last Two Weeks.

The last two weeks has been pretty much a mixed bag. Especially yesterday. I don't remember being that disappointed with so many books. So, instead of reviewing everything, which is a lot of work, I thought I'd pick a couple that I thought were good and a couple that I thought were disappointing. So here we go.


Incredible Hercules #119: Once again, this is a great book and I personally think it's one of the top four comics that Marvel has been putting out. It is taking a long time for them to get to the Skrull home world though, but in the next issue Herc and one of the Skrull Gods will finally throw down. One disappointing thing though; they've kind of stopped the flashbacks that were a main part of the storytelling device, and I really miss that. I think it's only been in the last two issues or so, so hopefully it's just because of this Secret Invasion madness that's going on. I hope they return my regular Hercules series back to me when they're done with all of this.

Moon Knight #20: This was a pretty fun little story and it contained some pretty cool reprints, including Mooney's first appearance in Werewolf by Night #32. The story itself didn't really advance the series too much, so it was kind of a throw-away story, but it was kind of a nice break from all of the grim and seriousness that's been going on in the last couple of issues. It was a pretty big book too, so it paying the extra dollar was actually worth it this time. I didn't read the reprints, I just flipped through them, but I plan on going back and reading them sometime soon. It looked like it was way more interesting than some of the other books that I've bought lately that contain reprints. Mooney had a much different costume when he first appeared, he kind of looks like an all-white Tusken Raider.

Thunderbolts #122: Every month I write about how awesome this book is. It's just really witty and well done. And it has a bunch of interesting characters. The end is very interesting because it sets up the next issue, which will finally get to a major plot point in this Secret Invasion cross-over that I'm pretty sure was brought up four months ago in Secret Invasion #1. There are several laugh-out-loud moments in this issue and some interesting twists to the group dynamic.

One side note: I've been reading the back-issues of the Thunderbolts series and I just finished the "Fight Club" part. I don't really understand that. They had a series, with an established team, and then after about seventy issues of that they basically suspend the entire series to tell an unrelated story about unrelated characters that lasts for about six issues? Who's idea was that? No wonder the title got canceled. I still have about 40 some-odd issues until I'm totally caught up, but I think it's been interesting to read where the series has been.

Wolverine: First Class #5: This was a fun little story. I was a little on the fence about this series after the previous "Knights of Wundagore" 2-issue story, but once I saw that Alpha Flight was involved, I knew I had to give the series another shot. It is interesting how they're going back and rewriting a lot of pieces of Wolverine's past. Like at the end of this story, right before Wolverine joined the X-Men, Shaman (from Alpha Flight) told him that his healing factor was keeping him alive because he was suffering from Adamantium poisoning and that could be a reason why his memory is messed up and that he goes into berserker rages. Um, I thought they didn't find that out until Magneto ripped the Adamantium out of his body in the '90s? And, I know Logan does a lot of stuff, but going back and adding even MORE adventures to his already illustrious past doesn't seem like it's a good idea, but somehow it works. I really like this series, he's always had an interesting relationship with Kitty Pryde and this is a throwback to the early days. Pick it up, you'll be surprised.

X-Force #5: Yeah, so, like the other comics in this "best" section, I love this series and look forward to reading it every month. And the addition of Archangel has been an enjoyment for me, because I really like the character. It will be interesting to see how this effects the other X-Men books, because from what I've seen, it hasn't. I mean, the Angel still has feathery wings in all of the other X-Books, but in this one, he's back to being Archangel. Anyways, this one was pretty cool because next issue Warren is going to go take things out on the Purifiers, and X-Force is going to follow him and probably help him out. I'm thinking that a lot of what has been revealed in regards to the Purifiers in the first couple of issues will come into play and it will be an epic fight.


Avengers: The Initiative #15: I thought this one was going to pick up where the last one left off, and it did, but it wasn't nearly as awesome as the last issue. The ending was kind of cool, but again, compared to the last issue, it just didn't pack the same punch. It did focus on an interesting subject, and that is that one of the Skrulls that has infiltrated The Initiative actually likes being human and has turned against his brethren, which is kind of the opposite of what is happening with Captain Marvel. Interesting story, not the greatest execution, and the more interesting story involving 3D Man was kind of dropped half way through, I'm assuming that's what the next issue will be about.

One interesting note: Marvel seems to be putting all of the titles and credits on the bottom of the very last page. While this is kind of cool because it stashes that stuff in the back, I do like a well executed title page, especially an epic two-page title page. Every comic I read yesterday shoved that stuff onto the bottom of the last page. I thought it was just an interesting side note.

New Avengers #43: This issue was just a big pile of disappointment. It did reveal that the Captain America in the spaceship was not the real Captain America and a Skrull, but the rest of the story was about that Skrull's story, which was kind of boring because he's dead now. So I guess it's supposed to give us more information on how they're making these Skrulls into undetectable facsimiles of certain people, but again, I really didn't understand the need to tell this Skrull's story because he was dead. And it was pretty boring.

X-Men #500: Yeah, so, this issue was VERY disappointing. I was expecting the awesomeness because, you know, it's the 500th issue, the they should bring the awesomeness, but unfortunately, there was only mild awesomeness to be found. Somehow they worked in a Magneto attack despite the fact that he doesn't have his powers anymore (he has some suit provided by The High Evolutionary that mimics his powers. So, why can't he just make suits that do that for everyone who lost their powers? I don't get it.) This issue failed to spark an emotion while I was reading it. I was expecting to feel some kind of emotion, and I was prepared for anything; but this just seemed like a normal issue and by the standard set from the last couple of issues, I this this one was substandard. And that's saying a lot, because I think that all of the issues since The Messiah Complex have been filler. I guess we'll see where all of this goes, I have no clue where it's going.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Dark Knight: Review #1.

Shockingly, I saw a comic book movie before Chris did. And wrote a review about it and didn't procrastinate. Shocking turn of events. There are spoilers aplenty. I guess I should make it official and say this;



So, The Dark Knight. Pretty good movie. It was also very long. I never looked at my watch during the movie (which is a sure sign that a movie is boring me) because it had plenty of action and there was always something going on, but I felt they could have cut some things out, spend some things up and shortened some of the scenes. And it could have ended a couple of different times. It wasn't even close to Return of the King's four endings, but it was getting awfully close.

I liked it a lot better than Batman Begins. I did not see Begins in the theater, and when I finally saw it on DVD, I thought it was good, but not great. I was very impressed with the Dark Knight. They bumped everything up a few notches. And Heath Ledger WAS amazing. I'm glad the hype was finally warranted. He played the character perfectly and his lines were great and delivered perfectly. The part where he made the pencil disappear during the mob scene was great. That whole mob scene was outstanding. It sucks that he won't be able to come back an reprise the role. And they set it up with a lot of lines like, "We're just going to have to do this again" and "I can see us doing this for a very long time".

I loved the darkness of the movie. I was always drawn to the Frank Miller and late eighties version of the character. The really did their homework and got that version of the franchise right. You can tell what source material they were using, obviously the Dark Knight series, but also things like The Killing Joke One-Shot that I still have. I saved up for a first printing of that one and must have read it at least 500 times.

One thing about the movie that was very interesting was the ending. Obviously, if they knew what was going to happen, they would have killed the Joker and let Two Face survive to come back in the third movie.

So, in my opinion, they've got a problem in the next movie as to who the villian should be. They can't bring someone in to play The Joker. They just can't. Heath Ledger owned the character and will be the definitive movie version of the Joker for the next 20-30 years. The Riddler is too campy, Mr. Freeze still left a bad taste in everyone's mouth from Batman & Robin. The Penguin is a possibility, but again, that's been done. They killed Two Face. So, what's next? Killer Croc?

My guess is they try and bring Christian Bale back for the JLA movie, after Man of Steel and the Wonder Woman movie. Kind of like how Jon Favreau says he sees the third Iron Man movie as being the Avengers flick. It just makes sense. That's how I would do things.

Some other observations, I thought the movie was a little too predictable, there were more than three or four times I said something was going to happen and it did. And I did not read any spoilers online. BUT, Gordon faking his death was a pretty nice surprise. It got me, I didn't see that coming, and was a little upset that they did it until he came back. But I did think the way they brought him back was pretty cheesy.

And I understand what they were trying to do with Harvey Dent being the "White Knight" for most of the movie, but he was Two Face for a VERY short amount of time and then they killed him off at the end. Very strange. And killing Rachael was an interesting choice. One part that I thought was pretty lame from that whole sequence was the way he fell over in his chair and tipped over one of the gas barrels. It just seemed very forced to me.

And could anyone make out Gordon at the end of the movie? It was weird, it was like they had the mix of the score turned up too much or something. I talked to a friend of mine at work today and he noticed the same thing. And when Bale was talking when he was Batman was also hard to understand in spots. Way too guttural.

Overall, I thought it was a great movie, and I will probably be buying it on DVD. In fact, I'll probably buy Batman Begins on DVD when the Dark Knight comes out just to have them both.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Dr. McNinja, M.D.

A couple of weeks ago, I read about Dr. McNinja over at The-ISB and instantly knew this was a comic that I needed to own in trade paperback format.

Actually, I bought two copies of the first two books, one set for me and one for Chris as a birthday present for his 30th birthday last month. Now that I think about it, I don't know if it's the crappiest 30th birthday gift or the most awesome gift in the history of gift-giving. I'm leaning towards MOST AWESOME GIFT EVER.

So basically after I found out about it, I think I got through three pages before I had to stop and order copies. I've been reading the current story, but I held off reading the older stuff until the books arrived. Needless to say, I was not disappointed. There are Velociraptor riding Bandidos involved in one of the early stories. Really, if that doesn't convince you of how awesome this comic is, I don't know what will.

For those that are STILL not yet convinced, here's ome back story; Dr. McNinja is a doctor (obviously), and he's also a Ninja (again, pretty obvious), so he is tragically conflicted by his need to kill and he oath to protect life. He has a gorilla receptionist named Judy, and comes from a long line of Ninjas. His dad is a ninja (you can tell he's his dad because his ninja mask has a cutout for his mustache; which is pure genius if you ask me), his Mom is a Ninja and his brother is a Ninja.

In the first story/storyarc is pretty cool. He treats a boy who has a very rare condition; he has Paul Bunyon disease. He grows about 10 stories high and has a giant lumberjack beard. How awesome is that? Dr. McNinja treats the boy without killing him, but does manage to kill a bunch of hunters who hunt down

The current storyarc has kind of pushed the envelope of awesomeness to an unheard of degree. Dr. McNinja gets transported to Dracula's castle on the moon and at one point grabs Dracula while wearing an astronaut suit in hopes of killing him when the sun comes up while they are flying through space. HOWEVER, Dracula swapped himself out with a Draculabot and Dr. McNinja had to call his brother to figure out how to hack a Draculabot to fly home. The sequence ends with him riding the Draculabot like a surfboard (see the panel to the right) and hilarity ensues.

Why are you still reading this? Go to the website and start reading already. Thank me later.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

X-Men #500 Preview.

Alright, everyone's been waiting for this one for awhile now. It's on sale this Wednesday, and they've got all kind of crazy variant covers available. I really like the one to the left, the Alex Ross variant, and I will be trying to get it. Either in the store or off of eBay, I will most likely be acquiring that one. I believe I posted about it a couple of months ago when it was leaked onto the internet. I think they're making a poster out of that cover, and I just might have to find me one of those as well. I think it's a very good cover and it spans the complete history of the X-Men. Anyways, without any further ado, here's the rest of the preview:

Friday, July 18, 2008

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2.

Article over on about the sequel to that Ultimate Alliance game from a few years ago; Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2: Fusion. There's a preview video on that link as well. It looks interesting, it's supposed to follow the events of Secrets Wars storyline from a couple of years ago and then segue into the Civil War storyline.

A couple of notes; 1. Chris is going to be bummed that he's going to have to buy a PS3 to play it, and, 2. They couldn't just call it Ultimate Alliance 2? They had to tack on "Fusion" at the end? Now it's just a totally unwieldy name. I bought the first one (or maybe Chris got it for my birthday) when the price dropped down to $19.99 and I was excited to play it at first, but then I never finished it. It was almost exactly like X-Men Legends, and, after playing two of those games, there wasn't a whole lot to keep me interested. I think I stopped playing shortly after I got Luke Cage's alt costume from the 70s.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Deadpool #1 Preview.

Marvel released a preview of Deadpool #1 today. Looks pretty awesome. Complete with a Rob Liefeld variant cover. The exciting thing is that it's written by Daniel Way, who has been writing quite possibly the funniest comic in the Marvel catalog; Wolverine: Origins, which just wrapped up a story-arc featuring Deadpool. So, I'm expecting all kinds of awesomeness. The only downside is that it's $3.99, but I'm hoping that it's because it's a double-sized issue. Marvel hasn't released a page-count on their website on the catalog page for the issue, but that has to be the reason. And it better not include any filler, like a reprint or ten pages of pinups. Anyways, here's the art:

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Thunderbolts #122 Preview.

Marvel released a preview of Thunderbolts #122 today. I love the Thunderbolts series, so of course I'm going to post it here. Prepare for the awesomeness:

Monday, July 14, 2008

July 2008 Reads Part I & II

Astonishing X-Men #25: I'm pretty new to this series, which really doesn't mean too much now because there's a new creative team now, but I really don't see what the big deal was about this series. It's ok, I guess, I picked up issue 24 and really wasn't too blown away. I'm going to keep picking this one up I guess, I mean, it is part of the X-Men franchise and it does have Wolverine in it, so that's two things it's got going for it. I guess it will probably be one of those series I buy because it's related to the X-Men series and I would feel left out if I missed an issue (see the next paragraph for more on that).

Cable #5: I really don't know why I keep buying this series. Nothing really happens and it's very boring. Kind of like how I kept giving New Exiles a chance, for some reason, I just keep picking this one up every month, just hoping something will happen. I've heard that in issue #9 or #10, it's supposed to be very good and it will relate to some current events, but that's four or five issues away. I mainly buy this because I'm afraid that I'll miss something because they keep promoting it as part of some cross-overs, even thought Cable and the baby are trapped in the future and nothing they do relates to the past. Yet. By the way, is the baby ever going to get a name?

Genext #3: hmmmmm, really not too impressed with this series. Good thing it's only a five issue series, anything more than that and I was going to drop it because it's $3.99 an issue. So, I've been really disappointed with the last few projects that Chris Claremont has written. I found the New Exiles to be very boring and this series had a very good premise behind it, but it really falls flat. The characters aren't really that interesting, and most of them are rehashed from their "parents" or other characters that they are associated with. This series started off nicely, but the last two issue have been a chore to get through. It's too bad because right about 1988 or 1989, I was probably the biggest Claremont fan on the face the earth.

Guardians of the Galaxy #3: once again, this book is super awesome and if you're not picking it up, you're missing out. Get on board when the trade comes out or something, it's so good. Drax is slowly becoming my favorite character of all time. I am interested to see where the Groot/Vance Astro storyline goes and the Universal Church of Truth Believers is a very interesting nemesis for the group. I just really love this series, it's the right balance of action, story and sarcastic one-liners; I look forward to it every month and once I'm done reading it, I immediately go through withdraws because I have to wait thirty days for another hit. A reason Chris should go out and pick it up: they made Starhawk relevant again.

Secret Invasion #4: This one was pretty boring, as most halfway issues of a series are. It basically recapped the series so far, and it also recapped a lot of the crossovers, which because I've been collecting most of the tie-ins, is probably the reason why I thought this issue wasn't so great. It did have a brief Nick Fury appearance. So that was kind of cool. He was leading his new group that he put together, but they were on just enough pages to introduce the team, beat up some Skrulls and then leave the scene. As I said, the rest was just recapping and there weren't any new Skrull reveals at all. So, hopefully, the next four issues are as good as the first three were. I'm willing to let this slide because it's I understand it's needed. If issue #7 is a recap issue though, I'm going to be pissed.

Young X-Men #4: Wow, with each issue, I become more of a fan. Nice pace to the book, there's a lot of neat insight to some of the characters and how they're dealing with being X-Men at such a young age. And in this issue, there was a major reveal/twist ending that made me mad that it's not next month already. I personally really like this new Ink character they've created just for this series. Very interesting concept and execution. If you haven't been following the series, his power is that he can get powers from tattoos that he gets. Like he had a biohazard tattooed onto the palm of his hand and he can make people sick when he puts his hand in their face. He also has some tattoo on his left hand that gives him super strength. In this issue, he got a thunderbolt tat on either side of his head, and the reference they used where the old X-Men comics with Xavier concentrating on the cover (like this), so now he can read minds. But he can't read someone's mind if they have an Xavier established Psi-shield, and he's just getting used to the new power. I just really like the character and I'm excited to see what they do with him and how he evolves. I really want to see a future version of the character where he looks all tatted up and has a whole bunch of powers. That would be pretty cool. So far, this series has been a nice surprise and I think it's in my top five comics that I look forward to every month.

So on Wednesday, I'm planning on picking up the following: Incredible Hercules #119 (awe yeah!), Marvel 1985 #3 (I'll ride it out), Mighty Avengers #16, Moon Knight #20 (look REAL good), X-Factor #33 and X-Force #5 (I've been waiting for this one for a couple of months now).