Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Merry Christmas from Wolverine & Spider-Man!

Don't forget to pick up Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine #4 on December 29th!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Uncanny X-Men #531 Review

Writers: Matt Fraction & Kieron Gillen
Artist: Greg Land
Cover By: Greg Land & Justin Ponsor

Quarantine Part 2

Team books. I’ve already spoken of my disdain for them (though very exaggerated). One of the major problems with such series’ is the confusion and choppy cutting from one part of the story to another. The writing team of Matt Fraction and Kieron Gillen is able to avoid such pitfalls in this well-written chapter to the current X-Men story Quarantine. For those of you not familiar, a mutant flu pandemic has broken out on Utopia; trapping some of the most powerful X-Men on the island while it goes under quarantine. Not only this, many (including the one we call Wolverine) are at the mercy of this power-suppressing virus. Logan’s healing factor is weak, and it’s causing all kinds of problems mentally and physically, but we’ll get to that later.

This one opens with Namor (aka The Sub-Mariner) demanding that he be released. He tries to fight the affects of the virus, but these attempts prove to be futile. By giving in, we see how powerful this “flu” really is. A quick page-turn later and we see that there are in fact many more infected mutants and Dr. Kavita Rao observes that the affects are increasing rapidly in those who have contracted the virus. It is unknown whether the virus is indeed contagious to humans, but there is emphasis that this knowledge must be known as soon as possible. This leads Dr. Rao to make an irrational decision to inject the virus into herself to see whether she will contract it or not. Who does that? That’s like John McClane shooting himself to kill some dude, only this is a no-win situation for Ms. Rao. The outcome of her “experiment” is held off for next month.

While this is going on, Logan is suffering many different symptoms to go along with the typical coughing, and wheezing and all that other nasty stuff. Blood poisoning from the adamantium in his body is causing mood swings and psychosis. Right now, he’s just a mess. What is causing him the most pain though is the feeling of helplessness, the feeling that he is letting down people who have put their trust in him. As the havoc is going on in Utopia, there is a mutant killing the people that Wolverine has sworn to protect, and he can’t do a thing. This is a recurring theme with Logan; the man who can’t be physically hurt for the most part, is vulnerable when it comes to the guilt of putting others in danger.

At the same time, Angel is in charge of a temporary X-Men team with the help of Storm. As they go about their business, the pseudo-mutants created by the Sublime Corporation are doing the best they can to imitate the X-Men. They’ve garnered the attention of the media as well as the X-Men, and both are a little unsure of who they are and whether they are a threat. The final piece to this story is with Emma Frost who is currently tasked with the disposing of Sebastian Shaw. We hear a bunch of stuff about her past, yada yada yada, then my boy Fantomex makes like an idiot and kicks Shaw into the weird portal thing, or maybe it was just a giant hole. Don’t ask me, I just read these books.

So an overall decent issue, there wasn’t really anything to complain about. On the other hand there wasn’t anything spectacular. We’re getting bits and pieces of an overall larger story that will hopefully tie together nicely. Fraction and Gillen do a good job of including humor into the book without making it feel like you’re reading Deadpool.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Classic Wolverine Scan #2

All of these children's Christmas shows on TV right now have a lot of cute little woodland critters. I figured, why not give some love to this little guy that always seems to be overlooked. I guess there's a reason, they're not very nice...but they do make great hunters.

Wolverine (Vol. 2) #43

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Uncanny X-Force #3 Review

Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Jerome Opena
Cover By: Esad Ribic

The Apocalypse Solution Part 3

This book has really been a pleasant surprise so far. Since I’m not a huge fan of team books, I wasn’t overly excited for the return of X-Force, but I’m hopping on the bandwagon now. Although I wasn’t too keen about the art at first, it has begun to grow on me. Opena’s style with the use of dark tones and the greenish-bluish shades seem to find its niche in this series. After two very good opening issues, Rick Remender keeps them coming with chapter three of The Apocalypse Solution.

In this third installment we get a quick background of the final horsemen, the cream of the crop whom Apocalypse had chosen as the last resort for his cause. Of course after chapter two, the members of X-Force found themselves in a very sticky situation, and it looked as if they were done for. The new horsemen had them at their mercy and were awaiting orders to execute “Xavier’s cronies.” Moving forward in part three, the priority of the mission has now become survival and they barely do so. With the use of some trickery by Fantomex, some mind games from Psylocke and a noble attempt by Deadpool to at least try and help (that’s all you can ask for, right?) it looks like they are able to salvage what they can and make it to safety. The book ends with a possible turning of the tables when Psylocke confronts the evil looking (not evil acting…well at least not yet) child Apocalypse in the final panel, but Remender has left this conflict for next month.

I enjoy when the good guys use their brain instead of their brawn to get things done. In this case, Wolverine was at a disadvantage so he needed to rely on the team to bail him out of his dire situation in which he was outmatched by Sanjar (one of the horsemen), due to his particular mutant ability. In fact the fight with Sanjar is the most memorable scene of the issue, because of a curveball thrown at the reader at the end.

As far as the characters go, I like the dynamic personalities of the team, and all five of them bring something different to the table. Wolverine is written well and his eagerness for a rematch while everyone else is recuperating shows his resiliency and stubbornness that often define who he is. The dark tone of the book allows Deadpool’s ridiculous persona to stick out even more than usual, and I feel that he really contributes to the series because of this. It is comic relief in a series that one may not expect much of due to the tone and the mood, and I think it shines (but maybe that’s because I’m a big Deadpool fan). Lastly, I am predicting that we will know what type of power of the child Apocalypse (let’s just call him Damien for now…) welds next issue when confronted by Psylocke, so that is something I look forward to.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Wolverine #4 Review

Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: Renato Guedes
Cover by: Jae Lee

Wolverine Goes to Hell Part 4 (of 5)

There was certainly no lack of action in this one. It really comes as no surprise since there are a couple of different Wolverine’s right now, so it makes sense that there would be double the fighting. As far as Logan goes, he’s still in Hell doing battle with the Devil. Of course he’s being as stubborn as ever and shows no sign of giving in. Logan takes the upper hand in the battle, getting everyone in Hell all riled up. At the same time, demon Wolverine continues to cause problems on the surface, now with the X-Men.

Well that’s pretty much the whole story right there, not too many slow moments in this one. Pretty much nonstop fighting and action from cover to cover, making this a really quick read. Lots of action isn't always a good thing though. With all of this fighting continuing on, I expect all Hell to break loose next month, literally. Mystique shows up for one great panel here, but what really steals the show is the reveal at the end. We finally see what this plan is with Puck and the mysterious old man, and we learn who’s pulling the strings of this rebellion in Hell and why. I don’t want to ruin it here, so I’ll let you guys see for yourselves.

No complaints about the art and I must add that the cover by Jae Lee was awesome. I'm hoping for a strong ending here that will hopefully wrap up this Wolverine Goes to Hell story. As for this one, it was pretty good, though it really is a perfect example that more action does not always make for a more exciting comic. The final reveal at the end really picked this one up.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Episode 0.5: Vampirical

The return of the podcast. We have a reboot, a name change, a race change and I'm wearing a new pair of socks. The character bio is Bloodscream, the Wolverine Classic is X Men Unlimited #9 (Vol. 1) and the reviews are Wolverine #3, Daken: Dark Wolverine #3, and X-23 #3. This is the November podcast and expect Episode 6, covering evrything in December, sometime around the new year. The Podcast will be monthly from now on so go ahead and hit 'subscribe.'

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Friday, December 10, 2010

New Avengers #7 Review

Luke Cage looks for a nanny and Logan has the munchies.

Written By: Brian Michael Bendis
Art By: Stuart Immonen

After the slightly disappointing (and slightly blinding) conclusion to the first arc of the ‘new’ New Avengers series, we get a much less action-packed transition issue. There are three burning questions that face the New Avengers: When will Wolverine stop eating? Who will be the nanny for Luke Cage’s baby? And when will Bendis allow Spider-Man to grow up and stop acting like a twelve year old kid? Seriously though, there was no action at all, just a lot of standing around and talking. I’m all for this type of issue, I find it necessary every once in a while, but it just seems to hurt my wallet when I’m paying $3.99 for a story about a nanny search.

As far as the characters go, they interact fairly well and the banter helps the story flow. One thing I will mention though is that it seems like I’m hearing the same voice coming out of every character, and that there is not too much contrast between them. Another is that Bendis seems to treat Spider-Man like the village idiot. The way he’s portrayed is like your annoying little brother that follows you everywhere and just won’t shut up. As far as Wolverine goes, it feels like I’m watching Ocean’s Eleven and he’s Brad Pitt. I swear he must be eating something in every panel. Logan had better stop it soon before he ends up looking like Fred Dukes.

I will say that it was pretty entertaining, especially some of the nanny interviews. I’m surprised some of these candidates were even considered and not weeded out immediately (ex: one overused merc with a mouth). There were some good little chuckles and ‘laugh out loud’ moments, sprinkled with some one-liners that fell right on their face. I guess you shouldn’t take this book too seriously. Maybe you shouldn’t take this series too seriously, at least for now. Overall it was decent issue, but I’m hoping things will pick up next month or I will start to get a little more serious with my reviews.

And did I mention that Immonen’s art was amazing again? Well I did now.

Wolverine: The Best There Is #1 Review

Written By: Charlie Huston
Art By: Juan Jose Ryp

Remember when I reviewed Wolverine: Wendigo and I said that it was nothing but glorified toilet paper? Well, Wolverine: The Best There Is #1 isn’t even worthy of wiping my ass. It is so bad that it’s almost insulting. I’d love to give a brief synopsis of the story, but I’m still looking for it. There’s was no sign of a plot anywhere in this comic book. What we got instead was bits and pieces of a hashed up story thrown into a blender and just plopped onto the pages in no particular order. We at one point meet some villain, and his henchmen, one of whom is a wannabe Joker. The art, although good, is very inconsistent in my opinion. Now the worst part of this comic other than the nonexistent story and the idea of Logan hitting the dance floor, is the dialogue. At the beginning there is so much unnecessary profanity. In fact, so many words were getting bleeped out that the sentences were becoming incoherent. Wolverine escapes from some underground gladiator-style fight club and kills a bunch of people in the process. He then hitches a ride back to civilization with some bimbo. From that point we have a book filled with choppy, uninteresting conversations covering such topics as Wolverine working at a salon, dancing, and getting a bikini wax. Sorry, Wolverine’s a man’s man and I demand that Mr. Huston’s man card be revoked immediately.

The credits were not given until the end of the story, like it’s some great reveal of the creative team and we the reader are expected to go, “This is AWESOME!” Yeah I was eager to find out who wrote this, but by no means to give praise. I wanted to know who owed me $3.99 plus tax. Now this has already wasted my time, and I don’t want to waste anymore of yours so I’ll wrap it up. First, I’ll let you know that I’m usually very positive when it comes to comics. I’ve actually been criticized by some of my friends of being too nice when it comes to bad writing, but hey, I’m here to enjoy my books so I’m gonna try and find as much positives in a book as I can. Keeping that in mind, I give this issue 0 out of 5.

This series can’t get any worse, but I’d sure hate to be wrong for my own sanity. Issue #2 comes out January 5, 2010. Use extreme caution before buying this book; I can’t say I can recommend this series. (And dammit, why is there a joker imposter in this, Marvel? *facepalm*)