Saturday, January 29, 2011

New Avengers #8 Review

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils: Daniel Acuna
Cover by: Mike Deodato Jr.

Wolvie Meter: (1/5) “He’s in this book?”

New Avengers is the book that seems to go nowhere, but still continues to entertain me. We have a new artist in Daniel Acuna, who did a pretty good job; no complaints from me. The first part of this issue focuses on Luke Cage’s relationship with his wife, Jessica Jones. While out to dinner, Luke insists that Jessica join the team and become Power Woman, an offer that is repeatedly turned down. Jessica tries to communicate to Luke that she is a mother now, and she can’t take the risk, but she can’t seem to get it through Luke’s thick skull (or maybe it’s his skin). Although it’s completely understandable since she doesn’t want her child to grow up without parents like she did, Luke’s not taking no for an answer, so the debate gets semi-heated. The argument is interrupted when a strange spacecraft happens to crash down outside the restaurant.

It’s Doctor Doom and Cage immediately engages him in a fight as Jessica calls the rest of the Avengers. Although he seemed to be in control, Doom soon gets the upper hand and Jessica Jones has to come to the aid of her husband to defeat the supervillain. It turns out that this is NOT in fact Victor von Doom, but rather a “Doombot,” constructed to look like him. Of course, the Avengers are just finally arriving now that the action is over. Must have been traffic (in the skies?!?). By the end of the issue Jessica announces that she will join the team as “Power Woman,” but Luke’s celebratory reaction sparks another battle in the never ending war called marriage.

Once again we get plenty of witty dialogue and some great interactions amongst the characters. This is obviously the strong point of the book. Bendis never fails to make me laugh in this series, but when are we going to get some real action again? Right now it’s focusing more on the relationships amongst the team more than anything else, which is great, but it doesn’t come without problems. The story is moving at a snail’s pace, basically focusing on no more than one or two small aspects an issue. Last month was about how Dr. Strange joined the team and Squirrel Girl became the nanny for the Cage's. This month is about how Jessica Jones becomes Power Woman and joins the Avengers. Baby steps. Maybe by the time the real team is finally assembled, it will be time for another reboot and renumbering already.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wolverine #5 Review

Writer: Jason Aaron
Pencils: Renato Guedes
Cover by: Jae Lee with June Chung

Wolverine Goes to Hell Part 5 (of 5)

Wolverine’s in Hell. There’s nothing new here, so let’s just get to the important details. We learned last month that Thomas Logan was pulling the strings to get Wolverine down there and this issue we learn why. Now this whole conversation is awkward to begin with, since Thomas Logan was Wolverine’s first victim, but things get even more awkward when Thomas declares that he is proud of his son, and declares that he has brought honor to the Logan family. Now Logan feels very uncomfortable here, and doesn’t really know how to respond. I’m sure he’s thinking, “Is it true? Am I really just like my scumbag father?” Their conversation is interrupted when Sabretooth claims the Soulcutter, and whoever holds this sword rules the kingdom of Hell. Well Logan is having none of that, and fights him for it and is able to take it from his grasp (thanks to his bone claws). It is here that Creed loses his head (once again).

Nobody is happier to see Logan become the king of Hell than his own father. This was the plan all along. Once Wolvie realizes this, he decides that he is NOT like him and proves it by throwing the sword back and escaping with Puck. Wolverine meets his father with a claw to the face and is off, but not before making an important stop. Wolverine finds Mariko and tries to save her, but she refuses and tells him to leave her be. I’m sure this breaks Logan’s heart, but there’s no time to waste so he and Puck begin climbing out of the seemingly endless pit of Hell. Unfortunately, Puck does not make it out with Logan, but I’m sure this is not the last we’ll see of him. A bright light appears and it seems that the demon possessing Wolverine’s body has been exorcised and he is able to return, but it is apparent things are not entirely back to normal just yet.

Now there was plenty of action going on above the surface with Mystique and everyone else, but it really takes a back seat to the events in Hell. And what ABOUT the occurrences down below? For one, I was very disappointed that Sabretooth did not make it out, but not in a bad way. I really want to see him back as a major player, but this works too. There are too many loose ends to leave this story alone, and I’m confident we’ll get some closure later on. I do think that Creed coming back here would have been too predictable and I was happy with his fate. I do feel bad about Puck, but that’s only a personal preference there. I liked the fact that he becomes the new ruler in Hell as consolation.

This issue did its job as the concluding chapter. There weren’t any plot holes that stuck out and everything seemed to come into place at the end, but still left some unsolved problems to continue the story on a broader level. I wish they would have brought up Yukio and the others who were killed, but I guess there’s only so much you can fit into one story. I felt this was a solid ending to a decent to mediocre first arc, though I do believe we will get some final closure in Wolverine #5.1 next month.

…and don’t ask me about the backup story, I never read those!

New Releases: January 26, 2011

A lot of books out this week. I'd say the big ones are X-23 #5 and Uncanny X-Force #4. I'd give those a shot if you're not picking 'em up already. We also have Uncanny X-Men #532, as well as New Avengers #8 and X-Men #7, both of which are starting new arcs.

What are you buying this week?

Clockwise from Top Left:
X-23 #5, Uncanny X-Force #4, New Avengers #8, Uncanny X-Men #532 & X-Men #7

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Wolverine & Jubilee #1 Review

Writer: Kathryn Immonen
Art: Phil Noto

Cursed Part 1 (of 4)

Wolverine and Jubilee are back together, but things are different now. Very different. This is not the classic team-up from the nineties that I used to love, but rather a whole new take on the relationship. Jubilee has gone through Hell since the good old days, and Logan has been to Hell. If losing her powers wasn’t already bad enough, becoming a vampire takes the cake. Jubes already felt like an outsider, and this only makes thing worse. She is depressed and overcome with anger and paranoia. Being a typical teenager, she’s stubborn and thinks that everyone who is trying to help her is really out to get her and she feels that the only person she can trust is the Ol’ Canucklehead.

This issue really goes deeper into Logan’s role as a father figure to Jubilee. When times are tough, he makes a point to be there. She feels like and outcast and is probably not too far off the mark by thinking that the others don’t care about her that much, well at least not nearly as much as Logan does. I found Rockslide’s minor role to be a good addition to the story and the story itself was very good. It was a good start and I look forward to seeing how this goes. It’s not the fun-loving Jubilee that I remember, but the relationship really hasn’t changed. The art was superb and the story did a very good job of presenting the current situation, which is exactly what I was looking for.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Early Thoughts On The Wolverine Anime

The U.S. release date for the Wolverine Anime is not announced yet, but believe me, it is worth marking on your calendar. Contrary to my feelings of dread that I had about this series previously, I now have very positive expectations for this one. After watching the first couple episodes of the Japanese version, it's now time to say that I was wrong when I judged this before watching it. Now remember this is coming from someone who does not like anime one bit.

In my own defense, the original trailer was and still is garbage. Luckily the series is nothing of the sort, as there were many changes made. It's a loose adaptation of one of my favorite stories and of course some tweaks were made to enhance it for television. The animation is great and it doesn't go too over the top with the Japanese style. Logan looks a lot like himself (or at least a lot closer than I expected) and we don't see any of the weird fight sequences from the trailer. The realism is a big plus. Since I was expecting something way over the top, I was very pleased with the toned down atmosphere. It's great to see Mariko, Shingen and even the minor characters from Logan's time in Japan. Of course with Mariko comes a different side of Logan that I felt was well done.

Basically, I'd say give this one a shot when it comes out, unless you absolutely hate anime, then I can definitely feel you there. I have never watched anime on my own will before, but I thought it was great. Now of course, this was not the English translated version, but unless the voice acting is absolutely terrible, I don't see how this can be a miss.

I still haven't decided whether or not to postpone my reviews for the series until the United States release, but I'm sure you'll hear from me about this again soon either way.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New Releases: January 19, 2011

Two big issues this week with the conclusion of Wolverine Goes to Hell in Wolverine #5 and the debut of the new mini Wolverine & Jubilee #1.

So unless you use an online sevice, head down to your LCS and check these out!

Plus, it's always great to pick up new comics on my birthday.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Podcast Is Mutating

Change is on the way

With the changing of feeds come many more possible alterations. I'm taking this as an oppurtunity to tweak with the podcast a little. I'm looking for this to be almost a fresh start.

The first order of business is finding a co-host. It's been fun so far, but I kind of want to move on from a one man show. The fact that I still get plenty of positive feedback boggles me (many thanks to all of you by the way), since I tend to bore myself to death. I'm hoping that the show will evolve into something better and continue to do so over time.

So please, be as critical as you can. Tell me what you like, what you don't like and anything new that you think might improve the show. Things may change a lot, or they may stay pretty much the same. I do feel it's time to test the waters.

Should I cut down the number of books covered? Should I focus more/less on any certain topic? Should I spend more time discussing news, or should I go more in depth in my comic reviews? More listener interaction? More discussion on the older comics?

I'll take everything suggested into consideration. I have my a general feel about the format right now, but just want to open it up for more ideas.

Anything you can come up with would be great. You can comment here or send an email to

Monday, January 17, 2011

Episode 0.6: Clubbin'


Although I said in the podcast that Episode 7 may be the last episode on Podomatic, I just ran out of bandwidth and this will most likely be the last episode before we switch feeds. Sorry about that. If you use iTunes, all you have to do is resubscribe to the new one once it's up. This feed will most likely be taken down eventually.
Even with Skype problems and a bad mic, we somehow make it through this one. Since it's the first time recording via the internet, it's like starting all over again, but give it a listen and if you have any problems just blame Robert. Send feedback, whether it is positive or negative and leave a voicemail!

Comic Reviews: X-23 #4, Wolverine #4, Daken: Dark Wolverine #4, New Avengers #7, X-Men #6, Uncanny X-Force #3

Character Bio: Puck

Wolverine Throwbacks: Wolverine (Vol. 2) #35 [Jan. 1991]; Wolverine (Vol. 2) #34 [Dec. 1990]

Voicemail Number: (206) 337-9416
Be aware that long distance fees may apply if it's not covered by your cellular plan, especially listeners outside of the United States.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Wolverine: The Best There Is #2 Review

Writer: Charlie Huston
Artist: Juan Jose Ryp

Chapter Two: This Little Curiosity

I came into this one just hoping it would be better than the last. Thankfully, I got what I was looking for. This book actually shows a hint of plot and seems to give this series somewhat of a direction. I’m not saying it’s great, but at least there were no (I mean less) ‘facepalm’ moments that were prevalent in the opening issue of the series.

So the story is pretty basic. Beast helps Logan figure out who he’s looking for, and it turns out to be Jackson Day, an impure mutant. Day became mutated after he was doused with a number of different chemicals. So off he goes to find Jackson Day. When he arrives at his destination, Logan is met by a few of what seem to be Day’s minions. Wolvie easily takes them out and slices them into tiny pieces, but to his surprise, they are still alive. He leaves them be and continues inside the building where he meets a man named Mortigan Goth who claims to be from the 14th century. He helps Logan out, but tells him that Mephisto tortures his soul whenever he even thinks about doing a good deed. Logan comes to a door at the end of a hallway and upon opening it and comes across a creepy looking guy with a bag on his head who tells him to stay away since he’ contagious. The issues wraps up with two more henchmen showing up and they immediately get claws through their stomachs, but they don’t die, which is confusing the Hell outta Logan.

I’m not saying this one was amazing, but it was better than last last month’s opening issue. Then again, that's not much of an accomplishment. So first off, this one contains a story and is not a jumbled mess of bad dialogue. Instead, it's a book with a weak story and bad dialogue. We finally get some action that is actually relevant and we actually know what Wolverine is up to. The interactions are weak and feel very forced. The bad guys seem pretty cheesy as well, as does that old guy from the 14th century, Mortigan Goth. This series seems to rely on shock value, but in reality it is not that shocking at all. There’s much more gore in the MAX books and even the first arc of Wolverine: Weapon X. I’m not a huge fan of the art either, probably because it has that cartoony feel to it. The art along with the silly villains are leading this series into the absurd category, which is not exactly my cup of tea.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New Releases: January 12, 2011

Because of Delays there are no 'new' books this week. In case you didn't already know, Daken: Dark Wolverine #5, which was originally scheduled for today, has been pushed back until February 2. Also, next week's X-23 #5 is now going to be released on the following week of January 26.

That being said, if you want to catch up, this is a good time. Marvel is releasing, Marvel Must Haves for both Daken: Dark Wolverine and X-23, as well as the main Wolverine series. What these are, are collections of the first three issues of each series into one giant-sized issue. X-23 and Daken: Dark Wolverine is going for $3.99 and Wolverine is $4.99.

This is an economy-friendly way to hop onto these books if you're not already on board. As for everybody else, just pull out a good old Wolverine trade and wait for next week.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Classic Wolverine Scan #3

Logan enjoying a rare quiet moment with his old buddy Puck. Get a load of these two blabberin' canucks!

Wolverine (Vol. 2) #35

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Releases: January 5, 2011

Wolverine: The Best There Is #2

Buy with caution, because the opening issue was a train wreck. But hey, at least there's a new writer since Jeph Loeb is taking the wheel for this one. Personally, I would wait on it and see if anybody you know actually decides to pick it up and either see what they think or wait for some reviews to come out. Let's just hope Logan doesn't try dancing again.

...but no matter what he does, there's little chance it can be worse than this.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine #4 Review

Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Adam Kubert

Another Fine Mess Part 4 of 6

Ridiculous. I think you can sum up this issue with one word. You can probably sum up this series with one word. Ridiculous. Of course this is not always a bad thing, and such is the case of Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine #4. We get a few doses of ‘shake your head’ ridiculous to go along with a good helping of ‘laugh out loud’ ridiculous. We are now past the halfway mark of the series and it is clear that this story was not meant to be taken seriously. That being said; let us begin.

Wolverine and Spider-Man have been separated. Czar and his vertically-challenged sidekick B, are pulling their shenanigans throughout time. They are basically time-travelling to different eras and using their “timestick” to displace people just for the Hell of it. It’s like when you give a 10 year old a hand buzzer for the first time, only in this case instead of just getting annoyed, the victims end up hanging out with cavemen. So Czar runs into himself at some party at the end of time (a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy reference?) and talks to his past self about the Wolverine and Spider-Man $@#*. If this is really possible, Back to the Future just became A LOT less suspenseful.

So where are our good buddies Wolverine and Spider-Man right now? Czar must have thought it would be hilarious to match them up again, but this time with the younger version of their counterparts. Wolverine is stuck with the teenage, pre-Uncle Ben’s death Peter and Spidey is on the run from feral Logan and his pack of friendly woodland critters. You decide which is worse, but I was just about ready to punch teenage Peter in the face myself…but then I realized it was a comic book. Through some deus ex machina (Czar popping out of nowhere and smacking them with his bat), the pair are now tied up and set to burn at the stake in what looks like colonial America. Wolverine suggests that someone is doing this for their own amusement and he’s wrong, someone is doing this for everyone else’s amusement (and his own as well I guess, so I take it back). It’s Mojo! And he’s made Wolverine and Spider-Man the subjects of his latest reality show for Mojovision. Ridiculous. Luckily Spider-Man has something up his sleeve, literally.

So there you have it. There seems to be no limit to the craziness in this issue. When Jason Aaron said we were in for something different with this series, he meant it. As far as Kubert’s art goes, it’s perfect for the tone of the story with its fun cartoony feel and the sometimes exaggerated bodies. The dialogue is very good and makes for some hilarious moments as well. Now I won’t say it’s a bad thing, but the story has been taking the back seat to humor in this series and this issue is no exception. It’s a fun read, but I wouldn’t recommend this to just anyone. I have mixed feelings for it myself, mainly because I was hoping for more out of this series, but maybe I was just looking for something completely different. Maybe a little less…ridiculous (yes I like to beat dead horses).

Monday, January 3, 2011

Daken: Dark Wolverine #4 Review

Writers: Daniel Way & Marjorie Liu
Artist: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Cover By: Giuseppe Camuncoli & Marte Garcia

Empire Act II: Part 1 of 4

To be honest, I felt that Daken: Dark Wolverine was the weakest of the three ‘Wolverine Family’ titles. Of course things can change and this issue is a start. The story focuses on Daken’s relationship with the Fantastic Four, mainly his close friendship with Johnny. Johnny is taking Daken’s supposed death hard, and the others are a little worried but understand he just needs his time to cope. When an intruder to the Baxter building threatens Reed and Sue’s children, Daken is there to stop him. The funny thing is that Daken broke in as well (so much for the great security system they have over there). The Fantastic Four are shocked since they believed him to be dead, even though we the reader knew otherwise (end of issue #3, and come on, it’s his series). If Johnny took his death hard, he took the truth even harder. Feeling betrayed by Daken (that’s a first), he just goes off on him, which is understandable since he took the blame for Daken’s death and this is a most unusual turn of events for him. After everyone settles down we learn what has brought about this unexpected visit.

Daken is taking full advantage of the world believing he is dead and wants to use it as a way to start fresh. This is a chance to avoid the stigma of siding with Osborne and he believes that the Fantastic Four are the only one’s he can trust with his secret. In an effort to distance himself from his father and to ensure his cover will not be blown, he asks Reed for something he can use to defend himself so he doesn’t have to bring out his claws. Reed gives him some sort of glove that can be used to stun anyone without killing, with the exception of Ben. Just like that he’s gone. Upon his departure Reed decides that something just didn’t feel right about Daken’s visit. We then see Daken on a boat heading to an undisclosed location and he reveals that he has other plans for the glove which has potential that is held back by Reed’s unwillingness to kill. It’s apparent that he has left the country, most likely to Asia. Of course he’s in disguise and has a whole bald/shaved Matt Fraction thing goin’ on. After seeing a newspaper, he decides to go after Bucky aka Captain America aka (more importantly) The Winter Soldier, who killed his mom. It’s on the final panel that we finally learn that the boat is headed to (wait for it…) Madripoor.

This one was very good, but it was excellent on the second reading. It took a night’s sleep for all of the parallels and connections to Logan of the final few pages that my 2 AM brain didn’t seem to catch, to actually sink in. As a big fan of the early Wolverine Patch stories in Madripoor, I am very excited for what’s to come and I love the irony of following in the footsteps of his father when he intends to do just the opposite. Hopefully he’s got a better costume than a stupid eye patch.

Enough looking ahead, this one was a gem. The interactions were both humorous and believable. Daken is very likeable and seems eerily out of character until Reed’s uncertainty at the end reminds you of his manipulative ways and gives you the idea that he may have just been using them. Personally I feel that he is somewhere in the middle right now. He does in fact want to distance himself from his past and I believe he has good intentions, though he will do whatever he feels necessary to meet his goals, even if that means that he may have to cross the line or deceive others. The issue sets the stage for what has the potential of a great story, now let’s see Way and Liu build off this and meet it.