Retro Review: Nomad (Limited Series & Series)

NOMAD_01LSIt’s no big secret. I am a fan of the obscure characters. And most often times, the more obscure a character is, the more I tend to like them. This is not to be “different” or “rage against the crowd” who enjoys the more popular characters. I think a lot of this has to do with the aspiring writer within me. If there’s an obscure character, there’s untapped potential to flesh out that character and tell some stories with them.

So when a (good) writer does this; I typically really enjoy the books. This is why I always looked back very fondly of the character Jack Monroe – better known as Nomad.

I am not going to go into the “backstory” of Jack Monroe; because it ties to Captain America – one of the Captain America’s anyway – when he had the name “Bucky” (not to be confused with the original Bucky, who was the side kick of Steve Rogers, better known as Captain America). Like I said, if you look too deep into his backstory, you’re going to end up with a convoluted headache.

However, writer Fabian Nicieza took Jack Monroe, after the events of Captain America, and having adopted the name “Nomad” (and apparently growing his hair out – a lot). It started with a four issue limited series of Nomad, and it essentially tells about how Jack Monroe has struck out on his own – become his own man, away from the shadow of Captain America. He “adopts” (well, technically, kidnaps if you really look at it) a baby, infant girl and gives her the name “Bucky” (granted the woman he took her from was a prostitute and a drug addict).

NOMAD_01SDuring the time of the comic, I never questioned the idea of Jack Monroe hauling baby Bucky around and dragging her into trouble. (There were times where he had made several underground contacts and would leave Baby Bucky in the hands of people he trusted – well, as much as Jack Monroe trusted anyone anyway).

The original series started off very strong. It tackled a number of real life events head on, and didn’t shy away from it – whether it was drug addiction, the battle (and fear) that was so wide spread (due to a lot of lack of information) about HIV and AIDS, and racism (among other subjects). The book did not shy away from this wandering warrior taking on odd jobs that had him dealing with an assortment of things.

NOMAD_05In the beginning; the series also featured a wide assortment of guest stars ranging from The Punisher, Deadpool, Daredevil, Red Wolf and Gambit. However, as the series progressed, there were fewer and fewer guest stars (which I always felt was a shame; because here you have this character essentially traveling across the United States; it seemed like there was an endless pool of character for Jack to run into, and team up with, or be at odds with).

As the series went on, a new artist by the name of Rick Mays became the regular artist. And it’s true that an artist helps tell the story that the writer is telling. For me, I was not a fan of Rick Mays art style; and I felt because of that, the story (for me) began to suffer.

NOMAD_15However, I’d never say I hated the book. The ending got to be a little rushed – but that could be because around issue #21 or #22, they had announced that issue #25 was going to be the final issue.

And here’s where memory is always a little foggy; I had complained that Winter Soldier killed Jack Monroe and never suffered any consequences because he was “brain washed” and not of his own mind. However, in issue #25 of Nomad, Jack Monroe guns down and kills about sixty white supremacists. Now, granted – no one likes a white supremacists; but to openly gun them down? In the end, Jack Monroe blows himself up (and many others) in order to stop an event from unfolding; and while it appears he dies in the explosion; he’s found, barely breathing and re-enters suspended animation once more to preserve his life.

He would eventually re-appear, now mind controlled himself, as Scourge in the pages of Thunderbolts – but that’s a Retro Review for another time.

All together, I’d give it the following rankings judging the entire series:

NOMAD_16Story: B+
The story was typically quite engaging and cutting edge for its time. Fabian was not afraid to push the stories to the edge and deal with real world problems through the comic. There was even some editorial debates; because he had apparently planned on giving Nomad HIV, but the editors were against it.

Art: C
Most of the art throughout the series was pretty good (though it was frequently chalk full of very 80’s women – hey, the comic was made back then – with some voluptuous ladies to fill the pages). But hey, a renegade on the road; whose best friends were sometimes prostitutes, what can you expect? Artist Rick Mays, as I said, wasn’t one I enjoyed. He’s not a bad artist by any stretch of the imagination; just didn’t think it worked well with this book.

Over All: B
The stories were mostly spot on; the art tended to be good (even when it wasn’t my style, with the exception of a few panels that made me cringe).

This Retro Review is brought to you by Tawmis Logue!

 

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Comic Catch Up!

captain-marvel-a5d31Captain Marvel (2016) Vol. 1: Rise of the Alpha Flight

Written by Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters

Art by Kris Anka and Felipe Smith

Colors by Matthew Wilson

Fan favorite Carol Danvers is back in her 6th solo series as Captain Marvel. This time around, Captain Marvel receives the Hollywood treatment by Agent Carter show runners, Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters. The level of quality shows in this great sci-fi story that could have easily been written for television.

Story: A

Carol Danvers has taken the assignment of Commanding Officer on board the new low-orbit space station, Alpha Flight. Accompanied by none other than Puck, Sasquatch and Aurora of the Canadian super team (you guessed it) Alpha Flight. Abigail Brand, ex-commander of S.W.O.R.D.’s low orbit space, The Peak, is her second in command.  Carol, as head of the New Alpha Flight along with Abigail Brand are earth’s first line of defense against extra terrestrial attacks.   I have to admit (and Tawmis will testify to this) I have never been a big fan of Alpha Flight but what I am a huge fan of is good writers doing justice to lesser known characters.  Fazekas and Butters do just that.

Captain Marvel’s new appointment as the Space Station commander gets off to a pretty mundane start. Contract disputes with the station janitors and day to day tasks leave Danvers a bit disillusioned, that is, until she discovers a mysterious ghost ship drifting towards Earth. With the help of Alpha Flight, Captain Marvel boards the ghost ship and accidentally activates the ship’s power while on board, triggering a full on attack.

Alpha Flight fends off the attack but not without a few consequences. Captain Marvel’s powers have been depleted and she begins having visions of the memories of Mar-Vell, the Kree Soldier from which Danver’s powers were derived from.  The crew learns that the ghost ship is somehow causing Captain Marvel’s issues and decide to completely destroy it as opposed to researching and exploring it. That plan is quickly interrupted when a second ship, similar to the first,  approaches with a live crew, hell bent on destroying Captain Marvel.

Art: B

Captain Marvel’s art is very clean. The space station Hala Star design looks great . Alpha Flight crew’s uniforms are a nice bland of the Canadian team’s north star design mixed with Captain Marvel’s Hala Star.  The spaceship’s Alpha Flight rides are remeniscint of the Nova Corp ships used in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie. I’m a sucker for clean art lines, what can I say.

Overall:A

Captain Marvel has been my favorite character of the Marvel Now era.  Add great story-telling, clean art and the return of a classic team make this book a recommended pick up. Marvel is making a big push towards empowered female characters and Captain Marvel is the poster child for this generation of super heroines and as the co-lead in Marvel’s current summer crossover event, Civil War II. Captain Marvel is smart, funny, strong and grounded. Hopefully, this character’s personality traits translate well in her future movie. When it does, I will be at the premiere wearing my Carol Corp t-shirt. 

 

41zYlQCG7HL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_East of West Vol. 1

Written by Jonathan Hickman

Art by Nick Dragotta

Colors by Frank Martin

Imagine if the American Civil War never ended and to this very day, the fighting between the American Union and Confederate states raged on. Another dystopian mashup done incredibly well brought to us by the good people at Image comics. Saga brought us a sci-fi / fantasy mashup, Lazarus introduces us to a post apocalyptic future with a feudal twist and now East of West brings sci-fi to the old west (to be fair, East of West pre dates Lazarus by three years but you get the picture).  The apocalypse is here, the 4 four horsemen have arrived and our only hope is…..love.  

Story: A

East of West is set in present day America with a dystopian western sci-fi twist. The world is on the eve of the apocalypse and the four horseman are poised to usher in end times.  The world’s imminent doom is staved off only by the power of love, the sting of betrayal and the wrath of revenge. Death, while embarked on fulfilling his prophetic duty, falls in love and has son with the daughter of the Chinese Chairman and patriarchal leader, Mao Zedong. The other horsemen don’t approve of Death’s behavior one bit. Famine, War, and Pestilence betray death by capturing and enslaving Death’s baby’s momma,  killing the newborn (called “The Beast”)and then…. something happens that kills the horsemen. That “something” has yet to be explained at this point in the story,  but War, Famine and Pestilence are resurrected 10 years later as children – Death lives.

Art: A

Nick Dragotta’s art and style is simply amazing. Feels like a steampunk version of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly….but you know, just good. The lines are clean (my favorite),  the characters look cool as hell and the colors contrast perfectly with the characters.

Overall: A

The characters have their own unique style, the settings look old west and worn and the vehicles are a nice blend of futuristic rugged western. Like the books mentioned in the intro of this review, East of West has a very unique style all of it’s own. The story and art are rich and layered. I highly recommend this book to anybody looking to try a story outside the big 2. You will not be disappointed. 

 

Maico M. Moreno

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Marvel NOW! Again… So Marvel Now Redux. (Part Three)

Marvel_NOW_catalog_61Now we head into the third round! Coming up we have The Clone Conspiracy – I can’t imagine this is going to be an ongoing series. Dan Slott typically handles Spider-Man very well. So I may pick this up and see what’s up with this cover. I am not sure who it is on the cover (other than Spider-Man) – it looks like an Anubis head (but it also looks like a Jackal, which would make sense with the title of this book – but, let’s be real – did we need another Spider-Man related book?) Creative team is: • The Clone Conspiracy #1 by Dan Slott, Christos Gage & Giuseppe Camuncoli

 

Marvel_NOW_catalog_62Speaking of Spider-Man related books, we have Silk. I’ve not been an over all fan of the influx of female Spider-Man related characters; Silk was fine, then we got Spider-Gwen, which – was that really needed? (Wasn’t a Gwenpool enough?) Anyway, I’ve not been picking up this book. I’ve not even heard if it’s good or bad. The creative team is: • Silk #13 by Robbie Thompson & Tana Ford

Marvel_NOW_catalog_63Up next we have Prowler – and if the cover is any indication, it looks to be a new Prowler. It looks like a much younger version than the original Prowler. I admit I am curious why Marvel would be pushing this character – of all the characters they have. So I may peek at this and see what the story is about. Again, this has to do with learning more about villains. Curious if they’re going to make – what I assume is this new Prowler – a hero? The creative team: • Prowler #1 by Sean Ryan & Jamal Campbell

Marvel_NOW_catalog_64And then there’s… this… Spider-Gwen. I know a lot of people love her. I see her cosplayed so much as Conventions. And I am happy that people are able to connect to this character. I’ve never been able to get into it. Creative team is • Spider-Gwen #15 by Jason Latour & Robbi Rodriguez

Marvel_NOW_catalog_65Which flows right into the next book which is Spider-Man (with Miles) who appears to have a relationship with Spider-Gwen. (And here we are with yet another duplicated hero – with Peter calling himself Spider-Man, Miles calling himself Spider-Man, and even Miguel from Spider-Man 2099). I’ve not picked up this series, mostly because of the writer. The creative team here is: • Spider-Man #12 by Brian Michael Bendis & Sarah Pichelli

Marvel_NOW_catalog_66Another Spider related title; though at least, she’s not directly connected to Spider-Man (other than the name) is Spider-Woman. I’ve not collected this series; but if this series brings back Hobgoblin; I might pick up the issues with him in it (as I have always preferred him over Green Goblin… I know, despite how much I complain about duplicates!) I don’t care for the art on the cover; but that’s a different artist than the interior art. So when Hobgoblin appears I may check out the issue. The creative team is: Dennis Hopeless & Veronica Fish.

 

Marvel_NOW_catalog_67Speaking just a moment about about Spider-Man 2099, that’s the next one I want to discuss. I really love this cover; and not just because the classic looking Spider-Man 2099 is standing victoriously overly the new white costumed Spider-Man 2099 (I’ve been pretty vocal about how much I like Spider-Man 2099, but I hated that costume change – his original costume is so incredible, that it didn’t need to change – especially with jets to fly). I have been thoroughly enjoying Spider-Man 2099, despite that costume change! So I am looking forward to see what this cover means – if anything. The creative team here is: • Spider-Man 2099 #21 by Peter David & Will Sliney

Marvel_NOW_catalog_68And now Venom is going to be getting his own series – I am guessing Venom: Space Knight didn’t work out as well as they had hoped? I never picked it up, and by the looks of this cover, they’re going back to the more classic Venom (which I think they should have never ventured from). He had some fun limited series during the 90’s that I enjoyed; and if this new book follows along those lines, I will definitely be checking this out. The creative team here is: • Venom #1 by Mike Costa & Gerardo Sandoval

Marvel_NOW_catalog_69And staying within the Spider-Man realm, we have Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows. Gerry Conway did some good writing; so I may pick up where this title is headed. Some have speculated that Peter Parker and Mary Jane will be getting married again; or that the whole “One More Day” event is getting reversed. Curious if that’s where this is headed. The creative team is: • Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #1 by Gerry Conway & Ryan Stegman

 

Marvel_NOW_catalog_70Gerry Duggan is writing Deadpool now – and I’ve never been a big fan of the character. I enjoyed his original appearances as a mercenary with swords and guns; but he’s been everywhere now (and essentially become the new “Wolverine” – who, ironically I enjoyed back in the day, before I became over saturated with him!) Now I admit, Madcap has become a part of the Deadpool titles; and I am a huge fan of Madcap from his appearances in Captain America (and even in – I believe it was Ghost Rider). But I am not sure if it’s enough to make me want to pick up the book and see what they’re doing with him – even though the title of this one appears to be Madcap Recall. The creative team is: • Deadpool #21 by Gerry Duggan & Mike Hawthorne

Marvel_NOW_catalog_71Another Deadpool book is Deadpool & the Mercs for Money which I thought Madcap, Slapstick and few others were slated for; but apparently that entire cast has been changed by two monkeys, Domino, Teenage Megasonic, Machine Man, and a guy in what appears to be a Deadpool costume. The creative team here is: • Deadpool & The Mercs For Money #4 by Cullen Bunn & Iban Coello

Marvel_NOW_catalog_72Speaking of Slapstick it looks like he’s getting his own title now. It will probably do very well, because it will probably echo the same type of writing found in Deadpool. Despite apparently having joined the New Warriors off panel, and my interest and love of the New Warriors, I can’t see buying this book for myself. The creative team behind this insanity is: • Slapstick #1 by Reilly Brown, Fred Van Lente & Mike Norton

Marvel_NOW_catalog_73Up next is Solo – which I mainly remember from Spider-Man, and don’t remember much more about him. However, if the interior is as good as the cover art; I’d probably give this book a swing and see what they’re trying to do with it. The creative team behind that is: • Solo #1 by Gerry Duggan, Geoffrey Thorne & Paco Diaz

Marvel_NOW_catalog_74Another obscure villain getting his own book, Foolkiller gets a new look. Initially, it reminded me of Night Thrasher because of the red and black theme. Doesn’t look like a book I’d pick up. Creative team is: • Foolkiller #1 by Max Bemis & Dalibor Talajic

Marvel_NOW_catalog_76And there’s a Guardians of the Galaxy (I should have fit that with the other Guardians books I was mentioning previously)… This appears to be the final arc of the story – and, from what I have heard, (I’ve made it clear I am not a Bendis fan), but many people seem to be disappointed what Bendis has done with Guardians of the Galaxy… But then, it’s difficult to follow up what Abnett & Lanning did with the book… and what the movie did. Creative team is • Guardians of the Galaxy #15 by Brian Michael Bendis & Valerio Schiti

 

And finally – been saving this one for last…

Marvel_NOW_catalog_75I won’t believe it’s true, until I see it… but it looks like they’re going to finally be bringing back Rich Rider as Nova. Again – I am waiting. I am going to control myself and not allow myself to be excited about this. Because there is no creative team announced yet…

Cynical Tawmis.

 

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Marvel NOW! Again… So Marvel Now Redux. (Part Two)

Marvel_NOW_catalog_32Okay, let’s continue. It’s a pretty long list. Next up we have Doctor Strange. They shoved every typical Doctor Strange villain on this cover; and did a pretty cool job of it. Despite Shaman of Alpha Flight having the occasional appearance in this title; I’ve not been collecting this. I wasn’t a big fan of Jason Aaron’s run on Thor, so when I heard he was taking over Doctor Strange, I was not compelled to pick up the book (despite being a huge fan of the character, especially from his days as a part of the original Defenders team). The creative team on this is: • Doctor Strange #12 by Jason Aaron & Chris Bachalo

 

Marvel_NOW_catalog_33Now, because Marvel likes causing a little bit of confusion, there’s also apparently a Doctor Strange: Sorcerers Supreme where it’s Stephen Strange along with some other powerful magic users of the Marvel Universe. I recognize most; and I assumed the horned figure in the background is Santana, and not Magik. I may flip through this and take a look; the idea of these characters ripped from various time lines to save ours, sort of sounds like Secret Defenders (none of them were ripped from various time lines; just an odd collection of characters out to do secret missions). The creative team here is: • Doctor Strange: Sorcerers Supreme #1 by Robbie Thompson & Javier Rodriguez

Marvel_NOW_catalog_34The next one; I admit, I have my concerns. I have the first few issues of The Mighty Thor when it relaunched with Jane as the new Thor… and in this… by the looks of it, the Asgardians are going to fight the Shi’ar… and that also includes, by the looks of it, the Imperial Guard. Now if you know me, you know that I love me some Shi’ar and I love me some Imperial Guard; but, Jason Aaron (who isn’t a bad writer by any means, just not my type of writer that I enjoy), is going to be telling this story. I will undoubtedly, at least be flipping through this book to see how it looks and see how my beloved Shi’ar and Imperial Guard are being treated. Creative team on this title is: • The Mighty Thor #15 by Jason Aaron & Russell Dauterman

Marvel_NOW_catalog_35Speaking of Thor, and there being multiples, the “real” Thor (as in, born from Odin) and now going by The Unworthy Thor has a book where by the looks of it – he’s going to get a hold of the “hammer” that the Ultimates version of Thor used, which would be an interesting twist and allow both Thors to exist (because, you know there isn’t enough doubles of these characters running around). It’s a shame that they didn’t reverse this; give Jane this hammer and the actual Thor his own hammer. This way it aligns with what a new reader might expect to see (if they’re only reading comics because of the current movies). At any rate, Jason Aaron is writing this one – so, I probably won’t be getting this either. But art is by Coipel… that’s very difficult to turn down. Creative team is: • The Unworthy Thor #1 by Jason Aaron & Olivier Coipel

Marvel_NOW_catalog_36Next we have Patsy Walker, AKA Hellcat… I’ve not been getting this because it looks like Marvel’s attempt at capturing the Selfie Batgirl crowd… and … is that Jubilee on the cover? Back in her original costume? And no longer a vampire? (She may have been cured? I am not even sure, as other than the current Uncanny X-Men, I stopped caring). At any rate, not a fan of the over all art (not bad, again, just not my style). The creative team here is: • Patsy Walker A.K.A. Hellcat! #11 by Kate Leth & Brittney L. Williams

 

 

Marvel_NOW_catalog_37Black Widow continues, which I’ve not been reading. It’s funny; I have always liked her in a team book environment (Champions, Avengers), but I just can’t get into her as a solo book. The No More Secrets – I am not sure what that’s about – but seems to fall into line with what happened in the Marvel movies, where she released all that data for the entire world to consume. The creative team is Mark Waid & Chris Samnee writing and Chris Samnee on the art.

 

 

Marvel_NOW_catalog_38Next we have Moon Knight – and you can probably read Maico’s previous post of Comic Catch Up to see how much he’s enjoying Moon Knight. He’s hailing it as one of his favorite (Marvel) books out right now. I’ve missed the last few volumes of Moon Knight who keeps getting a good push (which he should, he’s an interesting character) – his original series was a little wonky (which I have all of, except for a few issues). So I won’t say much more about Moon Knight and let you read what Maico has been saying about the book! The creative team on this is: • Moon Knight #20 by Jeff Lemire & Greg Smallwood

 

Marvel_NOW_catalog_39The next one is The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl and as I said before, I am not big into the art style, nor the story telling style. But a lot of people are enjoying the wonky story telling, odd art, and 4th wall breaking that’s become so insanely popular since Deadpool. Creative team on this is: • The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #16 by Ryan North & Erica Henderson

 

 

 

Marvel_NOW_catalog_40Going away from the lighthearted tone, to something much darker, we have Punisher. Now, I have always enjoyed Punisher when he shows up in a title; but my moment of honest (ironic, as I type this I am wearing my Punisher t-shirt) – the only Punisher title I ever picked up was the one that was supposed run four issues – but ended up running five issues, back in the 80’s. But for some reason, I have never followed the Punisher solo books. It’s not surprising to see Punisher with his own title; he has typically been a very popular character, and with his recent appearance in the Daredevil Netflix show; and the rumblings (I say that because I’ve not seen a release date for it) that Punisher will have his own show on Netflix, it’s no surprise Marvel would want to keep this book going! Creative team here is: • Punisher #7 by Becky Cloonan & Steve Dillon

Marvel_NOW_catalog_41All right, speaking of Daredevil let’s talk about the ongoing Daredevil series. Now, I dig Charles Soule as a writer; and I can’t honestly say why I never picked up this title, since he’s writing it, and I have enjoyed Daredevil (I have pretty good run of the original series), and enjoyed the Daredevil show on Netflix immensely. Well, speaking of the show getting a another season, there’s no doubt that Marvel is going to keep pushing this book (as they should!) while that series is continuing to do so well on NetFlix. Creative team on this book is Charles Soule and Ron Garney.

 

Marvel_NOW_catalog_42Right along with Daredevil and even the Netflix show of Daredevil, we see that Kingpin is also getting his own series. He’s already gotten a strong push through Civil War II: Kingpin. While Kingpin has always been a pretty popular character, I can’t help but feel that a large part of the current surge of interest is because of how his character is shown on the Daredevil Netflix series. So, again, all of this probably ties into the success of that show, and why Marvel is capitalizing on that success. While I love the comic (Daredevil), and I love the show (and how well Kingpin is written and acted), just as a solo character in a book? Not for me, but I don’t doubt that it might be pretty good. Just don’t have enough interest vested in the character to purchase his solo book. Creative team is: • Kingpin #1 by Matthew Rosenberg & Ben Torres

Marvel_NOW_catalog_43And moving along the lines of Daredevil and Kingpin – we have Bullseye getting his own solo series. Here’s another one where I have always liked when Bulleye appeared in a book; just not sure I could ever get into a solo book about him. It seems like it’d be a very difficult book to write; he’s either going to go after average Joes; or if he’s going after super heroes; seems to me he’d lose quite a bit of those fights (well, in terms of not being able to do what he does best; and that is kill someone with his accuracy). I typically enjoy books that focus on the villain; because you get to see them develop rather than show up, fight a hero and lose. I may flip through this and see where this book goes. Creative team is: • Bullseye #1 by Ed Brisson & Guillermo Sanna

Marvel_NOW_catalog_44The next one; I was disappointed. I have almost the entire run (after it became) Power Man & Iron Fist of the original series. When I heard that this was coming back; nostalgia was at epic proportions; only to find that I didn’t like the anime cartoon style that the book featured. Needless to say, I only got as far as the first issue. The creative team is: • Power Man & Iron Fist #10 by David Walker & Sanford Greene

 

 

 

Marvel_NOW_catalog_45First they made a young Power Man (with Victor Alvarez) and now they’re making a young, female, Asian Iron Fist too. It can’t be long until the two of them team up right? And here’s yet another duplicate hero in the Marvel Universe. It’s getting out of hand. Remember when all the characters were pretty much original? While I have always enjoyed Iron Fist, I simply can’t stand that there’s yet ANOTHER duplicated character in the Marvel Universe. So that already turns me off from this book, no matter how fantastic the story telling might be. The creative team here is: • Iron Fists #1 by Kaare Andrews & Afu Chan

 

Marvel_NOW_catalog_46Next in line is Totally Awesome Hulk which I never collected, I admit, based on the concept and title alone. Yet another duplicated hero. I really have nothing else to say about it, other than the creative team behind this book is: • The Totally Awesome Hulk #15 by Greg Pak & unnamed artist

 

 

 

 

Marvel_NOW_catalog_47The Unbelievable Gwenpool is yet another book that I simply never had interest in. She’s a Deadpool knock off (obviously). And while I have never looked into it because I never cared, but I assume it’s some time displaced alternate reality whatever Gwen Stacy. I don’t care to know if I am right or not. Creative team here is: • The Unbelievable Gwenpool #7 by Christopher Hastings & Gurihiru

 

 

 

Marvel_NOW_catalog_48Next up we have Uncanny Inhumans, also written by Charles Soule (who I said I typically enjoy). However, I’ve never been a big fan of the Inhumans; I dig when they show up in other books but never as a solo type series. Creative team is: • Uncanny Inhumans #15 by Charles Soule & Kev Walker

 

 

 

 

Marvel_NOW_catalog_49Next we have a new character called Mosaic who gets his own title. I know nothing about this character. Actually, don’t care to know anything about this character. I feel like Marvel has a treasure trove of characters; and they keep producing new characters, trying to find the next big thing with these characters, rather than digging in their vast pool of characters to tell a story. Creative team is: • Mosaic #1 by Geoffrey Thorne & Khary Randolph

 

 

Marvel_NOW_catalog_50Never picked up Ms. Marvel (the current series), because I felt like it was a gimmick that Marvel was hoping would catch on big. It’s unfair, because, yes they might be telling fantastic stories; but I am sick and tired of Marvel’s constant gimmick attempts, that I won’t even touch a book that gives any hint of that. I know a lot of people have enjoyed her book; and I am glad it’s still going for those folks. It’s just not for me. Creative team is: • Ms. Marvel #12 by G. Willow Wilson & Takeshi Miyazawa

 

 

Marvel_NOW_catalog_51Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur. This one was doomed from the start for me. As I said above, I dislike gimmicks. There was a Moon Boy & Devil Dinosaur; and to be more diverse, Marvel did away with Moon Boy and replaced it by a woman – but hold on! – to be even more diverse, she’s a young, African American girl. I have had several people tell me (repeatedly) that it’s a really cute story. And it might be. But again, just removing an existing character to replace it with a gender swapped character has been going on entirely too much these days, rather than using existing characters. (Granted, I am not sure how well a Moon Boy & Devil Dinosaur story would work out, considering Moon Boy’s limited use of the English language). For those enjoying this cute story, I am happy for you, and I hope it runs a long time. Just not for me. Creative team is: • Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur #13 by Amy Reeder, Brandon Montclare, & Natacha Bustos

Marvel_NOW_catalog_52The Death of X has created a lot of speculation. Just the other day I posted my own speculation as to what the Death of X means. Well considering we’ve now seen several X-Men related characters on the covers of several of these books; it looks like Mutants aren’t going away (or if they are, they’re still appearing in these books). But the Death of X covers certainly do lend to the idea that a lot of mutants may potentially die. You can look at that cover and probably pin point some recognizable figures.

Marvel_NOW_catalog_53There’s another side that shows even more mutants who don’t look like they’re having a fantastic day. But seeing a bunch of mutant dead bodies doesn’t mean anything really. After all, for those that remember the Fall of the Mutants storyline; it was a whole line of dead X-Men bodies. The Inhumans in both of these photos pretty much seem to be having the time of their lives however. It’s noticeable that in the month of October, there isn’t a single X-Book being published. This could be because they want to focus on the Death of X, or it could be because of Death of X, they’re doing away with any “X-Men” books and shuffling them off into other books like Uncanny Avengers and Black Panther. Creative team is: • Death of X #1 by Jeff Lemire, Charles Soule & Aaron Kuder

Marvel_NOW_catalog_56Now the cover for Cage! is done by a different artist than the cover artist – and that’s a good thing, because I am not a fan of the cover art. I never picked up Power Man when he had his own series; I dig get interested when it was Power Man & Iron Fist. I don’t know if I’d pick up a book just about Luke Cage. Will have to flip through it and see how it looks. The creative team is: • Cage! #1 by Genndy Tartakovsky

 

 

 

Marvel_NOW_catalog_57Next in the line is Gamora, who Marvel should have immediately pushed out a series after the success of Guardians of the Galaxy in the theater. The cover art is fantastic. And it’s written by Nicole Perlman, who I believe had a hand in the original script for the Guardians of the Galaxy movie. I will probably pick this up, just because Gamora is an excellent, strong, female character. The creative team here is: • Gamora #1 by Nicole Perlman & Marco Checchetto

 

 

Marvel_NOW_catalog_58Star-Lord is another one, speaking of Guardians of the Galaxy. I collected his most recent series, until I couldn’t anymore. I never bought the relationship between him and Kitty Pryde, and it felt so utterly forced and no dynamic. So now he’s getting a rebooted series. I may check out the first issue and see where they’re going with this new series. Creative team is: • Star-Lord #1 by Chip Zdarsky & unnamed artist

 

 

Marvel_NOW_catalog_59And continuing along with the lines of Guardians of the Galaxy, we have Rocket Raccoon getting a rebooted series. I didn’t care for his most recent series (mostly because of the cartoony art style). If the art is similar to what’s on this cover; I would probably pick up this book. The artist has not yet been named. Creative team is: • Rocket Raccoon #1 by Matthew Rosenberg (no artist announced)

 

 

Marvel_NOW_catalog_60As another one related to Guardians of the Galaxy we have Thanos. He’s another one that I love when he appears, because you know it’s going to be a good fight. But as his own series? I don’t know. Never got the other ones. Creative team: • Thanos #1 by Jeff Lemire & Mike Deodato

 

 

 

We will be back for a round three!
Cynical Tawmis.

 

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Marvel NOW! Again… So Marvel Now Redux. (Part One)

Marvel_NOW_catalog_02So Marvel NOW! is back – again – with a second round. Some images leaked this past Monday, so Marvel went ahead and released everything about this new Marvel NOW! 2.0 that they’re going to launch – including a list of new titles and what titles are going to keep going.

So as you can see to the left, there’s the general shin-dig, run down, whatever you want to call it that Marvel is doing with Marvel NOW! 2.0 – splitting off from an event/cross over – not another limited series type event like Civil War II or Secret Wars – called Divided We Stand.

Marvel has promised to “shake things up” and “rock the Marvel Universe.” Apparently, no one has told them that “shaking things up” too much feels like there’s little regard for any continuity or real story telling; and just looking to always go for the next big change or shock value. But that’s just me – sick of things being “shaken up.”

Marvel_NOW_catalog_03So let’s take a look at what’s coming out, shall we? Over here to the right (you can click it to see a larger version, if you can’t read that tiny writing). So we can see that several titles are continuing; while others, that are currently doing fairly well, such as Captain Marvel are yet again getting another reboot. What does that make this volume of Captain Marvel? Like… Volume Six? Seven? It’s getting a little more than ridiculous when a title that’s barely ten or so issues in; is getting yet another reboot in October with a brand new Issue #1. On the flip side, other titles are going to continue their numbering. And Marvel is launching a slew of new books as well. So how about we start going over some of those?

Marvel_NOW_catalog_10First, there’s The Avengers. Now the cover has the original Avengers standing behind a team of Avengers that Captain America led very early in the original run of the book. All of them look to be wearing the classic versions of those costumes as well. So are we just looking at this random cover that has nothing to do with what’s going to happen in the book; or we going to get some retro stories / untold tales of these Avengers from “back in the day.” Something to note, the issue is numbered as 1.1 (why make things simply by numbering it 0 or 1 or something logical? Why? Because… Marvel). I am willing to at least open this book and see where it’s headed; the cover has me curious. The book has the creative team of Mark Waid & Barry Kitson.

Marvel_NOW_catalog_11Next we have Champions, which seems to feature Cyclops (a very young one? Is this the time displaced Cyclops, I assume?), Ms. Marvel, Nova (Sam Alexander), Spider-Man (Miles), Awesome Hulk (Cho) and what I am guessing is Vision’s daughter (who I know absolutely nothing about). Now they have it under the flag ship name of Champions – which was originally a great book – very Defenders like – a team that wasn’t really a team. But this? This looks like kids with super powers going to school. And for me, that’s pretty much going to be an easy pass. The only character of interest to me is Nova (Sam Alexander), because I run a New Warriors website; so I’d only be interested what comes of him. But that’s not enough to dump hard earned money into this book. The creative team here is: • Champions #1 by Mark Waid & Humberto Ramos

Marvel_NOW_catalog_12The next book is Occupy Avengers… and I can’t even begin to guess what this book might be about. If I were to take a stab – maybe this group of people led by Hawkeye (or whatever he’s going to be calling himself, since there’s also a Hawkeye book – but not about him – more on that later!) – holding the Avengers responsible for potential damage they do? Yes? No? Maybe. While I have always been a big fan of Hawkeye – I am not sure what this book is about – and the title sounds entirely too political to even remotely capture my interest, despite it appearing to feature Hawkeye. This one will be another pass for me. The creative team here is: • Occupy Avengers #1 by David Walker & Gabriel Walta

Marvel_NOW_catalog_13The next book we have is Avengers – and this starts with a #1. So I am not sure if the previously mentioned Avengers 1.1 has anything to do with this book or not. This book seems to feature Captain America (Sam Wilson), Thor (Jane), Vision, Wasp (I just assume it’s not Janet), Hercules (um, with a gun for some reason), and I am not sure who that other character is – sort of looks like Black Panther meets Iron Man meets Ronin. This (other than the fact that Hercules is carrying a gun) looks potentially interesting. I will probably as least flip through the first issue and see if it looks like it might capture my attention. Looks like a pretty solid team, at any rate. And feels as close to a real Avengers book as it’s ever been in the last… what, ten to fifteen years? The creative team here is: • Avengers #1 by Mark Waid & Mike Del Mundo

Marvel_NOW_catalog_14And then we move onto Uncanny Avengers. This looks to be Brother Voodoo (?), Wasp (?), no idea who the next woman is, then Deadpool, then Cable, Rogue, and not sure who that next guy is, and then Quicksilver… That’s a very, very, very unusual cast of characters that’s thrown together. Sadly, there’s nothing about this title that’s really pulling me to pick it up, despite the unusual cast of characters. It’s good to know that beyond the Death of X that at least some mutants will continue to exist (as you can see from that month of titles listed early; there’s actually no “X” book other than the Death of X – so I was even beginning to speculate that the entire Mutant Gene on Earth would get “muted” and Mutants would cease to exist until Marvel got the movie rights back from Fox or something). The creative team here is: • Uncanny Avengers #15 by Gerry Duggan & Pepe Larraz

Marvel_NOW_catalog_15I know this book is going to be interesting to someone but that someone is not me. This looks to have Doctor Doom (the guy behind the statue of Liberty – is my guess), along with Cannonball, and – I guess a new character – a female Iron Patriot (What? Marvel swap another character out to make it more diverse? Tell me it isn’t so!), then what looks like a Geth (if you’re familiar with Mass Effect) – is it Iron White Tiger now or something? Then Squirrel Girl (no surprise to see her pushed), and Red Hulk (the mustache? Really?), and Miss Liberty (I believe her name is). I just don’t understand what is interesting about this odd collection of characters. Like I said, I’m sure this book will be a draw for someone; but that’s not me. The creative team here is: • U.S.Avengers #1 by Al Ewing & Paco Medina

Marvel_NOW_catalog_16The next book is Ultimates – and … I hope the interior artist is better than the cover artist. I mean, the cover is better than anything I could draw – but Captain Marvel and the one standing next to her with the stars on their sleeves – I mean, come on? I only recognize Captain Marvel, Black Panther, and I think Blue Marvel – but I don’t know who the guy with the stars on his sleeve is. I may look through this first issue (if the interior art is better than the cover) and see if it snags my attention. I am not overly hopeful (granted that may be because of the cover art). But I am willing to see what they’re going to do (I’ve always enjoyed a good story that deals with the cosmos and space and all of that). The creative team here is: • Ultimates2 #1 by Al Ewing & Travel Foreman

Marvel_NOW_catalog_17I am not at all surprised to see The Great Lakes Avengers getting their own book. It seems that these days, Marvel’s go to is for the “over the top, break the 4th wall, strange comedic” books – after the success of Deadpool, then Squirrel Girl and the Great Lakes Avengers are right up in the same odd ball sense of humor. So Marvel dishing out a book about these unusual heroes is not at all surprising. Because of the odd comedic value of an entire team of losers; I can actually see this book doing well. (If Madcap wasn’t already a member of Deadpool’s Mercs, this would be the perfect book for him). I probably won’t pick up this book; but who knows, I may grab the first couple of issues and see where this goes. Creative team is: • Great Lakes Avengers #1 by Zac Gorman & Will Robson

Marvel_NOW_catalog_18Over in the pages of Squadron Supreme it looks like someone who died is coming back. I didn’t read the issue where Hyperion (I believe it was) killed Namor; but didn’t he rip Namor’s head off? Whatever the case may be, the cover at least seems to allude to the fact that Namor is coming back (it’s been one year, I think, since he was killed in the same title). Unfortunately, this isn’t the Squadron Supreme that I enjoyed; even though, as I understand it, Blur from DP7 is the new “Whizzer” in this book. But I’ve not been collecting this; and this cover doesn’t do anything for me (I mean, it’s a great cover, but not enough for me to jump on with issue #13). The creative team here is: • Squadron Supreme #13 by James Robinson & Leonard Kirk

Marvel_NOW_catalog_19The next book is Thunderbolts which I have been collecting. It’s a few issues in; and it’s enjoyable. The only problem I’ve had is with the artist. It’s the same artist who did one of the volumes of New Warriors I didn’t care for the art there (but the story was alright; similar situation). So I will continue picking this up, especially seeing that Songbird will be making an appearance in the book. I really enjoyed how they had developed her in the original series, and do not understand why she’s not been pushed to the front more to get the respect her character deserves. Anyway, curious where this title will go; so far, the story, as I said has been good. Creative team here is: • Thunderbolts #7 by Jim Zub & Jon Malin

Marvel_NOW_catalog_20So the next book we see that Tony Stark is – whatever or wherever he is – and now there’s a new Iron Man. But it’s woman. So Invincible Iron Man should actually be called Invincible Iron Woman. But, if they did that, they would have to reboot/rename the book for when Tony Stark comes back. So here’s another book – where we have seen a female take the lead of an existing character. And because Marvel is all about diversity to the point the entire Marvel Universe has been changed – we see it’s not only a woman, but an African American woman who now has the mantle of Iron Man. I enjoyed the original run of Iron Man (the really early issues like 60 through about 200) – but never collected any other Iron Man solo series beyond 200 or the many other Iron Man solo titles that ever followed. This is another one that I won’t be picking up, because I can’t help but feel it’s a gimmick and will all be undone eventually. And it doesn’t help who the creative team is (if you know anything about me), because it’s • Invincible Iron Man #1 by Brian Michael Bendis & Stefano Caselli

Marvel_NOW_catalog_21And to make sure there isn’t any confusion, there’s also an Infamous Iron Man who appears to be Doctor Doom, who has taken over the Iron Man mantle also. I mean, we have two Thors running around, two Captain Americas running around – why not have two Iron Mans (Men? Woman and Man?) running around. How the heck is that ever going to confuse anyone? And hey! Here’s an idea, take one of the most iconic villains of the Marvel Universe and make him Iron Man instead. Because… that makes sense. While I have always enjoyed Doctor Doom, this … this is something I just can’t get behind. So I will not be picking up this title. Again, I feel no loss because the creative team is: • Infamous Iron Man #1 by Brian Micheal Bendis & Alex Maleev

Marvel_NOW_catalog_24This one is pretty annoying – though Captain Marvel is barely a year or so into her current run – Marvel is “rebooting” her book back to a #1. I’ve collected just about anything that has to do with Carol (dating back to her original Ms. Marvel run, all throughout Avengers), but the last two runs of her book I’ve not picked up. Mostly because the cost of living and the cost of comics have both gone up; and I’ve been forced to be a lot more picky about what I pick up. And the most disappointing thing is that her current run has Alpha Flight (a favorite of mine) in the books (Sasquatch, Puck and Aurora). Why is Marvel rebooting the book back to a #1? I don’t know. I can’t even begin to guess why. Other than perhaps the focus of the book is going to change entirely from being space guardian type title; to more Earth bound. The creative team here is: • Captain Marvel #1 by Margaret Stohl & Ramon Rosanas

Marvel_NOW_catalog_25So it looks like – as I said earlier – there’s a Hawkeye title coming out that will focus on Kate Bishop, who at least isn’t a “new” character. She was created quite a few years ago and is once again taking the mantle of Hawkeye. Which begs the question in the Avengers 1.1 and the Occupy Avengers; is Clint going to go by the name of Hawkeye or something else? (He briefly adopted the name Ronin while Kate took on the name Hawkeye). Can’t say, despite my interest in the character a long time ago, that it’s enough to pull me in to pick up the book. This is another one I will probably flip through and see if it’s enough to grab my attention and my hard earned money. The creative team here is: • Hawkeye #1 (starring Kate Bishop) by Kelly Thompson & Leonardo Romero

Marvel_NOW_catalog_26Captain America: Sam Wilson is next. And it looks like he’s going to go after Captain America’s shield? I am guessing because Captain America is currently Mr. “Hail Hydra.” So this looks to be just a story line, of possibly Sam and Steve duking it out over the shield. I’ve not been picking up this book. (And I can’t imagine having Cap’s shield and flying as he has been, with the Captain America costume, will work out… oh, what am I saying! It’s comic book physics!) Anyway, the creative team on this book is: • Captain America: Sam Wilson #14 by Nick Spencer & Daniel Acuna

 

Marvel_NOW_catalog_27And moving right in line, next we have Captain America: Steve Rogers with a pretty cool cover, considering everything currently going on in this title (but there isn’t a single person, I hope, that thought that this Hail Hydra thing for Captain America was going to be true). I have not been picking up this title, but I have to give kudos to the artist that came up with this cover. It’s pretty cool. The creative team here is: • Captain America: Steve Rogers #7 by Nick Spencer & Jesus Saiz

 

Marvel_NOW_catalog_28The next book I want to cover is Silver Surfer. I used to collect the original run of Fantastic Four (way back in the day, issues #120 through about 200) – and I’ve always enjoyed the character Silver Surfer, especially in Defenders where I got to know the character the most. I’ve not collected this series, because I can’t get past the art. The art style is very similar to X-Statix (and it may even be the same artist), but I’ve never been a fan of that odd style of art. The creative team here is: • Silver Surfer #9 by Dan Slott & Mike Allred

 

Marvel_NOW_catalog_29In Black Panther we can see that apparently Storm also survives the Death of X event. She’s clearly seen here with Black Panther, Luke Cage and Misty Knight. I am not sure of Storm’s status in regards to Black Panther; didn’t she marry him at one point? So is she a Queen now? Would make sense why she’s in this title (especially since the month of October shows no X Books being published at all). So at least Storm has found a place to stay. Not been collecting this book. The creative team here is: • Black Panther #7 by Ta-Nehisi Coates & Chris Sprouse

 

Marvel_NOW_catalog_30The next book on the list is Jessica Jones. I know nothing (Jon Snow!) about this book, other than what’s been shown in the Netflix series. (Heck, for the longest time, for whatever reason; before the show was released, I was thinking Jessica Jones was actually Jessica Drew; like I thought the show was about Jessica Drew – but forgot her last name was Drew – not Jones), because Bendis has always liked Spider-Woman. Anyway, there’s no surprise that Jessica Jones is getting her own book, because of the Netflix series success; and the upcoming Second Season of the show on Netflix. Like I said, I know nothing about the character; and while I loved the show, I will not be picking up this book. The creative team is: • Jessica Jones #1 by Brian Michael Bendis, Michael Gaydos & David Mack

Marvel_NOW_catalog_31 Now… the next book, I am curious. I have no idea what Janet is; and I had hoped that when there was a Wasp book announced, that it might be Janet… But seeing this, and the caption of “Nothing’s more unstoppable than a teenage girl” – so… yet again, Marvel has replaced a well respected powerful female character with a brand new character. I am sure that they’re doing this book because of the upcoming Antman & Wasp movie; I am curious, I admit, who this new Wasp is. (I wonder if they’ve brought in Hope from the movie, to make her a comic book character, to sort of give that familiarity between the two). But that might be making too much sense; I don’t know if somewhere in the convoluted mess that is some semblance of “Marvel Continuity” if Pym and Janet ever did have a daughter in the last few years (who for whatever reason is now a teenager) – or if it’s a brand new character entirely. • The Unstoppable Wasp #1 by Jeremy Whitley & Elsa Charretier

The Marvel Cynic,
Tawmis L.

 

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Comic Catch Up!

DeadDeadpool_v_Gambit_Vol_1_2_Textlesspool v Gambit: The “V” is for “Versus” #1

Writer: Ben Blacker, Benjamin Acker

Penciller: Danilo Beyruth

The smoothest most handsomest mutant con man in the Marvel universe meets the ugliest mercenary on planet earth in a funny, quick witted series that reunites the on-again off-again X-Men; Gambit and Deadpool.

Story: B+

The story opens with the two ambiguous heroes both waiting in line at a coffee shop. Things tense up after they recognizing each other and try to remember if they left off on good terms of not. The story goes into a flashback as they recall when last they met.  The two were partnered up in a heist that ended up with them being triple crossed and at odds with each other. This first issue is packed with action, humor and ridiculousness. Acker and Blacker do a good job of pairing this odd couple quite well. Both so self-serving that they can’t even tell when they are being played by one another.

Art: D

I am not a fan of Danilo Beyruth’s art in this book. His faces are just… bad. It works well for the disfigured Wade Wilson, but Remy Lebeau looks like a wrinkly old man. Not as terrible when masks are worn but overall tough to look at. 

Overall: B-

Gambit is my all-time favorite character. Deadpool is up there as one of the most popular and interesting characters in comics. They would really have to screw this series up for me to not like it. I feel like as long as they keep the story small, personal, funny and action packed it’ll be fine. The art is terrible but not terrible enough to turn me off from a Gambit v Deadpool story. If you like either character, I recommend this book.

 

LAZARUS_TPBLazarus Vol. 1: Family

Writer: Greg Rucka

Artist: Michael Lark

Dystopian futures are a popular setting in comics. Post apocalyptic environments filled with warring tribes, famine, suffering and a few at the top controlling the masses. Lazarus fits right into this premise….. and you know what? It does the genre justice.

Story: A

The story is a cool mashup of a post apocalyptic world under a feudal governance. Families serve as governors of territories, they are the Kings and Queens of their land. Serfs work the land for the families and Knights,  in this case called “Lazarus’” protect the territories, the serfs and the family’s honor. The rest of the population are known as “the waste.” The waste are the overwhelming majority of the population with no lot in life. Poor wretches wandering the planet with no purpose.  

The Lazarus are bio-engineered family protectors trained in combat and programmed for loyalty. They also serve as judge, jury, executioner and representatives for the family.  Whatever dirty job or deed that needs to be done, they send the Lazarus.   Our story revolves around the Carlyle Family and their female Lazarus Forever.  Forever is the family’s female protector who is treated lovingly by the family patriarch and like a younger step sister by the biological adult children. Forever’s father has tasked her with investigating a recent attack on the family’s seed bank. She has a feeling that this attack may have been an inside job by a member of the Carlyle family in a push for power. Forever has to navigate the treacherous waters of a family feud to figure out who is the betrayer all while maintaining her undying loyalty to her father and family.

Art: A

Michael Lark is a great artist. You can quickly tell that Lark likes to draw settings and backgrounds. Not in an elaborate sort of amazing fantasy way but in a way where his scene transitions make you feel like you are watching a movie. The color tones and palettes change which each new location all while maintaining the feel of a post apocalyptic environment. Lots of flat brown, grays, reds and blues.

Overall: A

This is a great introductions to the Lazarus series. You get a feel for the layout of the land. Forever meets and interacts with other families and their Lazarus. You feel the tension and deceit as she serves as her families negotiator, enforcer and protector.  This book contains a ton action, family drama and character development. I highly recommend picking this one up.  

 

Maico Moreno

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The Death Of X – A Farewell to Mutants?

Death_Of_XSo, it’d be no surprise if Marvel Comics was trying to “do away” with the Mutants of the Marvel Universe. At one time, I was pretty sure that Marvel would reboot the entire Marvel Universe, and make all their mutants Inhumans, to try and legally regain the rights.

But… Why would they do that? You ask. (And if you didn’t ask – you can keep reading anyway!) So, the movie rights to “Mutants” currently belongs to FOX Studios. You may have seen their less than spectacular attempts at producing a good “X-Men” movies. If you’ve not seen the X-Men: Apocalypse movie, you can read Maico’s non spoiler review or even my own non spoiler review. And if you have watched the movie, give a listen to our podcast about X-Men: Apocalypse.

Uncanny X-Men #1 by Bunn & Greg Land

Uncanny X-Men #1 by Bunn & Greg Land

Now, let me make one thing clear. I have been an enormous X-Men fan for over 30+ years. And when, just not so long ago, I stopped collecting Uncanny X-Men, it was absolutely heart breaking. Thankfully, a little while later, with Cullen Bunn at the helm of Uncanny X-Men, I found my way back.

At any rate; Marvel has announced a new “event” called The Death of X. Now, there’s been wide speculation as to what this will entail. Is Marvel going to “eliminate” the mutants of the Marvel Universe?

As soon as Disney acquired Marvel, I speculated that this might happen. Disney likes to keep a very tight hold on their intellectual property. Now, in regards to comics, that naturally includes the X-Men. However, when it comes to the movie rights; quite some time ago, before Disney owned Marvel, Marvel had sold off movie rights to different studios in hopes of bringing in some money. Sony got Spider-Man. Fox got X-Men and Fantastic Four.

FF_NoMoreWe’ve seen the Fantastic Four, eventually dissolved, despite being the premier Marvel Comics published (after Journey Into Mystery). Now, there’s the theory – this was done because FOX owns the Fantastic Four rights – while Marvel says it’s because of lack of sales from the repeated attempts to recently continuing publish the book. Whatever the case may be, it’s certainly thrown oil into the speculation that the X-Men books are next. And with a title like The Death of X, it certainly lends towards that idea becoming a reality.

But, my years of dealing with Marvel; they’ve made me a cynic. They’ve made me extremely sarcastic, in regards to their stories. No one stays dead. The only thing that stays dead at Marvel these days is Continuity. That guy’s sitting there, next to Uncle Ben on some cloud asking, “What the heck just happened?”

DOX1In the Death of X story line, it will deal with Cyclops, who Marvel has reported is “dead.” It will deal with what he’s done – and it will cover some of the mutants whom we have not seen since ending of the latest reboot – pardon me – Secret Wars “Event.”

They’ve been pretty tight lipped about what they plan – just releasing small details here and there. Undoubtedly in an attempt to get “X-Men Fans” into a state of frenzy as to what’s going to happen to some of – or perhaps all of – their favorite mutants! As a part of adding to that fire (sorry for the bad joke, Nightcrawler), Marvel is going to do 20 variant covers this month – in the following books:

• All-New X-Men #11
• All-New, All-Different Avengers #12
• Amazing Spider-Man #15
• Black Panther #4
• Captain America: Steve Rogers #3
• Daredevil #9
• Deadpool #15
• Doctor Strange #10
• Extraordinary X-Men #12
• Guardians of the Galaxy #10
• Invincible Iron Man #11
• Mighty Thor #9
• New Avengers #13
• Old Man Logan #8
• Power Man and Iron Fist #6
• Spider-Man #6
• The Astonishing Ant-Man #10
• Uncanny Avengers #11
• Uncanny Inhumans #12
• Uncanny X-Men #10

DOX2Like most of the Fantastic Four, who were shuffled off into an “alternate reality” to rebuild it; I, probably like many others, think that Marvel is biding their time until they get the movie rights back; then they will do a dramatic “return” of the Fantastic Four (and if the Marvel/Disney movies are still going strong; launch a “proper” Fantastic Four movie). And it’s not entirely too crazy to think that maybe, with Death of X, Marvel is going to shuffle away the X-Men (by having them fight the Inhumans, and perhaps, depower all the X-Men, and thus remove them from being in any team books). This way, the “X-Gene” is either “destroyed” or muted, when this is all said and done. And, lo and behold, should Marvel/Disney get the movie rights back, Blam!, suddenly the X-Gene is reactivated somehow, and the X-Men make a dramatic return (and like I said with the Fantastic Four), if the Marvel/Disney studios are still going strong – we get a “proper” X-Men movie as well.

DOX3As I said in one of my previous articles, I had stopped “caring” about the X-Men several years ago, and had only been collecting the book because I had such a long run of the title with no gaps. So if Marvel does do away with the X-Men, or even mutants in general, I would not be severely impacted or bothered other than the fact it would mean an end to Cullen Bunn’s current run of Uncanny X-Men, which, for the most part, I have been enjoying.

What do you think The Death of X means? Swing by our Facebook page or tweet to us and let’s discuss it.

  • Tawmis Logue

 

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Marvel: Divided We Stand / Divided We Fall.

3061358-inline-i-1-divided-we-stand-marvel-shellI am still trying to piece together, exactly what Marvel Comics is doing. So right now, there’s Civil War II, which is far from over – as a matter of fact, it’s hardly just begun and Marvel is already teasing a Divided We Stand – which apparently won’t be an “event” in the traditional sense of a cross over or anything; but it’s going to be the “new Marvel Status Quo.”

The image isn’t a Left Side vs Right Side. Rather, those pictured above will be the next set of characters that will be significant in the upcoming Marvel Universe. Alex Alanso, Marvel’s Editor in Chief said, “It’s a glimpse as to whom we can point to in the coming year, with just enough ‘What the heck’s going on there’ spots to get people speculating…. There’s no Tony Stark in that picture, but who’s that guy holding the helmet? Is that Doctor Doom?… The young girl in the gray armor looks a lot like the new War Machine…”

It’s funny, because I didn’t have those thoughts. I saw that image, and immediately sighed. It does look like an opposing sides photo. And if these are going to be the significant characters – I applaud going away from the “big characters only” – but the majority of those characters in the above photo I care absolutely nothing about.

3061358-slide-s-98-marvel-divided

Solo & Jessica Jones

I mean, I understand why some of them are being put front and center. Jessica Jones for example has a successful Netflix series, and the next season is due out by next year. So it makes sense to put her out there. I remember Solo from the pages of Spider-Man, but I can’t imagine why he’s being pushed out there as a big character for the upcoming year; other than my own speculation that he might be appearing in the upcoming Punisher Netflix series. (Seems like the two of them would make pretty equal enemies, and given Punisher a recognizable equal to fight throughout the series). But again, that’s just speculation. Regardless, I think it’s cool to see Solo getting some love. Not sure why, but I have always liked the character (though, looking at him now, with some color changes, he does bare a resemblance to Spartan of WildCATS – not sure who came first, but that just dawned on me). Or it could be simply because Solo is going to be in the Deadpool book, which leads me to…

3061358-slide-s-12-marvel-dividedI see Slapstick in there. I know he’s headed (and currently is in?) the pages of Deadpool. So I am sure whatever he’s going to do to highlight him will happen in the pages of that book, probably along side of Gwenpool (Really Marvel? I mean, seriously. Really? Is it no wonder there’s so few Marvel books I pick up. Gwenpool. As if Spider-Gwen wasn’t already bad enough). Now before any ladies get upset and think I am some misogynistic male comic book reader – you couldn’t be further from the truth. My favorite character from Alpha Flight? Snowbird. My favorite character from The New Warriors? Namorita. Favorite character from The Defenders? Valkyrie. One of my favorite books from the New 52 was…? Batgirl. (Back when Gail Simone was writing it, and before we got the “Selfie!” Batgirl that I loathe). I actually really love strong, well written female characters. But I also enjoy the more serious comic book stories. Well, not serious, but I am not a fan of the offbeat comic book stories. So for example, shoot me now – I am not a fan of the Deadpool comics. I didn’t like Slapstick. I do enjoy the “not so over the top” funny characters, such as Speedball from The New Warriors. The only way off the beaten path, over the top crazy character I enjoyed was Madcap – and that was pretty much restricted to his appearances in Captain America. (I understand that he’s also appeared in the Deadpool comics, but I couldn’t bring myself to pick it up).

Fool Killer & Wasp

Fool Killer & Wasp

Moving on, there’s apparently a new Fool Killer in town; and he looks really weird. Now, granted, the original Fool Killer (there’s been a few) didn’t have the best costume either; but this Fool Killer, I don’t know. I can’t get behind that costumes. At least Wasp looks normal, and hopefully, whatever she does, she’s restored to the great strong, female lead that she used to be. But honestly, my faith in what Marvel can produce currently, in terms of comics, is not all that high. So I fear for whatever comes of the Wasp, it won’t do her the justice she deserves. (She’s probably getting spotlight time to try and align itself and make her relevant again, in time for the Ant-Man & Wasp movie).

(Ultimate) Thor & (Ultimate) Spider-Man

Thor & (Ultimate) Spider-Man

 

The recent news has already revealed that, apparently Miles Morales may be cast in the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming – so I can see why he’s being put up front. And it looks like on the opposite side of that is the (male/original) Thor, who is no longer the Thunder God. (Sad that I was an avid fan of Thor, but after trying to make it through Jason Aaron’s run, I finally gave up and have absolutely no idea what’s happening in the life of Thor; but at least I have several hundred back issues to read, whenever I need to get a Thor fix). I tried collecting when Jane Foster took over as Thor, but I didn’t find the story all that captivating and dropped the title about four issues in. There’s also Thor 3 being worked on in the movies; so again, I can see why they’re trying to make Thor significant again.

3061358-slide-s-6-marvel-divided

Miss America & Doctor Doom

Moving down the line we have Miss America and Doctor Doom. I am at a loss here. Who is Miss America? And it looks like Doctor Doom might take over the Iron Man armor – kind of like how Doctor Octopus took over Spider-Man to make the Superior Spider-Man. This is just speculation, naturally. (And for me, uninteresting). I think Marvel realizes that, while Fantastic Four can’t seem to sell books (or make a good movie), there is no denying that their main villain Doctor Doom is definitely an iconic villain – so they need to make use of him, even if they can’t save the rest of the Fantastic Four franchise. I am not entirely surprised by the creation of Miss America – I don’t know her story (and I seriously doubt she has the Super Soldier serum in her) – but it certainly not surprising at all that Marvel would make a female counter part to Captain America by the looks of things; and to even place the “Race” card by making her (I am guessing, Mexican, with a last name like Chavez?) Seems to almost be countering Trump’s “we will build a wall” motto, by having a (female) Mexican character representing America.

3061358-slide-s-5-marvel-divided

Black Panther & Prowler

Next we have Black Panther and, of all the characters, Prowler. Prowler, much like Solo, I remember from the pages of Spider-Man. I am not sure what their plan is with him; other than perhaps he’s one of the villains in the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming movie? As for Black Panther, to be fair, they have been trying to push Black Panther forward for quite some time; even having him marry Ororo Monroe (Storm) of the Uncanny X-Men. No surprise he’s getting thrust forward into the limelight, with his own solo movie coming out (and after all the positive reactions) he got from his appearance in the Captain America: Civil War movie.

Ms. Marvel & War Machine

Ms. Marvel & War Machine?

Fear not true believer, there’s more to come, because up next we have Ms. Marvel and – what some are speculating – is the new War Machine. Ms. Marvel to me, was another attempt at Marvel going for the “we’re so ethnically diverse” card. Read about her, and you will perhaps not agree with me; but probably see why I say that. As for the other character, I have absolutely no idea who she is (in regards to if she’s supposed to be some existing character). But it certainly looks like that she might be in some modified armor, that could potentially have her in the War Machine moniker. And again, would not be the least surprising to take the male character out – and they did just that by killing War Machine (in a rather pointless way) during the beginning of Civil War II. For a comic company seeking to be so ethnically diverse; this is twice now that they have killed an African American character during the events of Civil War (in the first one; Bill Foster/Black Goliath was killed; and now Jim Rhodes/War Machine). Oh, Marvel, if I could only figure out what you were doing… or better yet, if you could figure out what you’re doing…

Captain Marvel & Slapstick

Captain Marvel & Slapstick

Next on the discussion block, we have Captain Marvel and Slapstick. Now I have always been a pretty big fan of Carol Danvers; from her days as Ms. Marvel on the Avengers & her solo series, to the days she was using the name Binary (probably my favorite version of her), throughout most of her solo books; her latest book however, I am not picking up. Which is… rather surprising. Because several members of Alpha Flight (a favorite of mine!) are present in this book: Puck, Sasquatch and Aurora! Normally, I would pick up the book; but with what comics cost these days, and the cost of living in California; I need to be picky about what I pick up and not get something solely because I like the characters, like I used to do. Now, the stories and the art both need to be good for me to pick up a book. I got the first issue of her latest series, and perhaps that wasn’t enough time to really give it a fair shake, but it didn’t hook me (and at the time I was getting quite a few New 52 books), so sadly her title didn’t make the cut. We already know that she’s getting her movie; and I am quite excited about it. So I imagine this is why they’re continuing to make her a relevant character in the Marvel Universe.

Captain Hydra - er - America & Mosaic

Captain Hydra – er – America & Mosaic

Another one is Steve Rogers: Captain America and Mosaic. Now, I know Mosaic is a new book coming out from Marvel Comics; but I know nothing about the character (if he’s an existing character, completely new character, or why he’s even coming out, when Marvel has thousands upon thousands of existing characters who have plenty of stories left to tell – but hey, let’s clutter up the characters some more by making new characters, rather than investing on some existing characters…) And then there’s Captain America, who has already made waves by declaring his allegiance to Hydra; and that he’s been a Hydra agent all along (but – spoilers! – apparently it was Red Skull who tampered with him, or the timeline or something – gee, not that anyone called that idea… but they revealed that pretty quickly, rather than let the story play out… curious if that’s because of all the negative fan backlash that Marvel got).

Regardless, these are my thoughts on this latest bit of news. At least Marvel was right about one thing – I certainly feel divided from those who are enjoying most of what Marvel is currently dishing out.

– Tawmis Logue

3061358-inline-i-1-divided-we-stand-marvel-shell

 

 

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Comic Catch Up!

Rebirth Reviews:

To read my DC Universe: Rebirth #1 review, click here!

To read my Superman: Rebirth #1 review, click here!

wonderwomanWonder Woman: Rebirth #1

Written by Greg Rucka

Artists: Mathew Clark and Liam Sharp and Inks: Sean Parsons

Colors: Jeremy Colwell & Laura Martin

Story: A

Art: B

Overall: A-

Wonder Woman rebirth is a reintroduction of sorts of Diana Prince. We get dropped off with Diana on a successful rescue mission of a young lady at a strip club. But something feels off. She feels like her memories are failing her, like she’s forgetting something. Reality seems false. Something seems wrong. Wonder Woman does something that I’ve never seen her do before, which I think is pretty cool; she turns the lasso of truth on herself and discovers a deceit buried deep within her consciousness. After this moment of clarity, she sheds her New 52/God of War armor and dons her classic Wonder Woman outfit in search of answers. This book was my favorite of the first Rebirth issues. It blends an original story into the larger picture of the Rebirth event. I highly recommend picking this one up.

 

theflashThe Flash: Rebirth #1

Written by Joshua Williamson

Art by Carmine Di Giandomenico

Story: A

Art: B

Overall: A-

 

WARNING: Do NOT read this issue until after you read DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH #1

The Flash rebirth picks up almost directly from his story in DC Universe: Rebirth #1. The flash is working a case that hits a bit too close to home. The homicide a woman murdered in her own home with the primary suspect being the father. The flash has to put his own personal experiences aside to solve the case. During his investigation he begins to have visions…he sees a speedster calling out to him from within the speed force.

Just like Flashpoint, The Flash is a major anchoring character in the rebirth event. His book will be one that holds many of the key elements moving away from the New 52 and into the Rebirth. I highly recommend that you stay glued to this series.

 

batman-rebirth-1Batman Rebirth #1

Writers: Scott Snyder & Tom King

Artist Mikel Janin

Colors June Chung

Story: B

Art: B

Overall: B

Scott Snyder couldn’t screw up a Batman book if he tried. Batman: Rebirth is no exception. The calendar man is up to no good, changing Gotham city’s seasons by the day. Monday is Spring, Tuesday is Summer, Wednesday is Fall and so on. In classic Batman fashion, this story has little to do with the overall Rebirth storyline. After all, Batman doesn’t need the DC universe, the DC universe needs batman. When it comes time for Batman to be called upon, I am sure he and his Bat family will jump into the fray and help out the Justice League save the world from imminent doom. Until then, Calendar man!

Maico M. Moreno

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Retro Review: The New Universe.

443239-new_universe_posterDo you remember when Marvel launched a new series of books, outside of the “Marvel 616” called The New Universe? In 1986, celebrating Marvel’s 25th Anniversary, The ad-new-universe-1986New Universe was launched, where it was based in a “more realistic world.” The idea is would be based on the Earth we all know; with no hidden races, gods, mythological beings, magic, super technology. Adding to the realism, the New Universe operated in “real time” – a month would lapse in the universe for each month that passed in reality.

The premise was that the New Universe was exactly like the Earth we live on, up to July 22nd, 1986, when there was a White Event that changed everything. The mysterious White Event, had somehow granted some people special abilities; labeling them as Paranormals.

I remember these being really fun books. So I thought I’d go back and re-read all of the New Universe books. When I finally came out the other side – having read DP7, Justice, Kickers, Inc., Mark Hazzard: Merc, Nightmask, Psi-Force, Spitfire & the Troubleshooters, Star Brand, The Pitt, The Draft and finally The War – I found that my memory of these books – turns out wasn’t so keen.

I will begin from worse (to get it out of the way) to the best; and then finally cover the graphic novels (The Pitt, The Draft and The War as their own thing).

So the worse book (for me) – begins with…

24617-3640-27387-1-justiceJustice.

I don’t even know where I can begin to try and come up with anything nice to say about this series. First of all, for a concept that’s supposed to be more about the “real world” – Justice is an alien. And there’s a really lame story about the Spring Time world and the Winter World – or something like that. It was like a five year old’s fantasy story, mixed with a little gritty, with Justice in our real world, but having these flashbacks. Eventually, Peter David came on the book; and as a huge fan of Peter David’s work on X-Factor and even his original (and current) run of Spider-Man 2099, as I was re-reading this, I thought, “Okay, this is probably where I remember it being good.” The first thing they do is retcon the fact that he’s an alien; and it turns out he was under submission of another paranormal who was forcing him to have these hallucinations. Okay, that seemed like a good move. But after that? The book had no direction. It simply floundered, issue after issue, after issue. It was, literally, mental torture to try and make it through the entire run of Justice. I am at a loss how, of all the books, when they made their initial cut – how Justice was selected to continue to 32 issues. There was plenty of other books that deserved this opportunity. Justice was not one of them. I don’t understand how they didn’t just make him a Paranormal version of Punisher, hunting down evil Paranormals… or something… anything…  I can’t even think of a cool or redeeming moment anywhere in this series. This was just painful. If I had to rank this book, without hesitation I would give this book the ranking of an “F.”

24619-3644-27389-1-mark-hazzard-mercMark Hazzard: Merc.

Another title that just didn’t seem to ever move forward. We have a divorced mercenary who is the best at what he does, and has a kid with his ex-wife. Sounds like a pretty solid concept so far, right? Well, don’t expect to find much in this title. It feels like it bounces around everywhere, and doesn’t really fit with anything within the New Universe. This felt like a NAM story more than it did with the New Universe. I couldn’t even begin to guess what they were trying to accomplish with this title. It only lasted 11 issues, in which, by the end – spoilers – he ends up killed. Ironically, they did an Annual for the title, after the 11th issue, which perhaps had more depth than the rest of the other 11 issues combined. Because Mark Hazzard never really interacts with any Paranormals, which seemed to be the over all big thing about The New Universe, this title felt very out of place. I would give this one a grade of a D.

24618-3641-27388-1-kickers-inc-Kickers, Inc.
This was the Superbowl Pro of the New Universe. So you have this football player who is impacted by the White Event, but he actually believes that it’s his brothers machine, which he allowed himself to be experimented on that gave him his enhanced endurance, speed, strength and skill. So he drags a few members of his football team to make a team called Kickers, Inc. and they go around solving crimes and helping people. Yes, it’s a pretty silly concept; but at least they tied in to DP7 a few times, and showed some interaction with the actual New Universe, something that Mark Hazzard: Merc did not. As this series approached it’s 12th and final issue, you can tell the writers stopped caring. Want to know why the Kickers, Inc. end up breaking up? Because they lost a race to a Canadian Team. I am not even kidding. And that issue was so utterly absurd (not because they lost to a Canadian Team, but how utterly silly and so much disregard to the reader was done in those last few issues, it’s rather insulting, that people like me continued to buy this book, when clearly the writers didn’t give a damn). I would also give this book the rank of a “D”, despite some interaction with other New Universe titles; the book floundered so horribly at the end, that it left a very bad taste in my mouth.

44692-3651-51740-1-spitfire-and-the-troSpitfire & The Troubleshooters (later called Spitfire).

Now we’re starting to move into the good stuff – almost. So when the book was called Spitfire & The Troubleshooters (not the best name, with the whole Troubleshooters thing, I admit) – but this is when the book was fun. It was a little campy at times, and in many respects reminded me of Marvel’s Comic that they did Team America (not to be confused with the movie – two, very unrelated things). Each of the Troubleshooters developed a piece of armor, through the series that helped give them an edge (whether it was leg piece for speed, arm piece for strength, head piece for hacking) – and Jenny had the main Spitfire armor. During this time; like I said, it was a pleasant read. Then they came in and shifting things around; removed the Troubleshooters entirely, and the title simply became Spitfire. Now you’d think that might be a good idea, right? But no. It’s not even Jenny’s armor, but now it’s taking place in a war in the Middle East (if memory serves me correctly). As soon as the title simply became Spitfire it tanked horribly for me. I would give this book a “D+” – it would have been a solid “C” had it not done just the horrible Spitfire title change and stories.

2998965-tnStar Brand

Star Brand was certainly the New Universe’s “flag ship title.” He was essentially the “Superman” of the New Universe. Ken is greeted by an alien (again, here we are, in a world that’s supposed to be exactly like ours, and there’s an alien in it) – and given the power of the Star Brand, because the alien is dying. (Anyone else having flash backs of Green Lantern here?) The power of Star Brand gives Ken the ability to fly, super strength, super endurance, he even survives a bomb going off right next to him, and only his clothes take damage. Star Brand was actually a very fun read, because it dealt with this person, granted this immense power and set of abilities; and he wonders what he should do with it. He struggles back and forth with if he should go out and try to do good deeds; or just live with the fact. The issue begins to get a little cloudy, when the alien who died, returns, and wants the Star Brand back; and it turns out, he’s been lying this entire time. But struggling through it, the title does all right. Then John Byrne comes on the book. Now, don’t get me wrong; I am a huge John Byrne fan. His work on Uncanny X-Men, Alpha Flight, Fantastic Four were some of my favorites (although, I admit, I strongly disliked his work on West Coast Avengers, over all). Anyway – so when I was re-reading this and saw he was coming on the title; much like when I saw Peter David on Justice; I had thought, “Well he’s going to make it good.” I was wrong. I feel like John Byrne’s writing, single-handedly put the stake through the heart of not just Star Brand, but the New Universe in general. Now hear me out. What he did in the Star Brand book was rancid and stupid and – just bad story telling. The floating energy baby thing. The time displaced Ken. It was bad. And then the whole thing that triggered The Pitt – now I will talk about The Pitt one shot later (which I enjoyed) – but all the things that followed, just seemed to be stepping stones to the grave of the New Universe. I would give this book a “D+” – it would have probably been a “B” if I disregard all the stories John Byrne brought into it.

68368-11495-101366-1-psi-forcePsi-Force.

Psi-Force was a pretty solid book. Up until the end. It was one of the titles that ran 32 issues in The New Universe, but I feel like should have probably stopped at 12. (With the exception of DP7, I think most of these should have stopped at 12). Psi-Force starts off as a pretty strong and fun read. There’s some quirks to the book; for example, the extremes of some of the characters; for example Wayne is over the top, kind of a pushy punk; while Kathy is an over the top “Valley Girl.” The other three characters (Michael Crawley, who would later end up as a part of DP7’s title; Anastasia, who is Russian, I feel like she was written way too Americanized, there was no Russian dialogue, like we see Colossus of the X-Men use amidst his English speaking; and Tyrone, who I think was probably the best written in the series). Like Star Brand and Justice, Psi-Force even got Fabian to write for the book (who I am an avid fan of – everything from his work on Nomad to his run of New Warriors, Thunderbolts, etc!) However, Fabian didn’t seem to find his footing while writing the issues he did for Psi-Force, and as the book rotated through creative teams, the book floundered for final bit; especially once the events of the Pitt were forced on all the books. However, I did like the concept of the book and how the characters were linked to create Psi-Hawk. So, despite some floundering and bad issues near the end, I’d land this book with a “C” for a grade – because at least everything before The Pitt is an entertaining read.

23407-3647-26092-1-nightmaskNightmask.

I don’t understand how this book wasn’t selected to go for 32 issues (or at least more than the 12 it was granted), when a book like Justice was. Nightmask was an interesting character, interesting power; and the potential for telling stories with this character were pretty limitless; because he essentially entered people’s dreams and interacted with them while they were in their dreamstate. So you could throw out all the rules of reality when he was in the dream state, and have stories about dragons, or space ships, or anything in between. My sole comfort is that Nightmask got a lot of great use later, during The Pitt and The Draft. However, his ultimate fate, after the events of The War, were that he could physically manifest his own nightmares, which drove him to the point of insanity. So kudos for making an excellent character and rendering him completely useless by the end of The New Universe. Ruling all the other stuff outside of his own series here, I’d give this book a pretty solid “B.”

24610-3627-27380-1-d-p-7DP7.

This is where it was at. I was glad to see my memory of this book remained correct. DP7 is so perfectly written; and the art is so freaking great. And the best thing? The creative team of Mark Gruenwald and Paul Ryan remained for the entire 32 issue run of the book. These guys were in it, and they cared about these characters and it showed. DP7 was not afraid to interact with the rest of the New Universe, having guest appearances from Kickers, Inc. when the clinic hires them to track down DP7, to fighting against Psi-Force. The story really focused on what I think the entire New Universe should have done; and that is the characters themselves. DP7 delivers non stop character development, while putting these Paranormals on some pretty fantastic adventures, as they seek to escape the Clinic. Even during the events of The Pitt and The Draft, while these were definitely the weaker moments of the book (I can’t help but feel that Mark had other plans, and was forced to adjust all of his plans to fall in line with the events of the Pitt and The Draft) – even during those weaker moments, this book shined above all the other New Universe titles. It dealt with the oddity of powers, the consequence of having them, not fitting in, racism, addiction; you name it this book covered it. This book definitely lands a solid “A+” – even despite those few issues where Mark was clearly forced to shove the Pitt/Draft stories as a part of his story.

789389-pitt_00The Pitt.

So Star Brand, wanting to get rid of his power and pass his power on to something inanimate, flies up into the sky and slams his symbol onto some dumb bells; the result (inexplicably, I might add) a massive explosion that essentially disintegrates Pittsburgh, creating a massive crater where the city once was. Thousands of people die. The story features, mostly The Witness, who is a man who died, and upon death, discovered his paranormal ability was to “live on” as a spirit; a Witness if you will. He first appeared in the DP7 annual (having died there in a car accident, then went on to witness the origins of all the members of DP7 essentially). Well, he is drawn to Ken just seconds before he imparts his Star Brand on the dumb bell that causes the explosion. The events from Star Brand and The Pitt begins a cross over across all of the titles; impacting most of the titles still going, for the worse. However, if you take out the fact the consequences of The Pitt, the story is actually told fairly well, and has some cool character moments for The Witness. I would give The Pitt a “B” for a score.

789752-the_draft_coverThe Draft.

The events of The Pitt trigger The Draft as the United States believes that the attack on Pittsburgh was a foreign nation declaring war. The Draft is automatically implemented for anyone 18 years or older. The US, having now become familiar with Star Brand and others, began a Paranormal Division of their army. The issue features quite a bit of Nightmask as he works with various characters with some of the things they’ve dealt with (like Dave’s problems when he had fallen into the Pitt while looking for his friend, Jeffry Walters and believed he was going to die; also, Nightmask helped Jeffrey Walters deal with the death of his family, who had been visiting Pittsburgh when the explosion of The Pitt happened). Over all, The Draft is an entertaining story, and I’d give it a “B+” because of some of the cool character developments that happened.

3415442-01The War.

Now, you’d think since I was scoring The Pitt and The Draft pretty high, that Marvel was at least taking care of The New Universe when it came to graphic novels, right? Wrong. The War is a four issue graphic novel, that over all, I felt fell flat. They introduced some new cool and fun Paranormal characters in the series. That was definitely a high light to the series. However, by the end, as it turns out – the “baby Star Brand energy thing” – creates an event called “The Black Event” – as opposed to the White Event – in which it dismantles all forms of weapons to cease functioning; including guns, tanks, bombs, etc, and basically delivers a speech about the world must learn to live with one another peacefully. One moment I did like was when Nightmask takes it in his own hands and takes out Blowout (Harlan Mook) by shooting him in the head, after Blowout had gone around, teleporting and exploding and thus murdering hundreds of innocent people because of his anti-government beliefs. However, the end result of this action, was that Nightmask became consumed with guilt of killing someone and discovered that he suddenly could physically manifest his own nightmares and make them real; all of them dealing with Harlan’s head with a bullet hole in them. Over all, the series was pretty flat. It had it’s moments, but nothing really stands out. I’d give this 4 issue graphic novel a “C-.”

443250-exils072cover_400What are your thoughts on The New Universe? Did you read it back then? Ever consider reading it now? Come share your thoughts on our Facebook page or reply to us on Twitter!

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