December 20, 2009

Ramblings and Reviews

This week was weird for comics from my pull list; there were 4 limited series, one annual and a one-shot. So without further delay let’s get to it.

phpThumbnecroshathegatheringFirst up is…Necrosha: The Gathering (one-shot)
Publisher: Marvel
Writer(s): Craig Kyle & Chris Yost
Artist(s): Ibraim Roberson, Leonardo Manco, Kalman Andrasofszky, Mateus Santolouco (cover by Clayton Crain)

This one-shot was great and there’s no other way to put it. It contained 5 short stories on how Selene recruited her Inner Circle. The stories were about Wither, Blink, Senyaka, Mortis, and Eliphas. Without going into the specifics of all five of these macabre tales, my favorite was the Wither story. The art and plot were top notch in that one. Blink’s was a good story but I really didn’t care for the artwork at all. Senyaka was the same as Blink, it was a good plot but the artwork wasn’t as good as I’d hoped. Mortis was pretty solid all around but it felt a little cartoony to me, and in the end didn’t make a strong case for Mortis to join Selene, other than jealousy. Eliphas was my second favorite story in this issue. We had some previous background on this fellow and were left with him standing in front of Selene and her Inner Circle when we last saw him. She was going to kill him but decided to give him another chance, due to the fact that he showed her how he can raise the dead with the trans-mode virus he stole from Bastion. Overall it was a good one-shot/origin issue so definitely pick it up if you’re following Necrosha. 3.5/5

phpThumbnewavengersannual3Next up is…New Avengers Annual #3.
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Mike Mayhew

This Annual was actually pretty good as far as they go. It showed us what happened after Clint/Ronin got captured when he tried to single-handedly infiltrate Avengers Tower and kill Norman Osborn. First we see Norman try to rough up Clint to get the info on where the Avengers are hiding, but it doesn’t work. He then brings in Mentallo to pull the information out of Clint’s mind by force. Meanwhile Clint’s woman, Mockingbird, rounds up Ms. Marvel, Spider Woman and Jessica Jones to free her man from Osborn’s clutches. Well, without giving it away, we get to see Mockingbird kick Mentallo in the face, the team regroup in a secret underground base and the return of Steve Rogers. Nuff said. Good story and artwork to match. 4/5

phpThumbdarkxmen2Thirdly I present…Dark X-Men #2 of 5
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Paul Cornell
Artist: Leonard Kirk (cover by Simone Bianchi & Simone Peruzzi)

OK, well, let me start out first by saying that I am glad Nate Grey is back. Why he’s making his return in this strange series, I’ll never know. This series to me hasn’t been very good so far, even with the return of X-Man. I just hope after this LS is over, they disband this awful team and do something great with the individual characters. Mystique is a proven character, along with Dark Beast and Nate. As far as Mimic and Omega, they can serve a better purpose in the backdrop compared to the forefront if you ask me. We did get to see Norman’s psi-division which was pretty cool. He has a crap load of psychics, mystics, fortune tellers, etc, and he put them all together in this funky looking room where they stayed glued together (for lack of a better term) and do whatever Normie tells their leader to do. The Dark team has this group try to locate Nate and when they do, the stuff really hits the fan. When it’s all said and done, you get the feeling Nate is gonna make Normie pay for what he’s done! 2.5/5

phpThumbnationx1Next up is…Nation X #1 of 4
Publisher: Marvel
Writer(s): Simon Spurrier, James Asmus, Chris Yost, Scott Snyder
Artist(s): Leonard Kirk, Michael Allred, Michele Bertilorenzi, David Lopez (cover by Dustin Weaver & Morry Hollowell)

This was a pretty decent read as well. It contained 4 unique stories that really didn’t have any bearing on current continuity. Not to say they didn’t matter but they certainly aren’t Earth shattering as far as the Nation X plot is concerned. The first tale is about one of the Young X-Men, Mercury, who has been abducted by what the others call a “ghost.” Magneto agrees to help them locate their missing friend. Not much excitement in this one but it was OK. Next was “Road Trip.” Wolverine and Nightcrawler are on a trip together for some insane reason and have a good time talking about everything from “Psylocke or Domino”(whom they would rather make whoopie to first) while taking a whizz, Paul Bunyan being a mutant and Kurt playing Spider-Man Mad Libs. Great story and cool artwork as well. Iceman was front and center in the next chapter. This story featured him being his normal know-it-all self, and instead of really listening to a young girl on Utopia, he makes a joke of her feeling scared. Well, basically it comes back to bite him in the butt when the girl takes a hostage and threatens to kill her- if the X-Men don’t let her off of Utopia. Good stuff all around on this one. Finally we have, “Testament”; a quaint little story about Colossus and his ever enduring battle to be optimistic even though the world is rapidly deteriorating around him. Illyanna, his sister, gives him a lesson in learning how to forget. She feels he’s living in the past, especially when it comes to Kitty. Another good chapter in this book. Overall this was an entertaining read but didn’t seem to have a whole lot to do with anything. 4/5

phpThumbrokimperialguard2Now I bring to you…Realm of Kings Imperial Guard #2 of 5
Publisher: Marvel
Writer(s): Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Artist: Kevin Walker (cover by Brian Haberlin)

This issue was a lot better than the first. The last one was OK but it was slower than #2 for sure. This issue showed the Starjammers and several members of Gladiator’s Imperial Guard traveling into The Fault. Their mission is to find out any and all data about The Fault, and get back in one piece. Of course, the Starjammers and the Shi’ar were sworn enemies until the conclusion of War of Kings, so you can understand why everyone is on edge. One thing of note was the fact that the Starjammers still have the Symbiot on board that attached itself to Raza a couple of months ago. We see him in the med-lab talking to the Symbiot, but when he notices someone watching, he acts as if he hates the Symbiot. The team encounters some crazy huge life-form and gets sucked inside. Once in there, they are attacked by all sorts of beasts and discover that the previous crew has been cocooned for a snack later. Great cosmic coolness as usual from this writing team. 4/5

phpThumbblackwidow2Finally I present to you…Black Widow: Deadly Origin #2
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Paul Cornell
Artist(s): Tom Raney, Scott Hanna, Matt Milla, John Paul Leon (cover by Adi Granov)

What a great surprise this series has been so far. You’ve really got to keep track of everything because there are a lot of flashback scenes of Natalia’s past. She knows that something called “The Icepick Protocols” have been activated and it means bad news for her, and anybody she’s been in contact with in her lifetime. Yeah, it’s that bad. We see her infiltrate a secret Soviet facility to learn more about what’s going on but she is confronted by a Federal Dynamo (kind of like Crimson Dynamo that hasn’t earned his stripes yet). There’s a good fight scene between the two, but she eventually slaps some plastique on his face and Ka-Boom! Widow finds what she’s looking for but by now she’s too late to stop it. Without giving it away, we see a scene with Ronin and Mockingbird in their pad having breakfast but what happens next is absolutely crazy! Let’s just say Bobbi uses her fork for something more than a utensil. Good work from top to bottom. 4/5

Well people, that’s it for now but hopefully I’ll be able to squeeze one more batch of reviews in before the Holiday. See you soon.

Billy Dunleavy



  1. The Gathering one-shot was a great “origin” book.

    I skipped The New Avengers Annual, but now that I know it’s the sequel to The List: Avengers, I’ll have to check it out!

    I’m on the fence with Dark X-Men. I feel like I can be swayed either way with any of the upcoming issues.

    The first Nation X story starred Magneto more than Mercury IMO. I thought it was a great way to address Magneto and his being stationed on his former base of operations. The last line of the story wrapped it all up nicely, I thought. “Road Trip” was HILARIOUS! I liked the Iceman short, but when is a writer going to let Bobby grow up!?

    I’m digging RoK: Imperial Guard, but where in the heck are the other Starjammers!?!?

  2. billy

    @Andy-I wouldn’t waste my time with Dark X-Men if I were you. Wait and see where Nate ends up and go from there. Black Widow has been cool. Check it out if the store has any left. The rest of the Starjammers are taking a break from jetting around the universe on Earth IIRC. lol

  3. Oh Billy, I could never NOT read an X-book!

    : )

  4. Kristin

    The New Avengers annual was super great. Except for that last page…which was kind of…anticlimatic and a little lame, to be honest.
    But the girls kicking butt all over the place was really great. And the artwork was amazing.
    Er, I don’t know why Clint was naked though. That was kind of weird and unnecessary. Although…well it’s hard for me to complain. It’s not often that the female readers get some service.

  5. infinite speech

    What do you mean Kris? The female readers get a universe filled with buff super athletic guys in almost every panel 🙂

    I’m gonna have to read The Gathering again because it really didn’t impress me and had very few bright spots.

    The Black Widow book is still on my list to read and i’m lovin’ those covers by Granov!

  6. Kristin

    Yeah, but they’re always covered up in ugly costumes. Clint’s Ronin costume for example, covers him from head to toe. While the girls are mostly running around in what are essentially bathing suits, with some short skits, low cut (or otherwise open) tops, etc.

  7. billy

    @Kris-you should just buy those slutty novels at the grocery checkout. Those always have half-naked dues on them…not that I look or anything.
    @Speech-I thought The Gathering was good, not great. 2 of the stories were written well and drawn well.

  8. infinite speech

    I just read the new avengers annual and i’m kinda ticked marvel is releasing these things out of sequence. We saw Steve in the end of the other book standing side by side with Bucky, and now in this annual he pops up and surprises everyone. And in Cap Reborn Red Skull is in his body…is it too much to ask for a little order?

  9. billy

    Speech, I’m with you on this. Marvel is really dropping the ball with release times.

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