February 22, 2010

Ramblings and Reviews 2-17-10 pt 1

Hey, what’s happening ComicAttack fans! I’ve got 2 weeks worth of reviews, 13 total books, but I’ll be breaking them up into 3 different articles so it doesn’t get too ridiculous. First off, I have 7 limited series (3 now, 4 later) and then I’ll do my 6 ongoings. So without further delay, here we go!

First up is…Strange #4 of 4.
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Emma Rios (cover by Tomm Coker)

OK, so this is the finale and I must say it exceeded my expectations. When we last saw the Doc and Casey, they had just defeated a demon but at the expense of Casey’s soul being captured by another demon, named Larry. The problem is that magic is still out of flux and it’s up to Stephen and Casey to make it right. The Doc whisks the both of them to his Sanctum Sanctorum and they devise a plan of action. Strange tells Casey that he needs to go to the astral plane and heal magic by doing “surgery” on the manifestation of all things, Eternity himself. While Stephen is having his out of body experience, Casey has a one on one with him. She tells him how she appreciates his teachings, and promises to be a better student. Meanwhile, the Silver Dagger, an old nemesis of Strange’s, tries to kill him. Casey is trying to get Larry to giver her back her soul and doesn’t notice this going on at first. When she does notice Silver Dagger, she needs to make a choice: either save her soul or save Strange. She ends up using a vanishing spell on Silver Daggers knife, but that summons the demon from the dimension where all that stuff goes via using the spell. He told Strange and Casey they had to stop using the spell or they would pay with their lives. He squashes Silver Dagger and then grabs Casey, who is dying from not having her soul. Strange begs the demon to release her but he says no. The demon teleports away with Casey leaving Strange and Larry (who jumped into the room) to ponder the loss of a child. Larry hands Strange her “soul” (a ball of fire) and then Strange tells Larry that if her soul still burns, she might be able to be found. They two step into a portal to presumably go look for Casey and…end story.  Great story-telling by Waid, and Rios’ art was really cool. I saw she will be the artist on the upcoming Firestar one-shot in April so check it out.  4.5/5

Next up I have…Black Widow: Deadly Origin #4 of 4.
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Paul Cornell
Artist(s): Tom Raney, John Paul Leon (cover by Adi Granov)

All right, another conclusion here. This one was a little less shocking but it was a good series overall. Issue #3 left off with Widow figuring out that her Cold War buddy Ivan, whom she thought was murdered, was actually the person behind the “Icepick Protocol”. In this issue we see her ship blown out of the sky by Ivan, but she ejects and infiltrates the space-station to confront him. Again, lots of flashbacks but they are in a sequence that makes sense and shows how Ivan has been planning to take her down because she rebuffed his “advances”. She then comes face to face with Ivan, whose head and spinal column has been removed from his body and implanted in a robotic suit (similar to the Crymson Dynamo’s suit). The two verbally spar and then Ivan shows Widow that he has amassed dozens of nukes and plans on using them for the highest bidder. Ivan then tries to get Widow to play a game of “sit on uncle Ivan’s lap, and let’s see what pops up”. She tells him that she is going to walk out and then uses the same method of entrapment that he used on her earlier. He used nanites to infect her but she then uses them to infect him. This infuriates Ivan and the two engage in a fight to the death. Of course, in the end Widow wins by blasting a hole right through his chest and setting the nukes to self-destruct. As she gets away in an escape pod, she has a toast with some vodka (hey they’re Russian) to her old buddy Ivan. Cornell did a pretty good job with this story considering all the flashback scenes but the interoir artwork was just OK. Granov’s covers make up for the interiors though.  3.5/5

Lastly I present…Psylocke #4 of 4.
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Chris Yost
Artist: Harvey Tolibao (cover by David Finch)

This series was a little up and down for me. I thought issues 2 and 3 were pretty good but 1 and 4 were just OK. That being said, at the end of the last issue, we saw Betsy come face to face with Matsu’o. She sees that he has become very disfigured but doesn’t understand what’s happening. Enter the tormentor: Wolverine. He tells Betsy that Matsu’o killed the woman he loved, Mariko, and that on the anniversary of her death, Logan comes and takes a little “piece” of him to make him pay. The problem is, Psylocke wants him dead and Wolverine wants him to suffer forever. The two engage in a crazy brawl that goes on for a while until Jinn gets involved. He tries to fry Logan but all he does is really tick him off. This opening though is what Betsy needs to try and get through to him. She uses this moment to gain an advantage on Wolverine but in the end, she still can’t stop him. She finally realizes that she can’t kill him so she tells him that he must kill her. He won’t do it and tells her to kill Matsu’o and meet him at the Blackbird when it’s over. After she kills him, we see Betsy back at the mansion talking to Mercury. She tells her that she killed a man today and basically it didn’t bother her and that Mercury shouldn’t let that happen to her. Good writing by Yost and the artwork was just about right for the tone of the book. The Finch cover is great by the way.  3.5/5

Well, that’s it for now but I’ll be back very soon to finish off my list of Limited Series’, then move on to my ongoings for the week. Until then, Make Mine Marvel!

Billy Dunleavy



  1. Didn’t read the Strange book, but I’m not surprised it was good given who the author is.

    Hilarious write-up of the Black Widow book dude. lol

    I still have to read Psylocke #4, but I was digging the previous three issues. I think the art is fantastic and perfect for an X-book!

  2. billy

    @Andy-Psylocke was a little better than I expected (my expectations were kinda low) but Strange exceeded high expectations. Black Widow was also a good read. Uncle Ivan is a very horny old guy.

  3. looks like i’ll pick up the trades for these. Psylocke was the one I actually had high expectations for so I’m glad it was well recieved

  4. Billy

    @Speech-You’ll like Widow. It had a sleek Fury/spy vibe to it.

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