April 22, 2010

Ramblings and Reviews: Shield #1, X-Men, Spider-Man Fever

Hey faithful! I’m back with some more of my reviews for the week of April 7th. I have five books to chat about, so here we go.

First on the list is…S.H.I.E.L.D. #1.
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Dustin Weaver (cover by Gerald Parel)

Well, after much skepticism by myself and a host of others, this book really showed me a lot in this first issue. It’s being rather mysterious about where it’s really going, but not as much to be a turn off. The book starts with a guy named Leonid being picked up and escorted to a secret facility by some C.I.A. looking types. Once there, Leonid is confronted by “The High Council of the Shield.” In this funky chamber Leonid is told the history of Shield and its purpose. We see a Brood invasion (cameo by En Sabah Nur), a Celestial judgement, and Galactus himself being confronted by this secret order (I smell another Tom Hanks movie). In the end, we see Leonid’s father, Night Machine, come to him to tell him that they need to tear this place to the ground. Great first issue with scripts and art to keep me buying for a while. Can’t wait for issue #2!   4/5

Next is…Spider-Man: Fever #1 of 3.
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Brendan McCarthy
Artist: Brendan McCarthy

OK, so first off I’ll admit that this book could be terrible and I wouldn’t know the difference. When Dr. Strange and Spider-Man get together, in my opinion, it’s a can’t miss. Previously I hadn’t heard of Brendan McCarthy, but if you enjoyed Steve Ditko’s trippy style back in the 60s and 70s, you’ll love this book. The story shows Dr. Strange hanging out in some crazy dimension, and Spidey reading a newspaper on a rooftop. Before you know it, the Vulture attacks Spidey and sends him through a window. Meanwhile, the Doc gets a knock at his door and receives a package. A book called “Liber Infinitas” by Albion Crawley is inside, and of course he opens it. Its author is apparently stuck in this psychedelic dimension full of these spiders that can take over your brain and then eat your soul. We then find out that these “Arachnix” are a tribe of Spider-Demons that feed on peoples souls. Well, before you know it Spidey is being attacked by said soul-eaters and it’s up to Doctor Strange to get his soul back. Very cool read and makes you feel like you’re on an acid trip…not that I’ve been on one, but you know what I mean.    4/5

Thirdly I have…Wolverine Weapon X #12.
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Ron Garney

I’ve got to tell you that I’m not the biggest Deathlok fan on the planet. I don’t hate him, but I’m not yearning for more exposure either. This appearance however is actually pretty good. The story involves a future where there is a band of resistance fighters going up against a corporation called Roxxon. This company has apparently taken over, and if you don’t get with the program, you’re history. After some years of fighting though, Roxxon has gotten the idea to send a group of Deathloks into the past to kill certain targets before they become heroes/villains. The next target on the list is Captain America (Bucky Barnes). We see a pretty cool fight between the Deathloks and Bucky, and then Wolverine shows up to make it more interesting. The fight in the future doesn’t go so well though. We see the apparent death of Wolverine at the hands of a squad of Deathloks. Good issue overall, and I want to see how Bucky and Wolvie are going to stop these killing machines.   3.5/5

Lastly I bring youUncanny X-Men #523 (Second Coming pt 2).
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Terry Dodson (cover by Adi Granov)

After seeing what happened in part one of this story, we get to witness Scott having to tell the rest of the team about X-Force’s covert and bloody activities. Hope and Cable make a pit-stop at a store, and we see the human side of Hope for a few seconds. We also see Bastion rallying his troops for what he thinks will be the extinction of all mutants once they kill Hope. The X-Men then find Cable and Hope, but only after Stryker and his Purifiers already have. Great issue for continuing action, and only time will tell where it leads. This is starting out very well, and hopefully will keep rolling. In my opinion, this could be the best X-story in quite a while!   4/5

I actually bought two more books as well, but I’ll be covering one of them solo later this week. That book is Thor and the Warriors Four; the other is Wolverine #66 (Old Man Logan). That was one of the Marvel’s Greatest Comics dollar issues, so I figured why not. Haven’t read it yet, but only heard great things about it. I mean hey, it’s Mark Millar and Steve McNiven! That’s it for now, but hopefully I can get back on track this week with my pile from last week.

Billy Dunleavy



  1. I actually had to wait to get SHIELD this week because my LCS ran out and I ended up with the black and white issue and that one was great so I could only imagine how it looked to those of you who got it in color! I enjoyed the story despite my skepticism as well and I’m lookin’ forward to the next issue.

    I’m liking 2nd Coming a LOT better than Necrosha..whoa!

  2. Billy

    @Speech- Shield was cool no matter the colors. Second Coming has been impressive so far.

  3. Aron

    Spider-Man: Fever, was cool. I haven’t like a Marvel Knights book since Silver Surfer: Requiem. The Marvel Knights line, these days, is a bunch of alternate universe CRAP!

    If Doctor Strange wasn’t in this book, it would be totally weird in a bad way. The fact that he is in it, gives it a free pass to be as weird as it wants to be. And I agree, It has the old school Ditko look and feel to it.

  4. SS: Requiem seems like a book I need to check out…I think it got lost in the shuffle of books I was buying around the time it came out

  5. Billy

    @Speech- I have the Tpb (SS:Requiem), and it’s good!

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  7. Branch Linseach

    With the Hobbit movies somewhat on hold, Marvel is gunning for Guillermo del Toro to direct and Neil Gaiman to write Dr. Strange [link removed]

    Can a Doctor Strange-centric “Defenders” movie that fits into what Marvel is now calling the “Marvel Cinematic Universe” finally be in the works?…

    SHIELD pulls together a paranormal special ops team after the Military/SHIELD/NASA made contact with a “Beyonder” (or Celestial, some sort of “magical” trans-dimensional entity, perhaps an Asgardian?) SHIELD realizes it doesn’t have the capabilities to ascertain if this “thing” is a threat or not. Thus sets the premise for the Defenders movie, where the use of occult, fringe science, brains, and brawn are employed to defeat a multi-dimensional and or “secret invasion” cosmic threat to save the day in such a way that Avengers cannot.

    The team that SHIELD assembles to defend us from such an invader will be a group of eccentric scientist/academia types culled to form the “Defenders”, the oddball counterpoint to the distinguished Avengers team. Project “Defenders” will be the “Twilight Zone” of the new Marvel movie franchises; they want it to be less of an action movie and have more of a creepy thriller type of vibe to it. The Defender operatives will consist of group leader – the brilliant Dr. Stephen Vincent Strange former renowned neurosurgeon turned occultist scholar and “metaphysicist” (character to be loosely based around Aleister Crowley/Terence McKenna eccentric by way of Robert Langdon), Namor McKenzie (Sub-Mariner, the superhuman Jacques-Yves Cousteau by way of Rudolf Steiner, believes he’s the literal Prince of Atlantis) , Dr. Robert Bruce Banner (Hulk, brilliant “omnidisciplinary” scientist, the world’s greatest expert on gamma radiation… need we say more?), Dr. Henry “Hank” Pym (Ant-Man, MIT professor renowned quantum physicist), and his partner Janet Van Dyne(Wasp, one-time student to Pym now associate, extremely bright but introverted Lady Gaga “individualist” type). Themes incorporated into Defenders movie include motifs from the bestselling magical/occult/secret society Dan Brown books, along with themes from the more recent Marvel series involving Secret [link removed] storylines (specifically the newer S.H.I.E.L.D. 2010 comic series). They’ll be looking for lean lesser-known actors to play non-super hero type characters, and there are ruminations that Strange may be pushed forward to play a crucial role as catalyst to merge the magical other-dimensional realms like Asgard into the more “realistic” Iron Man universe.

    Questions remain about the timeline and release of the Doctor Strange character into the big screen. Will we see Doctor Strange in a smallish part for the upcoming Avengers movie helping to usher in the “magical” component onto the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Or will Strange remain left out of the Avengers universe altogether for now, and another plot device or character be used to infuse the “magical elements” instead of him?… They are determined to bring on Dr. Strange movie post Ant-Man, the question remains will Strange remain side-lined for now? Some at Marvel are extremely hush-hush as plot points, characters as well as want-lists that are still being hashed-out for upcoming films, others think it’s good to gauge public opinion about what properties the public truly cares for and how they can be incorporated to the larger Marvel Movie-verse whilst staying true to the premise of the characters. Some of us like me see the potential and are really pushing for a Doctor Strange-centric Defenders movie but more importantly having Strange play a pivotal if not smallish role in the upcoming Avengers movie.

  8. Billy

    @Branch -I would love to see Doc Strange on the big screen. I do understand the trepidation of making a movie with him as the lead character though. It would be difficult to pull off a big winner with the movie fans for several reasons. Hopefully it can get done! Thanks for the comment. 😀

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