Right of the bat I want to express how gorgeous of a book this is. You can’t deny the quality of the art that’s being presented here. I’m not even a Kaare Andrews fan, but wow! Brandon Peterson delivers the goods too. These two artists couldn’t have more different styles, but it’s really hard to choose one that stands ahead of the other in this instance.
The first battle sees Daredevil face Psylocke. Daredevil is no stranger to trading blows with a female ninja assassin, but does one with telepathic abilities prove to be too much for old horn head? Rick Remender presents this fight from both points of views, giving us a glimpse into what drives each of these characters during their battle and he does this wonderfully. You won’t really know who to root for, but unfortunately this makes the conclusion predictable and unsatisfying.
As for the Thor vs Emma Frost battle, there’s really nothing I can say in this review that can do justice to how awesome this fight was. Every panel packed a tooth shattering punch, figuratively and literally speaking. Kaare Andrews really gave fans what they wanted to see.
My only gripe is that these VS books are low on words which make them very quick reads, thus making them difficult to justify a 3.99 cover price. But issue #4 offers its weight in gold when it comes to the artwork, so do yourself a favor and at least consider getting this one because it’s a heck of a lot of fun. –SG
Cover: 8/10 Writing: 8/10 Art: 9/10 Relevance: 6/10
New Avengers #28
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Mike Deodato
A great man once said “I love it when a plan comes together!” Well, I’m sure the Avengers would love to have that guy by their side after a successful plan but with the arrival of the Phoenix Five the scales have seriously tipped in the X-Men’s favor in this fight. Hawkeye, Luke Cage, and Spider Woman are trapped on Utopia and each have a desire to escape. Without revealing too much I’ll say that these three will be waiting a while before escape happens.
Bendis makes this issue one of the better tie ins to the AvX event with it’s dark tone and serious mind &^%$ to the Avengers. Usually with this type of story the audience is let down but it’s told in a way that actually progresses the story and makes you pick a side. There was a great balance of suspense, humor, and action that I wish the main title had on a regular basis. And once you get to the ending it’s more gut wrenching than anything as the reveal plays out.
Deodato’s artwork is great in this issue from start to finish. The sequences with Spider Woman and Phoebe were some of the best and just helped to put over the suspense of their interactions. The intensity picks up with his panel layouts during the action scenes. He’s great at showing fluid and solid fights that would look great in motion. –IS
Cover: 7/10 Writing: 9/10 Art: 9/10 Relevance: 8/10
The only awesome thing I can say about this title is that they’re finally canceling it! Part of the Marvel NOW! news has indicated that a number of the X-books are getting the axe, although I’m sure some will be returning in other forms. All I can say is that they finally decided to do something good and put this book out of its misery.
I still can’t understand why DnA are screwing this book up. It seems like no matter what they write in these pages, the New Mutants are just “off.” They no longer have the voice of youth and innocence that they did 20 or 30 years ago when they were first written, but they also don’t have a voice that is applicable to their young adult status today. These characters just seem lost.
The premise of the story seems pretty cool, although extremely overdone. Futuristic versions of Cannonball and Karma have come back wearing Technarch gear which seems to be controlling them due to a future version of Doug Ramsey. It seems like this could be a much needed jolt of awesome that this book needs. However, with extended pages of Cannonball struggling to “not tell” the team their future, but doing so anyway seems like they are stretching this story to no end.
What has really hurt this book is the art of Leandro Fernandez. I can’t think of a worse fit for this book. His work might be better suited for a non-spandex-wearing crowd, as everything he draws, from faces, to action poses, to fantastical sci-fi elements seem extremely bland and uninteresting. The cover work continues to be strong, but only offsets the interiors.
Again, if you dropped this book a while ago, you’re not missing anything. Heck, I’m borrowing a friend’s copy because I dropped it a while back, since SpidermanGeek and Infinite Speech won’t touch this with a 10-foot pole. –JJ
Cover: 7/10 Writing: 2/10 Art: 0/10 Relevance: 0/10
The Brotherhood is back, baby! I’ve been waiting for a while to see a regathered Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. That name always stood out as something silly, unless you have someone like Rick Remender writing them as truly evil. This time, Remender has gathered a truly ghastly group of mutants to bear the name well: Shadow King, Sabretooth, Mystique, AoA Blob, Skinless Man, the Omega Clan, and in this issue, the revealed “leader” of the pack, Daken.
All of these characters have close ties to the X-Force squad, and that’s what makes this the best X-book on the shelves. Remender continues to bring in relevant issues of the past, like Psylocke’s past with Shadow King, and make them haunt the main cast. The Brotherhood has taken out X-Force piece-by-piece, and even kidnapped Genesis, the kid Apocalypse, so that they may turn him into the evil mutant he’s meant to be.
But some other heart-wrenching things happen in this issue, too. Fantomex rescues Psylocke only to be killed. Remender also reveals that Fantomex’s brains all have a different side to them…one is altruistic, one is full of mischief, and the other is quite evil. Of course we know this isn’t the end of Fantomex, but his sacrifice and that reveal while allowing Betsy to escape in EVA, makes for some good comic book reading. Speaking of EVA, we finally see her “EVA-lution” (see what I did there) into the character Grant Morrison showed her as in Here Comes Tomorrow. Again, Remender does a good job of tying in elements of past story lines.
Another death (that I swore happened a long time ago) was that of X-Men teleporter Gateway, who gets a snapped neck at the hands of Ultimaton, who is no longer controlled by Fantomex since his death. Poor Gateway…I was hoping for an on-going series for him.
Noto’s art isn’t quite as crisp as it has been in previous issues. His characters seem stiff in action shots. This was not the case in the issue with Iceman vs. Nightcrawler, so I don’t know what happened here. His strength is drawing female faces, and that seems to be lost here, too.
Despite the art, this book continues to please. I can’t wait to see what Remender has in store for us next issue. –JJ
Cover: 8/10 Writing: 8/10 Art: 3/10 Relevance: 7/10
Wolverine and The X-Men #13
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Nick Bradshaw
If you’re a sucker for issues focusing on a single, reoccurring character and his or her back story, then you might just like the latest offering by Aaron and Bradshaw.
Gladiator has come to Earth to protect his son, Kid Gladiator, and stop the threat of the Phoenix in the process. But that’s not really what this story is about. Jason Aaron delves into Warbird’s early life back on Shi’ar and her rise from the Sky Slums of Chandilar to Soldier of the Shiar Imperium. He does an admirable job of showing us that a softer side exists within her. As fearsome a warrior as she is, Warbird also has the capacity for compassion and mercy. Something she has been punished for, which brings us back to her present day situation. It’s all kind of cliché, but still paints a more complete picture of Warbird, Kid Gladiator’s Bodyguard.
Nick Bradshaw’s art is beautiful. His style is reminiscent of Art Adams’, so what is there not to like. Warbird being featured front and center; one cannot help but to admire… well, her front and center. That outfit of hers, although being quite fashionable, doesn’t really inspire us to believe it’s the most functional battle attire. Be that as it may, Ava’dara Naganandini still manages to look like a nun next to Emma Frost’s Phoenix costume. The bottom line is that along with Guru EFX’s colors, every panel is an eye popping treat that shouldn’t be missed and this is something you can consistently expect from this team on this title. –SG
Cover: 7/10 Writing: 8/10 Art: 8/10 Relevance: 8/10
Most X-Cellent Pick of the Week:
Jeff: None of these really hit on all cylinders, but the story in Uncanny X-Force #27 has me hooked.
SpidermanGeek: Wolverine and The X-Men #13 made me a Warbird fan. This chick is bad ass, but not as cold as we’re lead to believe.
Infinite Speech: New Avengers #28 is my pick because it hits more on an emotional level and it’s the best mind $%#@ this series has seen since the Skrull Invasion.