November 15, 2009

Ramblings and Reviews

I’m back with some more reviews from my pull list folks. This time around I have a ton of books so lets get rollin’.

phpThumbstrange1First up is… Strange #1 (of 4)
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Emma Rios
Publisher: Marvel

“A Whole New Ballgame ” was a pretty good story but it definitely left me thinking that something else should have happened. It seemed that it was a good intro to something bigger. The issue was very interesting because it started out with Stephen Strange at a baseball game; the game itself it really the big part of the story, believe it or not. Strange gets hit in the face from a baseball by a girl in the stands and starts a not so innocent conversation with her about the history of the team and her grandfather who is the owner. After he puts a spell on her glasses so she can see that the team is playing against a bunch of demons, she agrees to take Strange to her grandfather to get an explanation. After Strange and the girl (who coincidentally seems to have dormant mystical abilities) fight a demon, the girl is left realizing that Strange being there and talking to her was no accident. Good read, but hopefully the action will pick up next issue. 3.5/5

phpThumbBW1Next we have Black Widow: Deadly Origin #1 (of 4).
Writer: Paul Cornell
Artist: Tom Raney (cover by Adi Granov)
Publisher: Marvel

This was a pretty good beginning to this limited series. It starts out showing Natalia aboard a space shuttle and she reveals that she is a spy and proceeds to kick the crap out of the pilot, and then parachute out- super cool moment right there. For the majority of the issue after that, we see her being raised and trained to be a Soviet spy. We see her in training with none other than everyone’s favorite canuck, Logan, and by the end we see that a Russian army base has put something called ” The Icepick Protocol” into effect, which apparently means the Widow is in trouble. At the very end she gets a visit from Bucky to warn her about this and to tell her a friend has been murdered. All in all a good start for this LS as the writing was solid and so was the artwork. 4/5

phpThumbdeathlok1Next on the list is…Deathlok The Demolisher #1 (of 7)(Marvel Knights)
Writer: Charlie Huston
Artist: Lan Medina (cover by Brandon Peterson)
Publisher: Marvel

OK, so I’m not a big Deathlok fan but this new series seemed like a good place to start if I was ever going to like him. The issue mainly focuses on what seems to be a reality show of sorts where soldiers fight to the death (a la The Running Man). We see Luther Manning as the captain of one of the sides in this would be war, and he and his best soldier don’t see eye to eye on how to get the job done. There is a lot of violence in this issue and it does have a parental advisory on the cover for good reason; lots of blood and guts in this one folks. By the end of the fighting we see Luther and his problem soldier getting blown to smithereens. It was a good first issue with a decent story and pretty good art as well. 3.5/5

phpThumbpsylocke1Now we have… Psylocke #1 (of 4).
Writer: Chris Yost
Artist: Harvey Tolibao (cover by David Finch)
Publisher: Marvel

This was my favorite out of all the #1’s this week for sure! This issue had all the elements I look for in a first issue. It had plenty of action, starting off with Betsy and Dazzler flying around Utopia on a motorcycle and being all cocky. Afterward Betsy tells the gang she has business in Japan and heads there with Wolvie hitching a ride, but when they arrive Wolverine immediately takes off and Psylocke is confronted by the police while landing the jet. She uses her depleted telepathy to tell the cops to let her pass, and they do so. She then is assaulted by The Hand and after beating them to a pulp, she realizes it was all just to keep her busy while her old nemesis Matsu’o could steal her old body. There was also a short backup story in this issue called A Girl Called Hope. This is some extra material to start pumping up next years event when Hope and Cable return to the present time; it was a good little story and served it’s purpose. No wow material or anything but still a good read. The writing and art for both stories was good. 4/5

phpThumbiceman1Next up another one-shot… X-Men Origins: ICEMAN
Writer: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Artist: Phil Noto
Publisher: Marvel

Well, I don’t have a lot to say about this issue other than it was OK. I did hear some negative reviews about it before I read it, but I think they were a little too harsh. It was a good read, not the most riveting book I’ve ever read, but it definitely wasn’t bad. We see a young Robert Drake discovering his powers for the first time and then a couple of social situations, with one ending in him having to reveal his powers in front of the public. He then is recruited by Xavier and the rest is history. I was really surprised by the artwork in this book; I’ve never heard of Noto but I really like his style of being realistic with his drawing of characters. 3.5/5

phpThumbhercno1Hey guess what? Another one-shot, lol… Assault on New Olympus #1
Writer(s): Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente
Artist: Rodney Buchemi (Adi Granov cover)
Publisher: Marvel

This was also a good read from beginning to end for me. I have to say, for me personally, that one of the biggest surprises or bright spots about Secret Invasion was the Hercules tie-in. This issue kicks off a story line about Herc’s crazy mother Hera, and her immense hatred for Hercules and all he holds dear. We actually see Amatsu-Mikaboshi, who had been exiled after he killed Zeus (who since has returned as a baby), in the Shi’ar throne room killing some flunkies. We next see Aunt May Parker working with Herc’s wife Hebe, the goddess of youth, at a soup kitchen. Good old Aunt May sets Peter up on a blind date with Hebe and the two start to hit it off, but then Herc shows up and smacks Petey around until he changes into Spider-Man who tries to talk some sense into him. After Hebe finally sets Hercules straight, we then see Hera telling her troops about her master plan. She is going to bring about the next mass extinction with something called “Continuum.” It looks to be an interesting story, so I’ll definitely be sticking with it for the long haul. Good writing in this issue, it had some comedy mixed with some action and plot as well. The art was also pretty good. 4/5

phpThumbxmenagents2Next we have the conclusion to… X-Men vs. Agents of Atlas #2 (of 2)
Writer: Jeff Parker
Artist(s): Carlo Pagulayan, Gabriel Hardman, Chris Samnee and Carlos Rodriguez (cover by Adi Granov)
Publisher: Marvel

This was the conclusion to part one, but I’ve got to be honest in telling you it felt very rushed. Trying to squeeze a good story with two teams battling it out into two issues really isn’t a good idea. Continuing from issue #1, we see the X-Men infiltrate the secret base of the Agents of Atlas to get back Cerebra, which the A of A stole to try and locate their missing partner, Venus. After a pretty good fight between the two teams, Namor shows up and tells everybody to stop fighting. It’s at this point in the story where things get a little crazy. The scene switches to a fight between these two teams back in the early days of Professor X’s team. It’s some other plane of existence, and once they figure that out, “pop” they go right back into the reality of the beginning of the story. Yeah it was kind of weird, and really didn’t seem to serve any real purpose. Once back in this plane, the teams agree to let the fight be over, and the Agents use Cerebra to find Venus and rescue her. Being an X-fan, I thought this would have been better, but this series did make me think about buying Agents of Atlas in the future. Weird plot, but the artwork was really good, especially the fight scenes. 3.5/5

phpThumbCAB5E7IEdocvoodoo2Next up is… Doctor Voodoo Avenger of the Supernatural #2
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist(s): Jefte Palo & Gabriel Hardman (cover by Marko Djurdjevic)
Publisher: Marvel

After the fallout of last issue where Voodoo and Doom fought it out in another dimension, Voodoo is left alone in this dark world not knowing where he is or how to get out. He soon realizes that there are forces working against him, but he doesn’t know who. He eventually finds Daimon Hellstrom, and the two figure out that they need to work together to stop the evil threat in this realm. The two of them set out to stop this threat, but no sooner do they find a clue than we see the Son of Satan use Voodoo’s staff to release Nightmare into this world. If you don’t know who he is read up, because he has pushed Doctor Strange to his limits when he was Sorcerer Supreme. This series has been a really good read for me. I can’t wait to see what happens next time. There was also a backup story featuring a reprint of Doctor Strange’s first meeting with Brother Voodoo.  The artwork isn’t really that impressive, but it does seem to fit the tone of the book. 4/5

phpThumbxforce21Next in line is X-Force#21
Writer(s): Craig Kyle & Chris Yost
Artist: Clayton Crain
Publisher: Marvel

This issue was part two of the Necrosha story line that started in the one-shot. I have to say that I really am going to be disappointed to see this writing tandem leave this book. It is consistently one of Marvel’s best, and the writing is the reason. OK, now that I got that off my chest, I’ll go on to say this issue is full on with Selene and her army of living dead mutants. She has brought a full force to Utopia to make all the X-Men and their friends pay for ticking her off. We see a plethora of long dead mutants, so I won’t go naming all of them. It’s safe to say that nobody is going to be the same, especially after the X-Men have to fight none other than Banshee. Quick side note here, it seems that Banshee’s sonic scream at one point cracked Emma’s diamond form. So any way, this issue was full of action and blood in typical X-Force style. We see Archangel cut a bunch of people up, and Warpath go on, well the warpath, I guess. The issue leaves us with Utopia being overrun by dead mutants, and Selene raising all of the dead mutants on Genosha from their eternal slumber. This was a good issue as always for writing and art, but I’m not overly impressed by Necrosha so far. Hopefully it will pick up steam and end with a bang. 3.5/5

phpThumbdarkx1Next to last we have… Dark X-Men #1 (of 5)
Writer: Paul Cornell
Artist: Leonard Kirk (cover by Simone Bianchi & Simone Peruzzi)
Publisher: Marvel

This was an intriguing book for sure. It has a lot of potential, but I was left thinking it was just OK. We first see Norman having a meeting with his “X-Men” ( Mystique, Dark Beast, Mimic and Omega). He tells them about a problem they need to investigate, and that they need to do a good job to give mutants a better name in the public eye. Mystique isn’t too excited about putting these people together because of their mental inadequacies, but Norman tells her to get over it, and they head out to find out why a bunch of people went crazy in a town called Burton in California. After the team arrives at a hospital and questions a patient from the incident, Omega, a mutant who absorbs others’ energy, starts to build up full of energy and is ready to explode. He flies into the sky so no one gets hurt, but then Mimic, who has been having some bouts of depression, goes off the deep end. Luckily, Dark Beast has some kind of aerosol can that turns Mimic into a zombie of sorts, and he helps get Omega under control. After getting things back to normal, the group goes inside to investigate the person again, and is caught off guard when Nate Grey appears before them. This issue has part two of the backup story “A Girl Called Hope ” continuing from the backup in Psylocke #1. We see Cable using some pretty tough methods of training with the young girl, but in the end we also see that she understands why he is doing this. This issue wasn’t really much of a read, but that last page with X-Man was worth it. 3/5

phpThumbCAW77W2Brokimpg1Last but not least we have… Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #1 (of 5)
Writer(s): Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Artist: Kevin Walker (cover by Brian Haberlin)
Publisher: Marvel

This book is going to be a part of the story that tells what happens after Vulcan and Black Bolt are gone. It appears that they are dead, although I’ve already seen previews that show BB, so I guess Vulcan will be back as well. We see how the newly appointed leader of the Shi’ar, Gladiator, is trying to adjust to life as a leader instead of a soldier. He tries to sit on the sidelines during an uprising on one of their territories, but gets involved anyway because he doesn’t know any better. We see his former buddies, the Imperial Guard, as they also have a hard time dealing with their former friend now being their King. This issue was not nearly as good as the writing in War of Kings, but this tandem is top notch, so I know they’ll pick it up. 3.5/5

Whew! That was a heapful there. I also bought Captain America: Reborn #4/6 and Official Index #11, but I don’t have the other issues of CA:Reborn, so I’ll hold off on that one. See ya next time. Same Bat time, same Bat channel.

billy dunleavy



  1. I agree with you about Psylocke; it would have been my #1 that week too. And, sadly, I agree with you about the Iceman book as well.

  2. infinite speech

    You need to get the first 3 issues of Cap Reborn they’re actually pretty decent. I’ll probably get the Strange book in trade though and I still need to start reading Voodoo…TOO MANY BOOKS!!!! lol

  3. Kristin

    Wait Wait. Hebe is Herc’s wife, but Aunt May tries to fix her up with Pete? I guess…she doesn’t know Hebe is married to Herc?

    Dark X-Men sounds like over-the-top absurdity.

    And I think I meant to pick up and check out the Dr. Strange title. Will have to call my store and have them hold a copy for me. Didn’t know it was out yet.

  4. Just read Deathlok….Why?

  5. billy

    @Andy-I didn’t think Iceman was as bad as I hada heard. But yeah,it didn’t tear it up.
    @Speech-I think for some reason I did buy issue one of Cap. IIRC, I bought ish 1 but forgot to order 2 & 3.
    @Kris-yeah Peter actually gave Hebe a big kiss but then Herc knocked him through a wall. lol

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Website Protected by Spam Master