November 27, 2009

Ramblings and Reviews

I’m back and at it again people. It was a big week for me with my pull list, so I’ll get right down to business with more Ramblings and Reviews!

phpThumbblackknightFirst up we have…Black Knight #1 (one-shot).
Writer: Tom Defalco
Artist: Ron Frenz
Publisher: Marvel

Wow, is all I can say. Well, OK, I’ll say more than that, but it’s a good start. First off, I’m a huge Black Knight fan (all incarnations). I think that period of knights and The Round-table, and all that stuff, is really a great platform for storytelling. One of my top priorities in comic collecting is to get my hands on a copy of the 1955 Black Knight mini-series at all costs (legally of course).

The story starts off, as most medieval stories do, on the battlefield. We see Sir Richard of Scandia, out numbered by a horde of barbarians, fight tooth and nail until he and his men leave the battle victorious. Later, there is a celebration at the castle and Sir Richard’s twin brother, Sir Percy, is providing musical entertainment for all. Sir Richard is interrupted by one of his men, who tells him of a robed figure that demands to see him. This figure turns out to be none other that Merlin himself! He warns Richard of King Arthur’s treacherous nephew Modred, who seeks to usurp the throne of Camelot. Merlin tells Richard the story of how Excalibur was created, and at that time so was an evil counterpart named Chaos the Doombringer. Modred knows of this evil sword and seeks to use it to strike down the good King Arthur. He commands Richard to seek out the Ebony Blade and destroy it before Modred can get his hands on it. Just as Merlin is finishing up his visit, Sir Percy stumbles in and hears talk of a “quest,” and says even though he isn’t much of a warrior, he wants to join Richard. I won’t spoil the rest of the book, but it shows some battles, and also that the person believed to be the original Black Knight is not who we thought he was. Great story and artwork to match. 4.5/5

Next we have…Dark Reign The List: The Amazing Spider-Man #1 (one-phpThumbspideylistshot)
Writer: Dan Slott
Artist: Adam Kubert
Publisher: Marvel

I would like to sing the praises of Marvel with this series of one-shots (Dark Reign: The List). They have all been top notch as far as I’m concerned, and I didn’t really have high expectations coming in, but they just blew me away.

This book starts out with Spidey swinging around the city noticing, then contemplating, just how Norman Osborn became “the man.” Next morning at the Front Line offices we see Peter, Robbie, Norah, and Ben discussing how they can out Osborn for the psychopath he really is. They come up with a plan, but it requires Spidey to break into Avengers Tower and steal some video records of Norman’s crazy experiments. We next switch to Norman and his right hand lady, Victoria Hand, walking around Avengers Tower and discussing things. They both almost jump out of their skin when they open a door and see Spider-Man stealing information from the computer. Spidey swings out of the window and the chase is on. After a couple of fight scenes, Norman has Spidey cornered, but Spidey uses some trickery to get away long enough to send the info that he stole to the paper, so they can get some dirt on Osborn and reveal his real agenda to the world. There was a reprint in the back of The Pulse #5 (2004). Solid issue from front to back. These “List” issues have been a great surprise. 4/5

phpThumbspiderwoman3Let us take at closer look at…Spider-Woman #3.
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Alex Maleev
Publisher: Marvel

This series is moving along quite nicely in my opinion. Last issue we were left with Jessica trying to elude the police in Madripoor, but when she was cornered she was offered a chance to be rescued by her nemesis, Viper. We pick up with her accepting the former Madame Hydra’s help. The two have a really good conversation about their past and where they are both heading now. After Jessica tries to kill Viper, she realizes she will need help, and she threatens to bring the Avengers in to put Hydra down; but Viper has an ace up her sleeve that guarantees Jessica won’t bring them. It’s quite a blockbuster from Jessica’s recent past, and no I’m not going to tell you who it is. Good story, and Maleev’s artwork is kind of growing on me too. 3.5/5

Next on my list is…Dark Avengers #11.phpThumbdarkavengers11
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Mike Deodato
Publisher: Marvel

This issue for me was really interesting for a few different reasons. One, it had me perplexed by the scenes with Osborn and Molecule Man (Owen Reese). At times Norman acted like you would think anyone would – scared, uneasy, and just not sure what he was dealing with or how to diffuse the situation. On the other hand, sometimes he acted like he wasn’t afraid and got all tough with Molecule Man. This didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, but Norman standing around naked was kinda funny. Secondly, the panels of Reese systematically taking down Norman’s Avengers were really cool, especially the Sentry. He asked The Sentry “who he was and what he was made of.” Bob seemed to answer as if he didn’t realize what Reese was getting at, but I know in an upcoming issue Sentry is going to be front and center, and his origin is going to be explained (in the Siege event). By the end of the issue we are still left wondering what’s going to happen to Normie and his team. All in all it was a good issue in terms of writing and art. Bendis and Deodato are doing a great job with this book. 4/5

phpThumbmightyavengers31Next up is…Mighty Avengers #31.
Writer(s): Dan Slott & Christos Gage
Artist: Sean Chen
Publisher: Marvel

This issue was a bit of a disappointment for me personally. I really was expecting to be wow’d a little more with the ending battle with The Unspoken. He was really portrayed as having like Superman level strength but, it didn’t seem like it took much to take him down in the end. It seems to me that this arc felt like more of a bridge until Siege, rather than the epic story it could have been. In the end, it took Quicksilver throwing a rock at The Unspoken’s eye to distract him, while Amadeus Cho and Hercules used his own device against him. Not really the best writing in the world, so that is why I’m a little down on this ending. The artwork was great though. 2.5/5

Next is one of two Wolverine titles…Wolverine Origins #42.phpThumbwolvieorigins42
Writer: Daniel Way
Artist: Doug Braithwaite
Publisher: Marvel

In this issue, we really don’t get a better idea as to what Logan’s plan for Romulus is. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing to be truthful. This whole Romulus arc is really going to need to pay off big time sooner or later, because this title has been spinning its wheels for a few issues now. This book did show Wolvie using Cloak to go to Japan to confront the Silver Samurai, which was kind of cool, and also talking more with Banner about he and Skaar helping out in some mysterious capacity. By the end of this one, Wolvie is trying to convince Silver Samurai to help him learn how to use the Muramasa Blade to apparently kill Romulus. This issue had decent art as usual, and the writing was OK, but as earlier mentioned it really seems to have bogged down lately. 3/5

phpThumbCAPF61F2wolviex7The other Wolvie book is…Wolverine Weapon X #7.
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Yanick Paquette (cover by Adam Kubert & Justin Ponsor)
Publisher: Marvel

Now this book is doing the exact opposite of Origins. It continually tears it up with really violent scenes and wacky dialogue to boot. Aaron is doing a fine job with this “Insane in the Brain” story line. My only issue with this title is that it should definitely be considered a MAX title with the violence, gore, and language. None of those aforementioned things ever seems forced or out of place though. We see Logan who has been in the sanitarium for a while now, having amnesia and being tortured on a daily basis by the monstrous Dr. Rot. The best part for me was when two thugs come to the sanitarium to hire one of the “patients” to carry out a hit on someone. Dr. Rot’s antics were hilarious, and the two thugs getting killed was cool too. By the end, we see Wolvie finally succumbing to the torture and revealing his feral side, which makes the good ‘ol Doc get very aroused. Great book cover to cover. 4/5

Let’s get cosmic for the next two reviews starting with…Realm of Kings #1 phpThumbCAJQSUSMrealmkings1(one-shot)
Writer(s): Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Artist(s): Leonardo Manco & Mahmud Asrar (cover by Clint Langley)
Publisher: Marvel

This issue is the beginning of the fallout from War of Kings. We have the Inhumans trying to deal with running a huge empire, keeping the peace with the Kree who don’t care for their ruling ways, and The Guardians of the Galaxy trying to contain the Fault and the creatures who keep entering their universe. We see Quasar make the first trip into the Fault and upon doing so, he is sucked into the opposite side of the Fault where a sinister group of Avengers reside and have taken over the planet to appease some ever-eating alien force referred to as “The Many-Angled Ones.” Basically, they tell Quasar that they need to find more “food” for these beings because they’ve run out on this planet. Quasar, realizing he needs to warn his friends back on Earth 616, gets some unexpected help from the Vision from this reality, and escapes just long enough to get a message back to his comrades. The final page shows a cool teaser for next issue, so I for one can’t wait to see what happens. Good writing, but I’m sure A & L will rev it up even more as we move forward with this story. The artwork is OK, but I am definitely missing Pelletier on pencils. 3.5/5

phpThumbCAFBO0VIrealminhumans1Finally we have… Realm of Kings Inhumans #1 (of 5).
Writer(s): Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Artist(s): Pablo Raimondi (cover by Stejpan Seijic)
Publisher: Marvel

This book for me was exactly the reverse of the other Realm book. I thought the story wasn’t as good as the art was. It did show an interesting subplot between Medusa, who currently is ruling in her husband’s (Black Bolt, who is presumed dead) absence, and Gorgon (who still hasn’t gotten over the fact that his king is dead). This to me was the only thing I took away from this book with hope for future issues. The very last panel did show the Mighty Avengers showing up to help out against a threat, so I guess that’s worth looking forward to  as well. Over all it was an OK issue, but hopefully it will pick up the pace next time. 2.5/5

Well, that’s it for me this time, but more reviews to come soon! See you next time.

Billy Dunleavy



  1. InfiniteSpeech

    I like the ROK one shot and that cover was just great! ROK: Inhumans was reeeeaaallly slow though it set up a thing or two hopefully it will pick up…I think Black Bolt’s brother has a little scheme planned for the future. And Dark Avengers was a good issue as well…I was excited to see Owen and him turning Bullseye into angry water was great! Even got a little back story on Miss. Hand. Siege better be good!

  2. Billy

    I agree IS. ROK Inhumans fell a little flat compared to the one-shot. Maximus did have a little twinkle in his eye in the scene with the kids didn’t he?

  3. Black Night looked cool, but I skipped it. I’ll probably go back for it though after your compliments!

    Nice to hear you’re liking Spider-Woman now. I think it’s awesome.

    Good call on Wolverine Origins. The last time Wolvie and Romulus met was pretty lame… hopefully the next time will be bad ass.

    Can’t wait for the X-Men appearance in the Aaron book!

  4. Suzanne Bybee

    Finally, got what I was looking for! I am positively having fun with reading every little bit of it. Happy I stumbled onto this article: Ramblings and Reviews. game4power is a very good supplier to buy wow gold .and I have your blog bookmarked to read the newest post you write. Thanks for your good articles!

  5. Billy

    @Suzanne- Thanks for stopping in. Checkout the New Uncanny X-Piles and also the Crisis of Infinite Reviews.

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