December 11, 2009

Ramblings and Reviews

Hey fellow comic lovers, it’s good to be back. It’s been a couple of weeks since I did reviews, but I’m raring to go with 7 issues to dissect. I’ll have 5 more in a few days, so let’s dispense with the formalities and get it on!

phpThumbdarkaresFirst up is…Dark Avengers: Ares #2 of 3
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Manuel Garcia (Cover by Billy Tan)

OK, so last issue was pretty much a set-up for what was going to go down in this issue. We saw Ares given a mission by Norman to recruit some members of H.A.M.M.E.R. and train them to become an elite fighting force. In this book we get to see Ares and his black ops team head to a location given to him by his mother Hera. Ares thinks his son Phobos is there and in danger of dying, so he and his troops go in to do some damage. Let me just say that he doesn’t find Nick Fury there but something far more sinister and close to home. This has been a decent spin-off but I hope the third and last installment does even better. 3/5

phpThumbguardians20Next up is…Guardians of the Galaxy #20
Publisher: Marvel
Writer(s):Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Artist: Brad Walker

OK, so if you’re up to speed you know that recently most of the team is dead. For how long, I guess no one knows, but be that as it may the rest of the team which includes Star-Lord, MoonDragon, Jack Flag, Bug, Groot, Drax, and Rocket Raccoon are trying to push on without their fallen comrades. They need to find out what’s going on inside The Fault and they do find something but wish it would go back. Rocket and Drax are outside of Nowhere and are attacked by some alien beast and barely escape with their lives. After the rest of the team comes to their aid, we see how other inhabitants of Nowhere are getting restless and think they should also be allowed to investigate The Fault as well. The government decides a joint effort would be beneficial to everyone but before a plan of action is made a few of the other residents go in themselves. What comes back? I don’t know for sure but it resembles a Symbiote of some kind and it starts to tear everyone apart. PICK UP THIS BOOK! There is not an ongoing out there that is better written. 4.5/5

phpThumbuncannyx-men517Next I have…Uncanny X-Men #517
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Greg Land

All right, first and foremost I think people need to stop whining about Lands’ artwork. Is he Coipel, Kirby, or Romita? No, but he certainly doesn’t deserve the verbal assaults he’s getting. Look at page 3 for an example of some good work. OK, enough about him. This story was a continuation from last issue and it was chock full of action. Not a lot of mystery and head games here but cool battle scenes do the job. The Predator X’s and Scalphunter are shot down and then hunted down one by one by the X-Men until they are eliminated. One interesting thing is the Phoenix Force leaving the Cuckoos and rendering them unconscious. Right after that, Scott tells Emma that they are going into her head to try a “psychic rescue” of her mind. Over all it was a good issue and sets up the next problem for the X-Men too. 3.5/5

phpThumbincrediblehercules138Let’s get ready for…The Incredible Hercules #138 (Assault on Olympus)
Publisher: Marvel
Writer(s): Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente
Artist: Rodney Buchemi

Let me just say that I am disappointed in myself. I bought all the Herc tie-in’s for Secret Invasion but then stopped for whatever reason. Wow, was that a mistake. The team of Pak and Van Lente is doing a spectacular job with this title. It regularly showcases Herc’ and Amadeus Cho but right now is also revealing Hera’s plans to wipe out everything on Earth and build a new world. Hera has all the evil Olympians in her corner while Herc and Cho have rounded up some of the New and Mighty Avengers for help. This pretty much is what you’re going to see for the next few issues, as Herc and the Avengers go toe to toe with the Gods of Olympus!  There was also an Agents of Atlas back up story courtesy of Jeff Parker. 4/5

phpThumbavengersinitiativeLet’s move on to…Avengers The Initiative #30
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Christos Gage
Artist: Jorge Molina (cover by Rafa Sandoval)

This issue was pretty good but not good enough for me to keep ordering it. Well let me change that statement. I’m dropping this title after Siege is over. This issue had Nightmare in it which is normally a good thing but he is also the villain right now in Doctor Voodoo as well, so I knew it would be a short stay. Again let me say that this isn’t a bad title, it’s just not one to write home about. We  did get to see Penance whoop Nightmare (which coincidentally would never happen), and Diamondback, who’s been a double-agent, get discovered by Constrictor. Other than that it was just another OK story with artwork to match. 2.5/5

phpThumbnewavengers59My next ramble is about…New Avengers #59
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Stuart Immonen (cover by Stuart Immonen & Dave McCaig)

This is it people! The issue where the New Avengers get Luke Cage back any way they can. This was a great issue top to bottom. Great writing by Bendis and Immonen kept the pace with the pencils. We see all of Luke’s friends rally to bust him out of Osborn’s floating base. Doctors Voodoo and Strange, do a little recon mission to see if he’s OK and also see where he’s located on the Helicarrier. They find out however that Normie has tech that can scan for astral projections so they re-hash their plans and throw H.A.M.M.E.R. a curve ball; they attack Camp H. to distract Normie and his goons while the rest of the team gets Luke out of captivity. After all is said and done we see that Normie has an ace up his sleeve and it won’t be so easy for Luke to escape his grasp! 4/5

phpThumbnewmutants7Lastly I have…New Mutants #7 (Necrosha)
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Zeb Wells
Artist: Diogenes Neves (cover by Adam Kubert & Justin Ponsor)

Continuing the Necrosha arc in this issue, we left last time with Doug Ramsey (reincarnated in zombie form) beating the bejeezus out of Magma, and assaulting the rest of his former friends. He then rips off Warlocks head and tosses it aside. The team then sees that a demon has infiltrated the grounds as well and means to abduct Ramsey for his own evil reasons. As if that weren’t enough, here come The Hellions to get this party started. They have also been brought back from the dead to wreak a little havoc on the team. After a brief scuffle where Illyana slices the demon in half and Dani closes the door while one of The Hellions is only half way through, the team is teleported by Magik to the battlefield where The X-Men are fighting more of their long dead enemies that have been resurrected by Selene and her boy toy Eli Bard. I can’t wait for next issue and the next part in this story. It has gotten a lot better since the early stages and looks to heat up even more. 4/5

Well, that’s it for this round but stay tuned for more in the very near future! Next time I’ll have Dark Avengers Annual #1, X-Force Annual #1, Psylocke #2, Strange #2, and Siege The Cabal! So be ready.

Billy Dunleavy



  1. Infinite Speech

    I was hesitant to pick up that Ares title and I guess I’ll wait till it’s published together but GOTG has got to be put on my pull list because I don’t think a bad issue has come out in some time. New Avengers is just TOO DAMN GOOD recently and #59 was a great issue after I reviewed it I read it like 4 more times! I agree that New Mutants has greatly improved in just a few short issues and that Necrosha tie in was a lot better than what I was expecting to read.

  2. Uncanny X-Men- Land isn’t that great, but like I said in my review of the comic, I thought he did a fantastic job with this issue! But only 3.5 stars!? Are you nuts?!?!?!? This issue was a 4.5 at least!

    Hercules- Glad you’re back on the Herc wagon. The book is highlarious and the New Olympus story is getting exciting.

    New Mutants- is kicking ass right now. I just want to see individual costumes!!

  3. Billy

    @Speech-Pick up GotG man it’s real good. I agree with you about New Avengers too.
    @Andy-I think Land is good, as stated in my review. Not great but good. I was always seeing him get bashed as if he was some hack or something, and that’s just not true. The story in Uncanny was all action and had very little “meat” to it so that’s why only 3.5, if it had been “meaty-er” I would have gone 4/5 no problemo.

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