March 22, 2010

Ramblings and Reviews: Wolverine, Doctor Strange

Hey everybody! It’s time for more reviews from my growing pile of books. I’ve got six books from March 3rd and 10th to reel off and then twelve from the week of the 17th! So without further delay, here we go.

First up is…The Mystic Hands of Doctor Strange #1 (one-shot).
Publisher: Marvel
Writer(s): Kieron Gillen, Peter Milligan, Ted McKeever, Mike Carey
Artist(s): Frazer Irving, Frank Brunner, Ted McKeever, Marcos Martin (cover  by Lucio Parrillo)

I’ll start off with one word – WoW! This one-shot contained four stories that did everything they should and nothing they should not. This book is the prime example of why Doctor Strange should have his own ongoing book. The first story was called “The Cure” and really set the tone for the whole book in my opinion. It revolves around an institution that is giving off some bad mystical vibes that the Doc picks up on and investigates by having Clea put him in there for psychiatric reasons. Not long after getting there, Strange sees a group of patients led by his doctor to a meeting in the bowels of the sanitarium. In this whacked out meeting, the group summons their true master, Mephisto. I won’t spoil it for you, but this is one ending nobody will see coming. Next was “Melancholia.” This was a story about a man who is tortured by how terrible he treated his wife before she died. After years of suffering, the man seeks out Strange to help alleviate his nightmares. What is really troubling him is a lot more than bad dreams. Thirdly, we have “So this is how it feels.” It shows Strange as a homeless person wandering the streets, then he runs into a fellow traveler. Almost immediately his new friend has his head ripped off by some sort of demon. This demon wants to challenge Strange, or better yet see him broken. Quite an interesting battle takes place with a very different strategy employed by the good doctor. Lastly, is “Duel in the Dark Dimension.” This was a story that was basically in novel format except for two pictures. It was a tale of Dr. Strange being on the astral plane and getting abducted by one of Dormammu’s servants. Mike Carey did an excellent job with this story and I would love to see him as the regular writer if a new ongoing started.  4.5/5

Next is…Wolverine Weapon X #11.
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Ron Garney

This issue starts a new storyline with the conclusion of “Insane in the Brain.” The new one, “Tomorrow Dies Today,” has Deathlok front and center. He’s come from the future to kill people in the past that are deemed too dangerous to live. He goes on a rampage killing a few people, but that is kind of the subplot of this issue. The main plot revolves around Wolverine taking Steve Rogers out for a celebration for his return. The two get on a blackbird with Nightcrawler piloting, and start to go all over the planet bar hopping. Really cool issue because of the interaction between these two long time friends.  4/5

Thirdly I have…Wolverine: Mr. X #1 (one-shot).
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Frank Tieri
Artist(s): Paco Diaz & Guillermo Ortego (cover by Francesco Mattina)

This was a good one-shot, even though it was very violent and bloody. We see the enigmatic Mr. X, who is still sore about losing to Wolverine in a fight a while back. We see his obsession with getting even with Logan at an all-time high when he has a bunch of punks dressed up in Wolverine garb attack him. He kills every one of them, and then moves on to a pack of wolves to try and simulate Wolvie’s berserker rage. After he disposes of the animals, he sends Logan a package that contains a woman’s head. He tells Logan that he has a room full of school children that will die if he doesn’t show up. Obviously he does, but what goes on when they fight is a little bit of a let down for me. I”ll leave you in suspense, but the ending probably won’t be what you expect or want.  3/5

Next on my list is…Mighty Avengers #34.
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Dan Slott
Artist: Neil Edwards (cover by Khoi Pham)

I really am going to miss this book even though it isn’t always something spectacular. This issue shows the team capturing Loki to question him about his masquerading around as the Scarlet Witch. Quicksilver wants answers, but When Loki tells him he doesn’t know anything about Wanda, he goes berserk and uses Pym’s device to electrocute him. Loki then telepathically calls out to Thor to help him. Needless to say, when Thor shows up he isn’t happy to see that Pym has constructed a machine capable of trapping and torturing Asgardians. The book has a couple of interesting things in it, but mostly it shows the beginning of the end for the team. We also see Jocasta being taken over by Ultron to set things up for the final issue.  3.5/5

Last and definitely least I present…Dark X-Men #5 of 5.
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Paul Cornell
Artist: Leonard Kirk (cover by Guiseppe Camuncoli)

Let me just say that anyone who has been reading this story will know exactly what I’m talking about. For those of you that haven’t been reading this steaming pile of crap, consider yourself lucky. In this final issue, we see Norman Osborn/The Green Goblin subdue Nate Grey? Mystique left crying with Mimic and Omega? Yeah, OK Marvel. This limited series should have been solicited to shops to go straight to the quarter bins, with a coupon for a dollar refund for having to endure this horrific accident called Dark X-Men. Please, from here on out Marvel, never do this to your readers again. That is all.  0/5

I also received a copy of the new Invincible Iron Man (Writer: Matt Fraction, Artist: Salvador Larroca). That was just OK to be honest. It didn’t really show me anything exciting, or get me thinking about buying the book. Well, that’s it for now, but I will be back in no time with more soon, including: Siege, Dark Avengers, Doom War, and more!

Billy Dunleavy



  1. I will say that the Doc Strange cover is DOPE! And I usually don’t have a good thing to say about the Doc lol

    The Dark X-Men issue should at least get a 2 Billy lol The explanation of why the GG persona was able to at least hold off Nate for a bit was slightly believable. Because if you think about it Norman is one strong willed, messed up person and their interactions were the best in the entire book. The rest could be liner for someone’s hamster cage at best lol

  2. Billy

    @Speech-I get the angle with the Goblin, I just don’t think it would happen. If Nate can stand up to Xavier and Stryfe, I dont think Normie/Goblin would be able to cut the mustard. Definitely bird cage liner material. lol

  3. Aron White

    Good Reviews!
    I still need to pick up Mystic Hands! Dang! I need to get on the ball! I loved the Weapon X issue. This is the first time for me. I jumped on with #11 because of Deathlok. I hated the Marvel Knights Deathlok #1, so I was really itching! It was awesome! Did it not have sort of a “Minority Report” feel to it for you?

  4. I think that Marvel could have reintroduced Nate back a LOT better than what they did

  5. Billy

    @Aron-Never saw Minority Report but the previous arc with Wolverine Weapon X was really cool. A new character, Dr Rot, was introduced. You won’t be disappointed by Mystic Hands.
    @Speech-Definitely. 🙂

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