Author Topic: sam wilson and crew comics and tpb reviews for you, 3/26/08  (Read 2350 times)

Offline Sam Wilson

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sam wilson and crew comics and tpb reviews for you, 3/26/08
« on: March 27, 2008, 01:31:49 pm »
Wktf’s Reviews

Ah, good to be back from Spring Break vacation.  Family took a Caribbean cruise that was a first for us but one for the books.  When we got home I had the new Goon Fancy Pants Edition HC Volume 2 waiting for me and, yesterday, picked up the Iron Man Doomquest HC as well as the Wanted tpd (opted for tpb rather than HC on this one).  I’ve got my reading cut out for me.  On to the reviews!

New Avengers #39
Marvel Comics
Written by: Brian Michael Bendis
Drawn by: David Mack

Probably the least understood and least utilized character on the New Avengers is Echo.  Okay, least utilized other than the fact that the New Avengers went to Japan to rescue her early on based on Daredevil’s recommendation to Captain America…oh, yeah, and the fact that she killed Elektra which led to the discovery of the whole Skrull Secret Invasion plot.  But, despite those two major events, she’s certainly the lowest profile member of the team.

In the capable hands of Bendis and guest artist David Mack, however, Echo comes front and center in this issue which also serves as a potent intro to next month’s Secret Invasion event.  We get some character history from a rather cryptic conversation with Wolverine as well as some outstanding character advancement based on a series of interactions with Clint Barton (who’s Ronin, not to be confused with his prior Hawkeye character…also not to be confused with the prior Ronin character who really was Maya who was Echo in Daredevil’s comic before she became Ronin in New Avengers, only to become Echo again now in New Avengers…um…okay, I admit I’m having some fun).  Her conversation with Clint really helps deliver on why she’s such a great fit for this rag tag team of Avengers (something to which Clint, a member of both “Cap’s Kooky Quartet” as well as some seriously higher powered Avengers teams, can relate) and the progression of their relationship brings together two people whose estrangement to the world make them a perfect, albeit counterintuitive, fit for each other.

But this issue’s primarily about the conflict Echo faces that leaves no doubt about at least one New Avenger who’s NOT a Skrull.  Wolverine, who figures larger in Echo’s past than we knew, joins the fray and David Mack delivers some powerful interior art that reminded me how much I liked his work several years ago back on Daredevil.  Great, great story.  Solid character development and advancement.  And a fun mini-intro (probably one of many this month from Marvel) to the eight month Marvel Event story line that kick off next month.  My pick of the week.

All-Star Superman #10
DC Comics
Written by: Grant Morrison
Drawn by: Frank Quitely

Superman on acid continues this month.  Finally.  I seriously cannot even remember the last time this book came out.  This series has spun through a few story arcs since it exploded onto the stands, winning the coveted 2007 Eisner Award Winner for "Best Continuing Series.”  I still can’t look at Quitely’s take on the Man of Steel without thinking it’s a bit of a goof.  That massive and long Jay Leno chin, the baggy boxers, and the tiny pixy-like cape.  But there’s no denying that the Morrison and Quitely combination on this title have created some alternative universe Superman magic with this book.  The stories are quirky while cerebrally challenging and entertaining, the art has been both fun and high concept and the colors on this title are what most people think of when they think of comic books.  It works, it’s a hit, and it may be that next issue is its last issue!

The one continuous story thread throughout this run is that Superman’s dying.  Starting with the very first issue, Lex Luthor figured out that while overexposing his nemesis to yellow sun rays augmented Superman’s powers it also was simply too much radiation for his system to take.  And, so, Superman’s cells are exploding and dying with each passing moment.  We’ve not really seen any effects of Big Blue’s symptoms, and nary a mention for that matter, in several issues but it’s the focus here.  From Superman’s Last Will and Testament, to his flu-like perspiration, to his futile though perfectly orchestrated humanitarian plea to Luthor, to his rush to commit acts of superhero-ing kindness before the end comes.

I’m a bit baffled by DC’s not listing any further issues on their web site beyond next month’s but I guess we’ll just have to see what happens.  All I can say is that I’ve always been a huge Superman fan and used to pick up every Superman title on the market.  Shortly after the President Lex storyline I just gave up due to the plunge in quality and, now, this is the only Superman title I buy.  Strange as I’m neither a fan of Morrison nor of Quitely, but I’m a fan of their work here.

Daredevil #106
Marvel Comics
Written by: Ed Brubaker
Drawn by: Paul Azaceta

Many will say we’ve seen this storyline before.  Matt Murdock, Daredevil, severely traumatized by the events of his life, acting irrationally and violently and, in his pain, losing himself and his friends.  But just as I was thinking this very thought, Brubaker shows that he has the stones not only to acknowledge this fact but to bring those very same similar and important historical moments in Matt’s life to the forefront of this issue.  And, in doing so, he also makes Matt’s trauma over his wife’s, Mila’s, pain possibly the most significant personal hell of Matt’s tragic life.

If you’ve read the absolutely brutal “Without Fear” arc that precedes this story then you know the source of Matt’s agony and that Matt, himself, is the cause of that agony.  Fueled by depression, frustration and rage Daredevil takes to the streets to deliver justice just short of the Punisher’s own brutal methods.  Matt is unhinged and the low life of Hell’s Kitchen become his targets.  His friends, Foggy, Dakota, and Ben Urich do what they can to reign him back in but, maybe, Matt needs to move through his rage like someone moves through the Kübler-Ross five discrete stages of grief (anger’s being stage 2) from “On Death and Dying.”

During this story we are reintroduced to the hysteria and instability created by the Kingpin in Frank Miller’s triumphant “Born Again” storyline, as well as all the other women who dared to love Matt only to be murdered for that love.  Brubaker takes long-time Daredevil fans into familiar territory but, at the same time, makes it feel fresh and painful.  I miss seeing Lark’s pencils on this issue but Azaceta’s pencils, combined with Stephano Gaudiano’s inks and Matt Hollingsworth’s typically outstanding colors, provide a richly textured and gritty New York.  Along with Captain America, this book just keeps on rockin’ as one of my favorite titles every month.

Black Panther #35
Marvel Comics
Written by: Reginald Hudlin
Drawn by: CAFU

Finally!  Thank goodness T’Challa is back on Earth after the galaxy spanning jaunt he and Ororo took with Ben and Johnny.  While we did get a poignant Skrull story with a return to a Lee/Kirby created Skrull world, as well as some transitive proof that the Marvel Earth-616 Universe can meet with the Ultimate Universe (Marvel Zombies [and, yeah, lots of people love zombies] now have faced heroes from both universes), this title always worked best when The Black Panther not only is grounded on Earth but also is presiding over Wakanda.

But, now, T’Challa not only is without his beautiful bride (who’s off in the X-world right now) but has to face a couple of very significant problems.  Wakanda has been a kingdom without its king for a long time, the members of T’Challa’s court have grown restless and concerned by his prolonged absence, and US war ships are positioned in the waters outside of Wakanda.  T’Challa’s sister goes to investigate only to discover and be captured by a villain who not only is now registered with Iron Man’s army, but also may be the most serious threat of The Black Panther’s storied carrier, going all the way back to the Don McGregor and Rich Buckler days on Jungle Action back in the early 1970s.  The one villain who in the past has soundly defeated the seemingly unflappable The Black Panther has returned, and not even Iron Man’s superhuman resources can handle him.  No sooner is T’Challa home than he must face this threat to his kingdom and his throne.

I have no idea who this artist Cafu is, unless he’s also the ebullient Brazilian soccer star who goes by the same name.  But if we can’t have JR JR or Scott Eaton, both of whom have done outstanding work with Hudlin on this title before, we certainly could be in worse hands.  Cafu’s style is clean and strong and seems well suited for this book.  Reggie Hudlin’s plotting and dialogue are terrific as ever.  I admit I bailed on Black Panther when the whole zombie story started but I’m glad I came back to see Ben’s return to the Skrull gangster planet, and I’m especially happy to have T’Challa dealing with very real threats in his homeland.  For me, this book is back with a vengeance!

Sam Wilson’s Reviews

Ultimate Spider-Man #120
Marvel Comics
Written by: Brian Michael Bendis
Drawn by: Stuart Immonen

For those of you who haven’t been following the adventures of the teenage Peter Parker lately, let me tell you, he’s been through a lot in the past year or so. Never mind the clone business and his final showdown with the Kingpin, recently Peter Parker got back together with Mary Jane after breaking up with Kitty Pryde, only to have Kitty show up at his high school as a new student. Yeah, and Aunt May also knows Peter is Spider-Man (along with half of New York apparently). Couple this with the death of Harry Osborne, Peter’s one-time best friend, in a battle with SHIELD and Harry’s father, Norman (only this SHIELD is minus Nick Fury, Carol Danvers is in charge. Peter doesn’t really like her as much as good ol’ Nick). Believe it or not after all that drama things are starting to settle down for Peter and crew. Last issue we say that MJ has a part time job at the mall, Kitty is now dating Kong, the former school bully who has a huge crush on her, and Liz is going through some weird kind of hormonal thing. Yeah, and then Johnny Storm shows up looking for a bit of normalcy in his life and he remembers the crush he had on Liz, so he invited the gang out to the beach for some r and r, which starts out normal enough until Liz starts on fire…

Last month in USM, Liz was freaking out over recent events, namely her starting on fire. Yeah, turns out she finds out she is a mutant when she is hanging with Johnny Storm, Peter, MJ, Kong and Kitty Pryde at the beach.  Kinda akward.  To make things even more awkward Bobby Drake shows up to talk to Kitty and ends up chasing after the runaway Liz with Peter (who makes the quick change to Spider-man, and yes, Kong now knows he is Spidey as well).  They run into Magneto and in the current issue the inevitable “choose them (the X-men) or me (the Brotherhood) debate happens, unfortunately on Liz’s front lawns.  She then finds out who her father is (yeah, last person I thought it would be to) and makes a decision that will stick with her for awhile at least.

Yes, Mark Bagley is not around (sniff) but Bendis is still holding it down and Stuart Immonen is holding down the fort like a champ. Ultimate Spider-Man is the best Spidey book out there hands down, check it out and just say no to that “One More Day” bullcrap…

She Hulk #26
Marvel Comics
Written by: Peter David
Drawn by: Shawn Moll
Cover by: Mike Deodato

Since her debut in the early ‘80’s, She Hulk, aka Jennifer Walters aka Shulkie has been both savage and sensational. She’s been a lawyer, a member of the Fantastic Four and the Avengers and has gone crazy and killed the Vision even (seriously). She’s had relations with the Juggernaught (ewww), Wyatt Wingfoot, John Jameson, Luke Cage and even Tony Stark. She’s broken the fourth wall, beaten the crap out of Titanna more times than most and is Marvel’s ultimate gamma powered girl power fantasy woman who takes no guff, whups ass and does it all with a smile and a wink. Then we got Peter David (PAD to his fans). Best known for his work on the “Incredible” Hulk, Mr. David’s run on the Hulk is right up there with other legendary Marvel “runs”, including Frank Miller’s Daredevil and John Byrne’s Fantastic Four. It was only a matter of time, one would figure, that his humorous and intelligent style would lead him towards She Hulk, a match made in heaven if you ask me. So where does that leave Jen? Recently she rejected Tony Starks offer of registration and she subsequently lost her powers, her cousin made most of the Earth’s heroes his slaves (see World War Hulk for more of that) and she gained her powers back but is done with lawyering and now finds employment as a skip tracer (re: Bounty Hunter). Jen isn’t at it by herself though, she has a new partner who assumes the identity of regular non Shulkie Jennifer Walters by day, but at night (or whenever she wants) she’s really Jaz, a Skrull who is on the run because her father wants to kill her. Yes, two hot green chicks and a Winnebago, and so it goes…

The current story arc started two issues ago with Jen hot on the trail of the man who blew up the bar she was in (issue #24), in the wake of that Jenn and Jaz mixed it up with an alien who killed a man’s wife and brought her back to life only to have her die again.  Jaz ended up killing said alien and the Husband went back to his life (or so it seems).  Issue 27 has Jenn and Jaz back on the trail of their mad bomber, but the incident with the man’s wife being killed by the alien isn’t quite over.  See, all this alien malarkey didn’t go down in NYC where most superheroing goes down, it went down in Allentown, OH.  Yeah, and the local PD didn’t buy the man’s story that “aliens killed my wife” and he ends up in the pokey.  Jenn and Jaz head back to Ohio to clean up their mess and Jenn ends up eating some crow and Jaz opens up a little.  Word…

I’m in. Peter David is back and Shulkie is hotter than ever. With a great supporting cast and a new direction, what more could one want? So pick this up, everyone could use some more Jennifer in their lives. Word.

Offline Sam Wilson

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Re: sam wilson and crew comics and tpb reviews for you, 3/26/08
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2008, 01:32:11 pm »
Kdawg’s Reviews

Never ever walk into the LCS talking on your cell phone… You will miss things. Things like one of the books that you are supposed to review for the week. I got home and was bumming to see that while talking to Hollywood Sam Wilson, I missed the fact that I didn’t have it in my pull and never snatched one up. I will add this book later as a bonus review (just added 3/28/08).

Green Lantern #29
DC Comics
Written by: Geoff Johns
Drawn by: Ivan Reis

There’s just something about this book and this creative team that is pure gold. I thought Mike McKone did an awesome job filling in for Reis, as he recovered his drawing hand from penciling thousands of characters during the Corps Wars. But now that Reis is back, that certain extra flair in this book also was.

It’s a relatively tame story at that this month which makes the fact that it is my pick of the week that much cooler. There are no gigantic galactic battles between good and evil. There are no awesome displays of green light searing across the panels. What there is, is Hal Jordan. Hal Jordan is the center of the story and how the seasons change around him.

This book is much like an origin story, except we all know the origin and can juts follow along and enjoy the subtle (or not so) elements around Hal as the pages turn.

We all know that Hal is a fearless pilot who loved his dad more than anything. Hal used to sneak out of school, skip school, or just never go to school so he could watch his father fly. Hal saw his father fly on the day that his plane exploded and that day would shape the man Hal would come to be as an adult and as the hero he is.

So we get to see Hal in the times before he met Abin Sur. We get to see the day he met Carol Ferris. We get to see the bar fight he got into with John Stewart before they knew each other.

Most importantly though we get to see Hal’s little brother Jim and how much he cares for and believes in his big brother Hal.  Hal may be the defender of Earth but Jim Jordan has always been the defender of his big brother.

Abin Sur does make an appearance at the end and hints to his knowing about the Blackest Night set up the next issue of this arc.

I just can’t say enough great things about this book.  I got hooked on it and Johns and Reis are leading me by the nose to read more every time. This book is Johns' sweet spot. He is an awesome writer, but I think here is where, for me he shines the most.  Ivan Reis’ pencils initially attracted me because he has a lot of the “Alan Davis” style to it… But, now I can also see that he is more than just a Davis influenced creator. This guy has amazing talent and storytelling abilities that move you into Hal Jordan’s world.

Pick up this book… trust me… you won’t regret it.

X-Men Legacy #209
Marvel Comics
Written by: Mike Carey
Drawn by: Scot Eaton & Billy Tan

So Professor X had his brain blown to bits by the traitor at the end of Messiah Complex. His body was spirited away by Exodus and crew. Exodus was able to repair Professor’s X’s brain physically but could not get the most powerful mind on earth to unlock itself from the protective coma Charles placed himself in to save himself.

There’s only one person whom has ever known Charles so well that he may hold the key to bringing him back from the brink. That person is Magneto. Magneto and Charles have been the best of friends and the worst of enemies since the 60’s. Currently Magneto has been depowered and professor X is on a slab of concrete in a coma.

Magneto muses that this isn’t exactly where he had thought they would end up.

Magneto and the Omega Sentinel, Karima, have been left alone with Charles to hopefully bring him back from his own mind and in the process Karima asks Mags, whose dream won the battle? Xavier’s or Erik’s…

We are then treated to many flashbacks, through many years of the two and their eternal fight for what they believe is the best for mutant kind.

Of course nothing can stay calm forever and Exodus has a mean on for Magneto in a bad way now that he is no longer a mutant and you know that the comedy ensues…

But I’m not going to spoil anything for you there, I will just say that Carey delivers the dynamic between these two Father’s of mutant kind VERY well. Magneto is a character much like Wolverine in that it takes the right writer to make him come through, as he truly should.  He’s a noble friend, who has a sense of honor, and while a mean old bastard at times, he has always done what he thought best for his kind.

Carey gets that… the 90’s did not see writers who did… I don’t believe Mags would have ever torn Wolverine’s adamantium out (Wolvie had been a friend during Magneto’s time in the X-Men)

This book is looking like a real good corner of the X franchise right now. I think it plays on elements (so far) that were in Claremont’s incarnation of Excalibur with Xavier and Mags, but it’s better.  Could you ever figure you would say that someone writes Magneto and Xavier better than Claremont used to?

Mighty Avengers #11
Marvel Comics
Written by: Brian Bendis
Drawn by: Mark Bagley

Well I must say that I loved this issue of Mighty Avengers. It seems I flip back and forth every month. Well this is a great month and enjoyed the snot out of Doom taking it to the Mighty Avengers and for once I even enjoyed all the frantic thought bubbles.

I am completely convinced that every one of the Mighty squad, except Stark and Ms Marvel are skrulls All because of their thought bubbles... at times Bendis has set all of these Avengers to act a bit out of what we would pass off as normal behavior. The issue just made me feel like there was some tomfoolery going on with out heroes. If I'm wrong then I guess Bendis' plan is working.

Best thought bubbles of the month go to Doom however as he runs down the list of Avengers that are present and thinks to himself about how he would handle each of their demise. Excellent stuff and Doom hasn't been around the Marvel Universe enough lately...

The painted pages with Morganna were great too...

I really do believe this book is going to hit its stride now. Secret Invasion is upon us and I think that the two Avenger books are going to be a lot of fun in the coming months.

Bendis is doing a great job and I can't wait.

« Last Edit: March 28, 2008, 03:29:13 pm by Sam Wilson »

Offline masigl4179

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Re: sam wilson and crew comics and tpb reviews for you, 3/26/08
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2008, 07:11:32 pm »
21 picks for the week of March 26
21. Ultimate Iron Man II#4- I don't like this story. It's ok but I think it's gone on way too long.
20.Ultimate Human#3- Overall, I'm thinking I will really dig this whole thing once it's collected but I'm going to have too dick this issue because there was too much psedo-science black ops talking heads and no action at all.
19. Hawksmoor#1- I know didly squat about Jack Hawksmoor, but I dig the concept of learning more about his background and this first issue intrigued me.
18. Jack of Fables#21- I hate when they stop one story for these little one shots, but I have to admit that this one about Gary and Wicked John did make me laugh. At least the part about Wicked John trying to hook up with Alice was funny.
17.Wildstorm Revelations#6- It was ok, but once again I'm being led to purchase yet another series called Mark of the Beast that deals with the impending Apocalypse.
16. Ms. Marvel#25- This was a good jumping on point for new readers but as an existing reader I'm not sure if it lived up to the hype.
15. Gravel#2- I'm going to have go back and read some of the old Gravel trades but so far this series is just ok. I have to admit he is a bad ass though.
14. Damage Control#3- I liked this series but I have to admit that I thinked my boy Dwayne McDuffie jumped the shark with the living building. Still, this deserves to be an ongoing.
13. New Warriors#10- My one complaint about this title is that I never know who any of the team members are. I always to go online and look them up, but I think that's a reflection of the art.
12. Black Panther#35- Unlike some people I enjoyed Black Panther in space but I'm happy to see him back in Wakanda and having to face Killmonger no less. Aw happy days are here again.
11. Legion of Super-Heroes#40- The way Jim Shooter is wrting this story is starting to grow on me. I have to admit he has a fresh approach to the team that's inviting to new readers.
10. X-men#209- I had no idea that I would enjoy the story of Exodus bringing Magneto in to help him heal Professor Xavier by jumpstarting his mind so much, but guess what I did.
9. The Authority: Prime#6- Now this is what I call a satisfying conclusion. Seriously, and that's not something you see in comics too much nowadays because everything leads into something else. Do yourself a favor read all six parts of this one.
8.All-Star Superman#10- What can I say over than the fact that this is just All-Star goodness. I like how Superman is trying to come up with these gifts for the world once he dies.
7. Green Lantern#29-Now because I love Green Lantern Emerald Dawn, I didn't think I was going to like this Secret Origin of Green Lantern, but actually it was really good and Geoff Johns really just nailed it.
6. Teen Titans#57- I have often said I hated the Teen Titans but I love Sean McKeever's take on them and I dig the threat of the Terror Titans. This issue we get to see them attack Ravenger.
5.Avengers: The Initiative#10- Man, Dan Slott and Christos Gage are killing this title. KIA is probably one of the best story arcs I've seen in comics this year, and the cover wasn't lying one person died.
4. The New Avengers#39- This was a different Bendis talking heads issue for me. Maybe it was because of the Skrulls, or the focus on Echo and how I thought she would bone Wolverine but ends up in bed with no other than Clint Barton.
3.Mighty Avengers#11-The Sentry pulled off Dr. Doom's mask...nuff said. This book is nuts!
2. She-Hulk#27- See once again Peter David comes across with a clean, original story with lots of characterization and heart. Basically, She-Hulk tries to help the husband of the woman that was murdered by the alien last issue. Real good stuff.
1. Countdown to Final Crisis#5- Basically, this is the origin of Kamandi the last boy of Earth but it was one of the most miserable comic stories I've ever read because everyone died...badly. It was truly a Great Disaster.