Posts tagged Ultimate Origins

Comics Corner – Threepeat – Marvel Edition (Part 1 of 3)

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So I went without comics for three weeks for a variety of reasons. I finally picked up my batch of comics this week and there were about 30 waiting for me. Since there are that many I figured I’d break down my reviews in threes. I just finished my Marvel comics so here are the reviews for them. Next up will be the DC batch and I’ll finish up with the other publishers (IDW, Dark Horse, Image, etc) in one post. Here we go!

  • Amazing Spider-Man #570 – 572 – This is what I’m talking about! We went through all of Brand New Day so far to get to this. Anti-Venom is a great idea and I love what they’re doing here. Let’s just hope that they can keep it up. A few loose threads were tied up with these three issues and I loved that. This arc should have come a lot earlier, in my opinion. It definitely has a great old-school Spidey feel to it and I really didn’t miss Mary Jane at all during these issues. It’s not a big deal that Parker’s not married right now because he seriously doesn’t have time to worry about things like that. Between finding a job, keeping an eye on Aunt May, and trying not to be killed / arrested by the Thunderbolts, he’s pretty busy here. Not to mention avoiding getting “cured” of his powers by Anti-Venom. I believe that there’s one more issue left in this arc and I’m really looking forward to it.
    Rating: ★★★★½
  • Guardians Of The Galaxy #5 – It’s books like this that make me not want to drop comics. This book came out of left field for me and I absolutely love it. While I’m a little annoyed that Secret Invasion seems to be forced into this book, the writers have somehow made it work in such a way that takes the focus off of the Skrulls and more on the characters in the team. As I mentioned with the previous issue, Knowhere seems to have a definite Babylon 5 aspect to it now with the delegates and whatnot. That definitely fits around the basis of it’s existence. This issue shows the team beginning to fall apart and everyone except Rocket Raccoon at odds with one another. The appearance of a new female Starhawk creates more trouble and Drax the Destroyer is out to…well…destroy. When I finally do pull the plug on my weekly comics purchases, this will be a book that will be sorely missed.
    Rating: ★★★★★
  • Invincible Iron Man #5 – Speaking of books that I’ll miss, this issue continues Stane’s terrorist attacks on Tony Stark and his company around the world. I love how right Stane seems in his actions. I’ve never been a big Iron Man fan, but this book just feels huge (that’s what she said?). It has this big super hero / villain battle thing going on and that fits perfectly for this character. Iron Man needs to fight incredibly powerful and somewhat insane but brilliant technology based villains. He has that in Stane. The last page of this issue is unbelievable and I’m really looking forward to the next one. Stane is a madman, but he’s certainly fun to watch.
    Rating: ★★★★½
  • Mighty Avengers #18 – Ok. We get it. The Skrulls have been around for awhile. Secret Invasion is a big payoff for an Avengers story from a few years ago. Honestly though, why not put some of this info in the EVENT book? While I love the idea of Nick Fury secretly training a bunch of forgotten super powered step-kids, the tie-in bullshit with this event is starting to get out of hand. It’s like they’re sticking to the main story in the event book and using this book and New Avengers to map out EVERY SINGLE DETAIL of where the Skrulls have been and what they’ve done since that first New Avengers arc. They waited too long to pull the trigger on this and now it’s requiring too much backstory. I loved the idea at first, but now it’s dragging on. Let’s get on with this already and back to some Avengers ass-kicking.
    Rating: ★★½☆☆
  • Secret Invasion #6 – Which brings me to Secret Invasion and some Avengers ass-kicking. Seriously, this should have been issue #3. The past 3 issues have been pretty lackluster and building up to this. The Skrulls in all their might on one side and just about every super power in on the Marvel planet Earth on the other. Let’s get it on. We get a few beautiful pages of tremendously epic fight scenes (with of course, Spider-Man swinging around attached to no one knows what as my fiancee pointed out) drawn by Leinel Yu. While I dug the issue, I’m just a little jaded that we’ve waited this long for it and all the crap we had to deal with in the Savage Land to get to this point. I’m just looking forward to the end of this at this point because as usual, the GIANT EVENT that’s supposed to COMPLETELY CHANGE the status quo of the Marvel Universe is shaping up to do absolutely nothing. Also, was that a Galactus Skrull in the background? Are you kidding? Why even bother fighting if you’ve got the power of a friggin’ planet eater?
    Rating: ★★★★☆
  • Secret Invasion Inhumans #2 – While things are going crazy on Earth, the Inhumans are fighting Skrulls already on the moon. Instead of dicking around in Antarctica for awhile, they just got right to it. Where are the Skrulls? Ok, let’s beat the shit out of them. Done. The people on Earth need to take a lesson from the Inhumans. No wasting time here. There was a problem and they’re addressing it. Meanwhile, Black Bolt is busy being tortured and making stupid faces on some Skrull ship somewhere. Seriously, the artist depiction of his shocked face with the “*” quote was one of the most inadvertently funny images I’ve seen in awhile.
    Rating: ★★★☆☆
  • Secret Invasion Runaways Young Avengers #3 – I’m a big fan of both the Runaways and the Young Avengers, but this book just felt weird and out of place. Sure they teamed up…sort of, but it didn’t really do all that much. The two teams really just need to work together and be a super team of teenagers with attitude. This issue finished up their story and gave us some more mumbo jumbo about the prophecy that I think the Skrulls don’t even know about anymore. There’s a God that loves you and there’s also this prince that’s supposed to unite everyone and I’m sure there’s more stuff going on. Somehow with all of these mismatched beliefs the Skrull Empire was able to infiltrate the human race and invaded. If that’s the case, Earth deserves it. Oh, and I laughed out loud at Molly’s comment when she heard Skrull-Speak. That was just perfect.
    Rating: ★★★½☆
  • Ultimate Origins #4 – I used to love the Ultimate books. At one point I was reading all of them and really enjoying them. Then I realized that they were really just rehashing old 616 stories and just got bored. Now I only read Ultimate Spider-Man. I picked this up hoping for some more excitement from what has become a pretty boring universe. If this book would have come out 5 or even 2 years ago, I would have been all over it. Now though? It’s pretty boring. So Bruce Banner new Peter Parker’s dad? They were both scientists so that seems pretty logical and not shocking at all. The cause of Parker’s parents’ death was a little interesting and gives us a little perspective but I honestly can’t remember any other interaction between Banner and Parker that would have shown a sort of emotion that would have hinted at that. I’ll probably pick up the next and last issue just to see how this ends, but I’m not going to pick up Ultimatum. Sorry folks, but you lost me on this.
    Rating: ★★☆☆☆
  • Uncanny X-Men #502 – Continuing right where the last issue left off, we’re treated to some great fight scenes as Wolverine and Nightcrawler tear through some Hellfire Cult punks. I don’t know anything about the Red Queen, but I’m looking forward to the showdown that’s set up for the next issue. I also don’t really care about Dazzler or Pixie so following either of them is an immediate turn off for me. Greg Land’s art, while often criticized, fits this book well. You’ve got these fantastic abilities coming out of people and it works to have things look a little glamorous. The descriptions for each character were also great and added a bit of humor to the book in some harsh moments. All in all, not a bad issue, but not super great either.
    Rating: ★★★★☆
  • X-Factor #35 – If Guardians of the Galaxy is a book that I’ll be missing when I drop comics, it’s issues like this one that make me want to burn every issue I have. I really dig Peter David’s writing, but even his wit can’t make the art look even passable. This is probably the absolute worst art I’ve seen in a comic book ever. I almost couldn’t get through the issue. Somehow I persevered and I was able to finish it, but I came so close to just jabbing my eyes out with a spork instead. I don’t understand how Marvel would actually pay someone to draw like that. I could do better if I wiped my ass on a piece of loose leaf paper. Just write the dialogue around the poop and you’ve got a better looking issue. I love the characters in X-Factor, but I cannot continue reading this book if the artist stays. If his fingers aren’t broken, I just don’t know what to do. I can’t buy the book anymore to show support for something like this. Goodbye X-Factor. We had a good run up until these 3 most recent issues. I’m done now.
    Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Tune in later this week for more reviews from the other books I picked up including Buffy, The Boys, Action Comics, All Star Superman, Green Lantern and more!

Comics Corner – Week of 7/30 & 8/6

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  • Green Lantern Corps #26 – The conclusion to the arc with Mongol. I thought this story was alright, but nothing special. I’m mostly reading this book because I’ve fallen in love with the whole Green Lantern mythos. It pales in comparison to Johns’ Green Lantern book, but it’s not too bad. The art was a little funny. I’m more interested in where the book is going following these members of the Corps into the upcoming events.
    Rating: ★★★☆☆
  • Amazing Spider-Man Extra – Three extra stories that don’t really fit into the regular issues each month. This wasn’t a bad book, but I don’t get the context of it yet. Beginning with last year’s Free Comic Book Day “Swing Shift” Spider-Man has had these sort of weird out of order stories that pop up on occasion. I understand the whole new direction of “Brand New Day” but just tell the story already! It felt like these three stories (one focusing on villain Hammerhead, one on Harry Osborn (OMG! He was a Goblin?!?) and one set in the future with Spider-Man on trial) were just sort of thrown together as necessary backstory for a later arc. It seems a little disorganized to pop out a book like this instead of trying to fit it into the main storyline, but I like Spidey, so I’m letting it slide…for now.
    Rating: ★★★☆☆
  • Green Lantern #33 – Part 5 in Geoff Johns’ look at the Secret Origin of Green Lantern Hal Jordan. I feel like this arc has been going on forever, but it’s only been 5 issues. I guess when you look at it, that’s still 5 months. Ouch. The next issue finishes this up and moves on to the bigger events of Green Lantern for the rest of this year and into next. While I haven’t hated this arc, I feel like it’s a letdown to come after the fantastic Sinestro Corps storyline. It’s like we got all worked up and then things just came to a standstill with this flashback arc. The story is helpful though as I was not up to speed on the origins of Hal or his rogues gallery including William Hand and the man who would become Cyborg Superman, Hank Henshaw.
    Rating: ★★★★☆
  • Justice Society Of America Annual #1 – I know next to nothing about Earth-2 or it’s inhabitants. I understand that Power Girl is from there and I’ve got faith in Geoff Johns. That’s about all I’ve got going into this story though and I dug it. Johns is a great storyteller and this issue is a perfect example of it. I went into it without knowing any of these characters and finished the issue actually caring about some of them. I want to see the Huntress taken care of. I want to see this group, this family back together again, but what’s all this nonsense with another Power Girl? I have no idea, but I’m in for the ride.
    Rating: ★★★★☆
  • Ultimate Spider-Man #124 – Every time I think about dropping this book, I’m treated to some of the best dialogue in comics and I realize that I can’t drop the book. Say what you will about Brian Michael Bendis, but the man writes great dialogue, especially when it’s between Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson. I also love that this arc is spinning out of the Ultimate Spider-Man video game which I loved. Bendis kept saying that the game was in continuity, but it never made any sense. Now it’s starting to! Pretty good issue and I’m excited for more.
    Rating: ★★★★☆
  • Wolverine #67 – Old Man Logan continues. We’re given a very brief glimpse into the events that turned the berserker Wolverine into a pacifist but there’s still a lot of mystery to it. I just hope that everything will be wrapped up in this one story (I believe it’s only 6 issues). The art was top notch so no complaints there. I just want more of this story! I love these sort of future tales, especially ones that show the world in despair. Where did we go wrong?
    Rating: ★★★★½
  • Boys #21 – Speaking of looking back at the past, this issue gives us more information on The Seven and why the Boys are needed. The Seven are painted as these ridiculous bad guys so I never cared for them from the start, but after this issue I downright hate them. They’re not heroes. They’re just dumb people with superpowers and they obviously don’t know what they’re doing.
    Rating: ★★★★½
  • Buffy The Vampire Slayer #17 – I’ve never read Fray so some of the importance or geek-out moments in this issue are a little lost on me. For example, what I first took to be misprintings on the part of the letterer turned out to just be an evolution of the English language (ie: American is now “‘Merican” and Manhattan is now “Hadden”) as seen in other examples of Whedon’s work (most notably Firefly). The art in this issue felt a little too cartoony as well with some panels looking like they came right out of a Looney Tunes short complete with eye-popping surprised expressions. These Buffy comics have been pretty consistent with the lackluster art (aside from the cover artist Jo Chen which is just phenomenal). I saw the big reveal at the end of the issue coming, but it doesn’t make it any less interesting. I feel like I really need to pick up Fray soon to fully appreciate this story arc though.
    Rating: ★★★★☆
  • Criminal 2 #4 – After watching Blast of Silence earlier this week, I was really looking forward to more Criminal. This issue kicks off a new 4 part arc with a new character, the writer of those awful comic strips in the book. It seems like a regular tale of a guy getting in over his head, but the setup is just so perfect. Ed Brubaker has a way of writing with this book that just oozes that back alley grime that you’d expect on a good pulp novel. Speaking of pulp fiction, there’s a great interview with the editor from Hard Case Crime books as well as a nice essay by Bob Calhoun about the film Night and the City and pro-wrestling in noir.
    Rating: ★★★★½
  • Crossed #0 – Aside from The Boys, it’s been awhile since I’ve read anything from Garth Ennis. I’m a huge fan of Preacher so I was ready to jump into this book. This issue is the prologue for this new series. From the looks of it, there’s some sort of rage virus similar to the one in 28 Days Later that’s driving people insane. They’ve just started killing people like mad and a bloody cross shows up on their face. I’m intrigued enough to check out the next issue. It’s got a very end-of-the-world feel to it.
    Rating: ★★★★☆
  • Final Crisis #3 – I’m trying so hard to care about Final Crisis but it’s just not happening. At this point I feel like I’m reading this book (and most likely the numerous one shot tie-in issues coming out next month) out of some misguided loyalty to Grant Morrison and event books. I’m very close to dropping them though as I just don’t care about the Monitors or the New Gods. If I do drop it, I’m just concerned that some crazy shit will happen and I’ll be reading something like Green Lantern and have no idea what the hell’s going on when someone like Dr. Light shows up with a twin brother or something. More stuff almost happened and I think by the end of this issue something actually might possibly be happening. We won’t find out until October because the book is going on hiatus for a month. Way to build anticipation, DC.
    Rating: ★★☆☆☆
  • Invincible Iron Man #4 – Matt Fraction just gets Tony Stark. I love it. This book has been a lot of fun so far. Sure, it’s featured horrible terrorist attacks killing thousands of people, but isn’t it cool to see Iron Man flying around fighting people like The Melter while conducting a meeting about new technology? The art in this book, by Salvador Laroca can be a little off at times. Things felt almost hazy and I felt like it didn’t really fit the tone of the book as well as some of the past artists have. This issue is building towards the upcoming conclusion (still two issues away) and I’m really digging it so far.
    Rating: ★★★★½
  • Iron Man Viva Las Vegas #2 – What looks like a bi-monthly mini-series by Iron Man director Jon Favreau is almost worth the wait. The art by Adi Granov is fantastic. I wish he could always draw Iron Man. While I felt that the story didn’t progress all that much (c’mon, we all knew that the statue was Fin Fang Foom, right?) I’m looking forward to two issues of pure action though. I just wish they’d come out sooner!
    Rating: ★★★★½
  • Twelve #7 – I’ve been a little iffy on this book lately, but this issue has started bringing some stuff together. I love the basic idea of the series though so it looks like I’ll be sticking around. This issue is beginning the second half of the maxi-series and has begun marching the characters towards their inevitable confrontations with each other, most notably the one we saw foreshadowed in the first issue. I’m anxious for the next issue after seeing this one end. Not bad, JMS.
    Rating: ★★★½☆
  • Ultimate Origins #3 – Finally! Something different for the Ultimate Universe! I love it! I was a fan of all the Ultimate books when they started, but I’ve dropped them all except for Ultimate Spider-Man recently because they just got boring. Now they’re finally taking things into that different direction that they promised they would. Magneto involved with Weapon X? Professor X in the Savage Land? What the hell is that eye statue thing? So many questions and so many possibilities! I love it.
    Rating: ★★★★½

Comics Corner – Week of 7/10

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Here’s this week’s Haul ‘o Comics.

  • 100 Bullets #93 – Not going to read until issue #100 (the last issue) comes out. I haven’t read the past few issues as the story got a little confusing and there were a few delays so I’m better off waiting until everything’s wrapped up and then reading the whole saga in one shot. I need to pick up a couple of the trades and then I’ll have the whole series. I’ve really liked the story so far though so I’m looking forward to reading the entire thing.
  • Action Comics #867 – The second chapter in Geoff Johns’ look at Brainiac, this issue has Superman looking for the actual being and not the many, many replicas that he’s battled over the years. I really dug how Johns sort of re-created the idea of Brainiac as something that Kryptonian parents told their kids to scare them. He’s like the Kryptonian Boogieman. Gary Frank’s art really fits the story too. There’s something a little eerie about it, like something’s just not right. That’s perfect for the story of the horrors that Brainiac has committed over the years.
    Rating: ★★★★☆
  • Amazing Spider-Man #565 – First issue of a new arc featuring a brand new Kraven. While I was very hesitant about the series after the One More Day arc, I’ve really enjoyed the direction that the book has taken. Shipping three times a month has made me really like each story a lot more. I still miss the idea of a happily married Peter Parker, but the creators have added so many great characters that the withdrawal isn’t too bad. This issue features a fantastic cliffhanger and thankfully I only have to wait a few days before getting the new issue! My only concern with this book is whether or not they’ll be able to keep up with all these new characters and stories. I’m sure a lot of things will come to a head at once. I have faith now.
    Rating: ★★★★☆
  • Booster Gold #1000000 – Best issue of the week so far. I’ve absolutely loved this series and I’ve really grown to love Booster Gold as a character. I’ve also figured out that if it wasn’t for Geoff Johns, I probably wouldn’t be reading any DC books right now. Johns has turned this pathetic D-level character into quite possibly one of the most important characters in all of the DC Universe. This issue capped off Johns’ run on the series with a look at the future of Booster Gold and his legacy. The bitter irony of Booster is that history will never know what he’s really done for it. He’ll always be known as this loser seeking publicity and only a very small number of people will know the truth. Johns did a great job with this issue as he tied up a few loose ends with his run as well as leaving us with enough to stay interested in the series to come. One particular little tidbit that I won’t spoil here had me in awe of the book. Fantastic.
    Rating: ★★★★★
  • Captain America White #0 – I’m a fan of the previous work of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale such as Spider-Man: Blue so this was a welcome addition. I’ll get to the story in a sec. The real treat here is the art. Tim Sale has really outdone himself with this issue. The art is perfect for the time period and creates this framed picture of nostalgia. Steve Rogers is perfect as this by-the-book soldier. You can practically see the starch in his uniform keeping him perfectly straight. Meanwhile, Bucky is the perfect tag-along showing Steve what he can do to enjoy his powers a bit more. Loeb’s story worked with with Sale’s art (as usual) as he redesigns the first meeting between Captain America and Bucky. I’m not sure if this issue’s content will be included in issue #1, but it’s a nice primer for the upcoming mini-series. There’s also some interviews with the creators in the back of the issue that will most likely not be included in issue #1, so this issue is worth checking out.
    Rating: ★★★★½
  • Detective Comics #846 – This book has been on the edge for me for some time. I loved Paul Dini’s work on Batman: The Animated Series so I was quick to embrace these issues he’s written. They started out fun but quickly turned mediocre. This issue kicked off a 5 part arc featuring Hush, so I gave it one last chance to make up for the average issues. And now I’m removing this from my pull list. I just don’t care enough about what’s going on here and the events are just not that exciting. I’m going to stick with Grant Morrison’s Batman for my Caped Crusader fix. Sorry Paul.
    Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
  • Final Crisis Requiem #1 – This issue basically amounted to a eulogy for the Martian Manhunter. If you’re new to the current Crisis, Jonn J’onzz was killed off with the first issue of Final Crisis. I can’t say I was too saddened by his demise because he’s never really been a character I’ve cared too much for. That being said, I liked this issue’s send off for the guy. All the heroes joined together on Mars to give him a proper funeral. It’s tough to read this without thinking of all the horrible things that are soon to come for these heroes. This was just the beginning.
    Rating: ★★★☆☆
  • Guardians Of Galaxy #3 – I’m continually surprised by how much I’m enjoying Marvel’s space adventure books. Beginning with Annihilation, I’ve been totally wrapped up in these stories. This book has become my favorite, knocking Nova down to a close second. The dysfunctional team finds themselves under attack from Cardinals from the Universal Church of Truth while their home base is witness to a battle between newcomers Major Victory and Starhawk. I don’t know the history of the original Guardians of the Galaxy, so I’m not up to speed on how important those names are, but I’m enjoying it nonetheless. The next issue is a Secret Invasion tie-in too, so let’s hope that doesn’t distract from the ongoing story too much.
    Rating: ★★★★½
  • Invincible Iron Man #3 – Matt Fraction has exploded within my comic pull list. I didn’t know who this guy was a year ago and now I’m buying up anything with his name on it. This issue continues with Stane’s quest to destroy Iron Man. Tony Stark faces some hard times as Pepper Potts is seriously injured in an attack from Stane. Shades of the Iron Man movie come in as the only thing that can save her life is an electromagnet like Tony had built to keep the shrapnel away from his heart. Another great cliffhanger leaves me highly anticipating the next issue.
    Rating: ★★★★½
  • Justice Society Of America #17 – The third Geoff Johns book this week. This issue is the next chapter in the One World Under Gog arc. I’m amazed at how Johns is able to successfully juggle the many characters in this book while keeping the story moving and interesting. This issue gives us just a bit more information on what Gog is doing and really sets up the rest of the arc. This was another book that I didn’t really care about until Geoff Johns started writing it. Great issue.
    Rating: ★★★★½
  • Nova #15 – While I’m not digging this book as much as Guardians, I’m still really liking it. This issue concludes the arc with Galactus and Harrow as Nova finds a way off of the planet sitting on Galactus’ plate, but at what cost? Nova finds himself without his partner, the Worldmind and for the first time he’s missing him. The Worldmind has been a huge part of this series, so I really hope it makes it’s return. After all, it would be needed if the Nova Corps is ever to be relaunched. As with Guardians, the next issue is a tie-in to Secret Invasion.
    Rating: ★★★★☆
  • Secret Invasion #4 – Brian Michael Bendis’ alien invasion story continues. This issue gives us a peek at the Skrull point of view as they torture Reed Richards. Nick Fury’s back and more badass than ever, but there’s a Norseman on the horizon and the White Solider is about to join the battle. I feel like these first three issues have really been set up for the rest of the arc and it’s all coming to a head. I’m really loving this event.
    Rating: ★★★★☆
  • Transformers All Hail Megatron #1 – I don’t usually buy the Transformers comics as they usually pale in comparison to the original TV show. I made an exception for this one because the concept was too good to pass up. This series is looking at a future with Megatron as the almighty dictator of the planet Earth. What happened to Optimus Prime? Why aren’t the Autobots stopping him? These questions aren’t answered in this issue. Instead we’ve got a book full of terror and mayhem as the Decepticons show up on Earth and wreak havoc with not one “Roll Out” being uttered. I’ll probably pick up the next issue, but I have to say that I’m a little disappointed with this issue. I guess I was expecting a bit more story with this first issue. The $3.99 price tag didn’t help ease the pain either.
    Rating: ★★★☆☆
  • Ultimate Origins #2 – While I understand the idea of this mini-series being an Origin story, I feel like it’s lacking a little bit. Since Marvel seems to be trying to defend the idea that the Ultimate Universe is totally different than the regular 616 Universe, I feel like they’re using this mini-series and the upcoming Ultimatum to just shake things up as much as they can. This issue took a look at the origin of Captain America, but it felt pretty light. Bendis gave us a decent look at the mentality of Steve Rogers as he went in for the procedure, but aside from that we didn’t have much else to go on.
    Rating: ★★½☆☆
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