Marvel comic book reviews for the week of 9/22/14 part 2

1. Guardians of the Galaxy Original Sin #19 is the continuation of the story where Peter Quill returns to the Guardians of the Galaxy with Drax after surviving the Cancerverse. Quill had attempted to trap Thanos there with Nova but it looks like they were unsuccessful. In addition it appears that Nova is dead. At the end of the last issue Gamora was interrogating Quill to get answers about everything that happened. Quite a bit happened. Without giving anything away, let’s just say the laws of nature in this universe don’t exist in the other universe

There is only one downside to this issue…it’s a cliffhanger. What I had hoped would be resolved has not been.

There are some tense moments in this book. Quill clearly did not want to tell Gamora what happened in the Cancerverse but he also wasn’t going to let her walk away from him before the can of worms she opened was completely emptied.

Bendis does a great job with these characters and the book is a good read. It’s also very nice to look at. The artist didn’t feel like there was call for overtly creative drawing and no drastic liberties were taken with the art. I’m giving this book a grade of A. It is very good but is still not quite incredible

2. Edge of Spider-verse Aaron Aikman The Spider-man 003 is a beautifully rendered comic book. The level of writing and artwork in this book exceeds many of the books I’ve read in the last two years. The lines in this book are very exact and looks so smooth that it’s a wonder to look at

The book also does an excellent job at introducing us to its characters. Aikman is older than Peter Parker so we get a much more mature lead character with problems that are bigger and seem more mature.

Each of the problems the character has are problems the reader cares about.

This is by far the best of the character introductions so far. I would love reading more about this character. Great job!

Loki Agent of Asgard #006 is a book I’m not sure I completely understood. So I’m going to tell you what I think happened. This review is not Spolier free.

There are two Lokis. One in the present and an older version of Loki that is free to roam through time creating mischief.

There is one Doctor Doom and he is trying to turn over a new leaf(kind of). He decides he wants to go into the future to see if his creation( Latveria) is still thriving. When he gets there he finds the old Loki who has had a hand in the destruction of Latveria. He decides Loki must be stopped.

Present day Loki is back from the tenth realm and trying to patch things up with his friend Verity Wells and not succeeding. As he is doing that, he is attacked by Doom and transferred to Latveria and challenged to a duel

In between the two story lines is a third plot line where two Latverian construction workers are discussing whether or not Doom is a “God” of sorts. There seems to be an implication made that one of the two works might be doom in disguise but that part is unclear to me

That is actually my only problem with the book. The issue raises philosophical conversations, but I’m not sure I understand the purpose of the conversations and why they are being talked about.

Because of that I’m giving the book a B. What I did understand, I enjoyed.

4. The Punisher vs Thunderbolts part 5 had its moments. For anyone who hasn’t been following this story arc, Rulk( Thunderbolt Ross) wanted to hire doctor Faustus to become a member of the tam. The Punisher objected to it and quit the team. When he got home there was a sign on a bomb that told him his resignation was not accepted. It detonated and almost killed him. Hell bent on revenge, he took out all the members of the team( except Elektra) and left red hulk for last.

In this issue we learn about Thunderbolt Ross’s whereabouts and that he’s not as easily hidden as he thinks he is.

The majority of the book is focused on the confrontation between Rulk and Punisher but there are guest appearances as well. We also learn who is behind the attack on The Punisher.

The issue was good but it felt a little rushed. That is actually a pretty big problem for Marvel. They always try to pack so much into a multi-part story that they rush the reveal and everything gets revealed in the last few pages of the series.

Everything else was fine with the book. It was just the pacing that forces me to grade the book with a B

5. The last of my reviews this week is Secret Avengers 008. Lately this book has been a hit or miss proposition. The reason: it’s trying really hard to be a Deadpool comic book but it’s failing. The humor in this book is stupid. Deadpool is written by a stand up comedian. It works.

But the humor in this issue was muted and at times the writing is downright creepy. This issue focuses on two sides of the same coin. Maria Hill thinks M.O.D.O.K is behind the teams problem and M.O.D.O.K is planning his attack.

There is not much action in this book. It is largely two discussions between Maria Hill and Spider Woman and M.O.D.O.K and his assistant.

The art in this book is pretty annoying, putting that aside, it’s a great story with some creepy images. Grade B

Thank you for reading my reviews this week. If you have any comments to add, feel free.

Cya next week!

Marvel Comic book reviews for the week of 9/22/14

Welcome back to my little corner of WordPress where I read and review the comic books I collect for Marvel each week. Last week I had 12 titles to look at. This week I have nine titles. I’m going to divide it into 2 posts to make it less cumbersome to read. So let’s get started

1.) Amazing Xmen 011 was an alright comic book. As I mentioned before, I’m not a big fan of The Wendigos. It just feels like Marvel universe ran out of ideas for villains and decided to use the abominable snowman.

But for all that the writing was pretty decent. In this issue we learn more about the Wendigo curse and why it’s happening. We also learn who is behind it. That part of the story was very cool

Where the writing could have been better is in deciding how many characters really needed to be in the book. We are treated to some of the X-men, some of The Avengers, Alpha Flight( who doesn’t show up often) and a team of villains. It’s hard to keep them all straight.

The art here has moments of brilliance hidden within mediocre art. I’m giving the book a grade of B

3. I’m not entirely sure I enjoyed Mighty Avengers 014 or not. It had an almost religious message but I’m not sure if it was executed right. The story is a continuation of the Original Sin story where the Mighty Avengers of the past and the Mighty Avengers of the present are trying to stop The DeathWalkers who have combined to form one giant monster. It’s happening below a cathedral and they used a chalice filled with blood to make the transition.

So here’s my qualm about this issue: using religious imagery in a book in a subversive way can come across heavy handed and become even more heavy handed when the heroes see how the imagery is being used and reverse what has already been subverted. Now I know that this explanation but if you’re looking at this before before reading it, I would be giving too much away.

The writing in this book was nowhere up to snuff. It bordered on corny with imagery that bordered on biblical. I don’t mind when a comic borders on corny but only if it’s done in a way that makes me smile.

The book’s art was very detailed and was good but didn’t have the same as Greg land’s art that is usually featured in the book. Greg Land did the cover of the book though. Grade: B-

4. The next book that I read was Magneto March to Axis 010. The book seems to be a bridge between Uncanny Avengers and other books that will be a part of the new Marvel crossover event called Axis. The writing in this book was very strong.

In the last issue Magneto was captured by Red Skull at the end of the book. In this book we learn that Magneto is trying to find refuge from his torturer by diving into his own memories. The problem with that? Red skull has implanted Charles Xavier’s brain in his head and has the telepathic power to enter and distort each of those memories making the torture even worse.

There will be a lot of people who will say why do we need another backstory issue for Magneto but I was okay with it. After an almost 20 year hiatus from comic books it was a good tutorial in “X” history.

The art was very unusual in this book and may have been a bit too jarring to be enjoyable. The book starts with the dark and gritty visuals we come to expect in these books and once we get to the memory portion of the book, the art changes to a much brighter hued story with art that I can only describe as 1950’s science fiction b-movie poster art.

Still the writing in this story is strong enough to give it an A-.

Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D episode 201 review

BIG TIME SPOILERS: One thing about fall TV shows is that when they end for the season they leave you with a bit of a hole that needs plugging. For the most part Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D season one was pretty good. It took a while to get started but by the end it turned out to be a pretty fun ride

As you may already know, Shield( yes I know there are periods between the letters but I’m going to have to ask you to use your imagination and pretend they’re there) was infiltrated by HYDRA( no periods in the name) and now Coulson and his team have gone dark. They are still fighting the terrorist group but they are doing it from behind the scenes.

Shield is also getting help from other teams and other agents to track down alien hardware. The hardware in question appears to turn people to stone at the touch, which we learn from a flashback that Agent Carter and Captain America’s team in the first movie are in

We are also introduced to a new villain. His name is absorbing man and he has the ability to change his skin into any substance he chooses at the touch. He is also fascinated by the artifact which has been procured through some backwater deals.

There is also a plot line introduced between Skye and Ward. He wants her to trust him. She wants none of it.

Fitz is not doing well and has suffered a TBI and he is having difficulty expressing himself

There was a lot to enjoy about this book. With Coulson’s team trying to regroup and be cohesive, they are a much more focused team. As a result, the episode did not feel too disjointed at all.

The special effects were great. They created Absorbing man to look very impressive

I think my only real problem with the show is how intelligent the agents of Shield are and how dumb everyone else seems. In one scene the stupidity of the other characters telegraphed a plot point minutes before it happened.

The twist at the end of the show was great. I guess I should have seen it coming but didn’t.

All in all, it was a very good episode. Much darker and serious, but really good. Grade: B