after giving it some thought, I’ve decided to discontinue my reviews for a while. As I’ve been working on organizing my comics, I’ve come to an alarming realization. I need to slow down on comic collecting. I will continue to write Marvel movie reviews and do blog entries from time to time about Comics but I really need to slow down. Thank you to all my readers!!!
As I mentioned in my last post, I probably won’t be doing too many reviews this week. In fact, just one. I woke up this morning feeling under the weather. I promise more diligence next week. I have also given myself a pretty big task and it’s taking much longer than I thought.
1. Guardians of the Galaxy and X-men The Black Vortex Omega marks the end of the series and most if it was expected. Kitty Pryde had a pretty expected role in this comic and the end resolution to the planet Spartax conflict is also expected. It wasn’t a bad comic book, I just expected the ending
What happens after the conflict was unexpected and it will be interesting to see how the Guardians and X-men interact in the future. I really liked how the vortex leaves a lasting impression on this character
I really liked the art in the book. Everything about the art was great.. Grade: B
this weeks reviews are going to be very sparse. I have taken on the monumental task of alphabetizing and putting them in numerical order 3 long boxes and 5 short boxes. It took me 7 hours on and off to complete comics beginning with the letters A and B.
1. This week was not as jammed packed as previous week’s with only six Marvel titles to read. However, this week’s list has one of the better written comics I’ve read recently in the form of Magneto #017.
As you may already know, Magneto has chosen to build a sanctuary on Genosha. The only problem: there is a killer on the island killing mutants and leaving behind swastikas in their dead carcasses blood. A question was left on the mirror of his bathroom while he was sleeping asking him if the furnaces were still warm.
We begin the issue with Erik’s girlfriend asking if he knows if the killer is a mutant. From that question we are treated to flashbacks that give us a revelation of who the villain has turned out to be( kind of). The narrative of the story tells us that Erik has known this villain since before he was a mutant. The twist in this story is a bit alarming and how Magneto solves the problem is going to cause Magneto all sort of problems. To reveal that would give you a reason not to read the comment.
Any time that a story has a Nazism element you are going to go to a dark place. This comic book definitely goes there. The writing and art are very dark. However, the writing is also amazing. This was a very good comic book. Grade: A+
2. Uncanny X-men #033 was a great comic book. For readers of the series, you know Magick was pretty upset when Cyclops refused to take ownership of Xavier’s school. She teleported herself and kidnapped Kitty Pryde and took her with her to Monster island.
Kitty has largely objected to being kidnapped. But she later finds that she’s not being dragged along so that Magick can blow off steam, they have arrived on Monster Island to find a mutant that Cerebro identified. Once Kitty and Magick find the mutant they come to a shocking realization that the mutant has been orphaned.
The writing here is excellent and very heartfelt. Bendis has done a truly great job at capturing the very real emotions . This issue tugs at your heart strings and is perfect in its tone.
I wasn’t sure I loved the art in the book at first. It seemed jagged and awkward but as the book continued I found myself enjoying it. This is definitely a grade A book
3. The last book I read this week to review is Loki Agent of Asgard #013. I didn’t understand too much of it, to be honest. What I think happened is that in a moment in time the young adult version met up with his younger self and evil king Loki. Both of the other versions of himself are trying to tell him that he needs to accept being the God of Lies. That he can never change. In the end, he makes his own decision. His decision I’ll leave you to read.
The writing in this book is fine. Temporal mechanics is not anywhere near my strong suit so I confess not being able to grade this book.
There is a lot of talk about things coming to an end and there were a few mentions in these books. No one knows what will happen next and that’s disconcerting. I hope for the best but I’m leery. We will see
Buying comic books can be expensive. Buying comic books on tax day is even more expensive. But rather than licking my wounds, let’s get started.
1. Legendary Star Lord #011 The Black Vortex Chapter 12 successfully did what every Marvel comic book event does that lasts too long. It makes you wish it was over. Overall, I have really liked this event. Although it has, at times, seemed like a cosmic match of Capture the Flag, it has also been cool to read an event where the threat is written convincingly and it’s not only perceived by the characters in the story.
I almost hate to say that I wasn’t a big fan of this chapter. There was some very cool art in this book and some very funny moments where the heroes see what they could become if they accepted the cosmic power of the mirror. However, the dialogue was a bit annoying. Kitty Pryde, on numerous occasion, calls space “so not her jam”. It was clearly written for s younger audience. If I said that I’d get stared at.
There is a giant morality lesson made by the last Viscardi about using the Vortex that has been the primary argument through the entire event.
There is one more chapter left in this event and it looks like Kitty Pryde will be a big part in it. The planet is still encased in Amber. I’m giving this book a weak B. This book seemed like it was a part of the story line that was unnecessary. There was very little action.
2. Deathlok #007 continues the story that is refreshingly complex without being too hard to understand. The writing is akin to reading Robert Ludlum. Except Henry has begun to figure out who he is and it took Bourn a hot second to do.
This issue raised the stakes for Deathlok. He has refused to complete a mission which gets his handler fired and his daughter’s life threatened. He has started his way home but before he leaves someone intercepts him.
There is another storyline with S.H.I.E.L.D. Interviewing Michael Collins( Deathlok v. 1.0) so they can understand version 2.0
I really like the writing in this book. It’s full of intrigue and the readers really feel for the characters in the story. I thought some of the transitions between the stories were too quick. I’m giving this book an A-. It was good but it didn’t strike me as fantastic as previous issues.
3. Are we ever going to get the identity of the new Thor? We aren’t yet. Thor #007 starts us with a character we’ve not seen in this run of the series. Agent Roz. For those of you who don’t remember her she’s the environmentalist agent in S.H.I.E.L.D that almost became Thor’s new girlfriend. She has found a toxic dump on Roxxon Island and is fighting to get it shut down. She gets a call from Coulson that turns out to be pretty humorous. She isn’t aware that Odinson has lost the hammer and goes looking for him
At the same time Thor is taking on the Destroyer and getting her ass kicked. Odinson’s mom finds Odinson and explains the difficulty Thor is having and also explains that she needs to undo what her husband has started by sending the God of fear after Thor to determine who she is. How she does that I’ll leave you to read.
There is one question I have with this issue. I don’t understand how the Destroyer could be worthy enough to wield Mjolinar long enough to hit Thor with it.
I felt the writing in this book was decent but not great. I thought the storyline with Roz ended way too soon. I liked the end of the book and look forward to the conclusion of this story
The art was great in places and just okay in others. I really wanted to like this story more. Grade: B-
Here ends part one. Part 2 will come tomorrow with three more reviews.
1. Humor is a recent addition to Angela Asgard’s Assassin. Issue 5 has some great humor in it. There is one reference to Belinda Carlilse that is particularly funny even if it was a joke cracked in one of the first issues of Guardians of the Galaxy.
The writing in most of the book is excellent. With Angela revealing why she stole the heir of Asgard we find that it wasn’t necessarily for nefarious reasons. Unfortunately, it has started a war.
The visuals in this book, while cool, can be a bit confusing. There is some strange poetry in the book too that interrupted the flow of the book. It was a fun book where the writing could have been better. Grade: B
As my blog title suggests…. It’s time to Meander. As most of you know I usually only review comic books but this week Marvel gave us something new to look at…. A Netflix series based on one of their more popular heroes, Daredevil.
If you haven’t seen it yet, you may not want to read this.
2. Daredevil Episode one “Into the Ring” was really good. The problem is that it could have been turd on toast and been better than the Affleck disaster movie goers experienced 12 years ago.
Marvel has repurposed the movie into a 13 episode season. It starts with the origin of how Matt Murdoch became blind. A chemical spill that happens as the result of a car accident. His father is heading home when he sees a disaster and as he gets closer he finds his son laying in the street. An elderly man says he was pushed by Matt. As his father looks around he sees chemicals spilling around him and orders his son to close his eyes, but not before blinding his son
After the scene is complete we fast forward to Mr. Murdoch as an adult going to confessional for violence he will commit against a crew of men that are trafficking women for profit. We are treated to this scene and there is a lot of Martial arts in this scene. We learn that Matt has super sensitive hearing that allows him to hear things that others can’t hear. Heightened hearing in people who are blind is a myth, however, it is known that people who are blind know how to hone their other senses. It has not yet been determined if his hearing has some super enhancement.
After this scene we are introduced to Foggy, Matt’s friend and business partner. He has awakened Matt because they are on their way to see a realtor about a new office. On the way Foggy meets up with a cop friend who he asks to keep his ears open for a new case. After the scene with the Realtor we are treated to a third major character.
Karen Page is a woman who wakes up next to a bloody man right before the cops break into her house and handcuff her. As she is being handcuffed she is yelling out “I didn’t do this.”
Foggy gets a call from his cop friend and he and Matt end up at the police station to talk to Karen as her lawyers. All Karen lets on to knowing is that she asked the dead man for a drink. His name is Daniel Fisher. After drinking with him she passes out and wakes up in her apartment but Daniel is dead. Matt agrees to take the case but only after listening to her heartbeat which is not elevated. Foggy doesn’t want to take the case because she can’t pay
After the scene is completed we meet a father who is having lunch on a bench. He owes an unidentified benefactor $20,000. We find that through another man who sits next a to him. He threatens the man by showing him a live video of his daughter. The threatening man says he doesn’t want the money, instead he wants the man to use his power as a prison guard to kill Karen Page. He fails in doing so and Matt and Foggy use the failed attempt to free Karen.
As Karen is freed she admits she knows why someone has tried to kill her. She learns that the company she works for has used a pension fund to launder money to help with the reconstruction of Hell’s Kitchen. She brings the information to her boss who laughs it off. She ends up asking Daniel out for drinks so she can tell him what she’s found. That’s when the trouble started. Karen decides that she wants to leave. Matt and Foggy both insist she can’t go out alone so she stays at Matt’s place.
Later that night Matt confronts Karen about whether or not she still has the information and that’s why people are after her. She denies having it but Matt hears her heartbeats increase. Later that evening as Matt is sleeping Karen leaves the apartment and goes back to her apartment to recover the flash drive. She retrieves it but is attacked by a intruder. Matt, as daredevil, attacks the intruder. They fall through a window and that’s where we are treated to another flashback of Matt’s father telling Matt to keep studying and not give up. Matt takes the villain and the flash drive to the press
Karen makes her lawyers a meal as thanks for saving her. At the end of the episode Matt ends up at the gym where his father used to fight where he punches a punching bag.
This was a great start to the series. The ambience of each shot gave the viewer a clear impression that times are darker for Hell’s Kitchen. The Avengers incident is referenced a few times and as a result we are given a time frame for the show.
Many of the scenes are filmed in darkness or at least darker lighting. This is intentional so that we can identify with the blindness Matt is experiencing. Charles Cox does a great job as the lawyer/ hero
We are shown glimpses of a villain but we don’t see Kingpin yet. We only hear his voice
There is a great Easter egg in the show. A poster in the gym shows a fight between jack Murdoch and Crusher Creel.
I look forward to seeing more of this series. Grade: A
this week has been a week of high expectations for Marvel. Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D had a new episode with some very smart writing and a guest visit from someone we’ve seen in the past. We also got the promise that Agent May is going to kick some major ass next week. It was also announced that Disney and Marvel are working on a spin off series to S.H.I.E.L.D. No details have been revealed but one can guess that it’ll either be a second team or Agent Sky( Daisy A.K.A Quake) will lead a team of Inhumans.
Daredevil starts tomorrow with Vincent D’onofrio playing one of my favorite villains, Kingpin. I’m not too sure if expectations are too high on this series because the movie with Ben Affleck was pretty bad but I’m going to watch it. I was never a big Daredevil fan so it’ll be a learning experience.
But let’s get started on the reviews. The Black Vortex Chapter 11 Captain Marvel #014 picks up immediately after the previous chapter ended. Captain Marvel has the artifact now. She has stolen it because her friend, Kitty Pryde believes the only way to undo the damage that Thane caused to Spartax by encasing it in Amber. But she’s been followed by the only remaining survivor of the Viscardi who believes the artifiact must be destroyed. If it’s destroyed before the Amber is broken, a lot of people will die.
This wasn’t the strongest chapter of the saga. It has been enjoyable to read because The Black Vortex is a genuinely dangerous artifact and the authors of the story have done a good job portraying it. The problem is that with issues where there is less plot development and more action for action’s sake, the story loses its depth.
One of the things that I’ve noticed about any major comic book event is that if it lasts too long, the even starts to fall apart. I’m really hoping that doesn’t happen here.? I’m giving this book a grade of B.? It has floundered .
3. There are things I absolutely loved about Hulk #014 and an ending that left me confused. First, what’s not to love about the battle between Doc Green and Red Hulk? Banner and Ross have been going at it for decades in the comics. It’s not necessarily because Ross is a bad guy either. Ross has always been a misguided and incredibly overbearing father that blames banner and the hulk for taking his daughter away from him. Ross has always had the best intentions for his daughter but has always gone about it the wrong way, it only makes sense, then, that Doc Green would have issues with Red Hulk( Thunderbolt Ross)
As you know, if you’ve read the series, Doc Green has took it upon himself to cure anyone who has been affected by Gamma radiation. He has “cured” a few of them already. He saved the hardest for last. To help him he hired Deadpool to shoot an a bullet in Rulk’s ear that would cause his gamma radiated powers to go bye bye. That storyline is addressed and its the second book this week that tries to kill Deadpool.
I thought this was a decent book but had the opportunity to be better. There are single panels throughout the book that give the readers a chance to see that the Hulk V. Rulk fight could have profound impacts throughout the U.S. The problem is that those scenes are very quickly dismissed as only being worth one panel. I’d have liked to have seen even more pandemonium.
The cliffhanger for Banner leaves him in a very precarious situation. But I’m completely confused by how it happened.
The art in this book has always been pretty good. While I’ve seen some artists miss the importance of making both characters look like beasts, I think this artist has captured that well. Grade: B
3. The next book I read this week also has the longest title of the books: inspired by the Hit TV series Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement Logistics Division S.H.I.E.L.D. #004. This week’s issue introduced me to a SHIELD agent I didn’t know about, Susan Richards. Coulson has found a man that knows the whereabouts of all of Hydra’s agents. The problem is he’s at the bottom of a mine being held prisoner under a layer of radiation and also has guards watching him. What better then than to have a hero with the powers of invincibility and force fields to extract him. Susan comes across some added obstacles in the extraction that you’ll just have to read the issue to learn about.
The comic book has chosen to focus a lot on Simmons as a character in this series. I have never found her to be a dominant player in the series. We get a much stronger version of the character that we are just now beginning to see on the show. While I’ve enjoyed the comic I’d like to see more from Agent May and possibly some scenes with Grant Ward.
The comic has a benefit the show doesn’t have. The characters have full interaction with the heroes of the Marvel Universe. That may never happen on the show if the bigger names want too much money to appear.
Mark Waid did a very good job with the tension in this issue. The situation seemed impossible and the reader could feel that tension. This was a good issue, but I’ll be honest, I wanted even more tension. I’m giving this book a grade of B+
4. The last book I read for part one of my reviews might be one of the silliest comic books I’ve ever read and it almost is too absurd for me to enjoy. Almost. In the last issue Howard the Duck was captured by The Collector and put into a cell with Rocket Raccoon who finds Howard to be irrational and annoying. If Rocket finds Howard annoying then you know he’s annoying! And that might be one of the reasons I wasn’t sure I liked it as much as I could. When the writer of this book said that, I found myself also being annoyed.
The part of this book I found enjoyable were the minute details. I loved the signs at cosmic con and found those details worth the read. The details that are hilarious are in the art. It’s not great art but it’s funny. The parody of comic conventions was satisfying but almost condescending.
There is a 3 page story in the book where the Mighty Avengers sue Howard for ownership of the name Heroes for Hire which was also fun. Grade: B