Saturday, 12 April 2014

What ever happened to all the Comics I Like?

What ever happened to all the Comics I Like?


They’re gone, mostly. In the time that I haven't been able to post reviews (due to too many reasons to get into) most of the comics I like seemed to disappear. I haven't really been able to get my weekly read in as I used to and as a result a comic story has to capture me to get me to keep up, but most haven't been able to do so.


Granted, I don’t think I’ve given them all a fair chance. I loved X-factor. When it restarted in the recent volume I never read more than two books. When the Guardians of the Galaxy invaded All New X-men I stopped simply because I felt the story was about to go nowhere that I might want to follow and didn’t feel like I wanted to be introduced to the guardians there. It is that I’m so strapped for time that a title has to be really good for me to go out for it these days. Though I’m really not certain why I still follow Wolverine and The X-men, It’s been losing me for a while now. Ultimate X-men has ended, finally. So has Young Avengers, just as it was getting good again. All in all, I’m at a very odd place with comics.





But there’s good news. Avengers Undercover, like it’s predecessor Avengers Arena, just from the first two books has knocked my socks off! Also, while I’ve been on and off with this latest volume, something about the X-men title is definitely growing on me. ANYTHING that features Miles Morales has me gleeful as a schoolgirl on at a boyband concert (or something like that).





Even better news ; I should have a bit more time to be back on comics. I really should explore some new titles and give others a chance. It’s just I seem to have a particular taste that I still haven’t fully summed it yet ( I’ll probably expound on these tastes in a later post ). A lot of these comics, on the face of it, don't seem to appeal to me. I think I’ll be making a pact with myself to give other books  a try, to be more open in trying to find more comics I like.




Side note : Interesting how I’m not compelled to pick up X-factor when anyone who’s ever bothered to bat an eye at my fanfiction would know I’m very interested in the character Lorna Dane.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Review: All New X-men #16

All New X-men #16



All new X-men 16 is the second installment of the battle of the atom event and its a good one. It picks up right where the Battle of the Atom #1 left off and and sees  the future x-men coming to warn their past counterparts about the repercussions of letting the past x-men stay in the present.

RECAP

The books briefly looks into how Old Cyclops and his team are taking the recent sentinel attacks and particularly how the new healer kid (still cant recall his name) is dealing with his powers as he has possible not just healed Cyclops but raised him from the dead.



Over at JGS the future team gets formerly introduced to Wolverine and his people to warn them about the terrible impact keeping the the past X-men in the present has had on the future (as if there is ever any OTHER reason for time traveling in comics but to bring some kind of warning).



By the time most introductions are made and warnings are issued Wolverine is mind controlled into popping his claws and the beastly future iceman reacts only instinctively and a short battle ensues at the end of which we notice Scott and Jean are missing.

You guessed it, young Jean did it all as a distraction to get away. The comic then backtracks to show that while everything was going on Jean became suspicious after realizing the minds of the future x-men were shielded. She telepathically tells young Beast and Cyclops. Young Beast decides not to be rash about it but she manages to convince young Cyclops to take off with her before they are forced to return to the past by suspicious people from the future she knows nothing about.




The young Xavier (actually future grandson of dead Xavier) reveals to Wolverine and his team why Jean must have fled. And explained that he blocked their thoughts from her to prevent anyone finding out telepathically what happens in the future. Of course the big reveal in the end is that the woman in the Xorn costume - “in poor taste” by Rachel’s opinion- is none other than future-past Jean Grey (sheesh time travel can really make things get confusing).




WHAT I LIKED ?

The pacing of the event so far is pretty good in my opinion. It allows for various aspects of the plotline to be tactically explored and revealed over time. I’m glad that the book took time to delve into how Jean of the past is handling everything and not just rushed right along into chases and battles. It brilliantly plays off of the interactions and relations of X-men from all three time periods with each other - like Beast, Beast and Beast and  Iceman, Iceboy and Icebrute among the others - while placing minor plot points that could be later explored or expanded in the crossover event or in other Arcs, books or titles - like the healer kid, Beast’s mutations and the Icebrute.




This book - as has the ‘All New X-men’ title - looks a lot into how Jean is handling all that is happening around her with all that she knows is her “destined” future if she goes back to the past. Of course she doesn’t take any of it well and her response to the new threat of the future X-men is what any teenager would do. I love how really real her character is portrayed (both her and Scott) as a time displayed teenager destined for tragedy.

As it was seen in Battle of The Atom #1 what happens to the Original X-men can have serious repercussions on the future X-men. At this point it seems there is little hope for her.

By the way, who else knew it was obviously gonna be Jean behind that mask? Just me?

WHAT DIDN’T I LIKE ?

Ummm… This whole time thing in marvel is a little played out and a little confusing, but once you ignore those elements it makes for good stories. It’s kind of like how writers treat powersets and power levels, it changes and the rules change to suite the story line and it throws us off a little sometimes. eg. for one story’s purpose how time and the multiverse functions is that if you change something in the past it doesn’t affect your present/future, but an alternate future is created. Obviously that’s not what they’re working with here. I’ll try not to wrap my brain around what the future X-men’s time might look like.

Poor Jean. She doesn’t have much going for her. And I’m really hoping the series doesn’t end in tragedy at her expense. Why would future Jean want to send her back though, because that would mean she doesn't live. Guess we’ll find that out.

I give it an 8

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Review: Battle of The Atom #1

Battle of The Atom #1



Twas a fantastic start to the fall crossover that sets the stage for what looks like a promising event.

RECAP

The book opens showing Illyana  taking a trip to the future to see the outcome of the presence of the present day mutants. We get a glimpse of the future x-men in battle with several sentinels.The rest of the story jumps in on what I  guess is an average day at JGS. Bendis continues to give delightful little looks into the time displaced youngsters’ interactions and adjustment to the JGS. Baby Iceman’s about to start a cafeteria foodfight when Cerebro alerts Kitty to a new, powerful, mutant. Kitty and the original mutants go out to get a handling it. The mutant just so happens to be a “career criminal” who suddenly realized she could conjure dragons and started wreaking havoc. 




The team doesn't even get to deal with her enough before sentinels show up! And shortly after that its old cyclops (in an incredible display of his…. different… powers) and his team to the rescue. They all manage to contain the sentinels but not before young Cyclops gets hit. He almost dies (or DID die), at which point old cyclops vanishes without a trace from the scene, but is brought back in time by the new healer, at which point old cyclops reappears.

The fallout of Cyclops's near death is that all the JGS staff decide it’s time for the young mutants to go home. Before they could even start up the time cube though it apparently starts itself up and out pops the X-men from the future we’ve been dying to meet.




WHAT I LIKED ?

There’s a lot to like about this  issue and it did very well at setting the stage for the remainder of the event. We’re left with questions about the effect the time displaced X-men are having on the future of the X-men. Why did Cyclops vanish when his young self almost died?

Good or evil I LOVE the new mutants look and powers.

The art is fantastic.

It’s almost adorable to watch the young cyclops as he displays the selfless heroics you’d expect from the young less-scathed version of himself. It’s a reminder of who I believe older cyclops is deep down despite the directions his older self has taken. I think most of what he does comes from a good place.



WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE ?

Nothing I can think of.

I give it an 8


Review: X-factor #262

X-factor #262




This issue was a quaint ending to the arc, and the title I’ve been following since it first began. Yup, this is one of the few titles I actually started from its first release and followed all through to the ending.


RECAP


This installment of the arc kicks of with Layla, living in the Madrox family old home, discovering that she’s pregnant, two years too soon, ‘cause, you know, she’s Layla Miller and she’s supposed to know stuff, future stuff.




Shortly after she’s visited by weird ghostly future Tryp who’s having an issue with another version of himself. Long story short, Tryp has mysterious issues with Layla that’s connected to this other him as well and he calls his goons, who happen to be law men, to evict her from the house, where nobody knows she’s keeping demonic Madrox in the basement.


Tryp goes poof and Layla takes Madrox’s food  to him in the basement. He’s about to attack her when she reveals to him that she’s pregnant, understanding this he retreats, before he could let himself hurt her, to pray.



The coppers soon turn up at the house and one of them in a suit and equipped to deal with both her and her demonic husband. Soon enough we see who Jamie was praying to as the new God powered Siryn (now going by “Morrigan”) answers his prayer and turns him back to his old self in time for him and her to rescue his wife.




Later on around the kitchen table when Siryn asks about the future of X-factor he says, “We have a child to raise. A farm to get back up and running. And a world to leave other people to save. Were done.” and if that wasn’t enough he said it again “We’re done.”


WHAT I LIKED?

It wasn’t grand ending and some might have found it a little cheeseball but I enjoyed it. This issue, as have been the others, was a nice episodic short adventure that just answered the question “where are they now?”. I was pleased with the storytelling and was glad to see Siryn - albeit changed- back on panel again. X-factor has produced it’s fair share of gods (Syryn, Darwin, Wolf-boy), too bad they didn't stick around long after, and I like to see them on panel.


I’ve always loved the relationship between Layla and Jamie and I’m glad they get to take a break from heroics and take a next step in their lives together. Gonna miss them though. I think Layla being preggers is the start of the next wave of second gen mutants because I can’t think of any other mutant who’s had children since M-Day (not sure Rahne counts because her son was part God) even though this is the fourth x-factor pregnancy (counting Monet whose body rejected the dupe child lol).




WHAT DIDN’T I LIKE ?
Yeah well the issue felt kinda simple, but it’s the end of the series, a wrapping up, and apart from that it was good. I’m satisfied.


I give it a 7.5

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Review: Wolverine and The X-men #35

Wolverine and The X-men #35

I’m fighting so hard to understand how the writer and creators of this title expertly fit so much action, adventure, twists and fun - that have you on the edge of your seat, eyes wide open trying not to miss anything- in 22 pages. It’s unfathomable and yet it was done. The end of the Hellfire Saga was an immensely satisfying read.



RECAP (very abbreviated because too much happens for me to write down)

Quentidie (Quentin and Idie) continue fighting their way out of the Hellfire Academy. Toad beats the skin off of husk, till she comes to her senses. JGS teachers >>> Hellfire teachers. Kade doesn’t get offed by his friends, now turned enemies, because no Hellfire weapon can be used against him.



Before the JGS staff can get their students out Kade and Philistine puts the whole school on lockdown; no one gets in and no one gets out.



But before they can throw their hostages into the siege the White Queen herself stabs Kade in the back (well, she slices him with a sword) not pleased that she wasn’t his only queen. Philistine also betrays him for the crazy White Queen saying it was never Kade the siege wanted.

Before the siege can blow up the school, its Wolverine and his staff to the rescue. Dog runs off with Kade in the end (who he gets trapped in the siege mirror somehow.

Broo comes back to his senses and takes out his captor with the help of some bamfs under the instruction of (it is teased) what appears to be our dead friend Nightcrawler.



Wolverine decides not to close the school. Kade’s betraying associates except for pre-teen White Queen (I can never remember any of their names) are forced to join the school. Idie and Quentin are officially an item.

WHAT I LIKED ?

Everything… Just go pick up the title if you haven’t already.

I’m really looking forward to see where this book goes next is all I can say.

I give it a 9.

Review: Ultimate Comics Spider Man #26

Ultimate Comics Spider Man #26



Ultimate Spiderman still continues to intrigue me. It’s a good read. This issue is a little off the usual Miles wagon and dives into Bombshell’s history.

RECAP

This issue goes back and forth between mommy Bombshell’s story and daughter Bombshell’s current predicament. In short, mommy Bombshell was in prison when Roxxon approached her getting her released so they could carry out experiments to turn her into the next “Captain America” and put them lightyears ahead of Oscorp. It’s the usual experiment gone awry.



As it turns out there are a few other people Roxxon had experimented on, Cloak and Dagger got the list and went on hunt for them (not sure why) and that’s why they were after Bombshell. Spiderman and Spidergirl finally catches up with the you Bombshell. They just want to help her, but they dont catch up to her too soon before Roxxons hired mercenary The Taskmaster catches up to them.



WHAT I LIKED ?

This...



I’m glad that the comic has moved a little from being centred around Miles although I was expecting a bit more character development around this older Miles before the title moved into a story like this. I enjoyed exploring Bombshell’s history and seeing how it ties in with Cloak and Dagger’s. Obviously Roxxon has a lot coming to them first creating so many superhumans and then making the mistake of going after them and capturing super heroes to boot.



There Is a gentleman among the panels who appears to be some incarnation of Mr. Sinister working for Roxxon. He looks nothing like the Sinister I remember from the earlier Ultimate X-men days, so it would be interesting to find out later on who and what he is as well as who and what the monster who duelled it out with Cloak and Dagger in the last issue’s flashbacks (if any f you know drop it in the comments).

I just really liked the story over all, the art was great and it was a good read.

WHAT DIDN’T I LIKE?

Well, as I said before I was kind of expecting the title to be a little more Miles-centric and was looking forward to getting to know more about older Miles and how he’s dealing with being back in a costume and his life general but I’m still okay with the turn the the story has taken.

Seeing things like this (possibly) new Sinister always get me just a minuscule bit on edge since I already know who and what the Ultimate Universe’s Sinister is supposed to be. However, I have faith that whoever that Mr. Sinister is It’ll be quite interesting to find out in the long run what the logical explanation behind him is (kinda like faux Psylocke in UCXM).

I give this issue an 8

Review: Young Avengers #9

Young Avengers #9

Well it would appear my theories were right… sorta.. well… close enough. This issue of Young Avengers continues to entertain in its typical refreshingly young and fun fashion. It follows the outcome of the Hulkling/Prodigy lip lock and Loki’s awkward run in.




RECAP

We start off right where we left off in the last issue. Post kiss, Prodigy is embarrassed and runs off.



The story then jumps right over to Leah’s side of the multiverse. She only manages to tell the team who she is “Leah of Hel” and brushes them aside telling them to leave her be. Loki doesn't seem to want to tell them much either (hiding a lot obviously) and proceeds to lead them out of  Leah’s world.



Prodigy finally gets a talking to Hulkling and as it turns out he’s bi (close enough) and didn't come to this realization (or so it would seem) until he was absorbing everyone’s knowledge and, as it would seem, also their sexual preferences(?). He didn't want to die without having experienced at least kissing a guy and Hulking was the perfect candidate as he seems to be the perfect boyfriend to Billy. “Who wouldn't want a slice of that?”. Hulkling explains that things aren't as perfect as they seem and tells him about the concerns he has about his relationship with Billy. Prodigy gives him some advice saying maybe he should get some space from Billy.

Eventually when the rest of the team gets back to evil mommy's dimension they bring along with them a hoard of badass versions of themselves from the multiverse to attack the parasite (or maybe Loki conjured them?). This gives them enough time to escape, rescuing Hulking and Prodigy, but not before evil tentacle mom points out that Hawkeye is almost eighteen now. They back to 616 where they briefly encounter doppelganger Patriot before he disappears again.

They are back to analyzing their situations over noodles. Later on Billy tells Tedd all about what happened and they decide to spend some time apart… Even further later on it would seem that Hulkling has turned to Leah of all persons for advice.



WHAT I LIKED ?

Everything really.

I wasn't so far off thinking that what happened with Hulking and Prodigy was more as a means of helping Hulking forward in the issues that he’s been having in his relationship more so than a big reveal of Prodigy’s sexuality.

During noodles Loki finally explained something that happened two issues ago saying that Billy is “a singular multidimensional messiah” and I can’t wait to see how that pans out as America’s issue with Billy.

Leah… Leah Leah Leah… both her dialogue at the beginning and at the end of the book seem to hint and some vengeance afoot. Any JIM fans care to explain?

What’s gonna happen when Hawkeye turns eighteen?

All in all.. there’s a lot going on with the story and plot in this title and I'm quite pleased with how everything is playing out thus far. Usually I like for things to happen a little faster, but I find the pacing pretty good for now.

Hats off again to the artwork.

WHAT DIDNT I LIKE?

*shrugs*

I give it an 8