Foilball’s Review Roundup #10

Rating System:


5 Stars: WARNING: Morrison X-Men
4 Stars: Scott Lobdell X-Men

3 Stars: Robert Kirkman X-Men
2 Stars: Claremont X-Men
1 Star: Chuck Austen X-Men  


*my scanner is being lame so, no panel scans today. Sorry.


Green Lantern #29 (*****)





It’s been about two and a half years since Green Lantern re-launched with Geoff Johns at the helm and Hal Jordan in tow.  If someone had told me back then that GL would be one of my favorite books in 2008, I would have told them to, quite frankly, go #$%& themselves. Johns has taken this mid-level, boring piece of wood of a character and really made me love him. The more Johns Hal I read, the more I like him, maybe even more than Ron Marz Kyle Rayner. Oh… and yeah, I said it. Hal Jordan, along with Barry Allen, was one of the most boring characters alive or dead. Sorry Hal fans, your boy sucked. And really, isn’t that why you all hated on Kyle Rayner so much? Because he was an actual character with hopes, dreams and fears? Anyway, I’m getting sidetracked… the art has also been fantastic, with Ivan Reis improving on perfection with every issue. The origin story: lots of people are bitching about this… I say, necessary evil. Just think of all the new readers we picked up during and after the Sinestro Corps War. Those guys need attention too. And anyway, I like getting this semi-untold tale of Hal’s boyhood from Johns’ perspective. I mean, that guy can write drama. It’s well written and well drawn… why wouldn’t you enjoy this? And… Abin Sur’s kind of a badass! Can’t wait for more!


Invincible #49 (****)





Wow, this is how good Invincible used to be… it’s how good it’s SUPPOSED to be! Hated that last few issues, so I’m glad we got a nice, fast wrap up of last months crappy story. I mean, is it bad that I don’t even remember who this Seismic guy is? Or who the black Batman dude is supposed to be? I was pretty confused, but the scene ended quickly enough and Kirkman got us where we needed to be for the next startling revelation… Cecil betrays Mark. Is anyone shocked by this? Me neither. I never trusted that guy, not since day one. Predicable, but still, the execution was flawless. Especially that last page where Cecil has tricked Mark into “the white room” and into a trap. Killer. It’s also nice to see Mark get pissed about something for a change. He’s been a “yes-man” for so many years, I was beginning to wonder if he had any guts at all. Also, if I don’t get some closure on this Atom Eve situation soon, my guts are gonna burst. Word.  I’m thinking maybe issue 50 could be a 5-star book next month… there’s a good shot.


Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. #26 (****)



Mandarin… you sneaky bastard. Although it was very obvious what was going on, I mean as soon as Tony Stark asked her to unlock extremis you had to know it was actually Mandarin, it was still well played. Just like this month’s Invincible! DING! This has to be the best super hero espionage book right now, replacing the currently lackluster Checkmate. UGH, Checkmate… why?!?!? I hope Maya gets a happy ending. I don’t know why, but I really like her character. I guess next issue should see some big shake-ups now that the Mandarin has his “extremis-bomb”. And although I love the plot device of forcing Stark to fight in his old armor, we really need him back in the modern tech soon so he can kick the shit out of old Mandy. Because, you know… Iron Man’s a good guy.


X-Men Legacy #209 (****)





For me, Carey may be entering the pantheon of great X-Men writers very soon. His X-Men has been great lately, especially this trip down memory lane. Hmm, maybe his referencing all the great stories of the past is making me rank this arc higher than I would normally? Whatever. My real question is: why does his Ultimate Fantastic Four suck so hard? It’s probably the artists he gets stuck with. I bet his scripts are really good. His characterizations have been super crisp, especially Magneto and Exodus. I don’t think Exodus even had “character” before this arc. I think we get two more issues of this story, and the final page leads us to believe Carey is promising an epic Professor X/Exodus showdown next issue. Obviously, count me in.  


Quick Hits:

  • Black Panther #35 (**): I used to love this book… Killmonger’s back and he wants to kill BP, what else is new? Oh, apparently T’Challa has forgiven Tony Stark. Whatever. 
  • Daredevil #106 (**): Wah wah wah, my pee pee hurts. Could we give this guy a break, please?
  • Robin #172 (****): Seriously, why did Dixon ever leave this book? I know all the back patting is going on over at the Nightwing table, and that’s kind of deserved, but the improvement in Robin since Dixon came back by far blows Dick Grayson out of the sky. Spoiler? Know what, I’m fine with her coming back. Explain it as a “Superboy-punch” and I’m good. I can’t say enough good things, next month I’ll probably do a full review… again.
  • WWH Aftersmash: Warbound #4 (***):I love these characters but this story blows. Still waiting for it to get better. Only one issue left…
  • Wolverine Origins #23 (****):I don’t care what they say, I love this arc. And the imagery just keep getting better and better, especially that last page. Logan slicing off Wade’s trigger fingers was brilliantly played. Bravo Mr. Way, bravo.


11 thoughts on “Foilball’s Review Roundup #10

  1. You capture exactly how I feel about Warbound, and you know I disagree with you about Wolverine: Origins. Pretty much the only volumes I get are for Invincible. I do actually read Invincible, but I haven’t said anything about it because I get the volumes and after the 8th came out a while ago, the 9th hasn’t come out yet, and since I believe it has 49 in it, I’m not surprised.


    I used to love Invincible… and Walking Dead. I think since he quit Ultimate X-Men, his creator owned books have gotten better. It was probably just the fatigue of writing so many monthlies that was fucking him up.

  3. Man I feel stupid for posting this, but I cannot stop myself. So please excuse my fanboyishness and opinions.

    This is in response to your rating system.
    You put Grant Morrison’s X-Men, the run that almost ruined Magneto, one of the greates characters in comics, at 5 stars? I can deal with this in a way, but then you put claremonts run at 2 stars? Are you high? Have you read those comics? Have you heard of the dark pheonix saga or hell, any of the X-men stories that really made the X-Men? Man Alive this enrages me!

    Thank you. Nice website you got here. ‘Twas a good idea.

  4. First, thanks for the comments. You should never feel foolish when expressing an opinion about a comic book… it’s an inherently foolish genre. We’re all friends here.

    HAHA, yeah, I’ve read them all. And while I appreciate what Claremont did for the X-Men brand, his run is not the end-all be-all for me. In fact, reading it again makes my head hurt the same way reading the original Crisis does. Grant Morrison tells a better story. He writes a better “Claremont”. Ruin Magneto? On the contrary, before Marvel retconned it, I think Morrison was the first writer to give Magneto relevance in more than 20 years. The reveal at the end was epic. You can’t tell me it didn’t remind you of those old school X-Men stories… the high drama! The intrigue! And yeah, it was supposed to. Morrison’s run could not exist without Claremont, but that doesn’t make Claremont the greatest X-Men writer alive. All writers borrow from other writers. Shit, we don’t credit Shakespeare with everything that followed him, do we? And yes, he plagiarized like nobody’s business.

    Thoughts on Scott Lobdell? I think he writes a better Claremont than either of them. Heh.

  5. I really like Claremont and those older X-Men stories. I sincerely hated Morrison’s run. Let’s put them in leather! Ooh, and let’s make Magneto utterly different. Honestly, that was horrible. Claremont did a great job, and I loved his X-Men, and hated Morrison. I mean, Morrison really did ruin Magneto.
    Magneto has always fought for mutant rights and has always been more opposed to Professor X’s pacifist way, partly because he was a Jew in the Holocaust and saw what happened when a group is wrongly discriminated to the extreme. Still, he has never been a mass murderer and was always much better. Yes, he was technically the villain, but he always going for the same goals as the X-Men, with different methods. Professor X and Magneto have always had a love-hate relationship, and they have sometimes been great allies, and sometimes enemies. Always though, he never deliberately just killed people randomly. The one biggest example is probably when he sank a Russian sub and did kill people, although it was in self-defense, after they launched at him first. Sure, he may have been an instigator, but it was in the middle of a conflict with them, and not just to kill people. Yes, Genosha had just been destroyed and he would be pissed, but he is not a mass murderer who murders defenseless women and children. When he first discovered his powers and couldn’t save his daughter, he couldn’t control his powers, but killed people who were his attackers. Still, this made him into a straight-up villain, who annot be seen as a villainous anti-hero. Okay, maybe not anti-hero most of the time, but still, there is a difference between Magneto and people like Doom or Kingpin. Magneto has morals and doesn’t just kill people. No, we are not talking about Ultimate Magneto either. I was so relived when I saw that they had retconned that Magneto into being Xorn pretending to be Magneto pretending to be Xorn (which was confusing, but at least let Mags off the hook). Sure, he was important. He was important in House of M also, but he was more himself in House of M, and less himself in Morrison’s run.

  6. Okay, you did get that the real villain of the Morrison run was Sublime, right? he was introduced at the very beginning of Morrison’s run in the X-Men Annual… remember the “wide screen” gimmick they ran? anyway, Magneto was being controlled by Sublime, so all the stuff he did that was “out of character” was in fact Sublime forcing Magneto to act that way. and this isn’t retconned stuff i’m talking about, this is within the continuity of Morrison’s run. remember the Great White Beast from “Here Comes Tomorrow”? Sublime too.

    i think a lot of people bash the Morrison run because they didn’t completely understand it the first time through. to be honest, i was as confused as everyone else till i re-read them all again in trade. there’s a lot of stuff i missed the first time, especially all the clues Grant laid down for us. seriously, if you haven’t, give them another look.

    alos, how is it that Astonishing X-Men has been universally showered with praise and yet it’s very obvious that Whedon has built his entire run on the work of Morrison… explain that one.

  7. Sorry, but I didn’t read much of Morrison’s run because of the leather and Magneto. I might get myself to try reading New X-Men, but I can’t see it happening soon. If he did change it, then I apologize. Still, I don’t think it was good in that he made me not like it immediately and not get to hear his explanation. If you want to make something that looks bad, but then, at the end, turns out to be good, you can’t make it so bad at the beginning that people (like myself) get pissed off about it before he has a chance to make it better.
    I don’t see how Whedon built off of Morrison any more than Morrison built off of Claremont, or Claremont off of Stan Lee. Yes, it came after, but it was just good. Yes, the second arc was kind of stupid, but it was better than Mags because it was some random computer. Plus, I love Cassasdy’s art. Also, they got rid of the leather immediately, which I found to be good, and Whedon made a point of it being different. In the first issue, Wolverine is asking if it is going to be about the spandex, and Cyclops replies that superheroes wear costumes and that the leather was scaring people away. Subtle, huh? It was, IMO, very non-Grant Morrison.

  8. i’m talking about specific elements that Morrison introduced. of course, if you haven’t read all of Morrison’s run, i wouldn’t expect you to recognize them in Whedon’s work. Whedon extensively uses themes, locations and characters from Morrison’s run. There is actually quite a lot hidden beneath the subtle “we’re not gonna wear spandex” exterior of Astonishing. for example: bringing the Emma/Scott relationship to the forefront, something that was glossed over by other writers after Morrison left X-Men. returning to Genosha in the second arc, thereby revisiting continuity and themes set up by Morrison. bringing back Cassandra Nova in the third arc and all the little call backs Whedon makes to the Morrison run in it. making the X-Men a proactive force… this groundwork was laid heavily by Morrison. continuing the notion of making the mansion actually host a school for mutants, not just be a home to the X-Men. and on and on and on… read Morrison, and then read Whedon. the feeling of “continuation” will slap you in the face.

    if you don’t believe me, hit up wikipedia for more clues.

  9. Well there are things to get cleared up. I have a weird taste in characters, this is true. “Relevance” is not something that I find interesting. Some of my favorite characters include Lei Kung the Thunderer, Tigra, and Unus the untouchable, and most of those people you couldn’t call relevant, or even alive.

    I hate playing in the realm of all opinions are subjective because I find that it is more fun to argue when each person involved believes there opinions are objective. That can be annoying if you aren’t playing the game.

    To be fare, I have a mostly second hand knowledge of Morrisons run, probably since it wasn’t collected in the 40 years of x-men set. T’was in the same set that I read the claremonts, and I can see why someone would not like him.

    Whedons X-men was brought up. I hate to think that I hate everything that is unversally praised, but I found Whedons X-men exceedingly boring.

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