Review: Uncanny X-Men #3

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Like Cal I’m popping out of limbo for a slightly delayed review of Uncanny X-Men #3.  While a review for #3, I will be touching up on 1 and 2 as well.
Spoiler Warning

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Ultimate Spider-Man; Miles Morales

A while back as part of a Divided We Fall review I ranted over Miles Morales version of Spider-Man; more or less I called him a black clone of Peter Parker.  After hearing a friend state they’ve only heard awesome things about him and that she was enjoying the comic, and my local shop stating they actually gained (and had no one drop) buyers when Miles took over, well I decided to give him more thorough look.  Beware of Ultimate Spider-Man spoilers…

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Review: Secret Invasion #8 – Spoilers!

It’s finally over. Ok, so I could just bash the hell out of this, but I don’t want to. I’ve been doing that since about issue two when everyone loved this book. Now it seems most people are on the same page as I am. Dclebeau just wrote a pretty good lengthy review that points out a lot of the faults that I would have. So if you want his negativity, go here. If you want my negativity on previous issues, go here, here, or here. But as for this issue, I’m going to keep it positive.

I know what you’re thinking. What nice thing can I say other than I like the art? Well, I do like the art, but everyone has said that already, including me. Um, Tony went old school. That was cool. That can’t be all I liked, right? Let me flip through my book here. Wasp dies? Don’t care. Norman kills the Skrull Queen? Um, yeah that’s kind of…uh, I liked Ellis’ Thunderbolts? Iron Man finds all the people who were captured (And doesn’t get credit for it). Well, I guess I’m glad they’re alive. So, yay? Luke Cage’s baby is missing and that isn’t resolved? That’s kind of…lame? Don’t care. Don’t care. Thor gives Tony more shit and Bucky gives him the dreaded silent treatment. Why Marvel why? Can’t they all just get along? I have to live with their ten panel team-up in a book I didn’t like? Damn you! Shit this is getting negative, isn’t it? Ok here we go. They kick Tony, a hero, out and bring Osborn, a pumpkin bomb throwing monster, in? You suck, faceless Marvel president! I like that though. It shows the crazy things people do when they’re scared. Well, I already knew that, I’ve lived in America for the last eight years, but kids may not know that. But I do like the idea of villains in control. So maybe Marvel comics will be cool if you can get past their new 3.99 price tag? Maybe, I guess I’m done talking about this issue, but while you’re here, I’ll talk about those new Dark Reign books I’m interested in.

Dark Reign

How can I not buy this? So what do you guys think of this Evil Illuminati or Evilnati as I’m sure it will soon be called? Or if you take the Illumin as illuminate, would you then use the antonym? Would that be darken? Darkenati? Whatever floats your boat I guess. So what do you think of the members? Loki? I liked him before Stracynski gave him an operation. The Hood? Yeah, I do like him and hey I like Dormammu as well. Emma Frost? Love her, but I guess I am one of the many who hopes she isn’t evil. She’s had to fight that lack of trust for eight years! Give the lady a break Bendis! Namor? So he continues to go both ways? Way to be a turncoat fish boy. And what evil alliance would be complete without Doom and Stormin’ Norman? I approve of these baddies.

Large Cover of New Avengers #48

I wish I could quit this book, but I’m too far down the rabbit hole. So Spider-Man is back in the old blue and red. That’s fine. Wolverine is back. I see they still have to make this team as popular as possible. Captain America? More popularity? That’s ok. Bucky on a team will be interesting. Will he have to lead? Luke Cage? Cage on a Bendis team? No way! And Ronin? Will this still be Clint or will he be too busy lovin’ his girl now that she’s back? I still think Daredevil will be on a Bendis team at some point. So what do you think of this new team? It’s even more street than before! At least the last team had magic. Can these guys handle a cosmic baddie? Or even a flying one?

I heard Fraction talk about this a long time ago. Iron Man’s “Born Again” arc. It’s eight issues I believe. The first seven issues of this series have been pretty fantastic. I hope that will continue. Maybe after this, Tony will at long last cease to be Marvel’s whipping boy. It could happen. Please?

Large Cover of Punisher #1 (50/50 Variant)

“Just when I thought I was out, they pull be back in”. I love Frank, but I was just about to break up with him. Ennis and Fraction left the building. Punisher MAX not only decreased in quality but will also cost 3.99 soon. So I was just about to leave until I saw this cover. The villains control everything? Bring in the Punisher! And hey, this book isn’t 3.99! Yet.

Large Cover of Dark Avengers #2

Damn it! I can’t find a good picture of New Avengers #50, but you all saw it, right? Plus it would be weird to put a New Avengers cover for Dark Avengers. I only bring it up because you can really get a good idea of what the line-ups will be. Oh, first I should add that it looks like Ms. Marvel and Spider-Woman will be on the New Avengers. So they do have some women and one member that can deal with flying or cosmic threats. That’s a little better. For the Dark Avengers you have Iron Patriot (Osborn?), Marvel Boy (Yay!), Ares (Yay!), Sentry (So once again, the New Avengers should totally get their asses kicked when they face this team), Black Suit (Venom, but no teeth and less bulky. New host?), Hawkeye (Should be Bullseye which would be cool), Daken (If you’ve seen the cover of NA #50 and you know what Daken’s claws look like, you could confirm this too. That middle claw is clearly below his knuckles), Ms. Marvel classic suit (Moonstone probably). So what do you think of this team? I’m a big fan. Again, I love villain books, so this should be a blast. Oh and I also loved Ellis’ Thunderbolts run and we have Deodato back. Can Bendis fill Ellis’ shoes? Probably not, but it’s still worth a look.

So please let me know what you guys think! And again, doesn’t that new four buck price suck?!

Review: Secret Invasion #7 – Spoilers!

Secret Invasion #7 (Yu Variant Cover Edition)

The Good: The book looks fantastic! Sadly, the best thing about Secret Invasion has been the art and that continues here. Leinil Yu provides stunning panels that you could stare at for quite awhile. Thor, Cap and Iron Man fight together! Skrull Pym gets shot in the eye! It looks like Bullseye did the shooting and was he aiming at Spider-Man?! Crazy! Howard the Duck (page 10, at the bottom) is in this fight?! Noh-Varr shows up (everyone please go read that Marvel Boy mini because it’s awesome)! Hawkeye gets his bow back and shoots the Skrull Queen in the face! The Janet bomb is activated!

The Bad: The Thor, Cap and Iron Man team-up only lasts about five panels. The dialogue is boring! Bendis is seen by many fans as writing great dialogue but none of that is present here. Many of these pages could be wordless and it wouldn’t detract from the quality of the issue. That’s a bad thing. Uatu shows up! Boo! His face should still be broken from Rulk! Even though he looks cool, Noh-Varr still hasn’t done anything! Grrr! This series could have been four issues long. At four bucks a pop and in America’s current economy that really hurts my wallet!

And The Ugly: This is a great example of how a lot of fighting can still be boring. The big battle issue in an event book should be a lot more exciting.

Foilball’s Review Roundup #59 – Secret Invasion and Final Crisis, The Tie-Ins!

Deadpool #3 (***1/2)

Not as good as 2, and way worse than 1. I hope this series has somewhere to go once the Invasion ends. Or maybe I don’t. Can I really afford another monthly?

Guardians of the Galaxy #6 (***1/2)

Wacky misunderstandings in space! Heh, but seriously, how the hell is Peter gonna convince all his buddies to come back and play nice? He basically brainwashed them! It would be pretty sweet if they all formed their own group and told Starlord to piss off.

Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. #34 (**)

BORING. Is this what we should expect from the forthcoming War Machine ongoing? Perhaps I should adjust my pre-order?

Mighty Avengers #19 (*)

Complete waste as it failed at making me care about Marvel Boy. UGH. You can’t just go through the motions, Bendis, you actually have to write clever character stuff!

Secret Invasion: Frontline #4 (****)

Still the best tie-in. Do you get the feeling that maybe Ben Urich is gonna bite it at the end of this mini? I hope so. I like him, but he bugs me. Actually, Sally Floyd bugs me more. Kill her, Marvel!

Secret Invasion: Inhumans #3 (****)

This issue makes me very excited about the direction Marvel is taking the Inhumans. The War of Kings story is going to be epic, people!

Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds (***)

I started to read this, and then I got bored. Heh, maybe I’ll finish later…

Final Crisis: Revelations #3 (***)

I don’t really know how to feel about this comic. It’s well written, but I’m not sure if I like it. Is that weird?

Final Crisis: Rogue’s Revenge #3 (*****)

THIS WAS AWESOME! Those Rogues are some cold-blooded bastards, right! It’s interesting that Captain Cold thinks murdering Inertia makes up for murdering Bart Allen/Flash/Kid Flash/Impulse. I don’t think that’s how it works, dude. And, oh man, having the Rogues cringe at the possibility of the return of Barry Allen as the Flash really gets the mind buzzing for next year’s big flash event. As far as this being a tie-in to FC and not just a cash grab? FAIL. Sure, this mini explains why the Rogues opted out of Libra’s Society, but did anyone really care? That subplot was completely irrelevant to the main plot, that being the murder of Inertia. I’m sure I would have enjoyed this book just as much without all the FC hoopla.

Spoiler Review: Secret Invasion #7

…kind of unsatisfying? Here’s why:

BIG FIGHT SCENE ISSUES SHOULD BE EXCITING!

There are a number of HUGE payoff scenes/fights/panels in this issue and pretty much all of them fail to get the blood pumping. For instance:

• The Big Three fighting side-by-side!

This dialogue is boring. BORING. And then a couple of pages later, Tony whines about his armor and leaves. Wow, great team-up.

• Janet vs. Hank Pym Skrull!

First, Wasp doesn’t even get to reply to Pym’s misogynistic comment, because stupid Stature swoops in to steal her thunder. Then, Bullseye (I think?) shoots Pym in the eye with a rocket (I guess?). Poor Janet, she never gets to have any fun.

• Spiderwoman vs. Everybody!

Wolverine takes her on and gets owned. Lame? Which brings us to…

• Hawkeye picking up his bow… again, and then…

…the part where Clint skewers the Queen’s face! This? This was awesome and it was just about the only part of the entire book to get me even the slightest bit excited. UGH.

• The Watcher finally shows up!

I mean, we’ve been waiting what seems like forever for this douche to arrive, right?

• Noh-Varr’s spectacular debut!

…and then I turned the page and thought, “so?”

• Hank Pym Skrull sets off whatever it is he put in Janet!

Janet growing all big and glowy is supposed to mean what exactly? The effect reminds me of how Wonder Man used to look. Hmm…

This is “going through the motions” at its worst. You can see Bendis trying, trying really extra super hard to make this shit cool, but I think in the end, Secret Invasion just got too fricking big for him. BUT! It wasn’t all terrible. Aside from the Hawkeye stuff, there was one other scene I enjoyed: Jessica Jones saying goodbye to her baby. Aw, sadness? Character moments, Bendis! What happened to the GREAT character moments!?!

Ah well, once again the art is super-spectacular pretty and the story registers just above “not-so-much”.

Review: Secret Invasion #7

I have about an hour before I leave for an interview, so now’s as good a time as any to comment on the latest issue of Secret Invasion.

We knew going in based on the last pages of issue 6 (as well as the last page of Front Line #4, which I thought was a very nice continuity moment) that this thing would pretty much be all fighting, all the time. And that’s basically what it was. It makes you wonder if Bendis felt bad about making Leinil Yu draw as many characters as he had to in this book. Between nearly every New York based Marvel hero on Earth (and a lot of villains too) and the gaggle of Super Skrulls duking it out in every panel of every page, it’s a hell of a sight to behold. Yu manages to keep the foreground character detail pretty darned consistent, and to my eyes the art did not seem rushed or sub par. They may have shipped a week or so late from time to time on a couple of these issues, but the artwork has been astounding considering that the book has remained on schedule for all intents and purposes. I’m going to list some of my favorite moments bullet point style (while keeping as vague as I possibly can), as there isn’t a whole lot to talk about from a meaty plot perspective:

  • The Thunderbolts remain some of my favorite characters in all of comics right now; there were some great moments with Norman Osborne and Bullseye just adding to the mayhem.
  • I love the sequentials of the double page panels during the assault on Skrull Hank Pym.
  • Stature is kind of a badass. There’s a really great image of her punching out Skrull Galactus in the shadow of The Watcher.
  • Jessica Jones dropping everything to enter the fray? Awesome. Leaving her baby with Jarvis Skrull? Well, that can’t be good (apparently he made it out of that helicarrier explosion)
  • Woo! Marvel Boy come to save the day! (You’ll hear more about this when I get a chance to talk about Mighty Avengers #19)
  • Clint taking up Kate Bishop’s bow and doing exactly what he promised at the end of SI #5. This is another example of Yu doing stellar work.
  • Of course, the issue ends with Janet Van Dyne’s comeuppance. I don’t know exactly what it means (or exactly what’s going on with her, for that matter), but it’s a great play off a one off moment during the first arc of Mighty Avengers. Is she going to be the subject of Secret Invasion: Requiem? Possibly, but she’s still alive and kicking at the end of the issue, so who knows?

This issue served better to spotlight Yu than Bendis. Bendis did his standard good work with some solid dialogue, but this was not the type of issue where you really feel Bendis’ voice come through. That’s not really a bad thing, as an issue like this really had to happen in order to set up the end game, and Yu’s artwork is so fantastic and enriching that it just makes the book work really well.