Bruce Castle Presents: 15 Comic Reviews! I Have No Time!

Ugh! I feel like Billy! I had hoped it wouldn’t come to this but sadly it has. I’ve been really busy saving civilization lately. Hopefully the aliens and super ninjas will stay away long enough for me to write some proper reviews soon. I have to at least write long reviews for Final Crisis and Secret Invasion. Anyway, enjoy my negligence!

Mighty Avengers #19 (***1/2) That’s two good MA issues in a row Bendis! You have one more left to go. Make it count!

Conan #4 (****) Always a solid read and hey the Corben stuff is making sense now. This book looks pretty as well.

Grant Morrison Doctor Who #1 (****) I’m not a Who fan, but this is still usual Morrison excellence. It’s very entertaining forgettable fun!

Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #2 (****) A bit worse than last issue but this is still epic stuff. Plus, Perez’s art has never looked so good!

Final Crisis: Rogue’s Revenge #3 (****1/2) What a fun series! I’m so in the mood for that new Flash comic. Go villain books!

Green Lantern #35 (****) Yeah it was too long but that won’t matter much in trade. How many origin stories have been better? Oh, and how awesome is Reis?

Secret Invasion: Inhumans #3 (***1/2) More forgettable fun! Pretty art too!

Justice Society Of America #19 (****1/2) One of the most consistently great books out there right now. I like all the Eaglesham art but I don’t like waiting!

Punisher #63 (***1/2) That forgettable entertainment that looks pretty theme continues!

Secret Six #2 (****1/2) Fun! Fun! Fun! But not as great as last issue. Catman vs. Batman!

Amazing Spider-Man #573 (*****) Go JRJR go! Hooray for awesome comics! Stephen Colbert fans must pick this up!

Ultimate Origins #5 (***) Meh. I’ve forgotten it already. Weak last page!

Uncanny X-Men #503 (***) Write better Fracker! You slightly improved here, how about an extreme improvement next time?!

Astonishing X-Men #27 (****1/2) To hell with the haters! This book is awesome! I laugh so much!

Young Liars #8 (****1/2) Very interesting issue! Not as fun, but still fantastic! This is the best book you have never heard of!

Again, I’m so sorry about this crap. Hopefully I can remedy this problem and have awesome new reviews soon. Please comment if you want me to further explain my zany opinions. Sadly, I can’t show all the covers but I will give you this one!

Marvel Reveals Amazing Spider-Man's Colbert Cover

Bruce Castle Presents: Take Two Ultimates And Call Me In The Morning

Ultimate Origins #4 (**1/2)

Well, it pulled out of that downward spiral. In fact, this issue was even better than last. Unfortunately, it’s still not enough for me to recommend. This issue’s “reveal” was particularly lackluster. Ultimatum is coming, I get it. Stop talking about something big happening and actually show it please. Butch Guice’s art has been mediocre at times, but after looking at this issue, you can see that the man has talent. His renderings are probably the most impressive ingredient in Ultimate Origins. Sadly, this series has turned out to be a moderate retelling of well-known origins with an ultimate twist. Is that really worth your money?

Ultimate X-Men/Ultimate Fantastic Four Annual#1 (****)

Ah, another “people from a warped future come to the present” story. Isn’t that kind of boring now? Yes, but it can still be fun when done well. This comes from two Heroes writers, Joe Pokaski and Aron Coleite. They’re both fairly new to comics, but they’ve already become quite proficient. As I mentioned, this is one of those future yarns. We get to have some fun discovering what’s happened to all our favorite characters. Don’t worry. We still get to see plenty of the current ultimate heroes. They’re drawn wonderfully by Mark Brooks and Dan Panosian. Panosian is a name I’m not familiar with. I found his art to be quite pleasing though. He has a cartoonish style that I’m very fond of. Some more good news is that this issue may actually contain a clue as to what will occur in Ultimatum. Whether it does or not, this was an extremely entertaining read.

Bruce Castle Presents: Monster Origins!

Monster Pile-Up (-)

It’s only two bucks. That’s about the best thing I can say about this. I bought it because I’m reading Astounding Wolf-Man and this was supposed to feature “compelling tales essential to each series!” That is a load of bull! I only got 4 pages of Wolf-Man and all it did was inform me of stuff I already knew and spoiled things for new readers! It spoiled a twist that actually surprised me too. I’m not reading the other three titles nor do I want to after reading the samples in here. Oh and they give misinformation about the Astounding Wolf-Man trade to put the ass tasting icing on the cake!

Ultimate Origins #3 (**)

This book is caught in a downward spiral. I really liked the first issue. It revealed some pretty shocking information and had good action and pretty art as well. The second issue didn’t really give us anything shocking but it was still a well-written retelling of Cap’s Origin. That’s cool too. It is Origins after all. But with this issue, again there is nothing shocking revealed. I guess what’s bothering me is how this book began and how it was advertised. This book was supposed to show dark secrets about the Ultimate U and how everything was connected. That theme has been absent these last two issues in a five issue miniseries which isn’t good. There was a little bit of behind the scenes stuff going on here, but it wasn’t anything to get excited or even care about. It’s a decent book when it comes to the retelling of origins, but we’ve already seen a lot of that sprinkled throughout the Ultimate books for eight years. So this was disappointing to me, but hopefully the last two will blow me away.

Bruce Castle Presents: Gods, Invasions, and Origins Oh My!

4 stars = Stop reading review and go buy now!!!!
3 and a half stars = Great issue and make room on your trade shelf someday soon
3 stars = Recommended and maybe even trade worthy
2 and a half stars = Recommended
2 stars= Not the best, not the worst, not recommended
1 and a half star = Terrible issue and vocalize your disgust at your next social event
1 star = Awful awful awful and you may want to consider dropping this title
0 stars = Next con you attend where the writer and/or artist are present you should throw this issue in their face

Justice Society #17

This issue, much like Action Comics, doesn’t move the plot forward all that much, but it’s still a hell of an issue. I probably talk about this in almost every Geoff Johns book I review, but he is one of the best character writers around. He can make you love an iconic character that seemed a bit stale (Hal Jordan or Superman), he can make you love an older character that was never given a chance to shine (Booster Gold), and he can take a completely new character and make you love them (Cyclone). This issue’s great moments include: Maxine ogling the newly healed Damage, oh and a monkey too! The exchange between Mr. Terrific and Dr. Mid-Nite. Ugh there are too many! Anyway, the plot doesn’t develop too much but I love where it seems to be going. Again, it’s more epic storytelling so I’m sure there will be a few naysayers, but I love this book!

4 stars

Secret Invasion #4Well, again Desiato and Billy got their review out a lot quicker. They seem to be more excited about and enjoy this series more than I do. Although, this was the first comic I read on Thursday. I’m still waiting for this series to live up to its expectations. I was about to breakdown each previous issue but there is no need. Let’s just move on to a few things about this one. Sentry cries, Ms. Marvel tears up, and Agent Brand cries. What’s up with all the crying? I suppose it’s supposed to add to the gravity of the situation, but it’s done in such a way that I don’t think a lot of people will even notice it. Not that it was subtle, but it just didn’t add to the story. This is an event and a HUGE one at that. Every panel should matter but that’s not the case here. Fury blasts Ms. Marvel, ok that’s cool. But is it just pointing out that “who can you trust” thing that we’ve been bludgeoned with over the past six months? Hopefully not, but that does seem to be the way Bendis is writing these days. I see it as more of a question of why. Is Fury a Skrull? Or is this just the Ms. Marvel Skrull thing? If she is a Skrull at this time then it seems her buddies didn’t get the message. We get another green eyes shot that I would think Mr. Yu would be getting tired of. Is Black Widow a Skrull? She is certainly not acting like a Skrull or is she? In this issue we get a close-up of The Hood’s face. Am I the only one who thinks he looks like Tony Stark? I looked at my Hood HC and the character looked nothing like this guy and certainly didn’t have blue eyes. It’s hard to tell though. I’m not sure what I think about Yu’s art. I used to think he was pretty good, but this whole Skrull business has kind of convinced me otherwise. With this and that whole baby thing ugh. That would be interesting if Tony was a Skrull and the Hood was the real Tony. Again, the way Bendis has been writing lately I doubt that’s a possibility, oh well. Thor and Bucky showed up too. I would usually be happy about this, but instead I have just a bad taste in my mouth. This review is long enough with me going into details. Anyway, the important thing isn’t the background. It’s not the tie-ins or anything else it’s just THIS ISSUE. And THIS ISSUE in my opinion was just ok. I got a bit excited over the last issue and I didn’t have that feeling here. It has nothing to do with the “reveal”, but more about the overall quality of the issue and the expectations that one should have about a 4 buck event that has been building for 5 years and is supposed to overshadow the last few Marvel events. I’m a bit of a sad panda after this issue.

2 and a half stars(It’d be lower but I have to recommend it, you should read it at least once)

Ultimate Origins #2– Got to review this quick. Not as great as last issue but still pretty good. It’s cool to see Steve in the early days. Not a whole lot revealed that I remember but it’s still very promising. The art is still nice and so is the writing.

2 and a half stars

Review: Ultimate Origins #1

SPOILERS!!!

It’s here! The event everyone was waiting for! Well, maybe not. Sadly this crossover was overshadowed by Secret Invasion and Final Crisis. I spoke to people who weren’t even aware of it until the week it came out.

The issue begins with Bruce Banner telling Spider-Man “it’s all connected”. This took place six months ago (is that all the time that the Ultimate Universe has covered? Wasn’t this supposed to have occurred way back in Ultimate Marvel Team-Up? I guess that’s comic time for you). This conversation between the newly acquainted heroes is interrupted by Hulks favorite people, the military. Banner transforms into the Hulk and runs away with the military pursuing the “target”(should that be Hulk’s new name? He’s been called it enough.).

We then flashback to a beautiful two page visual  of the Guadalcanal Campaign in WW 2 August 1942 drawn by Butch Guice who did a great job on this issue. We see a soldier dressed in patriotic attire (not Cap) that gets shot by the enemy and lands on the now bloody American flag. The president is unhappy that his super-soldier was killed. He wants “A God-fearing symbol to those godless bas###s”. We then move on to the Allied Invasion of Sicily in August 1943. Some allied soldiers are conversing and are referred to as “Howlett”, “Fisk”, and “Fury”. Props to Bendis for giving us some soldiers we know, always enjoyable to me. The enemy gets the drop on the soldiers and Fisk gets away. Nick and Wolvey are captured.

Fury is next found in a cell and gets escorted by some people that inform him that he is “Test subject 41. Project Rebirth.”. He gets strapped down into a chair without any explanation other than he should be honored. They inject the serum and Fury begins to grow and his eyes change colors. He breaks out of his restraints and begins kicking some booty. The dude running the project is informed by a soldier that he let all the prisoners go and that they all escaped. The guy doesn’t care because he says “We have our breakthrough.”.

We check up on Wolvey who is breaking out of his chamber in the nude in Alberta Canada October 1943. He runs out into the snow where some soldiers pursue him. They shoot him and he begins to regenerate.

Flash forward to Weapon X three years later. Two men are talking and one says that at first they were pursuing the super soldier serum. But then they discovered something new in Howlett’s genealogy. A mutated strain of human genome. The guy says that this is what they’ll call the mutant gene. These guys created a mutant. “James Howlett is mutant zero”.

WOW!!! And people thought the first issue of Secret Invasion was revealing. This is some huge stuff for the Ultimate Universe. I’m a big fan of the Ultimate Universe and have read everything in it so for me this stuff is huge. Wolverine, Kingpin, and Nick Fury fighting together in WW 2, Nick Fury is the first super soldier and humans created mutants! This is some cool stuff. Combine the good art and the large amount of jaw-dropping material and you’ve got one jam packed awesome first issue! If this continues, this could be the best crossover of 2008.

4 stars