Archive for Marvel Adventures

Friday Night Fights: Rhino Rampage!

Well now, lads and lassies, if we’re going into another weekend, I think we’re going to want to start things off right, don’t you think? No, that doesn’t mean you get to start your weekend with a glass of warm milk or a half-dozen fiber pills or a wild evening of darning your socks. That means we’re going to start things off with… FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Tonight’s big fight comes to us from October 2010’s Marvel Adventures: Super Heroes #5 by Paul Tobin, the always awesome Chris Cross, and Rick Ketcham. Captain America has traveled to a small town stuffed full of HYDRA agents to help the Rhino, of all people, rescue an adorable baby rhinoceros. Hey, what happens when the Rhino fights a truck?





That should be your cue, lads and lassies, to head out, get your horn on, and truck things up this weekend.

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Friday Night Fights: A Kraven for Punishment!

Awright, let’s do this — it’s Friday, we’re all ready for the weekend, and the only way to get things started is with a little random comic-book violence! It’s time again for… FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Tonight’s battle comes to us from September 2010’s Marvel Adventures: Super Heroes #4 by Paul Tobin, Ronan Cliquet, and Amilton Santos. Kraven the Hunter has been working as a mercenary bounty hunter, which means he’s mostly been keeping the Avengers from capturing Deadpool while endangering innocent civilians. Once the team finally has the Merc with a Mouth in custody, it’s time for Captain America to deal with Kraven.





That’s all we got for this week. See you mugs back here on Monday morning.

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Friday Night Fights: Faking It!

Wow, what a week. Just nothing but chaos and responsibilities and not anywhere near enough rest or fun. I hope like heck that this weekend is going to help relieve that a little. But we gotta get things rolling, and the best way to start off a new weekend is with… FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Tonight’s battle comes to us from October 2009’s Marvel Adventures: The Avengers #39 by Paul Tobin, Horacio Domingues, and Craig S. Yeung. The Rhino has decided he’s tired of having to hang out with crazy psychotic supervillains, but he doesn’t want to just turn himself in to the cops — he wants to go out with style — and that means he’s gotta get stomped by a superhero. But when Tigra is the hero who shows up, can they team up to make this fight look properly punishing?

That’ll do it for me — see you guys on Monday!

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Flash in the Pan

The Flash #10

Well, the motorcycle-riding speedster Hot Pursuit is really an alternate-universe version of Barry Allen himself. He warns that some kind of time anomaly is about to drastically alter history and reveals that Barry Allen himself is the generator of the Speed Force. Kid Flash shows up, and Barry blows him off because, well, no one knows. And former police lab scientist Patty Spivot returns to visit Barry and apparently try to start some kind of romantic triangle with Barry’s wife, Iris.

Verdict: Thumbs down. Holy bananas, this is rotten stuff. They’re trying to get all the pieces in line for the upcoming “Flashpoint” crossover, but this really is coming across very ineptly. I’m especially irritated by the “Barry is the source for the Speed Force” thing, ’cause it’s just thrown out there almost at random, which is a really poor way to do a retcon.

Batgirl #20

Batgirl and Proxy are trying to track a shadowy group employing Slipstream, a technology-based superspeedster who plans on a major heist. And it turns out that Slipstream was actually one of Stephanie’s classmates. So how does a college student with some Batarangs beat a speedster?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Great dialogue, jokes, and action. Do I need to keep telling y’all this is DC’s best superhero comic?

Marvel Adventures: Super Heroes #13

Thor and Valkyrie bring Nova along on a trip to Asgard, where they’re going to meet up with an Asgardian soldier who has been punished for the last several thousand years for a failure in battle. Nova points out that this is a pretty harsh punishment for a single failure, which angers Thor and amuses Valkyrie. What’s going to happen when the three of them finally catch up to the condemned warrior?

Verdict: Thumbs down, mostly because this series has been the all-Thor-Valkirie-and-Nova show lately, and I’m getting bored with that. C’mon, Marvel, I know there’s a “Thor” movie coming out, but give it a rest, okay?

Sir Edward Grey, Witchfinder: Lost and Gone Forever #3

Sir Edward and Kaler dispose of the undead Mr. Glaren by burning him in a campfire and are soon afterwards set upon by some sort of demonic hound — and Edward is saved by Isaac, the simple-minded Paiute Indian. Edward and Isaac exchange gifts — Edward reads an old letter to Isaac, who gives the Englishman a bracelet. While all this is going on, the witch Eris is continuing to work her influence over the local Indian tribes.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I’m loving John Severin’s artwork. I’m also getting a charge out of the rest of the story. The dialogue is wonderful, of course, but I think the most fun is the small moments — the letter Edward reads to Isaac doesn’t seem to be any earthshattering thing, but it’s a nice moment anyway.

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Marvel Adventures: Super Heroes #12

So Bruce Banner sees televised footage of a huge green man-monster tearing up Pecos, Texas — but Bruce has never been to Texas. At least ’til he travels there trying to figure out what’s up. Once there, he discovers a former coworker at his lab named Emil Blonsky who’s dosed himself with gamma radiation and now calls himself the Abomination.

Verdict: I’m going to have to thumbs this one down. Sure, these are all-ages books, and every young comics fan has to be introduced to the Hulk’s rogues gallery someday. But this one was just not that well done. The final slugfest is about as dull as you can get.

Batgirl #19

Stephanie is on the trail of a superspeed bank robber who busts bank vaults open and then leaves millions of dollars alone. Meanwhile, the Grey Ghost, a Batgirl fanboy (wasn’t sure such a thing existed) is stalking Steph, hoping he can help her out. And Wendy Harris, Batgirl’s tech-support and Oracle-in-training, has a rotten attitude about everything. And Batgirl’s first official meeting with the speedster, Slipstream, does not go well. Is she going to get another chance at taking him down?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Have I said before that this is probably DC’s best superhero comic? (with “Secret Six” as their best supervillain comic) Well, it still is, and if you’re not reading it, you’re a dork.

iZombie #11

A lot of stuff happening in this one. Horatio and Diogenes come to an agreement with the vampire girls running the paintball course — and they discover that there are zombies in town. Speaking of zombies, Gwen locates her brother and follows him as he goes shopping for comics. Spot asks Ellie to help his grandfather move from his current chimpanzee body to a human one. And Amon meets Galatea at the local diner, and she tells him that an eldritch horror from between the planes of existence is coming, so she hopes to sacrifice a few hundred people so she can control it.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Lots of great interpersonal stuff, lots of staggeringly awesome artwork. This is so very worth reading.

Today’s Cool Links:

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The Marvelous Marvels

Tiny Titans #37

For the most part, this is all about bringing Captain Marvel and Mary Marvel into the Tiny Titans universe (Cap Jr. and Hoppy the Marvel Bunny have previously made their debuts). While the Marvel kids make with the “Shazams!” and the “Krakooms!”, the Super-Pets take naps, Mr. Tawny appears as the school’s math teacher, Mr. Mind tries to get into Pet Club, and Psimon tries to discover his own magic word.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Just spectacularly cute and funny. I probably got the most enjoyment out of Psimon’s two pages of trying to figure out a magic word he can use — not to get Marvel powers, he just wants a T-shirt with a lightning bolt on it. And of course, it’s great to see the classic Marvel family back in comics.

Detective Comics Classics

It’s one of DC’s new reprint mini-collections, and it costs six bucks, but I just couldn’t resist a bunch of retro Batman stories. There’s an extremely cheesy Riddler story from 1968 written by Gardner Fox with the Riddler trying to cheat his way through his clues and Batman using detective skills and huge amounts of luck to save the day. There’s a ’69 Batgirl story with incredible art by Gil Kane. And there’s a story starring Robin and Batgirl from ’75, during Barbara Gordon’s short-lived (but not short-lived enough) career as a Congressperson, where the heroes have to fight off a resurrected Benedict Arnold and the Devil, which is everything that a good Bat-Family story should never be.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Yes, it’s just spectacularly cheesy and goofy, and sometimes absolutely idiotic. But I loved it anyway. And the Gil Kane art is so good, I’ll be spotlighting some of it later tonight.

Marvel Adventures: Super Heroes #11

The Hulk recruits the Thing (if by “recruit,” we mean “tries to beat up”) to help him with a conundrum. The Hulk has discovered a Celestial hidden in the countryside and doesn’t know what it means. Ben gives a brief summary (My favorite way to describe the Celestials is “Because Jack Kirby said so.”), then calls in the Invisible Woman to help them figure out what to do with the dormant giant. But the Leader has his own plans for the Celestial. Meanwhile, Captain America and Nova hang out and meet a girl.

Verdict: Thumbs up, pretty much entirely because I thought the bits with Ben, Sue, and the Hulk were so much fun.

Today’s Cool Links:

  • Lubbockite Todd Gray, purveyor of fine bloggery at Fanboy Fun, writes about Grant Morrison’s take on Batman. Here’s Part I and Part II, with another two parts still to come…
  • It’s never fun to learn about canceled comics.
  • I’ve been having some fun with this game. “Audiosurf” is like a racing/block-collecting game powered by your own music collection. It’s a few years old, but it’s dirt cheap!
  • I gotta admit — I love reading everything I can about this story. It was great to read about people power in Egypt, and it’s even better to read about it here in the U.S.

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Batgirls and Batboys

Batgirl #17

Yay! A teamup with Stephanie Brown, the former Spoiler and current Batgirl, with Damian Wayne, Bruce Wayne’s son and the current borderline-psychotic Robin! This is good because these two are extremely funny together, especially when being written by Bryan Q. Miller. Batgirl and Robin are both on the trail of some child kidnappers, and the case leads straight to a group of kids on a field trip to a local museum. The heroes can’t see what’s going on inside the museum dressed as superheroes, so Batgirl has the idea to send Damian in, dressed like a normal kid, and then sits back to enjoy the spectacle of Damian having no idea how to relate to kids his own age. Can Batgirl and Robin survive the kidnappers and each other?

Verdict: An enthusiastic thumbs up. The character interaction here is simply fantastic. Stephanie and Damian make a really fun team, thanks to their wildly different personalities and crimefighting styles. Miller gives us a bunch of great moments — Damian pestering Alfred, Steph waking up late for class, Damian trying to blend in with schoolkids and trying (and mostly failing) to drive a school bus, and Steph getting more than her usual share of one-liners and zingers. Have I told y’all before to make sure you’re reading this? No? Well, make sure you’re reading this.

Marvel Adventures: Super Heroes #10

So we’ve known that there’s an impostor inside the Avengers for the past few issues, but who is it? Well, it’s the Black Widow — specifically, the Black Widow from a few years in our future, who was brought in by Reed Richards, whose research into time travel revealed that the Invisible Woman had been fated to die at the hands of any number of supervillains. That fate had been averted, at least temporarily, when Sue joined the Avengers, but Reed wanted to make sure she stayed on the team, so he hired the future Widow to replace the current one and work to convince Sue to stay on the team. Now the Avengers know that Reed was behind the replacement, but they don’t know why, and they’re attacking the Baxter Building to try to get Reed to explain. Can Sue and the rest of the Avengers get into the Baxter Building? Can Reed hold them off long enough for the new Sue-doesn’t-die timeline to trump the old one?

Verdict: Thumbs down. I was the most bummed by the ending, which just comes out and says no one will remember any of this. It basically eliminates at least six months’ worth of stories from everyone’s memories. Just seems a little extreme and irritating, to be honest.

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Friday Night Fights: Triple the Pain!

Well, it’s a new year, and it’s time for the first Friday Night Fights of 2011. Let’s jump straight in, oy?

This is from May 2007’s Marvel Adventures: The Avengers #11 by Jeff Parker, Juan Santacruz, and Raul Fernandez. The Serpent Society has engineered some snakes with mind-control venom, and one of them has just bitten Wolverine. His healing factor should take care of the venom before Captain America, Storm, and Spider-Man have to knock him around, right? Right?

Not a bad way to start the year — but let’s keep our fingers crossed for better stuff on the way.

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Marvel Adventures: Super Heroes #9

Man, I love the cover art for this one. Great work, cover artist Ronan Cliquet!

This issue’s story is fairly simple: Nova has learned that there is an impostor hiding out in the Avengers, so while the rest of the team fight giant monsters, he and the Vision (and the Vision’s girlfriend) investigate everyone by sneaking into their rooms and digging around in their sock drawers. Superheroes are kinky.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Seriously, it was a nicely tense story, even if I question some of the reasoning here — why would Nova pick the Vision as his investigating partner instead of Thor, who also knows about the impostor? Still, good fun, nice dialogue, another well-done issue.

Tiny Titans/Little Archie #3

Raven and Sabrina hang out at Pop’s Chocklit Shoppe, Veronica drags Robin along to meet her dad, Archie gets to spend the day playing in the Batcave, and Jughead and Cyborg compete in a hamburger-eating contest.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Lots of fun. Fave moments: Archie running wild in the Batcave, with all the bats and penguins and rabbits; Mr. Lodge’s utter contempt for anyone his daughter brings home; and Batman calling the Joker to ask if he knows of any supervillains who have kids with orange hair.

Marvel Super Hero Squad #12

Yay, Christmas issue! Santa’s sleigh crashes into the heli-carrier, forcing the Super Hero Squad to dress up in Santa costumes and run around the city delivering presents. Possibly even better is the backup story, where the X-Men reveal that Rudolf is the most famous mutant of all, before they embark on an insane toboggan race.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Lots of funny stuff here, cute dialogue, and a nicely seasonal dose of mayhem. The bit with Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer as a mutant is really pretty epic.

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Pussycat Dolls

Tiny Titans/Little Archie #2

It’s time for another meeting of the Tiny Titans’ Pet Club, and Josie and the Pussycats have been invited to bring her pets — but of course, the Pussycats aren’t cats, they’re a rock band! Soon, they’ve got the rest of the Riverdale kids thinking the Pet Club is a big costume party — all while an old Archie bad guy called the Mad Doctor Doom (Ring, ring! Marvel’s lawyers calling!) and his pompadoured sidekick Chester plot against our pint-sized heroes. Once everyone gets to the Titans’ treehouse, Moose shows up with his pet moose, Moose, followed by Archie dressed as Pureheart the Powerful, Jughead as Captain Hero, Betty as Super Betty, Veronica as Superonica, and Reggie as Evil Heart. All that, plus we finally get to meet Jughead’s dog Hot Dog, and we get detailed instructions on how to dance the Batusi.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I believe we’ve established by now that I love everything about this comic book, yes? Well, I loved the stuffing out of this one, too. Excellent humor and art, and just all-around fun.

Marvel Super Hero Squad #11

Tigra, She-Hulk, and the Wasp decide it’s time they finally started getting some credit for their superheroic deeds, so they set out to get themselves inducted into the Super Hero Squad. They soon find themselves up against a bunch of toad aliens who’ve kidnapped the entire Super Hero Squad. Wasp works to shut down the ship while Shulkie beats up the toad champion — but can the heroines rescue the Squad, keep the ship from crashing in the city, and get their big promotion? Meanwhile, in the followup story, the Squad members re-enact “The Magnificent Seven,” with Thor delivering all his lines in a combination of Wild West drawl and Asgardian thee’s and thou’s (“Huzzah! Pointeth me towards them varmints!”), the Falcon delighted that he’s going to get to be James Coburn, and the Silver Surfer doing a great impersonation of Robert Vaughn.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Both stories were a lot of fun. I loved Falcon’s genre awareness in the Western story, and almost everything Thor said was good for a laugh.

Marvel Adventures: Super Heroes #8

Nova has traveled to Asgard with Thor, where they discover that Odin is an impostor! They team up with Valkyrie and travel to visit the Norns, a trio of fortune-telling witches, who reveal that Odin is held captive by the trolls. Will Nova be able to hold his own in the land of the gods? And what kind of trouble is brewing back home in New York?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Nova is so completely and amusingly over his head in Asgard, completely awed by everything, and it’s fun to see him win the respect of Valkyrie. The day-in-the-life antics back in NYC are fun, too, and the cliffhanger is first-rate. Definitely looking forward to the next issue…

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