Archive for Wolverine

Tiny and Stabby


All-New Wolverine #5

Wolverine and her clone sisters Gabby, Zelda, and Bellona are on the run from Alchemax Genetics, which created the clones and wants them back. Zelda is dying as the nanites in her bloodstream start to tear her apart, so Laura breaks everyone into Hank Pym’s lab so she can steal one of his Ant-Man suits. The Wasp shows up soon and agrees to help — she and Laura are shrunk down to microscopic size so they can go beat up teensy-weensy robots. But Alchemax has finally managed to track the clones down, and someone isn’t going to walk away from this.

Verdict: Thumbs up. The action was, ehh, okay — I’d be fine with a moratorium for a few years on the fairly tired trope of getting shrunk to fight nanobots. But this is all wonderful just for Laura wearing an actual fer-realz Ant-Man suit and for Janet van Dyne calling Dr. Strange clear in another dimension just to bawl him out for teleporting crazy people onto her property without asking permission first.


The Ultimates #4

The giant monster fight on the cover does not actually appear in any shape, form, or fashion inside the comic itself.

The Ultimates have made it into the Neutral Zone, and the Blue Marvel has discovered an old friend waiting for them — Conner Sims, former friend turned crazed supervillain. As Anti-Man, Sims had enough power to hold off most of the superheroes in the world, and he’d been responsible for the death of Adam Brashear’s wife. So Adam, Captain Marvel, and Monica Rambeau head out into the void to — kill Sims? Save him? Not even our heroes are sure. Meanwhile, someone is recruiting the reborn Galactus to stop the Ultimates — and it may be someone far too powerful for anyone to resist.

Verdict: Thumbs up — but mainly because I always felt the Blue Marvel vs. Anti-Man confrontation needed more oomph to it. The rest of the story is, well, adequate.


The New Avengers #6

The Avengers from the future have traveled to the present to stop Moridun the octopus space wizard, who has secretly taken over Wiccan’s mind. In the future, after he becomes the Demiurge, Moridun is able to use Billy’s powers to take over or even destroy the world. Can the future Avengers stop him now? And will the present Avengers let them do it? Or does Billy still have a chance to save himself and to save the future?

Verdict: Thumbs up. The future Avengers are really pretty cool — we’ve already met Danielle Cage, Luke’s daughter, as the future Captain America, but we also have a merman in Iron Man armor, an older Teddy Altman, and a tiny Nova. But the best stuff in this comic takes place inside Billy Kaplan’s head — and in the new revised future. If they wanted this to be the last issue, the last couple pages would make for a great ending.

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Con Artists for the Dead


Alabaster: The Good, the Bad, and the Bird #2

Dancy Flammarion is dead, and Maisie — Dancy’s ex-girlfriend (and werewolf) (and ghost) — is trying to make some money with her only friend, Bird, a talking bird. Maisie is scamming people nowadays, posing as a “medium and Christian spiritualist” so people mourning their loved ones will pay her to talk to the dead. Of course, Maisie can’t talk to the dead, but Bird can sneak into homes and knock on tables so it looks like the dead are communicating with her. Meanwhile, Carson and Hunter, a couple of blood-drenched lesbian occultists, are making their plans while actual demons watch them for signs of weakness.

Verdict: Thumbs up. The dialogue between Maisie and Bird — and between Carson and Hunter — and really, between everyone — is just wonderful and fun, and the visuals are outstandingly creepy.


All-New Hawkeye #3

In the future, Old Man Hawkeye and Older Lady Hawkeye have raided SHIELD to get the grownup kids from Operation Communion back, with assistance from Captain America Chavez. Unfortunately, they don’t arrive in time for everyone. And in the present, Kate makes bad decisions, Clint visits his brother Barney, and they decide to fix their errors while time is still on their side.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Nice to see the band getting back together. Also cool to see America Chavez being as badass and super-cool as always in the future.


All-New Wolverine #4

Trying to keep her clones safe from Alchemax, Wolverine takes them to a place she knows can’t be spied on — the Sanctum Sanctorum of Doctor Strange. Unfortunately, the place freaks Bellona out, and she accidentally releases a magical monster from captivity. When one of the clones falls severely ill in the aftermath, Strange teleports all of them to the local hospital to take an MRI — and what he finds is something he can’t handle with magic.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Always fun seeing highly physical characters like Laura interact with more cerebral ones like Strange. Laura’s clones are still good fun, and the humor and action are very nice.

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Surfing the Silver Age


Silver Surfer #15

Together, the Silver Surfer and Dawn Greenwood have recreated the Earth and the universe — but the Surfer has left out stuff he didn’t like, and Dawn’s knowledge of Earth is really pretty limited, plus she’s created an imitation Surfer to keep her company. And even worse, their assistants, Glorian and Zee, are actually villains in disguise. Glorian steals the power of the Shaper of Worlds, while Zee reveals himself as the Incredulous Zed. Can Dawn and the Surfer figure out a way to stop Glorian? How will they choose which universe survives the end of everything? What does the future hold for them?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Great to see an excellent end to this series (although I’m pretty sure it’ll continue with yet another new #1 issue) by Dan Slott and Michael Allred. It’s charming and funny and bold and exciting, and it’s some of the grandest storytelling we’ve seen about the Silver Surfer.


All-New Wolverine #2

Laura meets with the security officials at Alchemax Genetics, which created Laura’s new clones. They want her help in tracking down her renegade sisters, who have powers different from her own. She initially agrees, but then meets one of her clones at her apartment, and she tells Laura that Alchemax just wants to kill them and harvest their DNA. Wolverine ends up joining their group (after they shoot her a bit) just before Alchemax’s security forces invade their hideout. But do even four Wolverine clones stand a chance against a small army of mercenaries?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Good story, good art, several really nice character moments, very nice action sequences, too. Didn’t enjoy this one quite as much as I did the first issue, but it was still good superhero fun.

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Lightning Round

Well, thanks to getting a ton of comics last week and being just plain bored with blogging lately, I’ve gotten way, way behind on my reviews. So let’s see how fast I can do a bunch of reviews…


Starfire #6

An alien bounty hunter pursues Starfire and isn’t shy about killing humans. Can Kory stop him, or is her head going on a pike?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Good humor and action, very pretty art, and that cover is a solid winner.


Spider-Gwen #2

While tracking down the Lizards, Spider-Woman meets up with a much different Captain America than we know. Can Gwen handle the Lizards and Cap — while handcuffed?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Fun story. Loved the new version of Cap — complete with a full backstory! Now I want to read more about her adventures, too…


All-New Hawkeye #1

Another new number-one issue! MARRRRVEL! (shakes fist at sky) Most of our story is set in the future. Clint Barton is a washed-up old coot, and Kate Bishop is rich and bitter and pretty damn good at her job. They’re trying to make up for the mistakes of the past — and that means they’ll run afoul of the Mandarin.

Verdict: Ehh, good enough for a thumbs up. Artwork and personality conflict are what sell this story the best.


All-New Wolverine #1

Laura Kinney, better known as X-23 and Logan’s gender-switched clone, has taken over the mantle of Wolverine. She’s trying to stop a sniper atop the Eiffel Tower — but she doesn’t have an adamantium skeleton to bounce bullets…

Verdict: Thumbs up. I wasn’t expecting to like this one so much. The art is cool, the action is excellent, and the dialogue and characterization are fun. I reckon I’ll be picking up a few more issues of this one.


All-New All-Different Avengers #1

Man, they’re gonna run out of Avengers titles before long. The members of this team include Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Vision, Ms. Marvel, Nova, and Spider-Man. Ahem, that’s the Sam Wilson Captain America, the Jane Foster Thor, and the Miles Morales Spider-Man. Not all the characters have even met yet, but the stories around them are plenty fun.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Yeah, I’m really looking forward to seeing Mark Waid writing these characters. This is probably one of the new Marvel titles I’ve been looking forward to the most.


Illuminati #1

Titania has been released from jail and plans to give up the criminal life. She’s doing her best, but it’s hard for ex-supervillains to get jobs anywhere. She-Hulk is willing to help her, but they’ve been rivals too long, and Skeeter rejects her aid. She manages to get a crap job as security at a pawn shop, but a robbery attempt ends with Luke Cage and Iron Fist assuming she’s the villain. And then she gets “rescued” by the Hood, who’s putting together a new gang of under-the-radar super-crooks.

Verdict: Ehh, it’s not bad, but I’m not sure I’ll be picking it up. We barely meet any of the characters aside from Titania and the Hood, and though Titania is a fun character, I don’t think there’s enough here to make me feel like I need to keep reading.


The Vision #1

In an attempt to be more human, the Vision has created his own family — his wife, Virginia, and their twins Viv and Vin. The entire family is deeply weird, terribly ominous, and they’re all utterly, utterly unhuman.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Wow, this one was amazing — an astonishingly creepy comic about robots pretending to be normal human suburbanites while actually being skin-crawlingly weird. It is so, so good.


The Ultimates #1

Yet another branch of quasi-Avengers, this team consists of the Blue Marvel, the Black Panther, Captain Marvel, America Chavez, and Monica Rambeau. They’ve got an extremely ambitious and wide-ranging plan to neutralize Galactus — and it’s not what anyone expects.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Another comic where I love all the characters — and at this point, I’m willing to read almost anything Al Ewing writes. And lookit, a comic book without any white male characters — and with that many serious powerhouses on the team, they may be Marvel’s toughest badasses…

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Friday Night Fights: Squirrel Power!

Okay, kids, let’s get right into it — it’s Friday, and we’re all feeling punchy, so that means it’s time for… FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Tonight’s battle comes to us from October 2011’s The New Avengers #15 by Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Deodato, Wolverine has to face off against the Marvel Universe’s most unstoppable badass.

Winner and still champeen — Squirrel Girl!

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Rage and Fire

Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine #6

This has been an extremely fun comic from the beginning, but I hate to tell ya, it falls all to pieces in this last issue.

When we last left our heroes, they were stuck in the Mojoverse, time-diamonds stuck all over them to allow them to fight the Czar and Big Murder, when Wolverine gets possessed by the Phoenix Force. And this issue starts out with… Spidey, Wolvie, and Spidey’s new girlfriend living quietly in the Old West. Oh, and we eventually find out that Spidey defeated WolverPhoenix by… talking him down. Then mysterious portals steal the bad guys away, and after a while of, again, living quietly in the Old West, the time portals come back and we learn they’re run by the Time Cops, and they steal the heroes away, stuff ’em back in the present day, make Spidey’s girlfriend forget him, and everything ends on a deeply depressing note, where everyone’s efforts were completely useless and the heroes are left alone and lonely.

Verdict: Thumbs down. Seriously, it’s amazing how a series that was so very awesome for the first five issues just turned into a bucket of missed opportunites, illogical wrapups, and pointless nihilism in the final ish. At least the art was gorgeous.

How to improve this series: Well, the series is over now, but I definitely would’ve started out with Spidey stopping WolverPhoenix in some way other than just talking his ear off. I also would’ve loved to see an ending that didn’t rely on deus ex machina like the Time Cops and maybe didn’t try to be so relentlessly downbeat.

Super Dinosaur #2

Derek Dynamo and Super Dinosaur head out after the evil Max Maximus, unaware that he’s tricked them into pursuing Tricerachops and her master, a masked maniac called the Exile. And because the battle is going to take place in the Arctic, SD has to wear his special cold-weather armor. There’s a great deal of fighting and punching and missile-launching and suchlike.

Verdict: Thumbs down. I hate to say it, but it bored me. I know, what the heck is wrong with me when a comic book about a talking, armored T-rex won’t entertain me?!

How to improve this series: Well, for starters, I’m already feeling weighted down by a bunch of new characters who I’m not real familiar with yet. This series started out with a pretty large supporting cast, for an all-ages comic, and they’re already adding more villains. Jeez, guys, I can’t keep track of the people who are already there!

Green Lantern #66

Hal Jordan is wearing a yellow power ring, and Guy Gardner is wearing a red one, because the rest of the Green Lantern Corps has been taken over by Krona and mind-controlled into a bunch of lunatics. And a bunch of the Guardians have become hosts for the emotional entities. Sinestro is trying to escape from the Book of the Black, but Hal and Guy have been captured already, and Krona plans to turn them into Guardians, too.

Verdict: I must not be in the mood to like anything today, because this was a big thumbs down. I’m just completely tired of Geoff Johns’ endless, senseless, long-running mega-series. Plus, I was absolutely bored the entire time I was reading it. Oh, and I found out they actually blew up Mogo, the awesome sapient planet that’s a member of the Green Lantern Corps, in one of the other Green Lantern series, so I’m not real happy about that either.

How to improve this series: Stop letting Geoff Johns write it. Get away from the unending focus on boring cosmic stuff. Don’t blow up Mogo. I doubt any of that stuff is going to happen, so I may be giving this series up.

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Everyone Teams Up

Supergirl #62

Supergirl and Robin discover that the attacking supervillains are actually some kind of shapeshifting bio-tech robots powered by Kryptonian sunstones. They recruit Blue Beetle and Miss Martian to their team and trace the Flyover app targeting young superheroes to Harvard University, which has just been conveniently evacuated by a mysterious telepath. All four pay an incognito visit to Harvard, but they all end up getting ambushed by the villain, Alex, who appears to possess mind control, weird high-tech skills, and other powers as well, not to mention his bio-tech robots.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Nice story, nice dialogue between the characters, nice ongoing mystery. It’s fun to see Kara interact with other characters in the DCU, too.

Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine #5

The main villain is finally revealed to be Mojo, mad mass-media mogul of the Mojoverse, who’s discovered the secrets of time travel so he can film new shows anywhere in history. He’s teamed up with the Czar, a hoodlum who controls a bunch of magic time-traveling diamonds. However, Spider-Man and Wolverine have stolen one of the time-diamonds, which lets them bring the fight to Mojo and the Czar. Doesn’t do ’em a lot of good, because Czar still freezes them in time… until Wolverine manages to free them with… the Phoenix Force? After that, time-displaced versions of the Czar start showing up, then Wolvie carves off the Czar’s arm and steals his time-bat. Then Wolvie and Spidey visit a garden where time-diamonds grow on trees, literally, and they bling themselves out in time-diamonds. And after that, it looks like we’re going to see the end of the world…

Verdict: Thumbs up. This one was really, really fun. Absolutely fantastic dialogue, great action, awesome time-travel storylines, great twists and turns, and that ending really is something else. This has been an incredibly fun comic all the way through — kudos to writer Jason Aaron on that, though Adam Kubert’s art has been fun, too.

Today’s Cool Links:

  • Chris Sims pits Pokemon vs. My Little Ponies in the Ultimate Battle for Ultimate Destiny.
  • Hey, the missing Bronx Zoo cobra has his own Twitter feed. I’m surprised he’s such a good typist, what with the no-hands thing…
  • Regardless of your politics, I think this sounds pretty interesting. Tom Tomorrow, creator of the left-leaning “This Modern World” cartoon, is planning on counteracting some of the hard times for cartoonists by setting up an online space for editorial cartoons. He doesn’t have it ready yet, but it’ll be interesting to see how it turns out…

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Blood for the Blood God

I’m at least two weeks behind on all my comics reviewin’, so let’s try to get as many done as we can over the next few days.

American Vampire #10

Everyone remember Hattie Hargrove? Pearl Jones former friend who sold her out for a shot at vampirism and stardom only to get killed by Pearl? Turns out she’s not dead — she’s being held prisoner by another vampire so he can try to figure out how to kill her and the other American vampires. Meanwhile, Pearl and her beau Henry are living in Arrowhead, California, where Pearl is worried that she’s going to vastly outlive her lover. There’s also a chance for them to get out and enjoy themselves at a new jazz club where Henry gets to sit in and play guitar in a set. But of course, those happy times can’t last forever, can they?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Lots of things to like here — the return of Hattie, the intense weirdness of the relationship between Pearl and Henry, from Pearl’s immortality to her tendency to feed on him during lovemaking, the great sequences in the jazz club, all the way up to that awesome last page. For once, Skinner Sweet doesn’t appear at all, and we don’t even miss him much.

Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine #4

We finally get a proper introduction to a couple of our villains here — the Czar and Big Murder, a couple of hoods with a diamond-studded time-travel bat. Meanwhile, Spidey and Wolvie have been dropped into different parts of each other’s origins — Wolverine has to masquerade as a wrestler hanging out with teenaged great-power-and-no-responsibility Peter Parker, and Spider-Man is stuck covered in meat and throwing down against a young James Howlett, mostly feral and mostly not knowing how to stop killing people. Both of ’em get ambushed and knocked around by Czar and Big Murder, and they end up getting burned at the stake in medieval times. So who’s the ultimate mastermind in this whole thing?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Really nice character work getting done in this one, particularly in the Wolverine-meets-selfish-Petey-Parker section. But the entire thing is great fun.

Batman Inc. #2

After Batman saves Catwoman and Jiro Osamu’s girlfriend from the giant octopus in the downstairs apartment, Jiro’s girlfriend dumps him because he was working for the late Mr. Unknown and thus putting her in danger. Jiro reveals to Batman and Catwoman that Mr. unknown was 56 years old and had spent the last few years as the detective behind the scenes while Jiro did all the physical work. He wants to help Batman go after Lord Death Man, but Bats is angry ’cause Jiro used a gun to attack the villain. Meanwhile, Lord Death Man resurrects in the hospital and goes after Shiny Happy Aquazon of Tokyo’s Super Young Team. Can Batman and Jiro save Aquazon and defeat Lord Death Man?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Good story, wonderful art, and a nice beginning for this series.

Detective Comics #872

Dick Grayson is on the trail of William Rhodes, a former Gotham businessman who’s now wanted by the police for his involvement with “Mirror House,” an organization that auctions off illegal memorabilia from Gotham City supervillains. But when Rhodes gets killed in an accident, Dick decides to disguise himself and investigate the Mirror House in person. He finds a building full of wealthy, gas-masked, evil-worshiping psychos. Is there a way for Dick to get out alive, especially when the auctioneer realizes he’s got an uninvited guest?

Verdict: Thumbs up. A nicely devious plot with a really nasty twist. The dialogue between Dick and Babs Gordon is also excellent.

Green Lantern #61

Atrocitus is on the trail of the Butcher, the rage entity looking for a new host on Earth. It finds one in the person of James Kim, a father who wants revenge for his murdered daughter, but the Spectre intervenes because he thinks he should hold the monopoly on enraged vengeance. Atrocitus is able to capture the Butcher, but not before it possesses James Kim and executes the criminal. Now the Spectre wants James Kim dead, too. Can one rage-fueled monster talk another rage-fueled monster into not passing judgment?

Verdict: Thumbs up. A nice spotlight issue for Atrocitus, and it’s also nice to see anyone, even a villain like the Red Lantern, confront the Spectre about the moral bankruptcy of his “holy” quest.

Today’s Cool Links:

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Friday Night Fights: Slice and Dice!

It’s already time to kick off another 12 rounds of Friday Night Fights! Let’s get things started with August 2001’s New X-Men #115 by Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely, Tim Townsend, and Mark Morales, as Wolverine takes on a gaggle of “Wild Sentinels.”

Short, sweet, and to the point. Or rather, to the six adamantium points. The ones on Wolverine’s claws. Um.

Anyway, have a great weekend.

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Spider-Dude and Wolverine-Dude and Magic-Dudette

Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine #3

Doom the Living Planet is about to attack Future Earth, and Spider-Man has a gun that fires the Phoenix Force itself. It can destroy an entire planet — like Planet Doom, fer instance — but at the cost of killing whoever fires the weapon. And Wolverine has knocked Spidey out so he can make the grand sacrifice himself. Spidey tries to stop him, but is too late — Doom is destroyed, and Wolverine reduced to a puddle of glop. Spidey returns to his lab, trying to get the Cosmic Cube to work, and after a long, long time, he gets it to activate, just in time to yank Logan out of a blissful afterlife reunited with his mother. Wolvie is not happy about this at all, and of course, it leads to a great battle — or it would, if both of them weren’t suddenly frozen in time, then shot into wildly different worlds.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Lots of really great stuff in this, starting off with Wolverine’s long walk out to confront Doom, confronting the fact that his healing factor won’t get him out of this one. There’s also Petey’s desperate race to try to catch Wolverine, his obsession with perfecting the Cosmic Cube, Logan’s afterlife, and the beginning of their next fight. Really, the story is awesome from first page to last.

Zatanna #5

Zee is in big trouble as a trio of fire demons have got her on the ropes. She’s able to beat them with a swimming pool of improvised holy water. But she’s not even aware of the real problem — the demon Mammon is plotting against her in Hell, and his servant on Earth is Benjy Raymond, the owner of the casino where Zatanna is performing. Mammon gives Benjy a dozen enchanted roses that mesmerize Zee after a show — and if he can hypnotize her into marrying him before midnight, Mammon will get to claim her soul. Will Zatanna manage to wake up from the spell in time? Or will Benjy and his Vegas zombies win the double-or-nothing bet?

Verdict: Ehh. Completely in the middle on this one. The story didn’t thrill the socks off me, and neither was it a total loss. It was… sufficient, and nothing more.

Today’s Cool Links:

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