This week was a nice one since we were treated to a double shot of Brubaker. Even though I think that Daredevil is now the stronger read, Captain America is still a great title. Brubaker is delivering is trademark wild ride and I have a feeling that it is only going to get more interesting. It is a Monday and I’ve needed a few extra mugs of Café Bustelo just to get through this morning.
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Steve Epting
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10.
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10.
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10.
Synopsis: This issue starts with Sin and Crossbones loading up a Cessna airplane with tons of explosives. Their plane is to fly the small plane into Kronas’ new building in London during their grand opening.
We then shift over to Captain America and Sharon. Captain America is confident that the plans of an air attack that they discovered are going to take place during Kronas’ grand opening gala. Captain America wonders why Lukin was sneaking into the London underground. That he must be up to something.
We then cut to the Winter Soldier in the London underground snooping around where Lukin was in the earlier issues. Bucky finds something and questions how Lukin could not about this. The Winter Solider gets an angry expression and curses Lukin as he heads out of the underground.
We then slip over to later that night where Spitfire asks Steve if he and Sharon are a serious item. Steve says that she seems more serious than he would have thought and that he keeps expecting her to break it off at any moment.
We then zip to the next day at the new Kronas building and their grand opening gala. Sharon and Captain America are patrolling the air in their S.H.I.E.L.D. flying car. (It is a Porsche, by the way. I would think that an American spy agency would probably have a flying Crown Victoria or Impala. That would be more fitting. A big ugly flying cop car.) Captain America suddenly spies a blimp and says that the blimp must be what Lukin is going to use for his attack.
We then shift to inside a bathroom in the Kronas building. Lukin is talking with the Red Skull in the bathroom mirror. Lukin comments that he is the better tactician; after all he killed the Red Skull. The Red Skull retorts that maybe it was all part of his plan to get inside of Lukin’s head. Red Skull tells Lukin to go back to the party and learn how things are done the Red Skull’s way.
We then cut to the cockpit of the blimp. Master Man is choking the blimp’s pilot telling him to turn the blimp toward the House of Parliament. Captain America crashes through one of the cockpit’s windows. And with that we have a fracas! Spitfire then grabs Union Jack and performs a super speed jump into the blimp’s cockpit. The two then join the fight against Master Man and his henchmen. Spitfire took out one of the henchmen handling the explosives, but her super speed move set the blimp on fire.
We then shift to Lukin at the party standing on a balcony. We see the Winter Soldier with his sniper rifle with Lukin dead in the middle of his crosshairs. Lukin smiles. The Winter Solider is startled and wonders why Lukin is smiling. Bucky then sees the burning blimp crashing to the ground. Bucky yells out for Captain America.
Captain America tells Spitfire and Union Jack to take the blimp’s crew and abandon the blimp. Captain America stays behind to make sure the blimp crashes the Thames so no one gets hurt. Captain America guides the blimp toward the river and then he and Master man tussle and fall out of the cockpit of the blimp.
Captain America grabs onto a ledge of a building. The blimp crashes into the river. Suddenly, Sin and Crossbones come flying onto the scene in their Cessna full of explosives. Sin and Crossbones grab their parachutes and jump out of the Cessna as it heads toward the Kronas building. We then see Lukin being told by Red Skull to “push the button.” Lukin responds that he already did.
Suddenly, we see a massive robot burst through the street next to the Kronas building. Red Skull calls the robot “the Sleeper.” The robot blasts the Cessna into pieces before it can hit the Kronas building. Captain America and Bucky both react in horror upon sight of the robot. The Red Skull then tells the robot to let them know that the Red Skull has returned! End of issue.
The Good: Captain America #20 was packed full of action and excitement! Brubaker continues to do a wonderful job on this title. Brubaker had slowed the pace up on this title for the past couple of issues. This is vintage Brubaker. Brubaker likes to take his time to set the table, lay a solid foundation and get all of the players into place before he unleashes all chaos. He did that in Daredevil and is now doing it here on Captain America.
Everything that has taken place in the past couple of issues has been leading up to this volatile conflict that came to a boil in this issue and is going to boil over in the next issue. Brubaker has me on the edge of my seat and I cannot wait for the next issue.
We have so many different players with different motivations. Crossbones and Sin in their plot to get revenge on Lukin for killing Red Skull. And the irony is that Lukin is actually combined with the Red Skull, so Crossbones and Sin would be technically killing the Red Skull. You have Lukin with his plans and competition with the Red Skull. You have the Red Skull and his competition with Lukin. You have Captain America, Spitfire and Union Jack trying to take down Lukin. You have Bucky trying to kill Lukin. And now, we have a giant robot being unleashed on the streets of London! C’mon, what more do you need? Brubaker is a master at weaving a complex and multi-layered storyline full of excitement and surprises. It is a rollercoaster ride full of unexpected turns and twists.
Brubaker also serves up some nice dialogue. Brubaker has a great feel for each character and the dialogue comes across in a nice natural style. Brubaker is excellent at character development and I am enjoying Spitfire and Union Jack more and more with each issue.
I am also liking the relationship between Sharon and Steve. I’m curious to see how long Brubaker is going to keep these two together. Personally, I’m glad Steve has a relationship with someone. He has so much pressure and responsibility on his shoulders that he needs someone that he can turn to for support and love.
Crossbones and Sin are a match made in heaven. They are a nice wildcard couple designed to spice up any storyline.
Of course, I love how Brubaker is handling the Winter Solider. We see more dialogue and panel time for Bucky than usual. Brubaker has been keeping Bucky in the shadows with minimal dialogue. I think that is perfect. The longer that Brubaker keeps Bucky separate from Captain America, the better. Personally, I never want these two to ever work as a team again.
But, the best dynamic in this title has to be Lukin and Red Skull. Brubaker is doing a masterful job with these two rivals. The scene in the bathroom was vintage Red Skull. The Skull messing with Lukin making him think that he allowed Lukin to kill him just so he could get into his mind and pull off the rest of his master plan while using Lukin as his tool. Brubaker is making the Red Skull such an incredibly diabolical villain.
Epting’s artwork was excellent as always. Epting’s art is perfect for Brubaker’s dark tone for this storyline. Brubaker and Epting make a fantastic team for Captain America.
The Bad: No complaints at all.
Overall: Captain America #20 was another fantastic issue. Brubaker and Epting are cranking out an excellent read. Captain America, Daredevil and X-Factor are probably the three best comics being published by Marvel right now. And it is no surprise that Brubaker writes two of those top three comics. Captain America #20 ended on a real high note and I cannot wait for the next issue.
Monday, July 31, 2006
This week was a nice one since we were treated to a double shot of Brubaker. Even though I think that Daredevil is now the stronger read, Captain America is still a great title. Brubaker is delivering is trademark wild ride and I have a feeling that it is only going to get more interesting. It is a Monday and I’ve needed a few extra mugs of Café Bustelo just to get through this morning.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
The Revolution was not all that impressed with Carey and Bachalo’s debut issue. It was not bad, it simply wasn’t anything great. Plus, I felt that they didn’t turn in an issue as well done as the team of Brubaker and Tan over on Uncanny X-Men. Can Carey and Bachalo get me to change my opinion? Well, I just don’t like Bachalo’s style of art, so I imagine that isn’t going to ever change. However, there is a chance that Carey can craft a storyline that grabs my attention and interest. It has been a boiling hot day here at the Bunker, so let's get my mind of it by doing this review.
Writer: Mike Carey
Penciler: Chris Bachalo
Inkers: Tim Townsend, Jaime Mendoza and many more.
Art Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: This issue starts with two scientists at a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility in Alaska are endeavoring to undo the Hand’s brainwashing of Northstar. Suddenly, the Children break into the lab. The Children include Fuego (Fire), Sangre (Blood), Perro (Dog), Aguja (Needle) and Serafina. The Children take out the scientists and Serafina is instructed to take care of Northstar. Serafina interfaces with the machine that Northstar’s brain is hooked up to. Serafina appears in Northstar’s mind as an angel. She says she has come to raise him up so that he may lay waste to his enemies.
We cut to the Xavier Institute, where Rogue, Iceman and White Witch are questioning Sabertooth. They try to act like bad cops and goad Sabertooth into losing his temper. This would make his psychic shield weaken so White Witch could read his mind. Their efforts fail. The three X-Men leave the Sabertooth’s cell. Emma says she could sense that Sabertooth had been in Nogales, but he wasn’t present for the explosion that took out a city block. Emma said she could sense pain, exhaustion and fear in Sabertooth and that his healing factor has been slowed by about 90%.
We cut back to the Children in the S.H.I.E.L.D. facility. Serafina says that Northstar is ready. They can use Northstar to kill Sabertooth and along the way he gets to kill his former comrades, too. That the Hand filled him with hate and that all he needed was the motive.
We cut back to the Xavier Institute. Professor X is meeting with Val Cooper. Val says that O.N.E. wants to know if the X-Men had anything to do with the explosion in Nogales. Professor X responds that his students cannot leave without the Sentinels knowing so they couldn’t possibly have anything to do with Nogales. Professor X then refuses to allow O.N.E. to question Sabertooth. Val gets angry with Professor X’s attitude and storms out of his office. Professor X then transforms into Mystique. (Oh, that crafty minx.)
We then shift to deep space where a Shi’ar scout ship just registered a man sized object flying past them. (That would be Vulcan.) The scout ship then detects a very large object moving in the opposite direction towards the scout ship and Earth. (Annihilation forces?) The scout ship is then blown up by the large object.
We then hop over to Aurora’s apartment. Aurora is busy having a discussion with the different voices in her head. She puts a gun to her head and then pulls the trigger. Suddenly Northstar bolts into the room and grabs the bullet. Northstar tells Aurora that it is not her time to die. That this is her day of rebirth.
We cut back over to the Children in their headquarters in the Camara Roja Vault. Sangre comments to Aguja that they are engaged in a survival of the fittest species. That they must make sure that the humans and mutants lose. (Cool. So, the Children are a different species from human and mutant.)
We shift to Xavier Institute where we see Karima Shapandar regaining consciousness. The Beast and Rogue inform her that they recovered her from the Fordyce Clinic where they had her partially dismantled. Rogue mentions that the name “Pan” was mentioned and if that meant anything to Shapandar. Shapandar said it didn’t. Shapandar said that she has been out of it for the last three months, so she has no idea if she had been in Nogales recently. Wolverine then enters the room and asks Rogue to come talk to him. Wolverine wants to know why she didn’t tell him that she was keeping Sabertooth at the Institute and questioning him. Wolverine doesn’t think that Rogue can handle Sabertooth. Rogue isn’t impressed by Wolverine’s dramatic attitude.
We then see Perro and Serafina just outside the Xavier Institute’s grounds. They have Northstar and Aurora with them. Serafina mentions that she has altered some of their DNA and has repaired some of the grosser breaches in Aurora’s mind. Then Serafina steals them some extra power to shift the odds a little. Suddenly there is an eclipse of the sun. Northstar and Aurora then are unleashed on the X-Men. We see the siblings bust through the side of the mansion. Iceman and Cannonball are shocked to see Northstar alive. Northstar and Aurora then join hands and blast Iceman through the chest.
The Good: Wow. X-Men #189 was a much better issue than Carey’s debut issue! This was a pretty interesting story. First, I love the Children. These are some great characters! I have never heard of them before. I cannot wait to learn more about the Children. They have cool names, fascinating powers and are visually interesting. The opening scene was cool. We are finally addressing Northstar’s situation. We haven’t heard much from his since he appeared in Wolverine as a reprogrammed killer for the Hand. I’m glad we are finally spending some time dealing with Northstar and I am interested to see what Carey does with the character. I don’t know which I would like more. Northstar being turned into a monster villain or Northstar being saved and being reborn as a hero with either the X-Men or a new version of Alpha Flight.
Plus, we learn about the Children’s plan. They are going to use Northstar to kill Sabertooth and the X-Men. I am curious to see what in the world is the connection between Sabertooth and the Children.
Then later in the issue, Carey drops a bomb on us by having Sangre reveal that they are engaged in a bitter battle of rival species. And that their objective is that both the mutants and the humans lose to their species. So now we have another species worked into the already volatile mix of mutants and humans. Marvel has various different species of man: humans, mutants, Inhumans, eternals and deviants. Now we have a new species. I’m very curious to see what they are and how they fit into the landscape of the Marvel Universe.
The Shi’ar scout ship scene was interesting. The human that flew past them was Vulcan and that ties in Brubaker’s storyline over in Uncanny X-Men. The large object headed toward Earth with energy so faint that it can barely be sensed but extends across a vast distance? I don’t know. At first I thought maybe something to do with Annihilation. But, I doubt that. Maybe the Phoenix force? Probably not. This was a nice teaser scene. I’m very curious to learn more about this plotline.
I liked the reunion scene between Aurora and Northstar. I liked the brother-sister team back in the days of the old Alpha Flight. Their matching black and white costumes create a nice visual. I’m glad that these two characters are together again.
The final scene was great. Serafina unleashes Northstar and Aurora on the unsuspecting X-Men. And then we get the final shot of Northstar and Aurora blasting Iceman. It looks like Bobby may be lucky to survive such a blast. That was a great ending. A very dramatic moment that hooks the reader and makes him eagerly await the next issue. It certainly worked on me. We should be in store for a exciting fracas next issue.
The Bad: There were only three scenes that I found uninteresting. The scene with Sabertooth wasn’t all that interesting. Nor was the scene with Mystique impersonating Professor X, the scene with Karim Shapandar or the scene between Rogue and Wolverine.
It isn’t that these scenes are poorly written. No, it is because I have little to no interest in the characters those scenes centered on. I find Sabertooth to be a very boring character. A poor man’s Wolverine. Mystique as a hero doesn’t interest me in the least. She has got to always be a villain. And I have never thought much of Karim Shapandar’s character. And even though Rogue has been with the X-Men for a long time, I never warmed up to her character.
And this leads me to my only real complaint with Carey’s X-Men. He simply has loaded up on characters that I have zero interest in. Sabertooth, Rogue, Cable, Shapandar and Cannonball are all characters that have never appealed to me. Mystique only appeals to me as a villain. So, that puts me at a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to Carey’s X-Men. His writing is solid. This issue presents the reader with several interesting plotlines. However, my lack of interest in many of the characters Carey has assembled hurts some of my excitement over this comic.
Johns got me to like Kid Flash, Kid Devil and Ravager. Brubaker got me to like Captain America. It is possible for talented writers to make me change my opinion on a character that I never had an interest in before. Can Carey do this on X-Men? That remains to be seen.
Bachalo’s artwork does nothing for me. His anatomy is rather poor. He lacks consistency from panel to panel when it comes to the faces of the various characters. Plus, most of the characters all appear to have the same base face with either different colored hair or facial hair in order to differentiate them from each other.
Overall: X-Men #189 was a much better issue than Carey’s debut issue. While I’m not crazy about Bachalo’s artwork, it doesn’t turn me off from the title. Carey serves up a much more interesting and well paced issue. Story wise, this is the best that X-Men has been in quite some time. This is definitely a good jumping on point for new readers.
Saturday, July 29, 2006
You ever get the feeling that you are walking a path alone? That everyone is going in one direction and you are like a salmon fighting to go upstream in the opposite direction? That is how I feel with regard to Marvel’s Civil War. Everyone is raving about this storyline. Everyone is frothing at the mouth about how evil the pro-registration side is and how evil the government is and how the anti-registration side is fighting the good fight.
I try to stay far away from politics since nothing good can ever come from discussing politics. But, I have to at least tell everyone where I stand before I comment further on this Civil War storyline. Now, let me be totally clear. I do not like Bush. I definitely do not like the Patriot Act. It is immensely intrusive and violated numerous civil liberties. I am not a Republican and I am not a Democrat. I am a Libertarian. I do not support the two part system. It is not a democracy. It is a duocracy. And with each passing year, the Democrats and the Republicans become more and more like each other. Both parties are basically the same thing and all they care about is keeping them in power and killing any threat of anything even remotely resembling a true democracy where there are multiple political parties.
I only mention this simply because I don’t want anyone thinking that I am not impressed with the Civil War storyline because I’m a Republican or a Bush supporter or a fan of the Patriot Act. I detest our two-party system. I don’t like Bush. I also detest the Patriot Act. All right, that is the first and last time that I will ever talk politics here at the Revolution. I meant no offense to anyone who has differing political views. I have nothing my love in mi corazón for everyone. Ok, now let’s tackle my problems with the Civil War storyline.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I think that Millar is delivering a very entertaining mini-series. That is plainly evident in my reviews of the first three issues. However, I have found the Civil War tie-ins to be very unimpressive. I also feel that the entire storyline could be so much more deep, complex and wonderfully engaging for the reader if Marvel actually took the time and effort to present both the pro-registration and the anti-registration sides with equal light.
However, Marvel has completely failed to do that. The pro-registration side is portrayed as evil villains to their very core. The writers do everything in their power to make sure that the readers hate the pro-registration side and love the anti-registration side. This takes seriously dampens the impact of this storyline. Whenever the villain is nothing but pure evil then the reader cannot identify, sympathize or understand the villain’s motivation. However, when a truly complex and well rounded villain is created like Magneto, the reader can sympathize with him. The reader can understand why Magneto does what he does. The reader may even find himself secretly rooting for Magneto at times as he battles the X-Men. That is the sign of an excellent and engaging story. Anytime a comic book can elicit those types of emotions and reactions from a reader then you know it is an incredibly well done comic.
Civil War totally whiffs on this. Nobody sympathizes with the pro-registration side. Nobody understands them and even can relate to them. Certainly, nobody is rooting for them in any form or manner. That is too bad. It makes Civil War are far less compelling and engaging read. Instead, it comes off as nothing more than Marvel preaching their political views to the masses and trying to get them to follow their beliefs. No matter what side of the political spectrum you are coming from, that style of story and that type of approach simply does not appeal to me. I already have my political beliefs and absolutely nobody will every get me to change them. Certainly not a comic book.
No, what I want out of a comic book is a deliciously complex story that challenges my beliefs. A story that makes me re-evaluate what I believe to be right and wrong. A story that makes me look at both sides and become unsure just who is the villain and who is the hero. Best of all, are stories where I am unable to decide just who is the hero and the villain, because both sides are both hero and villain at the same time. Civil War grossly fails in this endeavor. And this is the exact reason why Civil War will never be as great a storyline as it could have been. Marvel could have really done something special with Civil War. However, they took the easy way out and gave us a less challenging story to chew on.
I also have a problem with the various writers like JMS, Bendis, David and Jenkins drawing analogies between the Registration Act and things like slavery in America, segregation in the South, Hitler and Nazi Germany. That is simply ridiculous. Civil War and the Registration Act is a thinly veiled story designed to bash Bush and the Patriot Act. I will never agree that there is any comparison between the Super Hero Registration Act and the institution of Slavery in America or segregation in the South. There is absolutely no comparison morally or legally.
Nor will I ever agree that there is any comparison between the Super Hero Registration Act and Hitler and Nazi Germany. That is insane to even suggest that. Hitler and Nazi Germany was one of the most horrific occurrences in modern history. To compare that to the Super Hero Registration Act is sheer idiocy. That is the type of cheap parlor trick that writers engage in so they can easily invoke an emotional response from the reader getting them to hate the person being linked with Hitler and Nazi Germany.
Let’s not even get into the legal aspect of the Super Hero Registration Act. It doesn’t violate any of the seven constitutionally protected classes. And it doesn’t violate any personal privacy laws. It would be considered legal by our Supreme Court. So, now we simply have a moral versus immoral debate rather than a legal versus illegal debate.
The Super Hero Registration Act isn’t even as remotely invasive as the legislation that it is bashing: The Patriot Act. The Patriot Act is far more insidious and violates far more personal liberties. The Patriot Act is more terrifying to me than the Super Hero Registration Act. And there in lies the problem. Marvel is taking a piece of legislation that isn’t as bad as the Patriot Act and is trying to artificially inflate it to the level of Nazi Germany and slavery. And in doing so, Marvel robs the Civil War storyline of much of its credibility. It is a serious case of over reaching. And when writers over reach then their storyline begins to loose its impact on the reader. That is where I am right now with this Civil War storyline.
I was hoping that Civil War would present the reader with a highly difficult moral and legal dilemma that causes the reader to perform so soul searching in order to figure out which side are the heroes and which side are the villains. Instead, Civil War has turned into a platform for the writers to preach their beliefs and for all the decisions on who to hate and who to root for to be made by the writers instead of the readers.
So, of course, everyone and their mother are rooting for Captain America’s anti-registration side. Why shouldn’t they? They are clearly the heroes. You would have to be a total moron to want to root for the pro-registration side. They are made to look like totally despicable and slimy bastards. I don’t like the pro-registration side. Nobody does. And yet, people are acting like they made this choice for themselves and not because Marvel has force fed it to them. People make intelligent comments like “Tony Stark is a dick! He should die!” “The pro-registration are scumbags!” “I can’t wait to see Iron Man get his ass kicked!”
Wow, isn’t that some engaging and thought provoking discourse? That is exactly what you get when you make the story terribly slanted in one direction. You kill any and all debate. Nobody is debating who is right and who is wrong. Everyone is just talking about just how evil is Tony Stark and when will the pro-registration side get their butts kicked. I really had hopes for more interesting debates about Civil War back when Marvel promised to show both sides in the same light.
Another problem with making the pro-registration side look like complete scumbag jerks is that it ruins the characters on that side. Nobody is going to like them after Civil War is over. Nobody is going to want to buy their comic books! Iron Man? Ms. Marvel? Spider-Man? Thor? Mr. Fantastic? Nope, why would anyone want to purchase a comic with a character who has been made to look like a total evil jerk off? Hey Marvel, what a great way to promote those characters and the comic books that they are associated with.
The funny thing is that if Marvel had presented both the anti-registration and pro-registration sides in an equal light, I would still have eventually decided that the anti-registration side are the heroes. That is just my nature. I naturally gravitate toward the rebel and the under dog. However, Marvel never gave me that choice. They made it for me. And in doing so, they killed a lot of my interest in the Civil War storyline.
I just discovered this blog entitled Diary of Ralph Dibny. Yeah, I'm sure I'm the last person to discover this blog. At any rate, if you are a fan of Identity Crisis and 52 or if you just like Elongated Man, then you have to check out this blog. It is great. Ralph’s shrink has suggested that he keep a journal in order to help him deal with his psychological problems. Ralph keeps us up to date with what is going one in between the issues of 52.
And be sure to check out the comments. There you can read Jean Loring, Swamp Thing, Booster Gold, Hourman and more offering their condolences and advice for poor Ralph.
Friday, July 28, 2006
Nightwing has steadily gotten worse and worse with each passing issue. I know that DC was put behind the eight ball because Dan “Death Count” Didio, in his infinite wisdom thought that Dick Grayson should be killed because he was a redundant character. Then the genius realized that might not be a great idea, so at the last minute they keep Dick Grayson and don’t push Jason Todd into Dick’s spot as Nightwing. That left Bruce Jones in the lurch having to change his storylines to accommodate Dick Grayson. I understand all that. But, that still does not excuse the absolute garbage that DC has been packaging up and selling as a Nightwing comic book. I’m sure that Nightwing #122 will probably be ever worse than the last issue.
Writer: Bruce Jones
Penciler: Paco Diaz
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: This issue starts with the Pierce brothers engaged in fisticuffs with Nightwing and Cheyenne. Cheyenne gets one Barry Pierce, who is a metahuman that can contract his molecular structure to make him as hard as stone and super strong, to swing at her and she ducks at the last minute. Barry ends up smashing open the “egg” that Jason Todd was trapped inside.
Nightwing and Cheyenne continue to brawl with the Pierce brothers. The fight spills to the street outside of the Pierce brothers’ night club. The Pierce brothers keep ranting that they are going to make what happened in Cleveland look like a minor event. Nightwing is struggling against Barry Pierce, when suddenly Jason Todd transforms into a monster just like the one that swallowed him in the last issue. (Oh boy, it just keeps getting better and better.) Jason says he doesn’t think he was inside the egg for long enough to stay monster-shaped forever, but it will be long enough to try and digest Barry. With that, Jason sucks down Barry into his gullet. Nightwing tells Jason to spit Barry out. That Barry is going to concentrate all of his molecules inward and implode and take Jason with him. So, Jason barfs up Barry onto his brother Buddy Pierce. Since Barry is weakened, Nightwing is able to knock him out cold. Buddy then starts expanding and yells that he is going to make Cleveland look like a weenie roast. Jason grabs Buddy Pierce with one of his tentacles and the two start wrestling each other. Nightwing grabs Cheyenne and tells her that they have to clear the area. Cheyenne asks what about Jason? Dick responds that Jason will have to take care of himself this time. Nightwing then tells a police officer who has just arrived on the scene to clear the area. Nightwing then tells Cheyenne that Barry can contract his atoms and that Buddy can expand his molecules. But, what happens if he splits one? Suddenly, there is a huge explosion that takes out the entire night club.
We then cut to the next day. Dick is at his apartment watching the news. A reporter is interviewing the Pierce brothers about the explosion that destroyed their nightclub building. The reporter says it mirrors an event that occurred in Cleveland a couple of years ago. The Pierce brother respond that they run a clean business and have never been to Cleveland before.
Cheyenne then enters Dick’s apartment. (Hey, I just noticed that Dick is actually clothed for a change. He usually walks around his apartment half naked.) Cheyenne reads Dick a not from Jason. Jason tells him that he survived and is back to normal. No more monster morphing for him. Jason says that he is leaving town in order to find his own way. Jason thanked Dick for coming to save him. Jason also said that even though they don’t agree on much that he just wanted to believe that they could be a family again. The issue then ends with a really corny joke between Dick and Cheyenne. (It was so bad.) End of issue.
The Good: Man, the Revolution’s rule of always saying something positive about every issue is going to be tough to satisfy with this issue. Let’s see. What did I enjoy about this story? Hmmm. Well, they didn’t kill of Jason Todd. I actually liked his character before Bruce Jones got his hooks into him. I hope that DC can find a purpose for Jason now that Dick Grayson wasn’t foolishly killed off.
Mi hermano, Diaz cranks out some nice artwork on this title. Diaz and Bit’s art is pretty much the only thing that I have enjoyed on Nightwing.
The Bad: Nightwing #122 was a pathetic ending to a rather lame story arc. I wasn’t too impressed with Nightwing prior to Infinite Crisis. But, I think that Bruce Jones has been even worse. Jones run on Nightwing has been practically unreadable. As a matter of fact, I get the comic book because it is like a terrible car accident that you can’t stop staring at. I just keep wondering if the story can get worse with each issue. And sadly enough, it has.
This issue was basically getting Jason Todd freed and then having a long boring fight with the Pierce brothers that ends with them blowing up their own Nightclub and Jason leaving New York. Yeah, that’s it. Talk about an extremely uninteresting and anti-climactic ending to a story arc.
Jones has not crafted a single plot that even remotely interests me. I could care less about the Pierce brothers. They are arguable two of the most generic and least charismatic villains around. I have practically no interest at all in Cheyenne. Jones has done nothing to get me to feel anything for her character other than slap her in a slinky outfit.
Jones practically ruined Jason Todd for me. I thought that Winick did a great job with Jason Todd over in Batman as the Red Hood. Todd’s character has such potential. Plenty of depth and complexity. Jones got rid of all that and gave us a very one dimensional psychotic Jason Todd that was so boring to read.
I have no idea where Jones is headed with this story. It appears headed for a cliff with a very steep drop. Thankfully, Marv Wolfman is taking over the writing duties for this title with issue #125. That means I only need to hold my nose and slog through two more issue with Jones at the helm. I hope that Wolfman can breathe some life back into Nightwing. Dick Grayson is too good of a character to deserve this type of treatment.
Overall: Nightwing #122 is another terrible issue in a long line of lousy issues. All any Dick Grayson fan can hope for is that Wolfman can help save this title from the depths that it has sunk. I wouldn’t recommend that anyone purchase Nightwing. It definitely is not worth your money.
Wolverine #44 is another Civil War tie-in. New writer Marc Guggenheim still hasn’t impressed me. He hasn’t been awful, but he certainly hasn’t been anything more than average. I’m curious to learn more about Janus and who he is working for. It is about 100 degrees here at the Bunker and I am probably going to become incoherent during my review due to heat exhaustion. I have a nice ice cold cerveza and am ready to slog my way through this review.
Writer: Marc Guggenheim
Penciler: Humberto Ramos
Inker: Carlos Alberto Cruz Cuevas
Art Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10.
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10.
Overall Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10.
Synopsis: This issue starts with Wolverine beating the mierda out of Nitro. We see Janus and the man and woman who picked him up watching the fight from a distance. The woman calls their boss and is instructed to kill Wolverine if he interferes with their objective. Wolverine tells Nitro that he isn’t going to kill him. Instead he is going to beat him to a pulp and then start cutting him. Nitro then offers Wolverine the name of the person who he is working for. Nitro explains that he was given Mutant Growth Hormone pills to boost his power levels. (Hey, isn’t that what Barry Bonds takes in order to steal the home run record?)
Wolverine is interested and tells Nitro to start talking. But, we are interrupted by Janus attacking Wolverine. The two men engage in a fracas. The woman then tells Wolverine to stand down and that they don’t have a quarrel with him. That they are simply here to collect Nitro. Wolverine says that he can’t let them leave with Nitro since he needs information from him. Janus and Wolverine continue to tussle.
We shift to an office where two businessmen are talking. One mentions that one of their rainmakers has gone off the reservation. That he cut the idiot loose and instructed the other man to throw away his cell phone. He then assures the other man that this won’t get tracked back to them.
We cut back to Wolverine badly wounding Janus. Nitro then grabs Wolverine from behind and puts a blade to his throat. Wolverine tosses Nitro aside and faces off with Janus and the man and woman. The woman says that they are here for justice. Wolverine asks if they are from Stamford. Janus shoots himself in the neck and turns blue. He then puts on a little water mask. Janus says that they are not from Wolverine’s world. They are from Atlantis. That they are here to avenge the murder of a member of the royal family. Wolverine asks whose orders are they following. Suddenly, Namor appears and asks Wolverine if he even had to ask that question. End of issue.
The Good: Wolverine #44 was a slightly better than average. We got to see Wolverine dispensing some much deserved punishment to Nitro. We have been waiting for a while to see Nitro get the serious beating that he so richly deserves.
Guggenheim then increases my interest in this storyline by revealing that Nitro’s power level boosts were due to him taking Mutant Growth Hormone. We are then teased with the identity of the person who gave Nitro these pills. No, I don’t think it was BALCO. We do see a scene between two businessmen talking about Nitro. I would imagine that one or both of these men must be the person who gave Nitro the MGH pills.
I’m interested to find out their identities and just what is their connection to Nitro. Are they merely suppliers of the MGH or is it something more complex? Do they have any ties with the pro-registration faction. Do they have any ties with Tony Stark? I truly hope not. I ma a huge Iron Man fan. It makes me sick enough that Marvel is trying to drag Tony’s character through the mud in all of these Civil War comics and tie-ins. Especially since the Knaufs are doing such a fantastic job with Tony’s character over in his own title. Tony deserves better than this. The last thing I want to see is Marvel totally assassinating his character by having him associated with supplying MGH to Nitro and having all those children killed.
We were treated to a nice fight scene between Wolverine and Janus. You can’t go wrong with some good old fashioned violence. And then Guggenheim drops the bomb. Janus and the man and woman are from Atlantis. And then we see Marvel’s answer to Black Adam: Namor.
Oh yeah, this is going to get very interesting. I have been waiting to see Namor’s response to Namorita's death. The last we saw of Namor was in the Illuminati special. He made it pretty clear that he could care less what the surface dwellers did as long as it did not affect Atlantis. Hmmm, I’m thinking the death of Namorita might qualify as affecting Atlantis. No doubt Namor is probably ready to destroy everyone. Pro-registration and anti-registration. And that, my friends, is exactly why I love Namor. I am very interested to see where Guggenheim goes with this plotline. It should be a fun ride.
Guggenheim does a better job writing this issue. This isn’t amazing writing and the dialogue doesn’t wow you. But, it is a nicely paced issue with some good action and an interesting plotline. Plus, it has an ending that makes the reader eager to read the next issue.
The Bad: I’m not thrilled with mi hermano’s artwork on this title. Ramos is talented, but his style is just doesn’t work with Wolverine. And some of his panels just look horrendous. Ramos’ anatomy on Wolverine looks dreadful at times. For example, 10-11. On page 10, Wolverine’s calf muscles are as big as his waist. And on page 11, his head looks tiny and his body looks like that of a super deformed gorilla. On page 12, Wolverine’s arm looks nothing like any arm I have ever seen. I enjoyed Ramos when he drew Spider-Man. I definitely am not enjoying him on Wolverine.
Overall: Wolverine #44 was a pretty good issue. We got some quality action and got teased with the identity of the person giving Nitro his drugs. And best of all we got Namor. Guggenheim is getting better and better with each issue. I think things are looking pretty good for this title.
X-Factor #9 is another Civil War tie-in. As a general rule, I can’t stand tie-in issues to whatever big mini-series of the year that is going on. I find them to usually be wasted issues that neither advances the plotlines of the individual title nor the plotlines of the mini-series. On top of that, I have found all the various Civil War tie-in issues to be highly unimpressive. However, X-Factor is a fantastic title and I have really enjoyed Peter David’s writing so I have faith that X-Factor #9 is going to be a pretty good read. Let’s hit the review.
Writer: Peter David
Penciler: Ryan Sook
Inker: Wade von Grawbadger
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10.
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10.
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10.
Synopsis: The issue starts with the members of X-Factor arguing with Quicksilver while Madrox sits there stressing that they are all going to turn to him and expect him to make a decision on what to do. And Madrox sucks at making decisions. Quicksilver apologizes for his hand in M-day. Quicksilver points out that they have a common enemy: the government and the Registration Act. Monet says that Quicksilver could be considered a common enemy. Quicksilver counters with who would X-Factor rather deal with? The enemy they know, Quicksilver, or the enemy they don’t know, the government and the Registration Act. Quicksilver says he wants a chance to make things better.
The X-Factor members then turn to Madrox and ask him what they should do. Madrox responds by getting his jacket and leaving the office. Madrox runs into Layla outside on the steps of X-Factor’s brownstone. Madrox is angry that Layla never told him that she knew about Decimation and M-day. Layla tells Madrox that he is lousy at making decisions and that is exactly why he needs her. Layla then tells Madrox to go to the intersection of Buchanan and Broadway and buy a stocking cap, scarf and gloves on his way there. That it will help him make up his mind about the Registration Act. Madrox says ok, but that their argument is still not over. Layla agrees that they will argue for a long time since they will eventually get married. Madrox cringes and leaves.
We see Madrox at the corner of Buchanan and Broadway where he runs into Aegis who is running away from a S.H.I.E.L.D. drone telling him to surrender and that S.H.I.E.L.D. troops are on their way. Aegis tells Madrox that he is on the run for simply trying to prevent some crime. That the Registration Act has changed the game and that heroes should not be hunted down for trying to help people. Madrox and Aegis then turn down an alley that is a dead end. S.H.I.E.L.D. troops then surround the outside of the alley way and tell Aegis to comply with the law and surrender peacefully. Suddenly, the ground rumbles and hundreds of Madrox’s dupes come running out with their stocking caps pulled low, the scarves wrapped over their faces and their gloves on. They all rush the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and all bolt in different directions. A Madrox dupe with no hat or scarf then walks out of the alley and the S.H.I.E.L.D. team leader stops him and questions him.
We then see Madrox and Aegis running to a subway station. Madrox and Aegis are wearing a scarf around his face and a stocking cap pulled low. Aegis thanks Madrox for his help escaping. Aegis says he will use the subway tunnels to try and hook up with Captain America. Aegis then enters the subway. Madrox then sucks back in all of his dupes. We see the dupe being questioned by the S.H.I.E.L.D. team leader. Suddenly the dupe stretches and disappears. We see Madrox sucking back in all of his dupes.
We then shift to Quicksilver at a fancy boutique purchasing a fine suit. Suddenly, the Astonishing X-Men appear and call out Quicksilver. Quicksilver refuses to leave the building. At this point, X-Factor arrives on the scene and Madrox tells the X-Men to stand down. Siryn says that Quicksilver may be an evil monster, but at least he hasn’t pretended to be a friend and lie to them like the X-Men did concerning Decimation and M-day. Siryn blasts Colossus. Cyclops blasts Madrox, but that just gives Madrox enough energy to create 50 dupes. Madrox then challenges Cyclops to blast him again so he can make 100 more dupes. Madrox totally calls out Cyclops and tells him to bring it. Madrox asks where the X-Men stand on the Registration Act. Cyclops tells them that the X-Men have told Tony Stark that they will remain neutral on the issue.
Quicksilver suddenly appears next to X-Factor and tells Cyclops that being neutral is what encouraged monsters such as Hitler and his atrocities. Cyclops says that the US government are elected officials, not like Hitler and his power grabbing Nazis. Strong Guy responds that Hitler didn’t grab power. He was elected. (Seriously? We are honestly going to compare the Registration Act to Hitler and the Nazi party? That is totally insane. And this is why the story didn’t get a 9 out of 10 Night Girls. Automatic 2 point deduction.)
Madrox then tells Cyclops that X-Factor is going to call a press conference stating that they are opposing the Registration Act. Madrox then tells Cyclops to get out of Mutant Town or they will have their own little Civil War right now. Cyclops says that the X-Men will leave, but if Quicksilver should step foot outside of Mutant Town then they will take him out. Cyclops whishes Madrox luck with his little kingdom, but to not call the X-Men when it all comes crashing down, because the X-Men won’t help them. End of issue.
The Good: X-Factor #9 was another gem from Peter David. I would have easily given the story a 9 out of 10 Night Girls if it weren’t for the totally asinine Hitler comparison to the U.S. government and the Registration Act. People have gotten way out of hand with Hitler and Nazi comparisons. American use it so frequently in comparing it with just about any political decision that they disagree with. It has gotten ridiculous. Hitler and the Nazi party is one of the darkest point in modern history. To liberally compare it to obviously more minor events only devalues what an atrocity that Hitler and the Nazis were. I think people need to reign in the Hitler comparisons.
There is absolutely no reason to be comparing something as the Super Hero Registration Act to Hitler and the Nazis. A power mad dictator who sparked a world war and engaged in genocide has nothing to do with a Registration Act that has super powered vigilantes who are operating outside of the law to register with the government, have their identities kept secret and then trained and put on the payroll of S.H.I.E.L.D. Yeah, I’m just not seeing the connection. Maybe it is just me. I expect more from a very talented and intelligent writer like Peter David.
Other than that, this was a fantastic issue. David is making X-Factor one of the best comics on the market. I loved the opening scene. Madrox was a character that I have never had an interest in at all. David has totally changed that. David has developed and grown Madrox’s character into a highly interesting and entertaining character. Madrox is their leader, but is totally opposite from the typical team leader. The X-Men have Cyclops. The Avengers have Captain America. X-Factor has……Madrox. A guy who can’t make a decision. I love how he just grabbed his jacket and when presented with making a tough decision. You would never see Cyclops or Captain America do that!
The scene with Layla and Madrox was also well done. Layla is another character that I had no interest in until David got his hooks into her. David has made Layla an incredibly fascinating character. And Layla gives us another gem by stating that she and Madrox are doing to get married one day! And Madrox’s reaction was priceless. He never says anything. He just cringes in pain and walks away.
The scene with Aegis and Madrox was nice. Even though David follows the footsteps of Bendis, JMS and Jenkins by not even trying to show the pro-registration as anything more than bad guys, this was still a cool scene. Madrox finally realizes what he needs to do and his escape plan for Aegis was neat.
But, the best scene was the showdown between X-Factor and the Astonishing X-Men. David finally does what has never been done with X-Factor. X-Factor has always come off as nothing more than X-Men late. X-Factor is like an ugly uncoordinated little brother who suffers from a lack of an identity when compared to its handsome big brother in the X-Men. Not any more. David has given X-Factor its own identity. Its own purpose and motivation. X-Factor is stands for the common man. The little man who gets ignored by the elite teams. X-Factor brings super powered heroes closer to reality. They aren’t interested in taking space missions, fighting aliens or traveling to alternate realities. They are here to prevent regular crimes that threaten their people in Mutant Town.
It was a wonderful to see Madrox stand up against Cyclops. To see X-Factor refuse to back down to the X-Men. This was a true moment of maturity and I’m glad that X-Factor is taking their own path. Not every X-team has to have the same agenda and work together. Not every X-team needs to act like one big family. I am glad that David is taking this direction for X-Factor.
As always, David crafts some of the best dialogue in comics. David has an incredible ability to develop his character’s personalities and giving them their own unique voices. David’s dialogue has such a wonderful and natural flow. There is no other book on the market that delivers the quality dialogue that David creates in X-Factor. It is a wonderful combination of humor and seriousness.
David is moving his storyline along at a nice pace. X-Factor is never going to be a high paced comic. It isn’t going to boast adrenaline pumping brawls with every issue. No, David doesn’t rely on action and mindless fights to move along his story. Instead, David relies on wonderful character development and well crafted plots and dialogue. David’s X-Factor just may be the best literary effort in all of comics.
David has now aligned X-Factor against the U.S. government and alongside of Quicksilver. I am very interested to see were David takes this plotline. Quicksilver is an unusual addition to this odd mixture of characters. I am confident that with Quicksilver added to the mix that we are going to be in store for some great upcoming issues. Plus, maybe we will finally address some of the dangling plotlines and questions left over from House of M, Decimation and Son of M.
The Bad: Just the idiotic Hitler and Nazi comparisons to the U.S. government and the Registration Act. I think it is quite clear that Marvel lied when they said they were going to present both sides in equal light. That is too bad. Civil War could have been so much more interesting and complex if they had followed through on that promise. I guess personal agendas and biases take precedence over creating a captivating storyline.
Overall: X-Factor #9 was a fine issue. I wish this comic got more attention. I think that many people over look Peter David. I know there are plenty of “hot” writers like Brubaker, Johns, Morrison, Millar, Loeb, Bendis and Ellis. I think that people forget what an excellent writer David is in his own right. David is crafting one of the most interesting and unique comic books being put out by either Marvel or DC. I definitely recommend checking out X-Factor.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Ed Brubaker keeps delivering an excellent issue of Daredevil each and every month. Daredevil is one of the Revolution’s favorite titles. With Matt finally breaking out of jail, I expect that Daredevil #87 should be an action packed and entertaining issue. Let’s not waste anytime and head to this review.
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Penciler: Michael Lark
Inker: Stefano Gaudiano
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: This issue starts with the fake Daredevil talking about how he has been following Dakota North and keeping tabs on the thugs who are trailing her wherever she goes. The thugs decide that Dakota is getting too close in her investigation and that it is time to kill her. One of the thugs wants to call the boss for approval. The other one tells him to forget it and be a man and do what they need to do.
The thugs then attempt to kill Dakota. However, the fake Daredevil appears and makes short work of the thugs. We then see the fake Daredevil after his encounter with Dakota North talking into a recorder saying that Dakota recognized him and that his may be his last report. At this point, the real Daredevil appears.
We then shift back one hour earlier. The Warden of Ryker’s Island is finishing doctoring the video tapes at the prison. He has edited out any video footage of Matt in combat. All that is left is footage of a blind man being held hostage by the Punisher and used as a human shield so that the Punisher could escape. The Warden then directs his secretary to call her friend at the 11 o’clock news and tell her that she has an exclusive.
We then see Matt and Punisher landing a helicopter that they used to escape from Ryker’s Island. Matt thanks Punisher for his help. Punisher responds that he knows that Matt has been hurting, but he doesn’t want to be the Punisher. That Matt needs to remember that. (That was a nice scene.)
We then cut to Matt having gotten one of his old costumes and approaching the fake Daredevil on a rooftop. We are then treated to some fisticuffs between these two gentlemen. Matt has the upper hand in the fight until the fake Daredevil lets loose with a chi powered fist. Matt recognizes that the fake Daredevil is his old buddy Danny. Danny then realizes that this is Matt in a costume and not some fake.
We shift to Matt and Danny back at Danny’s place. Danny gets into his Iron Fist costume. Iron Fist tells Daredevil how Alton Lennox hired him to impersonate Daredevil. Iron Fist thought this was all part of Matt’s defense to show that he wasn’t Daredevil. Matt says that Alton Lennox was the last person to speak with Foggy’s killer and that he is pulling Matt’s strings.
We then zip to Dakota North and Ben Urich breaking into one of Alton Lennox’s offices. When they enter the office, they see Iron Fist and Daredevil in the room. The four find no evidence of Lennox in the office. It has been swept clean and there are no paper or computer files. Dakota then hits the reprint button on the fax machine and out comes an e-ticket for first class fare to Monaco.
We then fast forward to later than night with Ben Urich meeting with Matt in his motel room. Ben urges Matt to not do anything stupid and to not get himself killed. Matt says that there was never going to be a case against him. That putting him in prison was all about breaking him and getting him killed. That failed. Ben mentions how the last time he say Foggy, that Foggy blamed him for everything. Matt assures Ben that none of this was his fault. (Another nicely done scene.)
We then see the 11 o’clock news where video footage of Punisher taking Matt hostage and using him as a human shield to escape Ryker’s is being played on TV. The news reports that the repeated sightings of Daredevil while Matt was jailed opens the debate wide open as to the question of who Daredevil really is. The Warden then gives an interview and states that Matt is an innocent man. That at no times did he ever appear to be a man capable of being Daredevil. That the blame should be placed on the FBI who forced Matt into a dangerous situation at Ryker’s Island and created this time bomb that lead to the massive riot.
We then see the FBI Director watching the same new report. The Director is furious at Warden Cole. The Director is then told that Senator Engel is on the phone and demanding to speak to him.
We then shift to Matt at the airport with a new ID, Michael Murdock, and he gets a ticket to Monaco.
We then cut to a non-descript typical American suburban neighborhood where a man in a walker walks outside his door to get the morning paper. The man with the walker is FOGGY NELSON!! An agent then appears from the house and tells Foggy to please come back in the house. That they don’t want anyone seeing him until he is off the walker and ready to assume his new life. End of issue.
The Good: Wow. Just, wow. What a great issue. Just when I thought Brubaker couldn’t get any better he goes out and tops himself in Daredevil #87. We learn that the fake Daredevil is none other than Iron Fist. I expected that the fake Daredevil would be either Iron Fist or Hawkeye. No real surprise there. Luckily, I managed to avoid any spoilers before I read this issue. It is nice to see Danny back in action. I have always liked Iron Fist since the old 1970’s Power Man and Iron Fist comic book. Iron Fist can be a pretty interesting character if handled properly. In the letter column, we get a State of the Union address from Ed Brubaker. In it he informs us that he will be handling a project entitled The Immortal Iron Fist. I’m glad to see Iron Fist getting some love from Marvel and am quite confident that Brubaker will do a great job on that comic.
All right, we learned that Danny had been hired by Alton Lennox to parade around as the fake Daredevil. Just who is this Mr. Lennox and what is his obsession with Matt Murdock? I have no clue where Brubaker is headed with this storyline, but I know we are going to be in for one hell of a ride.
The scene between Matt and Urich in the motel room was perfect. Poor Ben Urich feels terrible about his last moments with Foggy. Brubaker does a nice job portraying the friendship and tight bond that Matt and Ben have. The dialogue was well done. Brubaker has such a talent for delivering realistic and enjoyable to read dialogue.
It was enjoyable to see Warden Cole totally burn the FBI Director by releasing the video footage to the news and giving a statement that exonerated Matt and condemned the FBI. We have waited a long time for the FBI Director to get what he deserves. That was rather satisfying. Matt has had such rotten luck over the course of the past several years. It was rather enjoyable to see Matt finally benefit from some good luck.
I look forward to the upcoming storyline of Daredevil over in Europe in his wild goose chase for Mr. Lennox. This should be a very entertaining. But, the storyline that really has my attention is the return of Foggy Nelson! Dude, that Brubaker is a master. You never see it coming. He gets you going in one direction and then slams a real twist on you when you least expect it. This is exactly why I love Brubaker’s writing. More twists and turns and unexpected events.
We see that Foggy has entered some kind of Federal witness relocation plan. First, I am so happy that Foggy isn’t dead. I was torn up over Foggy’s death. Foggy is one of the best supporting characters in the entire Marvel Universe. Foggy and Matt are like peanut butter and jelly. You have to have both of them. I also didn’t think that a character like Foggy deserved to go out in such a manner. But, I got over the death because Brubaker continued to deliver an incredible story and actually used Foggy’s death to further Matt’s character development and to serve as the foundation for the rest of the storyline. Having said that, I’m so glad that Foggy isn’t dead. I am very interested to learn more about what is going on with our boy, Foggy.
Brubaker never disappoints. His dialogue is enjoyable to read. He has such a nice feel for each character and that enables him to deliver some strong and entertaining dialogue. Brubaker has continued Matt’s evolution. Daredevil #87 is the beginning of the reconstruction of Matt Murdock. We have spent years deconstructing Matt. I am ready to see how Brubaker will handle this new Matt Murdock and how the recent events of the past couple of years will influence what type of man he is going to rebuild himself as.
Brubaker’s pace on this issue was just right. Things are starting to pick up and he definitely has me already starving for the next issue.
Michael Lark delivers more excellent artwork. I have really warmed up to his style and honestly don’t want to see anyone else drawing Daredevil. Lark’s style fits Daredevil like a glove and is a fine compliment to Brubaker’s story.
The Bad: No complaints at all.
Overall: I thought Daredevil #87 was fantastic! Brubaker continues to take the reader on a wild and unpredictable ride. With Brubaker spinning the story, you never know what wild twists and turns you are in for. This makes for a very enjoyable comic book to read. Combine that with the great artwork and you have one of the best comic books on the market right now. I heartily recommend Daredevil. It is definitely worth your money.
The Revolution has always thought that the New Avengers has been the weakest writing performance turned in by Brian Michael Bendis. I loved his work on Powers, Daredevil and Ultimate Spider-Man. Yet, I have been totally unimpressed with Bendis’ work on New Avengers. Combine that with the fact that I haven’t enjoyed a single comic book centered on the Civil War storyline other than one written by Mark Millar, and I’m highly skeptical if I’m going to enjoy New Avengers #22. I have a feeling that New Avengers #22 is going to approach the Registration Act from way over the top and is probably going to end up being a wasted issue. Let’s hope for the best and hit this review.
Writer: Brain Michael Bendis
Penciler: Leinil Yu
Art Rating: 3 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 2 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 2.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: This issue starts with Iron Man and Ms. Marvel paying a visit to Luke Cage and Jessica Jones. Iron Man asks Luke and Jessica if they are going to register pursuant to the new Registration Act that is going to pass at midnight. Jessica claims that she has no desire to use her powers or to be a super hero. That she just wants to raise her children. Tony says that the government wouldn’t force her to engage in super hero missions. Jessica doesn’t believe him.
Tony warns Luke that if he doesn’t sign by midnight, then S.H.I.E.L.D. will come to his home to take him away and arrest him. Luke asks Tony if it is Mississippi in the 1950’s. (What?) Tony says that Luke would be breaking the law. Luke retorts that slavery used to be a law. (Oh mi dios. Are we really going in this direction?)
Luke says he is going to do the right thing and that he is not going to register with the government. Iron Man and Ms. Marvel then leave. Jessica tells Luke that she is taking the kid and leaving for Canada. Luke says he has to stay. That this neighborhood is his world. That he isn’t going to buckle to the man. (Really? People still reference “the man?”) That Luke wants the people in his neighborhood to see what they do to him for standing up for what he believes is right. That he will teach the pro-registration side what is right if it take the rest of his life. (oooo-kay.)
Jessica then takes off for Toronto. (Great city. Fantastic place to go visit.) Luke then tells Jessica to not watch the news for the next week. He doesn’t want her to see what is going to happen to him.
Luke then talks to the locals in his neighborhood. He tells them he isn’t going to register. That he is going to sit in his home and not bother anyone. That “we’re supposed to be allowed to do that, right?” A little boy answers “Yes, sir.” (This is getting so ridiculously over the top.)
At the stroke of midnight, S.H.I.E.L.D. cape killers come knocking on Luke’s door. Luke tells them to go away. They refuse. So we are treated to a good old fashioned donnybrook. During the fight, the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents begin to get the upper hand. Suddenly, an old neighbor blasts one of the cape killers with a shotgun. Then the rest of the neighbors start throwing bottles at the cape killers. At this point, Captain America, Daredevil and the Falcon make their dramatic appearance and start pounding on the S.H.I.E.L.D. soldiers.
Captain America’s team wins the battle and steals one of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s vehicles and makes a quick getaway. Luke contacts Maria Hill over the vehicle’s communications system and tells her that “the revolution is coming.” (What revolution?)
We then cut to Jessica in Niagara Falls about to cross over the border into Canada. (I wonder if Homeland Security would stop her from leaving the country.) Jessica enters a convenience store and hears on the news that Captain America’s team of rebels escaped with Luke Cage and there whereabouts are unknown. Jessica smiles. End of issue. (Agradezca a dios que este cómico finalmente encima.)
The Good: Needless to say, I found New Avengers #22 to be a rather craptacular issue. However, that doesn’t mean that it didn’t have its bright spots. Bendis treated us to a rather entertaining fight between Luke and the S.H.I.E.L.D. soldiers. I like how Luke knows that he probably won’t win the fight, but is determined to go out in a blaze of glory.
The one page splash shot of Captain America, Daredevil and Falcon coming to the rescue was pretty cool. It is always great to see Captain America kicking some butt.
The Bad: Bendis turned in one ridiculous story in this issue. Unlike Millar, Bendis isn’t remotely trying to give even a half-hearted effort to show the pro-registration faction in equal light with the anti-registration faction. It is painfully obvious that the anti-registration faction are the unqualified good guys and that the pro-registration faction is just one step below being a member of the KKK or the Nazi party.
I am totally stunned that Bendis lacks the ability to portray the pro-registration side with any amount of depth. Making the two sides so completely black and white only serves to make his story far less interesting. When the line between wrong and right are blurred and both sides are shown as “doing the right thing” the story becomes much more delightfully complex and compelling. The reader then doesn’t know who to root for and who is the bad guy or the good guy. The reader can understand and empathize with both groups and then eventually make the tough decision of which side they support. That is close to what Millar is doing over in Civil War. However, Bendis fails to employ this formula and instead delivers such a one sided story that the reader is robbed of any complexities of an interesting storyline involving two sides that may both be on the right side.
Bendis’ story is so over the top. Comparing the Registration Act to slavery and to Segregation in the South is so ridiculous that it makes his story laughable. The scene where he tells the little boy that they still have the right to sit in their homes and not bother anyone is just too cheesy. Bendis tries to hard to portray Luke and the anti-registration with the side of the saints that it makes the story so overwhelmingly cheesy and over the top that the reader ends up laughing at the story instead of taking it seriously. Somehow, I don’t think that Bendis wanted to elicit laughs from the reader. But, that is what happens when you get too heavy handed and really go overboard on a story.
The problem is that the Registration Act only affects superheroes. It doesn’t target any group based on race, sex, national origin or religion. It only has the heroes register with the government. The government then promises to keep their identities secret. The heroes will all become S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and receive compensation and benefits as well as training. Super Heroes are vigilantes who have been breaking the law since the first mystery man appeared in the late 1930’s. They cause insane amounts of collateral damage that would probably bankrupt America and cause our insurance industry to go out of business. So, exactly how in the world does this compare to slavery in America or Segregation in the South? I have absolutely no idea. That is such a horrendous comparison designed only to elicit a strong response from the reader so that we will look at the pro-registration side as nothing more than dirty evil villains.
That just doesn’t work with me. That is the easy way out. It is far easier to make sweeping generalizations and paint one side as nothing more than base villains than to try and craft a complex story where both sides are “doing the right thing” and making it difficult for the reader to pick a side. Bendis takes the easy way rather than putting in the effort to create a story that is more enjoyable for the reader. Either that or Bendis simply can’t see beyond his own personal beliefs and agenda. I hope it is the former, because if it is the latter, then that is a sign of a weak writer. A truly talented writer is able to pick and choose any side of an argument or any character no matter their background and craft a compelling story.
Another problem with New Avengers #22 is that it is a totally wasted issue. It forwards no plotlines concerning the Avengers. And it forwards no plotlines concerning the Civil War storyline. This was a completely wasted issue on both fronts. We already knew that Luke had joined Captain America’s team. I didn’t really need an entire issue showing me how and why he joined. That could have been done in a couple of pages. For $3.00 I expect more than an issue where the writer mails it in and cranks out a totally pointless story.
I also am not a fan of Leinel Yu’s artwork. I found it to be too sketchy and rather unappealing. The comic looked too dark and muddy. The art made for an ugly looking comic.
Overall: I found New Avengers #22 to be a terrible read. Combine a weak and uninteresting storyline that advances no plotlines with artwork that is unimpressive and unattractive and you have the ingredients for a real stinker. This issue was certainly not worth the $3.00 I paid for it. Bendis continues to fail to impress me with his run on the New Avengers. Bendis is very talented. I hope that he can turn the corner on this comic book and finally deliver some entertaining and well crafted issues. At this point, I certainly wouldn’t recommend New Avengers.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
The Revolution has been looking forward to Batman #655 for quite some time. Morrison and Kubert? That is a recipe for success in my book! I fully expect Morrison to deliver a well crafted and interesting story. Let’s not waste any more time and go right to the review.
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Andy Kubert
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 10 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: This issue starts with Commissioner Gordon having been poisoned by the Joker and falling off a building into a safety net. Joker stand triumphantly over a beaten and broken Batman. Joker celebrated having finally killed the Batman. Batman then pulls out a gun and blows a hole into Joker’s face. We then see another Batman appear. The second Batman carries Joker toward the police. One of the cops says that Joker is still alive. Batman walks past the cop and throws the Joker into a garbage dumpster.
We cut to Commissioner Gordon in a hospital room recovering from the exposure to Joker’s laughing gas. Batman appears and Gordon says that the Batman who shot Joker was an ex-cop who snapped and took it on himself to try and clean up the city. Gordon then tells Batman that his crime blitz worked and that Batman has put away all the super villains except for Two Face and one or two minor nut jobs. That Gotham is finally clean. (This scene also sports some very funny dialogue between Gordon and Batman concerning their viewpoints on a newspaper article Gordon was reading.)
We then shift to Wayne Manor and view a typical day for Batman. He is sleeping until around 3 pm. We see him pumping some iron in his gym at 5 pm. We then see him eating dinner alone at 7 pm. Batman is then in the Batcave tinkering with some gadgets at 9 pm. Bruce tells Alfred that Gordon mentioned that Gotham was his safety zone and that he should get out of the city more. Alfred thinks that is an excellent idea and suggests the Action in Africa after show party in London that Bruce was invited to attend. Bruce agrees to go. Alfred then tells Bruce that he is now constantly talking in his growling Batman voice.
Robin then appears in the Batcave. Robin then tries to take a peak at the new Batmobile, but Bruce won’t let him since it’s not ready yet. (This scene has more entertaining dialogue between Robin, Alfred and Bruce about how Alfred feeds the Bats a certain gourmet diet.) Robin then heads out to go on a camping trip in the mountains by himself. After Robin leaves, Bruce tells Alfred how he is proud of Robin and that Robin knows that fact.
We then cut to a woman tied up and gagged. Her name is Francine. She is the wife of Kirk Langstrom who is off panel. A woman, also off panel, tells the doctor that she is injecting his wife with a serum that in 24 hours will leave his wife crippled, blind and in constant pain. That Langstrom has 12 hours to deliver his were-bat serum. The woman is then informed that they have tracked Bruce’s private jet landing in England.
We then cut to Bruce Wayne checking into his hotel. Kirk Langstrom busts into the lobby looking crazed and flustered. Kirk blows off Bruce claiming that he is in a rush and that he will see him at the party later tonight. Alfred and Bruce discuss how strange Langstrom was acting and that the fact that he is the inventor of a serum that caused him to transform into the Man-Bat had nothing to do with his odd behavior. Bruce smirks and comments “There goes my vacation.”
We then shift to Langstrom meeting with two masked thugs. He asks if his wife is ok and they ask if he brought the serum.
We then zip over to Alfred tying Bruce’s bow tie on him. Alfred comments how Bruce needs to relax. That Bruce needs to stop always doing his deep and gravely Batman voice. Alfred asks Bruce when was the last time he relished in his status as a famous international playboy. Alfred lists the past lovers like Kathy Kane, Julie Madison, Vicki Vale and Silver St. Cloud. (This scene has some classic dialogue between these two characters.)
We then see Bruce wooing the ladies at the party. He is being suave and is picking up three women at a time. (Uh oh! Look out, Tony Stark! It looks like you may have some competition for the title of most pimpin' playboy in comics.) Bruce asks Alfred how he is doing and Alfred reminds him to lose the growl. We then see the woman who was threatening Langstrom with a young boy by her side. They are looking at a video footage of the party. The woman asks the boy to pick out his father. The boy points out Bruce Wayne as his dad and then asks the woman “What are we going to do now, mama?” The boy’s mother is none other than Talia. Talia says it is time to say hello. Above them we see an army of Man-Bats.
The Good: Wow. Batman #655 was an excellent issue! Morrison, sans steroids, crushed a home run with this issue. Before I breakdown the scenes, I have to say that Morrison gets it. He gets Bruce Wayne. He gets Bruce Wayne more than any Batman writer over the past two decades. It has been forever since I have read a Batman issue that focused on Bruce Wayne instead of Batman. Where the writer didn’t approach this comic with the view that Batman was the true identity and that Bruce Wayne was nothing more than a mask.
Morrison wasted no time getting this issue started. The opening scene with Gordon having been gassed by the Joker and two page spread of Joker gloating over a bloodied and beaten Batman certainly got my attention. Then it was ratcheted up with the beaten Batman pulling a gun out and shooting Joker in the head. And it was capped off perfectly by having the real Batman throw a bleeding and almost dead Joker into a garbage dumpster instead of allowing the police to get Joker some medical treatment. Perfect. This is the Batman that I know and love.
The scene with Batman and Gordon in the hospital room was funny. “How did they manage to find his neck” is the quote of the month! Morrison delivers some nice dialogue in this scene. Plus, Morrison creates nice chemistry between Gordon and Batman.
I liked the scene showing an average day for Bruce Wayne. It needed no words. Perfect. This scene also demonstrates how Morrison doesn’t plan to write his Bruce Wayne in this fashion unlike so many of the previous writers on this title.
The scene with Alfred, Bruce and Robin in the Batcave was wonderful. Again, Morrison serves up more entertaining dialogue. Morrison uses Alfred to show the reader just how neglected Bruce Wayne has been. This is another comment by Morrison letting the reader know that he isn’t going to treat Bruce Wayne’s character the same way that previous writers have. The chemistry between Alfred, Tim and Bruce is excellent in this scene. The dialogue is humorous at points and very touching at other points.
Morrison continued to demonstrate his excellent handle on Bruce and Alfred’s relationship with the scene of Alfred helping Bruce get ready for the party. This has more excellent dialogue and is a nice commentary by Morrison on how the character of Bruce Wayne has been completely marginalized by past writers over the past couple of decades.
If course, the big bomb was the ending! It is revealed that Talia is the one who threatened Langstrom in order to get his Man-Bat serum. That she has created an army of Man-Bats. And that she has a son and that Bruce Wayne is the father! Now that is how you deliver an impressive ending that hooks the reader. I cannot wait for the next issue!
Bruce as a father is going to be one hell of a storyline. I am interested to see where Morrison takes this storyline. Is this boy really Bruce’s son? If so, just what is Bruce going to do about it? And what is Talia’s planning? So many questions and I’m sure Morrison has plenty of interesting answers in store for us.
I also like the storyline of Batman having finally gone on a massive crime blitz after his year off and that Gotham is finally clean. Having Batman go on adventures outside of Gotham should be an interesting change of pace.
Morrison serves up some fantastic dialogue. Morrison truly understands the characters and knows how to write them. The interaction between Bruce, Alfred and Tim was perfect. Morrison also delivers a story at a fantastic pace. Morrison gets the title off to a rocking fast start. He slows it down some in the middle. And then he ends it with a monstrous bang. That is how you craft a first issue on a title! It is obvious that Morrison has a nicely structured storyline in mind and is going to deliver it in a focused and well paced manner.
I completely enjoyed the fact that Morrison centered this issue on Bruce Wayne and not Batman. I am excited to finally see Bruce Wayne get fleshed out and developed. I also like how Morrison writes Batman and Bruce Wayne. Batman throws a dying Joker into the dumpster, but then flashes a little humor with Gordon. Bruce Wayne is still gruff and intense. But, he also has a nice dry humor and shows some emotion. Morrison’s Batman is a nice blend of the Frank Miller hardcore Batman and Robinson’s shiny, happy and talkative Batman.
Adam Kubert does a nice job with the art duties. I like Kubert’s style and he draws a nice Batman. Kubert’s strong artwork is a nice compliment to Morrison’s well crafted story.
The Bad: Absolutely none.
Overall: Batman #655 is an excellent issue. DC has missed the mark for me on many of their titles since Infinite Crisis. Batman is definitely not one of those titles. Morrison and Kubert have some fantastic issues in store for us. This is one of the best Batman issues that I have read in a long time. Batman has shot to the top of my list of favorite DC titles. I am excited to read what Morrison has in store for us on Batman. With Morrison and Kubert in control, Batman is certainly a title that is worth your money.
The Revolution found 52 #11 to be the weakest issue so far. I still enjoyed the story, but it wasn’t as good as the previous issues. Will 52 #12 rebound after the slight dip with the last issue? Let’s hit the review and find out.
Writers: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka and Mark Waid
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Week 12, Day 1: This issue starts with Captain Sawyer chewing out Renee Montoya for the events of last issue. Now that Intergang knows that Gotham PD is on them, Intergang has responded by going underground and they shut down the offices at Ridge-Ferrick. Sawyer then tells Montoya to butt out of the Intergang investigation.
We then shift to Montoya going back to her apartment where the Question has been in deep meditation for the past two days. The Question then snaps out of his meditation and tells Montoya that they are going to go to Kahndaq.
We then cut to Black Adam using his powers to change the course of a river to help one of his struggling villages. Adrianna tells Black Adam that he should be using his powers to perform acts of hope rather than to give into his anger and spend his time building his coalition of nations. Adrianna asks why Black Adam always acts out of anger. Black Adam then flies Adrianna back to his palace. There he takes her to the memorial for his wife and two sons who were murdered. They are why he does what he does so no one else will feel the emptiness that he feels. Black Adam then reveals a hidden tunnel and takes Adrianna down into the earth to a place far away from his palace.
We see Black Adam and Adrianna arrive inside the Rock of Eternity where Captain Marvel is seated on Shazam’s throne. The Seven Sins and the power within the Rock are driving Captain Marvel insane. Black Adam then reveals an amulet said to contain the power of another one of Shazam’s champions from ancient Egypt: Isis. Black Adam wants Captain Marvel to make Adrianna part of the Marvel family.
We then shift to Wonder Girl entering her apartment and surprised to find Ralph Dibny waiting for her. Wonder Girl admits that they stole all of the various items from Ralph because Devem wants to take a trial run at resurrecting a person before they attempt to resurrect Superboy. Wonder Girl apologizes for tricking Elongated Man, but she knew he would never willingly help her. Ralph then responds that he would do anything to help resurrect Sue from the dead.
We cut back to the Rock of Eternity. Captain Marvel states that Adrianna is worthy of Isis’ amulet. Black Adam tells Adrianna that she has shown him a new way and that he needs her help. That he needs her by his side. Adrianna takes the amulet and then transforms into the MIGHTY ISIS!
Isis then tells Black Adam that she will join him on his mission as soon as they find her brother. End of story.
Of course, we are also “treated” to a back up store on the origin Wonder Woman. It is two pages long and describes the birth and powers of Wonder Woman. End of issue.
The Good: 52 #12 was another well done issue! The opening scene with Montoya and the Question was pretty humorous. The dialogue and chemistry between Montoya and the Question is perfect. Even though I’m not a real fan of Montoya, I think the two characters make a great team.
I liked the scene between Adrianna and Black Adam at his village. Black Adam is a leader that has clearly been more focused on his own agenda rather than helping his own people with the basic needs that they require. Adrianna has been a pleasant influence on Black Adam.
I thought the scene where Black Adam explains why he acts out of anger and not hope. It makes perfect sense that a man whose wife and sons who were killed by a villain that he could have destroyed would act out of anger. Black Adam’s rationale that he doesn’t want anyone else to feel the emptiness that he feels made perfect sense.
In these two scenes, the writers succeed in further developing Black Adam’s character and giving him much more depth and complexity than a simple bad guy. I have always liked Black Adam, but the writers are making me like him even more. Black Adam is becoming a much more nuanced and interesting character than ever before.
The scene in the Rock of Eternity was great! Finally, we get to see what is going on with Billy Batson. Poor Captain Marvel is having one hell of a time adjusting to taking over Shazam’s position. Captain Marvel’s mental unbalance, erratic rambling and spontaneous shouting was rather unexpected, but interesting nonetheless. It only makes sense that Billy would have a tough time adjusting to the massive power boost and responsibility of assuming Shazam’s role in the Rock of Eternity. The constant arguing with the seven sins was twisted yet humorous. I’m definitely interested to read the upcoming Shazam comic to see if Captain Marvel is going to be able to regain his sanity.
The scene with Wonder Girl and Elongated Man was well done. Poor Ralph has been through so much. The ending shot of him looking overwhelmed and offering to help in any way to bring back Sue was perfect. Ralph is such a desperate man. If this attempt to bring back Sue fails then I’m not too sure if Ralph will ever be able to recover from this entire event.
Personally, I want Sue to stay dead. However, Ralph is going to be such a broken man if this attempt to resurrect her fails that I don’t know if he can ever be a regular player in the DCU.
I dig Isis. Not only is she a hottie, but she is a pretty cool character. It doesn’t hurt that I vaguely remember the old Isis TV show and always thought it was pretty neat. Isis and Black Adam are going to be a very formidable team to deal with. Is Isis going to continue to be a mollifying influence on Black Adam, or will power corrupt absolutely and will Isis become more like the vengeful Black Adam? I could easily see the power of Isis going to Adrianna’s head.
Then ending had a pretty neat little hook with Isis mentioning that she and Black Adam had to find her brother. I am curious to see where the writers take this storyline.
52 #12 was a nice rebound from issue #11. Personally, I like Black Adam and find his storyline in Khandaq to be rather interesting. The writers deliver another well written issue. They crafter some well done dialogue that made this story an enjoyable read. The interaction between Adrianna and Black Adam was nicely done and those two characters keep getting more developed with each issue. The writers continue this story with a nice pace. Not too fast and not too slow. Plus, they always manage to end each issue on a high note with a little hook to get the reader to eagerly await the next issue.
The artwork was very solid. Barrows and Stull deliver a nice looking issue that helps to make this a pleasant read.
The Bad: There was a minor editorial mistake with Adrianna’s dialogue on page 8. Adrianna’s dialogue is repeated twice. I was surprised to see such a gaffe on a title that has been rather impressively organized up to this point.
I thought that the Origin of Wonder Woman back up story was a total waste of two pages. It was horribly generic.
Overall: 52 #12 was another solid issue. DC has done a great job on this title and consistently puts out a good issue each and every week. I like the pace and the structure of this story. The writers are doing a nice job developing the various characters and getting me interested in them and their plotlines. 52 continues to be worth my money.
Action Comics #841
Amazing Spider-Man #534
Captain America #20
New Avengers #22
Initial D Vol. 23
All right, which DC comic am I most looking forward to reading? Batman #655. I am excited about the debut of Morrison on this title. I’m a big fan of Morrison and am quite confident that he is going to deliver an exciting Batman.
The DC comic that I’m least looking forward to reading is an easy choice. Nightwing #122. Now, this is a character that Dan “Death Count” Didio has claimed is going to be a central player in the DCU. That was after Didio wanted to kill off Dick Grayson because he didn’t think he was a necessary character and that he was “surprised” there were so many Dick Grayson fans out there. Seriously? And DC is okay with having a person who would make such an idiotic statement making the editorial decisions for their company?
At any rate, even though Nightwing is going to be a big player in the DCU, DC sure hasn’t bothered to put any talent on this title in an effort to make it an interesting read. Nightwing has been a lousy read for quite some time.
Which Marvel Comic am I most looking forward to reading? Captain America #20 and Daredevil #87. Why? Two words. Ed Brubaker. Nuff said.
Which Marvel comic am I least looking forward to reading? It is a tie. New Avengers #22 and X-Men #189. Bendis is a talented guy. I have enjoyed his work on Ultimate Spider-Man and Daredevil. However, his New Avengers has been highly unimpressive.
The new creative team of Carey and Bachalo did nothing to impress me on their debut issue of X-Men. Carey delivered a very average story that didn’t get me interested in reading the next issue. Bachalo’s art was well below average. And on top of it, their debut issue was inferior to the impressive debut issue of Brubaker and Tan over on Uncanny X-Men.
Posted by Rokk Krinn at 10:53 AM
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
The Revolution loved Ed Brubaker’s debut issue on Uncanny X-Men. I think that Brubaker is the hottest writer in the industry right now. Brubaker has made Captain America and Daredevil two of the best reads on the market. And now, Brubaker has turned his magic to Uncanny X-Men. It has been a very long time since I was excited about reading an issue of Uncanny X-Men. But, this week, Uncanny X-Men #476 was the first comic I read. Let’s hit the review.
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Penciler: Billy Tan
Inker: Danny Miki
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: This issue starts with the X-Men breaking into an old Shi’ar base hidden in an old volcano in upstate New York. They are immediately attacked by Shi’ar robots and we have a big braaaaaawwwl! Professor X stays in the Blackbird along with Rachel and Darwin. Rachel is mind linking Professor X with the X-Men to help them find a spaceship in the base.
We then flashback to Xavier assembling his team at the Xavier Institute. Cyclops is arguing with Xavier that Darwin is not ready for a combat mission. Xavier disagrees. Cyclops is also angry that Xavier is taking everyone that he cares for with him namely Havok and Rachel. Havok enters the scene and tells Cyclops that Vulcan is still a Summers and they have to help him. Scott tells them to come back safely.
We cut back to the X-Men at the Shi’ar base. This is where Vulcan grew up. Suddenly, the X-Men are attacked by the Imperial Shockers who were created to guard this base. And we have another braaaaawwwl on our hands! During the brawl, Rachel discovers that the Imperial Shockers are not simply robots. They are actually prisoners of the Shi’ar who were turned into these killing machines and that they want to die. Warpath then feels that it is an act of mercy to kill them so he starts wasting them left and right. After disposing of the Imperial Shockers, the X-Men locate the space ship. Professor X is angry at Warpath for killing, but my man says he was simply freeing a slave from its torment. (I love Warpath. What a great character.)
The X-Men then blast off into space. They use a Shi’ar stargate to make the jump far outside of our own galaxy. After they make their jump they begin to plot for the next stargate. At that point they realize that they are not getting any readings from any of the Shi’ar stargates in this sector. That Vulcan must have destroyed them intending to strand the X-Men should they follow him. End of issue.
The Good: Brubaker delivered another great issue. It is amazing what happens when you actually try and put talent on a title rather than just rely on the name “X-Men” to sell a comic. I thought that Uncanny X-Men #476 was an entertaining read. I liked the fight scenes at the Shi’ar base for two big reasons: Warpath and Havok. I have always liked both characters and I’m glad that Brubaker is making good use of them.
Warpath is just a bad ass. Plain and simple. You can tell that he is one of Brubaker’s favorites. And luckily, he is one of mine, too. Warpath didn’t flinch when it came to handing out mercy killings to the Imperial Shockers. This scene re-enforces the divergent viewpoints of Warpath and Professor X. This is one reason why Warpath has never been a member of Professor X’s inner circle of pet students.
The scene with Cyclops, Professor X and Havok was perfect. Brubaker is finally doing what so many writers have totally failed to do. Develop the relationship between Cyclops and Havok. I like that we are seeing that brotherly love between Scott and Alex. It seems like you would never know they were brothers with the way that most writers handle these characters. I’m also enjoying this unusual divide between Xavier and Cyclops. It is making for a delicious change of pace.
It was cool to see Darwin in action. I like Darwin. Not only does he have interesting powers, but his character has plenty of potential.
This issue ended with a nice hook. Vulcan has destroyed the stargates and now we have to see how our heroes are going to get out of this mess. That is one of Brubaker’s strong points. He has so many nice subplots that all build toward the main story. Plus, Brubaker never makes it easy for his heroes. You knew that once they got the space ship that it wouldn’t be a nice quick ride to intercept Vulcan at the Shi’ar home planet.
I’m also interested to see how the Xavier/Lilandra reunion is played out. It is clear that Lilandra has some issues with her ex-lover. I’m also excited for Corsair and the Starjammers to make an appearance. I’ve always liked Corsair and it should be quite entertaining when he discovers his third son.
Ed Brubaker does a great job with the writing duties. Uncanny X-Men #476 is enjoyable to read. Brubaker delivers nice dialogue with each character having their own unique voice. The dialogue has a nice natural flow to it. Brubaker is very talented at character development and this issue is not exception. Brubaker is fleshing out Warpath and giving this character more depth and personality than he has ever had. Brubaker has a good handle of all of the characters on this team and this creates good chemistry between the characters.
The pacing is perfect. The story has a nice foundation and good structure. We can tell that Brubaker is focused and this story definitely has direction and purpose.
Billy Tan does an excellent job with the art duties. Tan’s art is a pleasure to look at and complements Brubaker’s story. Tan draws one wicked cool Warpath. He makes Warpath look vicious. I also love how Tan draws Havok. Incredible. All the energy circles when Havok is powered up make for a great visual. The battle scenes are well done with a nice dynamic feel to them.
The Bad: I have zero complaints. I’m thrilled that Uncanny X-Men is such a good read again.
Overall: Brubaker has restored the glory to Uncanny X-Men. For the first time in a decade, I actually get excited to read this title. Great writing and excellent artwork. This is a fine time for new readers to hop onto this title. Brubaker and Tan crank out a comic that is worth your money.