Marvel Reviews Category



Ultimate Spider-Man #23 Review

Written by on May 19, 2013
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Ultimate Spider-Man #23

 
Rating: 4/5
Publisher Name: Marvel Comics
Publisher Website: www.marvel.com
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Dave Marquez
Colorist: Justin Ponsor
Number of Pages: 22
Price: 3.99
Safety Content Label: Teen

 

“Spider-Man No More”

Publisher Blurb:

Will tragedy force Miles to quit?! Bombshell is back! An all new Cloak and Dagger!!!

Reviewers Comments:

Remember when there was a bit of a controversy in the press about Miles Morales taking over the mantle of Spider-Man from Peter Parker? Yeah, me neither. Almost two-years removed from the debut of the current incarnation of Ultimate Spider-Man and if there’s one thing that is evident, Miles isn’t a replacement or stop gap Spider-Man, he is truly the Ultimate Spider-Man. And in the grand Spider-Man tradition, Miles has recently dealt with a tragedy with the lose of his (add spoiler material here) at the hands of Venom.

After the recent issues that Miles has had to deal with during the recently concluded ‘Venom War’, issue #23 is a palette cleaner. Issue #23 picks up one year removed from issue #22 and an older Miles has held true to his word (as well as the title of the storyline) and stayed out of the spandex and spider mask. After all the action were the previous issues, #23 pumps the brakes and focuses on Miles and his relationships (which are the hallmark of any quality Spider-Man series) with his best friend Ganke, his girlfriend Katie Bishop (a name that should be familiar to readers of the 616 Marvel Universe), his father as well as Jessica Drew (Spider-Woman).

As usual, the art of Dave Marquez is spectacular. From page one, panel one, it’s apparent that not only is Miles a bit older, but due to the events of issue #22, he’s a changed young man. There’s a fury, an anger within Miles which is eerily similar to his 616 counterpart. Marquez’s art, coupled with Bendis’s script adds up to an issue that maybe like on costumes but high on drama.

Overall, I look forward seeing if and how an older Miles decides to don the Spider-Man identity once more; however, if it takes him several issues to reclaim his mantle it won’t necessarily be such a bad thing for the reader.




Uncanny Avengers #4 Review

Written by on Mar 6, 2013
Filed in: Comic Book Reviews, Marvel Reviews  |  No Comments »

Uncanny Avengers #4

Rating: 4/5
Publisher Name: Marvel Comics
Publisher Website: www.marvel.com
Writers: Rick Remender
Artist: John Cassaday
Colorist: Laura Martin with Larry Molinar
Number of Pages: 22 
Price: $3.99
Safety Content Label: Teen

Publisher’s Blurb:

Red Skull and his S-Men move forward their take over of New York. A member of the Uncanny Avengers joins the S-Men! When the chips are down, the fight all but lost, one Avenger must rise and face the terrible might of The Omega Skull!

Reviewer’s Comments:

Issue #4 is the culmination of the united Avengers first encounter with the Xavier infused Red Skull. And this united team basically get their collective asses kicked. Writer Rick Remender and artist John Cassaday, put these united Avengers through the wringer as the Red Skull, with the aid of his S-Men (and Thor), brings an onslaught of emotional, mental and physical pain down upon this team.

The Red Skull proves to be a formidable opponent for the combined forces of X-Men and Avengers. Although the former Nazi’s plan to wipe the earth of the reborn mutant populace seems simple, it’s decisive: he strikes at the heart of the team members. One particular moment that comes to mind involves long-time enemies Red Skull and Captain America. Without giving away any details, this sequence between the two is a horrifyingly beautiful. Through Remender’s dialogue and Cassaday’s pencils, the Red Skull’s words and utter conviction nearly had me convinced that his cause is just.

Although the action is hard and heavy, it’s the quiet moments where this issues totally shines. This team’s dynamic is the most explosive since possibility the original All-New All-Different X-Men that featured Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Angel and Storm. Although this is a book that is tabbed as the bridge between X-Men and Avengers franchises, the emotion of this series is heavily influences by the soap opera aspect of Marvel’s Merry Mutants.

For instance the tension that resides between Scarlet Witch and Rogue as well as Wolverine’s guilt over Professor X’s death, makes for a few strong reasons to continue to come back month in and month out to Uncanny Avengers. One last thing that I must remake on within the pages of this issue and that relates to the Summers brother origin. Now as a long-time X-Men fan, I’ve read the Scott and Alex Summers parachute story a dozen times, in a dozen different ways; however, I think the opening of Uncanny Avengers #4 is the first time I can remember reading this

In closing, Rick Remender and John Cassaday conclude the first encounter between the united Avengers and the Red Skull in a stunning fashion. Spoiler none withstanding (although there is a hint in the opening paragraph), the stage is set for these combined X-Men and Avengers to not only deepen the connection between their respective franchises with one another but also forge new unexplored ground in within the Marvel Now!

 




Guardians of the Galaxy #0.1 Review Review

Written by on Mar 3, 2013
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Guardians of the Galaxy #0.1 Review

Rating: 3/5
Publisher Name: Marvel Comics
Publisher Website: www.marvel.com
Writers: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Steve McNiven
Colorist: Justin Ponsor
Number of Pages: 32
Price: $3.99
Safety Content Label: Teen

 

Publisher’s Blurb:

Move over Avengers… the Guardians got this. In this special prelude issue meet the man behind the Guardians: Star-Lord… and discover how this child of Earth became the leader of the rag-taggiest of teams in all the Galaxy.

Reviewer’s Comments:

I may have mentioned this a time or two, but my pop’s got me into comics and for that, I thank him. It was my old man who introduced me to such characters as Spider-Man, Batman and yes, Aquaman. However, it was my own curiosity that got me to first purchase a copy of Guardians of the Galaxy (and it also helped there was someone not named Captain America holding his shield). Over time, through my early teens, I was completely hooked to the adventures of Vance Astro, Charlie-27, Martinex and Starhawk. However, like a good things it came to an end (to which I was totally bummed about).

Fast forward to several years back and Marvel decided to give the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise another shot. This version of the book however, featured such characters as Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon and Gamora. Despite the differences between this iteration and the one I grew up reading, the book’s core has remained the same: guarding the galaxy. All the same, the DnA written series was put on the shelf and as a huge fan I was once again heart broken. After the second cancellation of the series, I honestly thought I’d never see the Guardians again, that’s was until Marvel announced their intentions to release a Guardians movie and new book with Brian Michael Bendis at the helm. So my thought process going into this #0.1 issue is fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. So what does the thrice time suggest?

Issue #0.1 of Guardians of the Galaxy is a typical Marvel character origin story in every sense of the phrase. In the case of Star-Lord, he’s got all the Marvel origin markers in spades: he’s the bastard child of a ruler of an alien race, his earth mother is murdered by a rival alien race, he’s also got a strong healthy resentment towards his father, and due to tragic events in his life, he is hell bent on protecting others based on that fact. This issue sets up Star-Lord as a sympathetic grounded character with the potential to become a star not only within the Marvel Universe, but the big screen as well (although Rocket Raccoon might have a word about that).

For this introductory issue, artist Steve McNiven, brings his A-game. His pencils are crisp when need to be during the slow emotional moments, like the quiet passion exhibited between Meredith and J’Son (Star-Lord’s parents), to when the script calls for frenetic energy, McNiven delivers. This is a splendid looking book in which I believe that McNiven’s work should only improve as he becomes more familiar with the characters and the Marvel Universe’s universe.

All and all, issue #0.1 is a solid origin story that will help new fans become grounded with Star-Lord (and to a slightly lesser degree the Guardians of the Galaxy) and allow older fan (such as myself) a change to fond over these space faring heroes once again. I say all of that to say that Brian Michael Bendis, through this #0.1, displays the same love and care for this book as much as the fans love and cherish either incarnation of the team.




Morbius: The Living Vampire #2 Review

Written by on Feb 25, 2013
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Morbius: The Living Vampire #2

Rating: 2/5
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Joe Keatinge
Pencils: Rich Elson
Number of Pages: 23
Price: 2.99
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: T+ TEENS AND UP – Appropriate for most readers 13 and up, parents are advised that they might want to read before or with younger children.

Publisher’s Blurb:
Morbius is back, but on the run and desperate to quell his vampiric tendencies. But has the midnight son really changed? As Morbius tries to stay under the radar, a new threat arises, and they want Morbius dead.

Reviewer’s Comments:
When we last left the living vampire Morbius he was well… no longer living. Thankfully it seems that was only a temporary condition. Still on the fringe of society and barely clinging to his humanity where will our anti-hero end up next?

This issue has a much slower burn to it than the first. It’s clear that Joe Keatinge is trying to build some foreboding but it seems that it’s at the expense of most of this book. The situation Morbius is currently in also seems really below the character. He may not be the most powerful being in the Marvel universe but Michael Morbius is a formidable foe. I’m not sure if they’re going to address why he seems to be so under powered but it needs to be dealt with.

The art is clean but is a little on the darker side. The coloring seems to be restricted to a very limited palette and is washed out. I’m sure this is to emphasize the dreary setting and desolation in the locales. I get the feeling that the story may stick to this area for a while but I think it may do more harm than help long run. While Morbius may be getting his own city to protect he isn’t exactly the type of hero that works in that scenario but I guess we will see where it goes.

To wrap it up this issue drags on and has little story progression to it. The ending is meant to drive the tension up but with the story moving so slow it doesn’t really hit the mark. It’s only the second issue of course things could change as the series continues.




Nova #1 Review

Written by on Feb 20, 2013
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Nova #1

Rating: 2/5
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Jeph Loeb
Pencils: Ed McGuinness
Number of Pages: 24
Price: 3.99
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: T+ TEENS AND UP – Appropriate for most readers 13 and up, parents are advised that they might want to read before or with younger children.

Publisher’s Blurb:

Sam Alexander is a kid bound by the gravity of a small town and a father whose ridiculous, drunken fairy tales about a “Nova Corps” were just another heavy burden in a life full of them. But luckily for Sam Alexander… soon gravity won’t even matter.

Reviewer’s Comments:

Nova #1 has many things going for it things that should have made this issue an amazing starting point for this new character. Instead we get something ham fisted and stale, a story completely devoid of heart and soul. The fact that Jeph Loeb wrote this didn’t really surprise me at all. His signature tropes are all there and they don’t work here any better than they did in his other works.

Meanwhile on the art side of the equation the book is really well done. Unfortunately we all know that good art can’t save a poor story but a good story can survive poor art. There are a lot of little touches that make the book visually striking but they are all for naught. If the narrative was a little more original and daring the book could easily have been considered a modern classic at least in my opinion. Sadly that’s not the case here.

I have been a Nova fan for years and I really wanted this new title to hit the ground running. I was able to forgive the fact that Marvel still hasn’t explained the final fate of Richard Ryder following “The Thanos Imperative” for a while at least. Suddenly out of nowhere Thanos returned and not far behind him was Star Lord both characters that seemingly died alongside Ryder as the Alternate reality known as the Cancer-verse was collapsing, With Ryder gone so went the Nova force from the universe or so we thought. Not giving the original Nova some kind of finality seems like an insult to the character. Hell even Star Lord could have mentioned what happened in an offhanded remark but we don’t even get that much.

As far as the new Nova goes it seems like a rough start for the series. Especially considering what we are actually reading takes place in the past. This version of Nova made his first appearance just before the kickoff of Avengers vs. X-Men desperately trying to out run the Phoenix force in an attempt to warn any worlds in its path of the coming destruction. I’m guessing we will tie back in to that eventually.

To wrap things up this was an extremely lack luster issue. The series may get better but with Loeb at the helm I won’t be holding my breath or anything.




Deadpool Killustrated #1 Review

Written by on Jan 28, 2013
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Deadpool Killustrated #1

Rating: 4/5
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Pencils: Mateo Lolli
Inks: Sean Parsons
Colors: Veronica Gandini
Number of Pages: 22
Price: 2.99
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: PARENTAL ADVISORY – 15 years and older. Similar to T+ but featuring more mature themes and/or more graphic imagery.

Publisher’s Blurb:
Deadpool has already killed every hero in the Marvel Universe. He isn’t through. This time… Deadpool’s gonna take down the most famous characters in classic literature!

Reviewer’s Comments:

The Merc with the Mouth may have killed the Marvel universe but his mission is far from over. Deadpool Killustrated features the continuing misadventures of the alternate reality Deadpool that began a one man war on creation itself. Now he has his eye set on the metaverse and the greatest characters of classic fiction are on the top of his hitlist. How can these classic characters hope to survive?

Picking up where the previous mini-series left off we find that this penultimate homicidal version of Wade Wilson has been on a multiversal killing spree. He has bested countless versions of Marvel’s greatest heroes, villains and even himself but found no resolution to his compulsion to free everyone from the cycle of existence and suffering. However the Mad Thinker and a cadre of evil scientists have pointed him towards a new target one that could unravel existence itself if he succeeds.

This issue builds up on the previous series well and propels Deadpool forward toward new worlds and interesting opponents. You have to wonder whether any of them will be able to stop such an efficient killer. Personally i’m wondering how much longer Marvel can drag this concept out for. As we all know Marvel Zombies ended up beating a dead horse for far too long and had way too many spin offs. It feels like this series could end up going the same route. As much as I love Deadpool as a character I think it might be best to dial back on using him for a while.




Young Avengers #1 Review

Written by on Jan 24, 2013
Filed in: Comic Book Reviews, Marvel Reviews  |  1 Comment »

Young Avengers #1

Rating: 5/5
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Pencils: Jamie McKelvie, Mike Norton
Colors: Mathew Wilson
Number of Pages: 21
Price: 3.99
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: T+ TEENS AND UP – Appropriate for most readers 13 and up, parents are advised that they might want to read before or with younger children.

Publisher’s Blurb:
Legacy isn’t a dirty word? but it’s an irrelevant one. It’s not important what their parents did. It matters what they do. Someone has to save the world. Wiccan, Hulkling and Hawkeye unite with Loki, Marvel Boy and Ms. America to do just that!

Reviewer’s Comments:

Kieron Gillen weaves a new web of action, adventure and betrayal in Young Avengers #1. What has easily been one of Marvel Now’s most anticipated titles finally arrives but will it be all we hoped for?

This issue starts off with a bang or actually after a bang(sorry bad joke). The story immediately escalates as Noh-Var and Kate Bishop take on a Skrull hit squad. Back on earth Hulkling is finding the simple life less than ideal and takes up super heroics once again, Much to the chagrin of his partner Wiccan who is about to make a very terrible mistake. Now it’s up to Loki the god of mischief himself to put together a team that can face the threat Wiccan sets in motion but of course if Loki is involved nothing is as it seems.

This issue is quite frankly amazing. Gillen once again delivers us what no other could. The pace of the story and it’s somewhat chaotic setup work perfectly on every level. The art is great and suits the book quite well. There was one small thing that bugged me it seemed like many of the characters faces were stuck in these kind of overly emotive expressions. It just seemed weird for them to constantly look shocked or surprised.
All of that aside I thoroughly enjoyed this issue. I wouldn’t presume to guess what master plan Gillen has in mind for the series but I have no doubt it will be great.




Dark Avengers #185 Review

Written by on Jan 16, 2013
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Dark Avengers #185

Rating: 5/5
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Jeff Parker
Pencils: Neil Edwards
Number of Pages: 22
Price: 2.99
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: T+ TEENS AND UP – Appropriate for most readers 13 and up, parents are advised that they might want to read before or with younger children.

Publisher’s Blurb:
Skaar, Moonstone & Ragnarok go to war with the deadly Dr. Strange! “The Witch” Dr. June Covington is turned loose in Tony Stark’s Frankensteinian Laboratory. Her first subject? Ragnarok!

Reviewer’s Comments:
Jeff Parker really kicks things in to high gear in this issue and that’s a really good thing. When we last left the splintered team Skaar and Moonstone were at the mercy of Doctor Strange. Meanwhile June Covington the Dark Scarlet Witch has been manipulating Hank Pym into restoring the rest of the team to health. Doctor Strange has put a plan in motion to pit his enemies against each other. Using Moonstone disguised as Captain Marvel to attack the Yancy street territory and it’s leader the thing while simultaneously sending Skaar to attack Iron Man. Elsewhere in Pym’s labs Covington has begun to “improve” the members of the team who are out of commission. Including brain surgery on Thor’s clone Ragnarok and bringing about the return of John Walker as U.S. Agent. Repairing his missing arm and leg but things may not be all that they seem and there may be a hefty price to pay.

There is a lot of action in this issue and a lot of development character wise. We really start to get a feel for the earth the group is stranded on and it is a stark contrast to the regular Marvel universe. It’s not yet clear what happened that caused the schism between all these heroes but it’s obvious it has changed the face of the New York and the planet. So far the Dark Avengers have had little impact but it’s obvious we are building toward a huge conflict.

Things for this series are really starting to look up. I was very apprehensive when the book split from the Thunderbolts but now I’m starting to come around. I’m really hoping that U.S. Agent steps in as team leader and points the group in the right direction or maybe manipulates them whatever works. It’s obvious this world needs heroes, and these villains may just be the right ones for the job.




Scarlet Spider #13 Review

Written by on Jan 14, 2013
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Scarlet Spider #13

Rating: 4/5
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Christopher Yost
Pencils: Khoi Pham
Number of Pages: 22
Price: 3.99
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: T+ TEENS AND UP – Appropriate for most readers 13 and up, parents are advised that they might want to read before or with younger children.

Publisher’s Blurb:
Mysteries come to light as a threat from Mexico comes for Aracely. An old Spider-Man foe returns, and he’s not alone. Plus: What is the secret of Kaine’s new powers?

Reviewer’s Comments:
Issue #13 kicks off a brand new arc one and it’s obvious that this one is going to get personal. The Scarlet-Spider has been laying the human trafficking business in his adopted city of Houston to waste. However there doesn’t seem to be any real end to it in sight.

Meanwhile over the course of the book Kaine has gathered together a motley assortment of friends and allies. They aren’t really his family but they might as well be. Here we finally delve in to the background of Aracely the young enigmatic girl that Kaine rescued earlier in the series. Who is in far greater danger than anyone could have realized and is far more mysterious as well. If that wasn’t enough this new threat has a big vendetta against Spider-Man but they seem to have no qualms about substituting the Scarlet-Spider in his place.

There is some real emotion to this issue and it deals with some pretty dark subject matter. I don’t remember Peter Parker ever having to deal with human traffickers or the like. What’s worse is that these aren’t your run of the mill criminals. This is a fight where Kaine isn’t only outmatched in strength but in ferocity a place where he typically comes out on top. Even with his mysterious new powers he may not be able to take on this challenge alone.

Once again Chris Yost brings us a great issue. It’s obvious that this arc will finally shed some light on some things readers have been wondering about since the series started out. At the same time we are getting some powerful villains who feel like they will really give Scarlet-Spider a challenge. This issue is pretty much non-stop action but it delivers a fair amount of story progression as well. While Kaine may not have a signature arch enemy yet it’s obvious he is going to rack up quite the rogues gallery. I look forward very intently to the next issue. Once again Scarlet-Spider delivers a solid story with great action and character development.




Avengers Arena #3 Review

Written by on Jan 9, 2013
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Avengers Arena #3

Rating: 4/5
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Pencils: Kev Walker
Number of Pages: 23
Price: 2.99
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: T+ TEENS AND UP – Appropriate for most readers 13 and up, parents are advised that they might want to read before or with younger children.

Publisher’s Blurb:
A mystery opponent vs. Avengers Academy’s Sentinel! Who is the killer stalking the competitors in their sleep? Plus: Darkhawk equals death!

Reviewer’s Comments:

Things finally begin to pick up in Avengers Arena #3 at least for now. Once again we are treated to an issue that has a lot of exposition to it. Which can be annoying to be sure especially for a book with a concept like Arena’s. Thankfully the character we focus on this time is far more interesting than Death Locket. We also get to up the number of kills for this week which hits a record breaking 2, more on that later.

Most of this week’s book follows Cammi the odd girl out of the series so to speak. The only character so far that hasn’t joined up with any of the existing groups. She keeps to herself sleeping in random trees at night and setting traps. We get up to speed on her background thanks to a flashback set during an interrogation with S.W.O.R.D’s own agent Brand. Where we learn that not only is she a fairly regular teenage earth girl but also a wanted space pirate. On top of all that she also has ties to Drax of the Guardians of the Galaxy and Nova going far back as the Annihilation war.

The book quickly moves on to Cammi searching intently for the identity of an individual who has been attacking the different groups during the night. Coming close several times only to have the person slip away. Unfortunately during one of these attacks another teen is killed someone from the Avengers Academy to stay spoiler free.

In response we finally get our first interaction with Darkhawk who is also out looking for the killer. If you look at everyone involved in the story so far he can easily considered the only real heavyweight in terms of raw power and technological advancement. It’s hard to believe that any other character could be a credible threat to him. I believed this wholeheartedly and sadly I was clearly mistaken. This book has quite the swerve ending, it’s unexpected and it pissed me off. Although this is probably good in the long run; because honestly I would rather be mad at a story for a moment of good storytelling than mad because a book just wasn’t worth reading.






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