Archive for February, 2014

Review: X-Men #9

X-Men #9Monet doesn’t really understand physics or the concept of ‘collateral damage’ does she?

Seriously, she just blows into that building thinking that she’ll take out Arkea that way? Yeah, no. All she did was make a hole in a building which spread debris everywhere and caused untold structural damage. Surprise, surprise, it did jack all to Arkea other than let her know that she might want to make her exit.

And sometimes I have to wonder why the Mutants are so surprised regular people don’t like them? Randomly breaking buildings doesn’t help. I know they are trying to stop the big bad but, again, not the brightest plan of attack. Is Monet always like this? And why didn’t one of the half dozen people talking to her think to themselves ‘yeah, that’s not gonna work’.

This is the first title I’ve read by Wood and going in I had heard a lot of good things, that he wrote female characters really well and is critically acclaimed… so this title really confuses me.

He dredges up D-List villains for them to fight, manufactures a romance with the only male character that is just bad as those pushed on the only female character in the reverse, and has no concept of basic spacial awareness (remember the train incident in the beginning with Rogue?).

I’m starting to worry…

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Tonight we are introduced to the first trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy.

What the hell did I just watch?

I admit I haven’t read any GotG so I won’t even attempt to speak towards how this might fit with the established canon. I know GotG is supposed to have a lighter, more goofier feel, which in itself is not a bad thing. It’s actually great to see that the MCU isn’t going to just fall into the ‘dark and gritty’ black hole and continue to give us fun, action packed, feel good, adventure films.

But instead of having that sharp wit we’ve seen come out of the Iron Man 3 and Cap 2 trailers, this trailer has less of the feel of a major motion picture and more of something seen in a 90s Disney Channel movie. It’s really the scenes with the guards talking about the GotG, their uniforms are just… so… cheap looking and cheesy… and the jokes… so… banal and immature. The quality level seems to jump between crisp CGI and ‘let’s put a glow stick on it’.

But not all is lost.

It’s obvious that they’re not showing much beyond the beginning of the film here and it’s mostly used as an introduction for those who are unfamiliar with the property. While the introduction actually works against the trailer in that it’s very stilted, we can see that there is a lot left on this bone and we haven’t even scratched the surface yet. Plus I’m sure there’s a few million in special effects that haven’t been applied yet and that will hopefully clean up some of the cheap and awkward looking areas.

Though I say that and apparently no one took a second look at the after credits scene in Thor 2 before letting it go to print… I had been hoping that was a one off.

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Review: Black Widow #2

Black Widow #2I suppose they do teach how to clean up after a murder scene in lawyer school.

That’s really what this issue is about, giving us an insight into Mr Ross’s personality. He’s going to be Nat’s ‘Girl Friday’ so an introduction was in order.  He’s not your typical lawyer, quick to do his owe stakeouts of questionable individual while Nat is out doing the heavy lifting. And he seems to take his advice from Captain Mal “if someone tries to kill you, you kill’em right back”. I like this guy, he’ll do nicely.

Nat does get her own adventure, just something small and deadly to show us that she’s not without her faults and has a lot to atone for. It also gives us a little bit of that softer side we saw in the first issue which allows the beginning of a multifaceted character development. Things are happening at a deliberate pace, Edmondson isn’t trying to throw us too far into the deep end nor is he tripping too much over the tropes. This is a good thing because Black Widow is a character that could easily be ruined by sloppy writing.

And let’s face it, she deserves a hell of a lot more than sloppy writing.

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Wolverine and the X-Men #40That was great! But was that all?

We have a multi issue setup with the siblings that Dazzler/Mystique implanted in the school, we get the cliffhanger in the last issue, then things start to go south. This should all culminate in something really fun and explosive, but in reality, it’s ‘stuff we already know’. Literally, Joseph gives his sister the same tour Broo gave him, that we’ve already seen, and then that’s it. His sister is knocked out and Joseph makes the call to just forget any of this ever happened. On the surface it’s a poignant moment but it’s just kinda thrown out there after the reshash of the tour. This could have really been something but it was cut off at the legs.

This is partly because half of this issue was spend dedicated to Wolverine. Here we get a little heart to heart between Wolvie and Scott which is actually really good… but it’s buried in this title. This is the kind of thing that should be happening in the lead X-Men titles. Get these two sorted out and move on with the universe. Though can we please not make it all about their pissing match over Jean? That’s all I ask!

I know… I ask to much.

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X-Men Legacy #22Is Spurrier channeling Rick Remender?

This title has always been a little wordy, but this entire arc has really hit the word count limit where dialogue and expansion turns into rambling and mindless filler. It’s like this arc is being deliberately stretched out so it could fill more issues or something. Especially since we’re apparently getting to the actual World Worm just a hop skip after we just went through the fake World Worm.

Then you top this with an insane yet somewhat ignored battle where everyone seems to be fighting for their lives, some people even randomly getting killed in it, and we’re supposed to care? There is no set up, no push, just ‘hey look what’s happening now as I monologue about stuff’. This is very much something Remender would do (has done) and I don’t mean this in a flattering way.

But maybe we’ll see some real movement though now that Ruth has leveled up and David has lost it.

This’ll be great…

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Night of the Living Deadpool #1Why am I reading this? I hate Zombies. No, I really hate them, and I pretty much straight up refuse to watch Zombie movies. Ever.

But, you know, it’s Deadpool.

I still hate Zombies, and somehow Bunn has made me hate them even more.

The eerie way that the Zombies still retain that last bit of humanity as they are eating the flesh of their victims… just creepy and haunting. And a beautiful touch to carve Deadpool’s own little niche in the Zombie fandom as apparently Deadpool is the last super hero left alive. How he is going to save the world, if that is even in the cards, is anyone’s guess.

Did I mention I hate Zombies?

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All-New X-Men #21Another great issue ruined by ‘teenage drama’.

Seriously, can we just make the Jean/Scott ‘angst’ illegal unless you’re going to actually do something with it other than create needless rejected scenes from an 80s movie? Bendis has been pretty bad milking this whole thing. ‘Who will Jean choose?’ ‘Oh, a contender for Scott’s affections!’ It’s borderline sexist on a good day. I know the Scott/Jean relationship is one of those ‘epic comic book romances’ but it’s not the 80s anymore, we’ve all moved on. Quit trying to re-live your boy fantasies and wasting space.

That being said, the rest of the issue is pretty awesome. We get a little history lesson about William Styker and his relationship with A.I.M., then the religious zealots are waylaid by science, and none of it is majorly overdone. These guys are smart enough to realize that killing time travelers from the past can be a majorly bad idea. They are also smart enough to know they need to find someone smarter than them to figure this out. I love it when the bad guy is realistic about their situation.

Unfortunately, that just gave the X-Men time to wake up and escape. But realistically, it’s a better fate than unraveling the space/time continuum… maybe.

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Uncanny X-Men #16No one has more baggage than Magneto. I mean really, it’s amazing the man is still functional.

This issue is basically a prelude to the new Magneto solo. It sets him up to do, well, I’m not entirely sure. He’s already taken out Mystique’s operation, which was in the making for several issues going back to when she bought Madripoor from Hydra after using Lady Mastermind to rob all those banks. Magento doesn’t seem to believe in ‘mutant superiority’ anymore, at least like he used to. He seems to have finally gotten on board with Xavier’s ‘co-existence’ stance even though that’s giving him some uncomfortable feels.

But we haven’t completely lost our old Magneto, he’s still as tough and deadly as ever. The way he just puts the smack down on everyone is very old school. It will be interesting to see his character development over his solo series where we see just how badly Xavier’s death (and the possible death of Wanda depending on how UA turns out) affects him. We know he wants to protect mutants and recognizes his ‘old ways’ were not the right way, so what exactly will be his new plan of attack?

I also want to take a moment to once again applaud Mystique. Bendis doesn’t always get the characterization right, but when he does, it’s pretty brilliant to see. The way she manipulates him when she’s Dazzler, it’s just delicious. I hope we see more of her, once she’s recovered from being stabbed in the back, but that’s only a flesh wound.

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Amazing X-Men #3The amount of feels in this issue is only equaled by the amount of sass.

The banter between Beast and Azazel was beyond fun, beyond perfect, and just full of so much sass about the nature of god and the afterlife without getting preachy. I love how Azazel is in this, very much a classic-style villain and it’s great to see that in this age of ‘let’s just make everyone the villain against each other’ story telling. I can’t wait to see more great things from him.

Then we move into Storm who apparently can’t be kept captive. I love it when writers remember that she’s an expert lock picker thanks to Gambit. Then she runs into Nightcrawler and OMG the feels… the FEELS! Forget Black Panther and Wolverine, Nightcrawler will forever be her soul mate. It didn’t take much to get you teary-eyed with these two. You just can’t argue that they are beautifully matched.

Now, if they can just keep themselves from being eviscerated by Beast… details.

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Review: Deadpool #22

Deadpool #22Deadpool has his priorities straight.

If you’re getting your body shoved into a pizza oven by a LMD of the person stuck in your head, you definitely don’t want anchovies on that pizza.

But as much fun as it to see Deadpool ‘get his kill on’, this is pretty much a filler to get Deadpool into the final showdown with Gorman. Though the appearance of Coulson is pretty darn epic in and of itself. I’m waiting for Deadpool to break the fourth wall regarding Coulson’s role in the MCU.

I have a feeling a lot of things are going to go boom… like Ivonova-grade boom. Not that I’m complaining mind you…

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