Friday, November 8, 2013

Marvel Knights Spider-Man #2

Writer: Matt Kindt
Artist: Marco Rudy
Color Artist: Val Staples
Letterer and Production: Clayton Cowles
 Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 06th, 2013

"99 Problems..., Two of Five"

We last left our poor Peter Parker on a plane while tripping out on some drug given to him by Arcade ready to start fighting a gauntlet of his worst enemies. Sounds like a normal Tuesday for our hero right? Not really.

This trippy take on an out of continuity story of Peter Parker is growing on me quickly. The first issue was incredibly strange and hard to follow, but that wasn't a bad thing. I just wasn't sure if there was a story being told or just some amazing art held between to covers. I think this issue is really starting to give an idea of what is going on here, and it doesn't look good.

The four enemies on the plane waiting for Peter are Mysterio, Sandman, Hydro-Man and Shocker. It is a really interesting group and the fight(s) are handled incredibly well. Each fight took a few pages while showing small airplane style pamphlets on the sides or center showing how to best handle each villain. These relatively humorous additions added to the fact that on the sides, Peter is getting the shit kicked out of him. Each villain does something new to him (I wont spoil) but as always his Spider-Sense really helps save him. The cool thing is that Kindt gives a little bit of an explanation as to how Peter really uses that power.

It would also be a crime to no mention Rudy's work again. His insane yet tight art style really pulls this book together and forces me to look at the pages for longer periods of time than I give other artists. There is a page where Peter is throwing up sand that truly looks painful.

Two issues in and I am hooked. I know this book is getting sort of mixed reviews but, as a serious Spidey fan, it is hard to put it down. I want to see how Peter gets out of this and how he is going to battle the rest of his 99 problems. Too bad I have another month to wait.

Amazing X-Men #1

Writer: Jason Aaron
Penciler: Ed McGuinness
Inker: Dexter Vines
Colors: Marte Gracia
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 6th, 2013

"The Quest for Nightcrawler, Part 1 of 5"

After Battle of the Atom I wasn't too stoked to grab another new X-Book. I also have been wavering on Aaron's writing on Wolverine and the X-Men for some time because of the silly feeling that exudes from the pages. That said, it was hard to not pick up a book that has Nightcrawler's mug on it.

Cracking open the first page, it was refreshing to see that Nightcrawler was still dead. I know, that sounds messed up, but how often do we get a clone or some sort of "I wasn't dead" moment in comics? Nightcrawler, sitting on the edge of heaven looking down into the real world was very interesting. There were references to him not being able to leave his life on Earth behind and it sent chills down my spine. I have always had a soft spot for the character and this moment reminded me why. Of course this peacefulness fell apart quickly and Nightcrawler's father, Azazel, appeared to take over the heavens and Nightcrawler needed help.

Warp to the Jean Grey school and get a peek on who the rest of the cast will be for the book. I am getting the feeling that this is to replace Astonishing X-Men where the focus is on the teachers rather than the students. One of my favorite moments in the school was the rage of Beast as he tried to get his coffee maker back from the Bamfs while uncovering the portal to heaven.

The addition of Firestar is interesting as well. I think having a fresh set of eyes on the school (along with Nightcrawler) could add a level of fun to the book. I am also interested to see if the girl that is in heaven with Nightcrawler will play a larger role in the book when all is said and done.

One issue in and I am definitely interested in where Aaron is going to take this title. There seems to be a lot getting set up and with Nightcrawler on board, it is hard to say no.

Weekly pulls for 11/06/13

My weeks are spinning by so quickly that I am surprised to find myself at another comic book day with nothing but smiles to go around. I had found out over the past week that Simon Spurrier would no longer be the writer on X-Men Legacy. If you follow this blog or listen to the podcast, you know my love for the writer. I was not incredibly happy to see him fall off of the X-titles to go to an unknown book but I learned some new information this week that made me smile. In February, after his run on X-Leg ends, Spurrier is taking the helm of X-Force. Considering how unbelievably sub-par those books have been so far, it is great news to see him take over. Hell, the man is going to get to write Doctor Nemesis and Fantomax! To me, that news could not be any better.

As for this week in comics, it was really light. I didn't have the normal swarm of six to seven books but rather a more reasonable three:

Amazing X-Men #1
Marvel Knights: Spider-Man #2
X-Men Legacy #19

Sometimes I enjoy weeks that are lighter like this. It gives me more time to really sit down and dig into the pages of the books that I purchase. When I get the higher number, I find myself reading faster and not getting as much from them. I guess if I wasn't writing this blog I would pace myself more; but, this is too much fun. Anyhow, reviews are to follow soon after this. Until then, comic book fans, happy reading!

X-Men Legacy #19

Writer: Simon Spurrier
Penciler: Tan Eng Huat
Inker: Craig Yeung
Color Artist: Jose Villarrubia
Letterer: Cory Petit
Price: $2.99
Release Date: November 06th, 2013

"Smoke Mirror"

This issue reminded me how quickly Simon Spurrier is able to drag me into one of his story arcs. We last left David knocked down after losing one of his inner voices (the one that looks like his Dad) into the body of his probably biggest foe right now, Luca. We start the issue with Ruth searching in her dreams for her love but can't seem to connect. He is lonely and scared and, not surprisingly, in the custody of S.W.O.R.D.

After David's last run in with S.W.O.R.D., it was no surprise that they were happy to have him as a prisoner. It seems that Spurrier intends to pull all of his previous arcs into his last by also re-introducing Aarkus the Aetheric who also has a bone to pick with our hero. Aarkus quickly shows David what his Xavier self connected to Luca is doing to the world and it is not pretty. Of course Aarkus blames David for his mind running free and so decides it is his duty to deal with him. He releases something dark and powerful in the end which is sure to lead to more craziness in the next handful of issues.

There is no doubt that Spurrier is one of my favorite writers right now because of his ability to tie humor into something serious so fluidly that it is hard to notice how great he is at it. Every time I close an issue of this, Six-Gun Gorilla or read a chapter of Disenchanted or Crossed I am still blown away. If you haven't given him a chance, go back and grab a trade of this book or any of the others I have listed. I truly doubt you will be disappointed.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

X-Men: Battle of the Atom #2

Writer: Jason Aaron
Pencilers:  Esad Ribic w/Giuseppe Camuncoli
Finishes: Andrew Currie and Tom Palmer
Colorists: Ive Svorcina w/ Andres Mossa & Guru eFX
Epilogue 1: Jason Aaron, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Andrew Currie & Matt Milla
Epilogue 2: Brian Wood, Kristopher Anka & Matt Milla
Epilogue 3: Jason Aaron, Chris Bachalo, Mark Irwin, Victor Olazaba & Matt Milla
Epilogue 4: Brian Michael Bendis, Stuart Immonen, Wave Von Grawbadger & Matt Milla
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 30th, 2013

"Battle of the Atom, Part 10"

I think that this event basically ended as I expected. It set up for future events in X-books while not making any real and massive changes. The only X-members that "died" were from the future so it didn't really pull on my heartstrings. Hell, there were so many characters flying around in this event it was a bit difficult to tell who was who and from when by the time I closed the final pages.

On the final actual chapter, how many epilogues is too many epilogues? I know that there were a lot of characters but the closure given is each of them was hardly even that. The only one that actually mattered was the final one involving Kitty and the past X-Men. He choice is going to change the status quo for a while at least.

One of my largest griefs with the ending of this is that we never really learned why the Brotherhood was "evil". Were they doing evil things in the future or were they just trying to put Jean Grey and co back in time so that the future they know didn't exist. If that was all, is it truly evil? We are seeing all over the Marvel U. how bad it is to actually tamper with time and that is all the mutants seem to be doing these days.

Lastly, do we really need MORE X-Men from the future staying in the present? No, you say? Well damn, you are going to be sad. We have so many timelines overlapping now that it is truly impossible to follow.

I am sad to say that this event was about what I expected for a Bendis ending (for I still blame Bendis for the overall story, not Aaron's final chapter). There was incredible potential and some fun squeezed in the middle. It definitely wasn't bad like Age of Ultron, but it also wasn't needed. I will be happy for my X-books to go back to the way they were feeling before and for me to enjoy Bendis' work here again. Here's hoping Nightcrawler's return next week isn't handled this poorly. I'd hate to freak out and drop all of my X-books. 

Superior Spider-Man Team-Up Special #1

Writer: Mike Costa
Penciler: Michael Dialynas
Inker: Michael Dialynas
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: Cory Petit
Price: $4.99
Release Date: October 30th, 2013

"The Arms of the Octopus: With mercy for the greedy"

This final chapter of The Arms of the Octopus did not let me down. I have to admit that, overall, this side story was a lot of fun to read. It is true that nothing really major happened that is going to influence the whole of the Marvel U., but it was fun to see SpOck interact with the X-Men considering they have quite the history (even though this specific group doesn't).

Even though I felt the art fell off a bit in this final chapter, I really enjoyed the characterization of SpOck and the X-Men. They interacted with one another very naturally and there was plenty of comedy thrown in to keep the reader smiling. If I have any grief about this last issue, it is that Dr. Banner was underutilized. He was a decent level of comic relief while walking around naked post-Hulk, but that felt about it. Heck, we only really got Hulk in the last few panels as they contained Dr. June in Hank's interesting contraption.

Overall, if you are looking for a entertaining and interesting read pick up these three issues. They are a little more pricey than the standard comic but they truly do feel longer. It was really nice to read a special arc that wasn't completely terrible that I just felt obligated to read because it had some of my favorites in it.

The Superior Spider-Man #20

Writer: Dan Slott
Penciler: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Inker: John Dell
Colorist: Antonio Fabela
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 30th, 2013

Oh Dan Slott, you tease. You give us a cover of Spidey and Black Cat and then give us four pages of interaction...I loved it! I have heard a lot of people discussing their distaste for Slott always misdirecting his readers through the solicits, but I am the opposite. I think that we, as comic readers, are getting way too much information about books so that surprises are hardly that. I already know the majority of the New Warriors for their new book. I knew that Black Bolt was alive before it was clear because he is in the new Inhuman book AND I found out the X-Men Legacy was ending due to solicits. Sometimes, it is more fun to be left in the dark.

Now, it wasn't a complete misdirection because Felicia was in the book, she just simply got her face punched in. I think Slott handled the Ock/Felicia relationship well because there was no way he would act to her the same way Peter did in the past. The rest of the issue dealt with Otto spiraling more toward the darkness that awaits him. He tries to take a bit of a shortcut for his doctorate, which doesn't work out; he continues to try to hide himself, which is failing; and so much more.

Slott has a lot of moving gears in this story and there are plenty of things that can go awry for our "hero" in the coming issues. No matter how controversial this "Freaky Friday" setup for the series is, I am loving it. The handling of a different Spider-Man that is ultimately causing all of the good in Peter's life to go away makes sense. I know that Peter will return in the future, there are plenty of hints; but I will not be upset if we get SpOck for a little while longer.

Scarlet Spider #23

Writers: Christopher Yost and Erik Burnham
Penciler: David Baldeon
Inker: David Baldeon
Colorist: Chris Sotomayor
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Price: $2.99
Release Date: October 30th, 2013

"Into the Grave: Part 3"

This story arc has been quite enjoyable for me and I love the constant references back to older Amazing Spider-Man books. The whole deal with Kaine and Kraven being connected due to Kaine's blood bring Kraven back to life is interesting. I also enjoyed the struggle inside Kaine with him trying to stay a hero when he has always been known as a monster in the past. The emotional choices that he has to make truly makes Kaine feel like a real person and someone that has grown.

I have to admit, I am loving this book and am sad that it is coming to a close in December. Kaine has grown on me as a hero and as an alternate Spider-Man. I am getting the feeling that Yost is trying to find a way to create true closure to the series in Texas before Kaine's solo book flickers out. With Kraven painting a picture of Kaine to his friends and with the cliffhanger at the end of this issue, it is hard to picture Kaine staying in Texas for too much longer.

This series has not been perfect, but it has definitely been a fun read. I am looking forward to the final two issues and I really do hope to see more of Kaine in the future. I know they have teased that Scarlet Spider will be in the New Warriors book, but I am not certain that it will be Kaine under the mask.

Guardians of the Galaxy #8

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Consultant: Neil Gaiman
Art: Francesco Francavilla
Letterer: Cory Petit
Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 30th, 2013

I think it is interesting to look at this book as a tie-in to Infinity. I am sure having knowledge about what is going on matters, but it makes sense that Star Lord and team would be trying to stop Thanos from taking over the Earth regardless. If anything, this is the first Infinity crossover that snuck into my pull list that didn't feel just tacked on. Overall, it was a fun read.

That said, the art felt really off to me. I get that FF is a good artist and his work fits in many places but it felt off and a bit rushed here. There were panels that had zero background detail and were blurred. So far this book has felt crisp and it just lost that in this issue. I think that took a bit away for me when I closed the final pages.

The actual rescue mission of S.W.O.R.D. was fun and done well. Rocket had a few comedic lines and the conversation between Brant and Star Lord were humorous and felt incredibly natural. Bendis is doing a nice job making these characters feel like war-torn vets that can really handle the pressure of a serious situation. I think part of my enjoyment also is that I don't have much history with these characters and they are being freshly painted for me.

The closing of this issue was cool to see but not overly surprising. If anyone tells me they weren't expecting Angela to show her face again they are either A.) Lying or B.) need to be slapped. That said, I am still very interested to see where this title goes and if Bendis can keep it reigned as tightly as he has thus far. Here's hoping.

Weekly pulls for 10/30/13

It is so incredibly hard to believe that October is already coming to a close. With the ending of this month I will be able to finally close the chapter of the Battle of the Atom crossover with one of today's issues. With that, I am seeing a bit of overlapping with one of my titles with the other Marvel event, Infinity, that is also running right now. That thought brings me back to an earlier argument; why all of the freggin events?

I only recently have returned to comics (in the past year or two) and I have been knee-deep in crossover events since the get-go. I started with the somewhat mediocre AvX, quickly moved to AoU and then had to choose between Infinity OR Battle of the Atom if I wanted to save any money. Hell, the only reason I really purchased the Battle of the Atom books was because I already had the key titles (other than the two bookends) on my normal pulls.

This brings forth the question of the necessity of events. I will not argue that the concept can be a blast if it is done at a proper rate but I feel like we are being overwhelmed as readers. I miss being able to grab a title and not have to worry too much about the rest of the universe. I think one of the main reasons I am able to enjoy Superior Spider-Man so much, other than being a fanboy, is because it is sort of its own thing. I wish that Marvel would listen to its readers and realize that we want individual stories for a while and not events.

Rant over, onto my books for the week:

Guardians of the Galaxy #8
Scarlet Spider #23
The Superior Spider-Man #20
Superior Spider-Man Team-Up Special #1
X-Men Battle of the Atom #2

I realize also that I forgot to mention that I dropped Uncanny X-Force. I was tired of giving money to Hopeless when his writing style felt hopeless. Anyhow, reviews will follow soon after! Until then, happy reading comic book fans.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Wolverine and the X-Men #37

Writer: Jason Aaron
Penciler: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Inker: Andrew Currie
Colorists: Matt Milla and Israel Silva
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 23rd, 2013

"Battle of the Atom, Chapter 9"

We are coming into the ending of Battle of the Atom and there are still a lot of questions left to be answered. I am happy that Aaron finally approached some of them (why there are so many Ice Men, various identities of future X-Men) while left some of the main ones (why Xorn and Xavier are so damned evil) alone. I know that Dazzler gets nuked in the future, but is that the main reason they are the way that they are? If so, that seems like a bit of a weak plot point considering how much they have gone through. Would that really be the straw that broke the camel's back for the X-Men? I find it hard to believe.

The normal comedy that Aaron tries to tie into his books is present here (little snide remarks from Wolvie, Xavier crippled) and it luckily doesn't take away from the large fight. I am also interested in how the team is going to deal with the cliffhanger from the final page but have some idea and hope it isn't as lamely handled as I feel it may be.

Overall, I feel that this event has been lacking a little and I feel that the constant tease for more information got old around the fifth chapter. Storytelling doesn't have to be all about cliffhangers and weak foreshadowing, it can have real content. Regardless, there is a lot that needs to be covered in the final issue next week and I really do hope that it is handled well. If it isn't, I feel like this is a large missed opportunity and will be a major letdown for mutant fans.

Venom #42

Writer: Cullen Bunn
Penciler: Jorge Coelho
Inker: Jorge Coelho
Colorist: Lee Loughridge
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Price: $2.99
Release Date: October 23rd, 2013

"Mania: Conclusion"

Well, this is it. The final issue of Venom. Of course there are a lot of things left unanswered and there is always that wanting of more. I really don't know how I feel about the closing chapter of this book. I know Venom is to return in Superior Spider-Man in the next month or so for some kind of arc and I am pretty certain that Flash will not be in the costume much longer but none of that is explained here.

This issue is basically a "deal with the devil" issue. Flash knows how to reach Mephisto and he wants to get the mark removed from Andi and to just get the whole ordeal put behind him. Of course it isn't that easy and they are still being hunted by Crossbones so a fight breaks out. For some reason (Mephisto claims because he wanted to) Mephisto helps Flash and Andi handle Crossbones and his team and then explains how she is no the one that is marked. He also explains that it was never Flash that was marked but rather the Symbiote itself.

With those moments passing, we are left with Flash and Andi embracing one another in a caring manner while figuratively embracing for whatever is to come. I can't say that the ending was perfect or even great, but it was sufficient. There are new roads open for people to take these characters and an underlying story that can appear somewhere else in the Marvel Universe. I am sure Andi will appear again (if not with Venom in Superior Spider-Man) and we have to find out who is to replace Mephisto when he "retires". If not, I think there is something missed there.

I have had a love/hate relationship with Venom since Bunn and his team took the reigns but am happy I stuck it out. I hope that whatever direction they take the character in the future is good and just not some silly way to get Peter back in the flagship book. Now I will wait patiently till Superior Spider-Man #25 to see Flash again.

Uncanny Avengers #13

Writer: Rick Remender
Penciler: Daniel Acuna
Inker: Daniel Acuna
Colorist: Daniel Acuna
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 23rd, 2013

As Remender continues to spiral this team into darkness he keeps moments alive that are meant to force the reader to smile. After the confrontation in the last issue between Cap and Banshee, Cap is struggling with some hearing problems throughout the issue. This small moment really break up the darkness that is surrounding the team, specifically Wolverine. The struggle between he and his recently murdered (by him) son is just astounding and painful to watch. The whole deal with how Red Skull really takes over starts to come to light during these moments as well.

While everything else sinks into darkness there are also small moments of relationships growing. Janet and Alex obviously have something which Cap, rather loudly, points out. Wanda and Wonder Man are also getting a lot closer and with that showing that there may be some hope for the mutants after you have already signed her off as a traitor to her own team.

The intricate and dark story that is drawn by Remender is becoming more engrossing each issue. I am saddened to read my old reviews where I was getting ready to drop it. Re-reading those issues that I found no real merit to have shown me that I was wrong and that Remender (as always) had a grand master plan that could even be traced back as far as his run on Uncanny X-Force. Maybe this team can handle a dark story and maybe this could be one of the better stories told in Marvel as of late. Only time will tell and I think it is time that I accept that I am along for the ride.

One last thing to mention is that Acuna's style works very well in this type of story. I am sad to hear that he is leaving the book next month to be replaced by McNiven who I am not certain can replicate the same emotional imagery that Acuna has created in his short stint with the title. Farewell Acuna, your work will be missed.

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #28

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciler: David Marquez
Inker: David Marquez
Colorist: Justin Ponsor
Letterer: Cory Petit
Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 23rd, 2013

"Spider-Man No More: Part 6"

We last left our hero thwiping his way toward Roxxon Corp to take care of some business. This issue deals with Spidey, Cloak, Dagger, Bombshell and Spider-Woman handling their business with Roxxon. The company has touched every person of this group in a way that will never be repaired and they want to make sure that Roxxon is no longer a thing.

The smooth and quick battle in Donald Roxxon's office with the heroes and the Braintrust was fun and visually appealing. Marquez brings amazing life to the characters and emotions to even masked faces that make me smile. The conversation with Roxxon as he hangs out the window by webbing is brilliant writing from Bendis painting a picture of a tyrant who truly feels he is untouchable.

I am nervous as this comic approaches Cataclysm because it could easily be no more. We are getting a full cast of characters and an intriguing story that would almost be criminal to see vanish. I am sure that Marvel has some sort of idea what to do with this title if the Ultimate Universe does shatter but I will really miss this faucet of the world. So much to love, perhaps not too much time left. Bendis really has created a different Spider-Man that I can love. Here's hoping to continue to see Miles in the future. 

Superior Spider-Man Team-Up #5

Writer: Christopher Yost
Penciler: Marco Checchetto
Inker: Marco Checchetto
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 23rd, 2013

"The Superior Six"

Yost has been slowly building toward this issue for a long while. I can't remember exactly when, but back in Avenging Spider-Man Spider-Man started to collect the old members to his Sinister Six. It was unclear as to what exactly he had planned but it definitely kept me hooked to this book. It was actually painful when Yost was off of the book for the past two issues with the Infinity tie-in.

Well, it seems that Spidey was collecting his old team so that he could control them the same way he does his spider-bots. He decides to take a test run to go after the Wrecking Crew and it proves that his plan was not quite ready. His control can be lost and if it happens, his old team will probably smash his face in. This "Superior Six" is bound to be a problem and introduced more and more in the future.

I did also find it interesting to see Miguel O'Hara in the Alchemax building during this issue. It gives me hope that we will see more of 2099 and that this book will continue to tie into the main story. I am really finding myself to enjoy Yost's work in this book and am surprised her is basically pushed off to a companion book. I feel like if I see his name on something in the future I may just have to give it a go.

Superior Carnage #4

Writer: Kevin Shinik
Pencilers: Stephen Segovia and Dan Mexia
Inkers: Dennis Crisostomo and Dan Mexia
Colorists: Jay David Ramos, Vero Gandini and Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 23rd, 2013

I am not finding this book to be superior. All of the characters are coming across bland and similar and I am not feeling a connection at all. I get the purpose of The Wizard doing what he is doing but it all just feels rushed. The story telling itself feels choppy and Spider-Man seems to just be throwing his minions out like fodder. This doesn't feel like the hero that Slott is trying to make Otto seem to be (justifiably terrible instead of not caring), and this isn't Carnage.

The only real shining point of this book is the art. The cover is vicious and fitting for any comic that contains Carnage and frequently that feeling appears inside. The problem is sometimes you can flip from page to page and feel a lack of attention to detail and disproportions in a room. There is also a moment that seemed that Spider-Man teleported to a new area without any transition.

Luckily this title is only one more issue. It hasn't really grasped me and I keep hoping that Cletus is going to pop out of no where at the end to massacre everyone involved. I know it wont happen, but a guy can dream, right?

Sex Criminals #2

Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Chip Zdarsky
Color Flatting: Christopher Sebela
Price: $3.50
Release Date: October 23rd, 2013

"Come, World"

The fact that the cover of this book states that it is for mature audiences is definitely not a joke. On that, the first issue even seemed tame compared to what was presented in this issue. I think that may have something to do with the male perspective and that Fraction probably has a little more experience on the male end of sexual encounters. Now, I am not saying that the sexuality of this book makes it bad. I mean, the thing is called Sex Criminals, it is to be expected. While I was reading it last night, my wife shot me a lot of questioning looks as there were images of ejaculate and boobs on the pages, but then she read and chuckled. "The stuff you read is strange..." she mumbled as she rolled back over to continue to look at Pinterest.

As I said before, this issue was written more so in the perspective of Jon, even if we get small glimpses as to what Suzie is feeling. She refers to him throughout the issue as "This fucking guy" which I suppose could have many meanings. We learn a lot about who he is rather than just the guy with the glowing penis that Suzie met at a party. He delves into his past and discusses his first sexual experience and where he first encountered his version of "The Quiet" which he refers to as "Cumworld". His story is graphic, funny and has a Benny Hill reference which made me laugh a bit too hard. I really feel as if I am connecting with these two characters.

With my new found connection to the "heroes" to this book, I am intrigued as to what their time stopping heist is all about and who is chasing them. It seems they are not the only two with powers and there is a lot to explain. Now that the exposition is out of the way there seems to be a lot ahead. I sat down the book last night with a smile on my face and sadness knowing that I have to wait another month before I am able to find out what is going on. Matt Fraction is quickly working his way up in the ranks as one of my favorite writers right now. If he keeps writing different, emotionally attaching and exciting books I am bound to stay a long time fan.

Weekly pulls for 10/23/13

I was a little nervous that I would have to delay my pulls this week due to an incredibly late work function that got me to my comic shop after closing time (7). Luckily, I called my comic guy and asked if he wouldn't mind staying open a few extra minutes to let me grab my books and he obliged. So, in a relatively exhausted haze, I grabbed my seven books and was on my way.

It was a little sad for me when I looked at my books. Venom #42 was in my hands which meant the series is now over and I also told my comic guy to no longer pull Uncanny X-Force for me. I have given up on Hopeless, I just can't connect with his uneven writing. I also made the choice because there are so many things out there to read and I want to start expanding my horizons a little more. I have to start allowing myself to stop picking up books that I am not really enjoying. I think one of my fatal flaws as a comic reader is that I always hope for the best and am too willing to wait for it to happen. That was the case with Cable and X-Force, Uncanny X-Force and Gambit. So, from here on out I think I am going to try to implement a rule of three. If there are three issues of a book, in a row, that I am just not feeling, I shall drop the title. I need to stand strong by this or my pull list will continue to get out of hand.

Anyhow, there were seven books this week:

Sex Criminals #2
Superior Carnage #4
Superior Spider-Man Team-Up #5
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #28
Uncanny Avengers #13
Venom #42
Wolverine and the X-Men #37

I do want to note that my rule of three is going to start after Superior Carnage. See the review as to why...Reviews will follow soon after this. Until then, happy reading comic book fans.

Friday, October 18, 2013

X-Men Legacy #18

Writer: Simon Spurrier
Penciler: Khoi Pham
Inkers: Khoi Pan with Jay Leisten
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: Cory Petit
Price: $2.99
Release Date: October 16th, 2013

"Wear the Grudge Like A Crown Part Three"

I have to start by saying that I am really sad after reading through some of the January 2014 solicits. I learned that this book is "racing toward its conclusion" and seems to be ending in February or March. With that said, Spurrier is saying that he has some rather large and good news but is unable to spill the beans as of now. I hope it has to do with David getting another solo book or that Spurrier is getting another Marvel title. Otherwise I am just sad.

Before tackling the book I need to take a moment to discuss the covers to this series. If you flip through all 18 books, you will see some of the most fantastic cover art for a book. It is vibrant, interesting and just weird, which I love. The weirdness of the cover gives you a slight window as to what the issue may be about. This issue has an image of Scott Summers and Emma Frost pumping up a brain with a tire pump. This is a glimpse into the mind trip that this issue was.

When we last left David, he had become the World Worm and was ready to consume the mutant race, or so we thought. He actually was using one of his many powers to confuse everyone around him to see what he wanted them to see to draw out Ruth's brother. This ultimately ends up backfiring when David crumples at the end by released the weird internal version of his father into the real world.

One of my favorite moments in this issue is when he tells Scott that he doesn't actually have an issue with him. He mentions that it would be insanely hypocritical to hate Scott for doing something that he had done himself in the past. This continues to show that David has become much more balanced while still being insane.

I know the final few issues of this series will have David and Ruth going after the evil Xavier from David's mind and I know that Ruth could still potentially have to kill her boyfriend. I love the characters in this book and am still surprised to say that a book about Legion has made its way into my top five comics for the past year. Simon Spurrier is a genius writer who gives life to characters that used to feel dead to me. I really do hope that Marvel gives him a chance with another book, otherwise I feel I will continue to follow him to Boom! studios and wherever else his work takes him.

Uncanny X-Men #13

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciler: Chris Bachalo
Inkers: Tim Townsend, Al Vey, Mark Irwin, Jaime Mendoza and Victor Olazaba
Colorist: Marte Gracia
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 16th, 2013

"Battle of the Atom, Chapter 8"

It seems that the time for conversation is over and the time for fighting has finally begun. Bendis has been setting up this fight for the past three issues and it seems to be finally coming to head. The "bad" future X-Men have captured the four original X-Men at this point and try their best to send them into the past. The thing is, time has warped around them and the time machine that they have is not allowing them to transition back to their own timeline. This is obviously an issue and is causing great grief for this X-Team.

While that is happening the "good" future X-Men and the current day X-Men are gathering outside of the school and are preparing to enter to save the kids. They want to allow the students to make their own choices and are not aware that they can not be sent back into the past. A few of the "bad" X-Men are outside also, trying to stop the team but are not being super successful yet.

I am really starting to enjoy this arc but I do have a couple griefs. One, I don't quite understand why the "bad" X-Men are being considered villains. I know they aren't exactly doing the right thing but I feel like they are more misunderstood than anything. I really do feel like they think they are doing what is best for their race and their future. I also wish there was a little more light shed onto the future world instead of just the scattering visions of Dazzler as the shortest lived president ever.

Regardless, I see why this event is here to mark the passing of 50 years of X-Men. It is covering the past, present and potential future of the mutants that we have grown to love and hate. I am excited for what is sure to be an explosive conclusion. My only remaining question is, what about Nightcrawler? I thought he was going to appear during this but it now seems like it may be delayed until Amazing X-Men. I suppose only time will tell.

The Superior Spider-Man #19

Writer: Dan Slott
Penciler: Ryan Stegman
Inker: John Livesay
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 16th, 2013

"Necessary Evil, Part 3"

This issue was, for a lack of a better word, superior. The main focus is Otto trying to figure out how to stabilize the time before the whole of Horizon and New York explode. The thing that is incredible about this concept is Otto digging into his own brain to try to prove that he is better than his greatest foe, Peter Parker. It is known that Peter was able to stop the Reverbium reaction and Otto feels he should be able to do the same. The first step was to dig deeply into his previously accessed memories of Peter's which showed a ton of homages to previous story arcs which Ryan Stegman draws in such a fashion that is hard to not fall in love with his art even more.

Anyhow, Otto is unable to access the memories and there is an interesting image of someone is shadow struggling with rubble (I think it is Peter resurfacing) in his brain but it isn't really touched on. After being unable to use his memories to save everyone Otto comes up with his own plan and is able to revert the explosion into an implosion. During this time everyone else escapes Horizon including Spider-Man 2099.

I think the one missed opportunity in this book was for further interaction between the two Spider-Men. I am happy to see that Miguel is now stuck in the current timeline that could lead to some interesting double Spider-Man action in the near future. Hell, with the hints that Miles Morales is also coming to the main Marvel U and with Scarlet Spider joining the New Warriors, there will be a plethora of Spideys in New York again. I am really excited.

 All in all this was a good issue. It really pushed Otto forward and even made him state that in some ways he may be inferior to Peter. He also needs to move forward after the destruction of Horizon and now has to worry about the fact that Carlie has found out that all of Peter's current money is coming from Otto's personal accounts. With Green Goblin on the horizon and Carlie on his tail, Otto has a lot happening to him. I am loving Slott's work here. 

Six-Gun Gorilla #5

Writer: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Jeff Stokely
Colorist: Andre May
Letterer: Steve Wands
Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 16th, 2013

"Episode 5: And Those Who Dig"

Wow, just wow. This comic has been so incredible, confusing and all consuming that it is hard to put down. I was so angry last week when I learned that issue was pushed back to this week but it was well worth the wait. Just when everything in the book seemed to be falling into a neat pile at my feet that I understood, a new curve ball was chucked at me and I loved it.

After Blue figures out his reason for being on the Blister and accepts his fate, the tumble-squids take over his mind and induce a sort of living nightmare. In this nightmare he sees strange flashes of his life mixed with the stories he used to absorb himself with while working at the library. It formed a sort of trippy dream sequence that basically reflected the confusion as to what the world is to Blue. It seems that the dream sequence was put into place to teach Blue a key lesson about the Blister and that it isn't all reality.

Now, the whole basis that the Blister is a mix between reality and subconscious is incredibly interesting and still a little bit of a guess on my part. It is true that Blue and Partner discuss something along those lines leading into the final pages of the issue, but it is still unclear. It is also a little unclear as to what exactly Partner is. Is he a figment of Blue's imagination from a story he read brought to life or is he something more? Only one more issue and I am sure Spurrier will not let me down.

Oh, I also think it would be a crime to not discuss Stokely's crazy vision of the story. His art reflects the unstable situation of Blue's mind and the fracturing of the world around him. I feel that he was the perfect choice to work on this book. Anyhow, I am done gushing. Go find a copy of the first five issues of this if you haven't already so you can be ready to enjoy issue six with me next month.

Indestructible Hulk Special #1

Writer: Mike Costa
Penciler: Jake Wyatt
Inker: Jake Wyatt
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Cory Petit
Price: $4.99
Release Date: October 16th, 2013

"For a friend whose work has come to triumph"

I am really surprised how much I am enjoying this little mini-series. I mentioned in the All-New X-Men Special review that the story sort of surprised me because there was solid characterization and this issue did much of the same. The shining start this time around is Bruce Banner, not the Hulk. Bruce quickly jumps into trying to figure out what is going on with the Doctor Octopus that appeared out of no where. He mentions how much he loves the smell of paper in a lab and how rebuilding and learning things with limited resources is a blast. The only thing that caught me a bit off guard with him was he mentions how he is surprised by Spider-Man's knowledge of the sciences. I swear they worked together in the past but maybe that is something that was wiped away during Brand New Day.

Anyhow, the storytelling in this issue is wonderful. There is danger, there is villainy and there is Abomination! Oh, and did I mention puppies? There are puppies too. The story is really starting to amp up and we are finally starting to get clued into what is really happening with the Doctor Octopus that appeared.

Even though this story isn't going to have an overall influence on the main Marvel U, I am not upset that I am picking it up. It has been fun to see the original X-Men interact with other heroes from the current timeline and to see Superior Spider-Man interact with a version of his old self. The handling of Doc Ock by Spider-Man is priceless. I am very excited for the last issue coming in the next two weeks and will be sure to grab it up quickly.

Hawkeye #13

Writer: Matt Fraction
Penciler: David Aja
Colorist: Matt Hollingsworth
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Price: $2.99
Release Date: October 16th, 2013

"The U in Funeral"

I am so happy this book is back in my hands. After the hiatus of Hawkeye, I was starting to forget why I loved the book so much. I knew there was something special about it, but I read so many comics that it was hard to grasp what that was. This issue reminded me exactly why this has been one of my favorite books in a long time.

This issue deals with the fallout of the death of Clint's neighbor Grills. There are no fights, there are no explosions, there are only emotions. Clint is not dealing with the death well and, for obvious reasons, blames himself. Clint seems very broken and there really doesn't seem to be much that anyone can do to fix him. There is even a moment where Kate tells him that as long as they had one another, they would be able to survive anything in which Clint responded by falling asleep next to her. There is no question why Kate left him to go to California.

Aja and Hollingsworth do something amazing with the art and layout of the book that helps the reader experience the cluttered and confused emotion of Clint. Every panel is close, each room seems a mess and Clint always seems to be shown alone. The final page where it zooms out of the lonely Clint at the edge of his building brought me to care deeply for the guy. He is alone, even when he is surrounded by people that actually care about him.

Next issue promises to show us what Kate is up to with a new artist at the helm. I will miss Aja but am intrigued to see another art direction with the Kate story. Regardless, I love this book and stand by all of my earlier statements that this is the Marvel book to read. If you are not reading it, do yourself a favor and start, now.

Guardians of the Galaxy #7

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Consultant: Neil Gaiman
Penciler: Sara Pichelli
Colorist: Justin Ponsor
Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 16th, 2013

This issue of Guardians mostly focuses on an interrogation of Angela. I am happy that Bendis decided to handle her in this manner considering she was just dumped into the Marvel U thanks to some bad choices of other superheroes. We get a lot of questions answered and at the same time still wonder how Angela is going to fit into the world.

I think one of the things that Bendis does insanely well in this issue is build the confusion between Angela and the team. She thinks of Earth as a myth while they think of Heaven as such. I also like that they approached the fact that Gamora just sort of attacked Angela and never asked questions before hand. Lastly, I felt that Angela's personality seemed to click pretty well with the comedic, yet serious tone of the current team.

After everything is cleared up and Angela is no longer held captive, there is a truly incredible moment in New York. Angela is standing on the edge of a building and is watching superheroes fly by. She stands in shock and awe realizing that Earth is a real thing and that she is now on it. She goes off to figure things out while being gifted with a communicator to stay in touch with the Guardians. I first thought that Angela was just a ploy to sell this title, I now think that she is going to fit somewhat well. She feeds off of the comedy of Star Lord and Iron Man well and can pack a mean punch. Here's hoping that she becomes an official member once Infinity fights its way into the book next month.

Weekly pulls for 10/16/13

I first would like to say that episode 15 of The Panel Scanners is live and you should definitely give it a listen. There I give a pretty heartfelt expression of what it meant to me to read over 700 issues of Amazing Spider-Man. The main thing to take away is if you love a character, doing something like that will either make them more important to you or make you insanely tired of them. Luckily for me, my love was further deepened.

Onto other things. Marvel discussed a bit more of their wave 2 of Marvel NOW! while at NYCC. It seems that a lot of the books are made to be reactions to the events of Infinity, as wave 1 was a reaction to AvX. As of right now there is a plethora of new titles starting up in 2014 and I am sure this is only the beginning. I was a little shocked to see that Thunderbolts is going to continue with Ghost Rider on the team, but who knows how long that will last. Here is the complete (as of now) list of Marvel NOW! wave 2 books:

All-New Ghost Rider (March 2014)
All-New Invaders (January 2014)
All-New X-Factor (January 2014) - Takes place right after X-Factor #260
Avengers Undercover (March 2014)
Avengers World (January 2014)
Black Widow (January 2014)
Captain Marvel (March 2014) - Takes place after the current series completes.
Elektra (March 2014)
Inhuman (January 2014) - Proves that King Black Bolt wasn't killed by Thanos.
Iron Patriot (March 2014)
Loki: Agent of Asgard (February 2014)
New Warriors (February 2014)
The Punisher (February 2014)
Secret Avengers (March 2014) - Takes place after current series, adds Spider-Woman.
She-Hulk (February 2014)
Silver Surfer (March 2014)

So, as you can see, that is a lot of new titles for the new run. There are a couple things in there that interest me but I will have to re-evaluate my pull-list closer to release dates and after further knowledge of what is coming and what is cancelled. Anyhow, on to my books for the week:

Guardians of the Galaxy #7
Hawkeye #13
Indestructible Hulk Special #1
Six-Gun Gorilla #5
Superior Spider-Man #19
Uncanny X-Men #13
X-Men Legacy #18

Hefty pull after two pretty light weeks. I knew it was coming and I know next week is going to be another large week. Anyhow, reviews should follow shortly after this posts! Until then, happy reading comic book fans!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

X-Men #6

Writer: Brian Wood
Penciler: David Lopez
Inkers: Cam Smith and Terry Pallot
Colorists: Laura Martin and Matt Milla
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 9th, 2913

"Battle of the Atom, Chapter 7"

Battle of the Atom is now in full swing and some questions are starting to get answered. There are now two groups of X-Men from the future and one seems to be somewhat evil. To be fair, I am not even sure if evil is the right word, they just don't want the future that they came from to exist. The other X-Men from the future, are barely touched in this book until the end.

The issue itself seemed to surround Jubilee and her baby Shogo as well as the Jean Grey school. The future "X-Men" have been found out to be frauds and decide to shut the school down from the inside. They make it so those who are trapped inside stay there while those outside shouldn't be able to help. A couple members of the team end up on the outside (Jubilee being one of them) and are greeted by the true future X-Men. They also reveal that Sentinel-X is someone we have already met (no full spoilers).

The next chapter of this event promises to be quite a fight. We have the now crazy future "X-Men" prepared to stand toe-to-toe with ALL the X-Men that are around. I am not sure what the end result is, but luckily we have only had to wait a week for each new chapter and should continue that until the end. I can admit that I am enjoying this event now and hope that the ending isn't a let down. I am, however, still waiting to see Nightcrawler who appeared in the solicits AND is supposed to be leading the new Amazing X-Men title. Only time will tell.

Uncanny X-Force #12

Writer: Sam Humphries
Artist: Adrian Alphona
Color Artists: Chris Sotomayor with Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: Cory Petit
Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 9th, 2013

Well for now, I am still clinging onto this series. I am still waiting for that moment that I am totally blown away and can't go without the book but I am not seeing it. The thing that the book is doing well is that it feels different. It is a bit darker and offset than the other X-titles right now and also seem to kind of just be its own thing. That isn't a bad thing but it could become that if they try to connect down the line.

This issue dealt predominately with Spiral and what has been happening since Ginny went missing. Her hunt is interesting because it is one of those rare moments you get to see inside her mind. My issue is, as it has been with all of the characters in the series, that Spiral feels really uneven. I can't tell what she is thinking exactly and how she is going to handle anything. Her voice isn't consistent and could be almost any generic character. I have mentioned this before with Psylocke in this book. Speaking of Psylocke, one of her few lines in this issue felt out of place to all of the cursing (that is oddly blackboxed out) that she has been spewing in previous issues.

We do learn by the end of the issue who exactly is controlling Ginny and why this time frame seemed perfect for the Revenants to take over. Would you be surprised if I told you it had something to do with the lack of an alive Professor Xavier and that the Revenants are strangely controlled by his evil sister? No? Then you are as weird as this book. I really do hope it goes somewhere because I'd hate to drop another X-title (I did drop Cable and X-Force) but I am having issues putting myself into this. I said before I'd wait till the end of this arc, and I feel that the time is approaching.

Superior Spider-Man Team-Up #4

Writer: Robert Rodi
Penciler: Michael del Mundo
Inker: Michael del Mundo
Colorists: Michael del Mundo and Marco D'Alfonso
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 9th, 2013

Well, I liked this issue a bit more than the last but it wasn't anything incredible. I am definitely missing Chris Yost's work on this book because the writing that Rodi is doing just feels too uneven. The first issue seemed to just trudge along while this second issue seemed to rush the conclusion. It also made it insanely hard to care about Fulmina because she came out of no where, her abilities weren't ever really explained and she was just there. It was also a little difficult to tell that if in the end she even survived or not.

There were a few things that were done well in this issue. First, I liked how it dived into some elements that helped create the Superior Spider-Man. I enjoyed how Otto forced Fulmina into his own mind to prove his point and even mentioned how he used to have a passenger so this was nothing new. There was also a cool moment where Fulmina tried to strike Spidey and there was an after-image of Otto.

The one thing about the book that does stand out, is the art. Mundo really seems to have a grasp of Spidey and his world so he is able to bring the pages to life. As mentioned before, the mind sequence was a fun moment and it was more enjoyable by the way Mundo put everything together.

The last thing that needs to be mentioned is that the connection to Infinity in this book is nominal at best. Yes, there are aliens attacking the Earth, but that is all. The fact that Thanos is on the cover seems to be false advertising let alone the fact that it touts the Infinity banner. Oh well, this arc is complete. We are moving into the Superior Six arc next issue and Chris Yost is back behind the wheel. I am sure he will bring me back into this title that I normally enjoy quite a bit.

Weekly pulls for 10/09/13

Well I got a kick in the pants this week. I went into my local comic shop excited to grab my copy of Six-Gun Gorilla #5 and I learn that it is getting shipped a week later. I also learned that when I updated my pull list I forgot to add a few titles to it and almost missed out on the new issue of X-Men. I really need to be more careful with that. It is one thing when I miss a book by someone else's mistake; but when it is my own, I can't stop kicking myself for it. Regardless, I didn't miss anything and I walked out of my shop with three instead of the four books I thought I was going to.

With my new books in hand and singular issues from all of the titles from the past month, I made my way over to Darren's to record episode 15 of The Panel Scanners. First, I have to admit that it is insane that we have done so many episodes. It has been a blast and has truly helped reform my love of comics. Second, last night's episode was special for me. I was able to discuss, although a bit more brief than I could have made it, my retro read of Amazing Spider-Man. Considering the read itself took over a year, there was no surprise that I sounded pretty passionate about it and the guys told me after the fact that it was some of the better dialogue I have spouted. So, if you get the chance and it is posted, shoot over to our website and give episode 15 a listen.

Well that is about all for this week. As I said before, I only ended up with three titles this week:

Superior Spider-Man Team-Up #4
Uncanny X-Force #12
X-Men #6

So with that, remember to give the podcast a listen. I am very proud of it and I think we just keep getting better. Also, be sure to keep an eye out for the reviews that follow. Until then, happy reading comic book fans!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Superior Foes of Spider-Man #4

Writer: Nick Spencer
Penciler: Steve Lieber
Inker: Steve Lieber
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Price: $2.99
Release Date: October 2nd, 2013

"Foe-ning it in..."

This book is oddly entertaining. I think it is fun to see the perspective of villains sometimes and this book does it in a fun way. After the last issue with Boomerang being kicked out of the Sinister Six (there now four of them), Boomerang is not very happy. He drops a tip to the Heroes for Hire, Iron Fist and Luke Cage, that the Sinister "Six" is up to something. After the team is enamored with the heroes and then quickly beaten it gives Boomerang a chance to save them and work his way back into leading the team.

Once back in the team, Shocker admits to Boomerang that he knows about the Chameleon and that it is a concern for him. Boomerang talks his way out of it and then deals with Shocker by the end of the issue in a sort of amusing manner. I think that is the overall feeling I take away from this book, it is amusing.

On top of everything else, the story really seems to be surrounding Boomerang really finding himself as a person and a villain. He takes stands, alienates his "friends and looks out for himself. This book is a ball of humor, nods to other series (Luke Cage pulls the Thunderbolts badge off of Shocker after pounding him into the ground) and just being a c-list villain. I love this book and highly recommend it. For some reason the final page of this issue kept me smiling for a long while.

Marvel Knights Spider-Man #1

Writer: Matt Kindt
Penciler: Marco Rudy
Inker: Marco Rudy
Colorist: Val Staples
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 2nd, 2013

"99 Problems... One of Five"

This book was....crazy. I think crazy is the word I am looking for. First, it is key to mention that this is Peter Parker, not Otto. It also seems to take place a long while ago or just simply out of continuity of the rest of the Marvel Universe. That said, it is insane as hell.

Before going into the actual story I have to say that the book is a work of art. Each page is full of minute details that cause you to stare at the page for a while. Sometimes it is to clear up confusion, sometimes it is just to see every crazy piece that is going on. Rudy just blew my mind with his frantic style that actually fit quite well for the majority of the book considering it was a big dream sequence.

The story is just as crazy as the artwork. Peter takes on an assignment to take some pictures and enters a mansion that contains a tortured Madam Web (the old one) and instantly spirals into insanity. He seems to be under some sort of gas from Jack-o-Lantern and because of that somehow took a pill from Arcade? Yeah...Jack-o-Lantern, Arcade, the Beetle, Morbius...the list goes on and on. It seems everything is beating on poor Peter and it is impossible to tell what is reality and what is some sort of trippy nightmare. I think that is one of the reasons I am so interested in the book, because I am not sure what is actually happening.

With the mass confusion that is this title, I can't say it is for everyone. It is weird, unclear but damn fun to read. It is trippy and experimental and really different. The bad is that you can walk away from the book and ask "what the hell just happened" and not be able to get a real answer. Hopefully future issues clear it up a bit so that I can recommend it. For now, I offer caution to those picking this up and hopefully you can enjoy it like I did.

All-New X-Men Special #1

Writer: Mike Costa
Penciler: Kris Anka
Inker: Kris Anka
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Cory Petit
Price: $4.99
Release Date: October 2nd, 2013

"Elegy in the Classroom/The Arms of the Octopus: Part 1 of 3"

I really didn't know what to expect from this title. I knew it had something to do with Doctor Octopus but I didn't know how they intended to use him. Were they going to ignore the fact that Otto was in the body of Peter? Would this be yet ANOTHER dimension for me to somehow keep track of? Regardless, I jumped in with both feet with decent expectations.

I have to admit that my expectations were met. They answered the question about Otto being Spider-Man almost as quickly as Doctor Octopus showed up. Superior Spider-Man is definitely there and not happy to see a version of his old self bouncing around. Regardless, I am getting ahead of myself.

The first part of the book is a nice taste of the past X-Men wandering around New York City and reacting to how different it really is from the time they came from. If anything, there is amazing character interactions that show how their relationships have grown and, at the same time, stayed the same as the X-Men we remember from the past. McCoy, while following around a lady, finds his way to his old college and professor (Dr. David June) who is ironically (I suppose) studying time travel. This is when we get an angry Doctor Octopus that seems to want Doctor David June to help him. A fight quickly ensues and Spider-Man joins the fray after seeing his old body moving around.

At the end of everything there are a lot of questions. Is this Otto from the past? Why is he full of radiation? What can they do with him? With these question, the book closes with Spider-Man requesting help from S.H.I.E.L.D. and Bruce Banner to answer these riddles. I must admit, this mini-series has my attention AND I am excited to see that it seems to be canon.

All-New X-Men #17

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciler: Stuart Immonen
Inker: Wade von Grawbadger
Colorist: Marte Gracia
Letterer: Cory Petit
Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 2nd, 2013

"Battle of the Atom, Chapter 6"

Battle of the Atom is starting to become intriguing but I am still not certain where it is all going. This issue starts by giving us a taste of the future by showing the first mutant president. The events surrounding the quick demise of the first president gives a hint as to what the "evil future X-Men" are up to. Granted, I am still not certain what it has to do with the past X-Men but I am sure it will be cleared up shortly.

I think one of the cool things about this issue was the interactions between the "real future X-Men" and Magik's group. It was nice to see Colossus and his sister get along and really weird to see a future Jubilee seem to be the leader of the X-Men. Regardless of all of that, the book is still dealing with a bunch of relatively convoluted time travel that is bound to make things more jumbled up for readers in the future.

I am definitely into this series and want to see where it goes but there are still so many questions left unanswered. I am also hoping that after this, Marvel starts to slow down a bit with the time travel aspect to their stories. It is a difficult line to tread because it is insanely easy to start making things make no sense at all. I still stand by my question of what is going to happen to present day Iceman, Beast and Cyclops if the past versions stick around too long. Will they start to age at double speed? I guess that is the least of my worries for now. I look forward to next week so I can see what happens in Chapter 7!

Weekly pulls for 10/2/13

After an incredibly heavy week of books, I was able to leave my shop with only four books in tow this week. It was also a bit exciting to see basically two books that are not falling in my current runs. One of those, Marvel Knights Spider-Man, was truly a pleasure to see. I remember the old Marvel Knights stuff and remember loving the stories. I am excited to see more of them in the pipeline and intend to grab quite a few.

I have started another retro-read of sorts as well. To take a break from just running a singular title, I am tackling Fear Itself because 1.) I missed it the first time around and 2.) We are finishing the Heroclix event and I am interested to see where the concepts stemmed from. I will probably update my thoughts on the series once I have completed it. I am reading all of the tie-ins as well so it may take awhile (it is over 100 books).

Alright, as stated I grabbed four books this week:

All-New X-Men #17
All-New X-Men Special #1
Marvel Knights Spider-Man #1
Superior Foes of Spider-Man #4

I will get reviews up as quickly as possible. Until then, happy reading comic book fans.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Wolverine and the X-Men #36

Writer: Jason Aaron
Penciler: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Inker: Andrew Currie
Colorists: Matt Milla and Edgar Delgado
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 25th, 2013

"Battle of the Atom, Chapter 5"

As I said with Uncanny Avengers, all of this time traveling is getting a tad ridiculous. As of right now we have X-Men from the past, X-Men from the future and by the end of this book, X-Men from the present in the future. That is a lot of time traveling. It is no surprise that Earth fractured reality by screwing with the timestream. In just this one arc they are jumping in and out of different times like it is a pool.

Anyhow, we continue the general argument with all of the X-Men about the fate of the past team. Jean Grey (past) with the help of the Stepford Cuckoos and Emma Frost battle future Jean Grey in a telepathic battle. The few pages that they illustrated the fight was impressive and hope to see more of it in coming issues. While this was happening, everything else fell into chaos. The teams fight but with a quick mind meld (I can't think of a better term), past Jean Grey learns something about the future that makes her decide that it is the right thing to do to return to her time. Meanwhile, a few of the team members at the Jean Grey school travel to the future with the help of Magik to see what is actually happening there. We learn quickly that something is awry and are introduced to MORE future X-Men.

Regardless of all of the craziness with time travel, I am starting to settle into this event and enjoy it. There seems to be a lot of action and a lot of things coming that could fracture the mutant race completely. I am also interested to see what is up with these future "X-Men". What is their deal? I am sure questions will be answered in the coming weeks. The first month of Battle of the Atom ended up not being too shabby.

Uncanny Avengers #12

Writer: Rick Remender
Penciler: Salvador Larroca
Inker: Salvador Larroca
Colorist: Frank Martin
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 25th, 2013

Oh man, time travel stories. I feel like Marvel is just so full of time anomalies right now with Spider-Man 2099 in our time, Angela battling the Guardians, the Apocalypse Twins in the past and the "Future X-Men" hanging out with the "Past X-Men" that it is sometimes hard to follow. With that said, it still bothers me a little when the middle of an issue that is otherwise good wastes tons of time playing recap with the story line. I am not saying that the writing is bad, it just isn't needed to be reminded of what happened in the previous issue or two.

With that complaint, there is a lot of good. We get a little more of the Apocalypse Twins' past, we see more Wonderman and Scarlet Witch love and lastly, we see how the twins are trying to get back at Kang. Other than that though, not a whole lot happened in the issue. It felt very heavily recappy instead of progressive. That doesn't mean I am not enjoying the book, I just am expecting more in the issues to come.

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #27

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciler: David Marquez
Inker: David Marquez
Colorist: Paul Mounts and Justin Ponsor
Letterer: Cory Petit
Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 25th, 2013

"Spider-Man No More: Part 4"

I know I say this frequently, but I am so happy that I gave Miles Morales a chance as Spider-Man. Bendis has created such an amazing character that is really starting to grow. His banter with Spider-Woman in this issue as well as his internal dialogue was incredible. He is still battling with his decision to put the webs back on and he feels that his fight with Taskmaster is just reaffirming it. Regardless, he seems to be sticking to it which is showing true growth in the character.

If you remember, we left Miles, Spider-Woman and Bombshell on a rooftop, paralyzed by Taskmaster. This issue picks up with the three of them figuring out how to get out of the predicament, figure out what Taskmaster's powers are and to figure out their next step. The best part of this was seeing them all struggle with Taskmaster being able to redirect their powers back at them. When Miles and Spider-Woman figure out to use their webbing instead, it gets incredibly fun. 

With the last minute addition of Cloak and Dagger to the fight, it is impossible to tell anyone to skip this issue. There is plenty of the classic banter that is needed in a good Spidey tale that is mixed with just the right amount of darkness that you will be pulled in. I am excited for the following issue and the last part of this arc that will have the massive Spider-Woman, Bombshell, Cloak, Dagger and Spider-Man team-up against Roxxon corp. Bendis really has something special here and it just seems to keep getting better.

Superior Spider-Man Team-Up #3

Writer: Robert Rodi
Penciler: Michael Del Mundo
Inker: Michael Del Mundo
Colorist: Michael Del Mundo
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 15th, 2013

Well it seems that Infinity has found its way into one of my books. It made a little nervous seeing that scrawled on the cover considering I am not overly caught up but there was no need for concern. The only REAL connection to Infinity is that Spidey is in New York, fighting off some of Thanos' men with the Mighty Avengers, when everything kicks off.

The Team-up itself isn't with anyone that seems to matter, rather it was with a random college girl who is studying medieval history in the library when New York is being evacuated. She out of the blue (seriously, bam sudden) gets super powers to basically be an Elektro-esque character that can travel like electricity. She doesn't like technology so I assume this is meant to be a tad ironic but just feels tacked together.

I honestly don't know how I feel about this. So far I have really enjoyed this title but this was just a big miss. After flipping back to the splash page it made sense that Yost didn't write this issue. It just didn't feel like him and everything was just incredibly abrupt. Luckily I am a huge Spidey fan and one issue has never caused me to drop a book. I know there is a part two to this but then we should get Yost back and all should be well.

Scarlet Spider #22

Writers: Christopher Yost and Erik Burnham
Pencilers: David Baldeon, Pat Olliffe and Time Green
Inkers: Terry Pallott and Victor Olazaba
Colorist: Chris Sotomayor and Lee Loughridge
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Price: $2.99
Release Date: September 15th, 2013

"Into the Grave: Part 2"

I mentioned last week that I was a little shocked and definitely saddened that Scarlet Spider is being cancelled just like Venom. This is one of the last four issues and it is full of excitement and more reasons as to why I am confused that the book is coming to a close.

We pick up with Kaine in a grave after being captured by Kraven at the end of the last issue. He is aware that Kraven is insane and they definitely have a past. The only reason that Kraven is alive at this point is because he was resurrected with the use of Kaine's blood way back in Amazing Spider-Man #635 during the Grim Hunt arc. If you don't remember it...go read it. I found it to be a fun arc.

Kraven seems to be torturing Kaine to push him to the edge so that he is willing to kill again. He lies to him, kidnaps his friends and beats him. It seems that the "eternal curse" that is plaguing Kraven has brought him to the edge and he feels the only way for it to come to a close is to be killed by Kaine. There is no actual proof of this as far as I can tell but it is always possible.

This issue drew me in and kept me to the last page. I have really grown to like Kaine and his friends and am worried about their final outcome. This arc concludes in the next issue and then we will get two more before the series ends. I hope that Yost is able to put a strong ending in, if not, it would be truly a shame.

Sex Criminals #1

Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Chip Zdarsky
Color Flatting: Becka Kinzie
Editing: Thomas K
Production: Drew Gill
Price: $3.50
Release Date: September 25th, 2013

"Suzie Down in the Quiet"

This was my wild card of the week. I have gained a recent affection for Matt Fraction and when I saw his name on this book I couldn't pass it up. Well, that and I saw a few raving reviews about it before hand and the premise had promise.

So, I have to start by saying this book is like nothing I have ever read before. This isn't a book about super heroes or giant gorillas with guns, it is about a couple that when they have an orgasm, time literally stands still. So the real question is what can a book with a premise like that have to tell as a story? Well, there is a littering of drama, humor and personal growth that links together to form an attractive narrative.

The first pages show our two protagonists in a passionate embrace, in a bathroom, while being screamed at to give themselves up. This is pretty nonsensical out the gate, so we get a flashback for our female character Suzie. We learn that at a young age her father was murdered and her family life quickly shattered. Her mother turned to drinking and crying while Suzie was expected to just move on. She quickly learned that she was able to slide down in her bathtub and block out the sound by being under water and this is where she started to explore herself. Her first experience taught her that she could literally make time stand still upon completion.

Fast forward to Suzie as an adult (I skipped a lot, read the comic) where she meets Jon who also somehow can make time stand still. They both have a common interest with books and the library and they seem to come up with an idea of how to save their failing library.

The story, although incredibly adult, was handled in a mature fashion. There were no penis jokes or explicit sex scenes. Everything felt incredibly tasteful but still not appropriate for a young reader. I assume the next issue will give us Jon's back story and I am really excited to hear it. It was fun to get to know Suzie and I look forward to her future exploits. This is, yet again, another worthwhile jump into a new title simply based on the author's name on the cover. If you are looking for something different, Sex Criminals may be the right book for you.

Guardians of the Galaxy #6

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciler: Olivier Coipel
Inker: Mark Morales
Colorist: Justin Ponsor
Letterer: Cory Petit
Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 25th, 2013

This was the issue of Guardians of the Galaxy I was waiting for. We left off last time with Gamora standing head-to-head with Angela while Peter stood before Thanos, ready to ask questions. Bendis took no time to jump into the awesome fight between the two ladies, showing that they are both very powerful but Angela has a bit of an edge (she is an angel after all).

While this fight was going on, Peter questioned Thanos about Earth. Thanos, after being a tad cryptic, state the obvious. Earth has screwed up by messing with time travel too much and because of this, the galaxy is closing in on them. Thanos says that someone will come and destroy Earth, even if it isn't him. Peter, being from Earth, does not like this and pulls a weapon on Thanos. My only problem with this moment is that Peter seems to get away from this confrontation unscathed. Is he really so great that he can get away from Thanos that easily?

Back to the fight with Angela, it takes the whole of the Guardians to take her down with the added sneak attack from Peter. There are many questions left unanswered and tensions seems insanely high at the end of this book. Hell, the Watcher tells them Angela's name and makes it pretty obvious a whole pile of crap is headed their way. This makes me excited and very happy that I have stuck with this title.

Weekly pulls for 09/25/13 and Amazing Spider-Man Retro thoughts

Finally, I have completed my retro read of Amazing Spider-Man. Over 700 issues later (including .1 issues, a couple tie-ins and a bit of re-reading Superior Spider-Man) I must say that I have a much better understanding of my favorite hero. I intend to do a full retro review in a coming The Panel Scanners podcast but felt that I should at least touch on a few things here.

First, it was a great time. Don't get me wrong, there were definite down points (see Clone Saga in the 90's) and there were moments that is was insanely difficult to only read the flagship title without the others, but it was good. I never felt completely lost and I really cared for Peter by the time he fell off the building in 700 trapped in the body of Otto. I suppose the real question though is, was it worth it?

I felt like it was a worthwhile read. Sure, it was a lot of material and it took me a bit over a year to complete, but it was good. I can honestly say now that I am one of Spider-Man's biggest fans and be able to back up my love with knowledge of the title. If you aren't a major fan, it would be insanely easy to jump onto the Spider-Man bandwagon at the start of Brand New Day (ASM #546-564). I am sure this will illicit a lot of groans from Spidey readers because BND is a touchy subject. BND was basically a retcon of Peter's life after a certain point to make everyone forget that he was Spider-Man to protect his family. This, of course, messed up the continuity of the Spider-Man lore and it took a while for it to be clear as to what from the past held true and what didn't. Regardless, this is a fairly easy place for newer readers to jump on without running the 700+ issue gamut.

Anyhow, I will dive deeper into this when I get the chance to chat it up with Jonny and Darren. For now I suppose I will just list the seven book I picked up this week:

Guardian of the Galaxy #6
Sex Criminals #1
Scarlet Spider #22
Superior Spider-Man Team-Ups #3
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #27
Uncanny Avengers #12
Wolverine and the X-Men #36

I have to say that I am happy with all seven of the books and if you notice, there is a wild card in there. I have decided to try to pick up a new book every once and a while and force myself to drop something that I am not really enjoying anymore. I will have a few openings appearing soon (Venom, Scarlet Spider, Superior Carnage and Six-Gun Gorilla) and I have also decided to pull the trigger on Cable and X-Force. I looked back at old reviews and have never really enjoyed the book. I will also be dropping Uncanny X-Force after this arc is complete IF it doesn't do something incredible (I am not holding my breath).

With that, I am off to write the review for my seven books this week. Until next time, happy reading comic book fans.

Friday, September 20, 2013

X-Men Legacy #17

Writer: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Khoi Pham
Color Artist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: Cory Petit
Price: $2.99
Release Date: September 18th, 2013

"Wear the Grudge Like a Crown: Part Two" 

Two Simon Spurrier books in one week? That is awesome. This guy keeps blowing my mind. I think he is going to start being one of those writers that if I see his name on a new book I will instantly snatch it up, even if I know nothing about the title. I am aware of his Crossed book and I have read some of the online stuff but I afraid to start the comic release for I feel I will be lost.

Anyhow, this issue is part two of the fight between David Haller and Scott Summers. It isn't even the fight that makes it incredible. It is the fact that David is treating the readers as if we are one of the many voices in his head. He is explaining his actions throughout the book and basically how he feels about them. He has some incredible insights as to how people think fights are because of Hollywood and then how they are in reality.

The fight, the physical part at least, ends as David figures it would with Scott pounding him into a pulp. Regardless, David ends up using his powers a bit which causes Scott to respond in kind, knocking David back into one of the new mutants (I can't remember their name...), the one that is sort of like Morph from the old cartoon, and it starts a chain reaction to create the monster that he and Ruth were afraid he would become because it is meant to destroy the mutant race. With Magik's sword in hand, Ruth prepares to do the one thing she never wanted to do when her brother, newly armored and ready to brawl, shows up to stop her.

EVERYTHING about this book has me on edge. I thought that nothing would top Six-Gun Gorilla this month but I was wrong. Damn Spurrier, you rock.

Venom #41

Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Jorge Coelho
Color Art: Lee Loughridge
Letters: Joe Caramagna
Price: $2.99
Release Date: September 18th, 2013

"Mania: Part 2 of 3"

I am a little sad that the last few issues of Venom are dealing with the hell storyline. I have always found these to be the weakest chapters, but what can you do?

The issue opens with Flash finishing his conversation with Daimon where Daimon is explaining what is going on and how he split himself into multiple clones. He allowed each of the clones free will so he can't track them but he is aware that they are being hunted because of their mark. We learned at the end of the last issue that Mania now has Venom's mark and that Crossbones is hunting her. Mania, on the other hand, is still hunting Ogre, who she has found.

Ogre proves to be sort of a wussy and is quickly dealt with while Mania shows that she is able to control demons that Master Mayhem, who is working with Crossbones, sends after her. She escapes (with the help of Flash and with Flash shoving a bomb that was attached to Ogre into Master Mayhem) and they decide to figure out what is going on. Flash decides to use the orb that he got many issues ago to look into his mind to talk to the Symbiote. The Symbiote explains to Flash that it was just trying to protect him so it expelled the demon (the mark) from his body as quickly as possible and the only way to stop the demon is to do the same for Mania. This leads Flash to the idea to try to make a deal with the Devil.

I am nervous about another BND type thing here. Making a Deal with Mephisto is always rough. I guess it would be a good way for Flash to lose the Symbiote though. Oh well, I guess I will find out in the next issue. I am staying on till the end of the ride now.

Uncanny X-Men #12

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciler: Chris Bachalo
Inkers: Tim Townsend, Mark Irwin, Jaime Mendoza, Victor Olazaba & Al Vey
Colorist: Marte Gracia
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 18th, 2013

"Battle of the Atom: Chapter 4"

People can't argue that Bendis doesn't use a lot of dialogue. I feel as if a lot of these first four chapters of Battle of the Atom is just giving us a guide point as to where each member of each team stands on the placement of the original X-Men. This issue picks up with S.H.I.E.L.D. noticing another time anomaly and they instantly blame McCoy and by they I mean Hill. There is a short exchange between she and Dazzler before we jump back to Utopia where Jean and Scott (past) is talking to Scott (current) and his team. The young X-Men feel that his team was their last hope.

I have to admit it is really cool to see the Stepford Sisters banter with Emma and Jean and then the use of the Hive Mind to catch up everyone who didn't know about the future X-Men (man there is a lot of clarification between which person is from what team and blah blah). I am not certain why Magik responded the way that she did to the group, but I am sure it will be explained soon.

In all reality, the rest of the issue basically dealt with Scott battling over the fact of helping his past self or not and seeing a strange yet expected resistance of Scott's decision TO help them from Emma and Magneto. The issue ends with the Stepford Sisters and Emma standing off against the future Jean Grey simply because Emma doesn't like Jean, regardless on how she feels about the past X-Men being where they are.

So, as you can see not a whole lot happened. Bendis is really known for stretching out stories but I really want this thing to pick up pace soon. We have six more chapters left so considering that we are about halfway in and we still haven't really been told WHAT the Battle of the Atom is and what it is going to lead to I have a bit of a concern. If Bendis lets me down here...I just don't know.

The Superior Spider-Man #18

Writer: Dan Slott
Penciler: Ryan Stegman
Inker: Livesay
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 18th, 2013

This arc has been incredibly interesting so far because Slott has finally found a way to connect the Spider-Man 2099 world to the world that we know. I hadn't even thought that Tiberius Stone could be Miguel's grandfather but it all seems to make sense. I suppose I am getting ahead of myself though.

This issue picks up with Otto and Miguel standing toe-to-toe after Otto had come after Tiberius for trying to take control of Horizon Labs. There is a bit of a scuffle, Miguel whoops on Otto a bit while insulting him by calling him low-tech. Otto, in his normal douchebaggery, gets angry and tries to chuck a car at Miguel. At this moment Tiberius shows the readers that he has a portable Spider-Jammer and forces Otto to almost drop a car on Normie Osborn. Liz gets mad at both Spider-Mans and Miguel takes that moment to grab his grandpa and run away. It seems that the time abnormality is being caused by Otto-Spidey getting too close to Tiberius (because hell, we know Otto will kill him if need be).

While all of this is going on, Grady is poking around in the past to prove that Tiberius is one of the main sources that Horizon is under investigation in the first place and is actually able to get that information. The concern is, he has had his time-door open too log and it has almost destroyed New York in the past. The book builds up to Miguel returning to Horizon with Tiberius in web claiming to know how to stop destiny who is quickly punched in the face and knocked out by Otto. Oye, his timing is almost as bad as Parker luck.

Oh, and for some reason Green Goblin is flying around pretending to be Hobgoblin, I am sure that will come to head in an issue or two. Regardless, you can see that there is a ton going on in every issue of this title. I do find it interesting that in each issue it seems that Otto-Spidey becomes more and more like his old self. He seems less like Peter and more obnoxious. I do like that Slott is not ignoring this (and it is obviously intentional) because he is making it seem like more and more members of the cast are noticing that Peter isn't himself.

The Superior Spider-Man is always a fun read and I am intrigued as to where this will go. I wonder if this short arc is all we will see of Miguel or if there is a potential for another Spider-Man 2099 title. I shocking hope not, I hate the puns in those books. They fit in the 90's, I feel it would fail today.

Superior Carnage #3

Writer: Kevin Shinick
Aritst: Stephen Segovia
Inker: Dennis Chrisostomo
Colorist: Jay David Ramos
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 18th, 2013

I have to say that this title isn't exactly what I thought it was going to be. When I heard they were going to make a Superior Carnage book, I just figured Kasady was going to go around and kill people even more hardcore than he had in the past. I wasn't expecting this to be a book about The Wizard trying to have one last big run at being successful before the tumor that was put in his brain by Black Bolt kills him.

At this point, The Wizard has taken Kasady's Symbiote and put it on Malus (a doctor) because he can actually control it there. With Kasady's mind wiped from the recent events in Minimum Carnage, The Wizard found him to be useless and this was the next best option. I have to say, I am not a fan of the design of Carnage on Malus when it is being controlled. I have always liked the savage look of the character and the fact that "Superior Carnage" has basically a helmet and yellow teeth just doesn't sit well with me.

That aside, the new Frightful Four (two of which are Malus and Carnage as one) decide to go forward with their plan to take over the mayor's office in New York and with that, take out J. Jonah Jameson. All seems to be going pretty well until the obvious happens, Spider-Man is waiting for them.

I think that this book is interesting just to watch The Wizard slowly lose his mind and grasp on what is real or not. I am not finding myself to care too much about Klaw or Malus but that may change in coming issues. I am also a strong believer in Carnage needing to be Cletus Kasady. It just feels so wrong when it isn't him. Regardless, I will continue to read this book considering it is only two more issues. It is definitely not ground breaking, but I always enjoy a little more Spidey in my life.

Six-Gun Gorilla #4

Writer: Simon Spurrier
Art: Jeff Stokely
Colors: Andre May
Letters: Steve Wands
Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 18th, 2013

"Episode 4: Deserve's Got Nothin' To Do With It"

I mentioned on my twitter feed that this book is one of the reasons I love reading comics, and that is beyond true. Blue, our librarian main character and "Partner", our Gorilla friend are just so much fun to follow. Each issue we are learning more about them and the planet that this story is taking place. On top of that, there is no question that the audience of this title should be a little more mature. At the end of every chapter I am legitimately concerned about the characters and what may happen to them next.

This issue picks up after Blue and Partner were attacked (and Blue was taken offline) by an assassin. Oddly enough, it seemed that the planet itself was protecting Blue and this issue cleared it up a bit. The planet is basically alive and trying to figure out the best way to protect itself. Blue feels as if the planet is protecting him, but he could be very mistaken and it is not clear if he is right or not. Part of me feels that Partner is the complete personification of the planet, but I can't be certain and I am sure will be proven wrong.

The largest focus of this issue is that Blue and Partner feel that Blue's reason for being on the planet is different. Blue wants to figure out more about the watch and what the rebels are up to while Partner wants him to do something to help the planet. Interesting stuff. The book closes with Partner taking on the assassin and it isn't looking too good while Blue found a cache of money that the government was using to pay off rebels. There are so many moving cogs and only two issues left, I don't think I can wait another month for the next installment.