Tuesday, June 23, 2009

6-23-09 Comics

OK, so no comics were actually released today, but I did go into a shop and pick up a couple of issues. It's been a while since I've given my opinion on the comics I've read and that's largely because I haven't bought anything new. Recession or not, I'm still going to enjoy one of my favorite hobbies.

Fun fact: I'm a huge fan of Chris Claremont's run on the Uncanny X-Men. I've only read the first two volumes of Essential X-Men, which reprints his work on 40+ issues, but I was highly impressed. The creators of the X-Men animated series of the '90s practically used Claremont's stories as a Bible for episodes, but I'm really getting off topic here.

Claremont's 16 year run on the X-Men ended with X-Men #3 in 1991 and he left (or was fired, I don't know the full details) the series. Unexpectidly, Marvel has given him a chance to do what he originally planned to do with the children of the atom all those years ago, had he not left the title.

X-Men Forever #1 takes place right after X-Men #3. Magneto is dead (yes, Chris actually killed him) and the X-Men are hot on heels of his killer Fabian Cortez. Cortez is clearly a force that you don't want to eff with. Dude has the ability to amplifiy your powers and in some cases, doing so can kill you. All by his lonesome, he pretty much trashes the entire team. It isn't until he attacks Jean (causing her Phoenix Powers to resurface) that he gets caught off guard and the X-Men hand him his lumps.

The writing and the art in the first issue feel very old-school. I'd geven go as far as to say this comic could have been written and drawn in the '90s and I probably wouldn't be too far off base. It isn't bad by any means, but I was expecting more for a first issue. Maybe I'm just being a bit too critical.

That being said, I do like the sub-plots going on here. Wolverine and Jean letting their mutal feelings for each other be known is heartwarming, even if it is like a knife to Cyclops back. Then there's Storm. When she touched Rogue, a piece of her got tangled up in Rogue's mind and Storm wants to talk to her about whatever it is that Rogue got from her. Needless to say Storm doesn't quiet seem like herself.

The best thing to happen this issue was what appears to be the death of Wolverine. Don't missunderstand, I don't hate Wolverine. On the contrary, he's one of my favorite X-Men characters. However, I have grown weary of so many writers abusing his healing factor to stupid levels. It's gotten to the point where he really can't be killed no matter what happens to him. We're talking Hulk-level regeneration skills here.

Anyway, if you picked up the X-Men Forever One-Shot, there's a short story that gives you a good idea of who Wolverine's killer is, as he was struck by lightning. If you guessed "Storm," give yourself a cookie. Why she'd kill Logan? Maybe he didn't like him calling her 'Roro. Or maybe Storm wasn't responsible for her actions.

As of now, I think X-Men Forever is an OK book and I'll be picking up the 2nd issue to see just how events pan out.

If you haven't been keeping up on the happenings in Ultimate Spider-Man (and really, you should be because it's one of the best Spidey comics out there), here's the lowdown. Magneto threw a hissy fit and destroyed New York, killing millions in the process. Spidey went looking for survivors only to end up joining those that are no longer among the living. That's what it appears to be, anyway. They never did find Peter's body in Ultiamte Spidey #133, just a torn mask.

Jonah Jameson spent much of his time writing negative things about the web-head. By his own admission, he always knew Spidey was a hero. In fact, he passed some of the chaotic time of the Ultimatium Wave watching Spidey do what he does best, save people. Jameson is always a more interesting character when he breaks out of that one-note phase that is Spidey bashing, something way too many writers get caught up in. Bendis portrays Jameson as a man of regret quite nicely here, even if it is a bit brief.

Mary Jane as a school news reporter. Loved it when Bendis introduced the idea a while back, love it now.

I've never had a beef with Immonen's art on Ultimate Spidey. In fact, I liked it the first time I laid eyes on it in USM #112. The cover he drew for Spider-Man: Requiem #1 has got to be one of my favorite USM covers, if not one of my favorite Spider-Man covers.

It's nice to see Bagley drawing Ultimate Spider-Man again, though I will admit, he's done better than his work in Requiem, what's here is sure to please fans and it works for me. Nice of him to share the art duties with Immonen.

Spider-Man: Requiem may not scream "MUST READ!" but it's an entertaining read, nonetheless. I haven't bought an issue of USM in a good while, but I've kept up on what's been going on so for me, I really enjoyed reading this because it was liking meeting an old friend.

What really concerns me is where the series goes from here. After 133 issues and this limited series, the book we be relaunched as Ultimate Comics Spider-Man (good grief, that title SUCKS) and Peter may not be the one swinging around in the Spidey suit. Makes you wonder what other changes will be in store. While I gotta give Bendis credit for having the spine to go through with something that could actually be pretty interesting (let's face it, Amazing Spider-Man now is nothing more than a rehash of an era that has long since passed, complete with dozens of out of character portrayls), I'm really not sure if I'll be staying on board. I want to because USM has been one of my favorite books since 2002. I'm giving Bendis a chance to impress me with this relaunch and I really hope he delivers.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Send in the Clone!

The Clone Saga is one of the most heavily criticized stories in Spider-Man's 45+ year history. Originally conceived as a 6 month story arc, because of high sales, it was decided to drag it out for as long as possible, a move that would later come back and bite Marvel. This much reviled is not without it's fans, (which is something that cannot be said for One More Day). I admit that I've bashed the Clone Saga along with many others, but some really cool stuff did come out of it. Ben Reily may have looked just like Peter Parker, but he was still a very different person and he's always been one of my favorite characters. And Spider-Girl is living proof that you can get something good out of something bad.

Two of the men originally involved in the Clone Saga. Tom DeFalco and Howard Mackie have been given a chance to writer the Clone Saga as originally intended. Mackie actually put out some quality stuff on the Spider titles before he burned out on the '99 reboot and Tom DeFalco is one of the best men to ever write Spider-Man, so I've got high hopes for this 6 part mini series. If you want to hear from the writers themselves, check out Newsrama's interview.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Best. Photoshop Job. Ever.

The Superboy Prime retcon punch from the Infinite Crisis mini-series. You hadda be there. Or you at least had to hear about it. It's widely regarded as one of the most thoughtless, poorly concieved retcons in all of comics and it stands right beside a certain Spider-Man story that will not be named. Sometimes the things that comes out of an EIC's head frighten me.

Still, my disdain for THAT Spider-Man story aside, this image is pretty hilarious.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Don't Be Fooled

The image at right is an ad Marvel is running for Amazing Spider-Man #600. Notice Spidey's mask is covering a marriage invite. And it seems to be covering some names. All we can see is "Parker" and "son." This is either a pitiful attempt to get the many fans that Marvel irked by undoing the Spider-Marriage back into ASM again, another reality slap to fans of said marriage, or both. Either way, I'm not surprised.

For anyone actually thinking Peter and Mary Jane are getting married in ASM #600, I'm sorry to say, it ain't happening. The Spidey mask is covering the names May Parker and whatever Jameson's father's name is. Yeah, these two bags of bones are getting married. Well, they may be getting married. The way the stories have been so horribily telegraphed, Jameson's father is a dead man walking. He'll probably be offed so aunt May can beleive Spider-Man to be a "horrible" person (or even moreso since they've already brought back that overplayed aspect of her character with the reboot), make Jonah hate Spidey even more, and add yet another layer of guilt to Peter because he never has too many things to beat himself up over. See, Jameson Sr. will more than likely be killed in a battle that somehow involves Spider-Man.

Ugh. Guys, try harder next time, huh? And please stop with the lame fake-outs.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Coming of a Spectacular DVD Release


Mark your calendars for July 28th, true believers! One of the most anticipated DVD sets will release at the end of said month. The first season of the Spectacular Spider-Man will finally be on the shelves and if you passed up the individual DVDs containing 3-4 episodes, make sure you don't skip out on this one. There's still no confirmation of a third season, but word from producer Greg Weisman is that the first two seasons were well received and whatever network is hosting the show would be a fool not to greenlight more seasons. This is the definitive Spider-Man cartoon and anyone that loves this show needs to show their support by picking up this two disc set.

Facepalm!


Star Trek TNG facepalm = WIN.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Youth

For real? Maybe I'm getting old, which I don't mind too much (I'll be 28 next month), but I do find this panel pretty funny because, well, even I think there's some truth to it. Thoughts?