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.