Marvel Knights: X-Men – Haunted; by some hack.

Marvel Knights: X-Men: HauntedMarvel Knights: X-Men: Haunted by Brahm Revel
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The art here is the saving grace. Without it, I think this is a 1-star book.

At the end of the story, the author thanks Marvel for letting him into the Big Leagues so to speak, and then says he’s going back to the minors…I think if fate is kind, he’ll land on the DL and retire from baseball altogether…please.

Rachel Gray has a dream about a mutant being murdered…cue road trip to West Virginia/Kentucky Coal land. Banjos start a twanging. (West Virginia, the only state my American father ever told me to keep my head down and out of sight of the windows when we drove through..)

Wolverine, Kitty and Rogue go investigate…but if they’re running a school, why do you send the headmaster AND the #2 (Kitty)? Isn’t that a bad idea?
Also, don’t you send the person who had the vision (because it wasn’t a dream, it was real, says Beast).

Anyhoo, hillbilly central: 1 Mutant dead/murdered. Survivalists hopped up on drugs trade them for guns with a local biker gang, all deals brokered by the Sheriff. Of course, he also happens to be the uncle of one of the other mutants…who uses her powers to help him because he’s such a winner…

The powers are re-DICK-you-lose. Mutant one: is pretty much Obi Wan Kenobi, and can Jedi Mind trick you into believing whatever she wants.

The other: can manifest anyone’s memories into living breathing reality, so that your past can come back to kill you.

so somehow, out of nowhere, podunk nowhere ends up housing not 1, but 2 Omega Level crazy powerful mutants…RIGHT. And they don’t even know about each other…they’re just both hillbilly white trash chicks, who are only linked by the fact that both their moms killed themselves due to their daughters’ weirdness.

Super fun so far eh?

Well the powers get unleashed against the X peeps, yet only Rogue and Wolverine seem affected negatively. They fight their past (Brotherhood of Mutants, Carol Danvers, etc. and Logan and Rogue talk shit about how bad each other was in the past, and how they’re no good.

Meanwhile, Kitty has her past visit her, and of course, it’s Prof X. He’s manifested as real, and leads his students to victory.

What do we learn? 1 – The X-Men are stupid.
2 – Wolverine is one dimensional and angry…and stupid.
3- Rogue is powerful…and stupid.
4 – apparently Kitty has not a single negative memory at all.
5- each of them takes a long time to realize they can just remember other X-Men to help them fight…and so Storm, Nightcrawler and Colossus show up manifested from the past and fight the baddies (who are the Bikers and Cult members of course).

Then the young muties must befriend and trust each other to stop the madness…

Something something something…my brain hurts more than if I drank a whole bottle of Bourbon last night.

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Review: Marvel Knights: Hulk – Transformé; by Joe Keatinge

Marvel Knights: Hulk: TransformeMarvel Knights: Hulk: Transforme by Joe Keatinge
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Bruce Banner wakes up floating in the Seine in Paris; he’s been shot, and he doesn’t know why or who he is. People are chasing him; they want him to unleash the Hulk so they can use it for their own means. Only problem is…Banner doesn’t know who he (OR Hulk) is, so he can’t unleash the beast.

Eventually, we get a SUPER Hulk, when Banner is injected with Abomination/Synthetic Hulk serum. He’s HUGE! Destroys a chunk of Paris at the whim of a lady who’s the child of AIM researchers and Assassin DNA…yup.

So she manages to get Hulk to do her bidding for a time, until Banner makes a return from the void of wherever he’s been banished to.

Eventually, we see that Doom/MODOK/Midas have all been aware of this since the beginning, and we’re lead to believe that maybe they have been responsible for the Hulk? Or maybe just the girl who’s trying to use him for her own problems.

This is more of a cerebral volume on the duality of Hulk/Banner and struggle for identity and control. However…don’t worry Jeff, there’s a TON of HULK SMASH! and HULK SMASH A SHITLOAD!

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As a bonus, we get a reprint of the #1 issue of Hulk by Stan the Man and Jack Kirby. It’s a bit hokey, but there’s some solid stuff there (which has been echoed in the story we just read). It’s cool to see, and shines some insight onto the creators’ ideas of what the book is about.

One thing I did love, was that the Hulk Green is all over the book. The art is almost sepia/bland tones, so that when the Green shows up, it’s all you can focus on. I particularly enjoyed neon Gamma Green bursts of colour.

An interesting idea, decent story, we’ll let the resident Hulk expert Jeff tell us if it’s worth Hulk-lovers time.

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Review: The Mighty Thor Vol. 5 by Walt Simonson

Thor by Walter Simonson Volume 5Thor by Walter Simonson Volume 5 by Walter Simonson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

OK, so this marks the end of Walt Simonson’s EPIC Thor run.
This is probably a 4-star collection on it’s own, but alongside the other 4 volumes, and when you look at what Thor was when we started it…5-Stars hardly seems good enough.

Thor here is broken, exposed, vulnerable, and not going to be saved by mighty Daddy (Odin). Loki is at his manipulating best, and even Hel is against Thor.

Loki’s plan is actually decent, and Thor’s response to keep himself alive is actually smart…

Thor’s new Armour is badass. Also, bearded Thor seems to have the brains of Odin as well as the brawn.

The supporting players get to be involved (Heimdall, Enchantress, Executioner, Sif, Hogun, Fandrall, etc.).

The interaction between Thor and Jormungandr (Midgard Serpent, who posed as Fin Fang Foom) is tremendous, both in hilarious wordplay (yes, Thor and wordplay…!) and the respect and jokes between 2 foes fated to destroy each other…When the actual throwdown takes place, Simonson is wise enough to devote a page to what some artists would try to contain in a panel. This helps expand the scope of the battle to an epic grandeur.

The final showdown does not disappoint, and fate cannot be avoided…

But Thor being a God, and this being the comic universe, death is not everlasting…but I sure would have been convinced of it were I reading it at the time.

Poor Loki…

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This is a great conclusion to the Epic run, and I like where Simonson leaves Thor. He’s grown as a character, and when a writer can expand a character and make it seem natural and not forced, they’ve done a great job. I would suggest taking the time to read the whole 5 volumes, but if not, just try one. Mighty Thor indeed.

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Review: Grendel vs the Shadow

Grendel vs. The ShadowGrendel vs. The Shadow by Matt Wagner

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I count myself as one of Matt Wagner’s super-fans. Makes it tough to give an impartial review, so I won’t. I’ve been collecting his stuff since the 80’s and I’ve found something to enjoy in almost everything he’s done. It’s been a while since he has written and drawn a book, so Grendel vs. Shadow scratched my perpetual “Wagner” itch. His simple and consistent style of writing just really appeals to me. He tends to tell fairly straightforward stories with clear character archetypes. In a modern comics world of Hickmans, Morrisons, and Kots this is sort of a vintage approach to making comics.

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Review: Green Arrow, Vol. 5: The Outsiders War by Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino (Illustrations)

Green Arrow, Vol. 5: The Outsiders WarGreen Arrow, Vol. 5: The Outsiders War by Jeff Lemire

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I should probably take some time to think about it, since I just finished this one about 3 minutes ago, but…
*shrugs*
Fuck it.

I’m done.
I’m not reading another one of these stupid attempts to merge a shitty comic with an even shittier tv show.
Now Oliver Queen has some mysterious past that’s tied up in a conspiracy about THE ISLAND.
*screams internally*
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The first issue is Green Arrow: Zero Year.
As in, what was Ollie up to while Bruce was taking on the Riddler in Gotham.
Shhh. No one will notice that Batman is cooler…promise.

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This little adventure leads to Oliver meeting Diggle.
One fist-bump later:
TEAM ARROW!
No, really. I’m not kidding.
I was making little notes to myself when I was reading it, and the next one I have says “I’m going to throw up“.
For reals!

Mooooving on.
The Outsiders War.
Who the fuck are the Outsiders? Well, it’s not a mismatched team of kids lead by Wildcat, that’s for sure.
Not this time, anyway. Nope.
The Outsiders are…tribes. There’s the Shield tribe, the Fist tribe, the Sword tribe, and (of course) the Arrow tribe…just to name a few.
Are you seeing the pattern here?
Anyway, Ollie and Shado are searching THE ISLAND for the Totem of the Arrow, when the Shield tribe attacks them.
With shields.

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Oh noes! We can’t shoot them with our arrows, because they’re blocking us with their shields!
Ouch! Now they’re tossing them at us like boomerangs!
Bong!
What the fuck is Captain America doing in the DC universe?
Wacka! Wacka! Wacka!

Let’s see what my notes say, shall we?
This is retarded.
Damn, I’m eloquent!

The art is ok, until you try to figure out what’s happening in any of the action panels. Then you might as well make an educated guess, and move the fuck on, because it’s not like you can actually see what the hell is happening.
Part of me liked the whole BIG WORD thing with the action happening inside, and part of me was squinting at the screen getting more and more pissed off. I have a feeling this style will work better in print than digitally, so that may have been part of my issue with it. However, for those of us who read a lot of our comics on tablets, this might pose a problem.

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Let’s see what else I have..
Hmmmm. I’ll consult my notes.
This last little bit doesn’t seem so bad. Wait. No. It sucks again.
Something, something, something. More choppy action scenes.
I hate this. Want it to end. Why is he yelling at a traumatized kid? Gotta stop requesting stuff. Ugh.

I’ve definitely read worse, but this just didn’t work for me.
Maybe you’ll have better luck with it than I did.

Thank you NetGalley!

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