Review: The Superior Spider-Man, Vol. 6 – Goblin Nation; by Dan Slott

The Superior Spider-Man, Vol. 6: Goblin NationThe Superior Spider-Man, Vol. 6: Goblin Nation by Dan Slott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My triumphant return from the Indy world, I picked the right thing to read.

Dan Slott, you are Mr. Spider-Man.

I’d been waiting for this final chapter for a while, my library was late to order it, and it somehow hid from me until now…

Well it was worth the while.

Otto realizes that the Green Goblin has defeated him, NYC is burning, everyone is turning against him, there’s no one left to trust…

But we see Otto keep fighting, not giving up, and asking himself “What would Parker do?” in a split second decision…but Otto doesn’t have to wonder, because the Soul of Peter Parker has survived inside the Mindscape of Spider-Man, and screams out to Otto to act!

The result saves a life, but lets the Goblin escape. In the process, Peter reveals to Otto that his soul is still alive in Spider-Man’s body.

We see Peter’s soul hiding from Otto, so much so, that he dives into Otto’s own memories, and experiences his whole life, which nearly robs him of his remaining memories as Peter Parker/Spider-Man. The struggle is played out very well, convincingly, with Peter losing himself at times, only able to recall who he is by the very strength of self and powerful memories that cannot be taken from him.

This 2 page spread covers the entire history of Spider-Man, with art way back from Ditko all the way forward. It is in web form all around Peter, who’s just established dominance in the Soul of Spider-Man. He focuses on how important his memories were, the ups, downs, triumphs, tragedies, and the fun, surprisingly, (or not, actually) he focuses on how much FUN he had.
It’s so effective.

Once Peter re-emerges, he and Otto back and forth, except, it’s not nearly what you’d expect. Otto owns up to his arrogance, and tells Peter that he’s always underachieved, and he (Peter) could be so much more.
Otto swings back to Parker Industries (which Peter is totally confused to see) and (view spoiler)

(AWWW!!)

Peter realizes just how true the love Otto has is, and Otto’s final words to Peter: “only YOU can save her. Because you ARE the Superior Spider-Man.” and then Otto fades to nothingness…

OK, I cried when I read it for the first time, and I’m not afraid to admit I’m misty right now. Curse you Dan Slott! For hitting it right on the nerve. (hide spoiler)]

His oldest enemy stole everything from him, only to discover that even with his victory, Otto would never be Peter. It’s positively powerful what Otto does, and with it, the greatest act of selflessness of his life, towards the person he had hated longer and more than anyone…

To me, this is the pinnacle of the entire series right there. Yes, we still have some stuff to do, but I’m sure you can figure out what we do from here…and you should absolutely read this.

Dan Slott is the Scott Snyder of Spider-Man. A very creative, super planned out, and cognisant of the history of the character, respectful, incorporating it into the present, but also paving new grounds.

The Coda of the book/epilogue if you wish, shows just how much damage was done between Otto’s arrogance, and Osborn/Goblin’s destruction. Broken lives, damaged relationships, forever change the whole scope of Peter’s world.
It’s Greek Tragedy, in a sense, because although there is a resolution, and what needs to happen happens, the return is not as triumphant as one would think. Poor Peter, struggling that hard to survive, and this is what you come back to…

But. If there’s one thing anyone knows, it’s that Peter Parker is Amazing, and he can make it back from this. He will, and I think it makes me appreciate him a whole lot more…I think many of us took him for granted and just joked about his whipping boy status in Marvel.

This was an eye opener, and I hope I don’t take the Wall Crawler for granted anymore…poor bastard, welcome back Pete. We missed you!


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Review: New Avengers Vol. 3 – Other Worlds; by Jonathan Hickman

New Avengers, Vol. 3: Other WorldsNew Avengers, Vol. 3: Other Worlds by Jonathan Hickman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ok, so this is about 3.5 stars for me…it’s kind of repetitive for the first half, because apparently the audience cannot grasp that the variables might change, but the outcome is the same, unless we see different Earth lineups of various Illuminati doing it. The art is OK, it works better in the Dr. Strange stuff than the rest…the Rags Morales stuff in the second half I prefer, it’s got fewer loose lines and more realism to it.

What I loved, is that the gang is getting info from Black Swan and pretty much having to guess what she means, everyone eventually figured out what she means…except for Tony Stark…he gets quite pissy about it, and I love that Reed, T’Challa, Beast all get it before he does like it is super obvious. It was a needed touch of humour, or we risk running into DC grit no joke territory…

Dr. Strange embarks to another plane of existence or something…to literally sell his soul…

Black Bolt kinda just stands there…as we know, but his brother Maximus seems like a sharp dude…however…didn’t he release the Terragen Mists into Earth? Shouldn’t he be like a super villain or something?? Or am I totally wrong….even he gets to talk down to Iron Stark.

We see that through observing, there is the same outcome, except one world, which is run by some heroes who are a cross between the Authority and the Justice Society/League. There’s a Sun God (Superman/Apollo), the dark knight (guy actually wears a helmet a la jousty days of ole) as the Midnighter/other Dark Knight fellow…Batsomethingerother? A speedster, who is Flash/Atomica from Crime Syndicate, a Green Alien who is Martian Manhunter, and a dude who’s a sorcerer and has Dr. Fate’s helmet…

I’m entirely unsure if this is intentionally a nod to these various characters, a knock, or Hickman just actually came up with them…

Anyhow, these guys seem to have done the impossible and fought off/survived the Incursion…may be the key for our Earth…

Oh, and Namor finally shows up, having pretty much said just gimme a shout when it’s time to smash shit up, I’m sick of the brainy think-a-thon. Which I also love. He’s nonchalant about it, figuring que sera sera….he and Panther then have an enlightening discussion which reveals Namor the philosopher…

All in all I enjoyed it a lot, but feel like we didn’t move very far forward with the narrative. Sure there’s some more revealed about Black Swan, so we know she’s something to be unsure of, but still…the last page left a great image for us, and Morales’ art is superb. Makes me jazzed to read it.


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Review: Indestructible Hulk Vol. 4 – Humanity Bomb; by Mark Waid

Indestructible Hulk, Vol. 4: Humanity BombIndestructible Hulk, Vol. 4: Humanity Bomb by Mark Waid
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

***Green Theme Buddy Reads, with my Shallow homies. If I have to explain how this fits, you are what Professor HULK (ie. Jeff) would call an ‘asshat’***


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I took this out of the library months ago, but Vol. 3 had yet to be ordered…luckily, the Digital Copy in every Marvel Hardcover allows you to get a copy online thru Marvel.com…and then read in Comixology. So this was my first full volume on Comixology, and my first read on my iPad! YAY! No paper cuts! And when I dropped it in the tub, I only got electrocuted a wee bit, but there was no ruined pages!

So at the end of our last adventure, HULK had repaired time like 99% accurately…by smashing the shit out of it. This time, we’re in the Inhumanity Event, where Black Bolt had his hand forced, to release Terragen Mists on Earth, in order to repopulate the latent Inhuman population after Thanos destroyed the Inhumans? I think? So the mists target people who’s DNA has any tiny marker gene for Inhumans…so if your great great granny whored it up with one…you’re fucked.

Cue Banner, working on his Bruce saves the Earth stuff, only to see Tony ‘Asshat’ Stark (copyright Jeff) beat him to it, then Reed Richards, then the Hanks (Pym and McCoy). Shockingly, he’s ANGRY as fuck about it.
Cue up Doc Randall Jessup, one of Banner’s super-scientist lab assistants. He’s apparently a Zen master, who just tells Bruce to chew some gum and count to 120 and gives him some mumbo jumbo…turns out, he talks Bruce down from HULK-ing out!

We get a short flashback to Jessup’s sad backstory, then forward to Jessup and Banner stealing invisibility cloaks to go join a SHIELD mission that Maria Hill told him to stay out of…but of course, no such luck. Jessup again keeps Hulk at bay long enough to save everyone, and manages to impress Banner tremendously.

Next up, Banner returns to the lab to see Asshat Pym and Asshat Stark trying to figure out the Terragen Mists…Banner tells them to fuck off out of his lab, they act super condescending, before he points out that he just happens to be the expert on radiation and its effects on people (Gamma Rays…Hulk…ringing any bells there Stark?) Then Tony gives Bruce 24 hrs to finish his solution.

They show up early, and bring Hank #2 with them (McCoy, Beast). Hank 2 isn’t an asshat, he’s just cautious, and I like that Waid didn’t give him the same personality of a phallus that he did to Pym and Stark. Beast would relate more to Banner on the effects of changes to the self than the other 2.

Of course, the name of this volume is Humanity BOMB…so yes, Bruce has built a BOMB to save HUMANITY from INHUMANITY! See how easily that works? If Waid comes up with his own titles, he deserves a raise. Of course the asshats overreact and that leads to HULK freaking out and running off with the BOMB.
Way to go Iron McAsshat!

So the Hanks and Asshat chase him, and Pym breaks his arm trying to wrestle the bomb from Hulk, and Hulk gets it back…amidst all the chaos, Hank #2 asks the simplest question: Tony, what if the bomb works?
Then goes on to cry Mea Culpa, that he and the Asshats were arrogant not to trust Bruce, and leaves it up to Iron McAsshy to decide what to do…or not do…

So…ya. Long story short, Bomb goes off, freezes time to see if the Terragen Mists will dissipate or lose their effects…turns out…it doesn’t work…but only because it was made by Black Bolt and not on Earth, so different physics and such. In the aftermath, there’s some explosions, and Hulk and the 3 musketeers save as many as they can, and then they all pseudo apologize for being dicks, but I think only McCoy can be pardoned for this one.

Remember Jessup? ya…things don’t go so well for him…Terragen Mists and whatnot…turns out his Zen powers end up counteracting the Hulk’s Anger…which is difficult for Banner when shit goes south…he has to resort to more basic methods…

Then there’s a run in with some super evil scientists experimenting on Terragnen Mist victims…including trying Jessup, but Hulk and the team won’t stand for it…SMASH, team up with Jessup’s Inhuman Monster form, yadda yadda yadda…people die, no more team for Banner at SHIELD, Hill says she might have to “Terminate” Him…he smirks.

Cue Cliffhanger Ending involving Bruce Banner!!!!

Then there’s the Annual, which has Tony and Bruce going after a mad scientist on an island in the middle of nowhere that’s been totally weaponized…this guy was big on influencing both of them to go into weapons work with the military (the way for smart dudes to get $$) even though he wasn’t a nice dude. It’s a decent enough team up, even though Tony is an asshat to Bruce most of the time, they’re actually closer than many think…

This takes place BEFORE the events in Vol. 4 I believe…

So all in all, a solid volume, but it focuses more on the lab people and Jessup, but I think that’s to show how Bruce holds himself responsible for everything bad that happens, even though he can’t be. The stuff with the Hanks and Asshat is the stronger stuff in the volume, and the art is a step in the right direction after volume 3, but it still doesn’t compare to Yu’s volume 1 work.

Sadly, this is also the end of the series…WAHHHH!!! HULK SAD! I’m guessing there’s another one to pick up, but…Waid had a great handle on Banner and Hulk, and I hope that’s not it for him writing it. I also love the interactions with others, epsecially Daredevil and Iron Man and the Hanks.


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Review: Indestructible HULK Vol. 3: SMASH Time, by Mark Waid

Indestructible Hulk, Vol. 3: S.M.A.S.H. TimeIndestructible Hulk, Vol. 3: S.M.A.S.H. Time by Mark Waid
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

***Green Theme Buddy Read #3…for not one, but TWO HULKS! GREEN! Oh and a Green Dinosaur and Green Dragon!***


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Indestructible Hulk SMASH Time is both the title and a full description of the events in Volume 3. In addition, it is time for Hulk to SMASH things…the thing(s) being Time itself.

This is not as strong as the previous volumes in my opinion, and the second half of the book is bogged down by what I feel is bad art. It feels like it was drawn by someone who had too many Red Bulls after watching a Dragonball Z marathon. That might work for some, but I didn’t enjoy it as much.

Premise is actually pretty sensible…for a bit…the Marvel U has been running roughshod on over through and back and forth in time…as a result, it’s fucking the space time continuum up worse than cheap Taiwainese Smack and Maker’s Mark.
I’m glad that Waid acknowledges how many time travel shenanigans are going down in the Marvel U. Theory follows that, because of this, time will fall apart, and there are also Chronoarchists running around like inside traders, making use of the time changes to tweak for their own purposes.

All of this is explained by Zarkko, “The Tomorrow Man” who’s locked up by SHIELD in a top secret division called T.I.M.E. Director Hill explains that it’s so ultra super duper secret researching into the wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff that even Tony Stark doesn’t know about it (and tells Banner to enjoy that he knows something Stark doesn’t…which is both hilarious, and perfect for the rivalry between the 2, as has been going on through the history of Marvel, and in this particular series).

Zarkko apparently has been a time travelling villain from the 23rd Century and mostly a foil for Thor, which Banner alludes to, but he serves his purpose here as the “expert”. No one could possibly survive going through time at this point, because of how unstable it is (we see in the introductory pages a poor SHIELD op, and what happens to him when the fabric of time tears through his protective suit…it’s an intelligent way to kill him off, and establishes just how crazy bad things are). But of course, HULK isn’t just anyone…however, the Bruce Banner part couldn’t survive it, but HULK could…assuming he stays angry and Hulked-up the whole time…

So that brings us to one of the cooler parts of the volume…Bruce’s consciousness is uploaded/copied into a ROB (the tiny SHIELD robot babysitters that follow HULK around on his missions). That way, Banner can go back and make sure HULK does what he needs to, and not have his human part destroyed. It’s a far more literal exploration of the duality/Jeckyll-Hyde nature of Banner/Hulk, but is also a pretty cool one. In addition, Banner gets to insult HULK a lot, and have an out of body experience watching HULK do what he usually does while trapped inside. The insults of course, are instrumental to keeping HULK MAD, and when HULK MAD, he’s STRONG, and gets stronger and can therefore SMASH more…including…TIME!

Follow me so far? Ya. Waid pretty much throttles back away from the time travel explanations other than to show instead of explain, and that’s a wise decision. Focusing on HULK SMASH rather than the intricacies of the science or the paradoxes lets us see HULK the way we want to…SMASHING the shit out of things.

The things here are the best part: Dinosaurs in the Wild West (alongside cowboys); Dragons in Camelot (alongside the Black Knight – yes the Avenger one, but way back before he was one – and Arthur and Merlyn); and the best of all? HULK SMASH HULK himself!!!

Banner, of course, laughs hysterically when Zarkko tells him what to do, as he explains how stupid it is, the ultimate Bull in the China shop idea…Hulk playing around with the fabric of time? Are you all morons he says? See it’s the little things like this which make Mark Waid such a good writer…common sense things the reader would notice and think about, but not enough to derail the whole story.

When HULK makes his third “time jump” to battle a Chronarchist, it is at the very moment before the Gamma Bomb test that made Banner into the Hulk…talk about your paradoxes…so we see that someone is manipulating events to that Hulk will never exist, and therefore…WHOA!!!! Trippy!!!

So as events play out, Banner drives to the test site to save Rick Jones, and just as he’s pushing Rick into the ditch, BOOM, Time Travel HULK shows up and pushes Puny Banner into the ditch…! At the same time, the explosion blows up the ROB robot with Future (our Banner) Banner’s consciousness, which is thrown into past Banner’s body…whew…this is where things get either really convoluted and ridiculous, or totally bitchin’, depending on your POV…
So if Banner didn’t get GAMMA irradiated…who did??? Why HULK of course…and what happens? He pretty much turns into UBER-HULK SUPER SAYAN…ya.

HOLY FUCKBALLS JEFF! So Banner re-assesses his situation and says forget this noise, I’m just going to live in the past with all my future knowledge, since I’m not HULK, I can marry Betty and live happily and UBER HULK ain’t my problem! Only one issue…the timestream has been altered…and there is no Betty Ross here…Of course…Which only makes Bruce ANGRY! And you wouldn’t like him when he’s ANGRY…
So he goes after the Chronarchist, and starts punching him, which the baddie laughs at, but turns out of course, Banner’s smart eh? So he’s studied the timesuits that they wear, and he’s not just punching, he’s damaging, and at the same time, pushing back minutes through time…ya…apparently…and I’m not sure at all what happens next, but somehow Bruce punches back far enough to get to the point of the Gamma explosion, and puts himself directly in the centre of it…so boom! Banner is HULK again! Except there’s still the matter of UBERSUPERSAYAN-HULK…so Banner gets ANGRY ANGRY ANGRY…and punches so hard, he puches through time, destroying the other HULK, and kinda fucking time up too…but SMASHING TIME!!!

This being comics, of course, some how, instead of shattering like a mirror and giving him 7 cosmically bad years of luck, he’s safe back in the present…but with a nagging feeling that he missed something…which of course, we as the readers get to see in 3 panels just what was missed…setting up a whole bunch of possibilities…

OK so…after I read it last night, I was kinda bummed, and thought it was a let down…then I read some reviews, slept on it, read the title again, realized that SMASH Time is possibly the cleverest name ever for this book…and wrote this review. HULK is all about SMASHING, Indestructible HULK has been about Banner’s legacy and HULK, and somehow this book combines both, and gives us Banner smart, HULK SMASH, and funny shit. It also has HULK SMASHING:World War II Airplanes, Dinosaurs, Dragons, Uber-HULK, and Time itself. So all in all…AWESOME!

I just felt that the art let us down in the second half, and the frenetic, kinetic nature of it and too many lines just wasn’t my cup of Tea. That and Time Travel is a dead horse at Marvel right now…which even Waid acknowledged…that and this book is the equivalent of a Jason Statham movie…if you want to watch ass kicking at a high velocity, and you don’t want to think too much, and you have no problem knowing what you’re going to get…it’s a great movie. It’s never going to win an OSCAR, but you don’t want OSCAR you just want…SMASH TIME!


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Review: Thor: God of Thunder Vol. 1 (& 2) (#1-11) by Jason Aaron

Thor: God of Thunder Volume 1Thor: God of Thunder Volume 1 by Jason Aaron
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This volume contains issues 1-11, and covers the entire Gorr the God Butcher storyline. I had already read volume 2, and thought I was getting volume 1 from the library, but this was a great packaging job.

Since I already reviewed volume 2 I will focus on the first half instead…

The story starts off with Thor in Iceland circa 900, with the discovery of a severed head, which turns out to be a God as per Thor…then we move to present day Thor the Avenger, who answers a prayer for rain on a distant planet…when he asks why they didn’t pray to their own gods, he’s told they have no gods, which baffles Thor. He searches and finds the hall of the gods for this distant planet, and discovers they have all been butchered by someone…then he is attacked by a mysterious black figure.

Move forward thousands of years and we see an old broken Odin on the throne of Asgard, alone and exhausted…only we discover this is actually Thor of the future, fighting multitudes of the same black beasts from the present day.

As the book continues, each Thor faces the same foe; Gorr, the God Butcher. Icelandic Thor fights him in the past, present Thor seeks knowledge of all missing gods and journeys the cosmos to find them all slain, future King Thor fights the hordes of Gorr singlehandedly (literally only one arm) as the last God standing, not just in Asgard, but in the cosmos.

Things start to converge, and set up the inevitable showdown…but that’s part 2.

Aaron has given us the holy trinity of Thors, past present future, and the depth of character that allows him to delve into and create is fantastic. This isn’t about Asgard and the gods, or the Avengers (though we do get a short cameo from Iron Man that illustrates the deep respect and bond between the two, which I truly enjoyed.) it is about Thor.

I don’t want to get more into it, but this is a great Thor book, and way to rejuvenate the Son of Odin. I give the first book 5 and the second book 4, so I round this double sized volume to 4.

I’m not even getting into the existential philosophy and deep subject matter, which goes down well because there’s still lotsa Mjolnir throwing and blood spraying for those who like the action and plenty of Thunder from the Thunder God.


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Review: Age of Ulton Companion, by Various Artists (including Rick Remender and Mark Waid)

Age of Ultron CompanionAge of Ultron Companion by Marvel Comics
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Another book where I have like no context, except that I know who Ultron is, and what he likes to do.

This book is like one of those packs of 10 mini boxes of cereal you used to eat on vacation as a kid; there’s a lot of Corn Flakes and Bran Flakes and Rice Krispies, but not enough Fruit Loops or Corn Pops, and Frosted Flakes taste shitty after the first few bites.

That’s what this is, a grab bag, some good, some not, and some meh-ish.

The Uncanny Avengers one (Remender of course) is interesting, the FF is a rehash for me (Matt Fraction, but still powerful in its own way) and then theres some Superior Spider Man, Wolvie and the X, and Mark Waid closes the volume with a story about Ultron’s daddy; Hank Pym.

The Waid story might have the most lasting value; pretty much it explains how his parents weren’t all that supportive, wanting practicality, and it was his grandma Pym who encouraged him to think outside the norms…so far in fact, that it was a Catch-22, because Ultron happens, and he reveals how he solved that, but also the last panel is a truly terrifying vision of what Pym’s renewed confidence will lead to.

Waid uses the book to paint the layers of Pym’s psyche, and reveal why he might be the most dangerous man in the Marvel U.

Other high points: Ultron outthinking Otto-Spidey; Captain Marvel going out in a blaze of glory, and alternative reality Havok being martyred.

It was interesting, and for each bite that tasted like filler and horse-meat byproduct, there was just enough tasty gluctose-fructose corn syrup-y Red #6 goodness.


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Review: Avengers: Prelude to Infinity – by that Stoner, Jonathan Hickman

Avengers, Vol. 3: Prelude to InfinityAvengers, Vol. 3: Prelude to Infinity by Jonathan Hickman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Yet another case of the library only having Vol. 3 and not even having ordered 1 or 2! Yet, I read Thor Vol 2 the other day w/o 1 and it was great! So I took the chance here…

BIG Mistake.

This is so head scratching and confusing, I have no idea who the non Avenger Avengers are, who are all these cosmic types?

Hyperion? Huh? Captain Universe??? REALLY?

Gobbledygook about new evolution, dying world, eternal versus man, blah blah blah.

Kinda like coming in after the halfway point in a Terry Gilliam movie with absolutely NO CONTEXT.

Prelude to Infinity…OK I’m guessing INFINITY is THE CROSSOVER EVENT OF 201…insert number here.

No thanks.
Based on this I also don’t plan to check out the previous vols.

To put in context, I only gave this 2 because I don’t believe it’s fair to criticize a book too much when you are missing the first 10 chapters.

However…Hickman’s East of West is positively genius compared to this, and that left my mind just scratchy and dented.

This is a big fat “NO” for me.

I’ll stick to the Illuminati Avengers book instead.


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Review: A vs. X by Brian Michael Bendis and Friends.

Avengers vs. X-MenAvengers vs. X-Men by Brian Michael Bendis
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Underwhelming.

I am glad I didn’t hold off reading all the stuff that comes after this (pretty much all of AvsX leads into the Marvel NOW! Relaunch-y-ish-type thing. Makes a bit more sense now, but I had already pieced it together based on HOW GODDAMN OFTEN THEY TELL US THAT THE PHOENIX FORCE WENT INTO THE X-MEN IT DID!

UGH.

You know what? The story served it’s purpose. I can see how some think it’s a bit lazy to bring Scarlet Witch out of nowhere to be part of this, but I enjoyed it. Even the characters are like WTF is SHE doing here? I’m willing to see this as a cyclical karmic balancing of House of M. However, I like that the answer has to do with Hope AND Scarlet Witch, not just one of them. It’s the cooperation fostered that I think should be the telling moment of the series.

Instead, it’s how quickly can shit escalate to 11.

Cap and Cyclops are pretty much the same character. “I will take the burden of leadership. I am a great leader of people, everyone counts on me”
Except then they both shit the bed in terms of actually sitting down and TALKING about this.

Of course the fighting is very cool.
The FIRST time…
The other problem is that NONE of the characters outside of about a dozen actually factor in at all.
(Cap, Tony, Logan, Cyke, Emma, Namor, the Rasputins, and a few others).
I was pleased to see Iron Fist get an actual speaking role! With some importance! It’s a first for Danny Rand in a real event book.

However, other than the 5 X-Men who get the Phoenix force, the rest of them are just shunned to the fringes of irrelevancy.
Maybe they’re more present in other AVX books? But, other than a little bit of Storm, and a touch of Rogue, all we get is the 5 of them going all supernova.

This is a spot where I feel like they lost the chance to give Magneto a much more crucial part (even though they did in a way).

There should have been a LOT more focus on Logan and his pull between the 2, especially since both Scott AND Steve treat him like a loose cannon asshole, when in fact, he’s probably the most realistic about the whole issue.

The thing is, this book misses a LOT of opportunities to actually go into character relationships. Other than Black Panther/Storm and a little bit of Scarlet Witch/Vision, we don’t get much on the relationships here, much is just thrown out the window so the artists can do punchy mcpunchersons again.

I think with the writers here (Bendis, Aaron, Brubaker, Hickman and Fraction), they have the Top of Marvel’s heap, yet it seems like they were forced to do this one, and the different voices actually take away from the cohesion of the whole story. I would like to blame some of this on editorial staff, because otherwise it means some of my favourites actually wrote some horridly turgid shit here.

There’s just such a rich history to delve into here, and it just turns into: how many ways can Cap throw Avengers at Cyke and the Phoenix 5 until Tony Stark figures some shit out?

Oh ya, and where the F was the FF? (Other than Benny) You think Reed is going to let this all happen without involving himself or his brain? The FF is the perfect go between here, because they’ve served as Avengers, but they’re separate and they understand what changes like mutations do (ESPECIALLY BENNY!).

Oh and, I’m hoping someone will explain why Hulk doesn’t show up until the end? They make a huge deal of Cap asking him for help, and then he’s barely used at all…was this a point at which Banner was unavailable? Because otherwise, he, Pym, McCoy and Stark should have been working on some answer.

In the end, what might have been will never be known, because this milquetoast shit happened instead. Other than making Scotty into the biggest badguy since Magneto (irony of ironies, Erik was the one trying to talk him down). I am glad to see that they took the events here and used them to the best they could (Scott/Logans X-Men, Uncanny Avengers, etc.)

I just really wish they’d DONE something instead of throw every character at the books and hope things would stick. We really didn’t need Luke Cage, Daredevil, Red Hulk, and a lot of others if they weren’t doing anything. It should really have been called “The entire roster of Avengers and reserves from the last decade+ versus the Mutant Power Couple, Namor and the Ruskie Sibs.
(speaking of that, who decided that Peter would have ABSOLUTELY NO PERSONALITY WHATSOEVER???? Based on who he is/was, he should have been the first one to reject the Phoenix power. There’s some few lines about not liking Ilyana’s angry rage, but that’s about it).

OK I’m going to stop, because I realize I could go on and on raging about what went wrong here forever. That’s not the best result for a major event book like this.

Do yourself a favour and focus on the aftermath instead:

Prof X is dead at Cyclops’ hand, which opens the door to him being the badguy mutant outlaw, which actually suits him better and makes him more interesting. So in that regard, SUCCESS! Now to wait for the return.

Miss this and save the headaches.

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Review: Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2: Angela by Brian Michael Bendis

Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2: AngelaGuardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2: Angela by Brian Michael Bendis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m giving this 4 stars entirely based on the awesome Bendis-banter!
But there’s also a lot of stuff wrong with this volume.

What I loved was the dialogue. It’s just plain fun.
Peter, Rocket, and Tony’s interactions with everyone kept this volume from sinking like a stone. I just don’t think you can beat Bendis’s writing when he’s on his game. I’m a huge fan! Huge!
I also liked Angela’s backstory. The idea that there’s a planet called Heven out there, and that humans are creatures of myth on it?
Very cool.
The Gamora/Tony hook-up was funny, as well.
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And Tony getting a bunch of useless that would have been nice to know that ten hours ago! advice from Rocket Raccoon was the icing on the cake!

Hmmmm.
Ok, I hate to do it, but I don’t want you to go into this one with sky-high expectations. ‘Cause this thing is suffering from quite a few issues, and (quite frankly) they almost ruined my unicorn and rainbows experience.
Lucky for me, I’m easy to please…
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Review: Iron Man (Vol. 2) – The Secret Origin of Tony Stark (Book 1), by Kieron Gillen

Iron Man, Vol. 2: The Secret Origin of Tony Stark, Book 1Iron Man, Vol. 2: The Secret Origin of Tony Stark, Book 1 by Kieron Gillen
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Iron Man in Space! Except it’s like Star Wars/Trek…that sounds awesome right? Not so much.
Tony’s supposed to be so smart, yet he gets caught in traps that are just ridiculous.
Greg Land is still on the art…NOT good.

Tony’s about to get busy with an alien princess, (a la Kirk) but she sees his ‘stache and freaks out. This might have been the funniest part of the book.

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