Spider-Man/Deadpool, Vol. 1: Isn’t it Bromantic by Joe Kelly

Spider-Man/Deadpool, Vol. 1: Isn't it BromanticSpider-Man/Deadpool, Vol. 1: Isn’t it Bromantic by Joe Kelly

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well that was surprisingly really fun.
I much prefer puns and slightly intellectual jokes to Deadpool’s brand of risque humor, but this one made me snicker to myself a lot.

The story follows Deadpool in his attempts to befriend Spiderman, who quit the Avengers for some vague reason I don’t get. Of course, since this is Deadpool, his ulterior motives have ulterior motives, so things are fairly complicated.
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Review: Thor, Vol. 1: Goddess of Thunder by Jason Aaron , Russell Dauterman (Illustrator)

Thor, Vol. 1: Goddess of ThunderThor, Vol. 1: Goddess of Thunder by Jason Aaron
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve been waiting quite a while to get my hands on all 5 of these issues, and Marvel Unlimited finally came through for me!

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Most of this story was worth the wait! Loved the new chick, loved the politics on Asgard, loved Maaal…Maleket…the badass dark elf’s part in everything, and loved how Thor reacted for the most part.

So, Thor lost his worthiness to wield Mjolnir at the end of Original Sins. And nobody knows what the hell Fury whispered in his ear that caused him to drop it, but Thor has been sobbing and cuddling with the hammer ever since, trying to win back its love.

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Mystery Thor shows up on the moon after everyone has left to go fight Frost Giants, and snatches it right up…no problem.

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So who is this new Thor?!
Well, don’t expect to get any answers out of this volume!
Yeah, yeah. Most of you already knew that. But I’d been purposely avoiding everything spoilery since this title started. Do you know how hard that’s been? Ugh. Anyway, I wanted to wait till I could read this volume for myself. So, when I got to the end of that last issue and I still didn’t know who Lady-Thor was? Fuck you, I’ll call her that if I want to! I felt a mighty disappointment. Because god knows when MU will release enough issues for me to read the next volume…
So. I did it. I went ahead and read the spoilers.
sigh
Hmmm. Ok.

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There were some great scenes in this one, and there were some not so great scenes in this one. But, overall, I thought Goddess of Thunder was a winner.
I was almost annoyed that old Thor insisted on fighting new Thor, but then it turned into a parody of the usual When-Two-Heroes-Meet-They-Gotta-Fight trope, so it won me over. Plus, since Thor thought his mother might be the one behind the mask, it had a funny ending…

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Not everything was quite as funny to me.
The idea that a female villain is going to just say:
Oh! I’m so impressed with the strides you’re making in feminism! I’m going to just give up, let you whack me in the head, and then haul me off to jail…simply because we both have a vag!

Re-donkulous.
First, she’s not the first or only female hero out there.
Second, this chick wouldn’t care even if she was!
Hello? Hardened criminal? She just wants to steal shit and move on, not make a statement about women in the workplace. But thanks for shoehorning that in there for all of us lady-readers…I guess?

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As long as I’m on a bitchy roll, I may as well get it all out.
So why does Thor give this new chick his name? Why can’t she just be the Jane Doe, Goddess of Thunder? I mean, it makes no sense!
What? All of the Avengers are going to have to stop calling him Thor and start calling him Odinson, now? That’s stupid!
If I lost the ability to drive my minivan (my equivalent to Mjolnir), and somebody else had to drive it, I wouldn’t start calling them Anne.
I’m still Anne. Just a minivanless Anne!
I’m all for more female superheros. We need them, we want them, and it’s long past time that comics started representing a huge part of their readership with a bit more respect.
But.
I think they can do that without renaming characters.
{end rant}

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However, this was so much fun to read that I overlooked most of the stuff that bugged me. It’s fun, and this new Goddess of Thunder kicked ass!
Oh! I also enjoyed Sif’s cameo. I would love to see more of her in something.
Anything! Maybe even a title of her own?
*big pleading eyes*

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Anyway, even if I didn’t agree with everything, I thought it was a great concept, and a blast to read!
Definitely Recommended.

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Review: Essential FF Vol. 4 by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Essential Fantastic Four, Vol. 4Essential Fantastic Four, Vol. 4 by Stan Lee
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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OK so that was a gigantic collection, spanning about 2 years of FF (67-68 I think). There’s good, there’s bad, there’s ugly.

Good: It’s fun to see Lee/Kirby original work.
Bad: Stan Lee has a great imagination, but his writing of characters was pretty stale and repetitive.
Ugly: The sexism runs rampant too often in this book, and Reed’s middle name should be changed to misogynist probable wife-beater.

I’m the first person who knows you can look at history with today’s standards, but in this case, it’s the late 60s, not 1953 or anything. Women’s rights were happening, music, love, revolution, counter-culture, and Reed Richards seems to be written as the old fuddy duddy who knows best for everyone, including keeping his wife in check. There’s insults, threats of violence, and condescending remarks all the time. I’m going to hope that it’s just the character of Reed Richards who’s supposed to be a Hank Pym-level asshole here…otherwise I think it makes you wonder about ole’ Stan the Man…

Fun things: Black Panther’s first meeting of Black Bolt (all 3 Illuminati together for the first time) and the rest of the Inhumans.
Spider-Man, Daredevil and Thor throwdown against the Y-chromosome FFers.
We see classic villains, like Galactus, the Mad Thinker, Wizard, Annihilus, and for the first time, Psycho-Man.
We get to visit the microverse for the first time.
We see Silver Surfer save Earth, after warnings from Uatu the Watcher.
We see the original Punisher (a robotic herald of Galactus, after Surfer was freed).
We see Maximus the Mad take over Black Bolt’s Inhuman kingdom.
We also see, Sue gets preggo! And the birth of the as-yet-unnamed boy.
We see Reed finally cure Ben, only for Grimmy to have to chose between life forever without powers or forever as the Thing…

Thing is bi-polar; he either talks about Clobberin’ Time or he’s mopey about how Alicia Masters won’t love him if she could see who he is…like Umm…dude? She’s blind, she’s felt the face…she knows.

Johnny likes cars, and making out with Crystal of the Inhumans.
Sue spends the majority of the book on bed rest, and Crystal sits with her and holds her hand…
Only near the end does the sensible thing happen, Crystal joins the FF in Sue’s place after the baby is born.

So that’s it in a nutshell…the stories themselves can be fun, but the dialogue is terrible. Concepts on a cosmic scale, no problem, but basic human interactions? Don’t think Stan figured out those yet…
However, we get Jack Kirby’s fantastic (pun intended!) artwork. Seeing the classics all by his hand is kinda very fun.

Sadly, it’s in black and white and on newsprint, so you lose out on a lot of the real fun.

I’d give this 4 stars for retro fun, icons of the business, and big events in FF history…I’d take away at least 1 star for the borderline misogynistic abuse that Reed throws at Sue (funny part being, Johnny isn’t that way towards Crystal, and Ben sure isn’t that way towards Alicia, so I suppose that would give more credibility to the theory that Stan wrote Reed as a gigantic douche-hole on purpose, and that he himself isn’t a terrible woman-hater).

It did drag a bit at times, and I did skim some stuff, like dialogue heavy parts, to get to the action, or the big moments, or the characters visiting…
But if you’re inclined, it’s definitely classic. (However, I think you have to be in the right mood for it…I almost put it down a few times…but it got better after the first 25% was done…)


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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: Thor Vol. 3 – The Accursed; by Jason Aaron

Thor: God of Thunder, Vol. 3: The AccursedThor: God of Thunder, Vol. 3: The Accursed by Jason Aaron
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

OK…that was disappointing. Even more so because it’s Jason Aaron…

The first issue #12? That was a 5 star issue. It made me get all teary eyed, and was good solid stuff about a God who loves humans, yet still cannot always save them. Following on the heels of the God Butcher saga, this was a perfect approach to a more small scale and human approach to Thor. I loved everything about this issue. It also involves all 3 Thors at different points in history, showing the love he has always held for Midgard.

the rest of the book is a sorta LOTR gang from the 9 realms who try to hunt down Malekith, who escapes from Hel. Just a little too obvious until the end, but the ending was actually well done and sets up what will surely return as a bigger storyline down the road.

the final issue goes back to young Thor and is funny, but also shows him growing as a young God, learning about life and responsibility, alongside a drunken dragon. Yup. Thor and a dragon get shitfaced together….that’s the funny part.

So not amazing, good, but the middle lags a bit and is kinda boring.

If anything, get your hands on issue #12, because that’s the diamond of this collection, and one of the best Thor issues I’ve ever read. (Anne, this means you…don’t waste time on the whole TPB, just read #12)


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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: Thor Epic Collection: The Mighty Thor – by Tom DeFalco

Thor Epic Collection: War of the PantheonsThor Epic Collection: War of the Pantheons by Tom DeFalco
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a classic collection of Thor stories, coming just after the Epic Simonson run. (1987 era) Thor has his beard, new Armour Suit, and many things ahead of him. Finding that he’s recovered after the warriors three make him get a shave, he returns to his original appearance.
We get a lot of interesting stuff here:

The disbanded Avengers, upon Thor’s return.

The introduction of Eric Masterson.

The return of Odin after his battle with the Fire Demon Surtur.

Hardly any Loki, but near the end.

The Celtic Gods.

Oh, and one tiny little thing that doesn’t really matter too much…

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Only Steve Rogers lifting Mjolnir! Woot. (FYI That’s Steve as ‘The Captain’ while John Walker was Captain America, which is interesting, because his suit here looks a lot like the USAgent costume that Walker would take on permanently after Rogers returned to being Cap.)

We also have a future version of Thor lifting Mjolnir, but that’s not as awesome.

4 stars for the classic moment alone, and some cool stuff. De Falco is a bit too wordy, and Walt did a better job, but it’s not terrible.


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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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