Review: The Flash, Vol. 6: Out of Time by Robert Venditti

The Flash, Vol. 6: Out of TimeThe Flash, Vol. 6: Out of Time by Robert Venditti

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Fast-paced & action-packed!
Unfortunately, I have no idea what just happened…

Warning: Here Be Spoilers!
Ok, I’m going to try not to spoil everything in the story for you, but I’m not making any guarantees. Add in the fact that I’m actually not quite sure what happened in this volume, and I think you’re probably safe.

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Time-travel stories like this are where Flash loses a lot of mainstream fans. I personally think, when used sparingly, time-travel can be a great plot device for characters like this one. They can be fun!

Did you hear me, DC? SPARINGLY.

You can use it to correct stories that were totally FUBAR from the get-go, or fix shit that idiot writers may have fucked up. You can also use it to reboot your entire universe, and give everything a glossy new make-over…
Sparingly.
But just because you have a character who can time-travel, doesn’t mean they should. I mean, at some point, it makes the stories you’re telling mean nothing, because the readers just assume that none of it is written in stone. We’re already dealing with Lazarus pits, magic, and alien tech that can all resurrect the dead. So we’re used to the Surprise! It was really my evil twin that died! sort of soap opera mentality that comes with reading comic books. But to have years worth of continuity wiped out by a single issue?
Sparingly, please…

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So, who’s the man in blue?
Well, it’s Future Flash, of course. He’s racing through time to fix shit. Again. Only this time he’s a bit unhinged.
Something happened when Reverse Flash (Daniel West) plowed through the timeline a while back. In our time, Barry is noticing that he is (still don’t understand this totally) losing time when he starts speeding from one place to another.
But wouldn’t he just sort of make up the time he’s losing, since he’s gong faster than normal, you ask?
Shhhh!
Barry is losing time!
So the entire volume is filled with our Barry here in the present, plus future Barry going steadily backward in time. Our Barry is still trying to deal with the aftermath of the Crime Syndicate thing, his relationship with not Iris Patty, and a new version of Wally.
Meanwhile, future Flash is making stops all along the timeline, to fix all the things he couldn’t the first time around.

Ok, in my effort not to spoil everything, I can only say that ‘characters’ die, get saved, get powers, go back in time, and die…again.
Or do they?
Are they still alive in this this timeline, but with a changed future? Will they still get powers, or was that a one-time thing caused by future Flash? Is the timeline safe? Did anything really change?
And the soap opera goes on…

In the end, I can’t say it was a bad story. Great pacing, lovely art, and characters that I really like.
It’s just the fucking time-travel that rakes my nerves.
For the love of God…SPARINGLY!

Thanks to NetGalley & the publishers for a digital review copy.

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Review: Ultimate FF Vol. 5 – Crossover; by Mark Millar

Ultimate Fantastic Four, Vol. 5: CrossoverUltimate Fantastic Four, Vol. 5: Crossover by Mark Millar
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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This is a solid 3.5 Star book that introduced a bunch of new possibilities, but docked back to 3 because it just abandoned a lot of what I loved about the series under Ellis’ watch.

Mark Millar is back in control here, and that’s a good thing, because Mike Carey was by far the weakest link in the chain (well, when you have Bendis, Millar, Ellis, Carey; one of these things is NOT like the other…).

I found the last volume quite a disappointment, but this one is an improvement, though I still find that Warren Ellis’ run was the peak of things for me so far.
Art Duties fall to Greg Land, and while he does some good work, I believe I enjoyed the Kubert brothers stuff the best so far…for this series at least.

So the FF is back in time chasing Chrono-Bandits…yup, looks like they did have a precedent before Mark Waid threw them into Indestructible HULK’s way during his run. (I KNEW I’d seen them before today!) Not the same people but the same idea. They threatened to kill the first creature that crawled out of the oceans as a precursor to Humanity….Millar wisely had Reed explain that would probably mean none of them ever exist, so we didn’t completely need to savage it.

We see here that the FF now has a name, they’re out and about, and working alongside the Ultimates (who don’t seem to give a shit about them, ahh I miss grumpy dick Cap!)
We pick up the story after that with Reed talking to the hologram Reed that contacted him at the end of last Volume’s Think Tank storyline…well Reed has a portal he’s constructed here, with the help of Holo-Reed, who even lets him meet Franklin (as a hologram).

There’s some problems for me by this point though…they’ve oversexed Sue at this point (no doubt a Mark Millar action) and Reed is slowly reverting to his driven scientist who ignores everyone persona from the regular Marvel U…
So Reed uses his machine to go thru dimensions to the other world…and finds out that he was duped…by ZOMBIE REED! and the ZOMBIE FF! On this world, the Heroes are all zombies who feast on human flesh…luckily, one “hero” still lives, who saves Reed, and then manages to explain what happened…Reed is more like our Ultimate version we love, and the rest of the story proceeds in a way that makes a lot more sense to me, just as a parallel universe activity, with a cool ending.

(Here’s a hint; Jeff will NOT like what goes down between Ben and a certain someone Green).

By this time we’ve done nearly half the book…and jump right into the next story…the return of Mary Storm! Mother of Sue and Johnny! (who was long thought dead but was only just working on a very important research project.)

We get some stuff about her being a bit of a bitch, careerist (she’s kind of a female Reed Richards from Marvel 616 but sexy, in a hot librarian way) terrible mother. I don’t love the art here, as they’ve totally changed everyone’s appearance, and not for the better.

So turns out, that Momma Storm was busy discovering Atlantis! (Ultimate U doesn’t have it) and she needs the FF help to go deep in the ocean and check shit out…Sue sees right through her and I loved that Sue’s not a moron, and calls her on her using them, and agrees only to be done with the woman ASAP.

Well it’s Atlantis, and we can’t have that without everyone’s favourite Mer-Mutant-Mariner! In this version, he’s still a gigantic dickhead, and still has a boner for Sue (good taste for sure, Ultimate Sue is hot hot hot!). Fighting ensues…not a surprise…But we see that Reed has built another machine (shocking how just a few issues ago he was all about the rules and teamwork, and now he’s built a dimensional portal, communicated with parallel Reed, and made a gigantic robot combining all the FF powers! (called Fantastic-05 of course, because apparently Millar didn’t get the memo that Ultimate FF mock the shit out of stupid names for things, and we the readers LOVE them for it!).

So Namor is subdued, but turns out, not for long, and long story short, he agrees to leave things in one piece if he gets a piece…of Sue! Dude, I kinda like your borderline rape-y creep blackmail style (this is Mark Millar, so don’t be at all surprised kiddies, at least this isn’t as sick as that) This just happens to be for a kiss, not a Lono special with Cheese.

So all’s well again…except we’ve totally abandoned most of the characteristics of the personalities, they don’t look the same, they are becoming more Ultimates(y) ie. dickish…reverting to stupid things, and we don’t get the same science or explanations, and the relationships are put to the backburner by Millar, who is more in his Michael Bay form here than I’d like…however, he does do that stuff well, and the Zombies & Namor stuff is fun, so it’s not a total mess.

All in all, I’m worried that the series peaked with Ellis’ ending, I just hope they can level things off and not regress much more…if they turn to in-fighting and acting like assholes, I’ll just stop reading…plus, we need more DOOM!


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Review: Flash Vol. 4 – Reverse, by Francis Manapul

The Flash, Vol. 4: ReverseThe Flash, Vol. 4: Reverse by Francis Manapul
My rating: 2 of 5 stars


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Reverse Flash is a bad guy, in the Flash Rogues Gallery, but this version of Reverse Flash is actually more of a tragic story.

You know, it seems obvious to me that Flash just isn’t on Geoff Johns’ list of important New 52 characters. I mean he’s got a competent writer, but the storylines are shit.

So people who got stuck in the Speed Force with Barry all got some powers…and now someone kills them all off, until only Iris is left…Barry sees a slowed down video that shows his reverse symbol, and goes after Kid Flash…cue some stupid running together and making stupid conversation scenes as they burn across the world, and Bart shows what a moron he is here…saved by the Teen Titans again.

So oops, not him, well he thinks it is the rich guy who helped him save the city but turns out to have different aims…nope.

Of course, it’s DANIEL WEST! Iris’ brother, who Flash caught in issue one and sent to prison for bank robbery. Daniel, who was out of prison just long enough to make it back for the Gorilla invasion (what? ya I try to forget that too…) and saved by the Rogues…of course no, they rob everyone, and Daniel don’t like that, so he acts like a dummy, and gets blowed up real good like with all the Speed Force stuff and a monorail car…

Instead of dying, why no, it bonds to him and he discovers he can go back in time! But it is hard on him…
Then we see he killed all the others, and used them like batteries, to go back in time…

What does he go back to do? Rob a bank? Kill Flash? Ace his SATs? Escape prison? No, actually he goes back to murder his and Iris’ abusive father…who we see beat both of them and was a real asshole. We also see that Iris was one of those dumb “oh he only hit me because he was drinking, it’s not his fault!” type of victims who makes excuses. Instead, Daniel/Reverse Flash (how clever indeed) wants to kill him so his sister, who he loves, will never have to be hit again…yes it will mean Daniel escapes it too, but we see that he loves her more.

Flash stops him and gives him a lecture about not changing the past, and learning from it, stopping him by taking the Speed Force energy from him? In fact, the writer even has Flash say “I have no idea how that worked, I couldn’t explain it again if I tried” WOW. What a cop-out and lazy writing.

So back in the present, Daniel is back to normal-ish, but I’m sure he’ll return. He goes to prison, and we see flashbacks of how Iris was to him as they grew up, and she’s kinda a self-absorbed cunt…no time for her little brother…maybe he should have just been like her and embraced the punches?

Anyhow, I was really bothered that Iris doesn’t forgive him or buy his story at all, and pretty much says that her brother is dead to her, and died when he was a kid. WOW, that’s harsh…he turned into a supervillain and killer because he wanted to save you from getting beat up your whole childhood by your father…hmmm ya, I agree, what a horrible younger brother that is…

So if this is who Iris West is in the New 52, I’m glad Barry is with Penny.

Then we get a stupid tacked on story about Iris and Barry’s meet cute in Gotham right before Zero Year (because how much more can we advertise Batman???) Barry is helping out, riding alongside Harvey Bullock and his partner…there’s some shenanigans, Barry saves Iris, Iris saves Barry, and Bullock has to do something dark. Then Barry gets all goody goody on Bullock about how that wasn’t right, and Bullock puts him in his place and pretty much tells him to fuck off and grow up a little. It made me love Bullock just that little bit more.

So here’s the thing; I want to like this. I do, the art is a bit childish, but it’s not bad. It is consistent, which isn’t something you can say for a lot of books…but the plots are stupid, and Barry comes across as very naive and a little too black and white. I mean I guess he’s a cop by choice, so that tells us something…but I wish he’d show some more personality? He’s just too much wet blanket for me…

I just hope we see Wally West soon, and that Daniel West isn’t the character they used instead…ugh.

So this might not be a 2, it might be 2.5-3, but I couldn’t get over the feeling of really not liking Iris after her treatment of her brother, and I feel like they’re just in a holding pattern waiting to push Patty out of the picture.

Flash, you need to make shit interesting, because even if there’s no actual problem, you’re BORING, and I don’t feel like going out of my way to read you anymore.


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Review: Weird Fantasy Vol. 1 (EC Comics Reprint)

The EC Archives: Weird Fantasy Volume 1The EC Archives: Weird Fantasy Volume 1 by Bill Gaines
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

***Dark Horse reprinting of EC Comics, so very Indy!***

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This is a gorgeous collection of EC Comics from the early 1950s, published and written by one Bill Gaines…aka Mr. MAD Magazine!

Along with some great other writers, Weird Fantasy is actually a Science Fiction book. 1950s Science Ficton from before the Witch hunt against comics leading to juvenile delinquency…a golden age in many ways.

There’s a number of issues collected here (even though their numbering is off, they are chronologically the first 6 issues) with a great range of stories.

Time Travel, Space Exploration, Atomic War, Aliens, Life and Death, lots of great stuff that’s been made into movies, some of the coolest ideas that sustained SciFi for the next 65 years.

Discussions of String Theory, 4th Dimensions, Gamma, Infrared, Atomic Energy, this isn’t just dumb pulp, it’s a blast.

From the man who builds a time machine (only with the help of his younger self, and the paradox loop that leads to), to the team that flies through space to a different solar system, only to loop back on themselves, a la Planet of the Apes (but this was written long before the Damn Dirty Apes), to the fears of Atomic Nuclear War and the aftermath: mutants, robots, uninhabitable wastelands.

This is such fun. This book is the kind of thing you used to love to find, just a bit older than you were supposed to be reading, it felt like some kind of secret they let you in on, and you always wanted more, reading it under the blankets at night by flashlight. (Or at least, I did…)

The art is colourful in this reproduction, bright, enjoyable, yet the subject matter is still the kind of questions we wrestle with today…

Thank you to Dark Horse for publishing the reprints of this great company, I cannot WAIT to get my hands on more of this. Without this, we wouldn’t have the dreamers of comics like Morrison, Hickman, Ellis, others. Heck we might not even have the normal comics we do today. I love the intelligence that goes into something that was throw-away for so many, yet over half a century later, look how relevant the subject matter is. Great writing never ages.

I strongly recommend this to all the Shallows Gang, and anyone else looking for a fun read, that you could also share with kids worry free (Anne!)


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Review: Sex Criminals, Vol. 1 by Matt Fraction

Sex Criminals, Vol. 1: One Weird TrickSex Criminals, Vol. 1: One Weird Trick by Matt Fraction
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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***Interesting Fact; our little graphic here is taken from an alternate cover to Sex Criminals!***

I’m a little behind the times here, but still, have been waiting to read this one for a while.

I already knew the premise: People who have sex with each other can stop time. They then use this stopped time to rob banks.

However, I didn’t know that this was sorta a Robin Hood thing to save a library? Ummm can you think of a better way to make this appeal to a bunch of Goodreaders? I think not.

There’s a bit more to it, it’s actually when they reach orgasm that time stops. Also, it’s just the girl to start with, who thinks she’s a total freak once she realizes no one else gets time to stop when they cum. However, she meets the boy who has the exact same…power? Which they only discover, hilariously, post-coitus, when they are both enjoying the quiet, but to be shocked when the other one is there too!

What an idea. I mean I get the concept, but what I didn’t know was how FUNNY this was going to be. Jon, the guy, I swear to God I could relate. The story about finding the porn in the woods, and it being like “his internet” was bang on. I know some of my first stuff was found in the woods (yes it IS gross, but also soo funny, because it means I’m NOT a huge freak! Just a regular sized one!).

The running joke with Jon and his bosses plant is right up my alley, as I’m an immature child.

What I didn’t see coming, was the Sex Police! Struck me as the Tipper Gore crew of Sex Time Freezing. Only the leader, she gets to orgasm by kegels!!! Bwahahaha! She’s the master of her own O! Because her husband sure looks like a wet noodle. I love that it’s probably the only way she gets there, and I love that she’s decided to police it and crack down on the fun.

The Dude wearing the Maple Leaf Toque? Yes. Yes. Yes. Canadians are pretty big Sex Pervs for sure.

The art is fun, there’s laughs, the idea is one that I think tons of people could relate to or at least day dream about. I cannot wait to follow up with volume 2.

The stuff with the porn store is so good. (such as a sign saying “We will not sell you 20 dildos without health insurance”) GOLD! My wife thought that was a riot. Also the line about having taken thousands of dollars worth of stuff and borrowed it, “or the equivalent of buying about 7 of these movies at full price” LMAO. I love it. It’s so authentic, someone who’s obviously been in a porn store, not just some idea.

There’s so much to love here, I can see why this tore up the award buzz.

If you’re a prude, then I’m guessing you won’t enjoy this. But I mean come…on 😉 Hehe it’s a blast.

Glowing dicks? Love it. It’s like a Jackson Pollack in here with a Black Light!

For sure a winner. Definitely a Shallow Group winner too.


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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: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning

Guardians of the Galaxy by Abnett & Lanning: The Complete Collection Volume 1Guardians of the Galaxy by Abnett & Lanning: The Complete Collection Volume 1 by Dan Abnett
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

***Green Theme Buddy Reads Book #2 – Again, Gamora and Drax ARE Green…as is Mantis, and a whole bunch of other alien characters…there’s my rationale***


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This is not your Chris Pratt Guardians. This is the 2008 version, not the Bendis. I enjoyed it a lot, in the first half, but then, like the characters, it got too cosmic. “I hate that cosmic shit” This version also includes Adam Warlock and Quasar…but not the Wendell Vaughn Quasar I’m familiar with (this one is half-Kree, and possibly daughter of Captain Marvel). Mantis, a green telepath, and Cosmo, the intelligent Rusian cosmonaut Dog from the 60s…yep.

The gang is thrown into missions to save the Galaxy, haphazardly of course. There’s humour thank God, and it’s one of the strong points. The art is impressive as well, and the vast interesting-ness of the characters. The covers are GORGEOUS. The second half of the book goes off in side missions and not as the whole team…plus we get some time travel, and space time continuum stuff. The seat of your pants leadership style of Peter/Star-Lord is there again, and this team doesn’t trust each other as much either. Rocket isn’t quite as badass here, but definitely funny and aggressive. Groom kicks much ass. Warlock is a cool addition, though I recall him being a bad guy in other incarnations…?

It’s very deep, got some cool stuff there, but perhaps this throws one off the deep end in terms of cosmicness…start with Bendis’ more recent reboot from Marvel Now.

This is a fun book, but slows down a bit in the second half and I feel like I am missing a ton of contextual info about everyone…still worth a read, and enjoyable.


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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 – God of Thunder: Godbomb – by Jason Aaron

Thor: God of Thunder, Vol. 2: GodbombThor: God of Thunder, Vol. 2: Godbomb by Jason Aaron
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is Thor at his Hulking best (for lack of a better explanation/an easy reference). Though I haven’t read Vol. 1 (my library does this very odd thing of ordering books out of sequence…GRRRRRR) I found that I was able to pick this right up and not be lacking for much info.

Gorr is a man who questions the Gods, and when bad shit befalls him, like any sane person would, he loses faith, and takes it to the extreme. He wants to kill all the Gods so men can and will stand on their own. I actually found this to be a very acceptable idea, even if not a very original one.

Thor has to stop Gorr from building his God-bomb, which is exactly what it sounds like…a bomb made by a God to kill all the Gods…silly, but OK, serves the purpose.

Thor isn’t quite up to the challenge, but ThorS are. Yes that’s right…not one, not 2, but THREE THORS! (and no I don’t have a lisp/speech impediment)
The holy trinity of past, present and future Thors (Young Thor of Scandinavian days, a rage-fueled warrior who hasn’t yet proved himself worthy to carry Mjolnir; Thor the Avenger (“our” Thor from present days) and King Thor (Future, who looks just like Odin, but is in fact, a much older Thor).

So you have the best of what Thor was, is, and will be. I like this idea very much. As much as a battle against Gorr, this is just as much about Thor, and who he is, and needing to figure that out.

The wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey travel-y stuff is made fun of properly, especially by King Thor, who’s quite a funny old man for all the bad shit that’s befallen him. Either way, the 3 of them have to go defeat Gorr.

We also get a glimpse at King Thor’s granddaughters, who end up working alongside Young Thor (and in a funny section, one of them has the hots for him, only to realize it’s a younger version of her Grandad! HA INCEST! ZING!).

This is nice to have some humour inserted into what could otherwise be far to heavy/dark/New 52ish of a book.

I won’t get into the specifics of what goes down and any more stuff, but I understand what some people think Gorr is lacking as a character/motivations/originality. I also think maybe I saw it more as a reflection on Thor. That being said, it’s also got some kick ass God of Thunder reigning down from the Heavens.

This tome doth rock verily.

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X-Men: Battle of the Atom; by Brian Michael Bendis, Jason Aaron & Brian Wood

X-Men: Battle of the AtomX-Men: Battle of the Atom by Brian Michael Bendis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

OK All-New X-Men makes a LOT more sense now.

I read all of that and all of Wolverine & the X-Men before this.

Now that I’ve read it, it makes a bit more sense.

But still, as a whole, meh plus?

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Yes that’s me straining to enjoy a bowel movement, much like RDJ.

There’s stuff to like here, as many friends have already mentioned:

It flows very well, you hardly know when you’ve changed books, because it flows man. Like the river. Whoa.

Aaron and Bendis are what’s missing from Wood’s X-Men…ie HUMOUR. Wood’s X-(wo)Men would be a perfect DCU book.

Iceman is awesome. Seeing not 1, not, 2, not 3…oh ya.

Also explains why Kitty leaves the Jean Grey School (and Iceman), and why the All New (PAST) X-Men end up where they are.

Explains why Jean has some serious confusion about things.

There’s also a lot to not like:

SOOO MUCH ANGER!!! INFIGHTING! GARRRGH!

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This is from a documentary of my high school…I actually saw some kid flip a whole cafeteria table over during a MAGIC card game…it was awesome. I was hoping to see some spellcasting or at least a magic wand shoved somewhere dark, but no such luck…

If Hank McCoy is so smart, why has he continually fuct this up? Bringing people forward in time worked so well, why not bring more back in time? That oughta be cool right?

We get 3 versions of Beast, 2 Cyclops, 2 Jean (I mean…no…maybe we don’t? ummm…ya.) 4 Iceman…but only 1 Angel??? I mean seriously, he’s the only one who says “DUDES, WE DON’T BELONG HERE! LET US GO HOME TO THE LAND OF TV DINNERS AND HOTPANTS!”

Shockingly, there’s only 1 Wolverine, and that’s kinda telling, knowing what we know now.

There’s too many monologues and fighting, not enough questioning why, and then Kitty gets mad at the present X-Men (Wolverine’s gang) for trying to get Cyclops and Jean back when they run away (the past ones) and don’t want to go back…umm…isn’t that what you all knew you had to do to start with??? I mean I know letting people decide things for themselves was a good idea, but you can’t seriously think letting the teen X-Originals decide to run off and stay hiding in the present was a good idea?? Ugh. No.

There’s some cool characters we get to see:

Future Icem(e)n; Future Colossus, Magik gets to really let loose, we see how some of the X-kids do in the future (Quentin Quire) and we see what shit goes down (to a certain degree).

I love that Wolverine and Magneto come across as the voices of reason here…that’s too funny.

Iceman from the Future is great. Needs his own series, pronto. If it weren’t for Bobby Drake, I don’t think I’d have laughed once…”So If we’re going to the future, shouldn’t we pick up a sports almanac or something?”

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Yup. THAT is how you do time travel and funny.

This book really hovers into nearly DCU levels of seriousness…not loving it.
I can see how this isn’t really meant to be funny, but see the Iceman? Make-a-the-funny words? MORE OF THIS!

So, it’s OK, there’s a few nifty moments, but it also causes more problems than it solves.

It is what it is, and if you’re not an X-person, stay away. FAR AWAY!

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