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Apr 182015
 

by Etienne Paul, CMRO Editor

Moon Knight

Issue #12

Written by Brian Wood with Art by Greg Smallwood and Jordie Bellaire

Published: March 2015

Moon KnightWhen I first started reading this series I came into it expecting a book I really was not going to like. From the previews I thought that the art looked scratchy and rough and frankly unfinished in places, but worst of all, I had been told I was reading a Batman knockoff. I had never read any Moon Knight books previously, but I am sure I saw him in a cross over or two; I was used to seeing people I did not immediately recognise at the time. All of this lead me to think this was going to be yet another #1 issue to a add to a pile that came out last year and one which I would be praying to go away quickly.

Well, it became a smash hit of 2014 and on quite a few lists as the book of the year, or at least in the top 10. It is definitely in my top 3 books of last year for its wonderfully inventive opening 6 issues with the original creative team. However this book should be given special credit for completely changing the team (other than the colourist) and yet still managing to produce an engrossing and clever book, if unsurprisingly different from that initial feeling. Gone is the exceptional pacing and layout which left you simply staring at the page piecing together all the clues it gave you; in its place is a much more fluid story with a more over-arching plot and a far more precise idea of what is actually happening. I was so upset when the initial creative team left and although the transition issue is the worst of the series, it is right back up there as one of the best titles each month.

Going back to the Batman comparison, from some re-reading of earlier series I can definitely see the connection; rich guy, fights crime, has a butler and a ‘moon’-erang not to mention a moon-plane and moon-copter. However the current version of the character is far away from this initial concept and to follow on the metaphor is much less like Batman than he is like a man possessed by a bat-god. In this instance it is Khonshu and he has gone from being a detached entity content to sit in the recesses of Spector’s mind to a petulant childish god intent on getting his own way, even if it means abandoning his host entirely.

And abandon him he does, for a new body in the form of a war-criminal’s disenfranchised daughter, a woman of near endless selfishness and vengeance. However, those sort of people do not make for the best hosts and a desperate and dying Spector calls upon is erstwhile sponsor to save him one last time.

There is something truly visceral and encapsulating about this comic. By that I mean that the art manages to transcend its static and silent nature and while you are reading you can hear it and practically feel it. There is a moment where Khonshu is talking to Marc in the limo and you can see that his head is floating above his body connected only by tiny strands of spider-web. As the head turns from panel to panel it does so in such a way that I can hear the creaking. Later on as the ‘doctor’ confronts her adversary and the colours in the room flash red and orange, it inspires in me such a physical sensation of hatred and anger that it takes on much more life than your ordinary book.

What this book does, and I am very grateful for it, is manage to drag you in, practically strangling you as it does so, but it does not thrust your face in pain, horror and gore. I have read some books which do a very similar thing, but they are so disgusting to go with it that you come away feeling dirty*. This makes you feel that all the dirt has been put upon the bad guys as they do actions in the dark, or off panel and it leaves you feeling much cleaner than if you had been directly involved in the violence. It also refrains from showing you just what Moon Knight does to ‘clean up’ which makes it the realm of the reader’s imagination, rather than a crass on panel depiction of violence.

I actually struggle to talk about this book as if it is a frame by frame comic book. I do not want to talk about ‘panels’ or ‘pages’ rather I feel I should be referring to ‘screens’ and ‘shots.’ That is just an indication of how good a job this creative team does to bring us into this world. This book may have changed since its inception, but it is still the most immersive title by Marvel and if it continues on like this, will be in my list for the book of 2015.

* See my trade reviews for Crow Curare or Thumbprint.

Apr 182015
 

by Charlie Brooks, CMRO Contributing Writer

The Incredible Hercules

Issue #125

Written by Greg Pak with Art by Salvador Espin, Raul Trevino and Lee Loughridge

March 2009

ih125 02The Incredible Hercules #125 brings an ending to the “Love and War” arc which isn’t perfect but which is satisfying. We’re treated to an alternate world where the Amazons rule and men are an endangered gender. That our heroes are going to break out of that world is a foregone conclusion. The question is: how are they going to do it?

Artume serves as the leader of the free world, with Amadeus as her lowly male assistant and Hercules as the figurehead villain she repeatedly defeats only to release again so the world can always have a threat to fight against. Namora gets the short end of the stick here, as she’s already been killed in this alternate world.

The ultimate escape from the world Artume has created hinges on Delphyne’s attraction to Amadeus. In this reality, they are former lovers. It’s Delphyne who convinces Amadeus to act against Artume, and it’s she who ultimately kills the Amazon, claiming leadership herself and returning everybody to their original world.

I’ve been critical of Delphyne’s attraction to Amadeus in this arc, and I still haven’t been won over by it. I’m just not sure why she’s attracted to Amadeus (I know why Amadeus is interested in her – he’s 16). This could have been a good opportunity to examine her interest in him, but instead I’m left with the feeling that they’re a potential couple only because the plot demands it.

A few other coincidences go our heroes’ way as well, allowing them an easier time than I imagine they would normally have in defeating Artume. For example, Amadeus learns that Namora died years ago and that Artume has kept her death a secret so her subjects have somebody to fear. Amadeus learns of this by finding Namora’s skeleton, so it’s a good thing for everybody that Artume decided to keep her foe’s corpse posed dramatically in case anybody came across it.

The real Namora continues to be awesome here even though she doesn’t play much of a part in this issue. With her love for Namor revealed, Hercules acts love-struck and offended, only to have Namora blow him off and explain that her dalliance with him was more lust than anything else. For a guy who sleeps with everybody, it’s kind of nice to see him at the receiving end of the “love ’em and leave ’em” game.

As a whole, this issue provides a satisfying conclusion to “Love and War,” which was good but not quite as great as the previous storylines in this title. The story makes for some good light-hearted adventure despite world-shaking stakes, but the plot doesn’t hold up well when logic and scrutiny is applied. At the same time, the humor, dialogue, and pacing here is very good. In the end, I recommend checking out either the individual issues or the Incredible Hercules: Love and War trade paperback. It’s an amusing, if not terrific, story.

Apr 182015
 

by Joshua Starnes, CMRO Editor

It was the pre-hype, hype announcement everyone was waiting for – the release of the teaser of the trailer of the much anticipated film which would not arrive for several months yet.

And then JJ Abrams walked on stage at Star Wars Celebration and showed THE FORCE AWAKENS trailer.

The other big release, the one for Zack Snyder’s long in the works MAN OF STEEL follow up, BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE, that was not due until Monday afternoon following a special IMAX presentation of footage of the film in select cities, though Snyder himself did tease the teaser with a 15 second pre-teaser tease of the coming teaser. Got that?
Naturally, someone then released the full teaser onto web anyway.

Due to the heightened importance of international markets on big budget box office, while the US version of the teaser was being teased for a Monday showing, it was already being broadcast in other countries and someone in one of those countries (whose primary language appears to be Portuguese)* recorded a blurry version of the first look at the film on his phone and released it onto You Tube within hours.

Shortly afterwards various US media outlets including Variety began posting stories about the leak complete with very helpful links to the video (if not the video itself) which is filled with long lingering shots of Superman standing around (and occasionally lifting heavy things) under an increasingly grim monologue from a variety of actors in the film including Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor and Jeremy Iron’s Alfred Pennyworth before Batman finally crawls out of some wreckage to replicate the 15 second shot shown off at comic con last year before asking the Man of Steel in an incredibly modulated voice if he can bleed.

Warner Bros. has been taking the footage down almost as quickly as YouTubers can put it back up, recalling a situation from last year when the first Avengers trailer leaked a week early, forcing Marvel to let the full version out earlier than they had planned and re-jiggering the El Capitan event where they announced AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR.

Some have been wondering if similar was in the offing from Warner Bros., but so far only cease and desist actions have been the response.

 

* Update – It appears to have originated in Brazil as confirmed by our Roving Brazilian Reporter.

Apr 182015
 
Updated
Added
Apr 182015
 
Updated
  • X-Men #91 (v2) to add Marrow, Warlock, Red Skull, Wolverine (Skrull Imposter), Storm, Colossus, Kitty Pryde, Gambit, Rogue, Professor X, Nightcrawler, Machine Man, Deathlok (Jack Truman), Nick Fury and George Washington Bridge and add SHIELD and X-Men.
  • Gambit #7 (v3) to add Jean-Luc Lebeau, Gambit, New Son, Marrow, Scalphunter and Sabretooth and add Marauders.
  • Gambit #6 (v3) to add Gambit, Jean-Luc Lebeau and Viper and add Hydra and Thieves Guild.
  • Wolverine #140 (v2) to add Solo, Cardiac, Professor X, Marrow, Colossus, Nightcrawler and Wolverine (Skrull Imposter) and add X-Men.
  • Uncanny X-Men #371 (v1) to add Deathlok (Jack Truman), Colossus, Nick Fury, Machine Man, Warlock, Wolverine (Skrull Imposter), Storm, Kitty Pryde, Rogue, Professor X, Nightcrawler, Marrow and Gambit and add X-Men.
  • Alpha Flight #68 (v1) to add Brad (Archeologist) and Goblyn.
  • Alpha Flight #70 (v1) to add Brian Mulroney and add Canadian Armed Forces.
  • Alpha Flight #64 (v1) to add Rat (China Force) and remove Monkey (China Force).
  • Alpha Flight #65 (v1) to add Rat (China Force) and remove Monkey (China Force).
  • Alpha Flight #71 (v1) to add Brian Winslow, Dexter Rayne and Carol Rayne and add Canadian Armed Forces and remove Tanaraq.
  • Alpha Flight #66 (v1) to add Rat (China Force) and remove Monkey (China Force).
  • Daredevil #263 (v1) to add Eight-Ball and remove Darla and to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Defenders #136 (v1) to add Soviet/Russian Armed Forces and to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Captain America Comics #31f to update Captain America and Bucky and add United States Armed Forces and to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Alpha Flight #67 (v1) to update Purple Woman, Goblyn, Pathway, Vindicator, Talisman, Snowbird, Sasquatch, Madison Jeffries and .
  • Web of Spider-Man #47 (v1) to update Jack OLantern (Jason Philip Macendale) and to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Amazing Spider-Man #312 (v1) to update Jack OLantern (Jason Philip Macendale) and to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Defenders #139 (v1) to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Avengers #300 (v1) to update Captain America, Forgotten One, Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic and Thor and to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Alpha Flight #69 (v1) to update Rat (China Force) and remove Monkey (China Force) and Purple Man.
  • Classic X-Men #30b to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Captain America #350b (v1) to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Captain America #350a (v1) to update Valerie Cooper and Raymond Sikorsky and to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Defenders #138 (v1) to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Defenders #137 (v1) to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Alpha Flight #62 (v1) to remove Purple Man.
  • X-Men #39 (v1) to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • X-Men #38 (v1) to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Strange Tales #164 (v1) to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Incredible Hulk Annual UK #1984b to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Incredible Hulk Annual UK #1984a to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Thor #152 (v1) to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Thor #151 (v1) to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
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Apr 182015
 
Moved
Updated
  • Fantastic Four #19a (v3) to add Invisible Woman, Human Torch, Mr. Fantastic, Thing and Annihilus and add Fantastic Four.
  • Deadpool #32 (v2) to add T-Ray, Mercedes Wilson, Deadpool and Ilaney Brukner.
  • Deadpool #31 (v2) to add Blind Al, T-Ray, Montgomery, Mercedes Wilson, Zoe Culloden, Ilaney Brukner and Deadpool.
  • Deadpool #30 (v2) to add T-Ray, Mercedes Wilson, Montgomery, Deadpool, Fenway, Patch, Ilaney Brukner and C.F..
  • Nova #3 (v3) to add Hulk (Robot), Human Torch, Speedball, Rage, Namorita, Nova, Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic, Roger Cooper, Ginger Jaye, Bernie Dillon, Condor, Thor, Sphinx and Thing and add Fantastic Four and New Warriors.
  • Inhumans #9 (v2) to add Black Bolt, Crystal, Gorgon, Karnak, Maximus, Sub-Mariner, Triton and Medusa and add Inhumans.
  • Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty #11 to add Human Torch, Acrobat and Captain America.
  • Cable #69 (v1) to add Cable, Blaquesmith and Irene Merryweather.
  • Marvel Team-Up #142 (v1) to update Spider-Man, Pulsar and Starfox and add Daily Bugle and Avengers and to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Marvel Team-Up #143 (v1) to update Starfox and Pulsar and add Avengers and to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Amazing Spider-Man #255 (v1) to update Miklho, Peotor and Igor and add New York Police Department and to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • X-Men [appost]99 #1 to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Defenders #135 (v1) to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Power Man and Iron Fist #108 (v1) to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • New Mutants #21 (v1) to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Defenders #134 (v1) to update Cloud, Gargoyle, Moondragon, Valkyrie, Iceman, Angel and Beast and to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • The Thing #15 (v1) to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
Added
Apr 182015
 
Updated
Added
Apr 182015
 
Updated
  • X-Force #92 (v1) to add Mirage, Sunspot, Warpath, Domino, Cannonball, Bedlam (Jesse Aaronson) and Boom-Boom and add X-Force.
  • Spider-Woman #1b (v3) to add Spider-Man, Spider-Woman (Mattie Franklin), Green Goblin (Norman Osborn), Madame Web and Override and to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Amazing Spider-Man #122 (v1) to add Philip Sheldon.
  • Thor #13 (v2) to add Thor, Odin, Hercules, Destroyer, Balder, Hogun, Volstagg, Heimdall, Sif, Marnot, Preston Case, Jane Foster, Brady ONeil and Fandral and add Warriors Three and Gods of Asgard.
  • X-Force [appost]99 #1 to add Rictor, Shatterstar, Cannonball, Mirage, Warpath and Neurotrap and add X-Force.
  • Amazing Spider-Man #11 (v1) to add Crime-Master (Bennett Brant).
  • Spider-Woman #1a (v3) to add Madame Web, Spider-Woman (Charlotte Witter), Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter), Spider-Man, Spider-Woman and Spider-Woman (Mattie Franklin).
  • Wolverine [appost]99 #1b to add Thing, Captain America, Wolverine, Nick Fury and She-Hulk and add Hand.
  • Uncanny X-Men [appost]99 #1 to add Wolverine, Angel, Nightcrawler, Kitty Pryde, Jubilee, Forge, Madrox the Multiple Man, High Evolutionary, Quicksilver, Pipeline, Cortez, Exodus, Amelia Voght, Jennifer Ransome and Phillip Moreau and add Acolytes and X-Men.
  • Peter Parker, Spider-Man [appost]99 #1 to add Ellen Brandt, Scrier (Cosmic Being), Mary Jane Watson, May Parker, Man-Thing and Spider-Man.
  • Mutant X [appost]99 #1 to add Havok, Nick Fury (Earth-1298), Madelyne Pryor (Earth-1298), Storm (Earth-1298), Beast (Earth-1298), Angel (Earth-1298) and Iceman (Earth-1298) and add Six (Earth-1298) and SHIELD (Earth-1298).
  • Wolverine [appost]99 #1a to add Deadpool and Wolverine.
  • Amazing Spider-Man #12 (v1) to update Spider-Man, J. Jonah Jameson and Betty Brant and add Daily Bugle.
  • Amazing Spider-Man #9 (v1) to update Spider-Man, J. Jonah Jameson and Betty Brant and add Daily Bugle and New York Police Department.
  • Avengers #2 (v1) to update Iron Man and add Stark Industries.
  • Amazing Spider-Man #13 (v1) to update J. Jonah Jameson, Betty Brant and Spider-Man and add Daily Bugle and New York Police Department.
  • Amazing Spider-Man #10 (v1) to update Spider-Man, J. Jonah Jameson, Betty Brant, Big Man and and add New York Police Department and Daily Bugle.
  • Tales of Suspense #47 (v1) to update Iron Man, Happy Hogan and Pepper Potts and add United States Armed Forces and Stark Industries.
  • Strange Tales #115a (v1) to add New York Police Department.
  • Amazing Spider-Man #7 (v1) to update J. Jonah Jameson, Betty Brant and Spider-Man and add New York Police Department and Daily Bugle.
  • Fantastic Four #269 (v1) to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Fantastic Four #270 (v1) to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Thor Annual #12a to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Thor Annual #12b to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Marvels #1 to update Philip Sheldon.
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Apr 182015
 
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Apr 182015
 
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