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Jan 292015
 

by Dylan Duarte, CMRO Contributing Writer

Rocket Racoon

Issue #6

Written by Skottie Young, Art by Jake Parker

Published: February 2015

Rocket Racoon #6

The big draw of Skottie Young’s Rocket Raccoon is his artwork and this is the second issue in a row that he hasn’t illustrated. Well, he did draw part of five, but a very small part. Young’s artwork is perfect for Rocket and his work on the first four issues has been nothing short of stellar.

Young is still writing the book and fill-in artist Jake Parker is terrific. Plus, I have no doubt that Young is working himself to the bone, pulling double-duty on the title on top of whatever other work he has going on. He definitely deserves a break. I’m really not trying to come off as privileged, it just so happens that issue six is the weakest yet from a writing standpoint, so the absence of Young’s art just makes it worse.

In Rocket Raccoon issue six, Rocket teams up with a robot that can only speak in binary and the parallels between the robot and Groot’s limited vocabulary become the subject of a lot of Rocket’s jokes. Not that Rocket’s jokes aren’t funny, but it actually is a real problem. I want to see him team up with someone who can actually talk, because Rocket is good with banter, but he can only do so much when having a conversation with someone who can only speak in ones and zeroes.

Issue six is a light, self-contained story so the fact that it’s less-than-great really isn’t a problem, but it’s still a bummer. This series has been a lot of fun and there’s undoubtedly a lot more fun in the works, making issue six amount to nothing more than a harmless bump in the road. As far as bumps go, it’s not without its laughs.

On a side note, this may the be first time in the history of me reading comics that I’ve read an issue that references another issue of another series, complete with the requisite editor’s note, in which I’ve actually read the issue in question. What a milestone!

Jan 292015
 

by Charlie Brooks, CMRO Contributing Writer

Incredible Hercules

Issue #119

Written by Greg Pak  & Fred van Lenta, Art by Rafa Sandoval

Published: September 2008

Incredible Hercules #119

The Incredible Hercules #119 deals with a group of gods traveling through a land of dreams sothey can fight aliens. This is the sort of thing that comic books are made for.

While the general plot of this issue is the same as the last one, the action is quite different. While the previous encounter with Nightmare was a personal battle for each of the gods, this one is an all-out brawl against creatures of the dreamscape, including an army of dead deities. But that’s not the only danger here, as Amadeus Cho’s coyote pup Kirby has been replaced by a Skrull and attempts to destroy the ship. This is a good twist, although I do find it amusing that apparently the Skrull impersonating Kirby could have been taken out of action entirely if Amadeus hadn’t managed to heal his broken back a few issues ago.

The brawl against dead gods naturally plays to Hercules’ strength, and his tendency to punch his way through all his problems is even called out by the other gods. The biggest challenge for him here is recognizing when it’s time to run away from overwhelming odds. This obstacle, and Herc’s own lack of strategy, seemingly costs the life of Snowbird, who transforms into some Lovecraftian horror in order to protect her comrades from an army of dead gods.

In an issue that is dealing with epic action like this in a truly alien landscape, good art is absolutely essential. While I had my reservations about the art in this storyline at the beginning, it has definitely come into its own and I am happy to say that it delivers here to perfection. The dreamscape is superbly rendered and the fight between gods seems like something both alien and divine rather than just a bunch of human-like creatures trading punches. It is the art of this issue that really allows the strong writing to flourish.

The issue ends with the God Squad finally encountering the Skrull deities, and it does seem like the final issue in this story arc will have a lot to wrap up. In addition to the need to defeat the Skrull gods, there’s the question of where the real Kirby is (if the coyote pup is still alive), whether Athena is a Skrull as previously hinted, and how Amadeus is going to help Hercules through what will supposedly be his darkest hour. That’s a lot to pack into a single issue, but I get the feeling that this creative team is up to the task.

Overall, The Incredible Hercules #119 is the best issue in this storyline so far. The arc is peaking at just the right time, and the final issue seems like it will be a blast.

Jan 292015
 
Updated
Added
Jan 282015
 

by Joshua Starnes, CMRO Editor

The success of GOTHAM, THE FLASH and ARROW on FOX and the CW has cemented the idea there is as much a place for superheroes on the small screen as on the big one (a viewpoint which cheerfully ignores the issues plaguing CONSTANTINE, AGENTS OF SHIELD and the perhaps never to be aired iZOMBIE) and more than one network is trying to up their ante any way they can.

After spending the latter part of the Aughts trying to put the X-Men franchise out to pasture under previous studio head Peter Chernin, Fox has made a major turnaround in the last several years with plans on expanding the X-franchise into non-Wolverine characters and potentially crossing over with their other remaining Marvel properties, a focus which worked wonders for THE WOLVERINE and X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, the two highest grossers in the 15 year old franchises history.

Now, according to a report from TVInsider, the studio is thinking about ways to make that success work on the small screen following the successful premier of GOTHAM this past fall.

The one big stumbling block appears to be one of rights. While 21st Century Fox retains the rights to make X-MEN films in perpetuity (or at least as long as they keep making one every few years) the television rights are jointly shared with Marvel and would require some careful negotiating to pull off. And if rumors of the frosty relationship between Fox and Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter are true, they may be dead in the water.

On the other hand, there are things Marvel wants Fox.  Mostly they’re the Fantastic Four, which isn’t very likely (unless this summer’s reboot does not live up to expectations), but just as with Spider-Man, quiet conferences have taken place between the studios to attempt to – in some way – include Wolverine in one of the AVENGERS films.

Could it happen?  Probably not – the stumbling blocks are much larger for Wolverine than for Spider-Man’s inclusion and even that has not been able to come in for landing.  On the other hand, if Fox wants that X-Men show bad enough . . .

Jan 282015
 

by Charlie Brooks, CMRO Contributing Writer

Incredible Hercules

Issue #118

Written by Greg Pak  & Fred van Lenta, Art by Rafa Sandoval

Published: August 2008

Incredible Hercules #118

Nightmare is probably one of the great villains of the Marvel Universe, and The Incredible Hercules #118 uses him to great effect. With Hercules’ “God Squad” wandering through the dreamworld to take on the Skrull gods, they must make a stop off to parlay with the supernatural lord of fear himself.

Nightmare, naturally, has his share of dirty tricks up his sleeve, and he traps the different gods so he can feed off their fear. The nightmares of gods will supposedly give our villain the power to take over entire worlds. Amadeus Cho gets to step up to the plate in an attempt to save the day, but fails and is exposed to his own personal nightmares as well.

So how do our heroes get out of the situation? Well, that would be spoiling. Suffice it to say that they do, and without resorting to the clichéd way of willing themselves to see through the illusion.

This adventure represents Hercules’ first real challenge as a leader, and he sees the group through the adventure quite well. Of course, he’s still Hercules, so by the end of the issue he winds up in bed with Snowbird. The setup for their sudden coupling is a bit weak, but I’m fairly convinced that Hercules has some sort of animal magnetism power that allows him to successfully hit on anybody that he speaks to for more than four sentences.

The art here continues to be solid now that I’ve gotten used to the style, and the writing is excellent. Nightmare’s treachery allows us to get into the heads of the assembled gods, and this is extremely important since only Hercules and Snowbird have shown up with any regularity before.

The one area that I do have to nitpick in this issue is Nightmare’s claim that the fear of the gods is more powerful than normal fear. I think that if this were true, we’d have to see the gods fearing something bigger than themselves – something that humans can’t fully experience themselves. Instead, we get typical human fears – loneliness, uselessness, and failure, to name a few. This is a good way to humanize the gods a bit, but I’m not quite sure how those fears are so much more powerful than what humans normally experience. This would have been a good opportunity to display what makes gods different from mortals in the Marvel Universe, but instead it sticks with the usual method of making gods little more than really powerful humans.

That, however, is a very minor complaint. This issue is very good overall and a good way to continue tapping into the Secret Invasion event without requiring readers to buy a dozen other comics in order to know what’s going on. As with the rest of The Incredible Hercules, I highly recommend it.

Jan 282015
 
Updated
Added
Jan 272015
 

Weekly Marvel Roundup for 01/19 - 01/25

 

Scarlet Spiders #3 (Spider-Verse)(Final Issue)
Written by Mike Costa
Art by Paco Diaz and Israel Silva

Raistlin:
For me, this series has been the highlight of the Spider-Verse Event, and the finale issue did not disappoint. I have actually become very familiar with Kaine, both from his solo title, and his time on New Warriors, and this is easily the best writing I’ve seen with him up to this point. Jessica and Ben were awesome as well, and it’s great when all three characters are so equally focused on by the writer.
Oh and it should be noted, this should be read before Amazing Spider-Man #13, out this week.
Story – 10/10
Art – 10/10

Etienne:
Ok, what is it with heroes that means they refuse to kill even when they risk being utterly wiped out? It is no different to Cap’s ridiculous stance over in New Avengers and it is really starting to get on my nerves. These inheritors have only one goal in life, to wipe out the Spiders from all realities and eat them, they are immortal because of cloning, but still killing them is not the plan? Seriously? Actually this really spoilt the book for me because other than it the rest is immaculate, but seeing as the entire middle part of the book is built around it, it really brings it down.
Story – 7/10
Art – 9/10


Spider-Verse Team-Up #3 (Spider-Verse)(Final Issue)
Written by Christos Gage, Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz
Art by Dave Williams, Dexter Vines, Chris Sotomayor, Sal Buscema and Andrew Crossley

Raistlin:
And this issue should be read after Amazing Spider-Man #13. Lots of Spider-Verse stuff this week as Spider-Verse is getting close to the finale. So this is two stories, the first being way more important to the overall story of Spider-Verse then the second. In the first one we get to follow Anya Corazon….. the Spider-Girl from 616 that wears the Black Spider-Man outfit. She has jumped into the spotlight at the end of Spider-Verse and has a plan, and a team, and seems pretty confident about both. And apparently it involves Karn…. you remember that guy that was featured at the start of this whole mess with the diving helmet. The story was good, but I probably could have done without the Spider Ma’am. The second story was decent, but felt more like filler than anything else.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Etienne:
Before I read this book I had completely forgotten about the guy in the helmet, which is strange because he was such a key part of the initial build up. I wonder if he is going to play an important part in the ending, because if so a massive part of the story just happened in a side book. For me it shows how seriously they are taking the tie in comics, unlike pretty much every other event where the tie ins are as important as toilet paper.
Story – 7/10
Art – 7/10


Spider-Woman #3 (Spider-Verse)
Written by Dennis Hopeless
Art by Greg Land, Jay Leisten and Frank D’Armata

Etienne:
No matter what else you do, make sure you read this before Amazing Spider-Man #13, otherwise you utterly ruin this book and enter that one on the back foot. This is much a continuation of the story that launched the series and it is back to Spider-Verse at its best. So nothing new here, but all the same, that means it’s all good too.
Story – 9/10
Art – 9/10

Raistlin:
I have to point out that a lot of this stuff was covered in Amazing Spider-Man #12, but with nowhere near as much detail. With so much more going on, it’s no wonder they couldn’t include most of it in the main title. All the added story really fills in a lot of blanks, and makes this a wonderful issue that adds heavily to the overall story. 
Story – 9/10
Art – 9/10


Wolverines #3 
Written by Charles Soule
Art by Juan Doe

Raistlin:
Alright, so this issue we go in a completely different direction. We get a whole issue dedicated to introducing a brand new character, Fantomelle. In fact the Wolverines are not even in the issue till the very end. Normally this would annoy me, cause with a series only coming out once a month, this is a big pause to the main story. But with a series that is coming out every week, it works out much better. Fantomelle is interesting, and based on what she loves to do, and the name, I am already wonder about connections to another Weapon X “graduate” that would be very interesting if he shows up somewhere down the line. 
Story – 8/10
Art – 7/10

Etienne:
It does make me wonder, with X-Force cancelled, if we might be getting the introduction of another ‘Fanto’ into this book in upcoming weeks. I really do not know where this series is heading long term, so having them come out so frequently and with disparate storylines means that this is hardly a divergence from the story. However if they keep introducing characters to the comics burgeoning ‘team’ it will soon become hard to give them any development at all.
Story – 7/10
Art – 7/10


Bucky Barnes – The Winter Soldier #4 
Written by Ales Kot
Art by Langdon Foss, Jordan Boyd and Marco Rudy

Raistlin:
Wow, that was the most confusing comic I’ve read lately, even more then Secret Avengers. Although somehow I think I understood it by the end. At least most of it. But the artwork in this one was all over the place. Having these completely different styles in the same book, just makes no sense. I don’t know what they were going for but it did not work. It was more jarring, then anything else. The first half of the book was just horribly looking. In comparison, I’d rather have Rudy doing the whole book. 
Story – 3/10
Art – 1/10

Etienne:
I complexly agree, I did not think it was possible for me to dislike the art more than the previous issue, but they managed it. However unlike Raistlin, I came out of this book taking practically nothing away from it. It seems to have little direction and most importantly, little to nothing to do with the way it was set up in Original Sin. This might as well be another Guardians of the Galaxy title with the random space hopping nature of it.
Story – 3/10
Art – 1/10


Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #4 
Written by Al Ewing
Art by Luke Ross, Iban Coello and Rachelle Rosenberg

Raistlin:
So we have the first book that is fully focused on the aftermath of AXIS, and particularly Sam Wilson’s actions while he was inverted. I really liked the direction this was going. The city is pissed off at him, Spectrum is debating whether to kick him off the team. For once we have someone that isn’t going to just get a pass because he wears the uniform. I would have loved to see this turn into a nice multi-issue story arc. Unfortunately, that is not where they went with this, and it loses points for being so predictable. But, this wasn’t the only story going on, and the others were interesting enough, and I’m curious to see what they are going to do now that it’s not so Blade focused, like the last volume was. 
Story – 7/10
Art – 9/10

Etienne:
I am so disappointed that they did not carry on the story from AXIS, that was completely inexcusable. Having set this book up on that foundation, they simply ripped it out from underneath it in the space of a page, effectively meaning that the first 3 issues were completely and utterly irrelevant. Inhumanity killed the last volume of this book and so far, AXIS is doing the same for this one.
Story – 5/10
Art – 8/10


Deadpool’s Art of War #4 
Written by Peter David
Art by Scott Koblish and Val Staples

Etienne:
I am sorry, but for a Deadpool book, this was just poor. The art grated on me from the first issue, and despite understanding it was a stylistic choice, it was just a horrible one. The ending of the book incorporating the writer of the comic was just painful, I always hated it when creators put themselves in their own stories and it just capped off a terrible mini-series.
Story – 4/10
Art – 3/10

Raistlin:
Was this a Deadpool book? Most of the time it felt like an Avenger book. The humor was very light, and trying to be too “smart” at times. I’m sure Peter David thought that ending was hysterical. But it’s just not the right fit for Deadpool. There were points I thought I was reading an actual tactics manual, with comic pictures. Deadpool lately seems to be in a rut, no matter where you read him. I hope this is just a quick phase and we get some normal Deadpool at least once before they kill him.
Story – 3/10
Art – 2/10


Superior Iron Man #4 
Written by Tom Taylor
Art by Yildiray Cinar, Cory Hamsher, Tom Palmer and Guru-eFX

Raistlin:
Well, Tony has basically become a conspiracy theorist worst nightmare. Through peoples cell phones, iPads, or just about any electrical device out there, Tony has collected everyone’s DNA/personal information and he is watching. I mean this plotline is straight out of George Orwell’s novel 1984. It’s still a good story, but it has heavily lost its originality. What I don’t understand is how is Daredevil the only one that is trying to do something about it. Surely the other Avengers have heard what he is doing, he’s is on talk shows and the news. Don’t get me wrong, this is still a good issue, but I feel this story might benefit from some outside involvement. 
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Etienne:
I assume things have happened very quickly in this book and that is why no one else has become involved, they are still all in the midst of AXIS because there has been no clear break to allow Tony to jet off back to face the Red Skull in the mean time. I find it a bit harsh to say it has lost its originality because we are still in the same arc, it is only 4 issues in, if they carry it on past the first storyline then you can say that, but in the mean time, this is still fantastic. However the art has defiantly lost something from the first 3 issues, which is a shame.
Story – 9/10
Art – 7/10


Rocket Raccoon #7 
Written by Skottie Young
Art by Filipe Andrade and Jean-Francois Beaulieu

Etienne:
Bring back Skottie! I know he is writing it, but all the charm he brought to the series as its artist has utterly crashed and burned without him. I am not really sure where they are trying to take this, they infect Groot to make him mortal and then send our little protagonist off to the cave of a dragon to find a cure. Seriously this looks just like the Hobbit, in space, with anthropomorphic animals. Please bring back Skottie, it might make it worthwhile looking at again.
Story – 4/10
Art – 6/10

Raistlin:
Wasn’t really sure about your Hobbit reference till I got to the end. I wonder if there’s a magic ring, and who gets to play Gollum, cause that was definitely a variation of Smaug and his treasure. As to the art, it seems we are on one of those rotating artist runs that they do with some titles. But even the last guy was better than this issue. It’s just not the right style for this series, and would fit much better in something like Savage Wolverine. But since they are rotating, hopefully we will get something more appropriate next time.
Story – 5/10
Art – 5/10


Legendary Star Lord #8 
Written by Sam Humphries
Art by Freddie Williams, Paco Diaz and David Curiel

Etienne:
This is internet dating taken to its extremes. All the awkwardness of when you first meet followed by either immediate rejection or instantaneous love. Well perhaps a bit of both. I do have a question about this book, where the heck does Lockheed go exactly? This comic seems to treat him like a pokemon in that he simply disappears in space and is then not seen for the rest of the comic. I know he has now been ‘outed’ as an in dependant intelligent creature, but still, a little explanation might be nice.
Story – 7/10
Art – 7/10

Raistlin:
Ok after what Kitty just decided, you’re worried about were the dragon goes in his spare time?? For those of you wondering, this issue finally brings to a climax the drama of Kitty and Peter’s dating life. I feel like we’re watching 90210. With mutants and in space. But still 90210. Will she stay with him, will she stay on Earth?? oh the suspense…..(I hope you see my sarcasm) You want to know what random question I thought of. What the hell is the Ebony Maw? Is he even real? Because the Thanos Infinite comic sure made that unclear, and his appearance here didn’t help. 
Story – 6/10
Art – 8/10


Elektra #10 
Written by W. Haden Blackman
Art by Michael Del Mundo and Marco D’Alfonso

Raistlin:
Well, this got rather interesting all of a sudden. Although i do start to wonder just how many people on the planet that have mental powers on the level of Xavier, and we don’t know about, are there?? Seems pretty convenient. And how come the X-people don’t know about her?? The art is very stylized as normal, and we come to a cliffhanger that we knew was going to happen a couple issues back, but we are here now, so I guess we can get to the big climax of the arc next issue….. better hurry up Elektra cause Secret Wars is looming around the corner. 
Story – 6/10
Art – 7/10

Etienne:
I completely agree, we have had 9 issues of drab boring story, with interesting art, and finally everything gets started, after the book has already been cancelled I might add. The ending was unexpected and that was a bonus, but I suppose in the greater scheme of things it was only a matter of time before it happened. I will be honest, I did not see the issue with the telepath and there was no indication that he was as powerful as you implied, or that he was even a mutant, but I suppose it is a bit random having someone with those abilities just pop out of nowhere.
Story – 7/10
Art – 7/10


Loki – Agent of Asgard #10 
Written by Al Ewing
Art by Lee Garvett and Nolan Woodard

Raistlin:
First off, this issue has a lot of references, so if you’re not caught up on those you might be a little lost. This talks about AXIS, Angela, and Thor. And here is where I have a little problem. It specifically references and talks about what happened in Thor #4 which hasn’t even come out yet. So if you don’t want to spoil things for that issue, I would hold off reading this until Thor comes out next week. So, this is the big issue were we finally find out what the real story is with the last transformation of Loki from a younger kid to an older kid. And this is where my lack of knowing the young kid Loki very much, outside Young Avengers vol 2, is showing. I didn’t totally understand the scenes in Asgardia and the reaction of the other Asgardians. So I think a lot of this story was lost on me.
Story – ???
Art – 7/10

Etienne:
I am with Raistlin on this one, but for different reasons. I did not know that it was referring to Thor #4 and therefore I was left with a feeling that ‘Odinson’ was acting completely and utterly irrationally and it really spoilt it for me. However with that in mind it ‘might’ make more sense when I get to read that issue, but right now, I have no clue how or why this happened, which Loki is actually Loki and which is a shadow of the other, nor why the one that acts good is the one that gets the kicking. Hopefully all will be revealed, but so far, this is a huge pile of answers to questions that not yet been asked.
Story – 4/10
Art – 8/10


Moon Knight #11 
Written by Brian Wood
Art by Greg Smallwood and Jordie Bellaire

Etienne:
No, sorry, it didn’t work. I asked last issue that this became a combination of the linear storyline as well as the mind bending graphical design, but we have been left with all of the former and pretty much none of the latter. This does not make this a bad book, but it is now fast becoming a very standard action comic along the lines of Black Widow or Punisher and is rapidly losing the outright charm and sophistication that made it the best series of 2014.
Story – 7/10
Art – 6/10

Raistlin:
Funny, I actually like the series more now than I did before. I mean I see what you’re saying, but it’s not like the visual style is completely gone, it’s just toned down (alright WAY down). The opening two pages with the red panels vs the regular ones was good. The birds-eye-view of him in his cell, the ending page. But I do feel at this point the linear storyline need to make its way in eventually to get to the point. And the storyline going on is actually really good, and this is coming from someone that has never been interested in Moon Knight.
Story – 8/10
Art – 7/10


Amazing Spider-Man #13 (Spider-Verse)
Written by Dan Slott
Art by Guiseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith and Justin Ponsor

Etienne:
So you read this after Spider-Woman and Scarlet Spiders, but before Spider-verse. In that order, you got that? Basically this story has been weaving in and out of the various attached series and they have all come crashing back home in this comic. I have nothing but the highest praise for this, the story has been fantastic and the events in this comic are pretty spectacular, so I cannot wait for its conclusion.
Story – 9/10
Art – 9/10

Raistlin:
Everything he said. And to add to that, I loved that 616 Spider-Girl is getting some attention in the main spotlight. I have a feeling her mission is going to play a big part in the climax of this whole Event. But I have to point out, Kaine literally stole the show, in my opinion. Finally seeing him cut loose was pretty awesome. 
Story – 9/10
Art – 9/10


Black Widow #14 
Written by Nathan Edmondson
Art by Phil Noto

Etienne:
I feel the art went off the boil slightly in this issue, while at the same time the story was wound right up. I do not know if that was because the story made me read this faster, or the art looks less effective in a highly action based comic, or simply if the artist ran out of time for his usual brilliant work. Either way I am loving the story now and I hope the art will pick up again next issue.
Story – 8/10
Art – 7/10

Raistlin:
This series has been kinda mediocre for me up till this issue. Etienne is right that the story in this issue is really great. It’s tense, and moves at a great pace, with just the right amount of action. I loved that it really connected the dots of the story and that you got to actually see Natasha following the trail, it made it so much more believable. I hope the next couple issues continue at this pace. 
Story – 9/10
Art – 7/10


Magneto #14 
Written by Cullen Bunn
Art by Gabriel Hernandez Walta and Jordie Bellaire

Raistlin:
Like Deadpool, this title has struggled to return to the great stuff it was putting out before it got sucked into AXIS. It has been mired in flashbacks, and pretty much has just been stumbling along with not much direction or point. Well, this issue does a lot of that as well but then it comes to a very unexpected point. Not really sure where Bunn is going with this, but I really don’t feel it’s helping the story.
Story – 3/10
Art – 6/10

Etienne:
Sorry, not buying it. Seriously Magneto is more un and down than a manic depressive and he really need to work out what he wants in advance, rather than making it up on the fly. In some ways his action are worse than Carnage, because he acts bad, but does not really understand the concept, whereas Magneto acts like an utter psychopath and then thinks he can say sorry and it will be all better? Honestly the guy was supposed to be an intellectual equal of Charles Xavier, yet he seems to think as far forward only as his next step.
Story – 4/10
Art – 4/10


All-New X-Factor #20 (Final Issue)
Written by Peter David
Art by Carmine Di Giandomenico, Will Sliney and Lee Loughridge

Etienne:
I can’t believe this series is finished. Ignoring the fact that the series has become progressively better and better as time has gone on, it really has only just gotten out of first gear. In much the same way as Fearless Defenders and Undercover Avengers, this series has been a low builder. The team really only got established a few issues before it was cancelled and the underlying storyline was just ramping up. I am gutted and I hope that their team is brought into another series so this can continue, however based on the fate of the other two series I do not hold out much hope.
Story – 9/10
Art – 8/10

Raistlin:
I think I would score this higher if this wasn’t the last issue. This didn’t feel like a last issue. Your right about the first gear thing, this felt like the end of the first arc of a much bigger story, and I feel that’s not fair to throw all that out there as leftover loose threads, when as Etienne points out, and with Secret Wars on the horizon, there is not much hope of seeing them get picked up any time soon, if ever. At least there was closure for Quicksilver leaving the team, since we already know he is moving over to Uncanny Avengers. 
Story – 7/10
Art – 7/10


Guardians of the Galaxy #23 
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Valerio Schiti and Jason Keith

Etienne:
I made a comment a few issues back that I thought this series had lost focus and did not know where it was heading. Well this issue picked up everything they had been flirting with, ran with it, and did more in one issue that I could have expected from an entire arc of a Bendis book. The ending was hilarious, the body of the book insightful and the humour back to its best. I think my only concern is that the revelations about the Symbiotes is going to annoy long term entrenched readers.
Story – 8/10
Art – 9/10

Raistlin:
I really had to role this one around in my head for a while, being a long time Venom fan. Venom and Carnage were the only things I cared about from the Spider-Verse, back in my X-Men days, so I really had to think about this one. I will admit, Bendis did a pretty good job with the new origin, so it wasn’t as horribly annoying as you would think, Etienne. I even like the new look which seems to be more in line with the Classic Venom vs Agent Venom, which I have missed, even if others haven’t. I have to agree with you that I was shocked that Bendis was able to cram this much story into one issue. I didn’t think it was possible for him to finish this story in any way that would be satisfying since Black Vortex was putting pressure on him to wrap it up, but I’m impressed. Granted there was pretty much a complete lack of action, but there was still plenty of visuals and humor to keep one entertained. 
Story – 8/10
Art – 9/10


All-New X-Men #35 
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Mahmud Asrar and Marte Gracia

Etienne:
I am utterly fed up with this storyline. We had a wonderful crossover with the Guardians before this that moved the story along, this is like rehashing everything that happened before. We have spent most of this series making comparisons between these characters and their older (sometimes dead) counterparts. Well here we are in the Ultimate universe making exactly the same comparisons with that universe’s surviving X-Men. Been here, done it, can we move it along please.
Story – 3/10
Art – 7/10

Raistlin:
Yeah, I can’t agree with you more. Also this story is so out of synch with pretty much everything else going on around it that it makes me really not care. We already know Laura gets home, since she’s in Wolverines. Get a move on Bendis, or do what you did in Guardians with the symbiote story, or something. 
Story – 1/10
Art – 7/10


Fantastic Four #642 (The End is Forever)
Written by James Robinson
Art by Leonard Kirk, Karl Kesel and Jesus Alburtov

Raistlin:
So, the bad guy spends a lot of time telling us his master plan and how he was able to do everything he has up to this point in the story. Funny I thought we already covered this last issue, but apparently this time we get flashback panels. Doc Green appearing in this is pointless, even if it does synch up with what’s going on in the Hulk solo. So we really end up with about a handful of moments and pages that actually move the story forward, the rest is pretty much padding. 
Story – 5/10
Art – 7/10

Etienne:
I am so utterly confused, the last we heard from the Fantastic Four was back in December in issue 14. So now in January we are back to the old numbering with issue 642? Way to go Marvel, you carry on sinking this ship that is already on a downwards spiral and add a bit more fuel to the conspiracy that you are trying to scupper the non-MCU properties. This is all a bit silly because we have just seen over in Time Runs Out (admittedly set a few months in the future) that Sue can shut down 10x as many people as there are attacking them instantaneously and considering that her children are at risk, it is ridiculous to think that she would be holding back.
Story – 4/10
Art – 7/10



And the book(s) of the Week:

Spider-Verse. 
All of it. We scored three books this week as 36/40 averaging 9/10 for all categories from both of us. So rather than pick between them, Scarlet Spiders, Spider-Woman and Amazing Spider-Man all get the prize.

Jan 272015
 

by Charlie Brooks, CMRO Contributing Writer

She-Hulk

Issue #10

Written by Charles Soule, Art by Javier Pulido

Published: January 2015

She-Hulk #10

She-Hulk #10 is a very good wrap-up to the Captain America civil suit, although it’s not a story you’ll want to think about for very long after lest the plot holes start to show up.

With Captain America doing very little to defend himself, Jen has to fight tooth and nail to find out the truth. It turns out that the story where Cap’s refusal to back down from a hood had a bit more to it. He was actually standing up to a Nazi and didn’t realize that it would lead to somebody else’s death, thinking instead that he would wind up taking a bullet himself.

Ultimately, the attempt to soil Captain America’s name is a ploy by Dr. Faustus, who the combined forces of Jen and Daredevil easily overcome. However, that bit of wrap-up is a mere denouement to the main event, which is Jen trying to beat Matt in court.

The cracks around this issue show when Steve Rogers gives his reason for letting things go to trial in the first place. He wants to do it to keep the name of Captain America unsullied, but the simple fact is that the case never would have gotten into the public eye in the first place had he let the lawyers take care of things. Matt Murdock refused to take the case in the first place, and without his help the whole thing probably never would have materialized due to California’s statute of limitations, which was cited in the story itself. Had Cap responded to the charges with his own clarification on what really happened, or had he not responded at all, the whole thing would likely have disappeared into legal smoke.

But again, it’s best not to think about these things for too long. Yes, this was all an elaborate setup to pit Jen and Matt against each other in court. Yes, you should just enjoy the superhero legal antics involved.

As a whole, She-Hulk #10 leaves a bit to be desired because while it is fun, I can’t quite ignore the plot contrivances that made it happen. The story is still entertaining, but it doesn’t quite have the crispness that the rest of the series has possessed so far.

Despite lacking a knockout punch, I still recommend this two-issue story arc and think that it is worth checking out. She-Hulk only has a couple of issues left, because Jen is never allowed to have nice things. The final two issues look like a wrap-up of the “Blue File” storyline, so I’m sure they’ll be entertaining. If you haven’t found this series yet, you should jump in as soon as possible. Check it out now before yet another She-Hulk series disappears and leaves the world a sadder place.

Jan 272015
 
Updated
Added
Jan 262015
 

by Joshua Starnes, CMRO Editor

Spring time is prep time in Hollywood, when television shows begin hiring writers and casting actors and films begin major casting for the summer tent poles due the following summer [the modern tent pole rule of thumb being ‘shoot in spring, post in fall, release in early summer, cash in-cash out in 12 months’] and comic book movie divisions are no exception.

On the big screen front both Marvel and DC had major, albeit opposing, secret announcements surrounding their respective cinematic universes. At Warner Bros., the studio quietly let it be known that Tom Hardy has dropped out of the soon to start shooting SUICIDE SQUAD film (he was set to play team leader Rick Flagg) due to publicity commitments for MAD MAX: FURY ROAD expecting to take up much of his Spring and Summer this year.

Meanwhile,  that other big comic universe film due in 2016 – CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR – may have found its villain (and I don’t mean Iron Man).  A quickly removed casting call story announced that Marvel had cast INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS and RUSH star Daniel Brühl to portray iconic Captain America villain Baron Zemo in the film which will pit Marvel’s two biggest heroes against one another over the question of the superheroes place in the world.

The notice all confirmed that CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER’s Scarlett Johannsson and Frank Grillo would return as Black Widow and Crossbones in the film, alongside the already confirmed Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie as Bucky Barnes and The Falcon, Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man and Chadwick Bozeman debuting as Black Panther.

On the small screen, with production finished on DAREDEVIL, the first of Marvel’s five Netflix series, the studio has quickly moved on to the next on its plate – AKA JESSICA JONES – which will star Krysten Ritter as the former superhero and introduce Lance Gross as Luke Cage ahead of his own shown. The studio announced today the casting of Jessica’s first nemesis on the series; former DOCTOR WHO star David Tennant will return to his villainous roots to portray THE PURPLE MAN. It’s unknown yet whether he will be the show’s primary villain. With DAREDEVIL set to premier Aril 10, Netflix recently announced they expected the series to premier about a year apart (though there is every possibility of multiple seasons leading to show overlap ahead of THE DEFENDERS) so look for a purple David Tennant some time in 2016.

And finally DC continues its mission to try and bring every character who is not Superman, Batman or Wonder Woman to the small screen with the confirmation of GLEE actress Melissa Benoist set to portray the titular SUPERGIRL for the CBS series to be produced by FLASH and ARROW mastermind Greg Berlanti. Desperate to get in on the success Fox and CW have had with DC based shows (and ignoring the woeful failure of CONSTANTINE on NBC), the network as already given a full season commitment to the series, sight unseen.