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Nov 242014
 

by Etienne Paul, CMRO Contributing Writer

Teen Titans: Earth One

Volume 1

Written by Jeff Lemire, Art by Rachel Dodson & Terry Dodson

Published: November 2014

Teen Titans: Earth One Volume 1

I should feel so privileged, this book is not out until late November and I have had a copy of it since early September. Unlike most of the trades I get to review which are an amalgamation of already printed comics, this is actually an original graphic novel* and will not be seen by true fans for another 2 months. Well due to the conditions of these trades for review this article will not see the light of day until near its release date, but I have had in my hands a copy of this book for all this time and I feel really guilty. My reason for this guilt is that I bet there are 10,000s of people out there who would claw my eyes out and bury me alive to get a chance to read this early, but unlike them I am not already a fan. That does not mean that I will necessarily not like this book, but for me it is no different to any other book for which I have no prior affection.

I intentionally wrote that paragraph before reading the book because I wanted people to know how I felt without the knowledge of what it contained. Now I have read it and all I can say is that volume 2 cannot come along quick enough. All of this needs to be prefaced by the fact that I have never read any Teen Titans before, nor seen the TV show so everything here feels fresh and new. If you are a pre-existing fan this might feel stale or repetitive so bear that in mind while I rave about this.

This is not a super-hero comic, not by any stretch of the word. There is nothing heroic in this book and for the most part nothing ‘super’ either. It starts out as a very formulaic teen high school drama with a pretty girl dating a bad boy, a young genius bumped up a few grades, a transferee and their distant and dismissive parents. However alongside that you see flashes of an alien space ship, a crash and a young helpless infant, but that is all lost as this intentionally boring teenage angst sets in. The story builds as you discover more about these kids pasts, why they are all in the same place together and who is the creature that appears to them speaking a strange language. In fact this does not give us many answers, but I suspect most of them are already out there from previous editions of this prior to the New 52. For me this utter lack of information would normally be frustrating and infuriating, but here it simply works to drag me further into the story.

Most of the longer trades I get, the ones that are more than 4 short issues and a lot of picture filler, often take two or more sittings to read through; I get bored, want a coffee, a child needs my attention or a million other reasons. However I caught myself at my desk yelling out to my four year old ‘I’ll be there in a minute’ as I raced through this in one go. I never do that, not even for a Deadpool comic! That was how much this drew me in, nailing me to the chair making me read more and cursing when it ended.

The worst thing is, I am sure that I could go and research Raven, Cyborg, Starfire or Terra and find long wiki pages telling me all about them and their exploits, but I really do not want to do that. This is not Superman or Batman of whom I have more than a passing knowledge, the New 52 was hardly ‘new’ for me when those series started. This however is completely new to me, but it comes from such a clearly rich background which enables a book like this to be written. If this were a totally new series with original characters then they would have felt the need for far more explanation to ensure that people bought into the book and came back for more, but this already has a fanbase, it does not need to sell itself in that way and because of that this is so much better as it feels confident that it can keep its secrets for longer.

Over the last couple of months DC has been a revelation for me, so long as I avoid the very large shadow cast by The Bat, and this book has been no exception. The art is simple, but perfect; there is very little fine detail and that means that a single line out of place is immediately noticeable. The thing is, there just aren’t any mistakes and what makes it even more impressive is this is a review copy which is notoriously bad for quality** meaning that the final product will be that much better.

I was dreading writing this review because I would have hated to have written how much I disliked it and felt the thousands of internet stares from people who have never met me wanting to virtually hang me for my privileged position. Fortunately it lived up to the opposite of everything I feared it would be; I hate boring teen drama about as much as I dislike pointless teen-superheroes whose entire purpose is to attract teenagers to the industry. Well this won me over, it is interesting, certainly not pointless and as a balding fat guy in his 30s this book is written for all comic lovers, not just the tweenies.

* Unless Amazon is lying to me…
** I kid you not, this book genuinely has spaces marked as ~Page to Come~

Nov 242014
 

by Etienne Paul, CMRO Contributing Writer

Spider-Woman

Issue #1

Written by Dennis Hopeless, Art by Greg Land, Jay Leisten & Frank D’Armata

Published: January 2015

Spider-Woman #1

This book sums up all the reasons why I love Marvel as a company, even if I have a few issues with their recent choice of Event comic. Marvel have their A-List characters, so many in fact that they just bumped one off in an effort to boost their sales. They also have a pantheon of B-listers, all capable of holding their own comic, at least for a few arcs and if the MCU has any say in the matter, able to hold down their own film franchise. What Marvel has that no other comic publisher does is a legion of C-listers each with their own following, fully constructed backstory and the possibility to make that leap to the fore, at least for a while.

I am sure I will get hate mail for calling Spider-Woman ‘C-list’ but when you consider the pecking order of Spider characters you have Peter Parker way out in front as probably the best known Marvel character of all time, then underneath that you have characters like Venom and in recent years both the Scarlet Spider and Miles Morales with significant ongoing series. Then we have Jessica Drew who despite a lot of appearances in other comics has not held down her own book since 1983; even Mary Jane has had her own title in 2006 as well as Spider-Girl in the same year. Heck, Carnage has had 5 limited series with his name on the cover since 2004 and a 6th one just starting with AXIS. By comparison Jessica is practically Z-list, only ever seen in the company of others.

I am not trying to poke fun at the character, but to explain why I love the company and the concept so much – Marvel has this gigantic strength in depth that even monoliths like DC do not have. Sure Batman sells 100,000 copies every month, but once you get past the top 20 books it is all Marvel. Sure they do not have a Batman, or a Super-Man, but that means that everyone else gets a chance to be the hero and there is time in the release calendar for characters like this.

I am never convinced about an ongoing series being launched by an event comic, in this case Spider-Verse, nor for that matter do I think it does them any favours when the event comes a couple of issues in (like it did to the X-Men comic with Battle of the Atom). The reason being that you have no idea what the book will be about when the event ends and the legion of people who bought it for the event fade away leaving it looking like a sinking ship despite the fact it is merely returning to a normal level. This comic is no different, after reading it I have no idea what this book will be like when Spider-Verse ends, this could easily have been one of the anthology titles, like Edge of Spider-Verse, which told stories exactly like this about lesser known characters and how they tied in. To be honest, I am not even sure if this is meant to be a solo title long term; is it going to be a testing ground for all the female Spiders that survive the Inheritors and will it become Jessica Drew and her amazing friends?

In that vein this book stars Jessica, but Silk is the one that steals the show. While I am certain this book is supposed to be solely about Jessica, it is the ending that makes me question. In solo titles, unlike team books, it tends to be told much from a first person perspective as you follow the lead character around, but 3 pages from the end we simply leave her behind and follow Silk as she sulks her way into yet another disaster.

If you are not following Spider-Verse and simply want to pick this up it does a good job of letting you into the story. It is not too complicated and all you really need to know is that a family of creatures called ‘Inheritors’ is out to eat as many ‘Spiders’ as they can from across all dimensions. Coming together for mutual protection they have all ended up on Earth 003 which is a safe haven and from there they reach out trying to gather as many other dimensional clones as they can and seek a way to kill their hunters who so far seem to be invulnerable.

There are many disparagers of Greg Land, a quick internet search will lead you to many sites dedicated to his artistic talents, or depending on your perspective, his lack thereof. I have made jokes about it in the past and I do not care to go there again, but I wish to make judgement on a case by case basis. Therefore in that light all I can say is – this book is beautiful. The first panel of the first page is probably the worst of the entire book as Greg does not make the best of their lizard like riding beasts and for some reason it seems a bit out of focus, from there on this is a true feast for the eyes. One thing Greg can defiantly draw is pretty naked women and while no one in this book is ‘technically’ naked what we are taking about are a bunch of women with the ‘spray on’ style of costume and he does exactly what is asked of him. Yes there are a few facial expressions where they are supposed to be talking, but it appears they are trying to swallow a cucumber, but I will forgive those as this book is quite simply immaculate to look at in every other way.

So despite not having a clue what this book will feel like long term this is about as good a start as I could possibly ask for. It does help that I think Spider-Verse is about the most well constructed Event comic I have ever read and this does tint my appreciation for this comic. For me this is everything I want in a new comic; a character I am less familiar with, given a chance to show us why we should care about her, drawn by someone who makes everything look as perfect as possible, with stunning colour work as well and the promise of more to come.

Nov 242014
 
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Nov 242014
 
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  • Captain Britain #14d (v2) to add Nettle, Hal (Parasites), Uncle Lex, Quill, Lump, Giggles, Fern, AC-DC, Peeping Tom (Parasites), Spasm, Snap, Siren (Parasites) and Ramora and add Parasites, Cherubim and Warpies.
  • Captain Britain #12e (v2) to add Fern, Giggles, AC-DC, Spasm, Peeping Tom (Parasites), Quill and Lump and add Metropolitan Police Service, Cherubim, Parasites and Warpies.
  • Daredevil #357 (v1) to add Ox (Ronald Bloch), Foggy Nelson, Karen Page, Rosalind Sharpe, Mr. Hyde, Eel (Edward Lavell), Misty Knight, Daredevil, Fancy Dan (Daniel Brito), Montana and Hammer Harrison and add Enforcers.
  • Captain Britain #13e (v2) to add Spasm, Snap, Giggles, Fern, AC-DC, Quill, Lump, Siren (Parasites), Ramora, Peeping Tom (Parasites), Nettle, Hal (Parasites) and Uncle Lex and add Parasites, Warpies, Cherubim and Metropolitan Police Service.
  • Captain Britain #11e (v2) to add Quill, Lump, Fern, AC-DC and Giggles and add Cherubim and Warpies.
  • Iron Man #151 (v1) to update Iron Man, Ant-Man (Scott Lang), Vic Martinelli and Mrs. Arbogast and add Stark Industries and to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Amazing Spider-Man Annual [appost]97 #1 to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Avengers #45 (v1) to update Iron Man and Thor.
  • Alpha Flight #61 (v1) to update Jade Dragon and to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Silver Surfer #125a (v3) to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • New Mutants #9 (v1) to update Sunspot, Wolfsbane, Mirage and Cannonball and update New Mutants and to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • New Mutants #10 (v1) to update Mirage, Sunspot, Wolfsbane and Cannonball and update New Mutants and to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Fantastic Four Annual #16 to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
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Nov 242014
 
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Nov 212014
 

by Dylan Duarte, CMRO Contributing Writer

Daredevil

Issue #9

Written by Mark Waid, Art by Chris Samnee

Published: December 2014

Daredevil #9

Purple haze, all in my brain.

I’m a big fan of horror. Movies, television, books – you name it. Comic books certainly aren’t excluded and though superhero stories might not fit the usual definition of horror, if you isolate the villains, you’ll realize that they’re often overblown movie monsters. Hell, some of them are even vampires and werewolves. I have a particular weakness for mobs of mind-controlled civilians, so Daredevil 9 hit me right where it hurts. And it felt so good.

The end of last issue saw the Purple Man unwillingly walk in front of a train, so now his Village-of-the-Damned offspring are out causing trouble. That’s all they’re doing, too. They’re kids, so they don’t have a mission outside of having fun. Unfortunately, their idea of fun in this instance is hijacking a cop car and barreling through the streets of San Francisco, which honestly results in an exciting, clever action sequence. When they start controlling the masses of people around them, things stop being fun and start getting legitmately frightening, and I loved every minute of it.

The way Mark Waid and Chris Samnee display the mind-control powers is really creative and they do a good job of bringing to life the choatic nature of a group of mind-controlled patsies. Daredevil is the man without fear, but that doesn’t mean he brushes these things off, and you can feel his panic when the kids grab ahold of the gun-weilding riot officers.

The subject of Daredevil’s traumatic life is brought up twice in this issue, once in a loving, caring way by Foggy Nelson and again in a malicious way by the kids. Daredevil is a man with a lot of emotional baggage so when you bring in villains that wreak havoc on his psyche, that’s when you get the character at his best.

Nov 212014
 

by Lindsay Young, CMRO Contributing Writer

X

Issue #0

Written by Duane Swiercynski, Art by Eric Nguyen

Published: April 2013

X #0

In Arcadia, a town weakened by ineffective politicians and a bad economy, crimelords have all but taken over. It’s hell on earth, but one masked vigilante has taken it upon himself to murder his way through all the criminal fat cats in the city, slowly and painfully.

X is a gory, violent read, and it revels in it. There’s a gritty appeal to the artwork, which is dark and grimy, evoking all the stench and decay of the city. The criminals are all practically overflowing with fat, flirting with caricature at times, in an effort to make them seem as overfed and greedy as possible.

There’s a fleshy quality to the art that slowly comes apart during each murder scene, where the X Killer rips these large men to pieces, and his determination to kill is unnerving in all the right ways.

The X killer is hardly a hero. He’s a competent murderer who targets bad men, and that dynamic is interesting and complicated. He goes after these men like a mad dog—but why? Issue #0 tells us very little about him, but it wisely keeps to the perspective of all his victims in their mad attempts to avoid the inevitable. The result is that X feels like a force of nature, a mysterious shadow just barely glanced out of the corner of your eye, and one that I want to know more about. It’s impossible not to be intrigued by him.

X #0 does a great job of setting up the series and keeping just enough mystery to make me really want the next issue. It’s definitely not for everyone—it’s REALLY violent, be warned—but it worked for me, and there’s much to recommend here. Check it out if you’re a fan of vigilante justice stories.

Nov 212014
 

by Charlie Brooks, CMRO Contributing Writer

Hulk

Issue #6

Written by Gerry Duggan, Art by Mark Bagley

Published: November 2014

Hulk #6

Oh, Hulk family. You had such potential, yet you haven’t seen the light of day in three years.

The idea of a Hulk family is a case of a writer having a great idea for a storyline while the company that owns the characters needs to consider the long-term marketability of said characters. The idea of giving the Hulk a whole family of super-strong and unstable characters was a good one, but in order to keep the character accessible to those who knew him from stuff like the Avengers film franchise, Marvel pretty much ditched the idea as soon as Greg Pak’s run finished up back in 2011.

The Hulk family has been rarely mentioned ever since, so the current “Omega Hulk” storyline is essentially cleaning up those leftover plot threads that have gone unused. First up in Hulk #6 is Rick Jones, who became the gamma creature known as A-Bomb around the time that the red Hulk was created.

I can’t help but feel bad for Rick. The Hulk has threatened him, abandoned him, and even crippled him. Yet Rick keeps coming back because he’s the only friend that Bruce Banner has.

After years of being a sidekick to multiple superheroes, he finally has superpowers, and now the Hulk has come to take them away.

Rick doesn’t take this news lightly, and a fight breaks out. There are some fun quips here, such as Rick forgetting that MODOK, the guy who gave him his powers, stands for “Machine Organized Designed Only for Killing.” The drama is quite there, though, since we know the plot isn’t going to peter out two issues in. Ultimately, the Hulk succeeds in delivering the gamma cure, and Rick is back to being a normal human without any superpowers. Surprisingly, he takes this pretty well, reacting with anger at first but calming down and hearing the Hulk out afterward.

The action in this issue is pretty good, but the last few pages are extremely disjointed. We cut from the Hulk talking to Rick about MODOK to him intimidating both MODOK and SHIELD to stop all gamma experimentation. I didn’t even know MODOK was working for SHIELD, and I can’t tell if this scene is a flashback or something that happens immediately after the fight with Rick. Then, just as soon as that scene is over, we flash to General Ross, aka the red Hulk, who has somehow found out that Rick has been depowered. Ross talks to himself about a preemptive strike against the Hulk, which is supposed to be our cliffhanger but which doesn’t really provide any extra drama. We know that the Hulk taking on all the different gamma beings out there will eventually lead to a fight against Ross, and there’s no indication that Ross is even a challenge for the Hulk right now, considering how he got manhandled by the green guy the last time they fought.

Despite the disjointed nature of the last few pages, this is a pretty good issue. The art is strong, and I’m interested in seeing what the new “Doc Green” has planned. More specifically, I’m interested in seeing how his plan will backfire on him. The Hulk is bordering on villainy right now, and it will be interesting to see how deeply into that end of the pool he goes.

Nov 212014
 

Weekly Marvel Roundup for 11/10 - 11/16

 

Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #1 (AXIS)
Written by Al Ewing
Art Luke Ross, Rachelle Rosenberg

Raistlin:
Well, here we go with the first of 2 All-New Captain America headlining titles. Now, of course, a little placement explanation; this series is taking place during AXIS, and we are dealing with Inverted Sam Wilson. Not to be confused with the other series which we will get to later. So, technically this is the first time we get to see Sam outside of the main AXIS title, as Cap. I gotta say, if this would have been inverted Steve, I might have been having a ball with this, just laughing at the hypocrisy of the matter, but inverted Sam just rubs me the wrong way. Also Luke Cage is inverted in this but it was much harder to tell. (Cage always seems to have an attitude). Lastly, didn’t Sam just shrink down everybody in AXIS?? Wouldn’t it have been smarter to invite the Mighty Avenger members to that party as well?? Evil Sam is like the worst tactician ever. The art was fantastic in it though.
Story – 5/10
Art – 9/10

Etienne:
Oh God this was horrible. How is this Captain America and the Mighty Avengers, surely this would have been better billed as ‘Captain America VS the Mighty Avengers.’ This inversion nonsense is horrible not because of the inversions as we have seen that done to good effect, but simply because these characters are being written as one dimensional crazy loons who make Madcap and Arcade look like the sane ones. Is this really how we want to push the new black Captain America, by making him into a raving madman intent on world domination? It seems to be totally counter intuitive by making this huge announcement, big fanfare and then turning their new icon into the badguy. Also, Luke Cage was inverted? He’s always been a pompous self righteous twit like that, what did they invert? His belly button?
Story – 4/10
Art – 8/10



All-New Captain America #1
Written by Rick Remender
Art by Stuart Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger, Marte Gracia and Eduardo Navarro

Etienne:
This seems like a near direct continuation of the Captain America Infinite comic which teams him up with the Nomad and it leaves us in a really weird place. In the previous issue we have the big bad nasty Sam Wilson, intent on world domination and the crushing of his enemies and here we have the Sam Wilson who is distraught that Nomad kills someone. Ok fine, one is the inverted Cap, the other is the non-inverted one, but having both come out in the same week is just plain weird and then trying to work out where they fit with each other is going to be problematic. I get the impression that Remender enjoys having his books time displaced, I have no idea why, but that seems to be the way he does it.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Raistlin:
I missed the Infinite comic, but I agree that this is just typical of Marvel. They could have easily held off on this title until January when AXIS finished, with Mighty Avengers being the big debut, but I’ll bet even they realized they couldn’t just put out the Evil, %&&hole version without getting a ton of flack, so instead we get this one so they can say, “no look, he turns back good right after AXIS, it’s not permanent……” Well, anyways, after all that, it still is a much, much better issue then Mighty Avengers is, so maybe its better they did do it this way. Sam seems to fit into the Cap role rather easily, and the dynamic between him and Nomad is off to an interesting start.
Story – 8/10
Art – 9/10



Spider-Verse #1
‘Enter the Spider-Verse’ – Written by Dan Slott with Art by Humberto Ramos, Victor Olazaba and Edgar Delgado
‘Spider Clan: The Many’ – Written by Skottie Young with Art by Jake Parker and Andrew Crossley
‘Steampunk Lady Spider’ – Written by Robbie Thompson with Art by Denis Medri and Paolo Francescutto
‘Penelope Parker’ – Written by Katie Cook with Art by Katie Cook and Heather Breckel
‘Late for a Date’ – Written by Dan Slott with Art by Ty Templeton and Chris Sotomayor
‘Untitled’ – Written by Dan Slott with Art by Grummett and Palmer

Etienne:
If it was not clear to anyone from that introduction, this is an anthology title. I do find it hilarious that the front cover proudly declares ‘6 stories and then the title page only lists 4, but if you search hard enough you will find the other two inside as well. This is really just a continuation from the ‘Edge of Spider-Verse’ series that launched the event and just like that, it is so much better than your standard anthology title. Apart from the one page joke, the rest of this book was really interesting and I would go so far as to say this is the best anthology title I have ever read. The stand out one was definitely the Steampunk one and not specifically because of the setting, but because it looked stunning and had villains other than Morlun.
Story(s)- 8/10
Art – 8/10

Raistlin:
Wow, as much as we both seem to hate the whole anthology part of the Events, I gotta agree that Spider-Verse is actually benefiting from them. I, too, thought the Steampunk story was the best story of the bunch; Lady Spider was just freaking awesome. I liked the interesting joke stories they pulled off, especially the last story, which was genius when you realize what medium it is supposed to be. If Spider-Verse continues like this, they can do all the anthologies they want.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10



AXIS: Hobgoblin #2
Written by Kevin Shinick
Art by Javier Rodriguez, Alvaro Lopez, Muntsa Vicente

Raistlin:
This is easily the worst corner of the whole AXIS Event. This series is just so bad, I don’t know what they were thinking, and from the interviews, it seems they were patting themselves on the back about this one going into it. I can’t stand the style and the story structure, and the main character is so maddeningly unlikable in his new “incarnation,” I find myself rooting for the antagonist more than in any other story before. I just want this series to go away.
Story – 1/10
Art – 7/10

Etienne:
Is this a comic? I really do not know how to even start looking at this book. I get the idea, they wanted to make it into an advert to the Hobgoblins services as a new hero, but there is nothing about it to make you like the book; it is not funny, clever, well written, well drawn and it introduces characters all over the place. The best part of the book; the last page where it says ‘to be concluded’ which reminded me there was only 1 issue left.
Story – 1/10
Art – 5/10



Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier #2
Written by Ales Kot
Art by Marco Rudy

Etienne:
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Marco Rudy is an artist who works as a fantastic change of pace when introduced for one issue on a book. He sees things in a way that other artists simply do not, but it does not work over an ongoing series. Some of his artwork is astonishingly beautiful and this book has no shortage of those parts, but it is always so hard to follow. We have been trained by reading 1000’s of other comics into a certain way of looking for the story, but Rudy puts in into one flowing picture, not bothering with the concept of ‘panels.’ This is the epitome of style over substance, where the easy of reading and story are put behind the flare and ingenuity of the artist; it’s beautiful and pointless all at once.
Story – 2/10
Art – 9/10

Raistin:
Ok, that’s your take, while mine is “what the hell did I just read?” half of that story didn’t even make sense, but then I guess I’m supposed to realize Bucky was on some sort of space-acid? At least I hope that’s what was going on because otherwise I don’t get it. Either way, that was a horrible book, and the art was not all that spectacular as you seem to think, but to each their own.
Story – 1/10
Art – 1/10



Guardians 3000 #2
Written by Dan Abnett
Art Gerardo Sandoval, Edgar Delgado

Raistlin:
I am trying really hard to keep up with this story, but all the weird future jargon, coupled on top of a very confusing time-travel story going on, really makes one strain to make sense of it all. I mean for a little while I thought I had it, but by the end I was lost again. All I know is they better not connect this back to the present day, 616 story’s going on, cause we have enough time-travel and alternate dimensions at the moment to deal with, we don’t need the old Guardians popping up to say “hey!”….. but now that I’ve said that, this is probably going to connect to Black Vortex next February. I like the art much better this time around.
Story – 3/10
Art – 8/10

Etienne:
I do not understand the point of this series, I know they wanted to get another Guardians book out after the success of the film, but surely a modern day Starjammers tale under the banner of ‘Guardians’ would have been better than this. I do a lot of blind reviews for the site and one of the most important things for me about those reviews is the book gives me enough information to know what is going on, even if I pick up on issue 60 of the series. Well this series, even starting from issue 1, gave me nothing and coming into issue two I am even more lost. The art is lovely, but it makes scant difference if I have absolutely no idea what it is lovely to look at.
Story – 3/10
Art – 8/10



Hawkeye Vs Deadpool #2
Written by Gerry Duggan
Art by Matteo Lolli, Jacopo Camagni and Cristiane Peter

Etienne:
I think I spoke too soon last issue about this not being a proper ‘Vs’ series, the only difference is this one is taking longer to get going. It is shame because this series just does not have enough humour in it, or put another way, the humour is spread too thin. Putting Deadpool with Hawkeye and Hawkeye means there is no straight (wo)man to play off, all three of them are utter dunces. Ironically it is almost Deadpool who is playing the straight man to their prat-falling. It is not a bad comic; it just does not have that spark that the ongoing series has. Then again perhaps it is only just getting started and the final two issues will give us something to really laugh at.
Story – 7/10
Art – 6/10

Raistlin:
As a normal comic book story this is fine, but this is a Deadpool comic story, and in that department, Etienne is quite right, there is a noticeable lack of humor going on here. It has a few jokes here or there but this is just too serious for the most part, and just doesn’t feel right. It doesn’t even match up with the Hawkeye series humor either so I’m at a loss as to where they are going with this.
Story – 5/10
Art – 5/10



Thor #2
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Russell Dauterman and Matthew Wilson

Etienne:
Thought bubbles! Oh how I have not missed those annoying pointless fluffy bubbles. I will let them off for now, however if they are still there in a few issues time it is going to get really annoying, not to mention make our new Thor look ridiculously schizophrenic. I have three main points about this book; 1 – it is really annoying that they are hiding who she is like it will make so much difference. For me, I think it is Jane Foster. 2 – This is so much better than I had feared it would be. 3 – What Malekith has round his neck is both ridiculous and fantastic all at the same time.
Story – 9/10
Art – 9/10

Raistlin:
This is Lady Thor in action, and it does not disappoint. This was a pretty good debut, since last issue didn’t really count in my book. But I’m afraid to be the bearer of bad news there Etienne, the thought bubbles are probably going to stick around for a while, since they are trying to establish a “different” relationship between this Thor and the Hammer then the last one….. in other words, yes she is going to continue to think like a human, and talk like an Asgardian. As to her identity, I don’t think the readers will have to wait much longer, but I’m leaning toward Roz Salomon, the SHIELD environmentalist that was dating Thor. I hope I’m wrong. 
Story – 9/10
Art – 9/10



Death of Wolverine: Logan’s Legacy #4
Written by Marguerite Bennett
Art by Juan Doe

Raistlin:
This series seems to be hit or miss for me. This issue wasn’t great but it was much better than the Sabretooth garbage we got last issue. This time around its Lady Deathstrike’s turn, and we even get a half-ass explanation as to what happened to her after her last appearance in the X-Men series a little while back. It’s not a very detailed explanation, but at least they acknowledged it, none-the-less. The artwork, and story going on in the present was mediocre at best, but I did like some of the text dealing with Yuriko’s thoughts on her overall relationship with Logan.
Story – 6/10
Art – 4/10

Etienne:
As Raistlin said, we get an explanation, however that explanation revolves around ‘We know that the last time you saw Yurkio she looked nothing like this, but hey, we wanted her like this and so let’s pretend none of that ever happened.’ In some ways, it might have been better not to mention it at all. Again, like Raistlin said, this is only an improvement by comparison to the last issue, which was awful in so many ways. This is not awful, but it has very few redeeming features. 
Story – 5/10
Art – 6/10



Avengers & X-Men: AXIS #5
Written by Rick Remender
Art by Terry Dodson, Rachel Dodson, Laura Martin & Matt Milla

Raistlin:
We’re going to call this one, “Superheroes acting like complete idiots.” So the book finally tells us, point blank, where we stand with who is inverted and who isn’t in both the opening page ”who’s who”, and in a couple page explanation by “geriatric” Steve Rogers in the middle of the book. So much for all the finer points of the Inversion they were talking about in interviews, they pretty much boiled it down to good guys are bad and bad guys are good, just like they swore it wasn’t going to be. And, apparently only the heroes/villains not captured by the Sentinels at the time of the Inversion on the island are the only ones Inverted. This has basically turned into an overall horrible idea, and the only thing that makes this issue better than last issue is the inclusion of Spider-Man.
Story – 4/10
Art – 6/10

Etienne:
It is AXIS, this sucks, let’s move on. Apart from the terrible story the strangest thing about this is the art as it is so variable it barely looks possible to have come from the pen on a single person. Some of the art is beautiful and his close ups are really stunning, but any time the characters are more than dead centre of the panel they seem to have been given 10 seconds of his time in the thought that no one will notice. Spider-Man is the worst because his detailing is so obvious by its absence and even when he is the only character on panel, if he happens to be a bit smaller, then his webbing is completely gone and it is so obvious. It is strange because both Infinity and Original Sin had consistent stunning art, it is almost like Marvel decided this series was going to fail before it started and gave so little time to the artists that they had to skimp.
Story – 2/10
Art – 6/10



Savage Hulk #6 (Final Issue)
Written by Gabriel Hardman & Corinna Bechko
Art by Gabriel Hardman, Jordan Boyd

Raistlin:
Apparently, this is the final issue of the series. That kind of came out of nowhere. No announcement in the solicits or anything. It would seem that this is being rebooted as the upcoming Thanos vs Hulk series. So this is the last part to the two-part Doctor Strange story, and Hulk was basically barely in it. As Etienne has pointed out before, this is basically a story with the Hulk as a plot point, but not really as the hero. So as a Doctor Strange story it’s not half-bad, but also nothing really ground breaking. It’s a decently written forgettable read, with better than average artwork. If you like Strange, I would check it out.
Story – 7/10
Art – 7/10

Etienne:
The Savage Hulk; maybe I should ask my money back for mis-describing is as a Hulk comic. Honestly he shows up in about 10 panels and other than right at the end where he says ‘no’ and ‘nothing’ the rest of the book has him smash through a few walls growling and screaming out ‘STRANGE.’ Ok I admit I prefer the Hulk as a plot device to as the main character, but honestly you need to use him a bit more than this surely?
Story – 6/10
Art – 6/10



Silver Surfer #7
Written by Dan Slott
Art by Michael Allred and Laura Allred

Etienne:
This book is weird, and I mean weird even for this title, which in itself is about as far out there as Marvel comics goes normally. It is one long series of two page spreads about all the times they have spent together, but not that have been shown in the comic. It is almost like they had a load of ideas which were not quite big enough to fill one comic and decided to stick them all in here. The main story around these flashbacks is a copy of a Star Trek episode where it gets stuck in a space void, but I will give it credit for finding a vaguely original ending and the final panel has a decent joke at least.
Story -6/10
Art – 6/10

Raistlin:
Meh, another boring Silver Surfer story. So let me get this straight, these two have actually had a ton of adventures together at this point, but for some reason we are getting them as flashbacks, for a series that only has 7 issues so far. They must have been just as boring if they need to skip them and then feed us just the highlights as flashbacks. And now we are supposed to believe that Surfer, Dawn and Toomie have become sooooooo close….. yeah I’m not buying it……
Story – 3/10
Art – 4/10



Nightcrawler #8
Written by Chris Claremont
Art by Todd Nauck, Rachelle Rosenberg

Raistlin:
I guess they decided to change things up from the solicits, and last month’s issue was the only Death of Wolverine tie-in coming from this series. So we get an actual comic, instead of yet another sob story about Logan. I have to say I actually liked this issue, and feel this was probably the first issue of this series that felt more like an X-Men story. But then that could be because of the villain they included, but either way, it worked for me. There was some decent action, and I liked that the other X-Men were involved, and it seems like we might actually get a decent arc going for once.
Story – 8/10
Art – 9/10

Etienne:
Eight issues. That is how long it took before Claremont managed to write a ‘modern’ story. This is so much better than the dross that came before it; it is hard to imagine how this is even written by the same person. Ok the ending is a bit cheesy and they have pulled out a villain from the depths of his original run on X-Men, but over all this is really good. It does not hurt that the art on this book is stunning, in a stylised rounded way. It is not ‘cutesy,’ but there is a rounded feeling to everything with very few hard edges and it is very easy to look at. I have to question just how sexist they wanted to make it, seriously a woman in ‘armour’ that tears like clothing, it’s a bit too 1980s for my liking.
Story – 7/10
Art – 8/10



Captain Marvel #9
Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick
Art by David Lopez and Lee Loughridge

Etienne:
There have been some pretty poor books out this week. AXIS has been awful, Hobgoblin was even worse, but this is about as annoying as it comes. They find some mutant reject who thinks she is Dazzler who can teleport to the sound of her own music. She is set to marry someone who comes from a really rhythmic planet where all their speech is in rhyme. It might be the age that my children are, but this just makes me want to reach into each panel and punch them. There is a children’s TV show called ‘Rhyme Rocket’ and I found that more entertaining on repeat for the 50th time than reading through this book once. I was a massive fan of the previous volume by this writer, but I honestly have to question what has happened since the relaunch.
Story – 1/10
Art – 7/10

Raistlin:
Other than your negatives about Lila Cheney, this was pretty bad. The rhyming was annoying, and wasn’t even very good. The story was just really cliché, and boring. SOOOOOO boring. Yet another cosmic title with absolutely no direction. Wake me when we get to Black Vortex.
Story – 3/10
Art – 6/10



She-Hulk #10
Written by Charles Soule
Art by Javier Pulido, Muntsa Vicente

Raistlin:
Once again, I liked the whole courtroom drama story. Maybe it’s because it reminds me of Law & Order, but it was a good ending to a decent little story arc. Now if they could do something about the artwork, this might actually be a good series, but it continues to have such horrible art I’m barely able to look at it.
Story – 7/10
Art – 1/10

Etienne:
Raistlin said this all for me. The story in this series has been strong, this issue especially, but the art is mind numbingly bad. My opinion of it has soften slightly in the light of recent issues of Wolverine Legacy (last week) and it has changed from ‘terrible’ to merely ‘really boring.’ Everything about it is stationary, static and wooden and it is starting to make my personal enmity for the starting run of Thunderbolts look good.
Story – 7/10
Art – 2/10



Nova #23 (AXIS)
Written by Gerry Duggan
Art by David Baldon, Terry Pallot, David Curiel

Raistlin:
This is the first of many new titles jumping on board the AXIS train wreck, and although some of the tie-ins have been great, this one gets dragged down by the fact that it focuses on KLUH, and I really hate this character. Nova’s fight with him is so over the top, I just couldn’t take anything seriously. Plus, Sam really sucks working in a group. This is like the second time in AXIS that he decides to do his own thing and it backfires. Kid needs to learn to listen to his elders. 
Story – 4/10
Art – 7/10

Etienne:
I really love the Nova series, it has been one of the most consistent (and now ones of the longest) running series of the Marvel Now era. Well this issue broke it. The art is still as pretty as ever and the final page is really strong, but the rest of it is horrible. Like Raistlin said, it is all Kluh’s fault. Is it really awful for me to admit that it has taken me this long to realise that Kluh is Hulk backwards? I blame the fact that I want to spend as little time as possible thinking about him, but being horribly dyslexic might also have something to do with it. I really have to question, just how big is Kluh? Seriously he seems to grow and shrink throughout this issue, at one point he looks big enough to swallow Nova whole.
Story – 5/10
Art – 8/10



Comic of the week; and the first book that has scored 39 out of 40 between us:


Superior Iron Man #1
Written by Tom Taylor
Art by Yidiray Cinar and Guru-eFX

Etienne:
Let me just explain how good this book is. So far we have had a lot of inversions, most of them terrible done turning wonderful heroic characters into one dimensional idiots. For the first 19 pages of this book it was a brilliantly executed, rounded character of a fallen Tony Stark. Back to his drinking and taking his ego to the next level in a wave of orgies after his new phone app turns the entirety of San Francisco into a beauty paradise. To this point it was enough to give the book a clear 9/10, possible even 10. Then they showed us the real story and I cannot tell you how much I love this book.
Story – 10/10
Art – 9/10

Raistlin:
Absolutely, hands down, one of the best issues I’ve read since returning to reading modern Marvel. There was absolutely nothing wrong with this issue to critique. Everything was perfect in it. The opening fight, Tony’s new outlook on life, Pepper’s reaction, it all just worked so well together. And Daredevil was like icing on the cake. 
Story – 10/10
Art – 10/10