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Oct 302014
 

by Etienne Paul, CMRO Contributing Writer

Axis

Issue #1

Written by Rick Remender, Art by Adam Kubert

Published: December 2014

Axis #1

There is so much to say about this book before I can even begin to talk about its contents. Normally I start these reviews rambling on about a vaguely connected topic, but in this case it is all pertinent to the book. There have been a lot of crossovers this year and they show no end in sight as this comes merely a month after Original Sin and concurrent with Time Runs Out, The Death of Wolverine and Spider Verse. The problem for me is that none of them seem to ever end. We have moved on from the ‘forgotten’ crossovers, like Age of Ultron, where the very next issue no one mentions or remembers it at all, into the polar opposite where it never goes away.

There has been an unbroken chain of event comics starting with AVX which then moulded into Battle of the Atom/ Infinity which have then made way for Inhumanity/ Original sin and finally arrived at ‘Time Runs Out/ Axis. The issues raised in one event never seem to go away, they merely slide beneath the surface for the next event before rearing their head at the next opportunity. For me it us simply indicative of mass procrastination caused by too many competing events. Charles Xavier’s death has been dragged out for over 2 years and with it being pushed to the fore again in Axis it could well not be resolved for another 2. Just when a series gets up to speed and wants to be dramatic they pull the rug out from under it, either to drag it out so the reveal falls in the next event or to put it on hold completely while the crossover happens.

What it is starting to remind me of is professional wrestling. It is one of those things from my childhood that I look back on in equal measures of nostalgia and embarrassment, but the comparison is so apt that I could not resist. When I watched it (and we are talking in decades here) the titles would change hands all the time. Feuds would come and go and big matches happen whenever they needed to in the story. By the time I finished watching it had morphed into the pay-per-view monster it is now. Bi-monthly events, costing £15 a time have taken over; everything is focused around that performance. Sure the title might change on a normal wrestling night, but only so the real match can happen in the next event. All those previously fantastic weekly shows have become little more than a long painful advert for the main show.

That is what the Marvel Event comic is, the only time when anything can change and everything in between has become filler waiting for its time. To one extent this has worked, but only because those events were worth waiting for. Infinity promised a lot and delivered to a point, but its rushed ending and forced inclusion of Inhumanity stifled it. Original Sin was truly fantastic and affected so many series it was hard to keep up, but even before the ink has dried on those events here we have SIXIS. Sorry, AXIS. Seriously the font they use is appalling. I completely understand they want to make it work up the other way as well, but it really does not say Axis at all.

So, I expect I have spoilered my views on this comic a bit already, but here we go anyway. This is just plain awful. If you enjoy contrivance then this is the comic for you. If you are from a country that’s language reads from top to bottom, then you will probably get on with this comic. If you like your books to make sense, be easy to read and do not want to be left with your mouth hanging open in bemusement, then this is not the book for you. If this series was not going to dominate the run up to Christmas and make all the other books impossible to follow, then I would stop reading this series right now. It is just that bad.

The artwork itself is decent enough, but the panel layout is terrible. At the beginning you find yourself constantly reading top left to bottom left, top middle to bottom middle and top right to bottom right. It is really bizarre for a western comic book to have this feel and when they finally stop the odd double page spread layout they introduce other ways of screwing with your ability to follow the panels.

As I mentioned above this comic suffers from contrivancy upon contrivancy. I had a few issues with the complete randomness of the teams that were set up in Original Sin, but at least those teams were seen forming and you had a sense of structure. Here the heroes literally run into the frame as if they were standing off to stage left waiting to appear. Heroes happen to be tied up in random bunkers right next to where the action was going on and then teams appear made up from people who have not been talking to each other for years and are stationed all over the world. It just makes utterly no sense, how does Medusa, Kitty Pride, Beast and Hyperion end up together, in one team? Not to mention how out of character Beast is screaming out ‘let’s crack some skull.’

This all gets worse, people are making up for years of conflict and hatred in a moment and hugging each other like brothers in the middle of a battlefield. All this book says to me is that the writer does not give a flying expletive about anything anyone else has done for the last few years. At a stroke he has effectively retconned all the major conflicts of the Marvel Now era and pressed a reset button taking us back to before AVX.

I could rant on for hours about this, but I have better things to do with my bile than waste it here. This series has started out in the worst way, it has rushed headlong into a random fight that takes up the entire book, god forbid anyone who did not read the Magneto issue that led to this point because you would be completely lost. It has utterly re-written all the comics leading to this point and has made a mockery of all the other writers hard work. Do you know what the best part of this entire book was? The letters error near the end where the Red Skull is talking to Tony Stark, the world FLICKER has the L and I too close together and it ironically summed up my entire feeling about this series.

Oct 302014
 
Updated
Added
Oct 292014
 

by Etienne Paul, CMRO Contributing Writer

Hawkeye Vs Deadpool

Issue #1

Written by Gerry Duggan, Art by Matteo Lollo

Published: December 2014

Hawkeye vs Deadpool #1

I made a mistake when I picked up this comic and it is one that I wonder if other people have made as well. This is written by Gerry Duggan, half the writing team on the Deadpool ongoing series, but this is not a Deadpool Vs series. This may sound like a really petty distinction, but it is in fact a Hawkeye vs series and that is genuinely evident in the comic itself. Whereas normally ‘Deadpool Vs’ simply becomes 4 issues of our eponymous hero trying to beat the snot out of our villain on page after page, this is much more of a team up comic. For sure the pair of them take shots at each other, mostly verbal but sometimes literal, but overall they are not actually trying to kill each other. Intentionally at least; I think?

You would feel by now that people were a bit fed up with Deadpool series, but if you look at Marvel’s sales figures he is pretty much propping up the X-Men side of the company.* I have to admit I am a relatively recent convert to him, it was only with the start of the current ongoing series that I took the plunge and I have never looked back. I was always concerned that the 4th wall breaking would ruin the books for me, yanking me out of the story, but the writing has been so consistently brilliant I have never even noticed it as a problem.

So even if this is technically a Hawkeye team up and the ‘Vs’ aspect is more symbolic than physical, this is definitely a proper Deadpool book. The writer has been working on this character for the last 2 years and it really shows, but what makes it even better is he really taps into the current characterization of Hawkeye as well. Normally the way Clint is portrayed annoys me intently as he bumbles and pratfalls his way through comics. It makes you question how on earth this imbecile could be an Avenger, but the failings of all those other books are a strength for this comic as he plays right into Deadpool’s hands.

I am struggling to find fault with this book, anything I pull out is me being extraordinarily harsh. Visually this takes more from Hawkeye with a paler less vivid palette, but the frenetic action and overload on panels is distinctly Deadpool’s style. If I did have a problem with anything, it would be that too much happens in too little space and some of it loses a bit of impact. But as I intimated before, that is me being incredibly picky.

This book has crooked judges, cartwheeling convicts, drugged up Daredevils, criminal cats, hacked files, Shield drones and bemused lawyers; and that is all in the first two pages. From there on Hawkeye (and Hawkeye) beat up Deadpool, insult his face, slam doors on trick or treaters and finally decide that they need to go and investigate these hacked files. I am not even half way through this comic and that was the slow part. It is crammed full of jokes from start to finish, but the way they break into the morgue is fantastic and I never thought I would enjoy seeing Clint electrocuted so much. As with much of the recent Hawkeye series it is Kate that rather steals the book for me, I find her so much more believable as the screw up because she is much younger and not an Avenger and screw up she does as she goes after the wrong man.

I am clearly biased when it comes to these series, I have no problems in professing my admiration for Deadpool and for the moment this non-stop chain of miniseries has not grown old. To be honest, why would they? If they continue to be this well written and with the constant staccato of jokes on every page making you chuckle along with it, who am I to complain? Time will tell where I rank this book on the scale of Deadpool limited series, but it is already better than Carnage and X-Force and is rapidly catching up with the Deadpool Kills series from the last couple of years. We might be looking at the best one ever, but perhaps I am getting rather ahead of myself only 2 issues into the series.

* Although his connection to them is tenuous at best as the title page of the comic alludes.

Oct 292014
 

by Joshua Starnes, CMRO Editor

Around the time Marvel was announcing the end of ALL-NEW ULTIMATES, a ream of other books was silently put on the chopping block.

X-FACTOR, after surviving cancellation or near cancellation twice has finally been marked for extinction with issue #19 (to be published in December). According to rumors bouncing around New York Comic Con last week (as reported by Bleeding Cool)  several more will shortly be joining it including X-FORCE (due to end around issue #15), ALL-NEW INVADERS (the other book James Robinson launched last year, set to join FANTASTIC FOUR in oblivion with #15), SECRET AVENGERS out with #12 (to make room for CAPTAIN AMERICA AND THE MIGHTY AVENGERS as the franchise continues to cannibalize itself in X-Men fashion), ELEKTRA with #11 (which I’d actually forgotten was getting published) and ALL-NEW GHOST RIDER around the same time.

None of which is a real surprise as many of these books have been riding the Marvel bubble between 15,000 and 25,000 copies for quite some time, and as ICv2 continues to note, Marvel is all about market share and dollars per unit these days (hence the push by the big two to break the $3.99 barrier). Which is why, surprisingly, word has begun to drop that Captain Marvel (also heading for issue #15 and also riding the cancellation bubble) won’t be among the titles going down. At least, not yet.

One of the many rumors rolling behind why that is (assuming it is) comes word that Captain Marvel, or more likely her alter-ego Carol Danvers, will be appearing in some fashion in next year’s AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, as a DOCTOR STRANGE type lead in to a solo CAPTAIN MARVEL film.

Oct 292014
 
Moved
Updated
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man #241 (v1) to add Spider-Man, Ashley Kafka, John Jameson, J. Jonah Jameson, Anna Watson, Mary Jane Watson, Mysterio (Daniel Berkhart) and Chameleon.
  • Incredible Hulk #448 (v1) to add Janis Jones, Paris, Ajax, Atalanta, Cassiopeia, Hector, Jason (Pantheon), Wild Man, Matt Talbot, Cary St-Lawrence and Hulk and add Pantheon.
  • Daredevil #360 (v1) to add Absorbing Man, Rosalind Sharpe, Karen Page, Foggy Nelson and Daredevil.
  • Daily Bugle #1 to add J. Jonah Jameson, Charles Snow, Ken Ellis, Betty Brant, Angela Yin, Ben Urich, Joe Robertson, Gloria Grant and Spider-Man and add Daily Bugle.
  • Black Knight: Exodus #1 to add Apocalypse, Sersi, Black Knight (Dane Whitman) and Exodus.
  • Daredevil #359 (v1) to add Absorbing Man, Rosalind Sharpe, Karen Page, Foggy Nelson and Daredevil.
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man #243 (v1) to add John Jameson, Kraven (Alyosha Kravinoff), Mysterio (Daniel Berkhart), Chameleon, Betty Brant, Flash Thompson, Ashley Kafka and Spider-Man.
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man #245 (v1) to add Spider-Man, Mary Jane Watson, Flash Thompson, Kraven (Alyosha Kravinoff), Spot, Kangaroo (Brian Hibbs), Mysterio (Daniel Berkhart), Gibbon, Grizzly (Maxwell Markham), Chameleon, John Jameson and Ashley Kafka.
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man #244 (v1) to add John Jameson, Ashley Kafka, Betty Brant, Flash Thompson, Kraven (Alyosha Kravinoff), Mysterio (Daniel Berkhart), Kangaroo (Brian Hibbs), Grizzly (Maxwell Markham), Chameleon, Mary Jane Watson and Spider-Man.
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man #242 (v1) to add Chameleon, J. Jonah Jameson, Flash Thompson, Elizabeth Allen, Ashley Kafka, Mary Jane Watson, Spider-Man, John Jameson, Mysterio (Daniel Berkhart), Kangaroo (Brian Hibbs), Marla Madison and Foggy Nelson.
  • Fallen Angels #2 to add Don (Lobster), Karma and Bill (Lobster) and update Ariel (Coconut Grove).
  • Fallen Angels #3 to add Ramon Lipschitz, Tadashi Fujita, Don (Lobster) and Bill (Lobster).
  • Defenders #124 (v1) to update Gargoyle, Scarlet Witch, Vision, Silver Surfer, Iceman, Sub-Mariner, Harridan, Seraph, Beast, Hulk, Doctor Strange, Cloud, and add SHIELD and remove Lifter, Shocker (Randall Darby), Slither (Aaron Salomon), Peeper (Peter Quinn) and Burner (Byron Calley) and remove Mutant Force and to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Savage She-Hulk #20 (v1) to update Morris Walters and add Los Angeles Police Dept. and to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Savage She-Hulk #17 (v1) to update Morris Walters and add Los Angeles Police Dept. and to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Marvel Two-in-One #80 to add New York Police Department and to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Savage She-Hulk #19 (v1) to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Defenders #125 (v1) to update Beast, Angel, Iceman, Valkyrie, Gargoyle, Moondragon, Hellcat, Shocker (Randall Darby), Buzz Baxter, Slither (Aaron Salomon), Burner (Byron Calley) and Lifter and remove Odin and to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Defenders #122 (v1) to update Doctor Strange, Hulk, Valkyrie, Sub-Mariner, Hellcat, Beast, Gargoyle, Silver Surfer and Hellstorm and to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Defenders #123 (v1) to update Hulk, Valkyrie, Beast, Gargoyle, Moondragon, Harridan, Seraph, Cloud, Doctor Strange, Sub-Mariner, Silver Surfer, Iceman and Odin and to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • X-Factor #17 (v1) to update Ariel (Coconut Grove).
  • Captain America Comics #12e to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Captain America Comics #12f to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Captain America Comics #12b to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Marvel Two-in-One #79 to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Bizarre Adventures #28a to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Bizarre Adventures #28b to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Savage She-Hulk #18 (v1) to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Captain America Comics #12a to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
Added
Oct 292014
 

by Joshua Starnes, CMRO Editor

It turns out all the rumors swirling around Marvel’s future plans are true, and then some, as Marvel finally released its film plans through to the end of the decade and as expected, they are a doozy.

Though few details beyond titles were released, the titles and release dates themselves suggest much about what is already known and/or speculated upon about the House of M’s plans. As has already been reported by Variety, Deadline and a host of other outlets, CAPTAIN AMERICA 3 was officially announced to be CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR, which will see some version of the Iron Man/Captain America kerffule likely springing out of the events of AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON for which Iron Man is largely responsible.

As has also already been known, November 4, 2016 will see the release of DOCTOR STRANGE (though still with no official announcement about Benedict Cumberbatch’s invovlement). And then things start to get interesting.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2, announced as premiering on July 28, 2017 back during Comic Con has now been moved to May 5, 2017. That’s partly because since the sequel announcement GOTG has become the highest grossing film of 2014 and early May is plum real estate for securing an even higher grossing sequel (it’s no mistake the studio is doing the same with CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR). But it’s also to make room for THOR: RAGNAROK which will now move into the July 28 spot so that there is plenty of room on November 3 for the BLACK PANTHER film which will star 42’s Chadwick Bozeman as the title character.

By that point we’ve had a solid of year of galactic adventures filled with doom and gloom to prepare us for May 4, 2018 when AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR PART I premiers, which seems set to finally pay off the long slow build to the villainy of Thanos and his attempt to harness the Infinity Gems.  Taking a cue from the HARRY POTTER franchise, and DC’s own plans for JUSTICE LEAGUE, the final confrontation with Thanos appears to be so large it will be split in two, with Part I in 208 and AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR PART II landing a year later on May 3, 2019, suggesting the studio is planning to film both movies together and release them separately. This is an important and smart move on Marvel’s part as it will likely allow them to use Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth in both films without having the negotiate an extra (and likely extra expensive) Avengers appearance.

Nor will the studio be sitting on its laurels in between as it will be launching both CAPTAIN MARVEL and INHUMANS as film series in 2018, both which will likely have a cosmic adventure focus considering they will be coming in between INFINITY WAR Parts 1 and 2.

One other notable piece of interest from the calendar, despite the plans going out more than 4 years into the future, there is no spot in it for an ANT-MAN sequel.

Oct 282014
 

Weekly Marvel Roundup for 10/19 - 10/25

 

AXIS: Hobgoblin #1 (AXIS)
Written by Kevin Shinick
Art by Javier Rodriguez, Alvaro Lopez

Raistlin:
First before I even read it, this is a very interesting choice for a main character of a mini in this tie-in, especially with the villains that were available. ….Yeah, ok. This book was utter crap until the last 6 pages, and now I’m hooked. So the art is mediocre, but the story is a pure info-mercial for about 15 to 18 pages… I actually wanted to stop reading and burn it, I despise these commercials and this just sucked, and then the other Hobgoblin showed up, and there was this great connection to Goblin Nation. I don’t even know how to rate that……
Story – ?/10
Art – 7/10

Etienne:
This is as bad as the Death of Wolverine tie in issues which are in effect the ‘greatest hits’ of Logan, except this time, it is for the Hobgoblin and unfortunately he is not dead. I think this is Marvel’s attempt to copy DC’s ‘Villains month’ and this just will not cut it. I did not get it, I did not like it and this is barely even a comic from where I am sitting. Raistlin I have a question for you – since when is 7/10 ‘mediocre’? 
Story – 1/10
Art – 7/10


Death of Wolverine: Logan’s Legacy #2
Written by Tim Seeley
Art by Ariela Kristantina, Sonia Oback

Raistlin:
Alright so this is a really weird series in the way they have chosen to order the story. This issue is not set up as a flashback, but it does take place BEFORE Logan Legacy #1 in its entirety. I guess this was what all the flashbacks in #1 were all about. What it seems is that they have taking the storytelling style made famous by movies like Trainspotting, were the movie starts in the middle, shows us one crazy situation, then backtracks to the beginning and shows us how they got there, only to continue past the point when they get back to it. This will probably read great as a trade, but doing this in a series released over time seems like it will loss something on the reader. With that being said, this was a decent look into the character of X-23 and how she is dealing with Logan’s death, although it was very predictable.
Story – 7/10
Art – 6/10

Etienne:
Raistlin – how have you missed this storytelling method? Marvel has been doing it nonstop for the last year. Avengers Arena, Fantastic Four, Original Sin and now 8 months later, all of these have started in the middle or in some cases practically the end, then backtracked to show how they got there. How did you score this only 6 for the art, it is beautiful, although it has to be said I am not a big fan of fishnets, especially not on an ambiguously aged late teen. I called it too early with the first issue, I thought that it spoilt all the future ones, but evidentially not, this could be a really interesting series. One question, where do these character get self-healing costumes from? Because Laura’s ‘outfit’ got really beaten up and then it was perfect later on…
Story – 7/10
Art – 9/10


Avengers & X-Men: AXIS #3 (AXIS)
Written by Rick Remender
Art by Leinil Francis Yu, Gerry Alanguilan, & Matt Milla, Laura Martin & Edgar Delgado

Raistlin:
First I want to get this out of the way, they finally changed artist and this is easily the best looking issue of the series so far. But as much as I like the art improvement, this series continues to be a rollercoaster of quality and this issue is no exception My biggest problem, and this is a pet peeve of mine in all modern comics, is they seem to think that if you include the name identifiers in the characters dialogue it will appear more natural as part of the story. In reality, who talks like that??? Etienne pointed it out last week in Loki and now we get it again, AFTER having a “who’s who” page included for reference. The fight itself was good, but the Inversion thing at the end was muddled at best. Although I did like what happened to one character in particular, it is definitely something that each person reading it will digest differently. 
Story – 7/10
Art – 8/10

Etienne:
Is Mr Yu brought in to do Event comics? He did a fantastic job on Infinity and he has been drafted in to save this comic as well. The strangest thing is, I am not bothered by the constant name checking when it is done in conversation and in the same font, I barely even notice it. Last week it was in a font 10 times larger than the rest and a question and in a different colour, which made it ridiculous. I am now torn by this comic because I still think the premise is utter ‘insert expletive here’ however now we are over that initial bump it might get better. In fact this was going to get a much improved score from me, right up until Havok walked out on Janet at the end. Fair enough he was upset with her, but as a father I know that there is nothing I would not do for my child and they have a very precise set of circumstances to save their daughter. Frankly, I would sleep with the Red Skull to save her, what Alex did was inexcusable. Was this supposed to be the start of the Inversions? Other comics this week have made things a lot clearer than this, both Deadpool and X-Factor, why is the lead comic doing such a bad job of explaining the story?
Story – 4/10
Art – 8/10


Cyclops #6
Written by John Layman
Art by Javier Garron and Chris Sotomayor

Etienne:
Despite the ending of this book being as subtle as the metaphorical knee to the groin, I really enjoyed this one. The art is very different to how this book started, but it is not a bad thing, just a shame they keep changing it. I think the biggest problem for this series is that there really is no clear indication of where they are taking it. Is it a long term plan, or a short holiday with his Dad? Is the uptight Summers boy really going to become a pirate? I cannot see it happening and despite the X-Mens’ long association with the space fairing community in all its forms, I wish Scott was back on Earth with the rest of his class sooner rather than later, which is a shame because this could have been good.
Story – 7/10
Art – 7/10

Raistlin:
See, I think you misunderstood me a little on Logan’s Legacy and this book will help me explain. No, I haven’t missed this story method but that series is doing it over 7 issues and I was very confused and had to go back and re-skim #1 to figure out what the hell was going on, where this book used that method but did it all in one book and it worked great. As to your hopes of sooner, this series is planned to be part of the Guardians/X-Men space cross-over in February so my guess is at least not till then, and maybe even later. I do agree with you that this series has no more direction then Guardians does right now, and I really think they need to pick one so the cosmic titles can get some focus going as a overall grouping. Or are they all just going to happen to run into each other at the right time come February for Vortex? 
Story – 8/10
Art – 7/10


All-New Ghost Rider #8
Written by Felipe Smith
Art by Damion Scott, Cory Hamscher, Val Staples and Ester Sanz

Etienne:
This series was always at its best when it focused around Robbie and his little brother and this issue is almost heartbreaking at the end because of it. Then again the cabbage will probably do him good. I have to say the art in this issue really does not lend itself to easy reading, there are pages of Ghost Rider fighting Ghost Rider and it is really hard to follow with these tiny panels and skull headed men in black with flames merging into one. This issue really changes up the whole idea of the book and makes me question what the long term plan is for this series. I think I have said that more than once today as a lot of series are starting to reach the difficult period after the end of their first arc.
Story – 7/10
Art – 4/10

Raistlin:
Hard to follow?? I couldn’t even tell what was going on half the time….. I think there was teleporting going on and people grabing chains, but it was such a mess. As to the big change up, it’s obvious that they are trying to boost sales by bringing in this plot and the other Ghost Rider, but again I feel it’s just a mess right now and doesn’t know what it wants to be. And the sad and depressing Robbie ending just felt weird in a superhero comic to me. I just don’t want to be that sad after reading a comic. 
Story – 6/10
Art – 4/10



Amazing Spider-Man #8 (Spider-Verse)
Written by Dan Slott and Christos Gage
Art by Guiseppe Camuncoli, Humberto Ramos, Cam Smith, Victor Olazaba, Antonio Fabella and Edgar Delgado

Etienne:
Again we are back to a split issue between the regular Spider-Man and Spider-Verse which would have been served so much better by putting all the first half of this book into last issue and leaving all the Spider-Verse for this, but never mind. I’m sorry are we supposed to believe she made that new costume for herself in the same way as her old one? Ok it is a vast improvement, but this time it is so less believable! I will let this issue pass because it is wrapping up time waiting for the crossover to start, but this really feels like a wasted comic just procrastinating while the rest of the universe catches up.
Story – 6/10
Art – 9/10

Raistlin:
Well, if they did what you said, they could have just made Edge of Spider-Verse a 6 issue limited, and it would have worked out fine. As to the actual issue, I agree with you that it is just wasting time, but I also felt that we finally got a decent, fun issue of Amazing for once, and it’s been a while since that happened, so I really enjoyed it. And the Spider-Verse story was good, and brings Spider-Girl into the picture, which I know some will like. The artwork was great too, which we seemed to agree on.
Story – 8/10
Art – 9/10

Secret Avengers #9
Written by Ales Kot
Art by Michael Walsh and Matthew Wilson

Etienne:
I can predict that Raistlin will not like this issue, more over I can guess that he will not even understand it. In all honestly I was struggling to keep up and it makes me question if even the writer knew where this was going. Eight eyed whales sticking vertically out of the ground is about as much as I can handle without my brain going pop. If he can make all this insanity work then he is a genius, but that all waits to be seen.
Story – 7/10
Art – 5/10

Raistlin:
WHERE THE HELL IS THIS GOING?????? I am beyond lost. 
Story – ?/10
Art – 5/10

She-Hulk #9
Written by Charles Soule
Art by Javier Pulido and Muntsa Vicente

Etienne:
Ignoring the bias I have against this series, the set up for this arc is just stupid. It is as bad as the premise of the Fantastic Four series and it just would not happen. Well I say would not, but I mean it would either happen every day, or not at all. Superheroes being sued for crimes because of their actions would either be a staple case where it was a daily event for them as every battle would have huge repercussions or they would get thrown out for being impossible to process. I do not like this, it is not in character for Rogers or Murdock even though they try to explain it away.
Story -2/10
Art – 2/10

Raistlin:
See, yes, the premise is stupid, and normally we would have never seen this story, but I kinda like the fact that it is happening because Steve wants it to happen. Makes it more believable for me, at least. And as much as I don’t like Steve normally, I feel this is actually very much in character for him. But with that being said, the art on this issue is as horrible and awful to look at as it’s ever been on this series, so it’s really hard to recommend it to anyone for that fact alone.
Story – 7/10
Art – 1/10



All-New Invaders #11
Written by James Robinson
Art by Steve Pugh and Guru-e FX

Etienne:
I am sure that my esteemed colleague will correct me, but does this not just completely wreck continuity as I always predicted. We are now back in a situation where old and young Rogers are both pissed at Stark and Richards, yet the AXIS/ Captain America side of the story do not represent this. Over to you Raistlin, tell me I am wrong? Other than that, this is a really interesting excursion into the world of Jim Hammond the Synthetic Man and also it is following the path I previously predicted for the Invaders without Steve Rogers.
Story – 7/10
Art – 7/10

Raistlin:
Well, seeing that we just found out on Sunday the lamest excuse Marvel could come up with to wash this problem away, yes, you are apparently wrong. But in finding out you are wrong, I have actually switched sides on the matter and have now rallied to your cause in saying Marvel basically broke continuity and doesn’t want to admit it. So, now that we have finally settled that nonsense, I thought this issue was really good, and I hope this series gets a little more life out of it. It’s nice to see Namor in a series other than New Avengers, where he actually gets to just be a normal superhero, instead of a man with the weight of the world, if not the whole Universe on him right now. 
Story – 8/10
Art -9/10


New-Warriors #11
Written by Christopher Yost and Erik Burnham
Art by Marcus To and Ruth Redmond

Etienne:
Is it just me or is the term ‘God’ thrown around quite a lot in Marvel comics. If I assume that the Eternals are on a par with Asgardians (which may or may not be 100% accurate, but bare with me) then surely ONE punch is enough to not only kill the Scarlet Spider, but put his head into a different time zone. So how comes he can be punched repeatedly and still survive. Even if they were hitting to only wound him or knock him out, it still makes no sense that he would need to be hit so many times. It would be like a human trying to punch a spider web just hard enough to break it off the leaves around it, but not break the web; over and over again.
Story – 6/10
Art – 8/10

Raistlin:
So, one issue away from the final issue and this series finally nails it. I have not liked this series till now, but we finally have them dealing with something I can get into, and the whole issue comes off great. As to your questions, Etienne, besides the obvious excuse that we are reading comic and writers have a HUGE habit of making characters as weak or strong as the story demands, I looked it up and Kane is apparently much stronger then Peter due mostly to his further mutations past the point that Parker is at. Basically, it would seem that Parker has gradually become the weakest of all the Spider Characters running around in 616 currently. So with that in mind, this is not as far of a stretch as it would seem. 
Story – 8/10
Art – 9/10


X-Force #11
Written by Simon Spurrier
Art by Rock-He Kim

Raistlin:
Well, I am really glad the artwork is back to normal for this title, cause that last issue was pretty bad. As to the story, I don’t know how well this did for moving the overall story forward, but it had some great character development for both Hope and Fantomex. We get a few more of the missing pieces from the Alexandria thing, and they go a long way, filling in the blanks with all the craziness that has been going on with Fantomex. I really love the direction this issue is going in, and loved the reveal at the end. 
Story – 8/10
Art – 7/10

Etienne:
Holy crap, that ending utterly blew me away, I did not see that coming. There are still a lot of unanswered questions, but after the last issue of weirdness this is back on track and making me want to read more. So many of the characters in this book are my favourites and actually, I do not want any of them to be put out of commission, but frankly I cannot see how they can all get out of this in one piece. People please buy this book before they cancel it!
Story – 9/10
Art – 6/10



Amazing X-Men #12
Written by Craig Kyle & Chris Yost
Art by Carlos Barberi & Iban Coello, Marc Deering, Livesay & Walden Wong, & Rachelle Rosenberg

Raistlin:
I have liked this story arc better then must and while some of this issue was fun, the ending was just too perfectly wrapped together with a bow, to come off as anything but extra cheesy. The art dropped off a little from the previous issues, and that does not help, since the art was probably it’s #1 selling quality. And what happened to the Avengers who’s inclusion was kinda pointless to begin with? Did they just fade out of the story when we weren’t looking? Well, you guys kinda let me down in the end….. 
Story – 4/10
Art – 6/10

Etienne:
This is a bit late for the jokes about Logan dying. This comic is out a bit late, but thank goodness it wraps up the Wendigo arc, that was painful reading all these weeks. I am not sure what planet Raistlin is on this week, his definition of Good Art is veering wildly away from mine because this is the best the book has ever looked, and it was pretty easy on the eye to start with. I hope they keep this art team and move this book forwards before this title gets cancelled, we need another decent X-Men title as they are more than a little thin on the ground at the moment. I just hope that the next issue is not a Death of Wolverine sob story. Pretty please?
Story – 5/10
Art – 9/10

All-New X-Factor #15 (AXIS)
Written by Peter David
Art by Carmine Di Giandomenico, Lee Loughridge

Raistlin:
First thing I need to point out, the opening synopsis page is a must read, even if you are a regular reader of the title. The team had nothing to do with the main AXIS title so far, and the front page basically explains why they are involved. Now on that note, this should have come out last week, cause this is obviously taking place before the events of AXIS #3, and would have been a great help in point blank explaining what the hell is going on…… I have to say with this team finally past all the intro stuff and getting involved in the bigger picture, this is probably one of the best issues of the series so far….. 
Story – 9/10
Art – 7/10

Etienne:
Synopsis page. Good Call. I read the first three pages and thought I had missed an issue, backtracked and ‘phew’ it all made sense. I have to say it might well have been better to actually show us all that in a comic? Seems a shame to miss out on a load of action that is just summed up in a little bit of text. Either way, this is a fantastic issue and this comic is getting better as time goes on, I really hope they give it some more time after this to grow because cancelling it now would be a travesty. I am not certain about this happening before AXIS 3, surely it is happening along side it? This is just showing again that the Tie in issues of AXIS are far superior to the series itself.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Deadpool #36 (AXIS)
Written by Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan
Art by Mike Hawthorne, Terry Pallot and Jordie Bellaire

Etienne:
I do not care anymore about how much I hate AXIS, all I care about is how amazing this comic is. That has to be the single greatest page of any comic ever. If you do not know what I am talking about it is page 16 with Deadpool and Sabretooth. I laughed so hard my wife came to check I was alright after reading it. This book actually outstrips the AXIS comic taking it into the next section of the story – Inversion and if you were not expecting it then you would be rather confused by this section. This is the best AXIS issue and another high point for the Deadpool series as well.
Story – 10/10
Art – 8/10

Raistlin:
Yup, I totally agree, best issue of AXIS so far. Let us point out here, that if you are trying to read AXIS without the tie-ins, you are missing the best part of the whole Event, and are probably very lost at the same time. With this event, the tie-ins are almost required reading for once. At least up to this point, and this issue finally spells out word for word, exactly what has been happening since AXIS #1. I’m a little nervous about this “new” Deadpool we are getting stuck with, but I have faith in Duggan since he has been so great up to this point….. 
Story – 10/10
Art – 6/10



And the Issue of the Week:


Avengers #37 (Time Runs Out)
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Mike Deodato, Frank Martin

Raistlin:
Holy crap, this issue gave us a LOT of information and went a long way to filling in some of the blanks on the Stubborn Steve side of things, and the overall world situation in 7 months…..funny how at the same time it manages to confuse the reader more then it helps……. Now I know this was supposed to be VERY serious and all, but can I say that I was laughing hysterically reading this entire issue. There is something about watching Steve Rogers get so frustrated that he literally has an adult temper tantrum that tickles my funny bone like no other. And the decisions of the UN towards the Cabal, while he sat there at the hearing and his reaction had my in tears laughing. I really love when Steve doesn’t get his way. 
Story – 9/10
Art – 8/10

Etienne:
This is definitely a week of fantastic comic endings, but this one utterly swept the board. The problem with this comic being so fantastic each week (along side New Avengers) is that it is showing up just how badly planned and thought out AXIS is. Every time I read this comic it is like looking at the covers for next year’s comics and wishing that we were already there to find out what they meant. The problem is, we already are there, this is 7 months into the future and we know that everything happening in AXIS right now is irrelevant because this is how it turns out. I think Hickman played a brilliant hand with this one because he managed to get Infinity to roll into this and then right over the next event leaving him in control of the future of the Marvel universe. 
Story – 9/10
Art – 9/10

Oct 282014
 
Updated
  • Avengers #2 (v2) to add Enchantress (Heroes Reborn), Loki (Heroes Reborn), Wasp, Henry Gyrich (Heroes Reborn), Agatha Harkness (Heroes Reborn), Ultron (Heroes Reborn), Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic, Thing, Henry Pym, Human Torch, Captain America, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, Vision, Hellcat (Heroes Reborn), Swordsman (Heroes Reborn), Thor (Heroes Reborn), Serpent King (Heroes Reborn), Sellars (Heroes Reborn), Kang (Heroes Reborn) and Mantis (Heroes Reborn) and add Fantastic Four and Avengers (Heroes Reborn).
  • Abominations #2 to add Abomination (Earth-9200), Shulk (Earth-9200), Quarry (Earth-9200), Abomination, Librito (Earth-9200), Mok (Earth-9200), Cyberslik (Earth-9200), Betty-6 (Earth-9200), Char (Earth-9200), Sleek (Earth-9200), Po (Earth-9200), Kaspin (Earth-9200) and Janis Jones.
  • Abominations #3 to add Betty-6 (Earth-9200), Abomination, Janis Jones, Librito (Earth-9200), Quarry (Earth-9200), Shulk (Earth-9200), Abomination (Earth-9200), Kaspin (Earth-9200), Char (Earth-9200), Po (Earth-9200), Sleek (Earth-9200), Mok (Earth-9200) and Cyberslik (Earth-9200).
  • Abominations #1 to add Mok (Earth-9200), Abomination (Earth-9200), Janis Jones, Betty-6 (Earth-9200), Char (Earth-9200), Sleek (Earth-9200), Po (Earth-9200), Librito (Earth-9200), Shulk (Earth-9200), Kaspin (Earth-9200) and Cyberslik (Earth-9200).
  • Hulk: Future Imperfect #2 to add Char (Earth-9200).
  • Incredible Hulk #443 (v1) to add Quarry (Earth-9200).
  • Generation X #22 to add Leech, Nightmare, Franklin Richards, Artie Maddicks, Skin, Banshee, Chamber, Emma Frost, Husk, Jubilee and M-Twins and add Generation X.
  • Excalibur #104 (v1) to add Captain Britain, Colossus, Warlock, Meggan, Moira MacTaggert, Nightcrawler, Pete Wisdom, Kitty Pryde, Wolfsbane, Mirage, Forearm and Wildside and add Mutant Liberation Front and Excalibur.
  • Amazing Spider-Man Annual #30 to add Spider-Man, Mary Jane Watson, Charles Snow, Donald Menken and Sundown.
  • Doctor Strange #59 (v2) to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Defenders #121 (v1) to update Hellcat, Beast, Gargoyle, Hellstorm and Valkyrie and to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Defenders #122 (v1) to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Marvel Two-in-One #78 to update Daredevil and to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Uncanny X-Men #149 (v1) to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Defenders #120 (v1) to update Hellstorm, Hellcat, Beast, Gargoyle and Valkyrie and to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Uncanny X-Men #150 (v1) to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Ghost Rider #58 (v2) to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Marvel Two-in-One Annual #6 to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Ghost Rider #59 (v2) to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
  • Ghost Rider #60 (v2) to update general comic information (story title, page count, etc).
Added
Oct 272014
 

by Joshua Starnes, CMRO Editor

What was that you say, after his last attempt at the Bat no one in their right mind would ever let Joel Schumacher near a Batman anything ever again? Oh you silly, naïve fool.

Of course there could be those at Warner Bros. and DC who are counting some sort amnesia or even general ignorance about Schumacher’s be-nippled take on the Caped Crusader.  After all it’s been 17 years since BATMAN AND ROBIN came out; an entire generation of comic and movie fans have grown up who have probably never seen it, only ever heard it mentioned in whispers and nightmares.  That’s probably because they think the average comic book reader is still a teenager and not in their mid-30s (the silly, naïve fools), but still. They might be the perfect vehicle for a forlorn director to try and rehabilitate himself with.

For those who genuinely have no experience with the Schumacher version of Batman, he was the director picked to replace Tim Burton on the third Batman film which eventually became BATMAN FOREVER, starring Val Kilmer as Batman (replacing Michael Keaton who asked for a then astronomical $13 million for the role, mainly so that Warner Bros. would let him out of his Bat-contract) which kept some of the gothic trappings of Burton but upped the camp factor beyond what even Adam West could have imagined, including putting nipples on the batsuit and neon on everything. It also added Robin to the franchise for the first time in the form of Chris O’Donnell (in the role that would ultimate send his promising film career spiralling down to television).  Reviews were mixed to positive and box office was good (it was the no. 2 film of 1995) but many of the signs troublesome signs were there from how broad the humor went, how over the top villains the Riddler (Jim Carrey) and Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones) were in every moment and how ridiculous the plot was (the Riddler was stealing people’s intelligence via their televisions). It was clear that, much like Richard Lester and Superman II, the director didn’t take the film seriously and couldn’t understand how anyone watching it would either. And much as with Lester and the Superman franchise, that thinking eventually drove the whole thing off a cliff when Schumacher and company returned for the follow up BATMAN AND ROBIN which included a Bat-Mastercard, Batskates built into their boots, George Clooney making his first break for stardom, a pun wielding Arnold Schwarznegger and Uma Thurman channeling Mae West. Critics and audiences were . . . less kind this time around and the entire franchise was put on ice for nearly a decade as a result.

Schumacher who saw his blossoming directorial (which included basically launching the movie star careers of Matthew McConaughey and Colin Farrell) career begin a long downward slide afterwards which eventually saw him reduced to working in direct-to-video and television and apologizing loudly and regularly for BATMAN AND ROBIN. As well he should.

He has also made it clear during those apologies that while he takes responsibility much of what happened on those films was out of his hands to the push from the studio to both produce the sequels quickly and to include plenty of merchandising tie-ins.  Some of that may be self-serving; on the other hand, anyone who has heard the travails of Jon Peters (who was producing the Batman films at the time) and SUPERMAN LIVES would find more than a little truth in Schumacher’s statements.

Apparently that pushing has stuck in his craw more than a little bit over the years and now he aims to do something about it as word comes from Bleeding Cool today that Schumacher is hard at work on a 12-issue Batman series he is writing which would relate the stories of BATMAN FOREVER, BATMAN AND ROBIN and BATMAN TRIUMPHANT (the planned follow-up to BATMAN AND ROBIN set to feature the Scarecrow as a villain, until it was scrapped after BATMAN AND ROBIN tanked) the way he had originally envisaged before Warner Bros. got its grubby mits on it.

Only with less nipples.