Weekly Marvel Roundup for 06/22 – 06/28

by Etienne Paul, CMRO Editor and Eric Miller, CMRO Contributing Writer

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Editors Note: This issue of The Weekly Marvel Round up sees the last time that Eric will be sharing the review seat for the forseeable future. He has wisely decided to take some time off, at least for the summer, so I hope you will join with my in saying thank you for his sterling efforts over the last 47 issues.

Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies #1 (BattleWorld)
Written by James Robinson
Art by Steve Pugh and Jim Charalampidis

Synopsis –After Tigra treats us to an in-story situation that personifies the title of the series, we then get a brief recap of the Ultron side of things. Finally we meet out “protagonist”, Hank Pym from the Timely domain, who is being sent over the SHIELD for basically doing what Pym always does, building a robot.

Eric:
This is another book that takes us over the SHIELD and gives us a much bigger picture of what is going on there. Not only are there the Deadlands, where Elza Bloodstone is lost in at the moment, but we also have Perfection, Ultron’s little slice of heaven. Although we haven’t gotten much in the way of details as to how the Deadlands got that way, Perfection’s origin is given a little more background. Of course, you can’t have a book about Ultron without Pym somehow being involved, and this is no exception. Although it is a very odd choice, since it is the Pym from the Timely domain, which is the one that will be feature in the 1872. Like the other Zombie title, this is way more interesting then it sounded like when it was in the solicits.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Etienne:
You know, I tend to like a bit of story along with my plot dump, but this just seems to keep on dumping. I like it that this is not ZOMBIES, rather it is ‘Marvel’ Zombies which tends to keep it a bit more PG rated. I know its really contradictory that I have no problems reading comics where people get horribly eviscerated, but ones where the dead are walking freak me out. Hopefully this has given them enough set up for the series that the next one will be better.
Story – 6/10
Art – 7/10

E is for Extinction #1 (WarZones)
Written by Chris Burnham
Art by Ramon Vilalobos and Ian Herring

Synopsis –
Way back in New X-Men #114 Xavier said the words ‘get out of my head or I’ll fire’ and Cassandra Nova left him. Only this time she didn’t and the result was messy. Skip forward many years and Magneto has won, he controls the X-Men and Scott and Emma are left to get old and fat alone with their powers fading.

Etienne:
Wow, I was moaning that there were no X-books for me in Secret Wars because I didn’t care about any of the ones they had released so far, but then they give us this and X-Men 92 in the same week. The art style takes a bit of getting used to, its even more stylised than the New X-Men from the early 00s, but over all this looks extremely interesting.
Story – 8/10
Art – 6/10

Eric:
Stylized, it looks like the old art style from New X-Men on steroids. Takes some getting used to is an understatement. I was not a fan of the art on the original series, and this is so much worse. But outside the art, this series is definitely hitting all the nostalgia points for anyone that was a fan of Grant Morrison’s run on the x-men. And it’s not just the characters. The concepts, like second mutations, are part of the conversation as well. I’ll give it a chance for now, but since I wasn’t a huge fan of the original run, I’ll probably be more nit-picky as we move along. Also, It has Quire in it, and I really hate him.
Story – 7/10
Art – 2/10

Korvac Saga #1 (WarZones)
Written by Dan Abbnet
Art by Otto Schmidt and Cris Peter

Synopsis –In the domain of the Forest Hills, there have been 7 incidents where an individual seems to suffer from some sort of disease or virus that eventually escalates into them being a danger to themselves and others. The Guardians don’t know what to make of it.

Eric:
There is actually a lot going on in this issue, but none of it has anything to do with what was taking place at the end of the Guardians 3000 series, like I thought for sure it would. Like Etienne has pointed out with other books in the WarZones, this follows a similar pattern. Introduction of all the players, some expected, some not. A mystery story begins, with only a handful of the key players aware of it. Questions about the fabric of Doom’s reality are starting to arise and we see the threads starting to unravel. I think it’s biggest problem is that I don’t care for the art work all that much.
Story – 7/10
Art – 4/10

Etienne:
I think the biggest problem with this book is that I simply have no hook to get me involved. Who are these characters, why do I care? And the art is ok, nothing special, but hang on, just how big are Black Widows boobs? Honestly that is utterly ridiculous, not to mention on the next page is must be ‘very cold’ if you get my meaning. This is not really what I expect from modern day marvel frankly.
Story – 4/10
Art – 4/10

X-Men ’92 #1 (BattleWorld)
Written by Chris Bower and Chris Sims
Art by Scott Koblish and Matt Milla

Synopsis –
We are back in the 90’s everyone is ‘bub’ and everything is ‘rad’. The Mutant War of Westchester is over and it is no longer Captain Summers, but merely Cyclops again. However Rogue Sentinels abound and the mutant sanctuary of Clear Mountain sounds too good to be true.

Etienne:
I loved this series when I was younger. For those that do not know this is based on the X-Men cartoon series from the mid-90s which had a massive effect on my formative years reading comics. This captures the art style of the cartoon series perfectly and it feels like they could have practically walked out of the screen and onto the page. However some of the characterizations feel slightly off, and they cannot be covered up by reusing the characters catchphrases over and over again. Bub.

Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Eric:
I liked this a bit more then E for Extinction, and found it interesting that since E has retconned itself so that Cassandra Nova didn’t play out the way it did originally, this series has decided to do it’s own variation of that character and storyline, in it’s place. I have not seen as much of the cartoon as some, but since the cartoon is based on the 90s era comic characters I grew up with, it really doesn’t matter. Which ever 90s version of things you know, this series will be a great reminder of those days, including a lot of “extra” characters in there old costumes.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Infinity Gauntlet #2 (WarZones)
Written by Gerry Duggan
Art by Dustin Weaver

Synopsis –
The bugs have taken over, but fortunately ‘mum’ has come back with the power of a Nova to save them all. And her solution – lets me all of them Nova’s, including the damn dog… The problem is Thanos is interfering trying to reform the Infinity Gauntlet and it appears he has the Time Gem already.

Etienne:
The bit with the dog annoyed me intently and I really thought they killed in the next page, but I was wrong, it is a super dog and clearly unlike grandpa’s cannot be killed in a comic book. To be honest, I do not care much for this book at all, I do not like post-apocalyptic future stories, and this is very much in that vein. The only thing save it at the moment is a ruthless Thanos.
Story – 6/10
Art – 6/10

Eric:
See and I thought this was a little better then last issue, and I didn’t mind the stuff with the dog. Now that the focus seems to be moving onto the Gauntlet, and Thanos more, I much more interested. The post-apocalyptic thing I could take it or leave it, but now that the story is moving along it’s not so bad.
Story – 7/10
Art – 7/10

Modok Assassin #2 (WarZones)
Written by Christopher Yost
Art by Amilcar Pinna, Terry Pallot, Ed Tadeo and Rachelle Rosenberg

Synopsis –
MODOK has angered the guild of Assassins by killing one of their own, but he has powerful protection. In an effort to take him down a Thor is shot down and when she awakens she takes out all her anger on first one she sees.

Etienne:
This is still a really bizarre concept and it seems to pick up exactly where Secret Avengers ended up, but with MODOK falling for yet another strong, powerful woman in a completely ridiculous fashion. Angela plays her part as Thor really well and this is still for a me a ‘secret’ success story.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Eric:
For some reason I only like Angela when she is a “guest” in another book. I loved her when she was in Guardians, and her interactions with them and especially Gamora where great. But I can’t stand her in her own solo title, nor do I like her all that much in her Secret Wars title, but I think she plays the part of a Thor in KillVille just perfectly. MODOK is great in this, again, and although I couldn’t stand Secret Avengers, I am enjoying this title immensely.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Planet Hulk #2 (WarZones)
Written by Sam Humphries
Art by Marc Laming and Jordan Boyd

Synopsis –Doc Green, or this variation of him, is basically Captain and Devil’s tour guide through Greenland and is going to lead them to the Mud Kingdom. As long as the gamma charged plant and wild life doesn’t kill them or eat them first.

Eric:
So now that we are starting to get to the second issue of some of these series, we have seen some of the series that weren’t so great in the first issue get better. Then we have this title, which already had a great first issue. I’m pleased to say that the second issue was just as good if not better. It turns out that the Hulk we are focusing on is Doc Green, and a really disturbing version of him, at that. This book is definitely going into some weird stuff similar to Weirdworld and Where Monsters Dwell, but for some reason I feel more connection to it because of the three main characters. Also, this book looks incredible.
Story – 10/10
Art – 10/10

Etienne:
I am not quite as enamoured as Eric is, but this is still a good book; a book that is confusing as all heck at the same time. I have no idea what is really going on, but that is also the position of the Captain, so we seem to be following his journey in this book. It really reminds me of one of the 1960s farce films where a bad thing happens, they get away from the bad thing only to run into something worse, which in turn ends up being something worse. etc etc.
Story – 8/10
Art – 9/10

Where Monsters Dwell #2 (WarZones)
Written by Garth Ennis
Art by Russ Braun and Dono Sanchez Almara

Synopsis –Karl Kaufman runs around screaming like a little girl when in danger, but then acts like a complete sexist ass the minute he’s not. And we still don’t know what Clemmie’s real motive are.

Eric:
Like Planet Hulk, this deals with a couple of people travelling through a strange and savage land, and running for their lives from giant monsters trying to eat and kill them. But the setting, storyline, and monsters are so completely different, they have managed to make both books feel very fresh and different. The dynamic between the two main characters is great. I don’t think I could take Karl as a solo act, but with Clemmie, his character being written as a complete jerk comes off as comic relief. The monsters, so far have been great, and the artwork is incredible.
Story – 9/10
Art – 10/10

Etienne:
I don’t think he could be a solo act, he wouldn’t have anyone to embarrass himself with on his own. The end of the book amused me greatly, but the rest of it was merely a bit average. I am struggling to work out where this fits within the Marvel world because right now I think I am missing the point slightly.
Story – 6/10
Art – 9/10

Howard the Duck #4
Written by Chip Zdarsky
Art by Joe Quinones, Katie Cook, Joe Rivera, Rico Renzi, Heather Breckel and Rachelle Rosenberg

Synopsis –Howard visits Doctor Strange, and finds out about the Abundant Glove, basically the poor man’s Infinity Guantlet. Now he must stop the Skrull from last issue before he can find the final stone he needs to finish the glove.

Eric:
So, basically last issue, Howard ended up helping a skrull get some stone that happens to be part of a very weak Glove that bares a resemblance to the Infinity Gauntlet. It is meant to be a joke on the real Gauntlet. Also, for some reason this has a full page of flashback to the original Secret Wars, and even goes as far as to throw Deadpool into one of the panels. On top of all this, there is a little mini second story done in a completely different art style that I’m not even sure what to make of. I think the issue just had way to much going on this time.
Story – 5/10
Art – 6/10

Etienne:
Not funny enough to be a joke comic, not serious enough to be an ongoing proposition, it falls right in the middle. Deadpool works by being the crazy one in a serious world, but Howard seems to want to be the sensible one. The problem his he is in the real Marvel universe and it also wants to try and be sensible. This would work so much better out of continuity in a more silly setting where Howard can play the straight guy who is the butt of the universes jokes.
Story – 5/10
Art – 7/10

Uncanny Avengers #5 (Final Issue)
Written by Rick Remender
Art by Daniel Acuna

Synopsis –The battle for Counter-Earth rages on, and the team tries to pull it together to finally get a handle on stopping the High Evolutionary.

Eric:
The end of this series, and it was pretty much a mess. But that is not surprising since the whole five issue run, coming off the big retcon of the twins origins from Axis, has not been very good. Unlike Etienne, I am a big fan of Remender’s previous work on many series like Uncanny X-Force, Secret Avengers, and the first volume of Uncanny Avengers, but I have had to admit that I have not been thrilled with this current volume or the twins retcon. Here’s hoping his Hail Hydra series during Secret Wars is an improvement.
Story – 1/10
Art – 4/10

Etienne:
Don’t sugar coat it, you weren’t happy with his writing in AXIS or at the end of Captain America, so don’t try and pretend this is a recent hiccup in an otherwise unblemished record. Give him a blank slate to drag into depths of despair and horror, and you will get a good book. Give him an ongoing universe and he will break it apart so he can use just the one little piece that he wants and to hell with the rest. Sorry, but this couldn’t haven’t ended soon enough, 5 issues was too long.
Story – 1/10
Art – 4/10

S.H.I.E.L.D. #7
Written by Mark Waid
Art by Greg Smallwood and Guru-eFX

Synopsis –
Daisy Johson AKA Skye AKA Quake is out to capture her father, Mr Hyde. Her mutation has caused untold side effects in her DNA and only he has the key to save her.

Etienne:
You see, this is what happens when I don’t get the second season of a TV at a time I can watch, I get spoilers in the most unlikely of places. However this made this comic so much more entertaining because I didn’t know who Skye had turned out to be, so this was a massive revelation.
Story – 8/10
Art – 7/10

Eric:
You realized they just retconned Daisy’s origin to match the show, right? In fact there are even articles, from when it came out who Skye was on the show, that point out the show was changing her origins to Inhuman from Mutant cause of the copyright issues over the term with Fox. And now they have actually changed her into an Inhuman in this issue to match the show. In fact, this story felt like its only purpose was to retcon the character for the show. It was a little too blatant for me. Especially since Daisy isn’t just “doing a lot of missions in space” right now, she isn’t even a member of SHIELD any more and hasn’t been since she quit 2 volumes of Secret Avengers ago. They even made Zabo look like Kyle MacLachlan. For a minute I wasn’t sure if I was reading an MU or MCU comic.
Story – 4/10
Art – 6/10

Loki: Agent of Asgard #15 (Last Days of)
Written by Al Ewing
Art by Lee Garbett and Antonio Fabela

Synopsis –
It is the end of Days, Asgard is ending, the universe is ending – but at least this time they didn’t try and call it Ragnarok. Two Loki’s each trying to meet their own ends, one to destroy Asgard, the other to save a friend.

Etienne:
There are parts of this book I liked and parts I didn’t, but over all this was much better than the last issue. We got to see what made Verity work, where she came from and in the end, where is is going(gone). I still have an issue with Odin with a Mini-gun, but frankly this worked out a lot better than I expected, and it stuck me in the middle of a personal nightmare. If you command the dead, then every soldier you kill feeds your army, for me that is a terrifying concept.
Story – 8/10
Art – 9/10

Eric:
Yeah, ok the mini-gun is a little over the top, but the overall story is decent. I liked Varity’s back story, and it is more interesting then one would think. The whole fight with Asgardia was pretty much your typical end of the world scenarios for the Asgardians, and I liked the twist at the end.
Story – 8/10
Art – 7/10

Daredevil #16
Written by Mark Waid
Art by Chris Samnee and Matthew Wilson

Synopsis –Daredevil has been “outed” worse then he’s ever been “outed” before, so of course, his last resort is to ask for help from his greatest enemy, Wilson Fisk. But Fisk has a few angles he’s working of his own.

Eric:
This was basically a set up for the big finale, although the end of the issue called the next issue “part 1” and according to the solicits, next issue might be the last issue. I like that Fisk has been brought in for the finale. I mean if this is supposed to be the last 616 Daredevil story, how can Fisk not be involved. This series has been really good lately, and even for a setup issue, this continues that trend. I am really looking forward to the finale.
Story – 8/10
Art – 7/10

Etienne:
I wouldn’t even call it a set up issue, it is so much the continuation of the previous storyline. Matts offer is bizzare and frankly I have no idea why Fisk would take him up on it. Frankly if he does it proves that all villains are their own worst enemies because you need to kill your enemies, not play with them.
Story – 9/10
Art – 7/10

Black Widow #19 (Last Days of)
Written by Nathan Edmondson
Art by Phil Noto

Synopsis –
Natasha is remembering her first missions when she was a young spy for the Russians. Memories like that are hard to forget, especially when you needed to put your mission before your friend.

Etienne:
Most of the ‘last days of’ stories are like this – one page in the present and then the rest of the comic set in the distant past remembering something else. This was a really interesting story, but I find it very odd to be reminiscing at a time like this. Then again they do say when you die your life flashes before your eyes…
Story – 9/10
Art – 9/10

Eric:
Well, I guess we can look at it two ways. Either we can get a flashback show so they can tell a story that isn’t necessarily about the end of the world, but it does have correlations with it, or we get what Mighty Avengers and Ms. Marvel are doing by showing us a sad, emotion filled ending of the little people as they come to terms with the end of everything. I mean there’s not really many avenues of choice at this point in the game. For me, I’m glad we get some issues like this one and Magneto or else I would be to sad to even finish half of these Last Days Of issues.
Story – 8/10
Art – 7/10

The Punisher #19 (Last Days of)
Written by Nathan Edmondson
Art by Mitch Gerards and Andy W. Clift

Synopsis –Picking up right after Punisher’s cameo in Secret Wars #1, with the end of the world happening, Punisher decides to go out punishing terrorist.

Eric:
This issue is not bad, but over the last few issues this series has gotten really good, and I felt this issue was just a little too generic. I mean it was basically Punisher just running around doing his thing to a bunch of terrorist. They took a generic bad guy, and threw Punisher at them, just so they could show him doing a lot of violent, punisher type things at the end. I mean it was decent action, but with no real build up, and not much of a point in my opinion.
Story – 5/10
Art – 8/10

Etienne:
Generic bad guy? That was blatantly Ben Kingsley doing a Mandarin impression! I have to agree it was a bit generic in the type of story, but stylistically it was pretty impressive. This series had a really up and down middle, but the end of it has been one success after another, so I can take this as being just a teeny bit less successful than the previous few issues.
Story – 7/10
Art – 9/10

Weekly Marvel Roundup for 06/15 – 06/21

by Etienne Paul, CMRO Editor and Eric Miller, CMRO Contributing Writer

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Runaways #1 (BattleWorld)
Written by Nowelle Stevenson
Art by Sanford Greene and John Rauch

Synopsis –It’s final exam day at the Victor von Doom Institute for Gifted Youths, and the featured cast of characters are, of course, stuck in detention, due to miss out on registration for their final exams.

Eric:
It has been a trend in modern Marvel that everyone has a superhero school. Avengers Academy, Future Foundation, and the Jean Grey School have been the 3 that have been seen the most. and we’ve had a slew of “young” superhero books focused around the newer crop. So, this is basically Battleworld’s version of all of those books all rolled into one. And they’ve cherry-picked the characters from pretty much all of them. In fact the only member I recognized from the original Runaways was Molly Hayes. It wasn’t a bad book, but it was about what I’ve come to expect at this point from one of these type of books, school rivalry, pranks, fighting in the classroom or halls, etc, etc….
Story – 6/10
Art – 6/10

Etienne:
I have to say I was at least expecting Nico, but I suppose there is plenty of time for other characters to be introduced? I dont have a lot to add beyond what Eric said, it is a standard ‘young’ team up book with a huge cast of characters that really needs to be trimmed down a bit.
Story – 6/10
Art – 7/10

Squadron Sinister #1 (WarZones)
Written by Marc Guggenheim
Art by Carlos Pacheco, Mariano Taibo and Frank Martin

Synopsis –Hyperion and the Squadron Sinsiter rule Utopolis, but it seems that’s not enough for them as the spend a lot of their time performing Annexations on their neighboring provinces on the outskirts of the domain.

Eric:
This one gets a little confusing but in a different way then some of the other books. While Secret Wars as a whole is confusing because from book to book you might see the same character but in each book they are a completely different character. With this book, we seem to be getting multiple different version of the same characters in the same book. And it seems that the Squadron are more aware of the concept of Battleworld then some of the characters in other domains (see Old Man Logan below). There is a lot going on in the story in this one, a whole murder mystery plot line among the main ones. If you are familiar with them, there is a bit of nostalgia for the characters, and I feel the series is off to a decent start.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Etienne:
I think that’s really harsh. I mean they literally put it on the cover who the two different teams are, its hard to miss… Either way I think this book is absolutely fantastic and if anyone has read Injustice: Gods Amongst Us, then you will definitely understand why I am drawing the comparison between the two. Hyperion is about the best, over the top villain I can think of in recent years, and ripping the guys arms off was just pure gold.
Story – 9/10
Art – 10/10

Thors #1 (BattleWorld)
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Chris Sprouse, Karl Story and Marte Gracia

Synopsis –
Ever wondered what it would be like to be Thor and a New York cop? Well look no further, this is BattleWorldPD where every one is Thor and the police jokes keep on coming.

Etienne:
There was not a single part of me that thought this would work. In fact when Secret Wars started on of the parts I hated the most was the fact that there was no ‘Thor’ and that he had become generic. Oh how wrong can one person be? This has produced one of the best comics I have read in ages, but should I be surprised considering it has been done by Aaron? Much like previous Thor series he keeps us guessing, but this is worth reading every page to get to the reveals.
Story – 10/10
Art – 9/10

Eric:
To me, this is like the Thor version of Spider-Verse, and I find each of the Thors unique in their own right. They all have their own personalities, and I love Groot Thor! I also love all the ways that the Thor mythos is being brought into this. Everything from Odin to Loki to Frog Thor is here, but in so many different ways that makes you want to keep exploring this new version of Thor even more.
Story – 10/10
Art – 9/10

Armor Wars #2 (WarZones)
Written by James Robinson
Art by Marco Takara and Esther Sanz

Synopsis –
Syder-Man is dead, a hole through his chest, but his autopsy reveals secrets of a greater link with his suit and a possible reason for the populations incarceration in their iron armour.

Etienne:
At least we are finding out why they need to be in their suits, and it is all rather weird. It turns out that if they get out of its protection, their body twists and decays into what appears very similar to the Marvel Zombies. I do not know if that is accidental, or deliberate, but it is still very interesting.
Story – 7/10
Art – 5/10

Eric:
I wouldn’t necessarily say we are finding out why they are in them, but more why they need to stay in them. Although it seems Spyder-Man might have figured out the “why” and we will be learning that information later in the series. Maybe it’s because we are coming off of Superior Iron Man, but I’m betting Tony has something to do with it. Also it might be just me, but I find the fact that Spyder-Man was actually Peter Urich in this one, a little odd. Why would they mix Ben Urich and Peter Parker??? Overall I’m still not loving this title, but at least it’s gotten more interesting.
Story – 6/10
Art – 5/10

Deadpool’s Secret Secret War #2 (WarZones)
Written by Cullen Bunn
Art by Matteo Lolli and Ruth Redmond

Synopsis –Deadpool hooks up with the Lizard, and continues to tell him his flashback tale of how he was shoehorned into Secret Wars.

Eric:
This has become a Secret Wars highlights show, all told in flashbacks by Deadpool. Like the last issue, some of it works, and some of it doesn’t. I think I like the stuff that is actual new panels better then the ones where they recreated the exact same panel as before and just squeezed Deadpool and his dialogue into it. Overall, this is a better offering then last issue, but not by much.
Story – 6/10
Art – 7/10

Etienne:
It is interesting that both Eric and I think this is better than the first issue, although I am of the feeling that it is a lot better, not just a bit better. It is still not up to the usual high standard of Deadpool comics, but it is most certainly worth a read now, even if you do not know the original Secret Wars that it is parodying.
Story – 7/10
Art – 8/10

Old Man Logan #2 (WarZones)
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Andrea Sorrentino and Marcelo Maiolo

Synopsis –
Logan tries to cross the wall, only to be burnt to cinder by the local Thor. The problem is, Wolverine is far harder to kill than that, but perhaps Sabretooth can remedy that problem.

Etienne:
I am a bit lost in that I am not certain which world he just walked into. Logan had decided that there was nothing left for him in his own domain and decided to see what was beyond the wall without seeming to understand what it was, or what Battleworld is. This is all rather confusing, but intentionally so as he is bounced from group to group before coming face to face with his nemesis.
Story – 8/10
Art – 7/10

Eric:
Oh, I can clear that up for you pretty easily. Logan has crossed over into the Age of Apocalypse domain*, since all the X-Men are wearing their AoA outfits, AoA Blink is with them, and Sabretooth said he was a Horseman of Apocalypse. Although that last one doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, since Creed left the Horseman on their first mission and joined Magneto’s X-Men in the original Event. As to Logan not understand what was on the other side of the wall, this has confused me as well. I got the impression last issue that, like in other domains, Frost and Logan had a basic understanding of Battleworld. I think they even said Doom’s name in place of the word god like every other book is doing, but I could be wrong. But at least we, the readers, are now very clear that Logan has no clue what Battleworld is. This is still one of the best series in Secret Wars.
Story – 9/10
Art – 7/10

*Editors Note: Thanks very much for that, I was being intentionally discreet so as not to spoil the final page of the comic!

Bucky Barnes #9
Written by Ales Kot
Art by Marco Rudy

Synopsis –Loki’s plans are revealed (I think), so now it’s up to old & young Bucky, and his alien girlfriend to stop Crossbones and rescue Daisy. Although I’m not sure Daisy really needs saving.

Eric:
This is another issue of this series were I was completely lost for the whole first half of the book. I had no idea what it was trying to say, or what the artwork is trying to show. Right when I’m about to give up and put “???” as the synopsis for the issue, then the book starts to make a little bit of sense and i can kinda piece it together. But really, it’s a comic book, I shouldn’t be this lost with the narrative. The combination of the writing style with the artwork is just too much at times, and this is definitely not what I’m looking for when I want to relax with a comic book.
Story – 1/10
Art – 1/10

Etienne:
I want some of these pages to put on my wall, they are really beautiful. But as pages of a comic book, I get more sense trying to understand QR codes using just a magnifying glass.
Story – 1/10
Art – 0/10 (as comic art) 9/10 (as art)

Deathlok #9
Written by Nathan Edmondson
Art by Mike Perkins and Andy Troy

Synopsis –While new Deathlok tears into Biotek, old Deathlok handles Domino. This, of course, leads to the inevitable Dethlock vs Deathlok fight that you had to see coming the minute old Deathlok showed up in this book.

Eric:
Maybe it’s cause of the familiarity that old Deathlok bring to the picture, but this was a much better issue of this title. Of course now that old Deathlok and SHIELD are finally catching up to everything that has been going on, it’s going to take the whole issue to get the new Deathlok on their side. Everybody gets to misunderstand each other when they first meet so they get to fight it out. You know the usual superhero meet and greet. It was typical, but like I said, it was a better issue then normal for this series.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Etienne:
I’ve worked it out; only 8,000 copies of this book are being sold each time and I am convinced 7,999 of them are being bought by Eric. I think the biggest problem is that the comic failed utterly to make me give a flying monkey’s about the main character(s), which is bizarre because I really like Domino and for that matter I really like the art. I cannot believe this is the same writer as Punisher.
Story – 4/10
Art – 9/10

Moon Knight #16
Written by Cullen Bunn
Art by German Peralta and Dan Brown

Synopsis –
Moon Knight swoops into action in his Moon-glider to save the innocent victims of New York from the Rapter Gods servants.

Etienne:
Not the best Moon Knight issue, but certainly the most action packed. It has an interesting set up and makes me wonder who the Raptor God is going to turn out to be; perhaps it is Moon Knights own patron, or maybe a rival, but it does not explain why the bad guys were convinced he would be on their side.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Eric:
I’m getting a little bored with this title. This seemed like another one and done. Since Bunn has taken over the title, this is all it’s been doing. He did the one with the ghost at the meat packing plant, the one with the dogs, the one with the monster under the bed, and now this, the one with the hang glider guys that kidnap people for the Raptor Goddess. As to the Raptor Goddess (not God), if we here about her again, which I’m not entirely sure we will, I doubt she can be Khonshu, since Khonshu is male in mainstream continuity (yes, I know he is a she in Secret Wars but that’s Secret Wars). Any ways, back to the issue, I really wish Bunn would have gotten some sort of arc going so I could have actually gotten invested, but with only one more issue left, there is obviously no time to make that happen now.
Story – 6/10
Art – 7/10

Ms Marvel #16 (Last Days of)
Written by G. Willow Wilson
Art by Adrian Alphona and Ian Herring

Synopsis –Kamala is working her way through her first broken heart when everyone starts going crazy because the world is about to end.

Eric:
So Kamala is taking her breakup with Kamran pretty hard, which I’m guessing is pretty normal for a girl her age, who’s never liked a boy before. I mean they weren’t even really going out. They just went on a few “dates” that I’m not even sure you could call dates. But again, I’m pretty sure this is how a lot of young girls react, so this should still be in character for her. Either way, she doesn’t have much time for the pity party, cause the Final Incursion has come to the Ms. Marvel title, and like Mighty Avengers last week, this is a little sad to watch. What do all the little people do when the world comes to an end. Knowing the end is actually coming, I can’t help but read this and think to myself the reality of how pointless it all is when you know the actual end of the world is happening.
Story – 8/10
Art – 7/10

Etienne:
I’m surprised you don’t know how a 16 year old girl would react, I mean its not like you are THAT old… oh, wait… Never mind. To be honest, I agree with Eric, this was done really well just like Mighty Avengers, except here they decided to drag it out for another issue. I loved the last page, it made the entire series feel a bit more meaningful by that one team up.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Magneto #19 (Last Days of)
Written by Cullen Bunn
Art by Paul Davidson and Paul Mounts

Synopsis –
The final incursion is happening, Magneto and Polaris are fighting to stop it, but will Magneto’s own power trip kill him before the end of the world does?

Etienne:
How long can they drag this out for? Seriously this is the second issue of this series that has taken place in the last few moments of the world and at the end of the book it still says ‘to be continued’ – it doesn’t even give us ‘To be concluded’ meaning that likely this goes on for at least two more issues. Fortunately this is really good and I do not want it to end any time soon. Watching Magneto try and hold back an entire planet is fantastic, but seeing all the parts that lead him to this point playing out between the action is even better.
Story – 9/10
Art – 8/10

Eric:
Ok I had to look it up, but you are right, there are indeed two more issues left to this series, so I’m guess that the next issue is going to be even more dominated by flashbacks. It is kinda cheating, when your supposed to be doing this big story arc detail what Magneto was doing to stop the last incursion, and 90% of your story is actually flashbacks that are the set up to the Incursion battle, instead. It’s not bad, I’m just pointing it out. And the whole thing does get us to the one dangling thread left in the series that hasn’t been answered yet. And no, I’m not talking about the final fate of Sugar Man.
Story – 8/10
Art – 7/10

Weekly Marvel Roundup for 06/08 – 06/14

by Etienne Paul, CMRO Editor and Eric Miller, CMRO Contributing Writer

weekley_roundup_base

1602 Witch Hunter Angela #1 (WarZones)
Written by Marguerite Bennett and Kieron Gillen
Art by Stephanie Hans and Margueite Sauvage

Synopsis – Angela and Serah are out hunting for Witch-born in the land of Merry Old England; its just a shame that the purge has to go all the way to the top.

Etienne:
I was with this book fully for the first 6 pages, the reveal of who King ‘James’ was really amused me and then it rather much died. The art style changed and while not bad, just messed with reading the book and I pretty much completely lost all interest in it. Sometimes it happens when I read comics, and it is normally a sign that I hate the writing, because I still like looking a the pictures, but I cant be bothered to follow the story. And do you know why? Because if I read one more ‘thee’ or ‘thou’ I am going to shove the comic right… ahem, as you can tell, the attempt to set this in Merry Old England really bugged me by the ham-fisted way it was done.
Story – 4/10
Art – 6/10

Eric:
So we are back with Sera and Angela again, and the possible lesbian relationship that they just won’t come out and admit already. I really don’t understand why they are dancing around the issue. I mean it’s rather obvious that these two characters are way more then just friends. Also, I agree with Etienne, in that the art style change up was rather awkward, and does not help the story at all. Nor does the dialogue. If it’s annoying to me, I can just imagine what Etienne is thinking. Oh and lets not forget Angela’s overall “charming” personality that managed to survive the end of everything, so she can continue to be unlikable no matter what AU version of her pops up.
Story – 2/10
Art – 5/10

Captain Marvel and Carol Corps #1 (WarZones)
Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Kelly Thompson
Art by David Lopez

Synopsis – Carol has her own flying Corps to defend the Hala Fields; the problem is clever people with complicated equipment tend to see through the will of Doom eventually, but where will Carol’s loyalties lie?

Etienne:
Other than the cover of the comic, which I hate, the rest of this is really interesting. We again see the Will of Doom coming unravelled around the edges, you have to wonder if this is how the end will come as all the worlds rise up against him. I think the only real problem with this series is that it hits most of the same beats as the other books. New world, character introduction, problem with Doom, people start asking questions – I’ve read this at least 4 times already.
Story – 7/10
Art – 6/10

Eric:
I’m betting it won’t be the last one either. You kinda have to expect some redundancy when you are dealing with the many tie in titles, and they all have the same overall concept. I mean how many ways can you start a new title in this setting??? I actually find the books that acknowledge that the tapestry is coming unravelled have an added level of interest. Although, I’m not a fan of the exposed hair look on Carol.
Story – 8/10
Art – 6/10

Ghost Racers #1 (BattleWorld)
Written by Felipe Smith
Art by Juan Gedeon and Tamra Bonvillain

Synopsis – You thought that Roman Charioteers had it bad, but until Arcade is running the Colosseum you have no idea how far you can push your racers.

Etienne:
I really thought I was going to dislike this series, but wow, was I wrong. I like the concept of Ghost Riders, but they have been so badly handled in recent years that I was not expecting much. However I should have had more faith in Felipe Smith because he wrote a really good series building up to this, even if he was let down by the art for some of the run. This builds on the relationship between Robbie and his younger brother, while at the same time showing us the price for failure and more worryingly, the way that the games can be rigged. One of the few Secret Wars books that I am actively looking out for the next part of.
Story -8/10
Art -7/10

Eric:
Going to have to disagree with you on this one. It didn’t do all that much for me. Although I will admit, Carter Slade was pretty funny. I never really liked the All-New Ghost Rider series, and you are right that this is totally building off the same concepts and characters as its focus. So I guess if you were a fan of that series, then you should not miss this one. Maybe I’ll like the characters more this time around once it gets going.
Story – 6/10
Art – 7/10

Marvel Zombies #1 (BattleWorld)
Written by Simon Spurier
Art by Kev Walker and Frank D’Armata

Synopsis –It’s was routine day at The Shield for section Commander Elsa Bloodstone as she and her troops defend against the endless horde of zombies until the “Red Terror” shows up and manages to pull off something she did not expect.

Eric:
I am not a big zombie fan, so I was not looking forward to either of the two zombie titles, but this was actually great. I was kinda blown away by how good this was. Elsa Bloodstone is an awesome main character, and a strong female lead that I can totally support. In one issue, she totally kicks ass as a character. There is some good humor in this book as well, which was a nice surprise. Also this book is part of the Battleworld titles, and by the end of this issue, I can see why this is grouped with the titles that are more connected to the main story, even if it’s in more of a background way at the moment.
Story – 9/10
Art – 9/10

Etienne:
This was completely not what I was expecting. I had grown fond of Elsa over in Fearless Defenders and this just picks right up where that left off. I don’t know if I will like this less if the zombies become the main part of the story, but right now with them as random monsters thrown in for her to kick, I am really happy with this.
Story -8/10
Art – 7/10

Mrs Deadpool and Howling Commandos #1 (WarZones)
Written by Gerry Duggan
Art by Salva Espin and Val Staples

Synopsis – Shiklah and Deadpool were meant to be together, but for some reason it’s not working out as it did before and Dracula won. She argues for 7 days to morn her brothers, but secretly sets out to recreate the Manticore Staff, but is lumbered with the Howling Commandos.

Etienne:
This is what the Secret Wars Deadpool series should have been. Gerry has the humour absolutely perfect in this book and this is the ‘real’ Deadpool series in Secret Wars. Sorry Mr. Bunn but where you series is too referential and inward looking, this is just way out there. One of the best books in Secret Wars so far.
Story – 9/10
Art – 9/10

Eric:
I can’t agree with you more, this was pure gold. Duggan knows Deadpool. And since he created Shiklah, he knows exactly how to make this work. I, too, am not overly pleased with Bunn’s take on the humor side of a Deadpool title, but I wasn’t much of a fan of Peter David’s Deadpool title recently either. Duggan just gets the Deadpool universe, I hope he dosen’t get shuffle off after Secret Wars.
Story – 10/10
Art – 9/10

Weirdworld #1 (WarZones)
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Mike Del Mundo and Marco D’Alfonso

Synopsis –Arkon travels through the domain of Weirdworld… to be honest, I’m not really sure what is going on here.

Eric:
This is without a doubt the weirdest title to come out of Secret Wars. I mean I get that it’s in the title, but this is really out there. The story is bizarre to say the least, the domain itself doesn’t even look like it makes physical sense at times, and the “twists” are moments of “how totally out there can we take this.” Oh and it’s the artist from the recent Elektra series, so all this weirdness comes at you looking a lot like that series did, in style, which kinda adds to the surrealistic feel of everything.
Story – 3/10
Art – 5/10

Etienne:
Oh I don’t know, Where Monsters Dwell was pretty weird too. I mentioned this on the podcast in episode two, but Marvel have cast their web really wide with Secret Wars as they seem to be trying out some non-superhero related comics. This is weird, the art is weird and it doesn’t feel like a Marvel book, it doesn’t mean its bad, but I definitely need to read more of it before making up my mind.
Story – 5/10
Art – 5/10

Inferno #2 (WarZones)
Written by Dennis Hopeless
Art by Javier Garron and Chris Sotomayor

Synopsis –In order to get his sister back, Colossus makes a deal with the Goblin Queen.

Eric:
As we continue with the stubborn crusade of Colossus, things have just gotten completely absurd in this book. From the convenient appearance of the Soul Sword, to the weird demon creature Nightcrawler turns into, this book is starting to lose me. I’m also not digging the look Havok is sporting. Although, we did have our first Cable sighting in Secret Wars, which I found interesting, and was one of the things I liked about this issue.
Story – 7/10
Art – 8/10

Etienne:
This is actually much better than the first issue, most of the silly set up was over and they just got to play with the demon infested world. I am starting to get the impression that with the X-Men titles, the more I like it the less Eric does, it probably has something to do with the fact he is old and feels at home when they are closest to the comics he read as a child and I prefer them either very different or newer feeling.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Inhuman Attilan Rising #2 (BattleWorld)
Written by Charles Soule
Art by John Timms, Roberto Poggi and Frank D’Armata

Synopsis –The resistance continues to make plans while Medusa’s spies get the information she needs to put a stop to this rebellion once and for all. Are Black Bolts efforts to bring down New Attilan already doomed to failure before they’ve even begun?

Eric:
This was a really good issue, with a guest star I wasn’t sure whether or not she would show up in this title. The story is going at a good pace, and like a few of the other Battleworld titles, it’s starting to flesh out more of its closer tie-in status with the overall story of Secret Wars. I like that both sides of this story have fan favorite characters, making it harder for the audience to know what side to get behind.
Story – 8/10
Art – 9/10

Etienne:
Like most of Secret Wars I have absolutely no idea where this is going. With the characters split as Eric said it is not like one side can win out over the other otherwise come the end of Secret Wars the Inhumans will be decimated. This actually feels like a complete repeat of the previous volume, but set in a slightly different setting as Black Bolt and Medusa continue their private war from beyond the end of he previous universe.
Story – 8/10
Art – 9/10

Secret Wars 2099 #2 (WarZones)
Written by Peter David
Art by Will Sliney and Antonio Fabela

Synopsis –Captain America’s “secret” identity has an assassination attempt taken out on her, but luckily her alter ego comes to the rescue. Now it’s a job for the Avengers to track down the guy that put out the hit.

Eric:
I don’t get the whole secret identity thing for the Captain character, the only person it seems to be a secret from is herself. But we are obviously not supposed to understand it yet, so I guess I’ll just go with it for now. I liked this issue much better then the first issue, as we got a little more feel for the characters. This issue brought in a few more characters from the original brand, but I still feel it’s lacking in that department, although what the Hulk brought to the table was a nice touch.
Story – 8/10
Art – 7/10

Etienne:
I couldn’t agree more, this was much like Inferno, in that this issue really clicked for me. I am also wondering why ‘Cap’ is mind controlled in this fashion, but as Eric said I am sure we are going to have a huge reveal for it at some point. I love the fact that the Avengers are not the only group in 2099 to get an update and watching the Defenders kick some Avenger backside will be fun.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Secret Wars Journal #2 (BattleWorld)
Written by Kevin Maurer and Simon Spurrier
Art by Cory Smith, Jonathan Marks, Jesus Aburtov and Miroslav Mrva

Synopsis –First up, Misty Knight and Paladin are cops in KillVille who just happen to come across the Kraven Coin on their current bust, now if they can only get to the penthouse of Kraven’s Casino to collect the prize. In the second story we get a glimpse into the lives of Collektra and the man that loves her, Murdock the Cook, and the twisted Barony they work for, the Sinisters.

Eric:
The first story was pretty boring, and a throw away as most anthology books tend to be, You have Misty Knight and Paladin running around as cops trying to cash in on a “golden ticket” type storyline. One that basically everyone in Killville is willing to, um, you know, kill for it. But I gotta say, I kinda liked the second story. This was a very dark story about the domain of Bar Sinister, and had a great twist that pretty much sold me on this short story.
Story – 6 overall (8 for the Sinister story)
Art – 7/10

Etienne:
I was completely the other way around. I found the first story fascinating and the second one utterly unreadable. I loved their attempt to cash in the coin to get a fortune, it felt like exactly the sort of mayhem that would happen in the real world if reality TV became real and no holes bared. However the Sinister story was done by someone who wanted to paint with fog and I lost interested completely after the third page.
Story -8/10 (2/10 second story)
Art – 8/10 (0/10 second story)

Spider-Verse #2 (WarZones)
Written by Mike Costa
Art by Andre Araujo and Rachelle Rosenberg

Synopsis – Gwen steals Peter Porker from the lab and takes him to meet up with the other ‘lost’ Spiders as they go after any other Spiders they can find, its just a shame it happens to be Carnage…

Etienne:
This book has possible the best cover I have seen in ages, and it isn’t even a Mark Brooks one! Even the Spider-Man Noir variant cover is fantastic, its just a shame that the interior art does not even get close. The story is fine, but it feels very ‘small’ compared with the other Secret Wars titles and it really pales into comparison with the Spider-Gwen solo title out this week as well.
Story – 6/10
Art – 4/10

Eric:
I’m actually enjoying this title, and feel a little nostalgia seeing this group of Spider-characters back together after the original Spider-Verse. I know it’s only been a couple months since we had Spider-Verse, but it was really good, and although this is not in that ballpark of quality, it’s still enjoyable seeing everybody again. I do agree with you on the artwork, it really needs some work.
Story – 7/10
Art – 4/10

Ultimate End #2 (BattleWorld)
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Mark Bagley, Drew Hennessy and Justin Ponsor

Synopsis – The Thor’s converge to tell the assembled heroes that they should not try and mess with the dimensional rift and they need to leave it alone, but one man speaks up and pays the ultimate price.

Etienne:
I still think this is ‘the’ Secret Wars title, outside the titular series because it is based in New York and contains practically all the living Super heroes, both Avengers and X-Men. This seems to be a setting up issue in that there are lots of story threads all playing out along side each other with little or no conclusion to any of them. I can only expect that events will drive them all together soon enough, probably at the head of a rampaging herd of Hulks.
Story – 8/10
Art – 9/10

Eric:
After Secret Wars #3, I’m not so sure I agree with you on the characters in this title. I mean I know it labels stuff 616 or 1610, but then that would mean there are actually two 616 Spider-Mans, how is that even possible??? Little things seem to be off for some of the characters, based on where we left them at the end. But then other characters seem perfectly in-line, none of it really helps. I’m wondering if this is just another AU domain, designed to look like 616/1610. As to the Hulks, how many of the are there in this domain???
Story – 8/10
Art – 9/10

Silk #5
Written by Robbie Thompson
Art by Stacey Lee and Ian Herring

Synopsis – When you annoy the Black Cat she never lets the grudge drop. Kidnapping the child of the wanna-be supervillan who Cindy helped in issue 3, it is up to Silk to save the day, or die trying.

Etienne:
I still marvel at the fact they can have this series as well as Spider-Woman and Spider-Gwen all in print at the same time and all feel so different an interesting. I jump back and forth as to which one I like best and after I read each issue I am convinced I have made up my mind. We are being treated to an ongoing series where she is torn between having a normal life, finding her family and saving the city and it is never the superheroing that turns out to be the most dangerous.
Story – 8/10
Art – 7/10

Eric:
See, for me, Silk always seems to come in 3rd out of the titles your talking about. It’s an all right title, but it doesn’t really blow me away. I’m not a big fan of the artwork, and the story is just mediocre at best. Although the end of this issue gave me the impression that next issue might finally move the background story along some, which is would be way more interesting then watching the Black Cat as the main villain in yet another Spider-book.
Story – 6/10
Art – 5/10

Spider-Gwen #5 (Final Issue???)
Written by Jason Latour
Art by Robbi Rodriguez and Rico Renzi

Synopsis –Gwen and her band are the opening act for there old rival, Felicia Hardy. What they don’t know is that their little rivalry is nothing compared to some of the other groups Felicia has had dealings with.

Eric:
As much as my partner is going to deny this, this is the final issue of Spider-Gwen, at least for now. I’m sure she will be coming back in some way, either with a new #1 or at least in another team book with her headlining. With the sales this girl has been doing, Marvel would be stupid to cancel her permanently. But then they are heavily pushing her as the lead in Spider-Verse during Secret Wars so, again I’m sure she is coming back somehow. This was another great issue, and it gave a lot of set up for future stories to work off of. It will be interesting to see what happens to this character after Secret Wars.
Story – 8/10
Art – 7/10

Etienne:
Hey, I’m not denying anything, but even though the writer claims its the end, I don’t understand how or why. Unlike all the other series that have ended with Secret Wars there is a ‘to be continued’ at the end and also there is a complete absence of the Secret Wars logo on the last page. If this is the end, I am really confused because supposedly after Secret Wars we are not going back to this universe, so if this is the end, it is a really shoddy end. Working on the basis that this is not the end, then this is a fantastic issue which takes her away from repeating the same story beats as Amazing Spider-Man did at the beginning and allowing her to branch out on her own.
Story – 9/10
Art – 8/10

Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #9 (Last Days Of)
Written by Al Ewing
Art by Luke Ross and Rachelle Rosenberg

Synopsis – The world is ending, the final incursion is happening and what do the Mighty Avengers do, what they always did, save the little people.

Etienne:
Well that was an emotional end to the series. It feels like they tried to tug on every heart string going as the Mighty Avengers (reduced to just ‘Mighty’ by Tony Stark’s lawyers) sacrifice themselves saving the world over and over again, but still managed to get home to their family before the very end. Pointless and depressing, but heart-warming all the same.
Story – 8/10
Art – 9/10

Eric:
You know, this series had it’s ups and downs, but with an ending issue like that one, and the letter at the end from Ewing, at least you get the feeling that he really cared about this series. I, too, got the emotional tug from this issue that your talking about, Etienne. And it wasn’t just about the superheroes, but about the whole thing ending. They played it just right in this one, and showed us a much more personal side of the end of everything.
Story – 8/10
Art – 9/10

Silver Surfer #12
Written by Dan Slott
Art by Michael Allred and Laura Allred

Synopsis –Norrin and Dawn have been living on the planet for months, it seems, and for some strange reason they keep convincing themselves they don’t want to leave.

Eric:
This book has been up and down in the beginning, but since the Galactus arc it has stayed mostly up more then down. This issue was intriguing, and there was obviously not something right from the beginning, so it does a good job of hooking you in, even if the pay-off was a little weak. This was the last regular issue of the series, before it becomes a ‘Last Days Of’ title, and I could definitely see that Slott was trying to do this one with the big finish moment at the end.
Story – 7/10
Art – 7/10

Etienne:
I completely agree, this book has been up and down, but it was down after the first arc and has basically been up ever since. The art has really grown on me since the series started and some of the big splash pages feel like a Where’s-Wally as you look all over the page to see what all the different characters are doing. I am going to be really interested to see what a fully wound up and annoyed herald is going to do against the end of the universe when the next issue hits.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

And From A Galaxy Far Far Away…

Kanan: The Last Padawan #3
Written by Greg Weisman
Art by Pepe Larraz and David Curiel

Synopsis – A Padawan without a master is more than a little lost, so after stealing a ship, Kanan returns it to the very person he stole it from because he had no where else to go.

Etienne:
This book loves its cliffhangers and it sends us out with another dramatic one today. It has only taken them 3 issues to show us how a young Padawan survives order 66 and becomes a pirate/trader/Solo rip-off, but clearly there is a lot to tell after this issue finishes. I am not so interested in this series as the other Star Wars titles, but it is still interesting. Perhaps if I had watched more of the Rebels TV show I might care a bit more?
Story -7/10
Art -9/10

Eric:
I’m not sure if the show would help you or not, honestly. The only connection to it is Kanan, who is more a cross between Kenobi and Solo, and I’m not sure I’d even call him the “main” character of the show. That would actually be his Padawan, Ezra, who is another Skywalker type character. In fact he dosen’t even meet the female Twi’lek on the promos, who sets him on the Rebels path, until the novel, A New Dawn, where he’s been pretending to be Kanan for about 8 years. Now if this series was about the 6 year gap between those two meeting and the start of the show, I could agree with you. But this is about a time in his life that actually plays no part in the show at all. Personally, I thought thius was another great issue, and I’m glad they are moving the story forward and getting through the setup up front, instead of dragging it out for another half a dozen issues.
Story – 9/10
Art – 9/10

Weekly Marvel Roundup for 06/01 – 06/07

by Etienne Paul, CMRO Editor and Eric Miller, CMRO Contributing Writer

weekley_roundup_base

Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows #1 (WarZones)
Written by Dan Slott
Art by Adam Kubert, John Dell and Justin Ponsor

Synopsis – One More Day never happened, Peter and MJ are still married and everything is great, that is until superheroes start showing up dead in the street.

Etienne:
This is strange because unlike the other books in Secret Wars the people in this domain do not seem to know they are there. This is just as if One More Day never happened and we jumped straight into the ongoing universe of the time, complete with an old Iron Man suit and Cap with wings on his head. This is honestly one of the best books so far I have read in this new event and I would love for this to be the version of Peter that survives the event.
Story – 9/10
Art – 9/10

Eric:
It definitely had a lot of elements I wasn’t expecting. Although I wouldn’t say this picks up right were One More Day started, since that was after Civil War Parker was a fugitive Avenger. This seems to be more of a mix of stuff with heavy influence from right before Spidey joined the Avengers. As to this Parker being the surviving Parker, after that ending, I’ll wait to see how this pans out first.
Story – 8/10
Art – 9/10

Armor Wars #1 (WarZones)
Written by James Robinson
Art by Marcio Takara and Esther Sanz

Synopsis – The domain of Baron Tony Stark is filled with people trapped in Iron Suits to survive, but Arno has plans to take control.

Etienne:
For a book that is literally filled with exposition, they actually do not tell us very much at all. There are huge sections of this book that scream out ‘just go with it’ and frankly I can’t. They say they are all trapped in the iron suits, the entire population and it is implied there is something wrong with the air, but then they need to wear them inside as well, but can also take their helmets off. This doesn’t make a lot of sense really and Stark’s reasons for not taking down his brother are one step short of farcical, but I’m willing to give it another issue before panning it.
Story – 5/10
Art – 8/10

Eric:
I’m not sure if it’s something to do with the air or not, I really didn’t get that, but maybe that is part of it, and there is more to it, and the air is filtered inside so they can at least take of their masks. I agree with you that other then introduce a few characters, and give us some broad strokes as to the way Baron Stark deals with certain individuals, it really didn’t give us all that much to go on, this issue.
Story – 5/10
Art – 6/10

Future Imperfect #1 (WarZones)
Written by Peter David
Art by Greg Land and Nolan Woodard

Synopsis – While taking some alone time in the desert, Ruby finds an old man, lost and alone, claiming to be THE Odin, and showing a distinct hate for the Maestro. She decides to take him back with her to the resistance.

Eric:
This was not at all what I was expecting, but then that seems to be the case with a lot of the WarZone titles. This had a lot of twist and turns, in just the first issue, and it makes it really hard to talk about it without spoiling anything. There was a lot of action, and it had a good pace, and the last page has me really interested in seeing what comes next. So, all in all, not a bad start.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Etienne:
I am completely with you in that regard, that was not remotely what I was expecting at all. As much as it pains me to say it, I really do love Greg Lands art when he gets it right, and this book gets it absolutely spot on. For a title that I had absolutely no expectations of, this one is really brightening my day. A Hulk book that I don’t hate?
Story – 9/10
Art – 10/10

Giant Size Little Marvel AvX #1 (WarZones)
Written by Skottie Young
Art by Skottie Young and Jean-Francois Beaulieu

Synopsis – Its little Marvel AvX – the clue is in the title.

Etienne:
Now this is funny. I don’t care about continuity or having to take this seriously or any of the stuff I normally am bothered about with these sort of books, because it is just that damn funny. This reduces AVX to two groups of pre-teens fighting it out across a suburban street and frankly, its just brilliant. Howard, Squirrel Girl – take note – this is how a funny book should be done.
Story – 9/10
Art – 9/10

Eric:
Yeah I gotta agree, this is a great, lighter-side, story that you can just sit back and enjoy how stupid all the characters overact. The jokes are funny, and spot on. You saying Howard and Squirrel should take notes, I think the Deadpool’s Secret Wars team should take notes. I thought this was a much better comic relief piece, and we are talking Deadpool, here. IF this stays solid, maybe Skottie can do Civil War next.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Groot #1 (New Series)
Written by Jeff Loveness
Art by Brian Kesinger

Synopsis – Groot has persuaded Rocket to come with him on a scenic road trip to Earth, but jumping the shark isn’t enough for them.

Etienne:
How do you do a book entirely about Groot? Well, the answer is you don’t. What you do is Groot AND Rocket because having a talking tree who can only say ‘I AM GROOT’ gets really boring really fast. They tried it in an issue of Rocket’s solo series and while some people found it funny, by page 4 I wanted to scream and rip the comic apart (well smash my Ipad…). Judging by the end of this comic I worry that the rest of the series is going to be like this and I don’t think I can cope with that again.
Story – 6/10
Art – 6/10

Eric:
I’m completely confused, how are we getting a new series launch that is not part of Secret Wars during their big marketing campaign that there is nothing left but Secret Wars??? I can understand some of the titles hanging on but isn’t launching a new one a blatant contradiction to the status quo they are pushing in their press releases. And although I enjoyed the Groot issue of Rocket Raccoon much more then Etienne, I can’t help but agree with him that if this series does pull away from Rocket being involved, the language barrier is going to be hard to pull off for sustaining an ongoing series.
Story – 7/10
Art – 7/10

Thanos Infinity Relativity (Original Graphic Novel)
Written by Jim Starlin
Art by Jim Starlin, Andy Smith, Frank D’Armata and Rachelle Rosenberg

Synopsis – The second part of Starlin’s graphic novel trilogy, and as Thanos delves deeper into the true nature of what Adam Warlock has become, Annhilus’ search for a new power source puts him on a direct course to cross paths with them.

Eric:
So this is the second part of Jim Starlin’s Original Graphic Novel trilogy, and it also is a direct sequel to the recent Thanos vs Hulk mini that was released. So in reality, this is a 4 part series, but for some reason the second part was released as individual issues. And then re-released as a trade… but I digress. This was kinda of slow going at first, at it seemed that the entire first half of the book is purely set-up for Warlock. But, once the action gets going, and we get to the meat of the story, the book has a nice flow to it that works. I felt this time around, the story was a lot more straight forward then in The Infinity Revelation, and much easier to understand what was going on, although it was a bit wordy at times. Starlin’s artwork is at it’s usual level of quality, and the entire book is wonderful to look at.
Story – 8/10
Art – 9/10

Etienne:
Art – Fantastic. Story – probably fantastic. Sorry, sounds like a cop-out but I need to read this about 10 more times, as well as re-reading all those previous books that Eric listed, just to get me to at point where I am remotely capable of making a reasoned contribution to the discussion.
Story – ?/10
Art – 9/10

X-Tinction Agenda #1 (WarZones)
Written by Marc Guggenheim
Art by Carmine Di Giandomenico and Nolan Woodard

Synopsis – Years after the X-Men won the X-Tinction Agenda conflict, a new virus has turned Genosha into a quarantined island, and neither God Emperor Doom nor Baron Rachel Grey are willing to step in and help.

Eric:
So the first of the two big x-titles this week, and unlike Inferno, this isn’t really a “What If?” scenario specifically. The outcome of X-Tinction Agenda is still the same in this, it just seems that after wards things veered down a different path then they did back in 616. I liked the concept, and the cast, although it will take me a little to get used to the artwork, but for the most part another good start for one of the première X-Titles.
Story – 8/10
Art – 6/10

Etienne:
Its the same art style as All-New X-Factor had, and you liked that didn’t you? I will be honest, I never read the original series of this and while I knew about it, this was the first time I had experienced any of it. I have to say so far, I’m not a big fan, but it might have time to grow on me. Possible I am not a fan because practically every X-Man I like is dead in this universe…
Story – 6/10
Art – 7/10

Years of Future Past #1 (WarZones)
Written by Marguerite Bennett
Art by Mike Norton and FCO Plascencia

Synopsis – In a Dystopian future domain, resembling the one seen in Days of Future Past, Christina Pryde searches the New York City Zoo for chemicals to destroy the inhibitor collars that all mutants must wear. Once her and her mother are successful, the Mutant Revolution will have the spark it needs to begin.

Eric:
It would seem that this is going to tell us a variation on the general concept of Days of Future Past but the whole story is taking place in the future setting, so far. All the major players from the original storyline are here, plus some new additions. Once again, I really like the cast they are working with in this title, and I thought it had a good start. The artwork was really good, and just on artwork alone this has been my favorite of the x-titles. Although, Old Man Logan still wins for story.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Etienne:
I really didn’t get this at all. I am fed up already with rehashed X-titles, where are all the current X-Men? So Far I have seen Cyclops in Secret Wars, other than that we are looking at AU characters all around and that makes me a bit sad.
Story – 5/10
Art – 7/10

Master of Kung Fu #2 (BattleWorld)
Written by Haden Blackman
Art by Dalibor Talajic, Goran Sudzuka and Miroslav Mrva

Synopsis – Shang-Chi needs students about as much as he needs a strong cup of coffee, but will he sober up long enough to realise it?

Etienne:
This is one of the Secret Wars books which is merely ‘average’. It is in interesting in places, but it has yet to give me a reason to actually care about it or any of the characters in it. It really needs to make us want to help the supporting cast, because without that we are left in the position of not being remotely bothered if anything bad happens to them and right now I would be happy to watch them all die.
Story – 6/10
Art – 6/10

Eric:
Wow, yeah I have to disagree with you on this one. I really like the supporting cast. I love that they are all based on Morlocks and X-Men mixed with the Kung Fu characters. The story is not super original, but it’s enjoyable enough, and drunken Shang Chi has been entertaining so far. I don’t even agree with your artwork score, which seems low in my opinion.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Secret Wars Battleworld #2 (BattleWorld)
Written by David F. Walker and Donny Cates
Art by J.J. Kirby, Maro Turini, Matt Milla and Frank D’Armata

Synopsis – Blade the Vampire Hunter is hunting vampires. in New Quack City. Meanwhile, over in the Arena, the Taskmaster tries to throw his weight around with Arcade, which turns out to be not that much weight at all.

Eric:
There is the Event anthology book I’m used to. A bunch of mediocre stories that are completely forgettable by the time the next issue comes out. And the Blade meets Howard story was not very good at all. The second story wasn’t horrible, but does it have anything to do with anything, or is that just a way to show a weird and twisted Ross/War Machine. I don’t even know at this point.
Story – 5/10
Art – 8/10

Etienne:
Oh wow, that first story was utter trash. Seriously was that Count Duckula? No sorry, its Drackula. Give me a break, that was just awful. The second part was ok, but nothing special, mainly because War Machine and Arcade are hardly the most interesting pairing in a comic. Eric, you were way too generous with the scores for this one.
Story – 3/10
Art – 5/10

Secret Wars #3
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Esad Ribic and Ive Svorcina

Synopsis – As Sheriff Strange looks into the mystery of the Raft, we find out that the Cabal were not the only ones to survive the end. Strange explains the state of reality to the newcomers, while Doom and his consort, Susan, talk about the origin of Battleworld’s Sun, and Doom’s position as God.

Eric:
Wow, talk about a plot dump. This issue goes a long way towards answering all those questions that people have had up to this point, as to what exactly has been going on. Strange releases the heroes from the second raft, and then explains to them basically everything that has happened in great detail. There were other details explained through a deep conversation between Doom and Strange that was about the creation of Battleworld and Doom’s mantle of Godhood. Basically this is the issue a lot of people have been waiting for, and it’s a really great issue. So, much to digest.
Story – 10/10
Art – 10/10

Etienne:
If they plot dump like this every issue, then I will not ever complain. I love the way we are finally being given access to the ‘real’ characters and by that I mean the original 616/1610 versions of them. Also we are starting to see who knows what is really going on and it is a very limited pool of people. I may have been too hasty when I decided that this event was a blow out, just so long as they can keep this going at this level.
Story – 10/10
Art – 10/10

Guardians Team-Up #6
Written by Bill Willingham
Art by Diogo Saito and Chris Sotomayor

Synopsis – Nightcrawler and Gamora are set to battle to the death in a distant gladiatorial arena.

Etienne:
How the heck did Marvel persuade Bill Willingham to come out of comfortable retirement to write this book? I am not complaining, I just got a real shock when I saw who the writer was. As it happens it’s not a bad book, it just seems to be an extremely random choice. Gamora vs Nightcrawler isn’t a bad match up and he artist goes a long way to making this something worth picking up, even if the twist is about as badly hidden as a Hulk in snowfield.
Story – 7/10
Art – 9/10

Eric:
Yeah I have no idea who that is you mentioned*, and honestly this issue did nothing to make me want to find out. I was just really bored through most of it. There was so much setup that needed to be laid out for the twist that we barely even got to see Gamora and Nightcrawler vs each other till practically the end of the book. I will give you that the artwork is top notch, though, and about the only thing that made me want to keep reading it.
Story – 4/10
Art – 9/10

*Editors Note – Bill Willingham – Man who created Fables? Come on, I cant be the only one here that doesn’t just read Marvel?

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #6
Written by Ryan North
Art by Erica Henderson, Eloise Narrington and Rico Renzi

Synopsis – Doren meets some other animal based college superheroes, and now her roommate, Nancy, feels left out.

Eric:
Whatever this is, it’s much better then the statue of liberty story. This really went to some wacky places. Some of it worked, and some of it was kinda weird, but overall not a bad issue for Squirrel Girl.
Story – 7/10
Art – 7/10

Etienne:
I clearly have a far lower tolerance for ‘weirdness’ in my comics, because what you called ‘wacky’ I call down right silly. The Pet Avengers were a stupid concept and that damn squirrel is just as bad. I was all for giving this series the benefit of the doubt when it started, but right now this is heading down the toilet for me.
Story – 3/10
Art – 5/10

Spider-Woman #8
Written by Dennis Hopeless
Art by Javier Rodriquez, Alvaro Lopez and Muntsa Vicente

Synopsis – Jess takes a wrecking ball to the face, but still manages to save the day.

Etienne:
I still really like this series, even if I haven’t warmed to her new costume. For a final part of an arc, it just feels rather anti-climatic. I know that she is basically fighting Ripley from the end of Aliens, but she’s been an Avenger for years, that sort of fight should be second nature to her. That’s the problem with characters who step back from their past, once you have been an Avenger everything else feels a bit petty.
Story – 7/10
Art – 8/10

Eric:
Oh come on, you gotta draw the fight out a little, or else the book would be about half the size. I thought this issue was a decent end to the arc, nothing anti-climatic about it. I mean what else did you want, these weren’t real super-villians. It closed out the story, and strengthened the connection between Jessica and Urich, so I think it was a fine ending, personally.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Superior Iron Man #9 (Final Issue)
Written by Tom Taylor
Art by Yildiray Cinar and Guru-eFX

Synopsis – The fight between Tony and A.I. Tony continues, and both sides have a few more tricks up their sleeves before the end.

Eric:
This has been a great little run and concept for Iron Man. I’m glad that they were able to make this last issue feel like it was not a rushed ending, and although it didn’t give us any direct details or story build up as to where Tony was during Time Runs Out, it gave us some nice closure, and put Tony in a place where we can fill in the blanks ourselves. This was a very personal journey for Tony, and I’m glad that the cast stayed so small all the way to the end, although I do hope we get to see more of Pepper and her new armor after Secret Wars.
Story – 9/10
Art – 9/10

Etienne:
I felt this could have gone on for a few more issues, there was a lot happening in this book and a lot very fast. Like Eric said, this gave us a good idea of just why Tony went off the deep end during time runs out, I am just surprised that his fragile ego managed to survive at all after the emotional kicking he got here.
Story – 9/10
Art – 9/10

Amazing Spider-Man #18.1
Written by Gerry Conway
Art by Carlo Barberi, Juan Vlasco and Israel Silva

Synopsis – Black Cat continues to try to climb up the underworld hierarchical ladder, and the Enforcers decide to back her and give her some direction, which leads to a jail break for Hammerhead and Tombstone. But, of course, Spidey and the Wraith show up to complicate matters.

Eric:
This is just a week of great looking comics. Spider-Man is no exception. The line work is fantastic, and the colors make everything come alive in this one. Once again, the story line on this set of .1 issues that Conway is doing is just great. I see a lot of people talking about the mediocre quality of his earlier runs, but this is just not the case with the current storyarc he has going on here. In fact I wish all .1 runs could be this good.
Story – 8/10
Art – 9/10

Etienne:
As Eric said, this looks amazing and the story isn’t half bad either. The best part about this book is that Peter cannot really trust anyone. Even his work partner has reasons to screw him over, mainly that she was in love with the previous person inhabiting his body. His partner in superheroing is also flaky and frankly when the Black Cat, who wants to kill you, is the closest thing to a friend that you have, you know you are in for a bad day.
Story – 8/10
Art – 9/10

Wolverines #20 (Final Issue)
Written by Charles Soule
Art by Juan Doe

Synopsis – Mystique finally double crosses everyone, but will it bring her what she actually desired?

Etienne:
I am officially lost. I have no idea what it was Mystique wanted, why she wanted it or who she was supposedly waiting for. Even if I did know that I have no idea how she could have set this up in advance because it took the death of Wolverine to set up this chain of events and as far as I know, she had nothing to do with that. What a terrible way to end this series, with an ending which completely passed me by.
Story – 2/10
Art – 6/10

Eric:
Well, since we already talked in private about some of this, I won’t raze you too much, but had I realized you didn’t know who Destiny was this whole time I probably would have mentioned it sooner. But, even knowing what the whole endgame was about, I feel cheated. This is definitely what I would call anti-climatic. In fact I kinda feel like the ending made the whole series into a big joke on the reader. So, yeah, I’m not really thrilled with this one all that much.
Story – 1/10
Art – 5/10

All-New X-Men #41 (Final Issue)
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Mahmud Asrar and Marte Gracia

Synopsis – Maria parks a Helicarrier on the lawn of the school and doesn’t get ripped in two by X-23. There are strange goings on at Utopia and perhaps it is best that mutants deal with it.

Etienne:
This is another one of those ‘not the end’ final issues as it is concluded in Uncanny X-Men #600, but even still I think this is a decent end to this series. It is strange that the team that started the Xavier School are completely absent save for Magik and the All-New X-Men are the ones calling the place home now. Even after 40+ issues this concept has not worn thin for me and I really hope they come though Secret Wars mostly unscathed.
Story – 8/10
Art – 7/10

Eric:
Well, it wasn’t a horrible issue, but I felt is pretty average. There has been no progress in this series since they came back from the Ultimates and this final issue has been more of the same. The only thing I did like about this is that Boom-Boom is back at one of the main headquarters again and not lost to writer limbo. But how she went from being part of one of Cable’s X-Force teams to hiding out on Utopia, I guess we’ll never know. I hope she ends up on a main team after Secret Wars.
Story – 7/10
Art – 7/10

 

And from a Galaxy Far Far Away….

 

Darth Vader #6
Written by Kieron Gillen
Art by Salvador Larroca and Edgar Delgado

Synopsis – Vader must prove himself to the Emperor against the technologically advanced warriors that Cylo has been training to impress the Emperor, and possibly replace Vader. The rift between Master and Student slowly grows larger.

Eric:
Yet another amazing issue from arguably the best Marvel Star Wars title they are producing currently. This title is working really well to flesh out an aspect of Vader and the Emperor’s relationship that I feel we barely got a taste of in the movies. The growing problems in the relationship between Sideous and Vader. I mean, yes, of course Vader tempted Luke that they could join forces and defeat the Emperor in the movies, but I always thought that was more Vader just saying that to trick Luke to join the Dark Side. I am really liking this whole idea that Vader really does have the ambition to overthrow the Emperor and take it all for himself, and I love how they are fleshing it out in this series.
Story – 9/10
Art – 9/10

Etienne:
I cannot believe you gave this 9/10. Honestly what does it take to get a 10 out of you? This was simply epic in all senses of the word and the ending of this book hit notes that can only be bettered by seeing the films for the first time. This is about as good as it can get, I just wish that these writers would get their butts back into the Marvel universe and take some of that talent there.
Story – 10/10
Art – 10/10

Princess Leia #4
Written by Mark Waid
Art by Terry Dodson, Rachel Dodson and Jordie Bellaire

Synopsis – Leia shows us that even the most insignificant person can be important as she trades herself for a nobody in Imperial custody.

Etienne:
I am certain there is a real kicker coming in the final issue, but I will be honest and I have no idea what it is. I am actually really gutted that this series is ending, it is not like there are a limited number of stories you can tell with Princess Leia, then again there are so many characters in the Star Wars universe they need to give space so that they can all get a say.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Eric:
I feel like this “series” is going to be a tester ground for many character driven solo titles. With Lando already announced to be up next after Leia, maybe this is their way of testing the waters to see which characters have the demand for an actual ongoing solo title on their own. With the sales that all the Star Wars titles have been doing, this is totally not out of the question. For the moment, as good as the Leia series has been, I’m not against this idea. Gives a good way to feel out a couple different characters and see what’s more interesting. This issue was really good, and really got to the heart of what makes Leia the character that she is.
Story – 8/10
Art – 7/10

Star Wars #6
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by John Cassaday and Laura Martin

Synopsis – Han lands on a core of a gas giant to save his and Leia’s life, while Luke battles for his own against Boba Fett in Obiwan’s house.

Etienne:
Ok, this is two books in one and both of them are utterly epic in their own right. The reveal in the Han and Leia section is simply the biggest ‘WTF’ I have ever had in the Star Wars universe, frankly that’s on a par with ‘No I am your Father’ But there is no way I am giving that away, you need to read the book for yourself. The other side is a pretty brutal fight between Luke and Boba which leads back to Vader and one name. One very important name.
Story – 10/10
Art – 10/10

Eric:
Wow, this and Vader were just incredible this week. I really am blown away by how good this title has been and this issue was absolutely amazing. The series started out with a big epic arc, but not we are getting some great character driven storys out of this, and it has gotten so much deeper and better. If your any kinda of Star Wars fan and you are not reading this you are really doing yourself a disservice. Oh and for those interested in continuity, I would read this before this weeks Vader, just for small details.*
Story – 10/10
Art – 10/10

*Editors Note: Interestingly I would have said the exact opposite for the same reasons. Either way, just read them, they are both exceptional.

Star Wars #3 – Review

by Eric Miller, CMRO Contributing Writer

Star Wars

Issue #3

Written by Jason Aaron with Art by John Cassaday and Laura Martin

Published: April 2015

Star Wars 003-1cThe end of the first story arc in the new title from Marvel, and this continues to be a great roller coaster ride all the way to the end. Aaron continues the level of momentum and action that has remain dominate in this story arc, and has brought it to a really good, epic conclusion.

Aaron continues to nail the characterizations of characters we’ve know for years. And once again the story gives us many moments for them all to shine. From Leia and Han bickering over how to deal with the crazy situation they are currently in, or Luke racing around on a speeder bike, like a bat out of hell, trying to save the day. Chewie is back in this one, and has some memorable scenes, but once again Vader is the highlight of the show, as he single handedly takes down the AT-AT Walker Han and Leia are trying to make there escape in, on foot with his lightsaber. Easily one of the most awesome things I have seen Vader do.

This overall story arc has just been fantastic, and everything you could want from a main title Star Wars comic taking place in the middle of the original trilogy. The artwork in this issue, once again is some of Cassaday’s best. The detail is amazing, and every panel is so alive. This is easily one of the best looking titles Marvel is currently producing and this issue was spectacular.

This series had to come out of the gate, swinging, and it has not disappointed in the slightest. This finale issue to the first story arc has exceeded my expectations and has set a very high bar for the rest of the series, and if this issue is any indication of what to expect going forward, I think Mr. Aaron has a pretty good handle on things, and we should just enjoy the ride.

Weekly Marvel Roundup for 05/25 – 05/31

by Etienne Paul, CMRO Editor and Eric Miller, CMRO Contributing Writer

weekley_roundup_base copy

Inferno #1 (Warzones)
Written by Dennis Hopeless
Art by Javier Garron and Chris Sotomayor

Synopsis – The X-Men lost Inferno; due to a pact made between Colossus and Cyclops (the Baron of this domain), once a year Colossus gets to take a team of X-Men into the Inferno to try and save his sister, but after a horrible fourth attempt, Colossus has to plead for one last try…

Eric:
This is the first title of Secret Wars, so far, that is basically a “What If?” of the title it is named after. Where other titles, like Planet Hulk, seem to only be related to the parent story in name, this title goes with the idea that the X-Men actually lost Inferno, one of the big mutant crossovers of the 90s. Many of the characters you would expect to see make appearances, but it also seems to throw in some modern characterizations in the mix, like the recent relationship between Domino and Colossus. I feel the biggest deterrent for this title, is that the art feels a little off at times, but otherwise this was basically a setup issue, with a lot x-men vs demon fights in it.
Story – 7/10
Art – 6/10

Etienne:
Finally an X-Men title in the new Secret Wars, unfortunately it is probably the weakest one I have read so far. This really suffers if you have not already read Inferno; sure you do not need to have read it to understand it, but you lose so much because you have no point of reference for it. This looks, feels and reads like a Whats-If book and so far I am not excited about it.
Story – 5/10
Art – 6/10

Infinity Gauntlet #1 (Warzones)
Written by Gerry Duggan
Art by Dustin Weaver

Synopsis –In a domain where the “planet” has been destroyed by an invasion force of giant bugs from outerspace, what’s left of one small family tries to survive in the fallout, and stay hidden from the bugs. But when Dad and Grandpa’s arguments get a little too load, hiding quickly turns to running…

Eric:
I don’t know how this premise even fits into the overall concept of Battleworld. So, somehow this one domain has been invaded from outer space, in a universe where as far as we know, Battleworld is the only thing that exist. This title is definitely one of the more confusing concepts that has come out so far, and I’m not really feeling it. Plus, we see Thanos lurking in the background, and I’m betting that isn’t the 616 Thanos. And the inclusion of him, and the gems seems arbitrary to the main storyline in this issue.
Story – 5/10
Art – 6/10

Etienne:
I hate end of the world stories, be it zombies, bugs or tidal waves, because they are always so depressing. I have to say if it was the end of the world and everyone was dead, Ill find a nice comfortable place to lie down and die with the rest of humanity rather than suffer every day and survive. I don’t like this book at all and it falls into the same category as Where Monsters Dwell below as a book that is so tenuously connected to the Marvel continuity that I simply do not care one bit about it.
Story – 4/10
Art – 5/10

Inhumans Attilan Rising #1 (Battleworld)
Written by Charles Soule
Art by John Timms, Roberto Poggi and Frank D’Armata

Synopsis – New Attilan sits at the heart of Manhattan ruled by Queen Medusa, meanwhile the Voice Unheard is trying to rid Greenland of Hulks.

Etienne:
Like a lot of these new titles I am horribly lost. While I recognise the vast majority of characters, it is really difficult because a lot of them do not look quite the same as they used to and even then, definitely do not act the same as they did before. There are some really interesting plot threads in this book, but it really does feel like a mass of exposition dumped on us all in one go.
Story – 8/10
Art – 9/10

Eric:
Yeah, but that’s supposed to be part of the fun of AU storylines, how you get to piece everything together and all the interesting ways that familiar faces show up. I like that not every story, including this one, are using exactly the same character from 616 that you would expect them to be using. I like how they are mixing it up a bit. I also liked that this title seems to have some ties to Greenland, which has been one of the most interesting domains so far.
Story – 8/10
Art – 9/10

M.O.D.O.K. Assassin #1 (Warzones)
Written by Christopher Yost
Art by Amilcar Pinna, Terry Pallot and Rachelle Rosenberg

Synopsis – MODOK is designed only for killing, and he enjoys it immensely, especially when he gets to blow up peoples heads.

Etienne:
This one really came out of left field. The entire book is narrated by MODOK’s thought bubbles, but it does a decent attempt at explaining some of the geo-politics of KillVille and blows up a few well known characters heads for kicks. I am interested to see where this is going and the art is really nice, but I can see this getting annoying really quickly.
Story – 7/10
Art – 9/10

Eric:
I would have agreed with your last statement until the last page, and then things got really interesting. M.O.D.O.K. is a bit of a crazy little bugger, but apparently he is easy to underestimate. They have actually toned doing the pure absurdity that was featured in the M.O.D.O.K. story from the Battleworld anthology book, and I could see this working for a while. Also, M.O.D.O.K.’s car is pretty cool.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Old Man Logan #1 (Warzones)
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Andrea Sorrentino and Marcelo Maiolo

Synopsis –After killing some villains playing poker, Logan finds a head of Ultron that doesn’t make sense being where he found it. He goes searching for his domain’s Ultron but ends up finding Emma Frost instead. Together they realize where this has come from and Logan realizes what he must do.

Eric:
So, this is the first title to come out of Secret Wars that is a direct sequel to the parent storyline the title is named after. It picks up a short time after Logan’s finale confrontation with the Hulk Gang, and Logan has stayed true to his new outlook on life that he had reached by the end of the original story. Having read the original Old Man Logan, I felt this did a really good job of continuing the story, but also blending in the elements of Battleworld, like they were a normal part of it as well. The art style is a change up from the original but for fans of the storyline, I think this will be one of the more accessible titles in Secret Wars.
Story – 9/10
Art – 6/10

Etienne:
Well this was a huge change of pace from the other titles and I really liked it. Unlike the previous X-title which is probably the worst, this for me is easily the best one so far. Unlike Eric I can definitely appreciate the art in this book, but I can also understand why he might be having a hard time with it. Wolverine only died a few months back, but he is back in style in this series.
Story – 9/10
Art – 9/10

Secret Wars 2099 #1 (Warzones)
Written by Peter David
Art by Will Sliney, Antonia Fabela and Andres Mossa

Synopsis – We meet the Avengers of a “version” of the old 2099 brand from the 90s, which has a domain on Battleworld.

Eric:
Well, this was kinda different then I was expecting. This seems to be a very weird version of 2099, although it is hard to judge since the majority of the issue was focused on introducing the 2099 Avengers. No surprise that they went with Captain America, Iron Man, Hawkeye and Black Widow, but an interesting choice is Hercules (readers of 2099 know Thor is not available). They showcased each character and pointed out some weird things about each one, but like many of the Secret Wars titles this was mostly setup. Miguel’s involvement in the series was shown as well, and I am totally confused.
Story – 7/10
Art – 8/10

Etienne:
Well I wouldn’t worry too much about readers from 2099 knowing that Thor isn’t available, we know from Battleworld that Thor is not around, or at least not ‘a Thor.’ This feels like that Guardians 3000 series in that it is vaguely familiar characters done in a way to make them very different. Seriously that wasn’t Hawkeye – that was DC’s Hawkman! Unlike a few of the other books, I am at least interested in this one, I really get the impression that Marvel is going with the ‘throw it all and see what sticks’ approach.
Story – 6/10
Art – 8/10

Secret Wars Journal #1 (Battleworld)
Written by Pru Shen and Matthew Rosenberg
Art by Ramon Bachs, Luca Pizzari, Jean-Francois Beaulieu and Rain Beredo

Synopsis – Kate Bishop is in Medieval England stealing from Doom’s Treasury, meanwhile the mutants are revolting in Egyptia.

Etienne:
This is the reason why I hate anthology books. We get half an issue set in merry old England which gets left literally right in the middle of the story and then we get a rushed second part in a completely different place. Both parts of this book are really good, but one is merely an advert for another title (Siege) and the other one is far too rushed. Shame, this had a lot of potential.
Story – 7/10
Art – 7/10

Eric:
Kate Bishop just seems to be great in anything she shows up in, and this is no exception. And like you said, the first story is really just a lead-in to Siege, so of course it felt like it ended right in the middle of things. And now I have more of a reason to care about it then just seeing Ms. America from A-Force in it. As to the second story, I’m not feeling that it was rushed so much as a weird combination of mythos. I mean we have Moon Knight/Konshu vs the X-Men. Kinda of odd.
Story – 7/10
Art – 7/10

Uncanny Avengers Ultron Forever #1
Written by Al Ewing
Art by Alan Davis, Mark Farmer and Rachelle Rosenberg

Synopsis – Doom has pulled a fast one, and now it’s up to the Avengers to stop him as well, but can they trust Vision and his plan, which he won’t what it is. Meanwhile, Rhodey thinks he can save all the Asgardian from the mirror they are trapped in.

Eric:
This was a lot better then the first two parts of this trilogy. I was not looking forward to reading it, but the beginning of it wasn’t half bad, and then it got to Vision’s big reveal and I was shocked! Talk about some unexpected closure to a character I thought for sure we would never see again. I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but anyone reading some of the side Avengers titles of the last couple years will have a nice surprise in this one.
Story – 8/10
Art – 7/10

Etienne:
It was interesting, but I am struggling to see why that twist made any difference at all. It was hardly like it made him any less evil? I’ve hated this series from the beginning and especially with Doom being such a huge part of Secret Wars, this book felt even more superfluous.
Story – 4/10
Art – 7/10

Where Monsters Dwell #1 (Warzones)
Written by Garth Ennis
Art by Russ brawn and Dono Sanchez Almara

Synopsis – Karl is in a spot of bother with the chieftains daughter, but he has a plane fuelled and ready to fly away. The problem is, he just cant seem to land anywhere with a warm welcome.

Etienne:
This is bizarre, I have no idea how this fits into Secret Wars, I have no idea who any of these characters are and if it didn’t have Marvel on the front page and it didn’t have Secret Wars all over the title page, I would have had no idea what this was. I am sure someone will point out how this all fits into the Marvel Universe, but I’m confused. Either way, its amusing in places and a bit silly, but I am interested to know where it is going.
Story – 7/10
Art – 8/10

Eric:
Yeah, you got me on this one, as well. I mean I get it that the main character is the Phantom Eagle, but I don’t really know anything about him from the order. otherwise, this looks like a book that will introduce the Savage Land of Battleworld, but I agree that I have no clue how this works with the overall Secret Wars concept. It definitely seems to be heavily influenced by Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park though, and I’m totally curious about what the girl’s real story is, so I’m still on for the ride for now.
Story – 7/10
Art – 8/10

All-New Hawkeye #3
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Ramon Perez and Ian Herring

Synopsis –Kate convinces Clint to save the kids again, this time from S.H.I.E.L.D. And in the past, Barney makes Clint ditch their choirs to sneak in to watch the circus show.

Eric:
This was another great issue of this series. I love how they continue to use new and interesting ways to intertwine the present day story and the flashback story. Kate is a great character, and the way she can manipulate Barton is really fun to watch. I’m really enjoying it so far and like that it is not getting swallowed up by the whole Secret Wars Event.
Story – 9/10
Art – 8/10

Etienne:
This series is about 50 times better than the previous one. You know that award winning series which still isn’t finished even after this next series is 3 issues in… Anyway, Kate and Clint are far more amusing and entertaining as a double act than Clint is on his own and long may it continue. This issue got a bit sentimental, but I hope the little test-tube trio end up being more sinister than they currently are.
Story – 8/10
Art – 7/10

S.H.I.E.L.D. #6
Written by Mark Waid
Art by Paul Renaud and Romulo Fajardo

Synopsis – The world has been taken over by a plague of Mindless Ones, infecting earth’s brightest and their only hope is a talking owl and his magic laptops.

Etienne:
You can tell this book is written by Waid, he manages to take preposterous ideas, mix them with a bit of insanity and still produce a coherent entertaining issue. I still have no clue what they thought they were doing when they created this title; its not like the show has been garnering massive numbers and they wanted to tap into that for comic sales, but even still, watching the Absorbing man beating up Dormammu was worth it in my opinion.
Story – 7/10
Art – 8/10

Eric:
I do believe we were just introduced to the Howling Commandos that Shiklah will be running around with in Secret Wars. Very interesting, and I wonder if that means there will be an actually connection for them, or if this was just a way to get them on a page earlier then their début in their own title. Overall this issue was fine, and it did make an effort to show that this is the story that the series has been building to for a few issues now. But I agree with Etienne as to the overall point of this title.
Story – 6/10
Art – 8/10

Iron Fist: The Living Weapon #12 (Final Issue)
Written by Kaare Kyle Andrews
Art by Kaare Kyle Andrews

Synopsis – Um… WTF?!?!?!

Eric:
Like this issue finally made sense from a reading standpoint and I think I finally get what was going on in the end, but then the plot twist just came out of nowhere and and where complete WTF moments… Even the ending was just so out there, but at least we can finally put this one to rest.
Story – 4/10
Art – 4/10

Etienne:
You understood this? Frankly I thought she was going to turn around and say she was his sister, at least that would have gotten a good laugh out of me. This book lurches from serious to silly, back to bizzare and then into full on parody. The best thing about it was the page that said ‘The End.’
Story – 3/10
Art – 6/10

Black Widow #18
Written by Nathan Edmondson
Art by Phil Noto

Synopsis – Natasha has had enough, it is time for it all to stop, but only after one last person has to die.

Etienne:
I have loved this series, its such a shame that it hasn’t managed to hold its sales numbers, but 18 issues from a B-list comic character (possibly A-list film character) is pretty good going these days. Phil Noto’s art has helped enormously and boy do I want him drawing a Captain Marvel series in the near future, he utterly nailed Carol in this issue.
Story – 8/10
Art – 9/10

Eric:
This series took a while to grow on me, and here we are at the end and I’m finally enjoying it. This was a really nice ending for all the major plot points of the series, and had a nice sense of closure, even if it wasn’t the finale issue. The series will go to become a “Last Days Of…” title, so if you are not interested in Secret Wars this will feel like a great place to end this run.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Nova #31 (Final Issue)
Written by Gerry Duggan
Art by David Baldeon, Terry Pallot and David Curiel

Synopsis – Nova has to save the Earth from a meteor bombardment, but he cannot manage it without his good old Bill.

Etienne:
I said 18 issues for Black Widow was good going, but 31 issues for Nova was frankly astonishing. I am very grateful this has lasted so long because between the bad issues (AXIS I am looking at you) its main storyline has been exceptional. Like all the books that have ended recently, all them have left us with a ‘not-quite-over’ ending and in the future if they come back to this, I will not be disappointed.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Eric:
I can admit that even though I don’t love this series, this was not bad for a finale issue. It finished up the one main plot point that has been the driving force of the series, and although it goes for the heavy emotional level ending, you can’t help but smile at a happy ending.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Weekly Marvel Roundup for 05/18 – 05/24

by Etienne Paul, CMRO Editor and Eric Miller, CMRO Contributing Writer

weekley_roundup_base

A-Force #1 (Warzones)
Written by Marguerite Bennett and G. Willow Wilson
Art by Jorge Molina, Craig Yeung, Laura Martin and Matt Milla

Synopsis – While on patrol, Ms. America gets a little carried away when showing her team mates how to defeat a giant shark monster, and ends up throwing it into the Deadlands, breaking Doom’s #1 rule of Battleworld, don’t cross boarders.

Eric:
I’m not really sure why this book is called “A” Force, when it should just be called “W” Force and drop any pretences that this has anything to do with the Avengers. Yes there are a lot of Avengers women in the title, but there are also a lot of women that weren’t Avengers. This book has women mutants, superhuman, Inhumans, and everything in-between. And it even has one particular Asgardian lady that was totally unexpected. In fact, outside of Sheriff Strange and the Thors, there was only one other male character in the entire issue. Now, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad book, it’s just not a subtle book at getting it’s premise across. It has had an interesting start, and I like that She-Hulk is the Baroness in this one, so I’m looking forward to seeing where this is going.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Etienne:
How is Dazzler flying? This is a really interesting premise and although I am slightly bothered by Marvels attempt to do an all female cast again, at least this is drawing from a bigger pool of characters than their previous attempts. It shows us another interesting facet of the Doom story, and basically reinforces my impression that if you like Doom, then this summer’s event is definitely for you.
Story – 8/10
Art – 9/10

Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars #1 (Warzones)
Written by Cullen Bunn
Art by Matteo Lolli and Ruth Redmond

Synopsis – Back in 1984, all the big heroes were taken to space for a SECRET WAR – and here’s what REALLY happened!

Eric:
So, if you pay attention to the solicits, you know this but if you don’t, this is not a current Secret Wars tie-in but a tie-in to the original Secret Wars. This is supposed to be a funny way to retcon (SHOEHORN) Deadpool into the original Secret Wars, and it’s pretty much hit or miss throughout. There is some nostalgia to it, with a lot of the dialogue of the original cast being copied, word for word. Sometimes Deadpool’s jokes work with it, and felt like they belonged, but other times it didn’t. To be honest, it might have sounded good as an idea, but the reality of it is only mediocre at best, in my opinion.
Story – 5/10
Art – 8/10

Etienne:
This probably works better if you have read the original Secret Wars… I haven’t and frankly, this missed on pretty much every level. They were making fun of the awful 80’s dialogue and it just annoyed me, the bizarre back and forth confused me and the ending, well that was probably the only thing that actually got a smile out of me.
Story – 5/10
Art – 7/10

Master Of Kung Fu #1 (Battleworld)
Written by Haden Blackman
Art by Dalibor Talajic, Goran Sudzuka and Miroslav Mrva

Synopsis – The land of Kung-Fu was at war, but has been in the thrall of the 10 Rings for 100 years, but will the Drunken Master Shangi-Chi finally step up and stop him?

Etienne:
I have not had a lot of joy reading Marvels most recent Kung-Fu titles, however this one is starting out looking quite good. Perhaps because I do not need to read 100s of 1970s comics to understand the plot, I can actually get in to the story without constantly going to Google to find out who everyone is. This is actually fun to read, amusing in places and looks like it could be a really good stand alone title.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Eric:
I’m right there with you on the continuity of this title… I like Kung Fu stuff when it’s incorporated into other characters I love, like Wolverine, but I have NEVER been a fan of the straight up Kung Fu titles from the 70s or the characters. This book was refreshing, and I rather enjoyed it. It also had some VERY unexpected X-characters that were a very interesting surprise.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Planet Hulk #1 (Warzones)
Written by Sam Humphries
Art by Marc Laming and Jordan Boyd

Synopsis – After winning in the Arena, The Captain and Devil Dinosaur try to force the whereabouts of Bucky from Arcade, but when they fail, The Captain is taken before Doom and Sheriff Strange where he is tasked with taking down the Red King of Greenland, the land of the Hulks.

Eric:
This title is definitely one of the ones that is on the more bizarre side of things happening on Battleworld. We have a Gladiator Captain America, only going by “The Captain”, who is teamed up with Devil Dinosaur in some sort of Roman Arena concept, run by Arcade. But this Captain still has memories fighting side by side with Bucky in a 20th century type war. Then we got the whole Greenland thing. There is a bonus story in the back that explains how Greenland turned into a land populated only by Hulks and Gamma monsters, but we get a pretty good idea that Hulks aren’t the only thing to watch out for, as soon as Captain and Devil arrive. I think it’s probably my favorite of the new titles we got this week.
Story – 10/10
Art – 9/10

Etienne:
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – The Hulk always works best as a plot point and not as the protagonist, and this gets it spot on. As Eric said ‘The Captain’ is the star of this book, although slightly overshadowed by the giant red T-Rex. This might well be the first Hulk story that I have liked for years.
Story – 9/10
Art – 9/10

Secret Wars Battleworld #1 (Battleworld)
Written by Joshua Williamson and Ed Brisson
Art by Mike Henderson, Scott Hepburn, Jordan Boyd and Matt Milla

Synopsis – In our first tale, Frank Castle, who shares his body with Doctor Strange (not Sheriff Strange), is on the run from the Infernal Four, a Battleworld version of the “New” Fantastic Four from the early 90s, for border crossing. In our second tale, M.O.D.O.K. has his master plan foiled by trying to partner with a whole bunch of M.O.D.O.K.’s from all the corners of Battleworld.

Eric:
Once again, we have an Event going on, and this is our “required” Anthology book to go along with it. I’ve stated my feelings about Anthologies in the past so I will just talk about this particular issue instead. I actually liked both stories in this one, which is a change for me. The Punisher story is fun, and the nod to the New Fantastic Four/Secret Defenders team is a nice touch. As to the second story, This is actually a lead-in to the M.O.D.O.K. title coming out next week, and I felt it was really funny. Granted if you aren’t as familiar with how M.O.D.O.K. has been written lately, the humor side of things might not be what you are expecting, but if you want something lighter, with an over the top crazy floating giant head, this looks like it could be the book to choose.
Story – 8/10
Art – 7/10

Etienne:
Wow, this picks up where Spider-Verse left off with anthology books – ones I actually want to read! The Punisher/Logan/Strange story was odd, but interresting and the MODOK one was actually really funny, and I liked the art in it too. Still not the best book out this week, but not a complete failure either.
Story – 7/10
Art – 8/10

Spider-Verse #1 (Warzones)
Written by Mike Costa
Art by Andre Araujo and Rachelle Rosenberg

Synopsis – Gwen Stacy wakes up and finds out she is dead, so is her father an everyone she knew. So why is she still alive and who are those other Spiders?

Etienne:
I’m trying to ignore the whole ‘Secret Wars’ elements of these books because when you look at them as a whole, they are really confusing. However individually, they can be really good. This is a whole bunch of Spider-People last seen in the previous Spider-Verse fighting of Morlun and the Inheritors. Here none of them have any more than a few memories of what went before and they are all trying to be heroes in a world that does not want them and they are being covered up by the Lord of the realm – Norman Ozborne. Doom Bless Ozcorp and Doom Bless America…
Story – 8/10
Art – 7/10

Eric:
See, I thought you would like this title, since it actually acknowledges what came before, even if it’ in a whole, “we remember something but we don’t know what it means” sorta way. Whereas titles like Planet Hulk or A-Force are just throwing connections with the “old world” to the wind. I was not expecting Ozborne to be the Baron (Etienne, they are “Barons” not “Lords”, get with the new status quo)* of this domain, since he had absolutely nothing to do with Spider-Verse, but his connection to Gwen’s death seems to make it make sense. Also, I love the characters they picked to highlight from Spider-Verse, although Steampunk Spider-May would have been cool, too.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

* Editors Note – For the record ‘Lord’ is not a titular rank, it is the group title given to anyone in possession of a Barony or larger estate.

Ultimate End #1 (Battleworld)
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Mark Bagley, Scott Hanna and Justin Ponsor

Synopsis – There are two New Yorks in one place, both the Ultimate and 616 universes have collided and coincide at this one point, but it appears Doom is not happy about it.

Etienne:
I do not care about anything else they do in this comic because they put Emma Frost back in her old costume. THANK YOU! This looks like it might be the most important title outside the main storyline because this is basically the Avengers meet the Ultimates and Spider-Man and the Uncanny X-Men. It seems to be carrying a lot of the New York based storyline and as we all know, that is the only place that matters in the Marvel Universe.
Story – 8/10
Art – 9/10

Eric:
Most important, possibly… most confusing, definitely… and your statement of this being the only title that matters because it deals with the main 2 universes, seems premature at best. I know you want some sort of connection to 616 so that you can “connect” with what is going on, and I’ll agree that even though that shouldn’t matter, this title is connected so it, at least, warrants attention to anyone paying attention to the whole Event/Status Quo…. but there are other titles that might start in Secret Wars but will bleed over into the fallout. I think many of the current titles should not be overlooked in there importance to Marvel’s future going forward.
Story – 8/10
Art – 9/10

Deathlok #8
Written by Nathan Edmondson
Art by Mike Perkins and Andy Troy

Synopsis – While the New Deathlok fights for his life against another new Deathlok, S.H.I.E.L.D. and the original Deathlok go after Domino… There are a lot of Deathloks in this.

Eric:
I wanted to like this series, I really did. But outside of Domino’s involvement I just don’t seem to care. I know nothing of the original Deathlok, in fact my biggest connection with the character is the one that joined Uncanny X-Force, who was from the future and such a completely different character then anyone else in this series, they might as well not even be connected. This is what happens when Marvel tries to make the comic world too focused on stuff going on in the MCU.
Story – 4/10
Art – 8/10

Etienne:
Is this not cancelled yet? No seriously, why is this book still in print? Its pretty enough, but about as interesting as watching paint dry. Trying to read this makes me feel like I have the attention span of a child with ADHD, everything around me becomes a distr… SQUIRREL! Sorry, where was I?
Story – 2/10
Art – 9/10

Loki Agent Of Asgard #14 (Last Days of)
Written by Al Ewing
Art by Lee Garbett, Antonio Fabela and Andres Mossa

Synopsis – Loki died. Loki is back, Loki is old, Loki is now a woman. My head hurts, I wonder what can save us, oh I know, a gattling gun…

Etienne:
I’m sorry, what happened to this book? It went weird at the end of the last issue and this one just jumped the shark. The last page is supposed to be dramatic and it just comes off as being some 10 year old’s fantasy, its more appropriate for Axe-Cop than this book. I have to say that this book feels like one that is circling the drain and written with the knowledge that nothing they do will last past the end of this event. Welcome to a summer of ‘What ifs’
Story – 5/10
Art – 8/10

Eric:
And yet this issue actually ISN’T a “what If”, but well within continuity, even if it has gone off the deep end. The Freya/Odin thing was way over the top, but come on, let them have some fun with it…. I think my bigger question is why did Loki put a shirt on and become a girl?? and from the storyline, I don’t even think he/she is aware of the change… could this actually be an unexpected lead in for an earlier title on the list.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Moon Knight #15
Written by Cullen Bunn
Art by German Peralta and Dan Brown

Synopsis – Khonshu is a fickle god, he comes and goes as he pleases and withdraws his support for the slightest indiscretion.

Etienne:
This is one of those books where I totally did not see the ending coming. Again I am probably very blind, or read to fast and if I took my time it might be a bit more obvious, however it worked so well. Marc is fighting a Bogey-man, or perhaps that should be THE Bogey-man and he is losing, badly. Without Khonshu’s blessing he resorts to guns and I mean big guns to solve the problem. This is another done in one and it is as good as this series has ever been.
Story – 10/10
Art – 8/10

Eric:
While other titles meander around the corpse that is 616 and tell boring filler stories for no reason, Moon Knight delivers. This title has gone through a lot of changes in writers, but everyone of them has come on board with a storyarc to tell. Cullen Bunn is no different and he continues in the vein that this series has set as a precedence. this was a great issue that showed that Marc is his own superhero, with a surprise ending that really fits this series…
Story – 9/10
Art – 8/10

Daredevil #15.1
Written by Mark Waid
Art by Chris Samnee and Matthew Wilson

Synopsis – The autobiography is almost finished, and while Foggy gets his food bribe for writing it, Matt, Kristen and Foggy discuss some of the books content, which results in a couple of flashbacks as the bulk of the issue.

Eric:
What is this? Now we are getting .1 filler issues? What is even the point of a .1 as a filler when Secret Wars is here? I really don’t have much more to say, other then I felt this was a bit of a waste of time.
Story – 1/10
Art – 7/10

Etienne:
Flashback. .1 issue. Filler. Okay, the .1 issues have worked for Spider-Man but they are back to their usual pointless nature over in this title. Seriously Mark – I expect better from you.
Story – 2/10
Art – 5/10

Wolverines #19
Written by Charles Soule
Art by Ariela Kristantina and Sonia Oback

Synopsis – The fight with Sinister rages on, and Mystique tries to manipulate the unexpected situation to work into her overall plan of resurrecting a dear old friend.

Eric:
Take all the craziness that has been going on for the past couple issues, and turn it up a notch. That is how this issue feels. Mystique is getting closer and closer to her endgame, although we, the audience are no closer to figuring out what, exactly, she’s planning, other then what the outcome is that she is trying to achieve. I highly doubt even she is going to get all she’s bargaining for. The art in this issue is at a much more tolerable level again, so I’m guessing Etienne will have a much better clue as to what actually happened this issue.
Story – 8/10
Art – 7/10

Etienne:
Nah, I still have no idea what is going on, mainly because I haven’t been able to follow the previous issues. This one was fine, but it felt like being dropped into a story feet first having missed the previous chapter. I do over exaggerate, but with a story this complex with competing plot-lines and backstabbing characters you really need everything to be as clear as possible. Ah well, I am sure next week will be indecipherable and unfollowable and I will be back to square one…
Story – 7/10
Art – 8/10

Avengers World #21 (Before Time Runs Out/ Final Issue)
Written by Frank Barbiere
Art by Marco Checcehetto and Andres Mossa

Synopsis – The tension between Namor and the Cabal finally comes to a head as Thanos and Namor come to an “understanding” about who is actually in charge. Meanwhile, Sunspot re-ignites the fire inside the Odinson.

Eric:
This is the last issue of Before Time Runs Out, and once again, this series delivers. I have loved both sides of this story, both the building up of the Multiversal Avengers, and the inner look on how Namor is dealing with his decision to form the Cabal. This has been focused on basically all my favorite characters from the entire run of Hickman’s Avengers, and it is a great companion to the main Time Runs Out storyline. And, once again, this looks incredible.
Story – 9/10
Art – 9/10

Etienne:
This has been the most consistent and best Avengers title going, why the heck has it not sold as well? No, wait, I know, its because it doesn’t have Iron Man and Captain America plastered all over the cover. This book has been doing a great job of filling in all the blanks that were going on behind the main storyline and in this we get to see Namor have one last victory before the end, and he deserved all the time he could get because this was an epic last issue.
Story – 9/10
Art – 10/10

Guardians Of The Galaxy #27 (Final Issue)
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Valerio Schiti and Jason Keith

Synopsis – The Guardians may have met their match in the form of a living planet. Then again with cosmic powered Gamora anything can happen.

Etienne:
This is still a hold over from the awful series that was Black Vortex and it might explain how Gamora is going to become depowered again, although not it seems how Kitty will be. Spartax is attacked by Chitauri seemingly acting on Thanos’ orders as he tries to get at his daughter. I think the entire Marvel Universe could easily be renamed ‘daddy issues’ and all them could spend some time on Jerry Springer, but I have to say watching that show is a lot more interesting than reading this book.
Story – 4/10
Art – 9/10

Eric:
How did that explain, or hint, at how Gamora become depowered, if that is even going to happen. In fact I think this actually makes things worse from a continuity stand point. It’s things like this that make me happy Secret Wars has wiped it all away. Secondly, you realize that wasn’t Thanos right?? The Chitari weren’t attacking on Thanos’ orders, they were following some guy who has a grudge AGAINST Thanos and anyone related to him. Anyways, this run of Guardians has finally ended, and I for one am relieved. Now let’s hope all these characters are put back they way Bendis found them after Secret Wars, and go find somebodies other toys to play with.
Story – 3/10
Art – 9/10

Uncanny X-Men #34
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Kris Anka and Marte Gracia

Synopsis – Cyclops goes to meet Mystique for a ‘chat’ but not all is as it seems, unsurprisingly for one who can change her shape at will.

Etienne:
I have come to a conclusion that Bendis hates the female X-Men. Honestly with the exception of Magik he has utterly butchered every last one he has had the chance to write over the last few years. Emma Frost has gone from being a key member of the X-Men for over a decade to merely cover art on books she is supposed to star in, but not even in; Dazzler has gone from being a really fun character into a goth-wanna-be-suicidal-nutjob; Kitty Pryde has ended up as a cosmically powered dunce shacked up with Starlord! Jean Grey has been replaced by a younger idiotic version of herself with purple swirly powers; and finally this book locks up Mystique and throws away the key. Bendis – stay away from the X-Men once your run ends, I am starting to wonder if even Remender would do a better job!
Story – 4/10
Art – 8/10

Eric:
So, basically you are saying that Bendis hates most of the core X-Men, then, since it has basically been dominated by women since Claremont’s time. I completely agree with basically 100% of your post. My dip into the first volume of New Avengers has made me realize that Bendis did have some great ideas at the time, but that was then, and the Avengers… He has really butchered the X-Men side of things, and I really can’t wait to see him go. Also, I was half expecting some actual details/closure on the whole Mystique/Xavier thing, since this would have been the perfect opportunity, but no… another dangling thread that some other writer will have to deal with.
Story – 4/10
Art – 8/10

And from a Galaxy Far Far Away…

Star Wars #5
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by John Cassaday and Laura Martin

Synopsis – Leia is keen to get rid of Han who hangs around like a bad smell, but she needs him to help with one last mission; meanwhile Luke is back on Tatooine and he has company in the form of a green Mandalorian armoured bounty hunter.

Etienne:
It never fails to amaze me how fantastic artists who do both the interiors and the covers end up putting their worst work on the front. This happened all throughout Ribic’s run on Thor: God of Thunder and how Cassaday does some fantastic interior art, but manages to make Han look like he is having a stroke on the cover. However none of that matters as this is probably the best issue of what has been a fantastic series so far. Boba is brutal, Han hilarious and Leia as sarcastic as ever, I really cannot ask for much more.
Story – 10/10
Art – 9/10

Eric:
Etienne said it, this series has hit a nice stride at this point, and just keeps putting out great issue after great issue. Just when you think you’ve read the best issue of the series, the next one comes out and is even better. I don’t know what it is, maybe the stars have aligned or the planets or something, but this is easily becoming the year of Star Wars, with how good all the Marvel titles have been and with the movie on the way, and issues like this one are just adding more fuel to the fire. Boba Fett easily stole the show in this issue, and any Boba fan should not miss this issue.
Story – 10/10
Art – 9/10

Weekly Marvel Roundup for 05/11 – 05/17

by Etienne Paul, CMRO Editor and Eric Miller, CMRO Contributing Writer

weekley_roundup_base

Secret Wars #2 (Secret Wars)
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Esad Ribic and Ive Svorcina

Synopsis – The ‘real’ start of Secret wars as we see God Doom preside over his domain and introduce us to the world that we will be inhabiting this summer – Battleworld.

Etienne:
I’m sorry, but seriously, what the hell just happened here? The world ended and now we are in some sort of weird alternate dimension where Doom rules everything and there are NO characters here other than the Cabal? Honestly I wanted Thanos to go on a killing spree because right now, he is the only person in this book who I even remotely identify with. I am going to hold my thoughts until this book gets more established, I gave Original Sin that benefit and it paid me back by the end, but right now if I had to give this a rating based just on this book, it’s worse than AXIS
Story – N/A
Art – 9/10

Eric:
How did you not see this coming?? they have been preaching that 616 is ending and that Marvel, as we know it, will not be the same. And that’s exactly what we are getting, and your surprised?? You must have never read Age of Apocalypse cause this is pretty much the same type of scenario on a much larger stage. (The only 616 character in that was Bishop). Not that the story needs 616 characters to be good, but you are also overlooking the second raft, which we haven’t seen yet. For those of you wondering, we are dealing with an AU version of Marvel meets Game of Thrones, for a very generalized summary of things. For those that are not fans of the show, this is not a bad thing, I mean Avengers Arena was basically Marvel’s version of Hunger Games at it was awesome. This issue did a lot of world building and has done a great job of giving us a broad “tour” of Battleworld, now bring on the tie-in titles!
Story – 9/10
Art – 10/10

Howard The Duck #3
Written by Chip Zdarsky
Art by Joe Quinones, Joe Rivera and Rico Renzi

Synopsis – Howard has to foil a den of geezer thieves, and you’ll never guess who the “master” of this “ring” of thieves is; or maybe you will from my not so subtle hints also Aunt May guest stars.

Eric:
Yes you read right, Aunt May is the guest star, and when she’s not shackled by her character traits of constantly worrying about Peter, she’s actually an enjoyable character. She-Hulk, also graces the pages with her presence, as it would seem that she is Howard’s best “friend.” Isn’t she the lucky one. Once again this issue of Howard continues to be a lighter more satirical look at Marvel’s superhero world, and it continues to be doing a really good job at it.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Etienne:
If I wasn’t laughing, I would cry. This is just weird, but in a good way, and disturbing, but also in a good way. Watching an anthropomorphic duck pretending to be a normal duck at a duck pond eating bread is so bizarre on many levels, but it really made the book work for me. When you are bored of how sensible Secret Wars is, give this a try. For me its probably slightly weaker than the first two, but still entertaining.
Story – 7/10
Art – 8/10

Silk #4
Written by Robbie Thompson
Art by Annapaola Martello and Ian Herring

Synopsis – Taking a flash back to Peters past, Cindy seeks the help of the Fantastic Four to work out what is wrong with her, only to fall for Jonny’s charms.

Etienne:
The art is definitely weird in this book. Not necessarily ‘bad’ weird, but the style takes some getting used it. It looks like a non-HD TV picture after you have gotten used to the really sharp modern programs, this just looks grainy. Not to mention Peters face is just plain odd. The book is fine, but I can’t get past the fact that I think it is all in a holding pattern waiting for Secret Wars to do something, this has happened to a lot of books recently and I think it finally caught up with this one.
Story – 8/10
Art – 6/10

Eric:
But why should this be in a holding pattern?? This is one of the few titles that is not part of Last Days and gets to keep going on during Secret Wars. I feel like these titles should have a reason to keep going, and this one is not showing me that yet. I mean really, a date with Johnny Storm. I feel like this was supposed to be a fun, move her character forward type of issue, and like Etienne points out it’s more of a filler issue. Especially since free comic day has already shown us that Johnny has bigger opportunities in is love life on the horizon. Silk is starting to get on my %^$ list, too. I mean Peter is just trying to help, and be a friend, and she just keeps pushing him away, for no reason. Seems like a very big character change from how she has reacted to him in other titles up to this point.
Story – 6/10
Art – 7/10

Uncanny Avengers #4
Written by Rick Remender and Gerry Duggan
Art by Daniel Acuna

Synopsis –After an “explanation” to the whole Wanda/Pietro heritage thing, the Avengers start to regroup, sort of, so I guess the High Evolutionary is about to get what’s coming to him; it was all really confusing.

Eric:
I think I’m totally confused by half of the stuff that is going on in this book, and that’s coming from someone that usually loves these type of stories. The High Evolutionary and his explanation is not clear at all what they are trying to say, Sabretooth is completely un-interesting in this as a Wolverine replacement, I have no idea what the hell is going on with Brother Voodoo. I think Simon is technically dead at the moment, and Captain Falcon is a tree. Oh, and Vision is breeding an android army. If Remender ends up moving to an X-Title next, he better leave this behind and work on something more X-related.
Story – 3/10
Art – 5/10

Etienne:
This is just awful. Everything from the art to the story seems rushed. There are entire pages where the characters are not in close ups and they are simply smudges on a page that are roughly the right shape and colour. And then there is the end to the book and… just kill me now, AXIS was better than this…
Story – 2/10
Art – 3/10

Angela Asgard’s Assassin #6 (Final Issue)
Written by Kieron Gillen and Marguerite Bennett
Art by Phil Jimenez, Le Beau Underwood, Scott Hanna, Romulo Fajardo and Stephanie Fajardo

Synopsis – Angela and Sera complete their plan and Heven and her baby sister are saved, but the real story is the truth about Sera and what this means to Angela…

Eric:
Wow talk about a twist I never saw coming. The second half of this book was actually more attention getting then the whole series combined. If you thought Odin can be a bastard at times, apparently the All-Mother has her moments as well. These two have been getting a lot of panel time lately between this series and the Thor solo title. At times you can really see how they are both meant for each other. And Aldrif is definitely an Odindaughter, there is no question in that.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Etienne:
I’m with Eric, I never saw that twist coming. In fact I can tell you there is a huge twist and frankly you can spend the entire time looking for it and you still won’t see it coming. For me this has been a fine arc, but I do not think it was the one they should have told for her first solo book. She has been very hard to identify with and this book has made her into more of a plot point than a protagonist.
Story – 9/10
Art – 7/10

Bucky Barnes The Winter Soldier #8
Written by Ales Kot
Art by Marco Rudy

Synopsis –And now for a little surrealism in your comic world… Bucky takes some space drugs, and then your guess is as good as ours…

Eric:
So this title is back to trying to pretend to tell a coherent storyline using surrealistic images and artwork style to completely confuse the reader and make them have no clue what is going on. Yeah, this is just so out there, I feel like I need to go eat some “magic” mushrooms to really enjoy it. And the last page makes me feel like the next guest star is going to be turned into a weird Marvel Cosmic Mad Hatter.
Story – 3/10
Art – 4/10

Etienne:
Individually each page is quite stunning to look at. The problem is, its not a comic, its art and a few words and I don’t see the connection. I have to say that with everything being double page spreads, this is mercifully a really quick read. But then again I still have no idea what is going on.
Story – 1/10
Art – 1/10 (as a comic) 7/10 (as art)

Captain America And The Mighty Avengers #8 (Last Days)
Written by Al Ewing
Art by Luke Ross and Rachelle Rosenberg

Synopsis – A broad recap of how the Mighty Avengers ended up on Steve’s side of Time Runs Out, with some interesting insight into this teams real feeling on the matter.

Eric:
The first 7 pages of this book made me hate Steve Rogers even more then I thought possible. The way he twist the facts of the situation, and immediately judges anyone that doesn’t agree with his ideals is just absurd. The man is acting like the biggest stubborn child in the sandbox, and he just makes me so mad. He is seriously gone off the deep end in this, and is acting like a mad tyrant that is desperate to prove himself right no matter what it costs. He has lost sight of of what’s really important and it’s sad and infuriating.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Etienne:
Oh dead god, someone please kill the old man, please put him out of his sanctimonious misery. I can only hope that everyone is playing him up as the villain for a reason, because the more he harps on about being the only good person left, the more he looks like and idiot. I didn’t really care much for this book, but it has left me a bit cold throughout its run and this was no different.
Story – 5/10
Art – 8/10

Guardians 3000 #8 (Final Issue)
Written by Dan Abnett
Art by Nico Leon, Edgar Delgado and Antonio Fabela

Synopsis – What happens when someone as powerful as Korvac gets thrown into the blender that is the Final Incursion; time-displacement chaos from the looks of things…

Eric:
The Final Incursion is happening, but if that doesn’t seem like enough of a problem for some, let’s resurrect another being who once had godlike powers and have him trying to reshape the entire timeline of the Multiverse at the same moment… coincidence or bad timing? Either way, I really hope this plays a bigger part in Secret Wars then just being one of the many tie-in titles.
Story – 8/10
Art – 7/10

Etienne:
I don’t really know what to say, this entire run has really passed me by and left me rather cold. Dan Abnett is a big hero of mine when it comes to science fiction writing, so I will not hold it against him that this one series hasn’t quite clicked with me. I never got into it, I didn’t identify with the characters and now it is over and I cannot say I care really.
Story – 5/10
Art – 7/10

Thor #8 (Final Issue)
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Russell Dauterman and Matthew Wilson

Synopsis – After 8 issues we learn the identity of our new Thor. Yes, it is worth the wait.

Etienne:
I cant believe Aaron managed to drag this out for eight issues. What I cant believe even more is that he made it worthwhile and still managed to shock me. Honestly, if there is a travesty about Secret Wars, it is that this series is ending. It just goes to show that when you change a character (be it Thor to Thor, Falcon to Captain America or Peter Parker to Doc Oc) then it is the story that makes or breaks it, not the idea itself.
Story -11/10
Art -9/10

Eric:
You know, this would have been a bigger shock if my damn brother wouldn’t have text me with a not so subtle hint to who was revealed the morning this came out before I could read it. And he doesn’t even read comics outside of Star Wars. Either way, this was a great reveal, with a twist that Aaron worked really hard to make shocking, and it was well worth the wait. And although this series has ended because of Secret Wars, we already know this new Thor is already a member of the All-New All-Different X-Men, and I believe one of the survivors of the second raft in the main Secret Wars title, so I’m pretty sure her story is FAR from over. (Although the fate of the Odinson is still in question… see Time Runs Out)
Story – 10/10
Art – 9/10

*Editor’s note: Etienne has been pretty liberal with the “11” ratings this year… apparently a lot of comics are making his “best comic of the year” list.**
**Editor’s Editor’s note: so sue me, its been a really good year for stories.

Storm #11 (Final Issue)
Written by Greg Pak
Art by Victor Ibanez, Neil Edwards and Ruth Redmond

Synopsis – Storm fights shadows of her past as they struggle to suffocate her.

Etienne:
I think Grek Pak has some sort of fetish for Storm being tied up. I kid you not she spends the entire issue wrapped up in Kenji’s tentacles. I have very little to say about this book, it is awful regurgitated nonsense and the sooner it ends the better.
Story – 1/10
Art -6/10

Eric:
You know, I just recently read Planet Hulk, and then realized the guy that wrote one of the best Hulk storylines I have ever read is writing this horrible series. What the hell??? Such a disappointment from a writer that you would expect more from. This issue was just a bad attempt at tying together all the characters from Storm’s past that have popped up in the series in to something that pretends to be a climatic finish.
Story – 1/10
Art – 6/10

Legendary Star-Lord #12 (Final Issue)
Written by Sam Humphries
Art by Paco Medina, Juan Vlasco, Andrewa Sorrentino, David Curiel and Marcelo Maiolo

Synopsis – Peters half sister Victoria has daddy issues of her own in a book completely devoid of the titular character.

Etienne:
Im sorry, what on earth is this book doing? It is the final issue of a series and has nothing to do with the main character or the ongoing plot. It reads and feels just like a filler issue, but its the last one. Give it a miss, I know I certainly am going to forget everything about it as soon as I finish this sentan…
Story – ?
Art – ?

Eric:
I totally agree. In fact I feel like it ended on a cliffhanger. How do you end the last issue on a cliffhanger when you just got cancelled for Secret Wars. I really hate it when writers give you this ambiguously cliffhanger-ish ending cause they think it’s clever. This is not that type of book. We are not watching Inception here and need to wonder if the top is going to stop spinning or not. What a waste of an issue.
Story – 1/10
Art – 8/10

Spider-Man 2099 #12 (Final Issue)
Written by Peter David
Art by Will Sliney, Antonio Fabela and Andres Mossa

Synopsis – Don’t you hate it when you try to do the right thing, like curing the cute neighbor girl of cancer, and she turns into a Spider-Wasp, that tries to eat you, instead…

Eric:
So, Miguel tried to bring back the cure for cancer, and cure his neighbor, and surprise, surprise, it had some nasty side affect. Has he never seen a sci-fi movie??? I mean that’s like sci-fi time-travel worst scenario 101. If it was that easy, wouldn’t all the time-travellers be doing it??? Ok lets be honest, this is obviously a filler issue, as Peter David gets ready to deliver both Secret Wars 2099 and Future Imperfect. Who knows how much impact this will have after Secret Wars at this point.
Story – 7/10
Art – 8/10

Etienne:
This is the week of the filler issue, or in this case, the more character driven issue used to take up space. It is fine, rather bland and I really do question sometimes how much target practice cops get in the Marvel universe. I know that Spider-Man can move fast, but they were pretty point blank when he first jumped. Can I ask, where the heck did he manage to find a blanket in mid-swing to cover up the girl?
Story – 6/10
Art – 8/10

Captain Marvel #15 (Final Issue)
Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick
Art by David Lopez and Lee Loughridge

Synopsis – A really sweet end to Carols friends life.

Etienne:
Well, that was an emotional rollercoaster and comics dont often have that effect on me. This was probably one of the better ‘filler’ issues I have read, but it still makes a really odd end to this series. I have been really unimpressed with this entire series, but this reminds me so much of the previous volume that it goes a long way to making up for it. If only that darn cat wasnt still hanging around.
Story – 9/10
Art – 8/10

Eric:
Huh, I really didn’t feel all that emotional, but maybe it’s cause I almost forgot all about her sick friend, this series has just been so disconnected to any of it. I will agree that this did feel like the last volume, but at this point I’m not sure I really care any more. I feel like if you just read the last series, and this issue, and skip the whole “year in spce” thing, you will get way more out of it. As to the cat, I just found out that Chewie has been around since before Civil War so I doubt the cat is going anywhere any time soon…. oh wait, Secret Wars!
Story – 6/10
Art – 8/10

Ms Marvel #15
Written by G. Willow Wilson
Art by Takeshi Miyazawa and Ian Herring

Synopsis – Kamala’s secret boyfriend turns out to be a real jerk, and pals with Linage, who is still in the process of taking over New Attilan in this issue.

Eric:
Seriously, this is like a hundred times better then the first major arc of the series. I like that they are focusing more on some connectivity with the rest of the Inhuman community. And the situation, in context, is so much more relate-able. Kamala got so wrapped up in the new boyfriend, that she didn’t even realize were this was going, but maybe this will be a good learning experience for her.
Story – 8/10
Art – 6/10

Etienne:
It is all a bit anticlimatic to see a villain re-appear that bit the dust the previous week in a different book, but thats the penalty for reading everything as its released I suppose. I love the advice she gives to her recent-crush, it was exactly what my Dad told me when I was 10 and she even squeezed his hand to emphasise the point, just like my Dad did. But I digress; this is a much better story than the first half as Eric said, I wish they had done this rather than the darn Chicken-man arc.
Story – 8/10
Art – 7/10

Magneto #18 (Last Days)
Written by Cullen Bunn
Art by Paul Davidson and Paul Mounts

Synopsis – Magneto seeks to stop the incursion by sheer force of magnetism, but will he be able to survive it?

Etienne:
This is the first ‘Last Days’ book that I have read and it actually works really well. While Secret Wars will be raging in the future, these books will be charting the last moments of the earth before Battleworld takes over. As it goes this is a little over the top and I have to question why Polaris is suddenly back in her old costume again, but other than that, it is another solid issue in a really good series.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Eric:
And in the end, it comes down to Magnetism…. just like in the old days. But you know, I hate to break it to you Mags, but I don’t think Magnetism is gonna save you this time. I know it’s always worked in the past, but don’t you think the big brains would have tried that as one of their first attempts. But you know, now that you only have the one daughter, you guys should go out doing something pointless together. But all sarcasm aside, I really liked the connections to Namor, and how their past relation and history played a part in this issue. It was just the right amount of connection to tie this to the Incursion storyline and make it feel like it belonged.
Story – 8/10
Art – 7/10

Wolverines #18
Written by Ray Fawkes
Art by Jonathan Marks and Lee Loughridge

Synopsis – Mr. Sinister unleashes all the Wolverines by saying their control words, only Shogun can stop them by releasing them.

Etienne:
I’ve written the synopsis above and I THINK thats what happened, but frankly with the art in this issue, it is anyones guess. This is like an impressionist painting a comic book, there is a lot of flow and passion, but not a lot of clarity and it makes for a really hard to follow book. Some of the panels look like they could be wonderful, but as an over all book, this is a mess.
Story – 5/10
Art – 2/10

Eric:
I’ll agree that the art is bad, but I wouldn’t say it was completely unfollowable. This is basically a bad situation gone totally worse case scenario. Sinister uses the control words and then all hell breaks loose. This is why you don’t mess with Sinister, or underestimate him. He a madman. Also, even though she has her on secret agenda, maybe they should have listened to Mystique.
Story – 7/10
Art – 3/10

And from a Galaxy Far Far away….

Darth Vader #5
Written by Keiron Gillen
Art by Salvador Larroca and Edgar Delgado

Synopsis – Vader has tracked down the Emperor’s secret allies, and it is nothing that he was expecting.

Eric:
Vader has final found the secret base he’s been hunting for, and with a droid army, he is determined to get to the bottom of whatever the Emperor is involved in. Once again we get to see Vader in action and he is a power to be reckoned with. This series done a very good job of showcasing Vader as someone you shouldn’t mess with, and this issue continues along with that characterization. There is a major twist in the storyline in this one, and many are already speculating, on the internet, whether this is a setup to bring back the Emperor in the new movies, but I think it’s to early to call that.
Story – 9/10
Art – 10/10

Etienne:
I love that 000 unit! Honestly, he is what 3PO should have been in the original series. All the pleasantries and protocol, but deep down a devious little murderer. I think this is actually doing the opposite of what Eric thinks, this is showing us why Vader was humbled in the first couple of films as a subordinate to various admirals and Moffs. It wasn’t until ROTJ that he took control of the fleet and this book is showing us the lengths to which the Emperor went in order to show him his place. My only negative comment, and I have mentioned it before, occasionally Vader is drawn really short and wide so he can fit in a panel and it is just plain weird.
Story – 9/10
Art – 9/10

Weekly Marvel Roundup for 05/04 – 05/10

by Etienne Paul, CMRO Editor and Eric Miller, CMRO Contributing Writer

weekley_roundup_base

All New Captain America Special #1 (Inhuman Error)
Written by Jef Loveness
Art by Alec Morgan, Nolan Woodard

Synopsis – Captain America saves Attilan and Spider-Man chats up Medusa – I think the latter was in more danger.

Etienne:
This is actually the best book in this series, a series a specials which I forgot was even happening last issue. Unlike Spider-Man and the X-Men which felt utterly wrong, this combination seemed to work. The humour was actually funny, the action was pretty good and the ending wasn’t too silly either, this isn’t a bad way to share the ending of the Inhumans before Secret Wars. I only have one question, how long is it until they retcon Sam Wilson into being an Inhuman?
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Eric:
I agree with Etienne, and this really does work here. Although Sam is not horrible as Captain America, I have yet to really connect with him as the character, but this issue has helped to change that a little. Here Sam fits perfectly into the story and into the role, and the combination really work in his favor to making you really see Sam as the new Cap. As to Spidey and Medusa at the end… You know I gotta give Parker credit, he is a total goof-ball, and as a superhero, makes a point of playing the fool in front of all his “peers”, and yet he still still has the cojones to make a pass at Medusa, right on Spidey!
Story – 8/10
Art – 7/10

Inhuman Annual #1
Written by Charles Soule
Art by Ryan Stegman, Jay Leisten and Richard Isanove

Synopsis – The REAL ending to the Inhuman ongoing series as Lineage tries to take control of Attilan and change the world. It doesn’t end well…

Etienne:
I have to say this didn’t exactly wrap up any more of the story points than the previous ‘end’ of this series, it just moved them along a notch. Karnak makes the most disgusting karate kick return into the Marvel universe and in doing so ends the torment of the Inhuman world for the time being at least. This is a fitting end to the series before Secret Wars and definitely lends itself to the tag – Attilan Rising.
Story – 8/10
Art – 9/10

Eric:
I don’t agree Etienne, I though it ended all the immediate story threads for the time being pretty well. Although I’ll agree that it really didn’t end the overall storyline and some of the threads that have remained more in the background. Overall though I thought it was a great issue, and I’m really looking forward to the Attilan Rising Secret Wars title. I’m sure we will be seeing some of those threads at least reflected in the new reality.
Story – 9/10
Art – 9/10

Secret Wars #1 (Secret Wars)
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Esad Ribic and Ive Svorcina

Synopsis – The Marvel universe(s) have ended. Anyone know of another comic universe worth reading?

Eric:
Here it is, Secret Wars. Everybody has basically been talking about this since it was announced, and it’s finally here. The big climax Event to Everything Hickman has been writing for the past 2 1/2 years (and maybe even more if you include his FF and Secret Warriors runs). The weird thing about this issue though, is that it’s not so much a #1 that starts at the beginning of the Battleworld story as it is more of a Giant-Size Ending of Everything issue that really does more to end Hickman’s Avengers/New Avengers runs then it does to kick off what we will be seeing in the remainder of Secret Wars. It looks like Secret Wars #2 (out later this month) will be the actual start of Battleworld. But if you’ve been following Hickman’s stuff, then this truly a grand ending to an incredible storyline if only a bit confusing at times. Oh and for those that were worried about the X-Men and Fantastic Four involvement in this Event, with how much panel time both teams got in just the first issue, I’m pretty sure your worries can be laid to rest.
Story – 9/10
Art – 9/10

Etienne:
To be honest, I think this should have been the last issue of the New Avengers run, rather than the first of the Secret Wars title. I know thats a rather pedantic differentiation, but what we got here was the end of the world, rather than the start of the new one. Do not get me wrong, this is strong stuff, especially with Reed and his family, but it just feels strange to have the conclusion of the previous 2 years worth of storytelling as your opening chapter. I will agree with Eric, there is a bit of confusion at times and it feels overly crammed even into this longer than usual book. At least we know now why Ribic hasn’t had a book out for the last 6 months, its because he has been drawing all these extended length Secret Wars titles!
Story – 8/10
Art – 9/10

Return of the Living Deadpool #4 (Final Issue)
Written by Cullen Bunn
Art by Nik Virella

Synopsis – Deadpool fights to end the scourge of Deadpool(s) once and for all.

Etienne:
Wow, this series is properly lost up its own continuity. Honestly if someone had just pitched this series without the other mini that came before it, then it would just be flat out rejected. Deadpool does some crazy stuff normally, but this series is darkly weird and depressing, while at the same time being funny and upbeat. The same thing I have said to the other books also applies here, the art is fantastic, the story odd and well look at that, Deadpool is ‘dead’, but they announce yet another miniseries for him – Secret Wars…
Story – 7/10
Art – 9/10

Eric:
Pretty much everything Etienne said. I was even quite moved by the tragic character developments that happen to the “main” Deadpool character of this series and I think the ending was perfect for this series. If you want a a taste of modern Deadpool but don’t want to read the main 616 title, these out of continuity Deadpool titles might just be the thing to wet your appetite.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Spider-Gwen #4
Written by Jason Latour
Art by Robbi Rodriguez and Rico Renzi

Synopsis – Gwen takes on her most dangerous villain yet, and I don’t mean the kids with spray cans, but the demons in her own head.

Etienne:
I love this series, love this issue and love this character. Marvel shocked the comic world with its sales and deservedly so, but this book has lived up to its reputation and given us everything we could ask for. For me this is the Ultimate Spider-Man for this generation, a book that retells Spider-Man, but done in such a way as to be new, fresh and interesting, while at the same time comfortingly familiar. I hope the break for Secret Wars doesn’t kill the series.
Story – 9/10
Art – 9/10

Eric:
I totally agree with you about retelling the story in a new fresh way. Although I’m not as totally in love with it as you, I still agree with all your last statements. It’s surprising that with this and Silk practically covering the same type of general concept, they still manage to be completely different, and Spider-Gwen is definitely the stronger of the two. As to Secret Wars killing the series, since she is staring in Spider-Verse, there’s a good chance it will just add even more popularity to her.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Ant-Man #5 (Final Issue)
Written by Nick Spencer
Art by Ramon Rosanas and Jordan Boyd

Synopsis – Back from the dead, Darren Cross is after vengeance on our hero, and Cassie Lang’s life hangs in the balance.

Eric:
Yet another title taking advantage of the Annual option as the “real” last issue of the series, but with only 5 issues under it’s belt, can you blame them? This series had no time to grow and become anything. It had some moments and a decent premise, so it had potential. Was it perfect, no. But it wasn’t horrible either, it just needed a little more room to stretch it’s legs (I know we are talking about an Ant-Man title). But Secret Wars has come, and time is not something these titles are getting right now, so unless Ant-Man comes back after Secret Wars, we will never know if this was going to get better or worse. The ending made me feel a little sorry for Scott. Maybe the Annual will give him a happier ending.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Etienne:
It is hard with a book like this, 5 issues was not enough (even if it will actually be 6 after the annual). Some titles like Storm have just carried on regardless of how awful they are, but the timing on this one has left it cut short and probably not on its own merits. I will be honest, it has never really grabbed me, but equally it never made me roll my eyes whenever I had to read it. But as Eric said, I hope he gets a better farewell because that ending was actually pretty sad.
Story -7/10
Art -8/10

Guardians Team-Up #5
Written by Andy Lanning and Andy Schmidt
Art by Gustavo Duarte and Marcelo Maiolo

Synopsis – Rocket and the Pet Avengers… They really shouldn’t have taken his beer…

Eric:
I still don’t understand why we have this series, or why it gets to carry on past the Secret Wars expiration date. This is a title of one-and-done stories, so surely they shouldn’t have a hard time cancelling this title when ever they feel like it. This is one of those type of stories where you have to go into it expecting over the top jokes and cheesiness, but if your a fan of the Pet Avengers, you’ll probably get a kick out of it.
Story – 6/10
Art – 6/10

Etienne:
In a different, more serious context, I would hate this book. However in this sort of title where you can do things a little differently, I loved this. Why is this man not drawing Rocket’s main title? Seriously After Skottie decided just to write the book he would have been perfect for this. Don’t listen to that old curmudgeon above, this is seriously good fun with art to match.
Story – 8/10
Art – 9/10

Operation S.I.N. #5 (Final Issue)
Written by Kathryn Immonen
Art by Rich Ellis and Jordan Boyd

Synopsis – Its WWII, with aliens and craziness and no, sorry, we didn’t understand it either.

Eric:
Was it just me, or did that seem a little disjointed for a final issue, and a little heavy on the post WWII politics of the time? And the ending was very anti-climatic with very little closure for a title that was planned as a retro limited series. I mean the series was great until the last two issues were it seemed to derail.
Story – 4/10
Art – 7/10

Etienne:
I completely agree! We had 3 issues of WWII mystery spy story and then 2 issues of… well I have no idea what to call it – confused alien mash-up? This reminds me a lot of primary school where I had to write stories, I would always come up with fantastic starting points and then drift off as I got bored and my stories never concluded because I couldn’t work out how to end them. Usually I went with ‘and it was all a dream and they woke up.’ Instead of that here they went with ‘Tanks, aliens, boom, pow and everything was back to normal.’
Story – 3/10
Art – 5/10

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #5
Written by Ryan North
Art by Erica Henderson and Rico Renzi

Synopsis – Nancy, Doren’s room-mate, and a bunch of hostages tell questionable Squirrel Girl stories while they wait for rescue in the head of the Statue of Liberty.

Eric:
Well, this was a bit of a filler issue. As I’ve said before, I’m not the biggest fan of filler issues in general, and this was a pretty average one. It was not horrible, but this is another one of the titles that gets to stick around past Secret Wars, so if you got a story to tell, I would start telling it. This series did fine with the Galactus arc, so I really don’t see why it needs to resort to filler when it’s only at the fifth issue. It should keep telling stories like the first 4 issues have been doing, and it will be much better for it.
Story – 5/10
Art – 5/10

Etienne:
Yes, I do find that horribly worrying that you need to do a ‘clip show’ after only 4 issues. Does this possibly mean that they have already run out of ideas for this book? I will be honest, a few of the jokes were actually quite funny and I actually preferred her look in some of the panels where they were telling stories about her (and the art changes). Watching the cut back to the real world and the dinosaur being attacked behind them out of the window was also amusing, but over all, what was the point, where is this going and does this character actually have a second arc to tell?
Story -6/10
Art -6/10

Spider-Woman #7
Written by Dennis Hopeless
Art by Javier Rodriguez, Alvaro Lopez and Muntsa Vicente

Synopsis – Spider-Woman captures herself in a car boot to find the hostages, only what she finds is nothing like she expected.

Etienne:
Let’s get Spider-Woman out of that sexist form fitting costume that shows off her figure and into… a dress that covers far less skin and when she turns upside down (by force or otherwise) becomes completely indecent. I hate hypocrisy and this stinks of it. Other than that, this is a wonderful, if deeply confusing, book. I think my first step is to go back and re-read the last issue because Im a bit lost as how to how she ended up in a ‘Wives of Orange County’ rip off. Not that I know what that show is about, honest…
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Eric:
Are you still going on about the big switch in the costume for Spider-Woman that happened 6 issues ago??* Let it go, man… As to this issue, I really liked it, and thought the big twist in what Jessica found was completely unexpected and has really thrown an interesting curve ball into the story. Funny you were thinking ‘Wives of Orange County’ and I was thinking ‘reverse Stepford Wives”.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

* Editors Note – It happened in issue #5…

Rocket Racoon #11 (Final Issue)
Written by Skottie Young
Art by Jake Parker and Jean-Francois Beaulieu

Synopsis – Rocket finds a book with the meaning of his existence and then gets bored reading it…

Etienne:
This series has had quite a few ups and downs and it didn’t finish anywhere near as good as it started, but it did end far better than its lowest points. I get the impression that this was meant to go on longer, but Secret Wars cut it short. The whole ‘second Raccoon’ had been waved in our face throughout the series so much that I cannot see that this was always the end product they had envisaged, but this has been a weird series so it’s hard to second guess it.
Story – 7/10
Art – 7/10

Eric:
Honestly, I feel that was extremely anti-climatic. So I really hope your right and that this is Secret Wars fault, cause if this was the intended ending I’m not impressed. The book, the other raccoon, was basically a big waste of time, and in the end we find ourselves exactly where we started with this series. Some might love the irony of this, but I just saw it as turning the whole series into a big waste of time. As to this being the last issue, it was noticeably missing the Secret Wars ending stamp that every last issue, so far, has been sporting on it’s last page and it does have a big “Next Month:” advertisement for Groot #1 which no one has any idea what to make of since it’s not a Secret Wars title, so maybe this is pulling a similar stunt like the Annuals and squeezing out one more issue in the guise of a retitled release.
Story – 5/10
Art – 6/10

Hulk #16 (Final Issue)
Written by Gerry Duggan
Art by Mark Bagley, Drew Hennessy and Jason Keith

Synopsis – Doc Green has finally come to his senses and seen the error of his ways…. knowing your dying from the Extremis in your head, like a cancer, will do that to you…

Eric:
After hunting down every gamma powered character in the book, Doc Green has come to Jennifer Walters, She-Hulk, not to “cure” her but to unburden himself on her, much to her surprise. Doc is dying from the Extremis that Tony used to save him way back right before Original Sin. In fact it is this same Extremis that gave birth to the current incarnation of the Hulk. It seems that Green has been humbled by his own mortality and the fear of turning himself into an even larger threat to humanity by experimenting more on himself to stop it. Doc Green was not my favorite at first but he has grown on me, and the Omega Hulk arc has easily been the best Hulk run in Marvel NOW!
Story – 8/10
Art – 10/10

Etienne:
Ok. There was no punching in this book. Why are they not all like this? This was so much better than two full issues of the Hulk and Rulk beating each other to death. I am not certain how the ending fits with the rest of the book however; in the past Doc Green has been very unhappy with Banner, so I am not certain why he let him take control immediately like that, but I suppose they had to end the book somehow before Secret Wars screwed it over. Also, the bonus story, I have no clue what that was about.
Story – 8/10
Art – 9/10

Wolverines #17
Written by Ray Fawkes
Art by Juan Cabal and Antonio Fabela

Synopsis – Sinister has laid a trap for Mystique and her crew…. I guess she was right after all, and they should have listened to her, but it is Mystique so can you blame them.

Eric:
This is pretty much one giant fight from start to finish, with the Wolverines vs. countless numbers of Sinister clones, which it seems he has grafted wolverine claws to. I really liked this issue, even if it is a bit graphic for the most part. I guess clone blood and guts don’t warrant a Parental sticker on the cover, which once again has me completely confused with the whole Parental guidelines code. Either way, this is a great issue to sit back and enjoy watching some of the deadliest characters in Marvel cut loose, kinda like Sinister is doing in this whole issue. Well, that is until the fight finally comes to him.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Etienne:
How they heck did they get away with that? This is more violent and bloody than the MAX titles Marvel put out last year, in fact there isn’t a page that isn’t covered in blood for the entire book. I’m not complaining, it doesn’t bother me in the slightest, but I just find it amusing. This makes it two good issues in a row? Has this book finally gotten good just at the point where its no longer a weekly title?
Story – 8/10
Art – 7/10

Amazing Spider-Man #18 (Final Issue)
Written by Dan Slott and Christos Gage
Art by Humberto Ramos, Victor Olazaba and Edgar Delgado

Synopsis – Parker industries suffers from the worst case of Industrial espionage in history and then the Black Cat brings the house down.

Etienne:
This ends a really good mini-arc for Spider-Man, possible a bit too quickly. Like a few other books recently this seems to wrap up one issue early and it all feels a bit rushed; not terribly, just noticeably. I wonder if any of this will really matter as Secret Wars is going to utterly re-write the status quo, but at least this book gets to end with a bang and its .1 issues are still carrying on.
Story – 8/10
Art – 9/10

Eric:
Yet again I completely agree with Etienne. I know that’s dull, but what can I say when he’s already said everything I’m thinking about this one. I agree that it’s still up in the air as to what is going to happen after Secret Wars, so one does wonder how much some of these titles dangling threads in these last issues are even going to matter in the long run, but only time will tell at this point.
Story – 8/10
Art – 9/10

Punisher #18
Written by Nathan Edmondson
Art by Mitch Gerads and Brent Schoonover

Synopsis – Punisher is back in L.A. and the streets are safe again… many people, including cops, are OK with this… but not everyone…

Eric:
The last couple issue of this titles have managed to put together a really good run of issues, and Punisher seems to finally have gotten out of the mould of alternating between good and mediocre issues. This issue is once again, a really great issue. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever thought this heavily on how good an issue of Punisher was before this issue. From beginning to end this had my full attention, and I was shocked at how far they took thing in a couple scenes. Easily the best issue of the series so far.
Story – 10/10
Art – 9/10

Etienne:
Ok, that was one well placed mobile phone! (page 6 if you are reading along at home). As Eric said, I can’t believe how far they are taking some of this. When you couple it with Wolverines this week, we have some really brutal stuff taking place on panel in non-MAX titles. Does this indicate a shift for Marvel towards a more mature audience? I’m sorry, did they really just do that to the dog? I don’t care about Frank, he’s had worse and should have learnt by now that body armour should go all around the body, but the dog? Really?
Story – 10/10
Art – 9/10

 

And from a Galaxy Far Far Away…

 

Kanan Last Padawan #2
Written by Greg Weisman
Art by Pepe Larraz and David Curiel

Synopsis – We are back during Revenge of the Sith and Order 66 as our young padwan watches his mistress cut down before him.

Etienne:
I hate these books! Not in a bad way, but in the really frustrating way. Some comics have a natural ebb and flow, each one its own story within a greater narrative, but other books, like this one, are merely chapters of a bigger story; and they just cut it right at the good bit! The art is wonderful, the storytelling engaging, and the cliff-hangers horribly brutal.
Story – 8/10
Art – 9/10

Eric:
So basically your complaining that this book is really good and the cliffhanger did exactly what it’s supposed to, and make you frustratingly waiting for the next issue, so that you can barely wait for it and will be picking it up as soon as it is released. Sounds like it’s doing exactly what a comic book, from a business end, is supposed to do. Personally I love the pace this series has taken, and love that it IS telling a larger story. It has plenty of time to do the type of stories your talking about, but that will come later. But Right now I love how much time they are taking going through the details of how we are going to get to a point where Caleb has started his new life as Kanan.
Story – 9/10
Art – 9/10

Weekly Marvel Roundup for 04/27 – 05/03

by Etienne Paul, CMRO Editor and Eric Miller, CMRO Contributing Writer

weekley_roundup_base

New Avengers Ultron Forever #1 (Ultron Forever crossover)

Written by Al Ewing
Art by Alan Davis, Mark Farmer and Rachelle Rosenberg

Synopsis – Doctor Doom recruits Avengers from all across time, space and dimensions to defeat Ultron.

Etienne:
Im sorry, but this book is just ridiculously complex and involved to the point of stupidity. I know that they want some books that connect to the film and have the name ULTRON on the cover, but seriously, make them approachable and easy to pick up for casual readers. This is a great story if you are a Doctor Doom fan, probably not so much if you care about anyone else. Not a bad issue, but a frustrating one with very limited point or reason for being.
Story – 5/10
Art – 6/10

Eric:
Sorry but Hickman’s New Avengers is a great story for Doom fans, this whole thing feels more like a big mess. I’m surprised Doom didn’t do the evil laugh at the end when his real plan was found out. This version of Ultron is WAY over the top as All-Father Ultron, but I think the thing that really killed it for me was how they explain away Hulk being able to survive decapitation, and take it even farther by growing a Bruce Banner head out of his chest. And somehow this is connected to Hulk #6 from the 60s?
Story – 3/10
Art – 6/10

Silk #3
Written by Robbie Thompson
Art by Stacey Lee and Ian Herring

Synopsis – Stacy decides to star rehabilitating criminals, much to Black Cat’s displeasure.

Etienne:
I love this book. The art isn’t quite as good as it was during Spider-Verse and that’s a shame, but it still really fun to look at. This shows there is so much more you can do other than just punch villains into the ground, although I expect that is what is going to happen to the Black Cat sooner rather than later. At least we know now how Jonny gets brought into her life after all the spoilers of upcoming issue covers were released. Seems slightly contrived, but I will go with it for now.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Eric:
I like that we are getting some back story going on, but I’m not sure I totally understand her reluctance to even want to talk to Parker about anything. After the whole Spider-Verse thing, you would think she would be staying in touch with at least him or Jessica. Rookies always think they don’t need friends.
Story – 7/10
Art – 7/10

S.H.I.E.L.D. #5
Written by Mark Waid
Art by Mike Choi and Rachelle Rosenberg

Synopsis – The mystical characters are all being shot by a man with an Asgard forged gun, better call the Scarlet Witch to help.

Eric:
Wait, we are a week away from Secret Wars starting, and now this series decides to get a multi issue story-arc going? It also remembered that there are other non-superhero characters featured in this series besides Coulson. The story is not bad, just oddly timed. Our guest this week is the Scarlet Witch, but it’s a mystic storyline, so we actually have brief cameos from a bunch of mystic characters, including Doctor Strange.
Story – 8/10
Art – 9/10

Etienne:
Hang on there! Did they just kill Damion Hellstrom and hide it in a  throw away single panel? Oh, no, its just another one of Marvel’s bait and switch tactics. Seriously it gets boring when you do it that often. Is taken this long, but it actually feels like they are using the team from the series in this one, so they get a bit pat on the back for that. This is not a bad book, not at all, but I really just don’t like the premise, but then again I suppose I am  bit wary of the ‘magic’ characters in the Marvel universe.
Story – 7/10
Art – 8/10

All-New Captain America #6
Written by Rick Remender
Art by Stuart Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger and Marte Gracia

Synopsis – Nomad and Sam team up again to take down the Baron just in time for Secret Wars.

Eric:
Here we are at the end of the Sam Wilson’s first arc as Captain. It hasn’t been the greatest run, but it’s not the worst either. This issue was not as bad as some of the issues have been, so there is that. There was a lot of focus on Nomad this issue, which I’m guessing was setup for Hail Hydra, the Secret Wars title that will be taking this titles place during the Event, and be starring Nomad. Sam had some rather interesting moments after the fighting was over with Misty Knight, and some words with Nick Fury, Jr. that where quit shocking and unexpected. Although how this matters when “There is only Secret Wars” is still a mystery.
Story – 8/10
Art – 7/10

Etienne:
Eric said it, not brilliant, but not terrible either. The art has been great as I would expect from Immonen and the ending was ok, but this really is just a prequel for Hail Hydra.
Story – 7/10
Art – 9/10

Spider-Man & the X-Men #6 (Final Issue)
Written by Elliot Kalan
Art by Marco Failla, Diogo Saito and Ian Herring

Synopsis – The young X-Men come together to save Spider-Man from Mr. Sinister and rip some brains out of peoples heads (Oh I wish I was joking…)

Eric:
I was starting to accept this series in the last couple issues, but this is just completely ridiculous at this point. And it’s not just the fact that Sinister has cloned the X-Men and called them Sinister’s Six (*groan*), but this was like one of the sappiest stories this series has come up with. The way the Special Class students have become SO loyal to each other was way over the top. I get what they were doing, they just needed to tone it done just a bit.
Story – 5/10
Art – 5/10

Etienne:
Actually, I didn’t mind the story so much, but what really got me was how inappropriate the art was for this book. Seriously, Mr. Sinister looked like a clown in a stripy prison top. It was fine for a Spider-Man book, but with a serious story, it just did not work. But, long story short – What Eric said.
Story – 4/10
Art – 6/10

Superior Iron Man #8
Written by Tom Taylor
Art by Felipe Watanabe, Ruy Jose, Jay Leisten, Walden Wong and Guru-eFx

Synopsis – It is Tony vs Tony and the only winner will be… Well, Pepper by the looks of things

Eric:
This has turned into a really great concept for this character. Watching Tony Stark trying to outwit and maneuver himself is really entertaining. I find this quite rewarding after how I felt about him when I finished Civil War. I am wondering how much of this is a lead in for Armor Wars, since I was not looking forward to that series initially, but if this storyline is any indication, I am much more interested now.
Story – 8/10
Art – 9/10

Etienne:
Strangely enough this is starting to remind me of the fight between Rogers and Tony that has been going on for ages and culminates in Avengers 44 below. The problem is, I am siding with the ‘bad guy.’ I think in both cases they have managed to make the good guy so unscrupulous that it lessens the impact of the bad guy. Superior Iron Man is disgraceful, but trying to steal a living persons body as a machine, sounds too much like something Ultron would do.
Story – 8/10
Art – 9/10

Silver Surfer #11
Written by Dan Slot
Art by Michael Allred and Laura Allred

Synopsis –Welcome to Ground Hog Day for the Silver Surfer. Welcome to Ground Hog Day for the Silver Surfer. Welcome to…

Eric:
This was a really interesting way to tell a story where the players are stuck in an infinite loop, at least at first. I think they retold the story one too many times though. I mean I got what was going on like one loop of the story earlier, and was a little bored that I had to read through it yet again. And the way they got out of it was not as exciting as I expected. At least we are done with the Survivors of Galactus storyline, just in time for Dawn and Norrin to rebuild the universe in Last Days. (according to the solicits)
Story – 7/10
Art – 8/10

Etienne:
Visually this is a stunning book, even if there is a lot of white space left on the page, or that should be Because there is a lot of white space. The story wavers around like a ticker tape line throughout the pages, in and out, up and down, but the visuals definitely win out over the story.
Story – 6/10
Art – 8/10

Inhuman #14 (Final Issue)
Written by Charles Soule
Art by Andre Arujo and Richard Isanove

Synopsis – A 3 way power battle rages for control of Attilan, but can Karnak escape hell and save them all?

Etienne:
It is a bit of a cheat to have a ‘final issue’ and then continue the story in another book, its hardly the final issue now is it. Apparently this is skipping across to an Inhuman Annual, or at least that’s what Charles Soule said on Twitter and he should know after all. This book has jumped back to ‘curvy’ art, and by that I mean that all the characters look like they have gained 20 pounds. It isn’t so much an problem, rather its hard to mentally square it with the previous issues that had them all looking like super models and weight lifters. Ever since Karnak jumped the shark (or through the window) back in 2013 people were asking why they did it, well finally, we are getting to the point.
Story – 7/10
Art – 5/10

Eric:
Yeah, Ok I thought the exact same thing about the “continued” thing. It is definitely a cheat. And it’s not just Soule on twitter, the last page of the book says “NEXT ISSUE: Inhuman Annual #1”. And I’m pretty sure that will just set the stage for Inhuman: Attilan Rising. I’m wondering more and more if most of these books are just going to continue many of there dangling story threads in the rebooted Secret Wars titles. The story is really getting kinda out there and this issue was mainly a setup for the Annual’s big finish.
Story – 7/10
Art – 6/10

Moon Knight #14
Written by Cullen Bunn
Art by Ron Ackins, Steven Sanders, Tom Palmer and Dan Brown

Synopsis – Moon Knight works for Khonshu and even gods need some help from time to time.

Etienne:
Moon Knight meets the Hounds of the Baskervilles. We are back to done in one comics and for this character in this series, it really seems to work. Normally I don’t like it, I want the ongoing big story arcs, but here they manage to give us meaningful and interesting stories which aren’t interconnected but are building the world bigger and bigger.
Story – 8/10
Art – 7/10

Eric:
I do not like making dogs the bad guys of a story, and although I understand the reason for it in this particular issue, the scenes where Moon Knight is fighting and hitting a bunch of them was a little ruff, to say the least. The ending, of course, shows someone getting there dues for what has been done to these poor animals, but it was still a very hard issue to read, either way.
Story – 7/10
Art – 7/10

Daredevil #15
Written by Mark Waid
Art by Chris Samnee and Matthew Wilson

Synopsis –Daredevil teams up with a supervillain in order to take down an antihero and then decides that he needs more villains in his life in a big way.

Eric:
As if things can’t get any worse for Matt and his crew, this issue shows just how bad things can get. And with his track record of lying to the public about his secret identity, this might just be a situation that even moving to a new city won’t solve. As many times as the secrets in Matt’s life get outed, this story still has me heavily engaged, and with the last page reveal this one came up with, I am totally hooked for next issue.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Etienne:
This all plays out around the final page and to be frank, it was worth waiting for. This book is not in any way influenced by the TV series, not one little bit. Remember how when Amazing Spider-Man came out Electro was all over the comics, well I think you can fill in the blanks for me on this one.
Story – 8/10
Art – 7/10

Secret Avengers #15 (Final Issue)
Written by Ales Kot
Art by Michael Walsh and Matthew Wilson

Synopsis – The world blew up. Everyone survived. No we don’t know how either.

Etienne:
So Valdamir blew them all up and now they are surfing, eating gelo and having tea with MODOK. Fine, it is a suitable ending to this bizarre comic, but frankly it is about as weird as I can handle. It was funny in places, but I cant help but feel that we just got the metaphorical ‘and they woke up’ ending to this book.
Story – 5/10
Art – 6/10

Eric:
I think the cover says it all for this issue. No need to go any further. I mean literally that might as well be the ending to what ever the hell this series was supposed to be about. Inside this comic is confusion, The Fury making babies with an octopus-spider-monster, and I think Maria Hill and M.O.D.O.K. are hooking up… Yeah, I’m out….
Story – 2/10
Art – 6/10

Wolverines #16
Written by Charles Soule
Art by Ario Anindito and Sonia Oback

Synopsis – Half of Cornelius’ experiments are trapped by Arcadia and Shogun wants to save them.

Etienne:
Apparently according to the artist ‘Enhanced Pencils’ means that they weren’t inked, but they were accentuated on a computer. Whatever, they look great, but I just thought it was weird they were listed that way. I am so glad this series got back on track after the stupidity that was Fang. I mean half this team are dying without any means of survival because of Cornellius’ built in expiration time. This is definitely the best book for a long time in this series, both art and story.
Story – 8/10
Art – 9/10

Eric:
Yes, first, as Etienne points out, however they did this, it looks really good. Probably one of the best in the series. The art inconsistency with the art in this series has easily been it’s downfall. And in a way this issue draws your attention to it, as you wonder, reading this, how the series would have turned out if it always looked like this. The series has a great story to tell but you are constantly being distracted by the ever changing artwork, even when it is this good. I really like the return of Nero’s group and the story seems to have come back around full circle, and I’m really looking forward to the direction this seem to be going.
Story – 8/10
Art – 9/10

X-Men #26 (Final Issue)
Written by G. Willon Wilson
Art by Roland Boschi and Lee Loughridge

Synopsis – For four issues the team have been stuck down this hole and it turns out to be another Krakoa.

Etienne:
Thank god this series is over. I mean seriously they have been trapped in this hole since the beginning of this year. I know that Storm is claustrophobic, but I was starting to get a bit panicky every time I picked up this book. The ending was cute, but should a 26 issue series of the X-Men really end with a whimper like this?
Story – 3/10
Art – 4/10

Eric:
I cannot agree more. This was excruciating to get to the end of this. I still don’t see the point of Gambit in this. What, so he could say “Hey Storm, long time no see”? A total waste of space and story connectivity. And what is with this type of X-Men story. So we all have to feel sorry for the bit of living ground that was molested by earth scientist as they experiment with Kree tech?? Is Krakoa really that personable that we are developing the character??? shouldn’t you have been doing this before Secret Wars decided to end everything?
Story – 2/10
Art – 5/10

Nova #30
Written by Gerry Duggan
Art by David Baldeon, Terry Pallot and David Curiel

Synopsis – Sam finally gets to see his Dad; just a shame it gets cut short by Intergalactic asteroids.

Etienne:
Well this is basically the culmination of the entire series as our Black Nova has been in search of his father from the first issue, after he discovered that his stories had been true and he wasn’t just a dead-beat-Dad. The art in this series is wonderful, but if you have an issue with the stylisation then you will probably hate it. Add to that the fact that Gerry has been fantastic with every title he writes that isn’t called ‘Hulk’ and you have a wonderful book here, that I am certain Eric will hate…
Story – 8/10
Art – 9/10

Eric:
I don’t hate it, but I just have no interest in Sam as a character. His sob story about Dad, his sob story about the rent, his sob story about the house, his sob story about school, his sob story… I get it, it sucks to be Sam, except when you get to be Nova. Blah… Yeah I’m sorry I have to read your sob story, personally. Ok, I’m being overly harsh. But yeah, it’s not for me. It’s not horrible, just not for me. But, I’m also not a parent, and I could see where this would be a great series to share with a son.
Story – 6/10
Art – 8/10

New Avengers #33 (Time Runs Out/ Secret Wars/ Final Issue)
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Mike Deodato and Frank Martin

Synopsis – Doom explains how he became a god. Anyone who followed his explanation gets a cookie… (needs to be read before Avengers #44)

Eric:
For those of you that have been reading Hickman’s Avengers titles, this is the big pay-off. This is by far the stronger issue of the two finales, and we finally get the answers to almost all the dangling plot threads in one incredibly complicated tale from Doom himself, who it turns out really is The Great Destroyer. There is no ambiguity to this one. Hickman lays it all out for us, step by step, with details, and connects all the breadcrumbs he’s been giving us along the way. You might need to read it more then once to actually understand it all, but it’s all there. And that is only half the story, where in the second half, we watch Doom confront the Beyonders. This issue is just incredible, and any fan of Doom will be blown away by it.
Story – 10/10
Art – 9/10

Etienne:
Need to read it more than once you say… I personally think I need to re-read the entire run of Avengers and New Avengers just to work out what the heck I am missing. This all got a little bit metaphysical towards the end which is fine, but I don’t think this wrapped things up as neatly as Eric would have you believe. The cover is fantastic and is probably the best one on a Marvel book so far this year. Finally I think I understand why people like Doom, I always thought of him as a bit of a joke before.
Story – 8/10
Art – 9/10

Avengers #44 (Time Runs Out/ Secret Wars/ Final Issue)
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Stefano Caselli, Kev Walker and Frank Martin

Synopsis – The world is ending, but of course Tony and Steve have to have one last punch up. (Should be read after New Avengers #33)

Etienne:
Unlike the last issue where a lot happens in a short space of time, this is an oversized issue where a lot less happens. Tony saves the world again with an invention to harness the sun, but Steve still thinks he is a liability. Honestly right now the world would be a much better place without Steve Rogers and that is a crazy thing to say when you consider this is still ‘Superior Iron Man’ and he is about as power crazed as they come. It is interesting to note that they say only 2 worlds still exist, wonder how that will play out with realities like Spider-Gwens?
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Eric:
I’ll tell you what does happen. Tony and Steve spend the last 11 pages beating each other to death in the sand. LITERALLY. You know, earlier in the series, I found this type of display hysterical. But at this point, this has become the defining idea behind these two characters. Tony vs Steve. The Best of Friends, the Worst of Enemies. They are literally the two most stubborn characters in the entire Marvel Universe. This, together, is their ultimate defining moment. And, together, they go out, like two enormous infants fighting in a sandbox over something that stopped mattering the minute everyone else realize there was no way to stop it.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Fantastic Four #645 (Final Issue)
Written by James Robinson
Art by Leonard Kirk, Karl Kesel, Scott Hanna, Jesus Aburtov and Israel Silva

Synopsis – The Fantastic Four team up with practically everyone, Jonny is back, the Baxter Building explodes and we are cancelled.

Eric:
The end of the Fantastic Four, and we know this is not just because of Secret Wars coming. The FF is pretty much the only major group that has no representation, title-wise, during Secret Wars, which is odd, but we knew it was coming. So this really is the last Fantastic Four comic for the foreseeable future. This is the big culmination of the “Quiet Man” story arc, and it is loaded with action, guest stars, and the FF saving the day. And then we get 4 short aftermath stories, one for each member of the Four. The issue is not bad, but pretty much the standard fair when a title like this gets cancelled. I’m sure we will see plenty of the FF in the main Secret Wars title, though, so although they are losing their title, they are not really going anywhere.
Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

Etienne:
Seriously there are some long books out this week with all the ‘FINAL ISSUE’ stories taking place, but at 55 pages, this takes the biscuit. And this is it for the Fantastic Four, we even get an editors note saying good by to a series that started in 1961, which is really a bit sad. I hope this has been done for the right reasons and not just to annoy Fox, but if I am to be honest, I am not going to miss them, they always were my least favourite books. But I am sad for all the Fantastic Four fans out there, I know how I would be without my favourite titles.
Story – 6/10
Art – 8/10

 

And From Free Comic Book Day

 

Secret Wars #0 (Free Comic Book Day)
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Paul Renaud

Synopsis – Taking place at the same time as Avengers #44 we see the Future Foundation trying to provide the lifeboat for humanities best and brightest.

Etienne:
This doesn’t add a lot to the story with isn’t already hinted at in Avengers #44, but it fleshes out exactly who has been building the craft that will save everyone. The ending page is pretty stunning really, but I am a bit disappointed that in Earth 1610 the only aircraft they seem to have is the F-22. The book also contains a reprint of a Japanese Marvel comic which looks great, but is just weird.
Story – 7/10
Art – 7/10

Eric:
Yup, Etienne is right, this pretty much puts an endcap on everything that happens in Avengers #44. In fact this end with a whole, “If you though that was bad, look what else they have to deal with” type ending. Secret Wars is coming, and this just puts a nice bow on the ending of Avengers, and makes sure long running Hickman fans know he hasn’t forgotten Valerie, who seems to be a Hickman favorite.
Story – 7/10
Art – 7/10

 

And From a Galaxy Far Far Away

 

Princess Leia #3
Written by Mark Waid
Art by Terry Dodson, Rachel Dodson and Jordie Bellaire

Synopsis – Having rescued Alderaanians from certain death on Naboo they come to Sulust to a less than warm welcome.

Eric:
She might not be my favorite character from the main cast of Star Wars, but I am really liking this series a lot more then I though i would. This issue continues the efforts of Leia, Evaan and Artoo as they search for more survivors of Alderaan. It brings up a rather interesting situation, when they find a group of survivors that are immediately suspicious of their true intentions. Not only must the three of them save this group from the coming Imperials, but they must also gain there trust and loyalty, and as if Leia’s day wasn’t going bad enough, she finds out there is a traitor on her rescue ship. This issue continues the level of quality storytelling that all the Marvel Star Wars titles have been putting out, and I for one am not complaining.
Story – 8/10
Art – 7/10

Etienne:
I am a massive fan of the Dodsons’ artwork, but this book really is not doing it for me. It seems possibly rushed and compared to other work they have done there is a distinct lack of detailing. It is not bad, but I know how good their books can look and this just cannot compare with what my expectations were. The story is fine, but this is rapidly becoming my least favourite Star Wars title, but probably because I have been spoilt by how universally fantastic they have been.
Story – 8/10
Art – 7/10