What a week, huh? Disney bought Marvel and everyone’s wondering how this will finally address their pet Marvel peeve. Before you get all fan-ish with what this means now and will mean in the future - they own the Ultraverse! They own Crossgen! They have to do this! They have to do that! They can hire Alan Moore! They’ll clean up Marvel! They’ll rollback prices! You should run over and read Steven Grant’s very perceptive take on the buyout in his Permanent Damage column. He’s a sharp guy and he makes excellent points.
In the meantime, there was other stuff for avid lurkers to check out and peruse in their spare time. Let’s take a look:
The relaunch of the Ultimate Universe continues this month with issue two of Ultimate Comics Spider-Man. I liked this issue, but it was nothing spectacular. Where issue one showed more of the aftermath of Ultimatum, this issue sets up the various stories that will be taking place in the book. At the end of issue one we saw the Kingpin fall to his death thanks to Mysterio. Issue two confirms that as for now, the Ultimate Universe’s Kingpin is now dead. I say as for now because you never know with comics. Maybe that guy wasn’t the Kingpin. Maybe it was an actor playing the Kingpin. Right Aunt May? Ugh!
Anyway. Mysterio is looking to not simply be the new Kingpin of Crime, but the ruler of the world. Get in line Mysterio, so does every other bad guy in the comic book world. I like this version of Mysterio better than the regular Marvel Universe one. Although I like the classic fish bowl look, you could never really take Mysterio seriously as far being a serious threat to the world. This Ultimate version doesn’t have the fish bowl and gives off a Dr Doom like vibe as far potential to really do some damage in the Ultimate Universe. It would be cool to see if Mysterio did become a major bad guy that all of the Ultimate Universe would have to unite against because he’s so dangerous. We’ll see.
Just when you thought that it was safe to stop sending out resumes, a few more new and interesting comic book jobs pop up on the digital radar. One’s a freelance job involving Stan Lee, and the others, well, how can they even compare? Let the job hunt begin with three tempting opportunities!
Stan Lee: Well, who wouldn’t want to work with Stan The Man? If it’s good enough for Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and Pamela Anderson, then it’s perfectly acceptable for you, right? If that’s something you’d like to pursue, there’s an unnamed “L.A.-based film company with studio pictures in the pipeline” that’s jumped into the crowded comic book/graphic novel biz. They’re looking for artists for their books, some of which are proclaimed to be written by Stan. If you have a style that’s “dark and edgy” and can pencil, ink and color (this ain’t best 2 out of 3—they want it all), then a paid gig awaits. Naturally, they’d love it if you already had experience at the usual suspects.
Tyrese Gibson: The creator of Image Comics’ Tyrese Gibson’s Mayhem is looking for “hard-working and dedicated interns” to join his company. You’ll be bouncing between all divisions of Mr. Gibson’s company—music, film/TV and comic books. If you’re looking to break into the business, Tyrese can help.
Fanboys of a certain age will always remember where they were on Monday August 31, 2009, the day the vast Disney empire, home of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Quentin Tarantino, announced it was buying Marvel Comics, the home of Iron Man, X-Men, Spider-Man and all the rest, at a price of $4 billion.
For now, both sides are saying all the correct, corporate, and SEC-friendly things designed to placate worriers and fretters from Wall Street to Melrose Avenue. If you’d like to know what the future holds, though, here are the Top 20 Signs That Your Comic Book Company Has Been Bought By Disney:
The return of the Chameleon continues. In the last issue of Amazing Spider-Man, the Chameleon captured Peter Parker and stole his identity—it appears as if Peter has also been killed. This issue follows the Chameleon as he impersonates Peter Parker. The Chameleon goes about Peter’s life discovering all of things that make Peter tick, from his new job working for J Jonah Jameson to his relationship with Mary Jane. He also decides to take advantage of the situation as he ends up sleeping with Peter’s roommate Michelle Gonzales. How that will all play out when the real Peter Parker returns should be interesting.
Although this isn’t the real Peter sleeping with Michelle, it still bothers me to see Peter hooking up with another woman—it’s like he’s cheating on MJ. I hope that they eventually put them back together; there’s too much history there for them not to be together.
“Peter’s” first Jameson assignment is to take pictures of Jonah with the returning war hero Flash Thompson. Since I haven’t been reading Spider-Man until recently, this was all new to me as far as Flash goes. I like that they’ve made him into a veteran and have him disabled—this adds something new to the character that can bring about some great drama.
Another okay issue of Amazing Spider-Man. After getting back into reading Spider-Man with Amazing Spider-Man Annual #36, I was looking forward to a lot of good Spider-Man stories again. However, since Amazing Spider-Man comes out three times a month, there are numerous writers who work on the book to keep this thing going. So far Mark Waid didn’t thrill me last week and this week Fred Van Lente doesn’t wow me either - although I thought it was better than last week.
This issue is part one of the return of the Chameleon storyline. In a very dark turn for the character, the Chameleon is preying on innocent nobodies in the city, creating a mask of their face to steal their identity and then lowering them down strapped to a chair into pit of acid where their flesh burns off their body. Sick and cool at the same time. I don’t remember the Chameleon being this evil.
Addendum: The writer of the following article regrets the oversights that were made while writing this post - both comic book and political related. The writer intends to be more careful in the future to adhere to the core subject of Comix 411, which is comic books, and not personal political opinion. Thank you.
Rating: *** 1/2*
The relaunch of the Ultimate Universe continues with Ultimate Comics Avengers. There have been three separate Ultimate Avengers series (then known just as The Ultimates). I read and enjoyed the first series, which was written by Mark Millar, who is also the writer of this new series. Since the premiere of that first series and the recent mini-series Ultimatum, numerous characters have died including: Wasp, Hank Pym, Black Widow, the Scarlet Witch, and Quicksilver. The remaining members of the team will make up the current team: Captain America, Iron Man, Hawkeye, Thor, and Nick Fury.
Before I give my review of this issue, I want to give a little back story on my feelings about Mark Millar. I made a conscious decision not to pick up The Ultimates after the second series. Why? Because of Mark Millar’s political beliefs. Many creators within the comic book world are liberal - which is fine, but I think that Mr. Millar leans more to the left than a liberal. I think he’s a communist.
Marvel’s Ultimate line of comic books began in the year 2000. It was an attempt to get new and young readers on board without them having to jump in and figure out the years of confusing continuity that’s existed before. I wasn’t collecting comics at the time when issue one of Ultimate Spider-Man came out, but I decided to pick up the first few issues. I thought it was okay. In my opinion, I think Ultimate Spider-Man really took off after the first story arc. The comic lasted for over one hundred issues and there were some moments where I lost interest in the book. I think I stopped collecting around the time Ultimate Moon Knight showed up. However, I got back into the title when writer Brian Michael Bendis introduced his own take on the Clone Saga for the title. I don’t know what it is about clones and Spider-Man that makes me go crazy. The Clone Saga got me to pick up Ultimate Spider-Man again and now it’s done it again with the regular Spider-Man book.
After the Ultimate Clone Saga ended, I dropped the book and haven’t read it since. With Ultimatum wrecking havoc in the Ultimate Universe, Marvel decided to cancel all of their Ultimate books and relaunch two of them with new number one issues. So Ultimate Spider-Man is now Ultimate Comics Spider-Man and The Ultimates is now the Ultimate Comics Avengers. So does Bendis deliver the goods once again with this new Ultimate Spidey title? You betcha!
Rating: *** 1/2*
I forget where I first read the preview for the mini-seriesThe Marvels Project. I heard about this series prior to reading the preview and I didn’t really have an interest in picking it up. It sounded cool, but with limited funds, I decided I was going to pass on this one. However, after reading the preview, I was hooked and committed to picking up the series.
Our story begins in 1938 at the dawn of the Marvel Universe. An old man is dying in a hospital bed and tells a doctor about the coming age of the super heroes. The doctor doesn’t believe him of course and the old man dies shortly after telling his story. He does however leave the doctor a gift. The gift is a wooden box that contains a pair of six shooters and it is then the doctor realizes that the man who died - Matthew Hawk - was the famed Two-Gun Kid. Now for those of you who don’t know, the Two-Gun kid is hero within the Marvel Universe who existed in the Old West within the Marvel Universe. He did however join the Avengers for a period after traveling through time.
The story then flashes forward a year later to FDR and the coming US involvement in World War II. We also see Namor the Submariner battling Nazis who are “fishing” for Atlanteans in order to use them for experiments. Namor is of course not too pleased about this and takes these guys on. During World War II, the super heroes that battled the Nazis consisted of Captain America, Bucky, Namor, and the Human Torch. The Torch is also introduced here as we see his origin in how he was invented and then encased in concrete as his creator Professor Phineas Horton could not control him from bursting into flames. The original Human Torch was an android and the people of the time were angry that scientists created this artificial being. To some it was a sin and against the laws of nature which was another reason why he was encased in concrete.
Rating: ** 1/2*
As readers know from my postings here at Comix 411, I just recently began reading Amazing Spider-Man after a long absence. I was turned off by the “Brand New Day” storyline and refused to collect Spider-Man. Well, the latest Amazing Spider-Man annual got me interested in Spidey again after a great story revolving around Ben Reilly. I also really enjoyed issue #600 of Amazing and was looking forward to this issue after we saw the return of Mary Jane at the end of #600. Since Amazing Spider-Man began being published three times a month, we’ve had a revolving team of writers and artists. In this issue we see Mark Waid take over the writing chores and, unfortunately, I was disappointed.
Mark Waid has done some great comic book work in the past. He’s the reason I love the characters of Captain America and the Flash (Wally West). His stories and the development of these characters was amazing and textbook for what I consider good comic book writing. Over the past few years, Mark Waid’s work hasn’t really interested me all that much.
The story opens up with Peter Parker in bed with a hangover from Aunt May’s wedding. He notices that he’s not alone and instead of Mary Jane being in bed with him, he discovers that he slept with his roommate Michelle Gonzales. Peter has no memory of their night together, which upsets her and results in her storming out. Thinking that he no longer has a roommate or a place to live Peter spends half the time this issue trying to find a new place to live. The other half is spent trying to remember when and where he was going to meet up with Mary Jane. While at the wedding reception, Peter got up the courage to talk with her and they made a date to talk.
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