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NewMutants1

Rating: ***

This is Marvel’s 2nd attempt to resurrect the old “New Mutants title which ran for 100 issues from the mid-80s to the early 90s. Like many comic readers, I was a big fan of this series. Although New Mutants had been canceled, it really just transformed into the new series “X-Force” with Cable at the helm along side some of the old characters and some new ones. Sometime later, Marvel published a forgettable three issue mini-series in 1997 that reunited the original members. However, in 2002, Marvel began a new monthly titled which would have some of the old New Mutant characters training new recruits. This title was very good and I collected it, but it was short lived and like it’s predecessor, it transformed into another title called “New X-Men”.

So I was surprised to see a few months back in Previews that Marvel was going to bring back the original New Mutants once again in their own book. I’m not complaining. As I said I loved that book and the characters and it’s nice to see them all back as the plain old New Mutants. So does this book hold up along side the previous series? I say so far yes.


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XOWolverine

Rating: ***

I love Wolverine. Wolverine is my second favorite character in comics - Batman is my first. I’m such a big fan that I named my son James Logan. When I first heard that they were going to do an X-Men movie back in 2000, I was worried because I felt who the hell could they get to play Wolverine? Well, as luck would have it, Bryan Singer cast Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in one of the best casting of an actor in a comic book movie. Not since Christopher Reeve stepped into the shoes of Superman did comic fans look up at the movie screen and feel as if they were watching their favorite character come to life.

The first X-men movie was pretty good, but not great in my opinion. X-2 was amazing and is one of the best comic book movies ever made. X-3 was slammed by both critics and fans, but I liked it. It wasn’t the best movie ever, but by no means the worse. That’s kind of what we have here in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”. A movie that is good and fun to watch, but not a great film.

I’m not really sure why this isn’t a great film. I think I would have to see it again and really deconstruct what works here and what doesn’t. If there was one thing that I can put my finger and say that really didn’t work was the Blob. When we first see the Blob as played by Kevin Durand of “LOST”, he is just a big guy with super strength. When Wolverine meets up with him again later in the film, he is big and fat and he and Wolverine fight it out in a boxing ring. The scene is more comical and although it furthers the plot as the Blob informs Wolverine of where he can find Sabertooth and William Stryker, I would not have had them box and I probably wouldn’t have had him be big and fat. I just don’t think with the current make-up and computer technology, they can do that character justice with out making him look silly. That didn’t work for me, but what did work here?


WWX1

Rating: ** 1/2*

I haven’t read a X-book in a year or two. Even when I picked up “Uncanny X-men” #500, I didn’t bother reading it because it didn’t interest me. For the longest time, I just haven’t been all that interested in what Marvel has been doing with the world of the X-Men. Ever since they killed Jean and put Scott with Emma, I just could care less.  The only X-Men experiences I have been reading are of Wolverine in the “New Avengers” - which I just dropped. 

When I first heard that Marvel was going to a do a third monthly series featuring Wolverine I almost lost it. I couldn’t believe how stupid Marvel was being with the Wolverine character in their quest to put him in comic after comic, month after month. I wasn’t planning on getting this issue, but with the new Wolverine movie coming out, I began missing the old days when I used to love reading the Wolverine monthly title. Both Chris Claremont and Larry Hama did some amazing stuff on that book. I highly recommend reading those old stories. So I picked up “Wolverine” Weapon X” purely for nostalgia reasons. Did it live up to those old Wolverine stories? No, but it wasn’t completely awful.

This issue focuses on a group of people from Roxxon getting a hold of the Weapon X files in order to make their own group of super soldiers.  Wolverine finds out about this from his old Weapon X buddy Maverick who no longer has his powers thanks to the Scarlet Witch in the “House of M” storyline.  Wolverine decides to stop them and show them that they can’t build a better killing machine because they already did.  Chessy, but whatever.

The story is quick and to the point.  No new ground is broken here and it doesn’t make me want to get the next issue.  Maybe I’ll pick it up - especially if I like the Wolverine movie, but the story has to really pick up in order for me to put this on my pull list.  Ron Garney does a good job with the art, but nothing spectacular.  If you love Wolverine, you’ll probably like this, but if you don’t like Wolverine, you can pass on this.  I hope there are some good Logan stories on the horizon.  I’m starting to really miss him.


Latest Gear Live Videos

Whoever would have thought that slipping on the ice would cause a compound fracture in my right wrist? Going to make posting real fun for six weeks.

I am really liking Haunted Tank. The writing seems very realistic, a little hardcore, but always entertaining. The Mighty A is a reasonably good first issue but I think they could have advanced the story a little better than they did. Still, I hope they keep this out of the DC Universe. So far, the only part in Secret Six that I have really liked is the Get Out of Hell Free Card.
 
Sentry is just goofy enough to be a lot of fun. They sure put enough regular characters in the story to flesh out the Sentry universe. Agents of Atlas has jumped right into the Dark Reign storyline. They certainly are an eclectic mix of characters and, yet, it seems to work. But if every team had a Venus, they could certainly accomplish a lot more with fewer battles. A corrected Mighty Avengers arrived and the question is whether or not you want to waste the time finding the differences. Not me. Be careful, Marvel Universe is always good for a few chuckles. I Am Legion is I Am Whaaa?
 
See you when the pain meds kick in again.


Iron Man

Run to the hills, Marvel has unveiled their “Iron Maiden”. Okay that was lame, but I couldn’t resist it. Now let’s get down to business… reviewing another solid issue of “Invincible Iron Man”. Month in and month out, Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca have been giving us the Iron Man movie on paper. I can’t believe I had reservations about this book when it debuted (I mean did we really need another Iron Man book), but I finally caved, bought the first three issues, and have been coming back ever since.

Anyway, this issue Norman Osborn continues his destruction of everything Tony Stark has ever built. But while Tony’s friends and employees suffer the Green Goblin’s wrath, Tony continues to play it calm, play it cool, and relieve “stress” with Maria Hill as he destroys his armory and goes on the run. And he’s not alone. Building off of events in previous issues, Pepper Potts finally takes up the mantle Fraction had been hinting at since the last story arc, the Iron Maiden, and not a moment too soon because Stormin’ Norman’s stormtroopers are on her tail. (You can thank the Spider-Man movie for that one).

As for Larroca’s art, the character’s designs are a continuation to the actors from the movie, but are unique enough that they aren’t direct traces. Much of this is enhanced by the coloring of Frank D’Armata giving the book an energetic realism.

Overall, if you’re not reading this book, get the first trade then catch up by buying the issues you missed. Trust me it’s worth it.


Well, the comic groundhog has risen from its hole and determined six more weeks of not so exciting comics. Still, we persevere.

The only toys of note are the New Gods. Paraphrasing The Who, here’s the New Gods, same as the old Gods. Plus the 4th printing of Amazing Spider-Man 583. Some guy in New York advertised the third printing at $3.99 with an ad in which he said the comic might become a collector’s item. So what are my Diamond bills listing that book’s worth? See you on E-bay.

Secret Warriors has in it… well, it’s a secret, so I can’t tell you. Haunted Tank 3 continues a cool and relevant storyline. War of the Kings, Darkhawk, gets us back into space in this highly well-received series. Final Crisis, Legion concludes and I am sure it will continue in the final figuring out of why the Skrulls replaced Grant Morrison and where is the original? So far, none of my customers have enjoyed Final Crisis and I don’t think you can blame them. And for the few, the proud, we have the next Buffy. Hopefully, next week we have a huge shipment of Essentials coming in at bargain prices.

Stay tooned.


Oh, it’s not our Final Crisis but the Monitor’s Final Crisis? Does that mean we have our own Final Crisis to endure? And, if I read it right (a big IF) did the Monitor’s existence fade away? Who exactly has the power to do this? Uotan? He did tell his fellow Monitors to “make your peace,” but he was reborn in Metropolis. So is his BFF reborn somewhere else? And if he’s reborn why wouldn’t the rest of the Monitors regenerate. Maybe they have their own resurrection ship like on Galactica. And how did I miss the ship on the next-to-last page that obviously carried Batman to Australia? Could someone tell me where in the previous story did this ship come from? Darkseid always hated music? Who knew? Do you think the DC Aborigine knows the Marvel guy? And, finally, Superman can wish for one thing and wants a “happy ending”? Wow, the jokes could be endless. Me love Superman long time.

Well, Final Crisis Revelations sure revealed a lot didn’t it? So to find out all of Hercules female conquests, we need the “Who’s Who of Super Heroines”? Told you last time. Why didn’t Herc and Cho invite Athena to join them for pizza? Now I like the FOE covers, but my customers having to keep asking where their favorite books are ? The covers are all black and the white Black Adam obscures the title of the book. People couldn’t find Booster Gold because of the Enemy Ace name. Over in the war that time forgot (too easy to say book that people forgot), I pity the fool that picks up the first six-issue compilation and tries to figure out the plot. And what’s with the rumor that Smallville has shot two different season ending episodes with one being a series-ender? My DC rep promises to investigate.

In Marvel land they really seem to be killing off half the Ultimate Universe characters. Just like raising almost everything to $3.99 will kill off half their sales. Still, I did like Kitty Pryde telling the reluctant subway passengers to “Take my hand if you want to live.”  They really concluded the Daredevil storyline neatly huh? Except they didn’t. Now we know to not mess with Orono because she really jumped in power level, didn’t she? Finally, I loved New Avengers because they are heading for a grand confrontation with no opaque motivations, so far. But, even the President knows Norman Osborne is nuts? Gotta love politics.


Here we are again. The Tuesday Preview has hit three in a row. Couldn’t do it without you.

Some interesting books this week. In Batman 685 I am sure we will learn everything we have to know about Bats. Again, I recommend anyone trying to follow this continuity to read Bubba’s comment for a clear viewpoint on our caped hero. Justice Society of America 23 should either wrap up the Gog storyline or start another. And the biggies, Final Crisis 7 and Revelations 5 - all will be cleared up. Grant Morrison reveals all. Comic readers head for tall buildings.

On the Marvel side we start with the always great Captain America. My best book of the year soldiers on. One of my new favorites is Hercules. Here is a hero that chases every woman in every story that he appears in, but with a grin on his face. And yet he seems to succeed and, as a spill over, the 7th (or 8th) smartest man in the world seems to be getting something out of his palling around with Herc. New Avengers 19 debuts and should contain the Dark Reign Saga. The only worry is that we are going to have too many Avengers teams, but I am sure we’ll never get to 50. Wow, 50 Avengers Initiative teams and 52 DC Universes. Lots of characters huh? And In Ultimate Spider-Man 130 we may continue killing off characters from Ultimatum. Or not.


Thunderbolts
This week’s Thunderbolts was a gem. It features an appearance by President Barack Obama, but unlike his appearance in Amazing Spider-Man, he actually does something. Instead of punching out the Chameleon, President Obama actually has to do something, evaluate Norman Osborn. Doc Sampson is out to prove to the President that Norman Osborn is what we all know he is, a blithering psychopath called the Green Goblin. Unfortunately, good ole Normie has a back up plan to deceive our brand new President, and it involves his all new, covert, and off the books version of the Thunderbolts.

But that’s not the “great moment in comics history” (as my friend Joel likes to call it). The “great moment in comics history” is the blonde Black Widow’s clever transportation method for Ant-Man. Let’s just say he’s “sandwiched between two pillows”. I’ll say no more, needless to say it’s a great moment in comics history that makes fanboys want to be Ant Man. I’ll say no more.


We are two episodes into Smallville, so a few comments are in order. Saturn Girl looks a lot better on TV than she did in the Wizard photos. I guess you don’t have to be telepathic to figure out what’s on the mind of every guy that meets her. Plus there were quite a few inside references. No flights, no tights for one. And why is Clark so uptight about even trying to fly? Tess, or as I prefer to call her MISS TESSMACKER, is talking merger with Ollie. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. With Lana back are they doing the deed? Saw the photo of Serinda Swan who will be playing Zatanna. Have they grabbed every good looking girl in Vancouver? Clark talking about teaming up more with Ollie and John Jones? How about teaming with guys who actually have super powers? You know, Flash, Cyborg, Aquaman who have already been introduced? And Martians lose their powers under a yellow sun? Since when? Jones is played by Phil Morris, who is the son of original Mission Impossible star, Greg Morris. And Chloe calling John ” My favorite Martian”? Where’s the antenna?

If you want the best explanation for Batman that I have seen click on the comment Bubba made about my Deaths of Batman posting. It is far better than anything I or my DC rep could come up with.
 
Whoa… I just got it, Faces of Evil is Foe’s. F O E. Took me awhile.

When I went to reorder the second printing variant of Amazing Spider-Man, I was told by Diamond that I already missed the third printing variant, but I could get the 4th printing in early February. How did I miss the third?

Over on Battlestar Galactica we now know the 12th cylon is the XO’s slightly dead wife. Of course she would have been resurrected had not the humans and renegade cylons not blown up the resurrection ship. Mind you, he killed her for betraying her people,which, of course, she isn’t and neither is he. And why, if you are making human looking cylons, would you make them susceptible to alcohol? No wonder he drinks so much. And where are they getting all this not home brewed liquor anyway? Assuming that there are only the 12 human looking cylons that they have told us about, that makes Starbuck not a cylon. People who remember the original Galactica remember the Lords of the Light who rescued the almost dead Apollo instead of Starbuck and sent him/her/it back in a brand new white viper. Well,they have borrowed quite a few plot devices from the original so why not one more?
 
Toon in Tuesday for the famous Tuesday Preview.


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