Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Has some of you may have noticed, this past school year has been hectic for me and has lead to a lot of late posting especially during the past few months. It's basically my work load for school that's been the problem combined with the social life I try to reclaim on the weekends that's lead to little free time or will to do anything else.

Most importantly, when I do post I find that the quality is just not there like it used to be, and I just seem to lack enthusiasm enough to try and pick out the humorous elements that I used to find. It's also because I pick out too many books to talk about and keep around ones that do nothing but irritate me now. In order to get back to posting like that I really need to take a break from this blog and get back my wit and sass. I'll still be randomly posting at my [comic book Tumblr] because it's one of the most mindless forms of blogging I've ever seen. To conclude, I do intend on returning to this blog because the need to discuss comic books at length is too strong, but for now I need to devote my energies elsewhere.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The List #50 Part 2

Astonishing X-Men #5
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Kaare Andrews
Finally we've arrived at the end of Ellis' run of Astonishing and I just have to say that it saddens me to see him go. I mean this issue alone delivers two of the best Emma moments I've seen in years (for more of my thoughts on them, [here] and [here]). Hopefully this week's coming Astonishing, featuring a new creative team, can continue the excellent characterization of Emma that I've come to expect from this series.

I've only a few notes besides uninhibited excitement at how prominen
tly featured and correctly characterized Emma is here, and they are: A. I enjoyed Beast's moment of badassery; B. I actually enjoy the ending with the fate of Jaspers being resolved, it was wonderfully tense; C. I know I've already talked about Emma, but I also need to pay special respect to the fact that she saved the motherf#%^ing day in this mini-series! Emma Frost resolved the problem. Emma. My girl, who saved that day with all the sadistic thrill I've come to expect from her. You have no idea how much this thrills me.
Conclusion: If you haven't already, go out and buy this entire mini-series. Also, do enjoy the magic of a well-written Emma Frost.

Fables #101 + #102
Writer: Bill Willingham
Artist: Eric Shanowner and Mark Buckingham
Beginning with Fables #101, let me just open with this statement: I don't like Bufkin. I get it, the fans love him, hence his getting the spotlight treatment lately, but honestly, I don't find him entertaining in the least. So you can imagine this issue was less than exciting for me.

However, while I'm not Bufkin fan, I do have to express my enjoyment of the Magic Mirror, and especially the explanation and questioning of his abilities this issue. And of course, I enjoyed the ridiculous faces he made throughout the issues and his explanation of his rhyming rule because this causes me to think of him as
a bitchy queen. And I love my bitchy queens.
So with the events of this issue being Bufkin climbing up the tree in the business office and ending up back in Oz to join a rebellion, I have to wonder how Miss Ozma, Princess of Oz (oh believe me, we'll get to her in a minute), will play into this sub-story. Anyway, that's the extent of my thoughts on that issue.

Onto #102, in regards to Miss Ozma, all I have to say is: Yes. Despite my missing of Frau Totenkinder, I have to say that her replacement is doing fantastica
lly as a fill-in for my need to have an amoral, strange female character to root for. What's fantastic about Ozma, in contrast to Frau, is her willingness to take control and basically forcefully run everyone around to her will. This issue she decided to use the superhero genre in planning a new way to confront the Dark Man, and she is in no way slacking on her responsibilities. And let's not forget how unapologetically nasty she can be, especially with Pinocchio when he called her "babe". She's definitely made an impression with me, and I'm excited to see more of her.

Another point that made an impression this issue was the reveal of Mr. Dark constantly being on the ou
tskirts of Haven trying to get in. Which is absolutely creepy, I certainly could never sleep soundly if I knew I knew that the man trying to kill me is always at my door. Also, that Flycatcher has to exert all his concentration of keeping him out and that Haven will have to be the place of the Fables' last stand with Mr. Dark.

Conclusion: While #101 was mediocre at best, #102 is a great issue thanks to the combination of Ozma's controlling nature and Mr. Dark's creepy stalking.

Uncanny X-Force #4 + #5
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Jerome Opena and Esad Ribic
To open, I just need to say that Uncanny X-Force #4 proved to me that my lingering doubts about Uncanny X-Force were completely unnecessary: This book is golden.

Like I can't even tell you how surprised I was by [this page]. Seriously, after my first time reading that, I had to look around in shock
for a second and was like, "Oh my Frost, did they really just do that?"

And the surprises didn't stop there; the next one b
eing the illusion the Horsemen get put under and what they do followed by the reveal of the fact that they're really stuck on an alien planet with hostile inhabitants. Also, bitchy points to EVA for her way of explaining said situation to the Horsemen.

Then was have the final showdown with all of X-Force turning on each other in opposition over what to do about Kid Apocalypse. This scene definitely worked for me as it felt real and absolutely human rather than what could've just been a decisive scene which would've cheaply 'gritty and heartless' and unsatisfying. Also, it wouldn't be me if I didn't mention that weird panel where Psylocke's body all of a sudden turns into that of a 40 yr. old man. Kinda strange.

Lastly for this issue had to be the end. I mean, if you've read the issue (which you need to), then you know exactly what I mean. It was powerful and surprisingly heartbreaking and I just had to set this one down and think after I finished it.

Moving onto issue #5, I have to say I was surprised that an issue centering around Fantomex, a character I've cared little for even under Morrison's hand, could keep me engaged and wanting more. I found the reveal about the fate of The World having been miniaturized for safe protection to be a great one and the re-introduction of Fantomex's mother to be a charming surprise. Especially since I thought she was an illusion in Morrison's New X-Men...right? Or was it just supposed to be ambigious whether or not she had been real?

Also, the surprise attack of techno clone robot things was definitely a heartbreaking one as Mumma Fantomex gets horrifically killed during said attack. Really Remender? Our hearts are going to be ripped out every issue?

Speaking of previous moments of heartrip, can anyone tell me if Deadpool's scene this issue with his expressing hav
ing problems over Kid Apocalypse's death was legit? I don't read Deadpool, so what I want to know is does he actually have moments where he's straightforward and honest? Or could this be him secretly mocking the situation?

Moving on, something I'd like to mock is Logan's look of surprise when it Archangel reveals that Deadpool's never cashed any of his checks. It's just a face that's worthy of laughter and playful mockery.

Oh and a side note, I can't express how much I'm loving EVA in this series despite her moments being few. And that goes double for Fantomex and her bitching back and forth this issue, seriously, it was pure gold.

Conclusion: This series is a must-read and if you haven't already, then you need to jump on board. Issue #4 surprised me in so many ways that I'm still processing it a bit and Issue #5...actually made me care about Fantomex. No joke. I actually gave a damn about a character who I haven't liked since the first time I read him during my introduction to comic books. So yeah, props to Remender for amazing writing.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The List #50 Part 1

Avengers Academy #9
Writer: Christos Gage
Artist: Mike McKone
The issue centers around Tygra's decision last issue to expel Hazmat, Veil, and Stryker for beating up The Hood and recording it. From there, the majority of the teaching staff go against her and she ends up taking some iffy shots at her co-workers:

Really, Tygra? Is that really how you're going to demonstrate how you were correct in your decision? Also, for some reason Jocasta is considered in the debate with Pym claiming that she's spent just as much time with the students as the rest of the teaching staff. Which confuses me because I don't even remember an issue where she was announced as officially part of the teaching staff. Was there one? All I remember is that she was just in the book all of a sudden.

Luckily, Quicksilver ends up correctly telling Tygra off by explaining that her betraying the students by abandoning them will do exactly what Avengers Academy is trying to prevent. Which is good on him even though during this he was returning from helping Finesse find out if Taskmaster is her father by breaking into his base. Oh well, it's hardly a secret that Quicksilver's far from perfect.

While at Taskmaster's base, Finesse does indeed meet with the man who could quite possibly be her father and they duke it out. It ends with him admitting she could be his child, but that he doesn't actually know due to a side effect of his memory ability that causes him to forget such basic things like what he did last week. Definitely an interesting point about the character that I'd never heard before, and it makes me curious concerning whether or not this will also happen to Finesse.

The issue ends with Tygra tentatively letting the students back into the Academy. And then secretly watching the tape she was so up in arms about while no one's looking.

Conclusion: Certainly a good issue, especially with Tygra being a total mess, but it's sort of lacking in the talkable moments department.

X-Factor #215
Writer: Peter David
Artist: Valentine De Landro
This time around Layla Miller and Madrox in a vampire drama are featured which is a significant improvement from Dull Darwyn's Western last issue.

The vampire story itself is pretty typical, but I did enjoy that, rather than a typical vampire being used, David used a vandella (a vampiric dream spirit). However,
it's otherwise uninteresting and predictable.

The other story of this issue revolves around Madrox finally getting to ask Layla about her ability to "know things," why she went to Dr. Doom (who, it turns out, taught her some magic), and just what's up with her these days. Only so much progress is made in answering these questions, but at least it lead to Layla getting back to her weird charm. Also, one of Jamie's dupes proposes to Layla, she seriously accepts and drags it out even though Jamie explains it's just a dupe, and in the end, we have this random moment:

Fortunately, she doesn't say yes.
I get that she hasn't been a little kid for two or three years, but I still find this a bit creepy.
Sorry, David, I know you're trying to move a hinted plotline before it goes stale, but I'm really not interested in seeing this develop.
Conclusion: Overall a good issue, the weird Layla time was enjoyable, but in the end, it's kind of forgettable.

Age of X: Alpha #1
Writer: Mike Carey
Artists: [Various]
If you've read the many interviews and features that happened in anticipation of this event, then the stories this issue won't be as surprising as they're meant to be. However, despite their lack of newness, some of them are definitely pretty intense.

Basically this issue works to set up the tone and details of the universe that we're dealing with during Age of X in the form of X-Men sharing stories around a campfire before going into battle. We're given 4 of these vignettes with details about the universe being released randomly along the way, like this disturbing one that Toad reveals:

Of the vignettes, we get a disturbing one with Husk and Cannonball discovering their family murdered in a dump truck due to their family producing so many mutants, and with this we also see the split between Paige and Sam as Paige decides on taking a more active approach at ending the anti-mutant agenda. There's also Wolverine being revealed to have taken the Cure in order to remove it from the world; a story I imagine will have consequences during this crossover. Oh and we also get a cameo of the Mastermind sisters which hopefully means they'll appear again sometime soon.

Perhaps the most shocking story of this issue would be the story of Basilisk's (Cyclops) escape from Alcatraz. What happened is Alcatraz, being run by Arcade, functioned as a prison for mutants with Basilisk being forced into serving as the executioner of the mutants on death row. He also has no eyelids as Arcade wante
d to make sure he'd serve his purpose. Yeah, it's pretty intense, and Gabriel Hernandez Walta's art definitely heightens the intensity of this story. The vignette concludes with Basilisk managing to break out of Alcatraz and take revenge on Arcade, and, I can't believe I'm saying this, it's an amazingly badass Cyclops moment. Wow. I actually just said something nice about Cyclops; it's official now, Carey really can work miracles.

Conclusion: While depressing, this issue is at times powerful and overall a decent one though not especially spectacular in any way.

Concerning the poll results, I'm kinda pissed because, despite the grand total of votes being 42, somehow it got messed up and now it only shows that 24 people voted. Don't know what happened there, but I have to say that I'm not impressed with that. Luckily, the percentages are still basically the same, and in the end it seems that the majority of people want Cypher gone which I totally agree with. Anyway, I've finally put up a new poll, it's multiple answer, and hopefully this time around it functions correctly.

Monday, January 24, 2011

2-Line Reviews: Avengers Academy #8, X-Factor #214, and X-Men Legacy #244

A combination of my being super busy and last week's releases not having much for me to comment on has made it so that my reviewing these issues in any depth would be severely
lackluster. My solution: Making brief reviews comprised only of two sentences.

Avengers Academy #8

Writer: Christos Gage
Artist: Mike McKone

Having the AA hunt down established villains who have hurt someone in the AA is already repetitive and it's only the second time. I love that Tygra basically went on Oprah this issue.

X-Factor #214
Writer: Peter David
Artist: Emanuela Lupacchino

This issue was solely about Darwin in a Western; two things I have severe dislike for. Unsurprisingly, I did not read any further after finding out this.

X-Men Legacy #244

Writer: Mike Carey
Artist: Harvey Tolibao

Blindfold was at times speaking too normally this issue. Why does every weird/different/antagonistic character have to eventually be watered down to boringly normal traits?

Friday, January 7, 2011

The List #49

Avengers The Childrens Crusade #4
Writer: Allan Heinburg
Artist: Jim Cheung
This issue we have Wiccan as a prisoner of Doom, who's also stolen his powers, and the Young Avengers trying to work out a plan to save him. On their way to invade Castle Doom they are stopped by the Avengers, so that's put on hold. Meanwhile, the Scarlet Witch comes to see Wiccan, curious about what he said, and he summarizes how he and Tommy came to be, then came to not be, how she reacted, and then how they came to be again. Which is going fine, and Wanda is at least listening to him...until they come upon the massive YA, Quicksilver, and Magneto vs. Avengers fight scene. Oh and Wolverine also appears and tries to kill both Wanda and Billy. Yeah, not only is he completely overexposed, now he's also the total bastard of this story. Until he is stopped by, in a fabulous ending twist, by none other than.....!!!
Iron Lad!!!!!
This had better not be an illusion, robot, or clone because I'm so excited for the followup to this twist, especially because I just reread my Young Avengers hardcover last week!! And yeah, that where the issue ends, let the 2 month wait begin.

Conclusion: Despite the bi-monthly release issue, this is probably one of the best out there right now, and honestly, if the creative team needs the two months to create such a high quality, exciting book then that's fine by me.

X-Factor #213
Writer: Peter David
Artist: Valentine De Landro, Pat Davison
As predicted, this issue is full of Darwin angst since now he's got death powers in him, and so he joins Hellion in the begging to be killed department. Unfortunately, the cruel fact is that this completely uninteresting character can't be killed. Anyway, so X-Factor leaves him in Las Vegas so he can sort his shit out, and unfortunately, we have to see exactly what he does during this time next issue.

In other news about unfortunate additions, Pip, the troll the team rescued, is now following X-Factor around even though the team feels uneasy about this. And surprise, by the end of the issue we learn that he's spying on them for somebody. Yet another predictable plot with few invested in this part. However, in good news, we have Monet to echo my thoughts on this mediocre Darwin story.

I'm thinking she's due for some spotlight time.
Moving on to stories I'm invested in: Baby mama drama! Despite my loathing of Rahne, the story itself has me hooked, and this time around we have Rictor, drunk out of his mind, having figured out the baby's not his. Meaning Ricstar can continue and give the fans what they want (Homo love!!).

Shatterstar explains the situation to Rictor, and Rictor makes a move to go find Rahne to confront her about this. Rahne explains that she knew about the deal the whole time, and she admits to trying use her baby to force Rictor to stop being gay so he won't go to hell. Rictor blows this off as a joke, which is understandable because I've always found Rahne to be exactly that, and then tells her to just come home with him. Which translates to: "Let's see how far we can jam pack this team until everyone besides Madrox becomes a cameo queen." Also, what is with the red head factor on this book?

Kinda strange.
Although it'd probably be stranger in a universe that depicted the frequency of red hair more realistically, but whatever, it's comic books, where it's not uncommon for characters to have purple or green hair.

Conclusion: This issue was half crap (Darwyn and Pip) and half great (Baby mama drama and everything else).