Tag Archives: Age of Apocalypse

Review: Age of Apocalypse #4

AoA4Of all the titles to come out of Secret Wars, Age of Apocalypse was one of the books I was most excited about.  And four issues later, this is the title I am the most disappointed in.  If you’ve been following my reviews, you’d see that issue 1 started out so great with such promise…and then it just fell of the tracks and never corrected itself.

Apocalypse has released the legacy virus, exposing the X-Men, his Horsemen and himself, to see who is the fittest to survive.  The Horsemen and the X-Men decide to team up, to stop the virus from killing each other through their powers and also to stop Apocalypse.  Magneto gets Emma Frost to probe the mind of Peter Corbeau, to try and find out what the humans used to make the virus, but Emma finds that his memories have been blocked…but she does see glimpses that tell her the humans didn’t make the virus all on their own.  Apocalypse proclaims that there is no cure and only those fit will survive…when suddenly he begins to freeze in place.  Iceman (who was thought dead after the explosion in the Savage Land in issue #1) arrives on the scene, putting Apocalypse and his Horsemen on ice.  Emma then instructs him to not drop his cryogenic field, as right now, he is the only one keeping the virus at bay.

We then move on to see Wolverine and Burner with Cyclops, who is inexplicably no longer being held as a prisoner, wandering the deserted labs of Henry McCoy, but how they got there or why is never mentioned, as last we saw them, Cyclops was being interrogated at the X-Men’s base.  Burner reflects on his time being held captive in the labs, when Wolverine says he has picked up the scent of Jean Grey. They move on, and stumble across a corridor that Cyclops says shouldn’t exist.  They then realize that the hidden corridor and adjoining lab belong to Dr. Nemesis, McCoy’s assistant.  Wolverine is then suddenly attacked by Havok, calling out his brother Cyclops on his apparent traitorous activities, when they explain to Havok that the virus has been released and threatens all mutants…and suddenly Havok decides to join them in finding Nemesis.

Back at the battle, Apocalypse breaks free of the ice, and begins to press his attack…when his powers suddenly begin to flare out of control…and he realizes he has been infected.  This comes as a surprise to him, now realizing he his not fit to survive…but figures if he won’t, then the X-Men will not either, and he continues his attack.  The X-Men and Horsemen press on, trying to stop Apocalypse before his powers flare and kill them all…when Apocalypse’s molecular structure destabilizes and he dies in a puddle of goo.  Unfortunately, Magneto is also infected and his powers begin to flare out of control…so to save everyone, Emma goes into his mind, gives him one final memory of happiness, and kills him.  Consumed with anger, Emma rips into Corbeau’s mind and discovers that Nemesis was the one who made the virus…and that they have sent their friends right to the madman who created it.

*Sigh* where to start with this issue….my biggest problem is that things are happening with no explanation or set up, just BOOM here you go, this will move this story along, who care if it makes sense?  Iceman arrives to freeze everyone with Rogue saying “no wonder it’s been raining so much”, yet we didn’t see any rain depicted until Iceman arrived. Cyclops goes from prisoner to ally, helping Wolverine and Burner explore the labs…when last we saw him tied to a chair and being interrogated. Jean Grey is shown briefly, but still no real explanation as to what her role in all this is.  And we then catch a glimpse of Dr. Nemesis…at least they call him that, but he doesn’t look like he did when last we saw him and we don’t know why. Also, every other book in Secret Wars mentions Doom in the various regions; his laws, the Thors, something. But this one?  Nothing.  Apocalypse can release a virus that would kill all the mutants in this realm…a power that should only be reserved for ‘God Doom’…and there is no intervention. Really?  It had me wondering how this exactly tied in to Battleworld, and if this can even be called a tie in.

I’m convinced that Fabian Nicieza is not working from any kind of script or story outline and is just making things up as it goes along.  Nothing is cohesive and elements and events are just thrown in to make it seem to work.  Having the story being seen through Cypher’s point of view was a great way to start…but now I just don’t care anymore.  A team of X-Men sacrificed themselves to rescue Cypher in issue #1, to keep him from Apocalypse…but why?  All he is now is an observer…he hasn’t done anything, nor has any purpose for him been revealed.

Iban Coello took over artist duty on this issue…and it definitely shows. This did not feel like the Age of Apocalypse.  The artist who started on this book, Gerardo Sandoval, did a fantastic job of giving us the look and feel of the Age of Apocalypse we first saw all those years ago.  He gave it his own twist, but it still felt like the AoA I remembered. Coello’s art is nice, don’t get me wrong, but it totally changed the tone of the book for me. I don’t know why they would change artists so close to the end, but it adds into the overall feel of disconnect with this book.

I stuck with this title because of the fanboy that I am, and I will see how it all ends. But I can in no way recommend this to anyone, even other die hard fans out there. It seems to me this book just gave up, and they’re putting it out because they had to because of whatever agreement was made.  If you want to revisit the Age of Apocalypse, go back and read the original series. This tie-in has been a waste of time.

Story: Fabian Nicieza Art: Iban Coello
Story: 2 Art: 5 Overall: 3 Recommendation: PASS

Review: Age of Apocalypse #3

AoA3After the low I was left with after issue #2, I was really hoping that issue #3 would renew my excitement and enjoyment of revisiting the Age of Apocalypse in this Secret Wars tie in. What I got was a confusing continuation of a so-so story that, sadly, didn’t really provide the pay off I was hoping for.

The book opens with Dr. Nemesis, who we’ve seen only in random scenes in past issues, spouting off about the greatness of his work and how he stands above those who would call their work “exceptional”.  He is very excited about his latest test subject….Jean Grey, who is inexplicably made a key point to the story, with no mention of her before now.  Apparently Jean was brought in for interrogation, along with sheriff Carol Danvers, and the two were kept separate to see if Jean could corroborate the information Danvers would reveal.  Up until now, we had no idea that Jean was with Carol and the human resistance.  In another lab, Sinister, Abyss and Beast are questioning Carol about the weapon that the humans are suspected of hiding to use against the mutants.  She does her best to hide the truth, but when Sinister threatens to invade the human settlement, Carol quickly rolls over and gives the information they were looking for.

We then shift back to the X-Men, and Magneto telling Cypher of one of the first battles of his first group of X-Men fighting against the first group of Horsemen.  Magneto recounts the severity of the battle, and how his team was not prepared to face the villains against them.  Cypher feels a deep sense of loss from Magneto, telling how he lost some of his X-Men in that battle…but also how Magneto lost support from both humans and mutants; mutants saw them as a threat from them taking over, and humans saw them as no better then Apocalypse.  We then have a cut scene to Blink and Burner interrogating Cyclops, trying to get any information on Apocalypse’s next move.  Cyclops doesn’t say anything, so Burner threatens to, well, burn him, and his powers flare…with no effect on Cyclops.  Blink questions if his powers are working, when Magneto comes to see how things are going…and Rogue bursts in to tell Magneto that something is wrong with his wife, Emma Frost.  Somehow, Emma is in psychic link with Jean Grey, who is linked to Dr. Nemesis, who reveals that the humans have a weapon to destroy mutants.

The psychic flash reaches everyone, X-Man and Horseman alike, and the race is on to reach the human ghetto to retrieve the weapon. The Horsemen arrive first and unearth the weapon, slaughtering any humans in their way…and the X-Men arrive to stop them, as the two sides grapple for the weapon.  All sides are suddenly forced away with a flare of power, as Apocalypse himself arrives on the scene and takes possession of the weapon.

As I’ve said in my last two reviews for this tie in, Gerardo Sandoval does a fantastic job with the art in this book, really bringing us the feel and look of the Age of Apocalypse we were first introduced to years ago, even with his own added touches to the characters.  Fabian Nicieza again shows us here why he is so great at writing the X-Men; he knows these characters inside and out, and writes them exactly as any X-Men fan would want to see them.  The problem for me, however, is how the story is laid out in this issue.  After reading it, I wondered if someone forgot that this is supposed to be an on-going series.  Characters are thrown in out of the blue, like Jean Grey all of sudden being an important plot piece and Dr. Nemesis, who we’ve only seen really as Beasts ‘side kick’ now suddenly has a larger role.  And for this being the realm of Apocalypse, we have hardly seen a hint of him, until the end of this issue where he just steps in, with no build up, and plucks the prize for himself.

No, this third issue definitely did not earn this tie in any redemption with me.  It felt sluggish, disjointed and uninspired.  I still love the art, and how the characters are portrayed, but I’m wondering if this story had any direction when the idea was pitched, or if they just decided to make it up as they go along.

Story: Fabian Nicieza Art: Gerardo Sandoval
Story: 5 Art: 9 Overall: 6 Recommendation: Pass (as with issue #2, unless you like the art)

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

DC_Bombshells_2_5575d95d36ac86.74035338Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.


Top Pick: Plutonia #1 (Image Comics) – A new series by Jeff Lemire? Well, that alone gets this on my list, but the idea of him tackling a coming of age story through the lense of the superhero genre is too awesome to not look forward to. Add in beautiful artwork by Emi Lenox, and this is the first comic I’m reading this week.

Imperium #8 (Valiant Entertainment) – Harada and Divinity, two of the most powerful beings in the Valiant universe have come face to face. This is the climax to “Broken Angels,” continuing the awesomeness that is this series.

Midnighter #4 (DC Comics) – Writer Steve Orlando has made punching to solve problems cool again. I’ve never been the biggest Midnighter fan, but Orlando has given me reasons to be as he’s given the character a fresh mix of a personal life and superhero life. Such a fantastic series.

The Omega Men #4 (DC Comics) – Superhero terrorists? This series shows the gray and that there’s a fine line between terrorist and revolutionary, all in space! A very cool sci-fi series that does what sci-fi does best, explore our society through entertainment.

Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #44 (IDW Publishing) – I’ll keep plugging the various IDW Transformers series until you people wake up and see that it’s more than just giant robots and fighting! Every series has been an interesting mix of political intrigue, action, and religious philosophy. It’ more than meets the eye (sorry had to).



Top Pick: X-O Manowar #40 (Valiant Entertainment) – I’ve become a huge fan of this series over the past few months, and after the way the last issue ended, I’ve been looking forward to this for weeks.

We Stand On Guard #3 (Image Comics) – I have been really enjoying this series so far. We’re almost at the half way mark, and I’m really looking forward to see where the story takes us.



Top Pick: Danger Girl: Renegade #1 (IDW Publishing) – Love’m or hate’m, the Danger Girl team is back, and this time focuses on one of the team’s unanswered questions, Abby’s past.  Those that like the series can expect more tongue-in-cheek humor combined with decent action.

Jem and the Holograms #6 (IDW Publishing) – More fun abounds for this series which has been focused so far solely on the battle of the bands, and while it has been a simple enough concept, the creative team fills these pages with life.

Lazarus #19 (Image Comics) –  The ongoing battle of Duluth proves to be an issue for Forever after she is nearly killed in the last issue.  How thia works from here on will be interesting as numerous clans are trying to take down the Carlyles.

Star Lord and Kitty Pryde #3 (Marvel) – A lot of the Secret Wars tie-ins have either mostly ignored the crossover or told a crossover-centric story.  This is one of the few that does both while maintaining the charm of what made the pair of heroes so special to begin with.

Wonderland #39 (Zenescope) – Zenescope’s stand-out series returns with higher stakes as Calie faces threats in Wonderland and on Earth.



Top Picks Tie: 8House: #3 Kiem Part 1 (Image Comics) – Brandon Graham’s inter-connected fantasy world series begins a new storyline. The art by Xurxo G. Penalta is beautifully detailed and creative. The world has an air of Dune mixed with cyberpunk. The story involves astrolprojection. This will be unlike anything else you buy.

Top Picks Tie: Heavy Metal #276 Jack Kirby Issue (Heavy Metal) – Jack Kirby made art for the CIA’s secret Operation Argo plan to free American hostages. Never before published, we can finally see it in this issue! It is based on Robert Zelazny’s famous fantasy series “Lord of Light.” The rest of the mag sounds good too. But the Kirby cover alone with worth the cost of admission.

Jem and The Holograms #6 (IDW Publishing) – The Food Fight of the Century is over and now it is time for the Battle of The Bands! A really fun series for people of all ages and genders. Which band would you be voting for: The Holograms or The Misfits (not the Danzig Misfits, the entirely fictional Misfits that the artist has said sound like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs)? I think Black Sabbath singer Dio would vote for Jem and the Holograms but Black Sabbath singer Ozzy would vote for The Misfits. Please tweet me your own wild speculations to @Elana_Brooklyn #JemBattle (this is just me, not an official IDW tag).

Midnighter #4 (DC Comics) – I’m addicted.

Toil and Trouble #1 (BOOM! Studios) – I’m fairly discriminating about my “re-imaginings of Shakespeare” but this new mini series looks stunning, innovative and feminist.

Silver Surfer #14 (Marvel) – A title that had felt at the periphery of the Marvel U (in an interesting, exploratory way) now finds itself at the middle of it. It looks like the rebuilding of the post Secret Wars Marvel U starts here. The last issue ended on some absolutely stunning art. Among the best I’ve seen in ages. I was very frustrated with Slott’s response to the Hercules bi-erasure story but he’s apologized so I’m still reading this.



Top Pick: DC Comics Bombshell #2 (DC Comics) – Making this story a period piece has me interested in the many ways they could take Wonder Woman, Batwoman, and Supergirl, after a solid set up in the first issue. But it’s mostly the gorgeous art that has me most excited about diving back into this world.

Daredevil #18 (Marvel) – Honestly, I could break down the multitude of reasons this comic is worth reading but, to keep it simple, when Mark Waid is writing Daredevil it is always worth checking out.

Deadpool vs. Thanos #1 (Marvel) – Deadpool messing with anyone is usually all I need to be happy, but watching him send Thanos into a massive rage has me feeling extra giddy inside.

Herald: Lovecraft and Tesla #6 (Action Lab Entertainment) – Being a history junky, I am all for any type of twisted history tale. And just the potential of watching Mark Twain versus a book golem is enough to make me want to read this right now.


Mr. H

Top Pick: Deadpool vs. Thanos #1 (Marvel Comics) – The one who personifies death vs. the one who can talk you to it? Oh yes this is a must see even for me. Viva la Deadpool!

Daredevil #18 (Marvel Comics) – The final chapter. See how it all ends. I am on the bench with anticipation.

DC Comics Bombshells #2 (DC Comics) – The Womens’ Super Revolution continues. Is Steve Trevor going to make it? We shall see…

Green Lantern #44 (DC Comics) – Hal as a renegade just really fits and I’m liking this fun little space chase, I’m hoping that some incoming Thanagarian influence can shift it into over drive though!

Thors #3 (Marvel Comics) – Move over CSI and every other crime drama. This one is how it’s done.



Top Pick: Thors #3 (Marvel) – This is one of my favourite books to come out of Secret Wars.  The Thors have been hunting a murderer who has been targeting Jane Fosters from different areas of Battleworld, and now they have a suspect.  This is a great cop story, following the Thors as they uphold the laws of Doom, and I can’t wait to see the interrogation of their suspect.

Age of Apocalypse #3 (Marvel) – Issue 1 was fantastic and took me right back to the AoA I remember…and then issue 2 totally left me flat, basically a rehash of the first.  I am really hoping they pick this story up and we get more into the thick of things.  I’m really enjoying seeing the story from Cypher’s point of view, but I want to see more then some observations on character behaviour.  There’s been hints of a virus that could end all the mutants…can we please see more of this story?

Squadron Sinister #3 (Marvel) – I was surprised that I enjoy this book as much as I do.  I’m familiar with the Squadron Supreme, and Hyperion from his time in Avengers…and it’s a fun read to see Battleworld’s version of this team being nothing more then an organized gang, quietly taking over realms to expand their power…but how long will this go before Doom steps in?

Review: Age of Apocalypse #2

AOA2I have really been enjoying the majority of Secert Wars tie ins I have been reading, but I was most excited about Age of Apocalypse being revisited in this new Battleworld.  I was thrilled with issue one (you can read my review for it on this site *shameless plug*), and couldn’t wait for issue two to be released.  After reading it, I was left really wanting more, and feeling let down.

This issue was basically a retelling of everything that happened in issue one; Baron Apocalypse rules with his iron fist and his ‘survival of the fittest’ beliefs.  The X-Men failed in protecting a young mutant named Doug Ramsey, aka Cypher, who was delivered to Apocalypse’s Elite Forces and sent out into the field with them to speak with the Human Forces to find out if they are harbouring the X-Men, who spring into action to rescue Cypher from Apocalypse’s men.  This issue is basically one long battle scene between the X-Men and the Elite Mutant Force who ultimately take down Apocalypse’s agents, and make off with Cypher and take Cyclops as their prisoner.  We still see all the action from the point of view of Cypher, who through the battle, reflects on how the X-Men once stood as a beacon of hope for the oppressed suffering under Apocalypse, but now seems to act no better then those they are fighting against.  We get a brief scene of Angel in his private club, Heaven, being paid a visit by Sabretooth and Wild Child who has now sided with Apocalypse.  He accuses Angel of knowing about the attack against the Mutant Elite Force and demands he tell him everything he knows to save his own life.  We get a very brief scene with Apocalypse, just bellowing more about how the humans can try to take him down, but will ultimately fail.  The only real hint at something more going on is when Sheriff Carol Danvers is paid a visit by Sabretooth, who says he needs to talk to her.

As mentioned, this issue is nothing more then a rehash of issue one, so I can’t really say Fabian Nicieza gave us a compelling story; we saw all this previously and nothing really moved forward.  I do still enjoy the story being seen through Cypher’s POV and I did like his opinions on what the X-Men have become.  Gerard Sandoval’s art is just as good in this issue from the first, giving us the look and feel of the Age of Apocalypse first shown to us so many years ago, but giving it tweaks here and there to make it his own.

I apologize if my summary of this issue is so blasé, but that is exactly how I felt after reading it.  The story didn’t really move forward, as this was nothing more then a recap of past events.  I still enjoy the characters, the art and the colours, but I really wanted more from this second issue.  I will more then likely pick up the next issue, as I am not ready to completely write off Age of Apocalypse, but I hope the story advances and is able to pull me back in like the first issue did.

Story: Fabian Nicieza Art: Gerard Sandoval

Story: 5 Art: 9 Overall: 6 Recommendation: Pass (unless you want to check out the art)

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Midnighter #3 CoverWednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.


Top Pick: This Damned Band #1 (Dark Horse Comics) – A fun and trippy start of a series that mixes the fun of rock and roll with ghosts. This is Spinal Tap meets Ghostbusters, and it works in an awesome way. By the end of the first issue, you won’t be sure what is supernatural and what is drug induced, and that’s half the fun.

Bower Boys Our Fathers HC (Dark Horse Comics) – The webcomic is collected in print. The series focuses on Tammany Hall and Union busting, but it’s so much more, it’s about the relationships we have with our fathers. The fantastic story is backed up by beautiful artwork.

The Bunker #13 (Oni Press) – The time bending series continues its fantastic ways. In this issue we get some more info on what the deal with Heidi is including where she’s been the last three months, and more importantly who she’s been with.

Midnighter #3 (DC Comics) – Punching corporations! Seriously, this series is violent fun, that shows the struggle of a man designed to hurt attempting to figure out who he is. Steve Orlando is killing it (and a lot of people) in this series.

Nailbiter #15 (Image Comics) – One of my favorite series that has a few folks attempting to discover why a small town has produced so many serial killers. We’re getting closer and closer to finally getting an answer… I think and hope.



Top Pick: The Fox #5 (Archie Comics) – I picked issue #1 up on a whim, and this series has fast become one of my favourites. I love the fun, almost cynically innocent take on the superhero genre, and I cannot wait to get my grubby mitts on the final chapter of the opening arc.

Detective Comics #43 (DC Comics) – I’ve been surprised at how much I’ve been enjoying Mecha-Batman, and while I expect the original to return eventually, I’m enjoying this while it lasts.

We Stand On Guard #2 (Image Comics) – The first issue of this comic took me by surprise when it came out last month. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this as much as I did, and whether it is the underdog nature of the story or the Great White North setting, this is a series I’m looking forward too.



Top Pick: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad #5 (Marvel) – This all ages comic has not been on many people’s reading list, bust it proves that some minds at Disney are still interested in creativity.

Morning Glories #47 (Image Comics) – The standout series continues by weaving in new plots to the old. Every answer continues to create five new questions.

Groot #3 (Marvel) – This series has only run two issues thus far but has been unexpectedly amazing. The story is simple enough, but executed flawlessly.

Ms. Marvel #17 (Marvel) – One of Marvel’s stand-out series gets the Secret Wars treatment. It is nearing the end before Marvel relaunches and it remains to be seen how that will affect this series.

Red Skull #2 (Marvel) – It is the Suicide Squad of the Secret Wars as Red Skull takes on the role of Deadshot.



Top Pick: The Humans #7 (Image Comics) – Apesploitstion biker madness continues! I love this series so much I have a lenghthy personal essay about it coming out this week. This month’s issue features even more sex and violence and drugs and rock and roll and vengeance and period accurate hair and the color orange and oh my god the lettering! The lettering!!! All the important things in art, really.

Top Pick: The Wicked + The Divine #13 (Image Comics) – At last an issue about the mysterious goddess Tara jokingly called “goddess of who knows what” because there are so many deities with that name that it’s unclear who she’s supposed to be. I’m not sure which real world pop stars the character was inspired by. Beyoncé?

One thing is for sure, the new art by Tula Lotay is stunning!

Kaptara #4 (Image Comics) – This charming sword and sorcery in space comic won my heart. It’s saturated in lurid colors and riffs on He-Man but it doesn’t get in the way of being a very human story about a scientist who really needs a hug. And a date. Do you know any nice single men for Keith to date? I worry that Manton the warrior may take a while to come around.

Midnighter #3 (DC Comics) – Last issue our hero started to square off with the corporate powers that be. I’m really looking forward to a comic that tackles Monsanto. At least that’s where I think this is heading. Also, Midnighter punched a steak through a killer’s head. A dinner steak.

This Damned Band #1 (Dark Horse Comics) – What if Led Zeppelin really did sell their souls to the devil? It’s a brand new series from the ever funny and inventive and very British Paul Cornell (art by Tony Parker). I simultaneously love over-indulgent boomer rock and I also find it hilarious and worth deflating. This comic seems to be doing the same– both reveling and lovingly mocking the 70s rock pretentious and conventions. But with the actual Devil.


Mr. H

Top Pick: Green Lantern #43 (DC Comics) – I’ve really been enjoying this Hal on the run as a bounty hunter storyline and now that they’ve thrown Black Hand back in the mix, it should only get even better. Proof that he doesn’t need the most powerful weapon in the universe to still be a bad ass, this title is still providing bright days!

Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #3 (Marvel Comics) – Back in black and the marriage still intact? Let’s see if the removal of Spidey’s bright colors bring the foot out of the grave on this one. I really want to like this Mr. Slott, don’t disappoint me please. I’ve waited a long time for this.

JLA: Gods and Monsters: Wonder Woman #1 (DC Comics) – Having seen the movie, Wonder Woman was my favorite part. I hope they delve even deeper into her loss and betrayal. I really enjoy the twist on the New Genesis vs. Apokolips War. Should be a good one! Plus that boom tube sword is just epic. DC make a replica now!

TMNT: Color Classics Series 3 #8 (IDW Publishing) – Turtles, Shredder, April, Eastman, Laird. Isn’t that enough right there?



Top Pick: Age of Apocalypse #2 (Marvel) – Fabian Nicieza and Gerardo Sandoval took me right back into the Age of Apocalypse that I remember from so long ago; great story and fantastic art make this one of my favourite Secret Wars books, and I’m looking forward to seeing Magneto give Apocalypse’s forces the smack down!

Civil War #2 (Marvel) – Steve Rogers and Tony Stark; opposing sides in this world of Civil War have been pushed further apart after an assassination attempt has left a proponent for peace dead at their feet. I really enjoyed the first issue of this book, and I’m excited to see if the two sides come together…or tear each other apart.

Siege #2 (Marvel) – I really loved this story of the SHIELD, the wall that separates Battleworld from the zombies and robots that would destroy the planet. Not to mention Abigail Brand is calling the shots, so that alone has me hooked.

Spider-Island #2 (Marvel) – The Spider Queen has turned almost everyone in this area of Battleworld into human/spider hybrids…including the heroes…and they all serve her. Flash Thompson is one of the few not affected, and with his resistance force, has managed to help some former colleagues break from the Spider Queen’s control…but will what he’s turned them into be a help or a hindrance? This was a fun first issue and I’m excited to see how Venom’s newly freed friends help him out.

Around the Tubes

The weekend has come and gone. We’re still not recovered from San Diego Comic-Con, and Otakon is coming up this weekend! While you start off the week, here’s some news and reviews from around the web you might have missed.

Around the Tubes

The Beat – SDCC ’15: About 60,000 people show up without badges – Always wondered what that number was.

Comics Alliance – Creating Responsibly: Comics Has A Race Problem – A good read.

The Beat – SDCC ’15: 15 panels and the Eisner Awards in Audio – In case you want to check out panels.

GamePolitics – UK High Court Kills ‘personal use’ ripping of copyrighted material – That’s not good.

Toledo News Now – $1,400 in comic books stolen from Sylvania Township store returned – If anyone has info to help catch the folks behind this.

Knoxville News – Dr. Phil Kronk: First comics, then video games? – Is history doomed to repeat itself?

Bleeding Cool – Scamwatch: OctoPDF And The Download Comics That Aren’t – A good warning folks.


Around the Tubes Reviews

Talking Comics – Age of Apocalypse #1

CBR – Justice League #42

ICv2 – Orc Warfare TP

Talking Comics – Siege #1

Review: Age of Apocalypse #1

AoAThe tie ins to Secret Wars have been a roller coaster of emotions, at least to this reader; some titles have hit the mark, drawing me in and leaving me wanting more.  Others have left me feeling bored and let down, wishing there was more.  And then I heard they were doing an Age of Apocalypse book.  One of my favourite storylines to come out of Marvel, revisited?  After 20 years?  Should I be excited?  Or keep my expectations low so I am not too disappointed?  I went in cautiously, but came out absolutely thrilled with this book!

The story opens in the Savage Land, dubbed ‘Sanctuary’ by the humans and mutants living there in peace, having fled from Baron Apocalypse’s iron rule in this region of Battleworld.  Holocaust, one of Apocalypse’s Horsemen (and his son) has come in search of a young mutant named Douglas Ramsey, also known as Cypher; and to turn this Sanctuary to ash, showing the inhabitants here they cannot escape Apocalypse.  Things go almost too easy for Holocaust, quickly locating and capturing Doug, until resistance is revealed in the form of the X-Men; a group of mutants who have banded together to fight against the genocidal rule of Apocalypse.  Being one of the most powerful mutants, Holocaust does not see them as much resistance…until the combined efforts of the X-Men manage to stop Holocaust, if only momentarily.  They are able to extract Doug and get him to safety…but at the cost of their own lives.

Cypher is taken to New Cairo, the centre of Apocalypse’s kingdom, and is left to Sinister and his Elite Mutant Force for interrogation, trying to find answers as to why Apocalypse is so interested in a mutant who’s talent is understanding languages.  Seeing things from Cypher and his use of his ability, we see these mutants have a hard time working together, but we also find out there are underlying fears and a sense of confusion that Cypher can’t quiet understand.  Sinister then orders his team to take Cypher to the human ghettos and use him to find any leads on Magneto and his X-Men.  We are introduced to sheriff Carol Danvers and Peter Corbeau, who acts as human liaison to the mutant force.  Through their exchange, Cypher comes to a shocking realization of a secret that could drastically change the landscape of Apocalypse’s rule.  As if on cue, there is a sudden burst of energy, an attack on Cyclops on his group…and Magneto makes his presence known…wanting Cypher released to him.

This was a packed first issue, and it felt like I was right back in the story I loved from 20 years ago.  All the returning characters from the original story are depicted exactly as I remember them, and the new ones introduced, as well as this new story, felt like an excellent extension of the story first laid out for us when the Age of Apocalypse first began. Fabian Nicieza does a fantastic job of telling this story, and bringing it to us through the eyes of Cypher.  Instead of us being on the outside looking in, we’re right there in the thick of it with Cypher, getting his thoughts and feelings as things progress before him.  Gerardo Sandoval’s art is beautiful, bringing in the look and feel of the original story, but giving it his own spin, which really adds to feel of this story and the world it is set in.  Even when depicting characters who make a brief appearance (Magneto and Wolverine, for example) Sandoval doesn’t hold back, giving their brief glimpse such life and presence for the panel(s) they are in.

I cannot wait for the second issue of this book!  I was a huge fan of the Age of Apocalypse way back when, and I thank Marvel for reigniting my love of this world and bringing it back in a new and exciting way.  Definitely go out and pick this title up; you will not be disappointed.

Story: Fabian Nicieza Art: Gerardo Sandoval
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Strange Comic Trends: Carol Danvers Week

cd001 Secret Wars is now in full swing, and with so many crossovers being resurrected it can be hard to keep them straight.  With Battleworld in full swing, there are still new stories coming into the overall mix, with yesterday seeing the release of some new #1s like Spider-Verse, Civil War, Spider-Island, and Age of Apocalypse.  While it should be expected that with so many big name-crossovers being brought back from the past, that there are going to be a lot of recurring characters, it is interesting exactly who is showing up so much.  We expect Captain America, Iron Man, the Hulk and a handful of the X-Men, but we don’t really expect to see so much of Carol Danvers, as she showed up yesterday in a wide variety of titles such as Age of Apocalypse, Civil War and Spider-Island.  She was a big enough player in Civil War when it first came out, but not so in the other two.

cd002Of course there is no reason that we shouldn’t see so much of her.  She has undergone somewhat of a renaissance in recent years, with the change from Miss Marvel to Captain Marvel and having her monthly series relaunched once again.  There is perhaps something a bit deeper going on here though.  It happened first with the Inhumans, how they were almost forgotten by Marvel, and then all of a sudden, they were everywhere it seemed.  If a random hero was going to show up, it was probably going to be an Inhuman.  The reason came from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Without the rights to the X-Men and in an expanding universe of the movies, it became necessary to explain the origins of certain characters, and as Inhumans are close enough in essence to mutants, with similar stories to do with their backgrounds and the prejudice against them, that it became an easy explanation for them.

cd003Perhaps this week might represent the beginning of that process for Carol Danvers and Captain Marvel.  She is scheduled for her own movie in 2018, and that is only two years off, which is daunting enough task for a character that has not yet been introduced on the big screen.  Of course certain other characters have had the ability to pull off their big screen debuts without much of a lead-in, but not surprisingly, the odds are more against a female superhero than a male one like Iron Man.  It might be that Marvel is getting a start on its own hype for the movie, as well as increasing awareness, just as it did with the Inhumans, as Captain Marvel slowly but surely becomes a constant addition to most story lines, whether that be as a human-spider hybrid in Spider-Island, a colonel of Iron Man’s half of America in Civil War, or as a human freedom fighter in Age of Apocalypse.   Whatever her role in these stories, Marvel has decided to increase it, to essentially make her the first in terms of female superheroes, the first to get her own movie and to carry forward the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Review: Age of Apocalypse #1

aoa001Secret Wars has been so noteworthy thus far for its ability to incorporate other crossovers into its stories.  While the quality of these tie-ins has varied wildly, it has nonetheless been somewhat comprehensive in its attempt to give some exposure to all the major crossovers from the past.  It would be nearly impossible therefore to leave Age of Apocalypse off of this list.  Although this story occurred in the pages of X-Men related titles, it was nonetheless one of the bigger crossovers that Marvel has seen, as well as being in part responsible for the upcoming sequel to the X-Men movie franchise. As it was told at the time it featured the introduction of the mutant Apocalypse, a mutant of extreme power who undertook a plan for world domination and very nearly succeeded.  In the original story Charles Xavier is removed from the scene early on, and Magneto takes his place as the mutant championing compromise between mutants and humans, while equally being responsible for trying to stop Apocalypse’s tyrannical and genocidal reign where he attempts to wipe out regular humans from existence.

As opposed to other tie-ins which have attempted to re-imagine or recast some of the major aspects of the stories, this one instead seems to be looking for more of a pure retelling.  Apocalypse’s Horsemen are sent to the Savage Land to track down Cypher, although he is defended by a group of core X-Men.  After he is captured he is taken to Apocalypse, who is revealed to be employing several other mutants, many of whom have joined his side.  Standing against them are still Magneto and his mutants, as well as a group of humans led by Carol Danvers.  Apocalypse grows restless to wipe out his opposition, but it will not necessarily be as easy as he planned.

This first issue most sets the conditions for what will follow, and it does so in a meticulous way.  It is a challenging enough task, condensing a huge story arc into a few issues, but at least a proper job is done at this if if this issue ends up being a bit clunky at times.  There is enough action mixed in with establishing the scenario that it doesn’t become too heavy in the dialogue and concept, but it also seems to be leaving a lot of potential for the following issues.  It bodes well for the tie-in, and while this issue is a bit too conceptual to get through at times, it still excuses it for what is bound to come.

Story: Fabian Nicieza  Art: Geraldo Sandoval
Story: 8.3 Art: 8.3 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Read


Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Archie2015_01-0Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.


Top Pick: Princeless: Raven, the Pirate Princess #1 (Action Lab Entertainment) – The excellent series Princeless gets its first spin-off series focused on Raven, the Pirate Princess. The fundamentals are here, this time looking at swashbuckling tales. Raven must seek revenge against her brothers who have stolen her rightful place out from under her.

Archie #1 (Archie Comics) – This is huge! Archie is kicking off a whole new era with Mark Waid and Fiona Staples at the helm. This is one folks will be talking about.

Invader Zim #1 (Oni Press) – Jhonen Vasquez’s creation is back in a new comic. This is one I’ve been waiting for ever since it was announced. It’s kind of hard to not like the cartoon it’s based on, and expect this to be a hit.

Star Wars: Lando #1 (Marvel) – Everyone’s favorite scoundrel is back and in his own mini-series. Marvel has been killing it when its come to their Star Wars comics, and I expect no difference here.

Transference #1 (Black Mask Studios) – This is an interesting time travel series that is a hell of a mind bender in the first issue alone. There’s subtle things throughout the first issue that makes it stand out from the other special teams as time travelers story. A solid first issue.



Top pick: The Fox #4 (Dark Circle Comics) – If you’re not reading The Fox, you’re missing out. Plain and simple, this is one of the best comics on  the rack every month.

Batman #42 (DC Comics) – Although I’m not a big fan (yet) of the Bat-bunny-mech suit, I’ve got more than enough faith to see how Snyder plays this out.



Top Pick: Wonderland #37 (Zenescope) – There has hardly been a misstep in this series since the change of direction under the new creative team.  The series never fails to impress and surprise and that will continue here with a new story.

Archie #1 (Archie Comics) – There is finally a lot of buzz for this publisher, and it comes in the form of a revamped Archie.  No one quite knows what that means yet, but we will know soon.

Bloodstrike #1 (Image Comics) – Rob Liefeld causes a riot any time he works on comics, as he has fans and others who are pretty much the opposite of fans.  This is his best setting though, with nothing to prove and his imagination to fuel him.  How will the new sci-fi series work out for him?

Civil War #1 (Marvel) – One of Marvel’s most contentious crossovers meets the Secret Wars world.  The mix is not an obvious one, but neither have a lot of crossovers that have involved strange mixes thus far.

Gotham Academy #8 (DC Comics) – Olive returns to Gotham’s most interesting school.  A one issue break (plus the break for Convergence) means that she has been gone for a while, and it will be interesting to see what her return means for this series.



Constantine the Hellblazer #2 (DC Comics) – Funny, pretty, creepy, creative and hey everyone— it stars a bisexual character who’s not treated as a joke or fetishized!  More please!

Also props on the diverse creative team behind the comic, which may have something to do with the diversity inside the comic. PS, co-writer Ming Doyle was one of our podcast’s all time best guests. Go listen to her!

Gotham Academy #8 (DC Comics) – This book is one of the most creative things coming from DC. This issue is Olive’s mysterious Mother’s funeral. I’m gonna say it’s all Batman’s fault because he has a terrible track record with people with mental health issues.

Princeless: Raven, the Pirate Princess #1 (Action Lab Entertainment) – The name says it all. Charming, feminist, racially diverse. The number one book for kids of all ages including kids with mortgages. The new art is stronger then ever!

Storm TPB Vol. 2 (Marvel) – Storm’s first solo series was groundbreaking. If you like Storm at all, or just want to see more comics featuring women of color buy this! The story explores her personality, playing her off against some interesting foes and even more interesting friends. And the Gambit team-up is so much fun it’s criminal!



Top Pick: Age of Apocalypse #1 (Marvel) – I collected every issue of Age of Apocalypse when this storyline came out a million years ago.  This, to me, was one of the best X-Men runs ever released.  And I cannot wait to see the AoA region of Battleworld.  I know it won’t be exactly like the original run…but I am so excited to see these versions of the X-Men again.

Civil War #1 (Marvel) – Another storyline given a region in Battleworld, and I’m looking forward to it.  So much happened in the original run of Civil War, so I’m looking forward to reading a story where the war never ended; see what allegiances were formed, which fell apart…and who survives to see it end.

Runaways #2 (Marvel) – I really enjoyed the first issue of this series.  I’ve always enjoyed books focusing on the younger heroes of the MU (New Warriors, Young Avengers, Runaways), and I liked how this tie-in to Secret Wars took  some of my favourite heroes (Cloak and Dagger especially) and took them back to school, literally, to find their way in this new Battleworld.


Mr. H

Top Pick: Batman #42 – Capullo. Snyder. Every issue in this run has been white hot. I have no reason to believe the train will slow down. I don’t even want to buckle in!

Batman/ Superman #22 (DC Comics) – Gordon vs. Kent round 2. Can these two get on the same page so the World can have a Finest again?

Civil War #1 (Marvel Comics) – Where it all went wrong the first time, I’d like to see how they try to correct their mistakes or are they doomed to repeat themselves?

Spider-Man: Renew your Vows #2 (Marvel Comics) – This is the Spider-Man that I have waited for since the return of Norman Osborn wayyy back in the pages of Spider-Man #75. Last issue was very disappointing. I’m hoping Slott gives Peter the reunion with his daughter he deserves. Give him a happy ending for once!

TMNT Color Classics Series 3 #47 (IDW) – Classic Eastman/ Laird in color? Hell yeah. Loving this trip down memory lane!



Star Wars: Lando #1 (Marvel) Definitely had my interest piqued when I saw it in Previews for this month’s solicitations. He is probably one of the coolest characters within the Star Wars Expanded Universe, and now he gets his own graphic treatment, the only thing I can say truly, it is about time!!!

1872 #1 (Marvel) I love the exploration of alternate universes with familiar characters, and this is definitely one to watch out for, as they got the Avengers living in the Wild Wild West

Archie #1 (Archie) – When you have the top talents of Mark Waid of Empire fame and Fiona Staples of Saga fame, working on one of comics’ most iconic characters, it is more than worth a look.

Providence #2 (Avatar)Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows, are reviving Lovecraft in the most exciting way possible, as he has made the mythology scary again for all of us. I have not loved a Moore series as much as I loved this one, definitely his best work yet.

Star Trek/Green Lantern #1 (DC Comics/IDW Publishing) – This team up has been creating a huge amount of buzz since it was first announced and as a fan of both franchises, it reminds me of the Batman/Spawn crossover.

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