Tag Archives: marvel

Review: Old Man Logan #4

oml4The original Old Man Logan by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven remains one of the best Wolverine stories that have been written in the last decade, and with Marvel revisiting old stories from their past with Secret Wars (with mixed results), it was somewhat inevitable that we would return to visit the world of Old Man Logan.

Whether fairly or not, this series will invite comparison to the original, and as such it has some pretty large shoes to fill.  Although this volume of Old Man Logan has, on the whole, done a decent job of filling those shoes, up until I read this issue I felt that this volume had been gradually falling a little short of the original story.

With Old Man Logan #4, the penny finally dropped for me. The comparatively weak third issue has given way to arguably one of the best comics featuring Wolverine I’ve read in a long, long time, and in doing so it’s shone a new light on where Brian Micheal Bendis is going with this tale; giving me a new appreciation for the third issue in the process. What I’ve come to realize about Old Man Logan Vol. 2 is that much like the original was a story about Logan more than Wolverine, the sequel is about more than a man finding his place in a broken world. In many ways this is a story about hope in the worst of times.

We’ve seen some very inventive page layouts from Andrea Sorrentino during this series, and Old Man Logan #4 is no exception. The layouts in this page showcase the stunning artwork to great effect; the way in which the harshness of the art style itself reflects Old Man Logan‘s surroundings, and what he’s going through in this issue is fantastic and perfectly lends itself to the more horror themed elements of this issue. While there may have been some concerns (now alleviated) from me regarding the quality of the story, what I’ve never questioned is the consistency of the artwork, and with Old Man Logan #4 artist Andrea Sorrentino, with Marcelo Maiolo returning to provide the colours, gives us something truly special.

To say the second volume of Old Man Logan doesn’t hold up to the first volume of Old Man Logan, isn’t entirely fair; the first volume was an outstanding series that evoked the feel of the Spaghetti Westerns as it told one of the best stories about the Canadian mutant in the last ten years. The second volume, while it didn’t impress me as much during the first three issues, is a sequel that is beginning to shine in it’s own right. Yes, as a tie-in title by it’s very nature it will be bound to Secret Wars in some form that may require an ounce of understanding of the larger arc from readers eventually. That being said, this is a story focusing on Old Man Logan‘s perspective, and since he’s trying to find out just what on earth is going on in the rest of Battleworld, as a reader who is in pretty much the same situation, it’s been enjoyable to follow along with Old Man Logan‘s sense of discovery.

As it stand thus far, you can read Old Man Logan independently of Secret Wars, but whether that will change or not is still up in the air. What this issue had done, for me, however is reinvigorate my interest in the story being told; I went from being largely indifferent about the last issue to devouring every page of this comic. Twice.

Which brings us to our conclusion.

This is a fantastic horror tinged issue featuring everybody’s favourite zombified Marvel characters, and regardless of whether you’re reading Secret Wars or not, Old Man Logan #4 is an absolute blast to read, which is more than I said for the prior issue. Should you read that before picking this one up?  Maybe. Maybe not. If you’re a fan of Wolverine, then this issue is worth a read regardless of whether you’ve been following the series it has spun out of, or even this miniseries. Contrary to what I said about the previous issue, the second volume of Old Man Logan has become one of the highlights of the summer for me, and I can’t wait to see where the old man ends up next.

Story: Brian Micheal Bendis Art: Andrea Sorrentino Colours: Marcelo Maiolo
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Hank Johnson: Agent Of Hydra #1

Hank Johnson Agent of HydraHave you ever wondered what Hydra agents do during their downtime? No? Well then,you’re probably better off reading something else. For everyone else with a burning (or even somewhat warm) desire to see a Hydra agent in his day to day existence, you’ll get to follow Hydra agent Hank Johnson as he struggles with all the usual day to day chores and activities that many of us undertake in our own lives, all while working for a terrorist organization that constantly run the risk of being attacked by the Avengers.

Who is Hank Johnson? That’s the question that nobody has ever asked, simply because nobody really cares.

Until now.

Lets get this out of the way before you go any further; Hank Johnson: Agent Of Hydra #1 is fantastic. It’s the comic book you never knew you wanted to read, giving you a brilliant look at the life of a regular guy who just happens to be working as a henchman for Hydra. The opening pages set the tone brilliantly for this comic, giving you a perfect glimpse at just who Hank Johnson is, and if he reminds you of a certain yellow skinned safety inspector, then you wouldn’t be alone. This is a light hearted comic that focuses on the life of a man who is more likely to get a fist in the face (hopefully not a clawed fist, but those are the risks of working for Hydra) than a glowing performance review.

Hank Johnson: Agent Of Hydra #1 came out of nowhere on the weekend to become my most anticipated comic released this week and it didn’t disappoint me in the slightest; which I’m genuinely surprised at because I was really looking forward to this comic, and usually when I’m looking forward to an unknown series then it inevitably will either fail to live up to my expectations, disappoint me, or on some rare occasions will meet and exceed them. This comic is one of those issues that just ticked all the right boxes for me. David Mandel has written a story in the vein of Curb Your Enthusiasm that is told in short scenes, much like a television show, before coming together for a climax that seems to very perfect for this comic.

Michael Walsh gives us some simple, yet oh so effective layouts with his art. Although they’re not flashy, they suit the pace and style of the story very well. By not overwhelming the reader’s eye as it flows across the page, Michael Walsh has allowed both the dialogue to shine, but also allows you to take in his uncanny ability to let us know exactly what Hank is thinking and feeling because of how Walsh has captured his facial expressions.

The only down side to Hank Johnson: Agent Of Hydra #1 is that it’s a one shot comic, and while Hank Johnson is as fully realized and likeable a character as you’re likely to get, I’d have love to see how the creative team would flesh out some of the supporting characters were this to become an ongoing series. How likely is that? Only time will tell, but I really hope we see more of Hank Johnson once Secret Wars has concluded.

Hank Johnson: Agent Of Hydra #1 is a breath of fresh air amidst some the more gloomier comics that are spinning out of the main arc right now, and while there’s barely any reference to Secret Wars throughout the comic, it really will have you looking at faceless henchmen in a whole new light.

And that light is awesome.

Story: David Mandel Artist: Michael Walsh Color Artist Matthew Wilson
Story: 9 Art: 8.5 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy


Also posted on Ramblings Of A Comics Fan

Unboxing: Marvel Collector Corps August 2015 Secret Wars Box

We open up to show off Funko and Marvel’s third Marvel Collector Corps box. The bimonthly premium box service features a theme of Secret Wars right smack dab in the middle of the big summer comic event.

We go over the contents including a t-shirt, exclusive Pop! figure, comic with variant cover and more! Valued at over a $50 the second box is an impressive follow-up perfect for fans of Marvel Comics.

Secret Wars #9, the Event Just Got Bigger

It’s the story that has the whole world on the edge of its seat. The biggest Marvel event of all time. The story that destroyed the Marvel Universe. And if you thought it couldn’t get bigger – you thought wrong. Marvel has announced the expansion of the much delayed blockbuster Secret Wars event with Secret Wars #9 – coming to comic shops later this year!

Chartbusting creators Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic will extend their stay on Battleworld for one more epic issue. Allowing their cataclysmic story to wrap up as intended, this additional issue will bring Secret Wars to its explosive conclusion. Paving the way for the future, be there for the genesis of the All-New, All-Different Marvel Universe.

Like the original Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars, some of those puzzle pieces will hit the Marvel Universe before the event concludes. But if you want to see how they all fit together, you don’t want to miss these last few issues.

Battleworld teeters on the brink. What will become of this strange patchwork planet? Who lives? Who dies? One thing is for certain – nobody will come back from Battleworld the same after SECRET WARS #9 this December!

SECRET WARS #9
Written by JONATHAN HICKMAN
Art by ESAD RIBIC
Cover by ALEX ROSS
On Sale in December!

SECRET_WARS_009

Review: Spider-Woman #10

sw010The influence of the Secret Wars crossover on the Marvel Universe has been two fold.  While most of the series have been rolled into the domains of Battleworld as controlled by Doom, there is a separate smaller group of series that have kind of gone on without any outside interference, at least not in the same way.  It is a relatively small handful of titles – Silk, Spider-Woman, Ms. Marvel – but these series have had a chance to finish their stories while also slowly realizing that the end of the world is nigh as the multiple dimensions of the multiverse seem to be ready to collide with on another and to create a cataclysm.  The small collection of these series is perhaps indicative of the importance of what has happened inside of them.  While Secret Wars has a tendency to be high on concept, these other series focus more on the characters inside them, and have been stand-outs in the past year for that exact reason.

The renewed focus on Spider-Woman is even more of an anomaly.  She was thrown in her new series right into the middle of Spider-Verse, and had her own reboot after only a half year of her own stories.  Thus the renewed focus on Spider-Woman as a character is relatively new anyway, let along allowing it to proceed relatively untouched as it heads through Secret Wars.  In this issue, Spider-Woman new mini-team of supers – herself, Ben Urich and the Porcupine – have found themselves in a zombie town after a road trip and have to deal with figuring out the causes of the zombie invasion and how to defeat it.  There is a bit of a play on the regular approach to the series here as well which works pretty well, as Jessica alone is not responsible for the solution.

This series has performed well recently and this issue is not different.  It could be considered to be a bit of light fluff, but it also manages to hold it together with the strength of the characters as they are written.  Even the Porcupine comes off as a much more redeemable character here than he has elsewhere, even previously in this series.  As is promised in the letter column at the end, there are changes coming to the series, but they are changes that focus on the character once again, and proves that the creative team has got it right with how to handle what they have here.  This issue might not be the best example, but it is fun and it works and uses what it has to its advantage.

Story: Dennis Hopeless Art: Natacha Bustos
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps #3

cm003Secret Wars has been at the same time both engaging and frustrating, and for two separate reasons.  On the one hand it has given creators somewhat of carte blanche to create whatever stories that they like.  Thus for instance for something off the radar like 1872, it allows numerous of the big names of Marvel to be thrown into the Western genre. Conversely while there has been a fair share of creativity associated with the crossover, there always has to be the tie back into Doom and the Secret Wars world, which has the unfortunate effect of restricting the ability to be creative.  Those series that have stuck closer to their source material have thus tended to be somewhat weaker in comparison, as they tend to be pretty much the old series with the update only of being part of the patchwork world, and so far this has been the case for Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps.  While Kelly Sue Deconnick’s run on the character has helped to define her for the modern generation, it is also one that does not necessarily fit so well into the Secret Wars idea.

The story from the previous issues is continued here, as Carol and her flying corps have decided that they want to see what is beyond the confines of their domain and to push the patience of Doom.  Of course this cannot be unpunished and they are swiftly and mercilessly attacked, to show that there can be no freedom from Doom.  This leads to a pretty impressive dogfight (at least as the medium of comics allows) as Carol and her flyers are able to criss cross the skies as they are being pursued.

While there are some moments of enjoyment in this issue, there are also unfortunately too many reminders of what the series is bound to.  The world in which these heroes live is not one of empowerment or fun, but rather just one of a concept that does not fit into the Secret Wars world very well, a square peg of Captain Marvel for the round hole of Secret Wars.  The resulting story is about as good as two fit together but really is nothing very much special and even less so, takes away from the good that the writer has done with the character in the past years.  Secret Wars is heade towards a reboot for the Marvel Universe, and the best that we can hope is that Captain Marvel comes out well on the other side, as she is mostly wasted here.

Story: Kelly Sue DeConnick and Kelly Thompson Art: David Lopez
Story: 6.5 Art: 6.5 Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Pass

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Cyborg #2 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.

Brett

Top Pick: Cyborg #2 (DC Comics) – The first issue of the series was a fantastic start, and I’ve been eagerly awaiting the second. Writer David Walker seems to have addresses a lot of past issues with the character in the first issue, while also setting him on an interesting course too. This is a comic I keep checking the release schedule to see if it’s out, that’s how much I want to read it.

Prez #3 (DC Comics) – The first two issues have had me laughing, and they’re turning out to be really prescient when it comes to the future of politics and elections. Not sure if I should keep laughing or be really scared.

Princeless: Be Yourself #3 (Action Lab Entertainment) – Writer Jeremy Whitley nails it issue after issue, in this series which is so far ahead the rest of the comic industry as far as characters and themes. Girl power!

Snowden (Seven Stories Press) – Ted Rall chronicles the history of Edward Snowden and the NSA leak.

Zodiac Starforce #1 (Dark Horse Comics) – A new girl power comic that feels like a mix of Sailor Moon, Jem, and a lot of other series that are just awesome. This was an indie comic, and got picked up by Dark Horse, so it’s fun to see it also go from a small press comic to a full blown one. The first issue is all set-up and pretty entertaining.

 

Alex

Hank Johnson: Agent Of Hydra #1 (Marvel) – The preview pages j have seen of this comic looks absolutely fantastic. The idea of the behind the scenes look at the regular lives of some of henchmen in the worlds premier villainous organisation is really intriguing, and I’m sure there’ll be some interesting. Guest stars.

Old Man Logan #4 (Marvel) – I hadn’t realized just how much I missed reading about Wolverine until this series came out. Whilst I’m glad he hasn’t been resurrected for no reason, it’s nice to get some more time with one of the more interesting incarnations of Wolverine, too.

 

Edward

Top Pick: Hacktivist Vol 2 #2 (Archaia/BOOM! Studios) – The sequel series opened on a high note, and it looks like it will maintain the same tempo.

Batgirl #43 (DC Comics) – A new story arc for this standout series. Not much seems capable of stopping the momentum of this series.

He-Man: Eternity War #9 (DC Comics) – Every issue leads to a bigger turn of the plot. No idea what is coming this time, but it will be big again.

Mulan Revelations #3 (Dark Horse) – The first two issues have been heavy on style and a bit lighter on substance, but the concept is so cool that it deserves a chance to get settled.

Star Wars: Lando #3 (Marvel) – This series has been non-stop fun, proving that Lando should never have been a secondary character.

 

Elana

Top Pick: NEXT Wave: Collected Edition (Marvel) – The hilarious, highly political superhero team satire series featuring Monica Rambeau (formerly Photon or Capt Marvel) is out in a nice complete collection. The biting commentary and creativity of this series is renowned. From dream team Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen.

Cyborg #2 (DC Comics) – This series is already a standout for having unusually astute analysis of blackness and also about disability. It develops Victor Stone aka Cyborg as a fascinating hero in his own right and as far as I can see it even resolved some of the previously problematic aspects of the character: (read about those problems in Robert Jones Jr’s essential essay “Humanity Not a Included“). I’m ecstatic to have an African-American writer on this title. David Walker’s story is potent scifi that works on metaphorical level and well as on a narrative level. He references Invisible Man– which has needed to happen in a Cyborg story for decades. It’s a can’t-miss series.

Grayson #11 (DC Comics) – In this issue Grayson fights himself. Or someone pretending to be him. I love Huntress in this series acting as his spy master. I totally respect this comic’s dedication to a female and queer male readership that too many series ignore.

Lumberjanes #17 (BOOM! Box/BOOM! Studios) – New story arc featuring our favorite feminist summer camp adventurers. Please get your kids reading this book. It’s groundbreaking and fun and fabulous. And read it yourself for swells of nostalgia for a relatable yet fantastical children’s story that I wish I’d had when I was little.

New Comicave Iron Man Super Alloy 1/12 Scale “Shotgun” Figure Debuts From Bluefin Distribution

1-12_Shotgun_02Bluefin has announced the release of the Iron Man Mark XL “Shotgun” Super Alloy 1/12 Scale figure from Comicave Studios.

Straight out of the blockbuster action film, Iron Man 3, the Mark 40 variant, also known by its moniker, “Shotgun,” is a hyper-velocity traveling suit and was one a new generation of Iron Man armored suits created by Tony Stark for the Iron Legion. The suit received its nickname, “Shotgun,” for the explosive sonic boom it creates when breaking the sound barrier in flight.

The Comicave Super Alloy 1/12 Scale Shotgun from Iron Man 3 is a fully articulated, 6 inch tall figurine with interchangeable accessories, and LED light features in the eyes and chest. A Hyper Velocity Traveling Suit, the Mark XL (40) is currently the fastest suit of the Iron Legion, and can reach speeds in excess of Mach 5. MSRP: $140.00

The Iron Man Mark XL “Shotgun” Super Alloy is available now from select online and brick and mortar retailers.

The Iron Man Mark XL “Shotgun” is the first product in an exclusive new product distribution agreement with Singapore-based collectables design company and manufacturer, Comicave Studios. Bluefin plans to carry and distribute  variety of premium Comicave Studios figures based on Iron Man 3, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Transformers 4: Age of Extinction beginning next year.

Bluefin gave fans and collectors a special first-look at the final prototypes for several of these new Comicave Studios designs at the recent 2015 San Diego Comic-Con International and the 2015 Otakon convention. Additional information on other forthcoming Comicave Studios releases from Bluefin will be announced in coming months.

Marvel: War of Heroes launches Super Hero sized update!

Marvel War of Heroes - iconHeroes, get ready for some brand-new card-battling action! Today, DeNA unveiled the latest gameplay update for Marvel: War of Heroes, a Marvel Universe mobile card battle game, featuring Spider-Man, Hulk, Iron Man and many more. The update introduces the Nexus, a brand new game mode that includes all-new gameplay mechanics, a revamped user interface, and a dynamic card evolution system for a brand new set of Nexus cards.

In Marvel: War of Heroes, players will travel through the Nexus portal to explore various iconic locales in the Marvel Universe, embarking on missions and pitting themselves against enemies in a brand new Revolution Battle system. Powerful cards, strategic card placement, and skillful deck maneuvering are all necessary to obliterate enemies and amass valuable rewards. Players can collect all-new Nexus cards by completing missions in the Nexus, then gathering and crafting over 60 new Materials and Gear that can be equipped onto Nexus cards to arm them for battle. Use these powerful Nexus cards in the game’s events to battle other Agents and bosses for even more rewards.

The initial release of Nexus will feature the world of Asgard – a realm based off Norse mythology. Experience the “Might of Asgard” by assisting Thor in his quest to prove his worth to Odin, as he challenges fellow Asgardians such as Heimdall and Sif. Collect the Nexus cards of the Asgardian by defeating them in battle and earning the right to use their unique abilities.

All of these brand new features are live in Marvel: War of Heroes, a free download available now on the App Store for iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and on Google Play for Android phones and tablets. The game does have in-app purchases.

Review: Secret Wars: Secret Love #1

secret wars secret love 1 coverWhen worlds collide, can their love survive? Robbie Reyes/Kamala Khan! Typhoid Mary/Karen Page/Matt Murdock! Danny Rand/Misty Knight! And more in this anthology!

Marvel‘s Secret Wars has been generally fun with a solid main series and great spin-off series. It’s absolutely the best event by Marvel in a while, and with the spin-offs being so good, this might be the best event in a while by anyone. So, to say one comic has stood out to me out of all of those comics released, and so many being so good? That says something. Secret Wars: Secret Love #1 so far is the best comic to come out of Secret Wars for numerous reasons.

Four stories, with all be good, three of them being fantastic. Particular standouts to me are the ones penned by Michel Fiffe who takes on Daredevil, Karen Page, and Typhoid Mary, and Jeremy Whitley who takes on Danny Rand and Misty Knight.

Fiffe brings his kinetic vibe that he’s perfected in his indie series Copra to his story. If you’re a fan of it, you’ll dig Copra and vice versa.

Whitley’s story is the standout and deserves a “10” all around. He nails real world relationships in his dialogue, and situations, even with it featuring superheroes. There’s statements made, interactions had, that I’ve had myself. It’s just beyond perfect, and proves Whitley should be the next star of the comic industry.

Four stories that vary in tone and look, this comic is a spotlight on so many creators that should have been at the forefront of the All-New, All-Different Marvel.

Secret Wars: Secret Love is so good, with so many varied creators, it has reminded how much Marvel has dropped the ball with the relaunch in a few months. Whitley not on a Misty Knight series? Cmon! Michel Fiffe not being given something! Marguerite Bennet, Katie Cook, Felipe Smith, Gurihiru, Kris Anka, this comic is filled with folks who are comic stars. This is the type of creative line-up I’d be building a line around. I want more of this!

Story: Marguerite Bennett, Katie Cook, Michel Fiffe, Felipe Smith, Jeremy Whitley
Art: Gurihiru, Kris Anka, Katie Cook, Michel Fiffe, Felipe Smith
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

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