Category Archives: Purchases

Review – Savage Wolverine #1, Uncanny X-Force #1 and Young Avengers #1

Savage Wolverine #1

SavageWolverine_1_CoverWolverine awakes to find himself transported to the Savage Land and labeled public enemy number one!  With no memory of how he got there, and Shanna the She-Devil his only ally, Logan must unravel the mystery that slumbers at the heart of the Savage Land before it finds a way to kill him first.

That’s the premise of this new Wolverine series which in it’s first issue sets up the mystery, but comes off like a failed spin-off of Lost. I should be completely honest on this, I hate the Savage Land as a setting. To me it gets old and at times can be fun, but here, not so much in this first issue.

The comic feels more like a story done by Mad Lib. Mysterious island? Check! Mysterious energy source that makes talking to the outside world impossible? Check! Black crew member first to die? Check! Yes, the comic even has a “Red Shirt” moment. There’s little in this first issue that got me excited, nor made it’s case as to why it needed to be. The premise feels like a limited series at most, and the first issue has that vibe as well.

The art, also done by Frank Cho is pretty good. There’s some things I like, and some I didn’t. Overall, it’s decent to look at but again, much like the story, doesn’t blow me away.

Maybe by the end of the first story arc I might be singing a different tune, but so far, I’m not impressed or excited after this first issue.

Story and Art: Frank Cho

Story: 6.75 Art: 7 Overall: 6.75 Recommendation: Read

Uncanny X-Force #1

Uncanny X-Force #1 CoverAfter the shocking end to the previous group known as X-Force, the mutant known as Psylocke recruits her own clandestine group of operatives—Storm, Puck and Spiral—for missions so important—and so bloody—no one can know the truth. But when the time traveler known as Bishop returns to the present, he puts this new X-Force in his sights and won’t rest till he finds them. But just why does this former ally of the X-Men now hunt his former teammates? The answer will leave you speechless.

That pitch made this series one of my more anticipated reads of 2013. I went into this first issue with some high expectations, and I wasn’t disappointed. Writer Sam Humphries had some big shoes to fill with this series and it looks like he’s not only honoring what’s come before, but putting his own mark on it.

What I thought was potentially interesting in this series is Psylocke’s continued slide to the dark side. Out of all of the members of X-Force, the dirty work they did seemed to impact her the most. This first issue picked up on that and makes it front and center and she acts as you’d expect. Storm joins her, another character who has gone through major changes over the last year, similarly a psychological journey like Psylocke.

The two of them join Puck, who is as entertaining as he ever was on Alpha Flight (and a great addition to the team). How Spiral fits in, we don’t know yet and then there’s Bishop’s return too. That brings us to Fantomex/Cluster. I’ll just leave folks to find out about that on their own (where’s the outrage!?).

The series is a great start with solid art by Ron Garney backing it up. Can’t wait for the second issue.

Story: Sam Humphries Art: Ron Garney

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Young Avengers #1

YoungAvengers_1_CoverThis comic was billed as a “reinvention of the teen superhero comic for the 21st century.” This new incarnation of Young Avengers unites Wiccan, Hulkling and Hawkeye with Loki, Marvel Boy and Miss America. While we’ve seen how these heroes have handled the hardships of the world, now we can bear witness as these Young Avengers grapple with challenges of becoming a new brand of hero. Will they be up to the task?  Will they be able to follow in the footsteps of the heroes before them?  Will they want to?

This first issue is all set up. Hawkeye and Marvel Boy are our first focus, but we’re kind of in the middle of that story, then a quick shift to Wiccan and Hulkling. The two continue to be one of the cutest couples in the Marvel Universe. And then Loki and Miss America are thrown in there.

Overall, all three stories are quick and not full stories, again it’s a set up issue. And that being so, it feels a bit short-shrift, especially the Wiccan/Hulkling spat. There’s a quick resolution, a bit too quick for me.

The ending was interesting and it should be fun to see where this goes. The first issue didn’t blow me away, but it’s a decent read. I think the potential is high with this one, but as a first issue, I’m left wanting more.

Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Jamie McKelvie and Mike Norton

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Review – Amazing Spider-Man #700, Avenging Spider-Man #15.1 & Superior Spider-Man #1

I’ve been holding off of writing a review for Amazing Spider-Man #700 and Avenging Spider-Man #15.1, because I wanted to see if my hunches were true and as a whole I was guessing the issues would enhance each other. The whole being more enjoyable than the parts. Well, interestingly it is, but the parts are excellent on their own too. Now on to the reviews…

Amazing Spider-Man #700

AmazingSpiderMan+700_CoverThis is, the “final” issue to the long running series and the “end” (or is it the beginning) or Dan Slott’s controversial storyline. Peter Parker in Doctor Octopus’s body has to battle Doctor Octopus in Peter Parker’s body. Who will win? Well, if you someone how not been in front of a computer or news show, you should read the comic.

I myself am relatively new to Slott’s run to Spider-Man, but have heard some great stuff about it. I started a few issues ago with the big “reveal” issue. I needed to see what was up and I was impressed then.

Going into this comic, you know what’s going to happen, but the question is, how well does keyboard cat play Parker off? Slott masterfully closes out this chapter of his story and does it with a great reflection upon what it is to be Spider-Man.

Peter realizing that he’s beat has some words for Ock and in it gives the villain a choice. Ock can use his power for evil, or this is his moment to attempt redemption. We’ll see that play out over time, but it’s a nice closing moment to the chapter. It’s quiet, somber and fairly mute. That’s the way it should have been and should be.

I’m sure these changes will revert back to the way it was by the time the next Spidey movie comes out, but Slott’s writing is so solid that even a controversial move like he’s done has you cheering for him as a writer. The man is a master and loves his Spider-Man, it’s clear in the writing and under his guidance, I’m along for the ride to see where he takes us.

Seeing the issue is such a huge number (700!) we get all kinds of extras including some entertaining extra strips and a look back at all of the covers. All of them are great and the extra material makes the cover price worth it. A solid package overall.

Story: Dan Slott with J.M. DeMatteis and Jen Van Meter Art: Humberto Ramos with Giuseppe Camuncoli and Stephanie Buscema

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Avenging Spider-Man #15.1

AvengingSpiderMan_15_1_CoverMarvel’s Point One comics initiative has been a massive let down generally. My understanding is the comic’s point is to allow new readers to easily catch up on what’s come before. It’s a primer issue that creates an easy to identify jumping on point. Very few have met that goal.

Now, on to this issue. It actually meets it’s goal! We get a round up and explanation of Otto as Peter Parker/Spider-Man. How it happened, what’s on his mind, what his current motivation is. It’s all there.

This is an actual hopping on point for new readers, hallelujah! I’d actually say folks should grab a copy of this and read it before Superior Spider-Man #1, it does it’s job and does it’s job really well.

Story: Chris Yost Art: Paco Medina Cover: Paolo Rivera

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Superior Spider-Man #1

SuperiorSpiderMan_01_CoverOk, I’m hooked on Dan Slott’s Spider-Man. I’m digging the story of Otto as Peter Parker/Spider-Man. We get a new spin on the idea of redemption of “with great power” but in this case from the villain’s perspective.

This first issue sees Otto taking on a new Sinister Six. He uses his brilliance to devise a bunch of new items to make life easier, and coming to a realization (and what seems a bit appreciation) for what Peter was doing during their battles. How Otto comes at these problems to solve them is new. We don’t get the old schtick that Spidey would do. We get Otto’s take and that should be some of the most entertaining aspects of the series.

There’s also Otto pursuing Mary Jane. Many people screamed “rape” when this was first explored, but so far Otto has seemed to have some qualms about it when it first came up in a previous issue. Yes they go on a date, but that’s it. The man is pure arrogance and his new found obsession of being a superior Spidey of course takes priority when it comes to his focus. I’m predicting when he’s given a chance to sleep with MJ he actually decides not too, his conscience getting in the way.

My only issue with this first issue is Otto’s motivation isn’t quite upfront as much. He’s dived into Peter’s life and wants to prove how great he is, but why isn’t he committing crime instead? There was that nice moment between Peter and Otto at the end of Amazing Spider-Man #700, but I’m not completely convinced that’d be enough to turn him so quickly to do good. But, that doesn’t detract from this first issue at all.

Ryan Stegman’s art is unreal. He seems to have been made to draw Spider-Man, the flow of the comic and detail is awesome and combined with Slott’s art, that’s going to be an amazing combination.

It’s pretty clear where this is all going and what the likely end result will be. That was clear in Amazing Spider-Man #700, but with Slott writing it’ll be entertaining no matter how foreshadowed it is.

Story: Dan Slott Art: Ryan Stegman

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Review – Amazing Spider-Man #699

Amazing_Spider-Man_Vol_1_699WARNING SPOILERS

First, the issue has caused a bit of a firestorm due to one panel in the entire issue. It’s a bit twisted of a panel, but in the bigger scheme of things, the panel had me laugh a little. But yeah….. it’s a non-issue.

What really matters is we’re one issue away from the momentous (and final) 700th issue. After the twist of the previous issue, Peter Parker’s mind lays trapped in the body of his enemy, Doc Ock. Doc Ock’s body is also failing with only hours to live. Peter has to work his way through to try and figure out how he even got into this situation and how to get out of it. That’s the nutshell of the issue and that ending is great.

This is the ball rolling for the over-sized next issue which I wonder if it even can wrap up this story.

The bigger thing is, Dan Slott’s writing has got me interested in Spider-Man. I rarely read Spider-Man, but in just two issues I want to go back and read what lead up to this and really just start from the beginning of Slott’s run which I’ve only heard good things about.

I figure issue 700 will get everyone talking, but this issue and the previous one are highly recommended to catch you up as to what the buzz will be about in a few weeks.

Story: Dan Slott Art: Humberto Ramos

Story: 8 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Review – Marvel NOW! Avengers #1, FF #1 and Thunderbolts #1

Avengers #1

Avengers_1_CoverI’ll start off all the reviews by saying for the most part I think Marvel NOW! is ho-hum. More of the same, but shuffling the chairs on the deck. If you wanted to know what I was looking for in these reboots/revamps/reboots, this is the comic. Avengers #1 from a solid team is the story and art I want in a comic. Holy shit is it a good first issue and one you should absolutely pick up.

The comic starts with Tony Stark coming to Steve Rogers with his idea about the Avengers. The need to go bigger to take on a big threat over the horizon. There’s lots of hints as to what’s coming and right away a small team goes up against some big baddies winding up right where that first issue should be. A large, huge team at the end waiting to kick-ass. that’s not a spoiler as everyone has said this book will have a big cast, this is the big team book. There’s also a great mix at the end with quite a few characters I couldn’t name.

The story, and how it plays out, is fantastic with sharp writing, pacing and the order of the scenes. It’s a team gathering story, but laid out in a much better way than the usual, show up and recruit the individual, you can read Thunderbolts for that. Instead, we’re thrown into the action and given some big ominous event to look forward to. The art of Opena too is amazing. This should be Marvel’s top book and it meets that high expectation, story, look, everything.

You want to know how good Marvel NOW! should be? This is the book you can judge all others by. The best debut so far of the bunch.

Story: Jonthan Hickman Art: Jerome Opena

Story: 8.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

FF #1

FF_1_CoverFF was a comic I knew going into would be offbeat and a bit odd. Allred’s unique art-style was the tip-off to that. The story in the first issue plays off well from Fantastic Four #1 and it helps to have read that comic. With the Fantastic Four’s impending trip, they feel the need to put together a new FF team just in case something happens and the original FF don’t return in the four minutes they’ll be gone.

Yes, that’s right, this new FF team is being put together because something might happen in the four minutes the original FF might be gone. We all know the original FF will be gone for longer than four minutes, so it’s all a bit goofy really.

But, here, we get to meet the kids the make up the Future Foundation, perfect for new readers and each new member is recruited. It’s written for new readers, attempting to introduce them to characters they might not know. It’s all decent, but other than that, there’s not much in this first issue. It’s all set-up, which is fine, but having read Fantastic Four #1, there’s even less for me to read that feels new.

It’s just a first issue though and while the story might not be totally exciting, Michael Allred’s art is amazing. For that alone, the comic is worth checking out. He brings his usual style in what I’m sure will be the quirkiest comic in Marvel NOW!.

Story: Matt Fraction Art: Michael Allred

Story: 7.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Read

Thunderbolts #1

Thunderbolts_01_CoverRed Hulk, Elektra, Venom, Punisher and Deadpool, this new Thunderbolts team should be amazing. This first issue should have been full of kick-ass moments showing the down and dirty side of the Marvel Universe. Instead we get General Ross recruiting each member, who is embroiled in bizarre situations, making you wonder more why he’s talking to them in these situations and how Ross got there.

This is the “recruitment” comic I was referring to. Not much thought put into it, just discussion and an offer being extended. Yawn.

What should and could have been an explosive first issue, instead makes me want to blow it up with explosives. It’s not exciting, and is so cookie cutter in it’s execution it’s painful to read.

There’s really not much else to say. Steve Dillon’s art is exactly what I’d expect from his numerous runs with Garth Ennis on various comics.

Overall, crossing my fingers the second issue is an improvement, but really, it’s kind of hard not to be.

Story: Daniel Way Art: Steve Dillon

Story: 6 Art: 7.75 Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Pass

Review – The Amazing Spider-Man #698

Spider-Man’s amazing journey is barreling it’s way to it’s historic 700th issue and the relaunch for it to join Marvel NOW!. I’m not the biggest Spider-Man fan, but from what little I’ve read of Dan Slott‘s run and the buzz online, the series has been seeing an energy and creativity that’s been missing for a while. I had to check out this issue to see what the fuss was about as Slott had been hinting that the major changes for the character that’s been coming has been revealed here.

I got through the issue thinking there wasn’t much special about it, other than it was well written, until the end. Boy did I not see that coming. The comic is really solid writing with a twist at the end, that guarantees you’ll be sticking around for the next two issues at least, if not more.

I don’t want to give away the twist, I don’t want to be that person, but it’s really good. It might not be the most original thing, but it could lead to a lot of interesting stories depending on how far it’s taken and the end of the issue leaves me scratching my head as to how it’ll be resolved.

I have no idea how long I’ll stick around as far as my Spider-Man consumption, but for the short term, Slott’s writing and story telling has got me staying to see what happens next.

Story: Dan Slott Art: Richard Elson

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Review – Marvel NOW! Captain America #1, Indestructible Hulk #1 and Journey Into Mystery #646

Captain America #1

Writer Rick Remender has walked into difficult shoes to fill following up on Ed Brubaker’s modern classic run that saw Captain America at his best for years. This first issue absolutely falls short of that pivoting in a new direction almost too quickly.

The comic starts after a quick flashback with a bang reminding us bluntly that Captain America is neither left or right, just upholding the law. From there we pivot to his personal life and an item that seems to have come out of nowhere, then on to the big adventure and first baddie.

The problem is the adventure doesn’t make much sense. His costume and shield just appear and even the lead up to how he gets in the situation is choppy in how the story plays out. Towards the end, I had a feeling like I’d had picked up a copy of Cable while he was protecting Hope throughout time. Overall the issue came off to me as a cheap Flash Gordon knock-off and even then, making little sense as to what is going on.

Romita’s art is what I’d expect and his style to me is hit and miss, here it’s middling overall. I just have issues with the character design generally, too many people look too alike.

It’s just the first issue, so I’m doing my best to not get to hard on the comic, but it’s not looking good and I fear Captain America’s best stories might be behind him, for at least the short term.

Story: Rick Remender Art: John Romita Jr.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read


Indestructible Hulk #1

The only issue I have with this comic is how the Hulk and Banner are represented in other comics. This first issue has Bruce Banner negotiating with S.H.I.E.L.D. as to his role in the overall fight against bad guys as well as what he has to offer to the world. He’s basically turning himself in for some concessions. And that part of the comic is excellent, playing out like a chess match of words and minds.

My issue is, in other comics with Marvel NOW!’s reboot/relaunch already has the Hulk as an accepted part of the team, and his intelligence is all over the map. You’d think consistency is needed. So that either puts this comic earlier than say Avengers Assemble or there’s just some issues with continuity. It doesn’t make much sense really and makes my head hurt. But, Waid shouldn’t be blamed for Marvel’s inability to keep a character consistent.

The focus is on the comic itself. The storytelling and plotting is excellent and the art by Leinil Yu is fantastic. This is the gem of the Marvel NOW! launch right now. I’ve never been much of a Hulk fan, but Waid has get me looking forward to the second issue. Looks like this is further proof he’s one of the best writers out there right now.

Story: Mark Waid Art: Leinil Yu

Story: 8.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

Journey Into Mystery #646

Journey Into Mystery has been a fantastic series… up until now. The writing was brilliant with each issue packed with wordage that had you reading carefully and with a smile. This issue is the first of it’s new direction with a new creative team. Instead of focusing on young Loki, the series now stars Lady Sif.

After a battle Asgard is victorious but damaged and Sif decides she wants to head on a mission to become a greater warrior so that Asgard can go on the offensive and no longer be attacked. This takes her on a journey that’s choppy and not all that fun.

In fact, the whole comic isn’t much fun, instead coming off as a bit depressing. And I was bummed about the character Sif herself. She’s supposed to be a great female warrior, and in this issue she’s doubting herself and downplays her ability. The comic should be about fantastical adventures, but instead we get a brooding character that has lost her mind.

This isn’t the Sif I’ve come to like and definitely not the Journey Into Mystery I’ve enjoyed.

Story: Kathryn Immonen Art: Valero Schiti

Story: 6.75 Art: 8 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Pass

Review – Marvel NOW! All-New X-Men #1, Avengers Assemble #9, A+X #1, Marvel NOW! Point One, Red She-Hulk #58, Deadpool #1

All-New X-Men #1

Out of all of the new comics launched for Marvel NOW!, the concept for All-New X-Men was to me the most interesting. The basic idea is to take the original X-Men, still young, and bring them to the modern day to see what they’ve become. The concept is fantastic. The comic is to be a look at idealism and how that survives over years. As one who work in politics and has experienced this first hand it’s a concept that intrigues and interests me.

The first issue is all set-up, just getting us to the original team and showing us, not everything was a solid with them then. We’re confronted with the new status-quo, Cyclops being a wanted individual and revolutionary, and some of his former team members torn over how to deal with his new tactics.

The difficulty of all of this is how to tie in the original team and get them to the present day and writer Brian Micheal Bendis has seemed to work through how to do that without throwing all of the continuity out of the window, and in fact might be able to help solve some issues.

There’s also some character developments with folks like Beast who is having further mutation issues, that seems to come out of nowhere, but it’s not unwanted. Out of all of the debut issues, this one is the most solid to me, with great action and dialogue and a good set-up for what’s to come.

Story: Brian Michael Bendis Art: Stuart Immonen

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy


Avengers Assemble #9

With a new writer and artist on board, Avengers Assemble is a clean start for the mess that was the first eight issues. The series seems to have been an after thought and attempt to give people interested in the movies something to read. Writer Kelly Sue DeConnick has improved upon the mistake of a story arc that came before.

This series seems to want to focus on the pillars of the Avengers, Captain America, Thor, Iron Man and the Hulk, aka the focus of the movie. The comic opens up with not much subtlety and a reflection between the scientific styles of Tony Stark and Bruce Banner which leads to a wager as they search for a scientific colleague they both know.

The thing this comic has that the previous arc missed is a point. Where as what came before was a clear cash grab for the movie, this “first issue” takes a step back and starts to look at the players on the team and their personalities. This is much more reminiscent of a comic you might find Bendis write, with lots of chatter. And this is a good thing as DeConnick seems to have a great handle on all the characters.

The only issue I have at all is that the Hulk in this comic has a stunted speech while in other series he’s much more well-spoken. Thor’s outfit also differs than other comics. Hopefully under DeConnick, this comic will stand out and show why it should exist, other than to sell something to movie fans. It needs to find it’s purpose that makes it stand above other Avengers comics. In this first issue, it seems to finally be on it’s way in doing that.

Story: Kelly Sue DeConnick Art: Stefano Caselli

Story: 8 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Buy

A+X #1

Much like AvX: VS, A+X is an anthology series featuring two stories featuring some of the bigger players in the new status-quo. The first story finds Captain America and Cable teaming up in World War II to take on a Trask from the future intent on creating Sentinels. The second story has the Hulk and Wolverine fighting future versions of themselves.

The first story, written by Dan Slott, is a good story. There’s some nice nods in there like what a man from the future might do in the past in telling the past what to expect in the future. The story though is straightforward, but entertaining. Other than establishing that Captain America and Cable have met each other in the past, the story seems to not matter much for the greater Marvel U.

The second story has a nice mix of humor and action with Hulk and Wolverine teaming up to take on future versions of themselves who have been sent back to stop someone. This one does seem to matter. There’s clearly a build here to something more. Jeph Loeb writes the characters as you’d expect, but here’s an example of the Hulk speaking in full sentences, not consistent with other comics out around the same time.

Overall, the comic isn’t bad in any way, but I can’t quite recommend it as a buy. It’s a good entertaining quick read, and that’s about it.

Story: Dan Slott and Jeph Loeb Art: Ron Garney and Dale Keown

Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read

Marvel NOW! Point One

This comic, much like it’s previous ancestor of a Point One, is an anthology comic featuring what we’re lead to believe are some of the major characters in the upcoming Marvel U status-quo. The overall story has a prisoner being interrogated by Nick Fury Jr.

There was tons of build up for this issue, and with that build up you expect some big pay off. Again, none of the stories are bad, there’s just not a whole lot here that’s new, gets me interested in what’s coming or helps a new reader.

And that’s what bothers me. The Point One comics when introduced, where touted as a way for new readers to hop on and start reading. They were supposed to be starting points. Instead, they’ve become listless cash grabs. They rarely achieve their goal instead being double ships for their series for the month.

What was to be a great idea, has failed in it’s focus and execution and this issue isn’t an exception. Anything presented here, you’ll get again, and done better in each new series as it debuts.

Story: Nick Spencer, Brian Michael Bendis, Jeph Loeb, Kieron Gillen, Matt Fraction, Dennis Hopeless Art: Luke Ross, Steve McNiven, Ed McGuinness, Jamie McKelvie, Mike Norton, Michael Allred, Gabriel Hernandez Walta

Story: 6.75 Art: 8 Overall: 7 Recommendation: Pass

Red She-Hulk #58

Red She-Hulk is a character I know nothing about other than the little I’ve read of her in the Defenders. This issue, she takes over as the lead continuing a series that’s come before. I went in hoping to get some explanation of her background. There’s not much of that. But, writer Jeff Parker pulls off something interesting. He weaves a story where you don’t care about that. Instead you’re drawn to the story itself.

Red She-Hulk is on a mission, something to do with destroying the latest attempt by the United State government to create super soldiers. We’re not really told why until the next issue, but as far as the government is concerned she’s a terrorist, destroying their property. There’s a nice mystery about this and I have no idea if anything that’s come before would shed some light onto this. But it doesn’t matter. This is a comic you can pick up and read.

What it reminds me of is the beginning of the second Hulk movie with him on the run. Here, she’s now being tracked by Captain America and Machine Man. But there has to be a decent reason for her actions, right?

This first issue is solid, easy to pick up for new readers and I’m sure there’s lots more for long time fans.

Story: Jeff Parker Art: Wellington Alves and Carlo Paguylayan

Story: 8.25 Art: 8 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Deadpool #1

There’s two depictions of Deadpool. There’s the wacky version that plays like a Bugs Bunny cartoon. Then there’s the more serious version where he’s a trained killer with mental issues, like in Uncanny X-Force. I’m a fan of the second, not the first, which this comic is.

A necormancer is raising the corpses of our Presidents, why, we have no idea. It doesn’t look good for heroes or S.H.I.E.L.D. to take on these Presidents, so enter Deadpool. The comic feels like a really bad Ghostbusters story. There’s humor, lots of humor and if that’s the type of Deadpool comic you like, then this’ll be up your way. But, this isn’t for me and I recognize that.

There is some great humor here. I found myself laughing a bunch, but it’s not really a comic I enjoy as a whole. There’s not much I can say about it. If you like the concept of Deadpool fighting undead Presidents, then go for it. I’ll give it a few issues, but this isn’t going to last long for me.

Story: Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan Art: Tony Moore

Story: 6 Art: 8.25 Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Pass

Review – Economix: How Our Economy Works (and Doesn’t Work) In Words and Pictures

If ever a comic or graphic novel came out at the right time, Michael Goodwin‘s Economix: How Our Economy Works (and Doesn’t Work) In Words and Pictures hit the shelves this year breaking down tough concepts for anyone to easily ingest. The graphic novel covers the history of economic theory in a thick (page wise not subject) and entertaining way. I consider myself having a basic understanding of the history of economics as well as the various theories, but this book dives into the subject doing the impossible – making the subject easy to understand and doing it a fun way.

Goodwin tackles the subject with little preaching. Instead, he focuses on the major areas of economic thought, what they are, when did they rise and the political and social history that was occurring at the time. The graphic novel spans history from the early 1800’s to modern times including the recent economic collapse.

And this graphic novel is ground breaking and important. Here’s just some reasons why. In it’s almost 300 pages, the graphic novel explains this history in a flowing narrative that makes learning fun. I remember reading numerous difficult to comprehend text books and through them all, I didn’t learn or retain as much as I did in this graphic novel.

The next reason that this should be on everyone’s reading list is right now we’re in the middle of an economic crisis on a global level. Post election the American economy, and a rumored Grand Budget Deal, will be debated with each side citing theories laid out and explained in this comic. To understand what’s going on and why what’s being thrown about does and doesn’t work, with actual historical facts to back that up, there’s no easier tome out there to dive in and start learning.

This graphic novel should be on every high school and college student’s “must read” list. You actually walk away understanding how we’re in the quagmire we’re in, the forces that lead to it and a bit of a sense of how to fix it. It doesn’t preach those solutions. Instead it leaves the reader to come up with those ideas themselves, but it does leave you with questions and ideas to ponder including our focus and priorities when it comes to our government spending and the role of corporations and consumers.

This graphic novel is a serious contender for graphic novel of the year and one of the most important of the decade. It shows that the comic medium can transcend people with funny powers and silly costumes and instead be used to educate, activate and motivate individuals to learn more about their world but also their role in it.

Story: Michael Goodwin Art: Dan E. Burr

Story: 10 Art: 9 Overall: 9.75 Recommendation: Buy

Dynamite Signs Rick Remender

Dynamite announced that Rick Remender, is writing for Dynamite. That comes hot on the heels of the biggest series launch of his career with Uncanny Avengers from Marvel, as well as the beginning of his upcoming run on Captain America. Devolution features the art of Paul Renaud, and according to Dynamite, promises to be one of the most unique and innovative comics to be on the stands.

Devolution is a return to the pulp/grindhouse science fiction Remender built his career on and he’s been talking about it with Renaud for five years. Joining the two creators is colorist Lee Loughridge and letterer Rus Wooton, longtime friends and collaborators.  Covers come from Jae Lee to Alex Ross to Ryan Sook. The book comes from the two creators love for the EC comics and adventure comics of the 50’s.

Devolution is already being hyped as “one of the most important series that we are launching next year.” With a team like that working on it, I can see why.

Movie Review – The Amazing Spider-Man

I’ll start off by saying, I loved the Raimi’s first Spider-Man. I saw it four times opening weekend, thinking it was the perfect post 9/11 movie, especially that ending with him swinging by the American flag. So, you can imagine that the Marc Webb directed, The Amazing Spider-Man had a difficult task at hand impressing me. While it’s being heaped upon with praise, I shrug my shoulders feeling “been there, done that.”

It’s not to say the movie is bad in any way, it’s a perfect summer popcorn movie.  But there’s not enough different between it and the first entry, so many years ago to make me feel like I’ve seen something exciting or new. If it weren’t for Raimi’s first film, I’d feel different, but the movie seems familiar, a retread, not a re-envisioning.

The movie is absolutely entertaining and real feels like Raimi’s energetic film mixed with some darkness from Nolan’s Batman and Webb’s relationship fun of (500) Days of SummerAndrew Garfield is great as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, mixing smarts and smart-ass quite well. Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy is adorable and you can see why she falls for Peter. Rhys Ifans as Curt Connors/The Lizard is good too as well as a supporting cast that includes Denis Leary (Captain Stacy), Martin Sheen (Uncle Ben) and Sally Field (Aunt May).

I’m still struggling so many days later to figure out exactly what I had an issue with.  The action was ok, the relationship story was great, but the two mashed together had issues. There’s also Peter’s near obsession with finding his Uncle’s killer that seems to be thrown aside by the end of the film.  Also, much of it is predictable. The Lizard goes crazy and talks to himself (ala the Green Goblin in the first film), the people of the city rally around Spidey, etc. It hits the notes you’d expect.

The movie can be summed up, by the post credits teaser scene which is choppy and out of place and 3D that at times shows brilliance in it’s use, but most of the time isn’t used enough.

Overall, a solid popcorn movie, but one that doesn’t stand out from what’s come before.

Direction: I loved Marc Webb’s previous movie (500) Days of Summer. The film was fantastic in the depiction of the relationship between it’s main characters as well as how it jumped around in time. That’s where this movie shines. Peter and Gwen’s relationship and Peter dealing with his family situation, that’s the heart of the film and it’s solid. However, the action scenes while entertaining, and not suffering from the usual shaky cam syndrome, are only good. The super hero aspect falls short for me, winding up being predictable, expected, been there before. Grade: 6.5

Acting: Garfield and Stone and great and they’re surrounded by a solid supporting cast. I don’t have any complaints as Garfield shows off the personal and emotional troubles you’d expect from someone with his family life. He’s a star and it shows. Stone is adorable and smart and you can see why Peter would fall for her. The supporting cast as well hits all the right notes showing of the two main stars’ abilities as they’re matched up to such industry greats. Grade: 8

Plot: This is where I’m mixed. The relationship stuff is great. The super hero stuff, not so much. There’s enough for me to pick on and left me unimpressed. And in the age of Youtube and everyone having a camera phone, how many times can this super hero be unmasked?! I had that reaction in Spider-Man 2 and I have it here. His revealing his identity caused me a lot of issues. I will throw major props showing the beating a super hero such as he would take and how his Aunt would react to that. Grade: 6

Overall: The movie is a solid popcorn summer movie. It’s entertaining, but as I keep saying, it doesn’t stand on it’s own enough. We’ve seen a lot of this before, just with a different tone. And while that first Spidey movie gave me the same wonder I felt seeing Superman flying that first time, that magic is missing here. Overall Grade: 7

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