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It’s Colossus vs. Juggernaut in this New Marvel Legends Pack

Celebrate 80 years of Marvel with the Marvel Legends 80th Anniversary Colossus and Juggernaut 6-Inch Action Figures! With tons of great articulated characters from the most popular movies and comics, this collection brings a new dimension to the world’s mightiest heroes and villains. Inspired by the comics, this mutant match-up for the ages brings two heavy hitters to life – just stand back! It’s going to get ugly.

The pack comes with a decent amount of accessories, most notably a torn up helmet for Juggernaut!

You can pre-order the set now.


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Review: X-Men The Wedding Special #1

Full disclaimer: for a long time, Kitty Pryde was my all time favorite Marvel superhero thanks to her awesomeness in X-Men Evolution and Joss Whedon and John Cassaday’s Astonishing X-Men run, and there is a Marvel Legends figure of her sitting on my bookshelf right now as I write this.

Even though Kelly Thompson, Marika Cresta, and Federico Blee end up almost saving the day with a fun tale of X-Women out on the town with pretty, shiny art to match, X-Men The Wedding Special #1 is a big stinker of a “special issue.” Greg Land’s stiff art style isn’t a good fit for a raucous bachelor party, Chris Claremont can’t rekindle his old magic, and this book doesn’t really have much for long time X-Men fans who might be a little lapsed (Like yours truly.) and definitely not new or casual fans. Why are Kitty and Piotr even getting married? Maybe, the X-Men Gold  hardcore readership will find something to love here.

In the first story, Kitty Pryde’s co-creator/father of the X-Men Chris Claremont returns to Marvel with his Nightcrawler collaborator Todd Nauck and skilled colorist Rachelle Rosenberg.  However, after having Nauck re-draw Kitty’s greatest hits courtesy of John Byrne, Dave Cockrum, John Romita Jr., Alan Davis, and others, he makes the story all about Kitty’s relationships with the dead men in her life, namely, her dad, Wolverine, and some guy from a 1999 time travel miniseries called X-Men True Friends. Claremont is a still verbose prose stylist, Rosenberg is game with the bright colors of the different eras, and Nauck turns in some gorgeous dualistic compositions contrasting the triumphs and trials of Kitty Pryde’s life as an X-Man.

But there isn’t really a coherent story to channel these skills and traits into as Claremont abruptly cuts from Kitty recounting her life story and feelings about being phased through a bullet (Thank you, Joss Whedon.) to randomly talking about Wolverine and the aforementioned guy from a time travel story. Plus I guess I missed the issue of X-Men Gold where she worked as a bartender at the Hellfire Club themed branch of Coyote Ugly as Claremont and Nauck cut to this, and Nightcrawler has some great lines about faith and facing challenges. There are a few good ingredients, a few bad ones, and sadly, the story doesn’t touch on the great female friendships (and possibly romances) that Claremont set up for Kitty with Magik, Storm, and Rachel Summers among others and focused on ghostly men instead. It’s like a great slice of Chicago deep dish (Shoutout to Deerfield, Illinois resident Kitty Pryde.) that’s completely burnt to a crisp too bogged down in a continuity to have any real emotion or even nostalgia.

The second story by X-Men Gold writer Marc Guggenheim, the aforementioned Land and inker Jay Leisten, and colorist Jason Keith tells the story of Colossus’ bachelor party and except for the part where Piotr throws an anti-mutant alien monster around a casino, it’s cliched, heteronormative, and just plain bad. In keeping with his introverted nature and desire to be faithful towards Kitty after decades of breakups, reunions, and the original Secret Wars crossover, Colossus wants a chill night out and not the typical strippers/booze/brawling trifecta of a normal bachelor party. But Nightcrawler, Gambit, Iceman, and the “boyo” overusing new-look Pyro have other ideas for him including Bobby lecturing Piotr on traditional masculinity and making me glad that Sina Grace had almost exclusive creative control over him for a year. The story follows a limp, through line of getting Colossus to “lighten up”, and you have to buy a whole other comic to see how the story ends. It’s pretty terrible except for the huge smile on Nightcrawler’s face as he ushers his squad into Las Vegas and beams that there is a casino run by demons so he doesn’t have to feel weird or different while having a good time for once. Kurt is such a great character that he shines even in subpar stories like the first two in X-Men Wedding Special #1.

The final story in X-Men Wedding Special #1 is a fun, cute, grownup version of the “X-Men go to the mall” plotline as Storm, Rogue, Jean Grey, Psylocke, and others take Kitty to karaoke, which is actually “stripperoke”. However, there are both male and female strippers at the club, which Kitty is cool with. And it’s also this issue’s only nod at the bisexual subtext surrounding her since the late 1980s. In a similar way to Piotr, Kitty is introverted and more than a little Type A so the cocktail of strippers and karaoke is pretty lethal for her, and she spends most of the issue hoping for a fight.

Kitty does end up doing hand to hand combat with Callisto, who I think had a crush on Colossus, in the 1980s, and her resolves shows how much she has grown in 38 years from the X-Men’s kid sister to their leader. It also shows that artist (and star in waiting) Marika Cresta has a knack for fight sequences as well as conversation, beautiful faces, and high fashion. The bright filters used by Federico Blee and soft lighting definitely give this issue a very laidback field even if Kitty is freaking out a little bit about her wedding. The Kitty/Callisto derails the story a little bit, but Thompson and Cresta easily counterbalance with great moments like Storm rocking the karaoke stage, and Rogue and Kitty having a true heart to heart that reminded me of a more mature version of their bond in X-Men Evolution.

X-Men Wedding Special definitely lessened my faith in the marriage between Kitty and Colossus as well as heterosexual, monogamous marriage as an institution in general. Okay, maybe not completely, but the Marc Guggenheim and Greg Land story is a great example of how bachelor parties are dated and played out. However, Marika Cresta is a real find as an artist in the final story and should definitely be the main artist on one of the big X or Marvel books.

Story: Chris Claremont, Marc Guggenheim, Kelly Thompson
Art: Todd Nauck, Greg Land with Jay Leisten, Marika Cresta
Colors: Rachelle Rosenberg, Jason Keith, Federico Blee Letters: Clayton Cowles

Story: 5.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 5.0 Recommendation: Pass

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Order X-Men Marvel Legends 6-Inch Action Figures Wave 2 Now

The X-Men Marvel Legends 6-Inch Action Figures Wave 2 brings your mutant favorites to life in a stunning 6-inch scale action figure form. Each figure includes awesome accessories and amazing detail, plus a build-a-figure piece of Warlock. Ages 4 and up.

Case features 8 individually packaged action figures, including:

2x Wolverine
1x Marvel’s Cyclops
1x Dazzler
1x Marvel’s Sunfire
1x Marvel’s Polaris
1x Marvel’s Colossus
1x Shatterstar

Order your case now to get every figure!

 

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Unboxing: Nerd Block’s January 2016 Comic Block

January sees the release of Nerd Block‘s latest Comic Block with a mix of items including comics, a t-shirt, figures, print, and comics. Created specifically for comic fans, you get comics, t-shirts and more.

This latest expanded block is a big improvement over recent releases.

Is bigger better? Find out as we explore what’s in the box!?

Check out everything you get in the latest box, and you can sign up now and purchase the next Comic Block!

 

 

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Deadpool Gets a New Colossus

With a television spot putting more of a focus on Colossus, it has been announced that a new actor will be taking on the role of the classic X-Men character in next year’s Deadpool. Actor Andre Ticoteux was originally supposed to play the character, but now Stefan Kapicic has stepped in at the last hour finishing his role in December.

Kapicic in interviews has described the role as a dream and has said he’s a comic fan, and that he “can’t live without them,” with Deadpool being one of his favorite characters. In an interview the actor has said his first comic was an X-Men comic when he as six years old.

The 6’4″ German actor didn’t know what he was auditioning for and that the characters had different names attached. He was able to put two and two together when other casting was announced.

Colossus in the film is over 7′ which had the actor stretching to make himself seem bigger including making sure to get the character’s voice down.

So, what do folks think of Colossus being including in Deadpool? Sound off in the comments below.

Deadpool Colossus

 

Review: Inferno #3

inferno003Inferno was one of the first releases under the Secret Wars banner, and while it might have been overshadowed by some other titles by this point into what is becoming a pretty big crossover, it still has its fans.  The first issue was received pretty well, despite the fact that the readers didn’t exactly know what they were getting into with the series.  The series was inspired by the original crossover, and featured Colossus as he ventured into a demon infested New York City while he tries to rescue his sister, Magik, who was captured there by demons and who seemed happy enough to stay that way.  Occurring on the anniversary of her abduction, Colossus leads a strike team into the city to free her, but not yet having succeeded he launches one last mission despite the protests of Scott Summers.

If there are any armchair generals that have been following along with the plot, then they would know that letting your enemy know the general timing of an attack is a bad idea, and that is the case here.  After all it is easier to defend than attack, and Magik is more than aware of that as she has successfully manipulated the situation over the course of the first two issues.  At the end of the last issue she managed to both imprison and corrupt Nightcrawler, and he now becomes her teleporting demon-mount.  With no place that she can’t go, she is now under less restrictions and launches a full-on assault on the X-Men, hoping to defeat them once and for all.

The interesting part about this series is that there are a lot more question marks than usual for its resolution.  As has been shown elsewhere in the Marvel Universe, there are less restrictions across the board on wiping characters off the roster.  Numerous big names have already died in various tie-ins across the Secret crossover, though of course there are several versions of each character.  This adds to the tension here, as readers are used to the heroes usually winning, but that might not be the case here at all.  As it stands the odds are against the heroes, and it makes this easier to enjoy.  It continues its solid performance as a less noteworthy but equally good entry into the Secret Wars world.

Story: Dennis Hopeless  Art: Javier Garron 
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5  Overall: 8.5  Recommendation: Buy

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

 

Review: Years of Future Past #2

years002The Secret Wars crossover has perhaps been the unkindest to the X-Men.  Part of the underlying concept behind the huge crossover is to take story arcs and other crossovers from the past and to rework them into the Secret Wars framework.  While this has worked well for some series, for others it has not, and the X-Men versions are perhaps among the most distorted.  This is because the mutants often serve as analogies for what is wrong in society, and with that as a theme, it tends to make a lot of the best X-Men stories into the best of the genre.  In this case Secret Wars hgas grabbed what is one of the best comic book story arcs ever written, so popular in fact that it was chosen as the story line to revive the movie franchise.

This story follows along some basic plot elements from the original series while leaving other important parts behind.  This has been the case with other X-Men tie-ins to Secret Wars where a lot of the characters remain, if not for the baseline being altered in minor, though fundamental ways.  The changes here are thus similar and different as a similar group of characters struggle against the sentinels of the future who have eliminated most mutants already and the few remaining mutants who struggle to maintain their lives and their kind against this threat.  One of the highlights of this issue is a monologue by Colossus which evokes the famous quote by Martin Niemöller about the Holocaust.

That is the case with this issue though.  Although it works well enough as a story, it also is a story which has a few defining moments with other material in between which almost feels like filler.  It is an unconventional format for a story as it moves between moments which are either strong for character development or artistically impressive, but such is the lot of the X-Men tie-ins to Secret Wars.  It is good, but not much else, and more than anything makes the reader want to re-read the original as opposed to continuing with this.

Story: Marguerite Bennett Art: Mike Norton
Story: 8.3 Art: 8.3 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Read

Review: Inferno #2

Inferno002Setting a comic inside a post-apocalyptic world run by demons inside another mini-dimension run by a powerful overlord might seem like one of the strangest concepts for a superhero book, but it is the basis for the Inferno series which is tying into Secret Wars.  The first issue was a solid introduction to this universe, where the X-Men patrol what is left of New York City against a demon horde, while the same horde led by Colossus’ sister does pretty much as they want inside their own domain.  Once per year Colossus leads a strike team to try to rescue his sister, and the first issue focused on the most recent attempt to do so.  Previous attempts resulted in tragedies of one kind or another, and this attempt seemed equally doomed from the onset.

It should be said that even for someone following along that this setting is pretty weird and confusing.  Domino and Colossus were separated and thrust into two different sub-plots involving the Goblin Queen, Madelyne Pryor.  As the characters try to regain a stronger foothold, the development of the story takes some strange twists as the strike team is fractured and then almost reunited.  Meanwhile Magik and Nightcrawler face off against each other, with Nightcrawler at a distinct disadvantage being her prisoner.

There is a general lack of description in this issue, as the reader is seemingly supposed to let go of trying to make sense of what is happening in the interest of allowing the demon world to exist.  While this is a bit of a letdown in terms of the pacing the issue is saved by the well written characters, as specifically the interaction between Colossus and Madelyne, and also between Domino and Madelyne’s son save this issue from going off the tracks.  Heading into the next issue it would seem as though there is a stronger direction for this series, and while the setting is bizarre, that the creative team is making it work.

Story: Dennis Hopeless  Art: Javier Garron 
Story: 8.3 Art: 8.3  Overall: 8.3  Recommendation: Read

Review: Inferno #1

inferno001In the history of the comic book medium, and especially the part that focuses on superheroes, there has certainly never been a period with as much hero vs. hero action as the past three months at DC and Marvel.  DC got things started with Convergence and Marvel followed with Secret Wars.  The concept between the two companies has been strikingly similar almost as though the two companies are trying to compete with each other directly for the same exact market with the exact same concept.  The Convergence world At DC created by Brainiac has obvious parallels to the Battleworld at Marvel created by Doctor Doom.

Inferno finds itself in the middle of this mess, but as opposed to so many others of the past few months, this one at least makes an effort to weave a more inspired story into the hero vs. hero concept.  This one involves many of the X-Men trapped inside a hellish version of New York City.  Overrun by demons, the X-Men have established themselves as something closer to police, save for one specific instance.  Once per year Colossus is allowed to lead a strike team to try to rescue his sister Illyana (also known as Magik) from the clutches of the demons, although his actions have not come without a heavy price.  This issue focuses on two subsequent missions and what they meant to the fabric of the team, and the price that one man will pay to rescue a loved one.

The issue is not as gripping as might be hoped for, but there is nonetheless still something here which is better than what has been seen elsewhere in the past few months.  The X-Men generally rely on science for their stories in one way or another, so the supernatural element feels a little bit out of place, but equally so too does the entire Battleworld, so this still comes off feeling logical enough of a story.  It does so by mostly avoiding the focus on the specific aspects of the Battleworld setting, which incidentally serve the story better overall.

Story: Dennis Hopeless Art: Javier Garron
Story: 8.1 Art: 8.1 Overall: 8.1 Recommendation: Read

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