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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

Fashion Spotlight: Attack on Endor, Steel-Skin Gym, and Frozen Love

Ript Apparel has three new designs for folks. One for Star Wars fans. One for X-Men fans. And the final mashes up Frozen and Mortal Kombat. Attack on Endor and Steel-Skin Gym and Frozen Love from AtomicRocket and Fernando_Sala and JayHai will be for sale on March 13, 2015 only!

 

Attack on Endor by AtomicRocket

Attack on Endor

Steel-Skin Gym by Fernando_Sala

Steel-Skin Gym

Frozen Love by JayHai

Frozen Love

 

 

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.

Funko Reveals Pop! Marvel: X-Men Deadpool and Pop! Marvel: X-Men

Remember when Deadpool joined the X-Men? Funko sure does! Today the company revealed their Pop! Marvel: X-Men Deadpool. Did someone say chimichangas?! The figure will be available this month.

Pop! Marvel X-Men Deadpool

Not leaving out his fellow X-Men, Funko has also revealed Pop! Marvel: X-Men, featuring Storm, Cyclops, Professor X, Colossus, Mystique, and Magneto! They’ll be available in November.

Why Do Conservatives Hate Superman?


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On Saturday I dove in for the second time and commented on the conservative outcry over an Algerian Muslim being recruited for the Batman franchise in France.  But this feigned anger from the right got me thinking about all the other immigrant super heroes defending their adopted country.  It made me ask, why do conservatives hate Superman?

You see, Superman is an immigrant.  On top of that, he’s an illegal immigrant from the planet Krypton.  He’s raised the “American way” by a simple family and defends his adoptive country (and world).  Superman might have been raised Methodist, but really he’s Kryptonian and was born into that religion.  Do conservatives hate Superman?  If not, isn’t that hypocrisy or does it show their bigotry towards Muslims?

On top of Superman what other immigrant characters defend their adopted nation?

  • Superman – see above as to why he’s the poster boy for immigration and defending your adoptive country.
  • Wolverine – James Howlett was born a Canadian.  That didn’t stop the man called Logan and Wolverine to work for the C.I.A. or fight side by side with Captain America.  On numerous times he’s defended and saved the United States, his adopted country.
  • Martian Manhunter – Another illegal alien (an actual alien, the guy is from Mars) who laid low and hid in his adoptive world.  On numerous occasions he’s saved the United States and the world.
  • Dust – Sooraya Qadir was born in Afghanistan and legally immigrated to the United States.  As part of the X-Men, she’s saved the world and United States on so many occasions.  Oh yeah, she’s Muslim.  Just taking up a slot meant for a good read blooded American I guess.
  • Blue Agave – He’s an immigrant from Mexico and lives in the US, no idea his religion.
  • Colossus – He’s Russian, he currently lives in the United States, has for a while.  He was a commie, and foreign, guess he’s not qualified to protect us.
  • Banshee – An Irish mutant was living in Tennessee when he was recruited to be a part of the international team of X-Men.
  • Blade – Did you know Blade was British?  Yeah, I didn’t either, Wesley Snipes didn’t do the accent well at all.  He’s the only thing protecting us from being overrun by Vampires.  Guess he can only do that for the UK according to conservatives.
  • Deadpool – Another Canadian (they look just like us!) was recruited to be part of a joint US/Canadian program.  What no Americans good enough!?
  • Doc Voodoo – He’s from Haiti.  He lives in the United States.  He was the Sorcerer Supreme.  He’s saved the world.  No go back to Haiti!
  • Thor – Recently in the news for a whole other protest, in his newest comic series volume we see the Odinson and the rest of the Asgardians set up Asgard in Broxton, Oklahoma.  Not only is he an original Avenger and saved the world and United States numerous times but he’s a god, not exactly an American.  But, more importantly, where’s the outrage for the land grab by a foreign nation?  Would conservatives be so quiet if Doctor Doom did the same?

There’s so many more examples of characters who are immigrants (some are even Muslims!) defending nations of which they were not born.  Where’s the outrage been?

Friday Five: Favorite X-Men Characters


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Sorry I missed the Friday Five last week, I was out of town. This week I’m going to take a look at the characters I like the most from my favorite family of comics ever, the X-Men. The first comic I bought was an X-Men comic and I was hooked ever since, particularly because of the great stories in the 1980s of Chris Claremont and the art of Dave Cockrum and John Byrne. As the X-universe expanded, I continued to like a lot of the work that was added to the canon over the years and it has remained my favorite. Without further ado, here are the characters that made it my favorite.

Honorable Mentions: Magneto, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Storm, Angel, Beast, Rogue

5. Professor X: Early on, Professor X was my favorite (Heck my rap name is, to this day, Professor Rex. Yes, I said my rap name. I’m a rapper in my free time). I liked the fact that, despite the fact that he was in a wheelchair, he was the most powerful mutant on Earth. I liked that he was a teacher and a leader and often taught the X-Men by letting them alone and letting them succeed or fail on their own without really ever letting them be in much real danger (except in the early days with characters like Thunderbird and Jean Gray). I didn’t like the 1990s and 2000s turn where it was revealed that he had been manipulating his students’ minds all these year. It fit and I buy it in the context of the story, but I guess I felt the same betrayal the X-Men felt.

4. Emma Frost: One of the few female superhero characters whose ridiculously inappropriate sexualized costume actually fit with her personality, I love the growth in Emma’s character over the years, going from what seemed to be one of the baddest of the bad villains to one of the key good guys. And not in the flippant, seemingly patternless way that Magneto or Quicksilver flipped back and forth, Emma’s change was the growing of her character as a human being. Her personality is a great one and seems to be quite at odds with the rest of the X-Men, which makes for reading her stories much more interesting.

3. Kitty Pryde: With the last three characters, we have the three that I identified with the most. While I always looked up to Professor X the most, I always felt the most like Kitty, the awkward young person who was good with computers and not really good yet in social situations. The person who was frequently underestimated, but still managed to somehow saved the day more often than not. I also thought that her relationship with Colossus, another of my favorites, was always the best-written of the relationships in the X-universe and, really, in most of comics. It hasn’t lived up to that in recent years, but the way it was written by Claremont back in the day was, to me, perfect.

2. Wolverine: My father is Canadian, so Wolverine was the first thing that ever connected me to my Canadian heritage. I didn’t know much about Canada growing up (other than what I saw in the movie Strange Brew), but Wolverine was from there and he was a badass, so I figured it must be pretty badass to be part Canadian. Wolverine always had the power set I most wanted in the X-universe and, for a long time, he was my favorite. But his growth was somewhat stunted over the years and he became awfully over-exposed. There may not be a Marvel character that is involved in more great stories than Wolverine, but part of that is because there are so many of those stories. Last year’s Old Man Logan and a number of other stories show there’s still a lot of good stuff being written about Wolverine, but those seem to be simple explorations of the same territory, unlike…

1. Cyclops: There are few characters in the history of comics, particularly characters who have existed for a long time (Cyclops first appeared in the early 1960s) who have grown as much as Cyclops. And few of those growth stories over time, especially over decades, make sense and are realistic and ring true. Cyclops started out as “Slim” Summers an awkward teenager with a tragic power that prevents him from experiencing life as a normal teenager and promises to prevent him from ever being part of normal society. As he masters his powers and grows to become the leader of the X-Men, he fails as often as he succeeds, but he never, well almost never (see: the start of the Madelyne Pryor storyline) gives up and he’s not particularly good at being a leader and eventually cedes his leadership position to maybe the greatest African-American female comics character ever written, Storm (shows you how great the X-Men comics have been over the years that she just misses the top 5 character list). But he fails to be dissuaded and continues to learn and grow despite going through one of the most disturbing character histories of anyone in the entire Marvel universe. But along the way, he does learn. Go back and read the X-Men issues of the mid-1980s and compare the Wolverine of then to the Wolverine of now. Very little difference. Now compare the Cyclops of then, an awkward young man searching for his place in life and trying to deal with tragedies that few could survive, to the Cyclops of now, the badass leader of the X-Men, and all of mutantkind, who can handle any problem, can make decisions none of us could ever make and who will do anything he has to do to ensure the survival of his species. And he’s winning. And he’s dating Emma Frost. As much as I always felt like Kitty Pryde and thought it would be awesome to be Wolverine, I really always aspired to be Scott Summers and be the person who could save everyone, the person who would make the hard decisions that affect the fate of an entire race, an entire planet. Cyclops is to Marvel what Jack is to Lost. These are the characters that I look up to an would most want to be — flawed leaders who learn from their mistakes and don’t always do the right thing or accept their positions of leadership with ease or calm, but do them anyway because they know no one else will do what needs to be done.

Man, that’s good writing. The fact that I can draw all of that information about Cyclops off the top of my head without having to look up a single detail shows you why he’s my favorite X-Men character and my second-favorite comic book character of all time. Behind…well, that’s a different post altogether.

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