Tag Archives: Deathlok

Toronto Comic Con 2015: Celebrity Q&A with J. August Richards

J. August Richards has been working in film for over twenty years and has over forty acting credits to his name between television and cinema.  He is perhaps best known for two characters in particular, Charles Gunn from Angel and Deathlok from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the latter of which inducted him into the select group of actors that are part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

As a celebrity guest at Toronto Comic 2015, he took part in a moderated Q&A period, and got to talk about his experiences on film.

The Moderator:  You used to be a comic collector, but did you have Deathlok comics?

deathlokmarvelJ. August Richards:  What I did have was The Guide to the Marvel Universe [The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe].  So what happened was that all of my old comic books were in my sister’s house back in D.C.  It just so happened that there was a Christmas break so I went home, I got all my comics, and I was like “I’m going to find Deathlok in this comic book collection” because I was not familiar with the character.  So I was looking around and I saw The Guide to the Marvel Universe and I was like “I’m a virgo, if I know me, I completed this set.”  I checked and I had A through Z Guide to the Marvel Universe.  I went to D and found Deathlok and that is where I started doing my research into the character.  Then Marvel was nice enough to make the old comics accessible to me and I read those to a certain point and then I had to stop, because as you may or may not know, there are three incarnations of Deathlok over the history of Marvel.  Maybe even four, it depends on how you are counting … could be five depending on how you are counting.  They had three very different back stories, the three ones that I looked at, and the circumstances were very different and I still wanted to stay true to the character that we created in the first episode, the father with his son, being a single parent.  That meant the world to me and I thought that whatever happens from here on out, that I had to play a father to a son, and that is who that character was going to be.

skyeQuestion From the Floor:  Will Deathlok show up again in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. or in a movie?

JAR:  I like the way that you are thinking.  Unfortunately when I started the show, way back when we did the pilot, I had to sign a contract that prohibited me from talking any future things which would happen from the show, so unfortunately I can’t answer that question.  I need to leave that alone but I like that idea [of showing up in a movie.]

QFF:  How did they come up with the name Deathlok?

JAR:  The character was introduced in 1974, which was the year after I was born.  So I don’t know where they came up with the name, but this would be my guess.  One of the interesting things about playing a character that exists in the comic books is that you can do research in the comic books about that character, and one thing that I learned was that although there were three different Deathloks, they had something in common which was that they were trapped, somewhere between life and death.  So I believe that is where they came up with the name.  It is kind of like that he is locked in death.  And it is a little more relevant in the comic books because in one version, the consciousness is in the machine of Deathlok, so he is like a human being but he’s not quite human.

deathlokQFF:  How long before did you find out that you were playing Deathlok?

JAR:  The day before he turned into Deathlok. When I signed up to do the pilot it was just for the one episode, and then they brought me back for episode eight, and then as I was doing eight then asked me to do nine and ten.  And then I did ten and they asked me to do a bunch towards the end of the season.  That’s kind of how Marvel worked, they want to keep everything top secret, and they want to make sure that nothing gets out and want to make sure that nothing spoils it.  Personally I hate being spoiled, sometimes I will go see movies that I know nothing about except the title, because I just like that experience.

TM:  But that brings up a good point.  As an actor do you prefer some notice?

JAR:  I prefer not knowing, because then you just have to play what’s in front of you.

TM:  One part that we haven’t talked about is Angel, and during that series …

JAR:  At least you didn’t say Heroes.  I meet a lot of people that say “you were in Heroes.”  “No, I was not.”  But the actor that was in Heroes, we look a lot alike.  Leonard Roberts doesn’t think we look alike, he used to say that until his girlfriend invited me to his surprise birthday party, and I showed up late, and when I walked in everyone yelled “Surprise!”  And so when he showed up finally I was like “Now do you think that we look alike?”

gunnTM:  Angel was a spin-off but I have heard people say that they started looking forward to Angel more than Buffy.  Have you heard fans say this?

JAR:   Umm … no.  Angel is so synonymous with Buffy and it came out of Buffy.  I don’t hear that very much myself.  They’re together right?

QFF:  How awesome was it to work with David Boreanz?

JAR:  Like this awesome [holds arms wide].  I love David, he’s so much fun.  He’s just a whole character, you know what I mean?  He’s just a super cool guy, he likes to try to make you break character when the camera is on you, which is so unfair.  I feel like now that I could act with this whole building falling down, because having to do very intensive scenes with him laughing at me and pointing at me, you know I feel like I can act through anything.

QFF:  Have you read the Angel comics that came out after the Fall?

jarjarJAR:  I can’t read that for some reason.  I can’t bring myself to.  When we were in that alleyway which was the last shot of Angel, I said goodbye to the character.  Anything else would feel like someone writing an unauthorized biography about you.  Not that it is unauthorized, just that I don’t get to play it, so I don’t want to know about it.  I want to leave him right there, because I found him to be so heroic and he found what he was looking for.

QFF:  As an actor and as a Star Wars fan, if J.J. Abrams was here, which character would you pitch to him to play?

JAR:  Nice!  First of all if you want to see someone fanboy out, or more accurately fangirl out, I would lose it.  Because I love Star Trek too and what he did with it.  What part would I want to play?  Any part.  I would be an extra.  I would do anything.  Put me in a mask, put me in whatever, I don’t care.  I mean maybe like Jar Jar Binks’ nephew?  Ha ha, never!  That’s the the only one I wouldn’t want to play, but really anything.  Stormtrooper number 12!  But if I had my druthers, I would be a dope Jedi, with like, four lightsabers.

Graphic Policy Radio, LIVE This Monday

GP Radio pic MondayIt’s Monday night and that means a brand new episode of Graphic Policy Radio! The show airs live this Monday at 10pm ET.

We’re back talking comics. There’s been a lot of brand new comics debuting over the past few weeks, and some very high-profile ones at that. We’ll be discussing….

  • Angela: Asgard’s Assassin – The character debuted in Spawn, but now is over at Marvel. After a stint in Guardians of the Galaxy, the character headlines her own series.
  • Bitch Planet – The most talked about comic of the past week. This comic shows how you can take on social and political issues within an entertaining story.
  • Deathlok – The classic character who was an integral part of last season’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. gets its own series.
  • Secret Six – We loved the pre-New 52 version of the series, but how does this new team and relaunch stack up?
  • and more!

So join us this Monday and let us know your thoughts about these new series! You can call in at (619) 768-2952 or Tweet us your thoughts @graphicpolicy

Around the Tubes

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Around the Tubes

The Hollywood Reporter – Hollywood’s 5 Most Powerful Comic Writers – Nice list.

The News Herald – Comic books and graphic novels called next wave in medical treatment – Cool.


Around the Tubes Reviews

Comic Vine – Arkham Manor #2

Comic Vine – Aquaman #36

Comic Vine – Catwoman #36

Comic Vine – Dawn of the Planet of the Apes #1

Comic Vine – Deathlok #2

Comic Vine – Deathstroke #2

CBR – Gotham by Midnight #1

Comic Vine – Gotham by Midnight #1

Talking Comics – Memetic #2

Talking Comics – The Multiversity: Pax Americana #1

Comic Vine – New Avengers #27

CBR – ODY-C #1

Comic Vine – Secret Avengers #10

Comic Vine – Spider-Man 2099 #6

Comic Vine – Superior Iron Man #2

Comic Vine – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #40

Comic Vine – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters #2

Around the Tubes

So, it was new comic book yesterday! What stood out to you? Anything you read that you’ve really like?

Around the Tubes

The Florida Times-Union – IRS fails to find a buyer in Jacksonville for former lottery winner’s comic books – At $5 a book? Um, nope.

ICv2 – New ‘Richie Rich’ Show – Huh.

Reuters – Xtreme Justice – Some real life heroes.

Paste Magazine – Tentacles & Madness: 10 Comics That Continue H.P. Lovecraft’s Horror Legacy – Some good ones on the list.


Around the Tubes Reviews

Comic Vine – Aliens: Fire and Stone #2

Comic Vine – AXIS: Carnage #1

ICv2 – Barkamon Vol. 1

Comic Vine – Death of Wolverine: Deadpool & Captain America #1

Comic Vine – Deathlok #1

CBR – Deathlok #1

Comic Vine – DMC #1

Comic Vine – Elektra #7

Comic Vine – Guardians of the Galaxy #20

Talking Comics – Magi Vol. 8

Comic Vine – Rasputin #1

Comic Vine – Savage Dragon #199

The Spire – Some People

The Fandom Post – The Way of Shadows

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

The Bunker #7 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! Below are ten suggestions of comics, graphic novels, or trade paperbacks you should spend some extra time checking out and think about picking up.

Pick of the Week: The Bunker #7 (Oni Press) – Any release of The Bunker, we’re excited. The series is a brilliant mix of sci-fi, mystery, and even some politics. The time travel aspect is engaging and each issue leaves us wanting more. Easily one of the best comics on the market.

Archer & Armstrong #25 (Valiant) – Valiant consistently puts out one of the best lines of comics, especially for those who enjoy the superhero genre. Archer & Armstrong is comedic action that never disappoints. If you don’t know what you’ve been missing, check out this oversized special issue.

Best of Enemies: A History of US and Middle East Relations Vol. 2 (Self Made Hero) – The second volume of the acclaimed graphic novel account of the Middle East, written by internationally renowned scholar, Jean-Pierre Filiu and award-winning artist, David B.

This second volume covers Nasser’s Egypt through to the Six-Day War in 1967 and the Iranian Revolution in 1979. An essential read for anyone interested in the history of the region

Deathlok #1 (Marvel)  – Deathlok plays a big role on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., so Marvel is attempting to do some cross media synergy. Should be interesting to see what they do with this.

Godkiller Walk Among Us #1 (Black Mask Studios) – The comic six years in the making, with a cult following gets a mass release. The epic story of a boy’s quest to save his sister, GODKILLER is a twisted, sci-fi/horror adventure about 16 year old Tommy’s odyssey through a post-nuke wasteland (populated by fallen gods, organ-stealing hookers, and sex-addicted technowizards) as he searches for a new heart to save his dying sister.

I Remember Beirut (Lerner Books) – A graphic memoir of growing up in war torn Beirut.

Rasputin #1 (Image Comics) – The first issue is fascinating with this interesting take on the very real, and rather mysterious Rasputin. The first issue tells us a lot, but not where the series is going. Still, it’s interesting with amazing art.

Southern Bastards #5 (Image Comics) – Southern gothic noir at its best.

Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #34 (IDW Publishing) – We love IDW’s Transformers line. Its shaken up the 30 year old brand in a good way leaving us wanting more each month.

Vertigo Quarterly: Yellow (DC Comics/Vertigo) – Awesome anthology with fantastic talent.

Preview: The Cyborg Super Soldier is Reborn This October in Deathlok #1!

He is the perfect killing machine. The apex weapon. The demolisher. Only he doesn’t know it! This October, a new legend is born in Deathlok #1 – the first explosive issue in an all-new ongoing series! Launching as part of the Avengers NOW! initiative, critically acclaimed creators Nathan Edmondson and Mike Perkins provide a brand new spin on Deathlok like you’ve never seen him before!

After Michael Collins – there was Henry Hayes. A war veteran, a single parent. A good man who though he’d left his war behind. As a field medic, he has traveled to war zones to heal the wounded, unaware of his true purpose. Unbeknownst to him, he has been transformed and twisted into a new weapon for a new war – DEATHLOK! Operative, fighter, assassin and more – he is whatever his mysterious handlers need him to be.

Utilized as a deadly weapon rented out to the highest bidder, Hayes travels the globe toppling dictators and destabilizing regimes – his memories erased after each mission. All in the name of his mysterious corporate masters. Yet as he slowly uncovers the truth about his existence, he’ll struggle with the knowledge he’s been transformed into the ultimate weapon of mass destruction – and expose the disturbing legacy of the many Deathloks that came before him.

Hunted by S.H.I.E.L.D. and unaware of his true purpose, the one man army will be forced to choose – is he man…or machine? The answer lies in the high-octane first issue as the next blockbuster Avengers NOW! series debuts this October in Deathlok #1!

DEATHLOK #1 (AUG140761)
Art & Cover by MIKE PERKINS
Variant Covers by CLAYTON CRAIN (AUG140762)
Design Variant by MIKE PERKINS (AUG140765)
Hasbro Variant Also Available (AUG140764)
FOC – 10/06/14, On-Sale – 10/29/14


Absorbing Man Absorbs the Past

Carl_Creel_(Earth-20051)The advent of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is undoubtedly one of the biggest developments in both cinema and comics in the past ten years. Before comic book movies were consolidated into shared universes, their continuities were non-existent, as the movie watchers had to accept the fact that although there was a comic universe with all of the characters acting together, that the rare appearance by heroes on the big screen were separate. All of this changed with the introduction of Iron Man to the big screen.  It was originally seen as a huge gamble, and Marvel was not sure how it would work, but it did pay off.  Laying in the background of the first movie was the key to binding the entire universe together, S.H.I.E.L.D.  But was Iron Man really the first in the sequence of films?  Some would argue no, that in fact it was not, but rather in The Hulk from 2003.

The Hulk was regarded by most as a bit of a misfire in terms of a movie. The story line was unnecessarily convoluted and the editing of the movie to appear comic-like confused some people. It was also completely unrelated to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. When The Incredible Hulk was released in 2008 as the second installment of the MCU it was labeled as a completely separate movie despite people asking “Why was Eric Bana replaced with Ed Norton?” Some of the problems with that were with the format of the movie itself. Despite the fact that it was supposed to be a standalone, it did rely in parts on the recent proximity of the previous movie to avoid repeating itself in terms of storytelling. There was no need to explain how Bruce Banner got his powers, nor was it necessary to describe who the Ross family was, even if they were played by different actors. The story seemed to pick up almost directly for where it had left off, to the point that when Eric Bana was last seen it was in the rainforests of South America, and then when Ed Norton is first seen it is in a favela in Rio de Janeiro.

One of the main criticisms of the first movie was the presence of Nick Nolte playing Bruce Banner’s father. The character was a scientific genius in his own right, and yet there was little sense in the character’s eventual turn into a supervillain. Comic fans were not able to figure out how to identify with him. Was he the madman that controlled Hulk-like dogs? The Absorbing Man? Zzzax? The lack of answers to this was another reason why comic fans turned away from this movie.

Agents_of_SHIELD_logoFast forward 11 years and there is finally an answer to the presence of this anomalous movie, and it came in the first episode of the second season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  This series has the daunting and maybe unfortunate task of carrying the weight of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in between the released of movies. Guardians of the Galaxy was a huge success, but now fans of the shared universe have to wait until next summer for the next Avengers movie.  In the meantime the fans are left with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  Although the series has been at times frustrating to watch, it is definitely improving. Although it is unlikely as an answer to the earlier association with supervillains from The Hulk, what they have done with the first episode of season two is to take back the Absorbing Man. The character has now been thrust into the spotlight as a major player in this second season, perhaps taking the constant presence of Deathlok from the first season. Undoubtedly the series is going to lead into the second installment of the Avengers, if only in a subtle way, and if that is the case then the Absorbing Man is likely to play a prominent enough role in the lead up to the movie as well. This will even more help erase any connections of the new universe to the failed attempt of 2003, and help even more to establish the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a separate entity.

Updated: Marvel’s Avengers NOW! brings new Thor, Falcon/Cap, Superior Iron Man, and Dr. Stange, and more in to the spotlight

Marvel has a brand new initiative in the fall dubbed Avengers NOW! which follows Marvel NOW!, and All-New Marvel NOW! in shaking up the Marvel  universe landscape and a point to launch numerous new titles.

In November, Iron Man kicks it off with Superior Iron Man #1 which sends Tony Stark to San Francisco with a new outlook on life, and a whole new Iron Man suit, sporting a silver and black look. Much like Superior Spider-Man which saw Doc Ock take over Peter Parker’s body and mind, this Tony Stark will be hard to cheer for. The series is written by Tom Taylor and drawn by Yildiray Cinar.

In November we also get the Sam Wilson, previously the Falcon, taking up the mantle in All-New Captain America #1. The change announced on last night’s The Colbert Report, has been a while in the making, with Cap being side lined in the latest issue after her serum is sucked out of him. The series will be written by Rick Remender and art by Stuart Immonen.

Courtesy of writer Jason Aaron and drawn by Russell Dauterman, this October sees Thor #1 with a woman taking up the role, after the current Thor is determined to no longer be worthy. That change was announced this week on The View.

The change is greater than just those three, with a greater focus on some other characters who have either been featured in films, or will be. In an article with Entertainment Weekly, the characters depicted below will all feature more prominent roles. It’s not surprising that Dr. Strange (we have confirmation to expect a solo-series), Scarlet Witch, and Ant-Man are included, they’ll all be heading to the big screen soon. But, also shown are Inhuman characters Medusa and Inferno who have been getting some love in the Inhumanity storyline. Also shown are The Winter Soldier, and Deathlok, both who have series announced and are prominent in the Marvel cinematic universe either in movies or television.

All together there’s ten titles in the planning stages. With next year also seeing the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron, expect to see the return of Ultron some time in the near future. I would also speculate you’ll see some of the classic take on the characters like Cap, Thor, and Iron Man, return in some form around then too.

Avengers_NOW!Update: Here’s Marvel’s official press release:

The most popular characters. The most acclaimed creators. The most ambitious stories. This is the recharged Avengers NOW!.

This Fall, the Marvel Universe heads in an exciting and ambitious new direction as the industry’s top creators and brightest rising stars join the top Super Heroes – Captain America, Thor, Iron Man and more – to deliver the most exciting and energetic comics on the market with can’t miss all-new ongoing series!

Avengers NOW! is the start of a Marvel Universe like you’ve never seen before,” says Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso. “With massive changes coming to some of our biggest characters, Avengers NOW! is ready to kick off a bold new era of the Marvel Universe and will certainly close out 2014 with a bang.”

It all starts this October when Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman bring the thunder in Thor #1. Bereft of his mighty magic hammer Mjölnir, Thor must contend with a new God of Thunder in the Marvel Universe – and she’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen before! Who is this new mysterious leading lady? Not even Odin knows! Prepare for a senses-shattering new beginning as the all-new Thor thunders her way through the Marvel Universe!

Then, Avengers NOW! soars to new heights in All-New Captain America #1! From superstar creators Rick Remender and Stuart Immonen comes the next evolution of the Captain America mythos. Drained of the Super-Soldier Serum, the frail Steve Rogers has handpicked his shield-wielding successor – Sam Wilson, the Falcon! But as the winged warrior assumes his new heroic mantle, he’ll have to contend with a gauntlet of Captain America’s most terrifying foes! Can the new, untested Captain America stand up to his predecessor’s most vile villains? Find out this November in All-New Captain America #1!

It only gets bolder from there as the billionaire playboy unleashes his dark side in Superior Iron Man #1! Rising comic stars Tom Taylor and Yildray Cinar craft an all-new tale of a Tony Stark you’ve never seen before! Releasing the dangerous Extremis technology to the citizens of San Francisco, he’ll transform the City by the Bay into the City of Tomorrow! But at what price? And what does a world look like when it’s consumed by technology? Find out this November in Superior Iron Man #1!

Once again, the biggest creators bring you the biggest characters in the biggest stories…and it’s happening NOW!


Deathlok #1 Packs High-Octane Espionage Action This October!

The Demolisher returns this October for Deathlok #1, an all-new series from the creative team of Nathan Edmondson and Mike Perkins!

Henry Hayes is a veteran, a single parent, a man who thought he’d left his war behind. But unbeknownst to him, he’s been transformed without his knowledge into the perfect weapon of destruction: Deathlok! Operative, fighter, assassin and more – on the battlefield, he is whatever his handlers need him to be.

Created by the mysterious Biotek corporation, Hayes is utilized as a deadly weapon rented out to the highest bidder, his memories erased at the close of every mission. As Henry slowly uncovers the truth behind the horrors that were visited upon him, he’ll struggle with the knowledge that he’s been transformed into a weapon of mass destruction – and expose the disturbing legacy of the many Deathloks that came before him.

We get our first taste of the new series in Original Sins #1 – featuring the first appearance of Henry Hayes in an all-new story by Edmondson and Perkins. Original Sins #1 is on-sale today!

Hunted across the globe by S.H.I.E.L.D., the one man army will be forced to choose – is he a man, or a machine?

Coming in October!


Catching Up on Reviews, Part 7 — Uncanny X-Force and X-Men

Uncanny X-Force #5 (Marvel) – Esad Ribic’s art, while good, is a step down from what had been appearing in X-Force’s earlier issues. Rick Remender’s writing is fine, but I don’t really care for the Deathloks or this particular storyline.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Uncanny X-Force #5.1 (Marvel) – Rafael Albuquerque’s art has its moments, but I’m not a huge fan. It is good to see the return of characters like Gateway, Lady Deathstrike and the Reavers, though, which make this an entertaining issue.

Story: 9 Art: 7.5 Overall: 8.25

Uncanny X-Force #6 (Marvel) – While the idea of all of the Marvel heroes being turned into time-traveling Deathloks is interesting, it’s problematic, though, to think that after all of the enemies that these heroes have collectively defeated, they’d somehow fall this way. Not buying it.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75

Uncanny X-Force #7 (Marvel) – The Deathlok storyline finally concludes, which it couldn’t have done soon enough. While the creators of this series are good and they do good work, this is not the best use of the series, I think.

Story: 7.25 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.5

Uncanny X-Force #8 (Marvel) – This is a transitional issue from the subpar Deathlok storyline to what looks much more promising with the Dark Angel storyline. The final page of this issue is chilling.

Story: 8 Art: 7 Overall: 7.5

Uncanny X-Force #9 (Marvel) – Two issues into his run and I’m not sure what to think of Billy Tan’s art. There is definitely some good stylistic and structural stuff being done here, but I’m not sure about the faces and details.

Story: 8.25 Art: 7.75 Overall: 8

Uncanny X-Force #10 (Marvel) – The Dark Angel storyline is really starting to hit its stride in this issue and Bill Tan’s art seems to be improving. Overall, a good issue, on the verge of being great.

Story: 9 Art: 8 Overall: 8.5

Uncanny X-Force #11 (Marvel) – Mark Brooks provides the best art this series has had in a while and Remender’s storytelling is at its peak in this issue. The Age of Apocalypse was one of the better storylines to come out of the 1990s and it’s good to see it revived here.

Story: 9.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.5

Uncanny X-Men #533 (Marvel) – Greg Land’s art continues to mostly impress while I can’t say I like the character of Lode. I do like the idea of the drug that gives people mutant powers, although it seems like DC already did this with Lex Luthor a few years ago, so the idea isn’t that original.

Story: 8 Art: 9 Overall: 8.5

Uncanny X-Men #534 (Marvel) – The parts of this issue that feature Paul Renaud’s art are noticeably not as good as Land’s stuff. The Quarantine storyline ends on a high note, though, with Cyclops once again shown to be one of the smartest and toughest characters in Marvel. I really like where Matt Fraction and Kieron Gillon are taking him.

Story: 9.75 Art: 9.25 Overall: 9.5

Uncanny X-Men #534.1 (Marvel) – Great concept for this issue, what do you do to convince the world that Magneto has changed his ways and isn’t the evil bastard he used to be. Hire a PR firm, of course…

Story: 9 Art: 8 Overall: 8.5

Uncanny X-Men #535 (Marvel) – Terry Dodson’s art isn’t perfect, but it is distinctive enough that I like it a lot. This issue ties back into the Breakworld story from Astonishing, and I’m not sure I’m a huge fan of that.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Uncanny X-Men #536 (Marvel) – More Dodson and more Breakworld means more of the same quality work as the previous issue, but this issue’s somewhat expected twist is still entertaining.

Story: 9 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.75

Uncanny X-Men #537 (Marvel) – Dodson’s art seems a little weaker in this issue and the Breakworld stuff is starting to drag on, right up until the last panel, which is an amazingly good shocker.

Story: 9.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.75

Uncanny X-Men #538 (Marvel) – It’s good to finally see the conclusion of the Breakworld saga, both this particular one and the original one, restoring Kitty to her natural state. A number of the recent X-storylines are ones that I don’t particularly like, even though they are very well-executed.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Uncanny X-Men #539 (Marvel) – Really one of the worst issues of Uncanny in a while, which isn’t to say it’s terrible, just that it isn’t that great, either. That may be because there is a whole lot of Hope in this issue and nobody has really figured out much of a personality or point to her character now that she’s an adult.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Uncanny X-Men #540 (Marvel) – Greg Land is back, which is awesome. Fear Itself is crossing over, which is pretty good. This issue doesn’t have much action, but it has politics and Juggernaut and character growth and all that. Very good issue for regular readers and X-Men fans.

Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9

Uncanny X-Men Annual #3 (Marvel) – If Nick Bradshaw didn’t have to draw people, his art in this issue would be amazing. There are lots of people here, though, so it’s problematic at best. The story fits the recent Marvel trend of frequently matching up teams against someone else’s villains — in this case Blastaar — and I’m not sure that it works very well.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7