Tag Archives: Juggernaut

Preview: Juggernaut #1 (of 5)

Juggernaut #1 (of 5)

(W) Fabian Nicieza (A) Ron Garney (CA) Geoff Shaw
Rated T+
In Shops: Sep 23, 2020
SRP: $3.99

READY OR ‘NAUT, HERE HE COMES!
A mystic gem. A force of overwhelming power. Nothing can stop the Juggernaut. Except himself. Another building falls. Cain Marko is done letting others pick up the pieces of the things he’s destroyed. Renowned X-scribe Fabian Nicieza (X-FORCE, DEADPOOL) and celebrated artist Ron Garney (CAPTAIN AMERICA, DAREDEVIL) team up to take the unstoppable in a new bold new direction!

Juggernaut #1 (of 5)

Marvel Reveals Some of What’s Coming in June

Marvel has released its special edition of The Pull List, unveiling exclusive information for the hottest books coming to comic shops this June!

This special previews announcement gave viewers a first look at critically acclaimed writer Steve Orlando’s Marvel debut in Darkhold Alpha #1, the next two adventures in the Kurt Busiek-curated trip through Marvel history in Marvels Snapshots: Captain Marvel #1 and Marvels Snapshots: Civil War #1, the epic showdown between Juggernaut and the Immortal Hulk in Juggernaut #2, and the dramatic decision that young mutant Molly Hayes will face in Runaways #34!

DARKHOLD ALPHA #1

Written by STEVE ORLANDO 
Art by CIAN TORMEY 
Cover by GREG SMALLWOOD

ENTER THE PAGES OF THE DARKHOLD —AND LOSE YOUR MIND IN MIGHTY MARVEL FASHION!

Critically acclaimed writer Steve Orlando makes his Marvel debut with a story that will delight and terrify! For hundreds of years, scholars and heroes alike have searched for the complete text of the Darkhold—AKA the Book of the Damned, written by the elder god Chthon. Now one of the greatest sorcerers in the Multiverse has found it—and Chthon has found him. To save them all, the Scarlet Witch must gather the world’s greatest heroes…and unleash their inner darkness.

DARKHOLD ALPHA #1

MARVELS SNAPSHOTS: CAPTAIN MARVEL #1

Written by MARK WAID  
Art by COLLEEN DORAN
Cover by ALEX ROSS

A team of heroes fights a stirring battle for the safety of the planet. A young woman struggles with desperation and despair, trying to cope in the modern world. But that’s only the beginning.

Featuring Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, and a few more surprises, Kurt Busiek invites superstar creators MARK WAID and COLLEEN DORAN to tell a tale of inspiration within inspiration, as we see how the world’s marvels have inspired others—and how they’ve been inspired themselves.

MARVELS SNAPSHOTS: CAPTAIN MARVEL #1

MARVELS SNAPSHOTS: CIVIL WAR #1

Written by SALADIN AHMED
Art by RYAN KELLY
Cover by ALEX ROSS

In the heart of the Civil War event, a human story unfolds. A S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, doing his best to do the job with honor—but is that even possible? A young, low-level Super Hero, trying to help his neighbors—but that’s not even legal any more. The two come together in a story that’ll test their commitment, ideals, hopes, and dreams.

Featuring Captain America, Giant-Man, Maria Hill, and more, Kurt Busiek recruits Hugo-Award-winning writer Saladin Ahmed and all-star Ryan Kelly to uniquely retell this iconic Marvel story.

MARVELS SNAPSHOTS: CIVIL WAR #1

JUGGERNAUT #2

Written by FABIAN NICIEZA
Art by RON GARNEY
Cover by GEOFF SHAW

SMASH OR BE SMASHED!

Juggernaut isn’t the only one who’s left destruction in his wake, and he thinks it’s about time for the IMMORTAL HULK to take responsibility for his actions! But is this Juggernaut’s way of defending mutant honor for Krakoa? Or is he back to his old ways?

JUGGERNAUT #2

RUNAWAYS #34

Written by RAINBOW ROWELL
Art by ANDRES GENOLET
Cover by KRIS ANKA

Wolverine and Pixie guest star in RUNAWAYS and answer what Runaways fans have been asking for months: With the X-Men’s opening of Krakoa, the island-nation that welcomes mutants in existence, will Molly go? You may think you know the answer to that or what is going to happen here, but this comic is like its stars: They never do what they’re told—or expected—to do.

RUNAWAYS #34

Nothing Can Stop the Juggernaut in a New Series From Fabian Nicieza

Fabian Nicieza will be launching a new Juggernaut series this May with artist Ron Garney! Amidst all the smashing, Juggernaut will be trying to find his new place in the Marvel Universe and the series will explore his outlook towards mutantkind’s new status quo that Jonathan Hickman introduced last year in House of X and Powers of X.

In an interview announcing the series, Nicieza said:

That basically instigates the entire story. Having been X and lost, what does Cain become now? After years of back and forth and madness and sadness, he had become a member in good standing of the X-Men, and then while he’s away dancing in Limbo, mutantkind gets everything they could have ever hoped for… and Cain can’t be a part of that. How he reacts to that rejection becomes the exploration of who he is going to become without the one thing that — for good and bad — has defined him for most of his life.

Juggernaut #1 when it smashes into stores in May with a cover by Geoff Shaw!

Juggernaut #1

Diamond Select Toys New in Previews: Iron Giant, Birds of Prey and More!

A new issue of Previews is almost in stores, and a new batch of products is now up for pre-order from Diamond Select Toys! The new line-up includes action figures from Castlevania and the Iron Giant; new L3D busts of Bruce Lee, the Rocketeer and the Mandalorian; new Marvel Minimates; new Gallery Dioramas; new busts, statues and more! It’s the Best of All Worlds!

Castlevania TV Action Figures Series 2 Asst.

A Diamond Select Toys release! We’ve seen the heroes, now meet the villains of Castlevania! From the hit Netflix animated series come three all-new action figures of Dracula and two of his generals, Carmilla and Godbrand! Each figure features up to 16 points of articulation as well as interchangeable parts and accessories. Each comes packaged in a full-color blister card. Designed by Eamon O’Donoghue, sculpted by Richard Force. (Asst. #DEC192334, SRP: $19.99/ea.)

DC Comic Gallery Penguin PVC Diorama

A Diamond Select Toys release! Oswald Cobblepot gets the Gallery treatment in this new diorama of the Penguin! Batman’s feather-loving foe looks menacing with his umbrella piercing a Batarang, and a rocket-propelled penguin by his side. Made of high-quality PVC and featuring detailed sculpting and paint applications, it comes packaged in a full-color window box. Designed by Caesar, sculpted by Alterton. (Item #DEC192332, SRP: $49.99)

DC Movie Gallery Birds of Prey Harley Quinn PVC Diorama

A Diamond Select Toys release! Harley’s back, and this time she’s got her mallet! The star of Suicide Squad returns for Birds of Prey, and this all-new DC Gallery PVC Diorama captures her in one of her all-new looks! Wearing roller skates and holding her trademark mallet, this approximately 9-inch sculpture of Harley is made of high-quality PVC and features detailed sculpting and paint applications. Packaged in a full-color window box. Designed by Shawn Knapp and sculpted by Rocco Tartamella. (Item #DEC192333, SRP: $49.99)

Horror Movie Gallery Annabelle PVC Diorama

A Diamond Select Toys release! Annabelle is coming home! The Gallery line of PVC Dioramas dives into the world of horror movies with this sculpture based on the Annabelle series! Depicting the doll Annabelle sitting in a rocking chair, this sculpture measures 9 inches tall and features detailed sculpting and paint applications. Packaged in a full-color window box. Designed by Caesar, sculpted by Rocco Tartamella. (Item #DEC192338, SRP: $39.99)

Iron Giant Select Action Figure

A Diamond Select Toys release! The Iron Giant has landed, and he’s the newest Select action figure! Based on the classic 1999 animated film, this approximately 9-inch action figure features approximately 16 points of articulation, has light-up eyes, and features removable Hogarth Hughes and “S” Shield accessories! Packaged in display-ready Select action figure packaging, with side-panel artwork for shelf reference. (Item #DEC192335, SRP: $29.99)

Legends in 3D Movie Rocketeer 1/2 Scale Bust

A Diamond Select Toys release! The high-flying Rocketeer is now a Legend in Three Dimensions! The newest Legends in 3D Half-Scale Bust captures the hero of 1991’s The Rocketeer in a heroic 10-inch portrait, showcasing his distinctive art-deco helmet. Cast in resin and featuring detailed sculpting and paint applications, it is limited to only 1000 pieces and includes a hand-numbered certificate of authenticity. Packaged in a full-color box. Designed by Joe Allard, sculpted by Rocco Tartamella. (Item #DEC192336, SRP: $150.00)

Legends in 3D Movie Bruce Lee 1/2 Scale bust

A Diamond Select Toys release! Just in time for Bruce Lee’s 80th birthday, this half-scale bust captures the martial-arts legend’s portrait, measuring approximately 10 inches tall atop a dragon pillar. Cast in resin and featuring detailed sculpting and paint applications, it is limited to only 1000 pieces and includes a hand-numbered certificate of authenticity. Packaged in a full-color box. Designed by Joe Allard, sculpted by Rocco Tartamella. (Item #DEC192337, SRP: $150.00)

Legends in 3D Movie Star Wars The Mandalorian ½ Scale Bust

A Diamond Select Toys release! The most hotly anticipated TV show of possibly ever is here, and DST is celebrating with a bust of its titular star, The Mandalorian! This half-scale resin bust measures approximately 10 inches tall and features detailed sculpting and paint applications. Limited to only 1,000 pieces, it comes packaged with a numbered certificate of authenticity. Designed by Joe Allard, sculpted by Gentle Giant Studios. NOTE: This item is currently exclusively available for ordering by the Star Wars Premier Guild; join the Guild before Wednesday, November 27, 2019 to get access! Any remaining inventory will be offered to non-members on November 27. (Item #DEC192331, SRP: $150.00)

Legends in 3D Movie Star Wars The Mandalorian ½ Scale Bust

Marvel Animated Elektra Statue

A Diamond Select Toys release! Capturing Marvel’s pre-eminent assassin in a moment of joyous celebration, sais raised above her head, this 5-inch statue depicts Elektra Natchios in the super-cute style seen on variant covers of Marvel comics. Cast in resin and limited to 1200 pieces, this adorable statue comes packaged in a full-color box with a numbered certificate of authenticity. Sculpted by Paul Harding. (Item #DEC192339, SRP: $39.99)

Marvel Comic Gallery Weapon X PVC Diorama

A Diamond Select Toys release! The Marvel Gallery line explores the origins of Wolverine with the new Weapon X PVC Diorama! Depicting Wolverine as he appeared while under the control of the Weapon X program, this approximately 9-inch sculpture is made of high-quality PVC and features detailed sculpting and paint applications. Packaged in a full-color window box. Designed by Caesar, sculpted by Alejandro Pereira. (Item #DEC192341, SRP: $49.99)

Marvel Comic Premier Collection Juggernaut Resin Statue

A Diamond Select Toys release! Nothing can stop the Juggernaut! The X-Men’s most unstoppable foe is captured mid-charge in this approximately 11-inch resin statue. Featuring detailed sculpting and paint applications, this sculpture is limited to an edition of only 3,000 pieces and comes packaged with a numbered certificate of authenticity. Designed by Nelson X. Asencio, sculpted by Sam Greenwell. (Item #DEC192342, SRP: $250.00)

Marvel Minimates Series 79 Guardians of the Galaxy Asst.

A Diamond Select Toys release! The Guardians of the Galaxy unite in the record 79th series of Marvel Minimates! The assortment includes three two-packs, featuring Starlord with Adam Warlock, Gamora with Darkhawk, and Cosmic Ghost Rider with Angela. Plus, if you buy all three packs, you get the parts to build Moondragon! Each 2-inch mini-figure features 14 points of articulation and fully interchangeable parts, and each two-pack comes packaged in a full-color window box. Assortment includes 12 two-packs, four of each style. Designed by Barry Bradfield! (Item #DEC192340, SRP: 9.99/ea.)

Kingdom Hearts Gallery Pete PVC Diorama

A Diamond Select Toys release! The popular Kingdom Hearts game series joins the popular Gallery PVC statue format with this sculpture of the classic Disney villain Pete, who has menaced Mickey and his pals since “Steamboat Willie”! Measuring approximately 9 inches tall, this Gamestop-exclusive PVC diorama shows Pete in an Agrabah environment, and features detailed sculpting and collectible-quality paint applications. Packaged in a full-color window box. Sculpted by Oluf W. Hartvigsen. Formerly a GameStop exclusive. (Item #DEC192343, SRP: $49.99)

Sonic the Hedgehog Gallery Sonic PVC Diorama

A Diamond Select Toys release! The boy in blue is kicking it into overdrive in this dynamic Diorama! Part of the Sonic the Hedgehog Gallery line, this piece shows Sonic carrying a gem and leaping to grab a ring as he races through the Green Hill Zone. Measuring approximately 9 inches tall, the sculpture is cast in high-grade PVC with collectible-quality paint applications. Sculpted by Varner Studios! Formerly a GameStop exclusive. (Item #DEC192344, SRP: $49.99)

Sonic the Hedgehog Gallery Sonic PVC Diorama

Sonic the Hedgehog Gallery Tails PVC Diorama

A Diamond Select Toys release! Sonic’s twin-tailed pal takes flight in this dynamic Diorama! Part of the Sonic the Hedgehog Gallery line, this piece shows Tails hovering over a gem preparing to snatch it away. Measuring approximately 9 inches tall, the sculpture is cast in high-grade PVC with collectible-quality paint applications. Sculpted by Varner Studios! Formerly a GameStop exclusive. (Item #DEC192345, SRP: $49.99)

Sonic the Hedgehog Gallery Tails PVC Diorama

Review: Iceman #5

“Oh no, love. You’re not alone. No matter what or who you’ve been… Give me your hands!”- “Rock ‘N’ Roll Suicide” by David Bowie

In Iceman #5, Bobby finally comes out as gay to his parents, and they don’t accept him unconditionally. It’s an issue that really hit home for me personally and is easily Sina Grace’s best writing on the series. The scenes where the Drakes ask their son insensitive, probing questions about his sexuality are more painful than any blow from the unstoppable, time displaced from the 1960s Juggernaut, who is this issue’s villain of the week. Artist Alessandro Vitti and colorist Rachelle Rosenberg draw a mano a mano battle between Iceman and Juggernaut that is juxtaposed with his coming out letter. These scenes show the cathartic nature of superhero comics for queer people, and their ability to make me escape from my issues with a tale of derring-do and overcoming seemingly unbeatable odds.

In previous issues,  I feel like Grace portrayed Bobby’s parents more sympathetically, but their insensitive, bigoted words towards him in Iceman #5 show why he didn’t come out to him earlier and wanted to do it via letter where he could filter and write out his thoughts in a more organized manner. Vitti draws them with big wrinkles and glaring, ugly expressions as they treat Bobby’s sexuality as hypothetical and even ask him questions about sex life. His mom even uses “mutie” and “queer” as slurs and blames his dad’s side of the family for passing these “genes” to him. Instead of accepting, she constantly talks about how he’s a disappointment, and Mr. Drake won’t even recognize him as their son anymore. Grace and Vitti defuse the tension a little bit with some Idie and Quentin Quire antics, but they get blocked off from the narrative by a literal wall of ice given a glistening sheen by Rosenberg. And Kitty Pryde shows she’s an amazing friend by giving Bobby the opportunity to cut loose against Juggernaut (He probably should have backup though.)

IcemanAngry

And after taking non-stop verbal body blows from his parents, a solo fight against Juggernaut is what Bobby (and the plot of Iceman #5) needs. When the battle begins, Vitti draws a craggier Iceman (Because he’s angry.), and Rosenberg emphasizes the red on his uniform shirt. The battle itself is a blockbuster one and extremely creative as Bobby doesn’t have to hold back against the Juggernaut, whose only motivation is to wreck stuff and kill the X-Men blue team, who brought him to present times from the 1960s.

The dad jokes are gone, and Vitti and Rosenberg replace with double page, shoujo manga-esque spreads of Bobby freezing the speed of light to hit the Juggernaut and then using his ability to change into a vapor to escape his clutches and finally put the kibosh on him. After these pages and a beautiful transformation, the fact that Iceman is an omega level mutant is at the forefront of his character and not just a trivia fact. As he mentions to his dad at the end of the issue, being honest about who he loves has helped him use his mutant powers more effectively. This is definitely true because Bobby does a lot of cool things this issue like impaling Juggernaut on an icicle and sending his ice golems to save civilians while he focuses on keeping Juggy occupied. Water is all around us, and in Bobby’s capable hands, it can be a powerful weapon. Vitti and Rosenberg get really creative with his powers in this issue, especially when he is about to beat the Juggernaut.

The bittersweet ending to Iceman #5 where Bobby and his dad have a polite chat about his letter, say they love each other, and reconcile in the snow rings true to my own experience as a queer man. My parents don’t approve of my sexuality, but they actually do still care about me, and we have a pretty good relationship. Personally, this makes me hurt a lot deeper than a simple Westboro Baptist Church type of hate because it’s infused with love.

Iceman #5 works as a comic because Sina Grace, Alessandro Vitti, and  holds a mirror to mine and other queer men’s experiences using mutant powers and superhero battles as big visual metaphors of both triumph and empowerment when Iceman defeats Juggernaut all by his lonesome and the feeling of being an outsider with his vapor abilities.

Iceman #5 is a powerful, cathartic end to the first arc of the comic and showed me that I’m not alone…

Story: Sina Grace Art: Alessandro Vitti Colors: Rachelle Rosenberg
Story: 9.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Entertainment Earth Spotlight: X-Men Marvel Legends Wave 1 & Deadpool

The X-Men Marvel Legends 6-Inch Action Figures Wave 1 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. Ages 4 and up.Case features 8 individually packaged action figures, including:

A case features 8 individually packaged action figures, including, Wolverine, Deadpool, Rogue, Kitty Pryde, Iceman, Cable, Havok, and Phoenix, plus the build-a-figure Juggernaut!

The figures are hard to find so you can get the entire wave through Entertainment Earth! Or, if you want a specific character, you can do that too!

x-men-marvel-legends-6-inch-action-figures-wave-1

 

 

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Catching Up on Reviews, Part 8 — Fear Itself

Fear Itself #1 (Marvel) – For the record, I am a big fan of the thematic art that ties Fear Itself together. I think I like just about every single cover of the series and tie-ins. I also like the story better than any of the recent Marvel events, maybe going back to Secret Invasion. Issue one is exactly what the launch of a big event should be like. Matt Fraction’s writing really pulls us right into the story and sets up the importance of the conflict. Suart Immonen’s art is near-flawless, it takes chances and it captures the grandness of the epic. Some of the keys here are the supposed helplessness of Steve Rogers, the fall of Thor and the cryptic rise of the Serpent.

Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10

Fear Itself #2 (Marvel) – I’ll say that the hammer concept used here is just great and the idea that the Worthy are drawn from across the spectrum of good and evil is great as well. The level of the threat established here from the very beginning is awe-inspiring. How can anyone stand up to eight of the most powerful characters in the Marvel universe who have all been given significant power boosts. Plus the Serpent, the one who gave them all the power boosts. Plus Odin and all of Asgard. Fraction continues to tell a great story and Immonen’s art impresses as well, particularly the new appearance of Juggernaut, which I think is one of the coolest-looking characters I’ve ever seen, and the opening shot of Blitzkreig U.S.A., which is breathtaking.

Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10

Fear Itself #3 (Marvel) – It would seem difficult for Immonen to improve his art, but in this issue, he does it. Some of the most epic battle and apocalyptic artwork to ever appear in Marvel is in this issue. Fraction also ups the ante on the story with a shocking death that you wouldn’t have expected.

Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10

Fear Itself #4 (Marvel) – While it would seem likely that four issues into a series like this, it would be prime time for a letdown and, to be fair, this issue is the weakest so far, but that’s not a knock on this issue, which is better than most things on the market, it’s just not quite as good as the previous issues, which were all superb. There is still some amazing art — Immonen’s Thor looks amazing — and a couple of great plot points towards the end, involving Tony Stark-Odin and Thor-Hulk-Thing. Issue #5 will have to be a barn-burner with a set-up like this.

Story: 9.75 Art: 9.75 Overall: 9.75

Fear Itself – Book of the Skull (Marvel) – Another example of the over-used Marvel device of extensive retcons that add backstory to current events. This one isn’t a bad one, and it helps set up Fear Itself, but I think I’ve already forgotten the point of the story, and I just put it down.

Story: 6 Art: 7 Overall: 6.5

Fear Itself – Deadpool #1 (Marvel) – Cartoonish art and a cartoonish story — and I don’t mean that in a good way — make for another bad comic in the extensive overuse and killing off of the quality of the Deadpool character.

Story: 5 Art: 5 Overall: 5

Fear Itself – Deadpool #2 (Marvel) – When the best thing about an issue is the picture on the cover of Deadpool in MC Hammer pants, you know that reading a comic would be a waste of your time.

Story: 4 Art: 5 Overall: 4.5

Fear Itself – Fearsome Four #1 (Marvel) – The art in this series is my least favorite in the past few months, but even the art is better than the story, which inexplicably teams up Howard the Duck, Frankenstein’s Monster, She-Hulk and Nighthawk and calls them “Fearsome” because they are interacting with the Man-Thing. It isn’t as coherent as it sounds.

Story: 3 Art: 4 Overall: 3.5

Fear Itself – Fearsome Four #2 (Marvel) – The art here is a little worse, almost unprofessional, but the story is a little more coherent. It’s still a bad comic and a terrible series. Has to be a very strong contender for Worst Limited Series of 2011.

Story: 4 Art: 3 Overall: 3.5

Fear Itself – FF #1 (Marvel) – Much better premise for a Fear Itself spin-off, how do the Thing’s friends deal with his conversion to a monster? The issue has great tension and a compelling story, something missing from most of the Fear Itself tie-ins. Kudos to writer Cullen Bunn.

Story: 9 Art: 7 Overall: 8

Fear Itself – Sins Past (Marvel) – I’m not a fan of these reprint issues from Marvel. While it does have a little bit of new material, it doesn’t reprint stories that are important enough or compelling enough that they should’ve wasted an issue on it.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Fear Itself – Spider-Man #1 (Marvel) – It’s pretty clear that, to date, The Spider-Man Fear Itself spin-off is the best of the mini-series. Chris Yost does an amazing job here of framing the Fear Itself story in terms of the regular people who face it and not just the super-heroes. Sure, Spidey is the lead here, but he’s really just another small figure going through this big event and not sure he’s going to be able to cope with it. Mike McKone’s art is stylish and unique and adds to the story.

Story: 10 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.75

Fear Itself – Spider-Man #2 (Marvel) – Yost’s story continues to impress, but the key in this issue is McKone’s art, which takes chances and more often than not succeeds. This issue has a lot of stunning art and a strong story to go with it.

Story: 9.25 Art: 9.75 Overall: 9.5

Fear Itself – Spider-Man #3 (Marvel) – The art isn’t quite as good in this issue, although it has its moments. The story is an interesting twist on past Spidey-FF crossovers, this time with Spidey clashing with the Thing instead of the Human Torch, who isn’t around anymore.

Story: 9.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 9

Fear Itself – The Deep #1 (Marvel) – I’m not really that big a fan of Namor and stories that focus on him frequently leave me bored, but this one has enough guest stars (Including Dr. Strange, who I like a lot) and good enough art to make it worth a read.

Story: 7 Art: 8 Overall: 7.5

Fear Itself – The Homefront #1 (Marvel) – I’m not a big fan of the Marvel anthology mini-series, either, as most of the time, the individual stories aren’t that good. That is only partially true here. The first story, starring Speedball is awfully compelling and has amazing, almost photo-realistic art. The team of Christos Gage, Mike Mayhew and Rain Beredo does a great job. The Agents of Atlas story, though, is much like the rest of the Atlas stories, in that it doesn’t really grab my attention and I forget about it right after reading it since the characters and the story don’t do much to excite me. It isn’t poorly executed, just nothing special. The final story, about the residents of Broxton, Oklahoma, after the departure of the Asgardians, is interesting if not essential.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75

Fear Itself – The Homefront #2 (Marvel) – The first two stories in this issue are amazingly consistent with the first issue. The Speedball story is just as good and the Atlas story is just as mediocre. The third story, which is about Liz Allan and Tigershark, I think, aims high, but doesn’t quite deliver.

Story: 7 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.25

Fear Itself – The Homefront #3 (Marvel) – The Speedball story, if anything, gets better in this issue. The story in the Atlas tale is growing on me a little bit, but the art is losing me. A third tale, starring Cardiac, has a compelling tale to tell about revenge and redemption, but the art is too cartoonish for the weight of the story.

Story: 7.75 Art: 7 Overall: 7.5

Fear Itself – The Homefront #4 (Marvel) – My thought is that the Speedball story here should’ve been expanded and given its own series or one-shot and that the Atlas story, which ends here, should’ve been eliminated altogether. Some of the art in the Speedball story is amongst the best in the entire Fear Itself storyline. The third tale here, starring someone apparently known as the Blue Marvel, is puzzling. If I’m supposed to know who he is, I don’t. If I’m supposed to get something big from the story, I don’t. I’m left with nothing but question marks, mostly the one after the question “Who is Blue Marvel and why am I reading about him”?

Story: 7 Art: 8 Overall: 7.5

Fear Itself – Uncanny X-Force #1 (Marvel) – While Simone Bianchi’s art takes a lot of chances, and some of them succeed, I don’t like a lot of the detail of the characters’ faces. The story itself is only vaguely related to Fear Itself, but it is a pretty good and interesting.

Story: 9 Art: 7 Overall: 8

Fear Itself – Wolverine #1 (Marvel) – I don’t really find much about this comic compelling, not the premise, not the story and not the art. I think that Marvel (and probably DC, too), should cut back on the number of extra series that are related to their events and make sure that every series really has a good premise and a point to its creation. This one doesn’t seem to meet that.

Story: 6 Art: 6 Overall: 6

Fear Itself – Youth In Revolt #1 (Marvel) – I like the idea of bringing back the Initiative, it wasn’t a bad idea when it was done before and done right now, it could be a good thing. I’m not sure the characters they chose to focus on in this series are the best ones, though.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Fear Itself – Youth In Revolt #2 (Marvel) – So after the first issue, which doesn’t really have great, compelling characters, the way to expand that is to bring in Frog Man? Really?

Story: 6 Art: 7 Overall: 6.5

Fear Itself – Youth In Revolt #3 (Marvel) – Much better, bring in Juggernaut, improve the art and end it with a shocking finale that makes you actually care what happens in the series.

Story: 8 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.75

Fear Itself – The Worthy #1 (Marvel) – Okay, so we know a little bit more about Sin’s background and it’s obvious why she is Worthy, but this isn’t something that is particularly memorable.

Story: 6 Art: 7 Overall: 6.5

Fear Itself – The Worthy #2 (Marvel) – To date, I think that Juggernaut is the coolest of the Worthy, but this issue doesn’t do anything to explain why and is a bit of a weak link in the Juggernaut portion of Fear Itself.

Story: 5 Art: 5 Overall: 5

Fear Itself – The Worthy #3 (Marvel) – This issue seems to give a little bit of insight as to why Titania is Worthy, but I can’t escape the feeling that she gets in because she’s dating the Absorbing Man and he’s Worthy.

Story: 6 Art: 6 Overall: 6

Fear Itself – The Worthy #4 (Marvel) – If anything, this story makes it seem like the Grey Gargoyle is unworthy. He’s a bit of a whiny loser, how does that make him a prime candidate for serving the serpent?

Story: 5 Art: 5 Overall: 5

Fear Itself – The Worthy #5 (Marvel) – Solid, if not spectacular, tale of why the Hulk is Worthy. Doesn’t tell us anything we don’t know, but could be valuable to newer readers.

Story: 7 Art: 8 Overall: 7.5

Fear Itself – The Worthy #6 (Marvel) – I’m not sure I get the point of this backstory of why Attuma is Worthy. It tells a little bit more about his background than we previously knew, but we already knew he was an evil bastard, what does this add to that?

Story: 7 Art: 6 Overall: 6.5

Fear Itself – The Worthy #7 (Marvel) – A brief bio of Absorbing Man that doesn’t tell us anything we don’t know, doesn’t explain why he’s worthy and doesn’t help the story.

Story: 6 Art: 4 Overall: 5

Fear Itself – The Worthy #8 (Marvel) – This one focuses on the last of the Worthy, the Thing, and moreso than any of the other issues, it makes it clear why the Thing becomes one of the Serpent’s servants. The only issue of this series that really adds something to the story. Too bad the art is so weak.

Story: 9 Art: 5 Overall: 7

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

Catching Up on Reviews, Part 6 — Osborn & Thunderbolts

Osborn #3 (Marvel) – The story here seems to stall a bit after the promise of the first two issues and the issue is also weak because of the art, which just isn’t that good.

Story: 6.5 Art: 5 Overall: 5.75

Osborn #4 (Marvel) – The art once again drags down what could’ve been a great series. Norman Osborn was such a great villain and has so much of a story built up after Dark Reign that it’s sad to see this series wasted.

Story: 7.5 Art: 4.5 Overall: 6

Thunderbolts #153 (Marvel) – Kev Walker’s art is good with potential to grow into something even better, but the key to this issue is the action-packed tale of revenge that takes place inside. The characters in Thunderbolts are always more complex than in just about any other comics and the Juggernaut’s battle with Hyperion in this issue is epic.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8 Overall: 8.25

Thunderbolts #154 (Marvel) – Jeff Parker continues to do a good job writing the various characters on the Thunderbolts team and while Declan Shalvey’s art falls a little bit short, it’s more than adequate.

Story: 8.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 8

Thunderbolts #155 (Marvel) – Walker’s art begins to show some improvement and could develop into something really good, I think. Parker’s writing continues to impress and there are some cool new elements introduced in this issue, including the development of the new generation of Thunderbolts.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Thunderbolts #156 (Marvel) – The series continues to bring in new characters and make them an interesting part of the overall mix while at the same time managing to tell fun and action-packed stories. Parker and Walker seem to work well together and they are producing one of the most consistently good comics Marvel publishes these days.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Thunderbolts #157 (Marvel) – Another solid story that helps develop the characters and add to an ongoing narrative about the team. Walker’s art is the worst amongst this run of issues I’m reviewing today.

Story: 8.5 Art: 7 Overall: 7.75

Thunderbolts #158 (Marvel) – This Fear Itself tie-in is the first to deploy the new Thunderbolts B Team in action and the story is handled well. Juggernaut’s character is also one of the best characters in the Fear Itself stories, even if he is a bit overused.

Story: 8.75 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.5

Thunderbolts #159 (Marvel) – There are four Fear Itself-related stories here, all of which seem to fall a bit short both in terms of art and story. They aren’t bad, but they aren’t great, either.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7 Overall: 7.25

Thunderbolts #160 (Marvel) – This might be the best issue of this run of Thunderbolts. It starts off as a continuation of the great tie-in from Fear Itself that started two issues earlier, and it is a well-executed tale. But late in the issue it has this shift to a surreal tone and art style that is just plain awesome to read and view.

Story: 9 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.25

Thunderbolts — From the Marvel Vault (Marvel) – I can forsee an instance when going back and completing a proposed issue that was never published could turn out to be a good thing and add something to the published material about a character or team. This isn’t one of those instances. The art in this issue isn’t great and it’s easy to see why this issue wasn’t published earlier.

Story: 5 Art: 5 Overall: 5

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