Tag Archives: secret wars

The Final Battle Begins in Secret Wars #8!

It’s the story that has the world talking. The biggest Marvel event of all time. And it’s rocketing toward it’s cataclysmic conclusion. Marvel is pleased to present Alex Ross’ stunning cover to Secret Wars #8 – the epic, penultimate issue of the blockbuster event! Creators Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic march toward the end of their grand saga as the final battle against God Doom rages on! Battleworld teeters on the brink. The Shield has fallen. Armies march on Doomstadt. As Battleworld gives way to a new Marvel Universe…no one will come out the other side unscathed, if they come out at all. Who lives? Who dies? Find out when the penultimate chapter comes to comic shops!

SECRET WARS #8 (AUG150653)
Cover by ALEX ROSS
FOC – 11/09/15, On-Sale – 12/09/15


Around the Tubes

We’re still recovering from New York Comic Con, and it’s new comic book day tomorrow! What’s everyone excited for this week? While you decide on that, here’s some comic book news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

CBDLF – 5 Year Court Battle Leads to Censorship of Lebanese Comics Magazine – Sigh.


Around the Tubes Reviews

CBR – The Omega Men #5

CBR – Paper Girls #1

CBR – Secret Wars #6

CBR – Star Wars #10

Review: Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #5


“The Final Vow”

Here it is. The Final battle. The ultimate conclusion of The Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows. Before we get started, I must say that I absolutely dig the cover of this issue. The three members of the Parker family with their backs against the wall, united against the ultimate threat: Regent (Well for the purpose of this story, the ultimate threat but to me not really. I guess I’ll just go with it) I’m just so darned happy to see a Spider-Man that is back where he belongs: with his family. Truth be told, I haven’t been extremely impressed with this mini series as a whole, but Dan Slott has really swung me around as of last month. Enough introduction, true readers, here we go…

Where we last left off last month, Spidey was defeated by the über villain Regent, and entombed in a glass prison to have his powers siphoned off and to never be seen again. Well that ain’t gonna happen on account that the Parker women (his wife MJ and his super powered offspring Annie May) have set out to rescue Peter and kick some Regent tush in the process. (Easier said than done ladies, this bad guy did just wipe out half of the Marvel pantheon of Super-heroes. Nothing tougher than a couple gals from Queens i guess!) 

Meanwhile Regent is back at his HQ, finishing off the last of former Avenger Hawkeye (Who is just awesome in his Nick Fury role, eyepatch and all) and his resistance forces. Things are looking grim when Hawkeye takes his final shot with an arrow that has tech designed to stop Regents powers. He cocks the bow back, fires and.. Regent catches and snaps the arrow! Hawkeye is in a state of bewilderment and wonders how this is possible and Regent simply says “My Spider-Sense, was tingling.” (That line gave me chills) Now it appears it is truly hopeless for our heroes as Hawkeye believes if this is true, then Peter must be dead.

Wait, the action doesn’t stop there as we now join back with the “Spider-Girls” (MJ and Annie May) who are presently kicking butt on Regent’s scientists and henchmen. For me it was a joy to watch Annie May, (a character we long thought dead and never to return) kick major butt just like her pop. I could tell Slott really enjoyed writing her this issue, and we got the whole apple doesn’t fall far from the tree thing in full motion here. Adam Kubert does a fantastic job of bringing her to life and captures Annie’s personality and it’s a joy to see. Also hearing MJ and her daughter banter back and forth about code names made me chuckle quite a bit. When MJ puts on the armor and says she’s already got a codename: Mom. That was just perfect. Things go south when Regent realizes that the gals are interfering and then he takes the fight directly to them. All this occurs while Spidey is in his suspended state and has to witness the death of his family. In true Spider-Man fashion, he realizes this does not have to be and he fights. He fights harder than he’s ever fought before, because his wife and daughter are on the line. Like we’ve seen in many moments in Spider-Man lore, the one power that cannot be siphoned is his will. The indomitable will to never ever give up. That is one of the reasons Spider-Man to me is one of the greatest heroes ever. So he shows it once again and through sheer desire breaks free of his prison and decides to end this battle once and for all and with his family by his side.

Overall: Now I don’t want to ruin the conclusion to this story, if you’re a true Spider-Man fan you will love it. In a series that has skewed from who the character is at points, it closes with what makes him great and true. (In my opinion it is the second best moment of Slott’s historic run following only behind, Peter’s relinquishing of the Spider-Man mantle to Dr. Octopus in Amazing Spider-Man #700) I won’t say this was a perfect story, it certainly was not. It was as good as it needed to be. We got to see Annie again and get some closure to that storyline that has been dangling for decades now. We got to see Peter back with MJ which writers should know is where he belongs. Family and responsibility are the cornerstones of Spider-Man and I never got why writers have shied away from it. I hope we see more of this Spider-Man in the future, it was a reward for us long, long time readers. Most importantly, we got to see a Spider-Man who sticks to his morals and his fortitude to save the day. Comic books come and go and creative changes are a plenty, but great moments are eternal. I’m happy to say Mr. Slott, you’ve given us another one. Thank you.

Story: Dan Slott Art: Adam Kubert
Story: 8.5 Art: 8 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Star-Lord And Kitty Pryde #3


The stories of the Guardians of the Galaxy have not always contained a comedic undertone, nor do they all presently, but the influence of the surprise hit movie from 2014 made it so that comedy is a necessary ingredient for readers, especially those that started reading only because of the movie.  Whether or not this comedic approach is necessary it has nonetheless been present in a few of the spin-offs from the main series, and as it been present in the Secret Wars tie-in to the Guardians stories, in this case the Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde series.  The series has also been one that is very different from what has come before, or at least that was established in the relatively short Star-Lord series, the romantic attraction of Kitty Pryde to Peter Quill.  As has been presented in the series, one of the alternate versions of Peter and Kitty have crossed paths, Peter being lovesick over her death long ago, and the alternate version of her being somewhat too serious to ever consider something like romance.

The fourth and final issue follows the two of them as they attempt to retrieve the object that Kitty is after, a specific artifact deemed important enough by those who follow Doom.  Peter is drawn into helping her because of his love for her, even if that love is not entirely genuine in this case.  They have to overcome the scenario in which they are depicted on the cover, as Gambit has them trapped and ready to kill after they have failed to retrieve the object from him.

The issue plays out as a not-so-serious take on the pre-Secret Wars world.  While there was some comedy in their stories before, it never came off quite as screwball as it does here.  Problems are solved not necessarily by the ingenuity, skills or powers of the two heroes, but rather by plot developments which are set-up to provide a humorous end result.  While it doesn’t hit as hard as it could, it is not really the point either, as the relationship between these two is what has been the special find in the past year.  Where the story is basic and the humor is somewhat lacking, this issue still puts the right focus on the two of these characters together, and the result is satisfactory if not noteworthy.

Story: Sam Humphries Art: Alti Firmansyah 
Story: 8.1  Art: 8.1  Overall: 8.1 Recommendation: Read

Review: Silk #7

silk007Thanks to the monthly format of most comics, one of the strangest trends in comics is the rushed final issue.  While the creative team has a bigger story to tell for the series main characters, an editorial decision is made elsewhere to cancel the series and what is left is a final issue that has an entire story arc (or more) worth of developments instead crammed into 20 or so pages of panels.  The reasons for the cancellation of the series are usually poor sales, but sometimes in the case of Silk it is something else, and that is in this case the tie-in to Secret Wars.  While Secret Wars has drawn in most of the main characters into its huge crossover, it has left a few others alone, with their ongoing series somewhat untouched, except by the final end of the Earth, and this has been the case with Silk as well.

This issue tells the story of Silk’s and the Earth’s final hours.  Still dutifully responding to her job as a journalist even as the world is falling down around her, she is given an “assignment” by J. Jonah Jameson to go find her brother, or at least the person that might be her brother.  She has to make her way through apocalyptic New York City, saving people along the way, unaware that anyone that she saves is getting only a few extra hours of life, not a few extra decades.  This does allow the creative team to highlight her character, and she is soon thrown into the situation which the series seemed to be poised to answer over the course of a long run, not rushed into this final issue, the location of her family.

Unfortunately but also predictably, the story ends up missing its mark because of it.  The rushed nature of the story detracts already from what has come before, but the tie-in to Secret Wars makes it all the worse as the story is chaotic and unordered.  In effect the lasting legacy of this final issue is almost to erase all of the good that was done in this short lives series with this character.  She could have used a better send-off, and while she will presumably return in the new Marvel Universe, her handling here is maybe not the best bellwether for her return as this ends up being a rushed mess that does little good and unfortunately leaves the new series on a low note.

Story: Robbie Thompson Art: Tana Ford
Story: 5.5 Art: 5.5 Overall: 5.5 Recommendation: Pass

Review: Civil War #2

CivilWar2“We’re being played” – President Stark

The second installment of Civil War continues to stun with its expressive landscapes. Each panel in Civil War #2 presents its own reward, in addition to the engrossing mystery of what I can say now is my favorite battlezone.  Issue two showcases the aftermath of Miriam Sharpe’s assassination as both factions in the warzone carry out their own respective measures and investigation. We get an interesting reveal from President Stark’s analysis recent events. Employing his trademark technical finesse Stark carries out a statistical analysis of occurrences spanning from the  Stamford Incident (the classic trigger of the Civil War event) up to the Maria Sharpe’s death.   Stark’s work presents us with a timeline reminiscent of a similar one in Avengers #5 (Vol.4)  and another one created by a time displaced Hank McCoy in Bendis’ All-New X-Men.

I really do love timelines like these, they act as firm plot structure devices, and can lead to some awesome foreshadowing.  In this case the timeline does not just hint that there is more than what meets the eye is at work in Battleworld, it shows what could have been.  I have not been reading all of the tie ins to Secret Wars, but I have been reading most the reviews on Graphic Policy, and there seems to be a recurring theme that Battleworld is definitely flawed. I suspect the timeline analysis segment here touches on that thread.

A5 Timeline

Beasts TimelineCW Timeline

Back in the Blue, Rogers is overseeing a project dubbed “Bellcurve”  which appears to be a means to depower superhuman individuals.  With the genius inventiveness of Hank McCoy at its helm the project is poised to be a game changer for the seemingly endless conflict. Once more the Blue is constrained by resource limitations and the Blue faction is only able to conduct one successful run of the experiment. This will require a stealth mission into the Iron to acquire the necessary materials to carry out the project again.  What I found significant about this project is that it mirrors the Spin-tech measures used by the Pro-registration faction in the original Civil War event. This is yet another point emphasizing how similar each faction appears to be beyond the surface. Additionally Hank McCoy engineering depowering tech presents a striking parallel to the Utopia (Dark Reign) event where the Dark Beast (Hank’s Alterate reality doppelganger) creates the omega machine to painfully remove mutant abilities at the behest of Norman Osborn. That both events occur on the same timeline trajectory (albeit different universes) is no coincidence I think. That makes me appreciate this story so much more.

The visuals continue to carry the story in their own way. Seeing the capital cities of the Blue and the Iron was not only breathtaking, they  really accentuate the politics of place. Stark’s Resilient Alpha (a city we’ve seen a variant of before) is a sprawling technological utopia. This gilded empire matches the bureaucratic and ambitious nature of Stark’s politics and perhaps his approach to the super-human question….big, imposing, and intricate.  The capital of the Blue “Liberation” is a mountain side refuge, complete with a sweet Cap Shield Motif. A majestic unassuming refuge…remote and protected.  Seeing the nerve centre of both factions really anchors each ideology and gives them a sense of importance and place on par with the Inhumans’ Attilan or Namor’s Atlantis. I’m seriously dying to see Blue and Iron variants of Hellicarriers next.

Story: Charles Soule Art: Leinil Francis Yu
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall 10 Recommendation: Buy!

Review: Old Man Logan #4

oml4The original Old Man Logan by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven remains one of the best Wolverine stories that have been written in the last decade, and with Marvel revisiting old stories from their past with Secret Wars (with mixed results), it was somewhat inevitable that we would return to visit the world of Old Man Logan.

Whether fairly or not, this series will invite comparison to the original, and as such it has some pretty large shoes to fill.  Although this volume of Old Man Logan has, on the whole, done a decent job of filling those shoes, up until I read this issue I felt that this volume had been gradually falling a little short of the original story.

With Old Man Logan #4, the penny finally dropped for me. The comparatively weak third issue has given way to arguably one of the best comics featuring Wolverine I’ve read in a long, long time, and in doing so it’s shone a new light on where Brian Micheal Bendis is going with this tale; giving me a new appreciation for the third issue in the process. What I’ve come to realize about Old Man Logan Vol. 2 is that much like the original was a story about Logan more than Wolverine, the sequel is about more than a man finding his place in a broken world. In many ways this is a story about hope in the worst of times.

We’ve seen some very inventive page layouts from Andrea Sorrentino during this series, and Old Man Logan #4 is no exception. The layouts in this page showcase the stunning artwork to great effect; the way in which the harshness of the art style itself reflects Old Man Logan‘s surroundings, and what he’s going through in this issue is fantastic and perfectly lends itself to the more horror themed elements of this issue. While there may have been some concerns (now alleviated) from me regarding the quality of the story, what I’ve never questioned is the consistency of the artwork, and with Old Man Logan #4 artist Andrea Sorrentino, with Marcelo Maiolo returning to provide the colours, gives us something truly special.

To say the second volume of Old Man Logan doesn’t hold up to the first volume of Old Man Logan, isn’t entirely fair; the first volume was an outstanding series that evoked the feel of the Spaghetti Westerns as it told one of the best stories about the Canadian mutant in the last ten years. The second volume, while it didn’t impress me as much during the first three issues, is a sequel that is beginning to shine in it’s own right. Yes, as a tie-in title by it’s very nature it will be bound to Secret Wars in some form that may require an ounce of understanding of the larger arc from readers eventually. That being said, this is a story focusing on Old Man Logan‘s perspective, and since he’s trying to find out just what on earth is going on in the rest of Battleworld, as a reader who is in pretty much the same situation, it’s been enjoyable to follow along with Old Man Logan‘s sense of discovery.

As it stand thus far, you can read Old Man Logan independently of Secret Wars, but whether that will change or not is still up in the air. What this issue had done, for me, however is reinvigorate my interest in the story being told; I went from being largely indifferent about the last issue to devouring every page of this comic. Twice.

Which brings us to our conclusion.

This is a fantastic horror tinged issue featuring everybody’s favourite zombified Marvel characters, and regardless of whether you’re reading Secret Wars or not, Old Man Logan #4 is an absolute blast to read, which is more than I said for the prior issue. Should you read that before picking this one up?  Maybe. Maybe not. If you’re a fan of Wolverine, then this issue is worth a read regardless of whether you’ve been following the series it has spun out of, or even this miniseries. Contrary to what I said about the previous issue, the second volume of Old Man Logan has become one of the highlights of the summer for me, and I can’t wait to see where the old man ends up next.

Story: Brian Micheal Bendis Art: Andrea Sorrentino Colours: Marcelo Maiolo
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Hank Johnson: Agent Of Hydra #1

Hank Johnson Agent of HydraHave you ever wondered what Hydra agents do during their downtime? No? Well then,you’re probably better off reading something else. For everyone else with a burning (or even somewhat warm) desire to see a Hydra agent in his day to day existence, you’ll get to follow Hydra agent Hank Johnson as he struggles with all the usual day to day chores and activities that many of us undertake in our own lives, all while working for a terrorist organization that constantly run the risk of being attacked by the Avengers.

Who is Hank Johnson? That’s the question that nobody has ever asked, simply because nobody really cares.

Until now.

Lets get this out of the way before you go any further; Hank Johnson: Agent Of Hydra #1 is fantastic. It’s the comic book you never knew you wanted to read, giving you a brilliant look at the life of a regular guy who just happens to be working as a henchman for Hydra. The opening pages set the tone brilliantly for this comic, giving you a perfect glimpse at just who Hank Johnson is, and if he reminds you of a certain yellow skinned safety inspector, then you wouldn’t be alone. This is a light hearted comic that focuses on the life of a man who is more likely to get a fist in the face (hopefully not a clawed fist, but those are the risks of working for Hydra) than a glowing performance review.

Hank Johnson: Agent Of Hydra #1 came out of nowhere on the weekend to become my most anticipated comic released this week and it didn’t disappoint me in the slightest; which I’m genuinely surprised at because I was really looking forward to this comic, and usually when I’m looking forward to an unknown series then it inevitably will either fail to live up to my expectations, disappoint me, or on some rare occasions will meet and exceed them. This comic is one of those issues that just ticked all the right boxes for me. David Mandel has written a story in the vein of Curb Your Enthusiasm that is told in short scenes, much like a television show, before coming together for a climax that seems to very perfect for this comic.

Michael Walsh gives us some simple, yet oh so effective layouts with his art. Although they’re not flashy, they suit the pace and style of the story very well. By not overwhelming the reader’s eye as it flows across the page, Michael Walsh has allowed both the dialogue to shine, but also allows you to take in his uncanny ability to let us know exactly what Hank is thinking and feeling because of how Walsh has captured his facial expressions.

The only down side to Hank Johnson: Agent Of Hydra #1 is that it’s a one shot comic, and while Hank Johnson is as fully realized and likeable a character as you’re likely to get, I’d have love to see how the creative team would flesh out some of the supporting characters were this to become an ongoing series. How likely is that? Only time will tell, but I really hope we see more of Hank Johnson once Secret Wars has concluded.

Hank Johnson: Agent Of Hydra #1 is a breath of fresh air amidst some the more gloomier comics that are spinning out of the main arc right now, and while there’s barely any reference to Secret Wars throughout the comic, it really will have you looking at faceless henchmen in a whole new light.

And that light is awesome.

Story: David Mandel Artist: Michael Walsh Color Artist Matthew Wilson
Story: 9 Art: 8.5 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Also posted on Ramblings Of A Comics Fan

Unboxing: Marvel Collector Corps August 2015 Secret Wars Box

We open up to show off Funko and Marvel’s third Marvel Collector Corps box. The bimonthly premium box service features a theme of Secret Wars right smack dab in the middle of the big summer comic event.

We go over the contents including a t-shirt, exclusive Pop! figure, comic with variant cover and more! Valued at over a $50 the second box is an impressive follow-up perfect for fans of Marvel Comics.

Secret Wars #9, the Event Just Got Bigger

It’s the story that has the whole world on the edge of its seat. The biggest Marvel event of all time. The story that destroyed the Marvel Universe. And if you thought it couldn’t get bigger – you thought wrong. Marvel has announced the expansion of the much delayed blockbuster Secret Wars event with Secret Wars #9 – coming to comic shops later this year!

Chartbusting creators Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic will extend their stay on Battleworld for one more epic issue. Allowing their cataclysmic story to wrap up as intended, this additional issue will bring Secret Wars to its explosive conclusion. Paving the way for the future, be there for the genesis of the All-New, All-Different Marvel Universe.

Like the original Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars, some of those puzzle pieces will hit the Marvel Universe before the event concludes. But if you want to see how they all fit together, you don’t want to miss these last few issues.

Battleworld teeters on the brink. What will become of this strange patchwork planet? Who lives? Who dies? One thing is for certain – nobody will come back from Battleworld the same after SECRET WARS #9 this December!

Cover by ALEX ROSS
On Sale in December!


« Older Entries Recent Entries »