Uncanny X-Men #509

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Written by: Matt Fraction

Art by: Greg Land

Well, if you didn’t notice before, this month’s Uncanny cover really proves that Greg Land draws every chick like a porn star. And not that I want to look at some mishapen haggard”butter” face, it just gets annoying trying to tell every female character apart.

Again, Land’s art aside, this issue is a step up from last. The whole ridiculous scenario involving a Godzilla like monster fighting off one of the most boring and uninteresting X-teams in a long time, are gone. The science team is still there, they are just in a lab this month. The one aspect I don’t like about this science team, is the fact that they have so much screen time, if you will. It’s comprised of characters I really don’t care about, or at least I don’t amongst the other things happening in the book. Dr. Nemesis? I don’t like him. Madison Jefferies comes off a little tacked on. I mean, how often can he be of use? He talks to robots. Beast is cool, it is just strange that all this time after the events of House of M, they are just now trying to figure out how to reactivate the X-Gene.

The biggest portion of the book is dedicated to showing off mutants in California, just being themselves again. No wars, no global threats, just hanging out and stopping the occasional minor crimes. This is just to show that as soon as the mutants all flock to California, we learn that a new Mutant Control act is being talked about. If passed, the act will require all mutants undergo a chemical birth control operation that would stop them from breeding. Ever since a video tape was released that showed mutants involved in that disatrous event back in Messiah Complex, which also involved the first mutant being born since M-Day, people have become afraid of mutants again. So just when things seem calm, mutants are back in the spotlight being painted as a menace.

Again, helping to bolster this is the fact that Pixie is growing up and doing what all girls do at that age, go out to parties and flirting with boys. As far as she knows, she is just having fun socializing and becoming a young woman, but out there in the distance looms Propostion X. So in a time where girls like Pixie are becoming interested in boys, this Propostion X aims to ruin all that. Her coming of age may soon be dashed if nothing is done about this. But we all know that it will be addressed. In a very “God Loves, Man Kills”, Uncanny 509 sets out to again cause more grief to the remaining mutants on Earth.

The ressurection of Madelyn Pryor through Psylocke’s body will also bring about some added drama to the mutants. The ending of the book, shows that not only do the remaining good mutants of the world know where they can find refuge in California, but the bad guys women know where they can find their targets.

Lands’ art is good. I don’t hate him, I just think that he sometimes gets a little stale, where every female looks the same. This issue still stays true to that. The opening pages show the Stepford Cuckoos cavorting around town, and the next page shows Dazzler and Pixie on a rock concert stage. What I’m getting at, is the girls all look the same. Just short of hair color, you really can’t tell the difference between them. I only knew this because Dazzler is a singer, and has sparkly things flying out of her hand, and the Stepford Cuckoos are triplets. Oh and Pixie has wings. Other than that, that is where my problem with his art lies. While not badly drawn, it just begs for more varied character depictions.

All in all, not a bad issue. Some of the nagging aspects I have had with Matt Fraction’s story have been remedied, making room for some really great plots. And I mean plots in the most literal sense available. He is tossing around so many plots, it really is amazing that he can give us a taste of all of them in just one issue.

Green Lantern #40

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Written by: Geoff Johns

Art by: Philip Tan

I just can’t express how excited I am for the upcoming Green Lantern event, Blackest Night. With the intro of the Orange Lantern a few issues back, this issue really explains the details of his power. By killing creatures and then harvesting their souls, he builds his army of the orange.

We also learn that the planet housing the Orange Lantern power was once out of jurisdiction of the Green Lanterns. But now that they know of the trouble brewing there, the Green Lantern’s and the Guardians come in full force to investigate. Walking into a trap is an understatement. Clearly, the universe is unaware of the potential might that the Orange Lantern holds.

Also, John Stewart seems to be coming back into the light. Johns sets up a plot that involves a past event where John Stewart destroyed a planet, and one of the survivor’s goes out in search of him. But eventually becoming a Star Sapphire. So instead of fighting for revenge, she now fights for love. It is good to see a potential plot for Stewart, since he hasn’t been featured in Green Lantern in a long time.

Philip Tan’s work is really good. It just seems that Green Lantern features artists who help give the book a great sense of epic scale. Everything seems big and exciting, and really feels like a summer action flick with a brain. It is always a joy to read and look at Green Lantern every month.

And the last little story in this issue is just fantastic. It gives us a look at the inner anguish a Orange Lantern goes through. Whether or not they will ever show it, it gives us the sense that inside, they are truly lost to their greed. Think Gollum, but in space. The Orange Lantern is extremely cuthroat and is a great addition to all the other Lantern colors.

Really, if you aren’t reading Green Lantern, you should be. This event will be sure to satisfy fans. Even if the end result of Blackest Night somehow fails to deliver, the prelude is great on its own. If the road being paved to Blackest Night is this good, how can the actual event be bad?

G.I. Joe Origins #3

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Written by: Larry Hama

Art by: Mike Hawthorne

So with all this great G.I. Joe stuff coming out, ( G.I. Joe main series, G.I. Joe Cobra, G.I. Joe movie prequels and the extremely excellent animated special, G.I. Joe Resolute) how can the upcoming movie be bad? Well, that will be revealed in August, but back to the comics.

Origins is set out to explain the, well, origins of the G.I. Joes. Most notably, Snake Eyes. Still hiding out in a motel, Duke, Scarlett and now Rock & Roll, Heavy Duty, Stalker and Breaker are now guarding Snake Eyes. After being rescued from an attempt on his life at a hospital, little has been revealed about him, but this issue at least puts that all too familiar blade into his hands.

Meanwhile, the rest of the team finds out who was after Snake Eyes, and begins their assault on their underground hideout.

Not the most plot filled book, it is gonna set up some great scenes to come.

Seriously. Whatever you think you know about G.I. Joe, throw it out and start picking up IDW’s G.I. Joe books. All of them. Each series is doing a great job at really showing that G.I. Joe is still relevant, and worth your money.

Viking #1

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Written by: Ivan Brandon

Art by: Nic Klein

Viking #1 came out two weeks ago, but I somehow left it out of my review, but I felt that I had to put it in this week’s review. Viking #1 is friggin awesome. If you like Brian Wood’s “Northlanders”, you will love Viking.

Viking comes off as a crime noir story set in viking times. Each character is out to “get his”, and kill whoever gets in his way. The book is focused on several groups of characters. One group, two brothers, Finn and Egil. Both are out fishing and talking about spending the money they will earn from selling off wares to buyers. Another group has the characters Anni and her father. Anni is remisicing about her mother and what it must be like to live in Greenland. Obviously a skilled archer, Anni shows off her talents while hunting a birds. And then there is Hrolf and his friends. They appear to be some kind of criminals who are being hired out for some dirty deeds.

All this is told in the first issue. Setting up a world that is very vicious and cutthroat in nature. While it does stumble at some spots, this first issue is very impressive.

The art is gorgeous. Everything has a golden age feel with a modern day touch to it. Very nice. Especially that the book is oversized. Yep, the book is bigger than your current day comic. Again, very golden age. It just feels good to read this book for some reason. I wish that the comics out now were this big and easy to read. Although, even with the oversized book, the art sometimes leaves you confused on who is who, but nonethless very nice to look at.

The book is printed on heavy cardstock, and I don’t just mean the cover. The feel of this book is part of the charm. It is just a great overall presentation. And all for just $3. I’ve paid more for less, and Viking clearly shows that you sometimes are just paying for name brand as opposed to higher quality. The book is self published by the author, and for all this quality, I totally support that. Obviously, the author really likes this story, and it shows. Viking is crafted with care.

Overall, a fantastic read….if you can find it now. Word has it that it is sold out nationwide, but will have a reprint available on May 6th, so be sure to grab this issue if you see it. Do your part and help out this creator owned book by shelling out $3.

Free Comic Book Day Reviews

So it might not be fair to review books that were free, most of these are really worth reviewing, because free or not, some really great books were being handed out this year.

Atomic Robo and Friends

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Written by: Brian Clevinger

Art by: Scott Wegener

I said it last week in my FREE COMIC BOOK DAY section of my post, that Atomic Robo and Friends is my most looked forward to book being given away during FREE COMIC BOOK DAY. And it didn’t dissapoint.

Atomic Robo, for those who are unaware of its existence, is an amalgamation of everything that we love about Indiana Jones, Hellboy, Joss Whedon -esque dialogue and quirky humor.

While not a full issue of Atomic Robo, this short story contained in the book is about Robo fighting off a new enemy called Dr. Dinosaur. And yes, Dr. Dinosaur is a talking dinosaur, not to mention possible time traveler. The confrontation between Robo and Dr. Dinosaur is constantly hilarious. Between firing off potshots and punches, Robo and Dr. Dinosaur debate the scientific plausibilities of time travel and the degrees in which it would take someone to perform time travel. And the debate how this time traveler can be a talking dinosaur.

I consider Atomic Robo to be one of my favorite series of all time. The humor in it is just unparalled. It never takes itself seriously and yet still delivers some great stories.

If you at all interested in reading Atomic Robo, and if you aren’t you have no heart, a new “season” of Atomic Robo comes out on May 6th. And while you pick up the new series, why not grab this issue if you didn’t already? It was FREE!

Blackest Night #0

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Written by: Geoff Johns

Art by: Ivan Reis

Man, if you didn’t get my expression of how excited I am for Blackest Night, you will now. I can’t believe this was given away for free. Blackest Night #0 gives us hope that Blackest Night could be even BETTER than the outstanding Sinestro Corps War. For reals.

Blackest Night paints the picture that ANYONE who is dead in the DCU can become a Black Lantern…and possibly even Bruce Wayne. By showing us a recap of all who died in recent history, Johns sets up a serious powerhouse with the Black Lanterns. If they truly can ressurect the dead, then that spells some serious fucking trouble for the rest of the Lanterns. I mean, if Batman can become part of the Black Lanterns, then how can they possibly be stopped? I’m not just speculating on Batman either. Geoff Johns dedicates this issue to telling how, despite their differences, Hal Jordan and Bruce Wayne were friends. By showing so much of their past together, how can Batman NOT be involved somehow in Blackest Night?

Ivan Reis really does a wonderful job in this issue 0. Basically recapping all the major deaths of the DCU, he manages to draw out emotions that everyone experienced back when those people died. It really seems that everyone involved in Blackest Night are really excited and interested in what they are telling.

If you didn’t know about Blackest Night and haven’t been reading Green Lantern, you really can’t get a much better introduction than this issue. And for crying out loud, it’s FREE! I mean, you have to spend nothing to get a glimpse of a comic series that you should be reading.

The Stuff of Legend

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Written by: Mike Raicht & Brian Smith

Art by: Charles Paul Wilson III

I never saw this issue coming. I picked it up amongst all the other free issues that came out on FREE COMIC BOOK DAY, not knowing that it would be one of the gems.

Much akin to Toy Story and the Indian In the Cupboard, The Stuff of Legend tells the tale of a boy being torn from his bed at night by the Boogeyman. After being taken into the darkness, the boy’s toys spring to life. It’s revealed that the toys are “awake” the whole time, but cannot let the boy or any other human know or it would break one of the laws, much like Toy Story.

So after their introductions to the reader, the toys assemble into a team that will venture into the closet and attempt to rescue the boy. Each character describes their owns fears of the Boogeyman and saying how in the past, other toys that have gone in search of the Boogeyman, have not returned. Some toys opt out of the mission, because their allegiances with the boy’s younger brother.

After figuring out who will go after the boy, the toys and the boy’s dog step into the closet and are whisked away to another realm. We are shown the aftermath of battle, with corpses strewn about a shore, very D-Day like. But most interestingly enough, is that the toys, while in the Boogeyman’s realm, turn into much more lifelike versions of themselves. The soldier looks like a WW2 soldier, the Jester looks like a twisted and sorta freaky looking clown, the Indian Princess seems all too familiar with her blade, and the cowboy who is riding on a bear is thick in battle.

And this leads me to the art. It is friggin’ phenomenal. It reminds me very much of some of the artwork seen on Perry Bible Fellowship, only not so comical. It seems like it is drawn in an art charcoal and comes off so beautiful.

The second issue is coming out next month and I for one will be buying it, and I hope that you all will give it a look. This book really surprised me and if these guys get this book going, and even future series’ going, I will be there to read. Th3rd World Publishing really has something great on their hands with the Stuff of Legend.

So please, help them out and go pick up this book and see what makes comics so great for storytelling.

Next Week’s Pull List

Marvel

Amazing Spider-man #593

Cable #14 (Messiah War Part 4)

Destroyer #2

New Mutants #1

Terror Inc. Apocalypse Soon #1

DC

Flash Rebirth #2

Solomon Grundy #3

Others

Plan Nine From Outer Space Strikes Again (HA!)

Irredeemable #2

G.I. Joe Movie Prequel #3: Baroness

Atomic Robo and the Shadow from Beyond Time #1

X-Men Origins: Wolverine


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Spoilers!

By now, you would have to have heard about the new X-Men Origins Wolverine movie. With ads and trailers in full effect, you would be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t know about it.

And if you know about it, and are reading this, you probably have seen it already. You probably feel the same way about it that I do. “Better than X-Men: The Last Stand.”

Yeah, that was my standards that I set for this movie. As long as I felt that it was better than X-Men The Last Stand, I would be happy with X-Men Origins Wolverine. And while in some cases it is leagues better than Last Stand, it is also worse.

The Good:

Story. The story was fairly good. Starting off by showing Wolverine and Sabretooth’s long history, even taking the pages straight out of Origins the book, Origins the movie really took its two main characters seriously. But by changing a few things. In Origins the book, a young James Howlett was revealed to have bone claws and ended up running away from his 1880′s style house and going all feral in the woods, and ended up fighting with his long time friend/ rival, Victor Creed/ Sabretooth. But what the movie did, was ended up making them both brothers. And I was fine with that. Showing them fighting their way through time, the brothers looked out for each other, even up until their deaths, or so the firing squad thought.

Leading into the main plot of the movie. A young General Stryker finds the two in a jail cell and recruits them to a special task force in search of a rare item. The two brothers are fine and join up. Meeting up with various other crew members consisting of Wraith, Agent Zero, Bolt, the not quite yet Blob and Deadpool. The team is sent into Africa to retreive an item, soon to be revealed as Adamantium. After basically being told to fuck off by the locals, the team are ordered to kill the locals. Thus creating a rift between the two brothers. Wolverine wanted nothing to do with killing innocents and Sabretooth couldn’t but engorge himself in their blood. This scene began the long fued between the two all the way up until the end.

Hugh Jackman and Liev Schreiber turned in some great performances. Jackman is a given. He really seems to find the character endearing and dives in head first and doesn’t falter at all. Schreiber gives us a more menacing and vicious Sabretooth. Tyler Mane’s Sabretooth in the first X-Men movie was much more subtle and muted, but Schreiber really shows us how these two are known as some of the best rivalries in all of comics.

The ending is pretty well done. Well at least the part where Wolverine runs off into the wild.

The chick who played Wolverine’s wife was kinda hot.

The Bad:

The effects. God. You would think that by the fourth movie involving Wolverine, the effects team might have some idea or reference on how to make some effects look good. In some scenes the effects are great, but in the next, they are some of the worst I have ever seen in a movie. Especially the scene where Wolvie is in the elderly couple’s bathroom examining his claws. They look like a fucking drawing. Like something out of Roger Rabbit or something. God fucking awful.

And the final scene with Weapon XI or “Even Dead-er Deadpool” as I called him. What was with his makeup? And speaking of fucked up makeup, what about Pat Stewart’s? He looks like a airbrushed nightmare. He seriously looked like he went into a makeup room that was on an alien movie stage, took a wrong turn and wound up on the set of Wolverine. It was strikingly jarring.

Gambit. While not a total disaster, he was ok. Is it just me or did the actor seem to try the Cajun accent on a few words and then just give up? I guess as a character that was basically thrown in for fan service, he did alright. But could have been so much better.

Deadpool. Again, not a total disaster, but also a letdown. Ryan Reynolds surprised me. He made me laugh. He felt like Deadpool in the beginning. Sans mask though. And he didn’t break the fourth wall by saying something to the audience, but again, nitpicking. But the character took it in the pooper at the end. What the hell? Sword claws that come out of his hands? Laser beam eyes? Teleportation? It was hard to watch something like that on screen.

Adamantium bullets? Really? Come on. Erasing his memories with Adamantium bullets? Ugh…just ugh.

Pig Flu. I risked getting Pig Flu to see this movie. Worth it? I don’t know…I do have a cough now…and I’m oinking more often.

The End:

While not a total letdown, I also had about no expectations from this movie, which probably helped me sit through it. While I did come away with some gripes, I did ultimately like the flick. It was serviceable, but could have been much more. With a great opening and some good performances, X-Men Origins Wolverine started off good, but ended up on its back at the end. Some of the characters that weren’t Wolverine or Sabretooth felt throw away and somewhat one dimensional, and others were just there to be in an X-Men movie. Much like Wolverine, it seems that the X-Men movie franchise has healed its wounds over time, but still has some scars.

And for the record, I got the Deadpool post credits scene.

Wrap Up

So Wolverine led the pack of summer time movies, and for all its worth, did an ok job. This week, Star Trek opens up. I’m eagerly anticipating it with all my nerdy excitement. If you are like me, you have been watching past Trek movies, gearing up for this week’s release. Also, check out Ryker XL’s Star Trek reviews. With some cool insight on the movies of past, watching them after learning about them makes me appreciate them even more. And who doesn’t love Wrath of Khan?

By all sources I have encountered, Star Trek seems to be a winner, but we will officially find out Friday.

Also, if you somehow didn’t see my HUGE post about FREE COMIC BOOK DAY last week, if you walk into your comic book store to pick up this week’s releases, you should be able to score some freebies still. Check out my list from last week to find some of the best, and definitely pick up the ones I reviewed this week.

5 Responses to Comic Book Reviews: Week of 04/29/09

  1. Hemidal GWJ says:

    I’m pretty jazzed about Blackest Night too. I don’t know if you’ve seen, but DC Direct and Wizard have sent out some stuff on action figures related to Blackest Night, and a couple of the Black Lanterns have been revealed. I won’t say which ones, but the info is out there if you’re curious. One of them I don’t care about at all and the other is a pretty big deal (at least to me).

  2. Ryker XL says:

    Tiny and I saw Wolverine last Saturday and I have to agree that the movie showed great promise in the beginning, only to get bogged down with the same thing that a lot of the other Xmen movies suffer from…not enough character development. Don’t get me wrong, Hugh Jackman is the MAN, and I he really has the character down, but his supporting cast is mostly …meh. Even Gamibit felt thrown in and he deserves way better than that mon ami.

    The one character who literally steals the show (for the 10 minutes he’s in the darn movei) is DeadPool. Ryan Renolds nailed his personna and left me wanting more. Luckily, Marvel is moving forward on a DeadPool movie with Ryan as the lead. Let’s hope they don’t screw it up!

  3. John says:

    I’m not too picky when it comes to comic book movies, unless they’re characters that I’m really into like Batman or Iron Man. I’m one of the few who actually enjoyed X-Men 3. And while they were completely cheesy and kinda idiotic, I found the Fantastic 4 movies to be somewhat watchable. So yeah, I’m sure I’ll be alright with Wolverine.

  4. badbad_leroybrown says:

    Ryker, my thoughts exactly. The first ten minutes were fan fucking tastic, then everything just went down the drain in a big way. Bad script, bad acting (Except for Hugh, who gives it all he has despite the material), bad character decesions (He’s called the Merc with a MOUTH for a reason), and after all that waiting, Gambit was lame.

    When the videogame is better then the movie, you have a MAJOR problem.

  5. D.J.I. says:

    The Stuff of Legends cover reminds me of B.B.Hood’s hyper combo attack.

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