Tag Archives: Marvel Now!

Fearless Defenders #5 Review

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My last review of this Marvel NOW! title, was issue #3. And believe me when I say A LOT has happened since then. By now you may know that Valkyrie neglected to select a new group of Shieldmaidens from Midgard (Middle Earth). She claimed that she couldn’t find any women that was worthy. In the meantime, the villainess Caroline LeFay used Dani Moonstar’s Valkyrie energy to raise the Doom Maidens. Hela, the Asgardian goddess of death, raised Queen Hippolyta from the dead to fight the Doom Maidens. The All-Mother appointed Misty Knight and Dr. Annabelle Riggs to accompany Valkyrie and Hippolyta as they rescue Dani and fight the Doom Maidens. While in battle with the Doom Maidens, it was learned that Valkyrie is a former Doom Maiden. Valkyrie, Dani and Hippolyta went to confront the Doom Maidens. Although Misty and Annabelle stayed behind, Misty decided it was time to take further action. Placing a phone call, all we know is that she asked the question, “Are you for hire?” And now we get to find out just who it was she talked to AND hired.

As Valkyrie, Dani Moonstar and Hippolyta go to battle with the Doom Maidens, Misty Knight and Annabelle arrive with surprise reinforcements. Misty hired a badass team of 12 female superheroes, although only 9 Shield Maidens are needed. The fierce battle has begun. Lots of body slinging, butt kicking and dragon slaying. Then some serious hell breaks loose and Valkyrie takes a turn for the worse.

This action packed issue is no joke. Non-stop action with continuous page turners. As I got to the center splash all I could say was, “DAMN.” When Valkyrie went through her changes at the end of the story, again all I could say was, “DAMN.” I rarely say curse words so you know that this series has to be top-notch.

It is more than obvious that I am still loving this title. But with badass chicks like Valkyrie, Misty Knight and Hippolyta I have no choice. They all have strong, yet distinct personalities. All from different backgrounds. The interactions among them remains phenomenal. Misty is still the Foxy Brown of comics, Valkyrie is serious but will put you in check if needed, and Hippolyta is still conceited as ever.

I even like Dr. Annabelle Riggs now. She was meek and timid at the beginning of the series, but her character becomes stronger in each issue. In this issue, it is apparent that she is strongly connected to Valkryie in some kind of way. I have a feeling of what it may be, but I won’t say until the story progresses.

The women that Misty Knight hired are:

    • Elektra
    • She-Hulk
    • Black Widow
    • Storm
    • Captain Marvel
    • Black Cat
    • Tigra
    • Spider-Woman
    • Thundra
    • Colleen Wing
    • Hellcat
    • Tarantula

I was very excited to see that She-Hulk, Elektra and Black Widow, my favorite badass Marvel girls, are a part of this story.

Cullen Bunn, writer, needs a round of applause AND a standing ovation. I still don’t know how he does it, but he is able to write amazing dialogue among these compelling characters. The interactions among all the characters are both funny and serious. I am still amazed at how well Bunn writes such realistic dialogue. A bunch of women all with different personalities; attitudes, funny, serious, conceited and evil. All I can say is that I’m glad Marvel has this creative genius scripting this series.

The creative art team consists of Will Sliney (art), Veronica Gandini (colors), and Mark Brooks (cover). The art for this issue is superb. The characters and backgrounds are lifelike and finely detailed. I like Gandini’s use of colors, especially in the panels with explosions and the dragon induced fires. And I love that awesome cover. I can ramble on about the art, so I’ll end by saying that with visual storytellers such as this team, you don’t need text to know what’s going on.

I continue to stress that in order for a story to work, it needs to have both a good script AND art. Fearless Defenders has both. I am going to continue to read this title.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

I strongly recommend this title.

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X-Men #1 Review

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Storm, Rogue, Psylocke, Jubilee, Rachel, and Kitty Pryde.  I can tell by the cover that this is going to be a kick ass girl team.

Having a sense of being followed, Jubilee contacts the X-Men.  When Storm, Rogue and Kitty arrive at the train Jubilee is a passenger on, they discover that she is harboring an infant she claims to have rescued.  Then all hell breaks loose.  The train has been tampered with and it’s up to the women of X-Men to defuse the situation.  Shortly after that, Jean Grey School For Higher Learning receives an unexpected, yet unwelcome visitor.  John Sublime, super villain and enemy of the X-Men, seeks their help for a crisis that he alone cannot handle; taking down Arkea Prime, his evil twin sister.

Brian Wood is the writer of this action packed series.  The pacing is fast but easy to follow, and I love the realistic dialogue and character interactions.  All the characters have distinct personalities, which makes the story more exciting to read.  I feel that Wood did a great job with the set-up of the story, beginning with the narrative on the first two pages.

The art team consists of Olivier Copiel (pencils/inks), Mark Morales (inks) and Laura Martin (colorist).  This team did such a great job at visual storytelling, that you really don’t need text to understand what is happening.  I love the cover art, especially Psylocke, Storm and Kitty.  Their facial expressions alone are enough for me to know not to mess with them or their teammates.  Each panel is finely detailed and realistically drawn.  The characters are so lifelike.  A couple of the baby’s facial expressions had me laughing.  Kitty Pryde has always been one of my favorite X-Men characters so I loved seeing her phase in and out of the train.  The lighting and colors in the panels are great, with my favorites being Mercury throwing that book at Bling (ouch) and the train explosion.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, a good story needs a good script AND good artwork.  You cannot have one without the other.  X-Men #1 goes over and beyond a good script and art.  It deserves the adjective of SUPERB.  This creative team needs a round of applause.  And then a standing ovation.

This Marvel NOW! title by Marvel Comics is sure to not only retain its’ loyal X-Men readers, but to gain new readers as well.  You already know one of those new readers, ME.  I don’t recall ever reading X-Men titles, but I have been glancing through them for years (my husband is a loyal X-Men fan) and have become familiar with most of the characters.  I definitely plan to read the next issue because the super villain on the last page of this issue is sure to cause havoc.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

I highly recommend X-MEN, the Marvel NOW! title by Marvel Comics.

Superior Spider-Man #9 Review

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A dying Otto Octavius, aka Doctor Octopus or Doc Ock, found a way to switch bodies with Peter Parker.  Having gained the memories, powers and skills of Spider-Man, Otto now realizes the responsibilities that comes with being Spider-Man.  Otto vowed to be a better Spider-Man.  A smarter Spider-Man.  SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN.  However a small piece of Peter Parker is in the brain of the Superior Spider-Man.  Stuck in Otto’s brain, Peter is forced to watch Otto live his life and trying his hardest to keep Otto in check and out of trouble.

In the last issue, the Avengers forced Spider-Man to undergo extensive testing and evaluations because of his erratic behavior.  Test results did not reveal an imposter and Spider-Man was released with probation.

Seeing an anomaly on his brain scan, Spider-Man went to the H.E.A.R.T. Clinic to take back his neuro scanner that was stolen by Cardiac.  Spider-Man learns a little girl was severely brain-damaged during one of his schemes, so he performed surgery on the girl and saved her life.  Borrowing the scanner from the clinic, Spider-Man returned to his lab to study the anomaly in his brain.  He discovered the tiny fragment is Peter Parker!  Otto informs Peter that he is aware of him and that he plans to extract him from his mind once and for all.

The entire storyline in The Superior Spider-Man #9, a Marvel NOW! title by Marvel Comics, is about the lobectomy, and its’ outcomes, performed on Otto to destroy Peter Parker.  Or Peter Parkerectomy, as Dan Slott, writer, coined in the last issue.

Without giving any spoilers, I will just say that this issue is full of surprises.  I am amazed at the scope of this storyline.  The events that take place in this issue are breathtaking.  Action packed.  Adrenaline inducing.  Peter was not going down without a fight, and he and Otto were prepared for each other.  And well prepared they were.

The Superior Spider-Man series is not to be read lightly.  The more I read this title, the more involved I become in the story.  Especially this issue.  Peter and Otto fought long and hard, but I want to set the physical battle aside and talk about the verbal exchanges between the two of them.  Peter came down hard on Otto about his portrayal as Spider-Man.  He reminded him of nearly being fired from the Avengers, and the brutal treatment towards his enemies, including the murder of one of them (I won’t mention the name in case you haven’t read the issue yet).  He was basically telling Otto that he’s not worthy of being Spider-Man and that he should give him his life back.

Otto, however, broke it down to Peter and let him know why he’s the better Spider-Man.  Peter was always slinging around town being the “Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man.”  Always comical.  Wanting to be loved by everyone.  Not using his powers to its’ fullest extent, he always went easy on his enemies.  Since Otto has been Spider-Man, there has been a reduction of crime in the city.  And he gets full support from the mayor and the police.  Superior Spider-Man has taken down several enemies that Peter Parker went too easy on.  The Vulture and Massacre are perfect examples (again I won’t spoil it in case you haven’t read it yet).

I totally agree with Otto and I feel that he is the better Spider-Man.  He created a device to help Aunt May walk.  He stopped the Vulture from using children as his henchmen.  He re-enrolled in college to take that last credit and write a thesis for his (Peter) Doctorate Degree.  He saved that little girl’s life with the brain damage.  Otto may be a villain, but he is a hero at heart.  He has shown compassion far too many times for it to go unnoticed.

The Superior Spider-Man #9 is probably Slott’s best issue yet.  Well written and engaging dialogue.  Phenomenal character interactions.  Compelling characters, especially Otto.  A lot of information is packed in this fast paced story but it’s not hard to follow.

Superb artwork by Ryan Stegman (artist) and Edgar Delgado (colors).  These two are great at visual storytelling.  I especially like the cover.  Hmmm, I wonder if the layout of my brain spells my name.  Ummm that’s okay.  I don’t want to find out.

There is no doubt that I will continue to read The Superior Spider-Man.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

I highly recommend this Marvel NOW! title.

Ultron #1AU Review

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Ultron has destroyed humankind. There are only a few survivors scattered around the world. This Marvel NOW! Age of Ultron tie-in depicts how Victor Mancha deals with the catastrophe. In case you don’t already know, Victor is a cyborg created by his father, ULTRON. Yes, Ultron. One of the baddest super villains in the Marvel Universe. Victor was also a member of Runaways, a team of teenage super heroes.

The story takes place in Los Angeles where Victor scours the city looking for survivors. He has already led a few juveniles to safety and provides them with shelter. Everyone he has ever loved has been killed by Ultron, including his mother and the Runaways.

Afraid that the children won’t trust him if they knew he was a cyborg, Victor keeps that part of him a secret. However just as his secret is discovered, all hell breaks loose.

It had been prophesied that Victor would take part in Ultron’s plan. To be a part of the end. Does the prophecy become true in this Age of Ultron tie-in? Grab a copy at your local comic shop and find out!

Because this is a one-shot, I’m not going to say much about the story. But I will say that I enjoyed this title. I like how Victor is handling the destruction of humankind by Ultron. I also like the fact that despite the prophecy of Victor being a part of Ultron’s plan, he dedicates his life trying to NOT becoming like his father.

Written by Kathryn Immonen, the script is detailed and fast paced, yet easy to follow. The story is brought to life by Amilcar Pinna. Great visual storyteller. Not much dialogue is needed to see where the story is going.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

If you are reading Age of Ultron, then you should be reading ALL the tie-ins as well. Ultron #1AU, by Marvel Comics, is one of those tie-ins. I highly recommend this title.

The Fearless Defenders #3 Review

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The badass girls of Marvel Comics are back.

Up until now we know that Valkyrie, the demigoddess of Asgardia has failed to select a new group of Shieldmaidens.  Misty Knight was ticked to learn that Valkyrie claimed she couldn’t find any female superheros on Earth worthy to serve on the team.  Now the consequences has to be faced.  The Doom Maidens are rising and Dani Moonstar is being held captive by Caroline LeFay, a villainess who confessed to Dani that she wants to be a Valkyrie.  Carolyn also raised the Doom Maidens.  There is a lot going on in The Fearless Defenders right now, so you need to grab the first two issues, in addition to the current one, if you haven’t already.

My review of issue #1 details why I’m liking this series, and each issue just keeps getting better.

Hela, Queen of the Dead, is aware of the Doom Maidens rising.  Warning the All-Mother, rulers of Asgardia, not to send Valkyrie to confront the Doom Maidens, Hela has resurrected Warrior Woman, aka Hippolyta to take on the Doom Maidens and rescue Dani Moonstar.

Not willing to let Hippolyta fight alone, the All-Mother sent Valkyrie and her two Shieldmaidens to accompany Hippolyta.  Misty Knight and Annabelle Riggs.  YES.  DR. ANNABELLE RIGGS IS NOW A SHIELDMAIDEN! 

Cullen Bunn, writer, is having fun with this series.  Superb dialogue.  Fast paced.  Character interactions can’t get any better than this.  The different character backgrounds and personalities make this series fun and addicting.

We all know Misty Knight,  the Foxy Brown of comics, has a mouth on her.  Sassy, gun-toting, don’t take sh-t from anyone.  She will  beat you down just for looking at her the wrong way.

Annabelle Riggs.  I didn’t like her in the first issue, but now I’m starting to grow on her.  She’s funny plus I want to see how she fares as a Shieldmaiden.

Valkyrie.  The reason they’re all in this mess. By not assembling a new team, the Doom Maidens may have a right to fill the Valkyrior void.  She also has a mouth on her.  She just needed someone to bring it out of her.  And that someone is Hippolyta.

Warrior Woman aka Hippolyta.  A total badass like Valkyrie and Misty Knight.  Arrogant and full of gloat.  Boastful about her days of fighting.  She even talked about the Asgardian armor.  I’m pretty sure she and Valkyrie will be going at it soon after their quest is completed.

I love the artwork.  Will Sliney is the artist.  Veronica Gandini is the colorist.  I especially like the cover page by Mark Brooks.  The cover pages of this title are always nice.  Kind of on the wild side.  It is one of the major selling points for me.

The Fearless Defenders is one of my favorite Marvel NOW! titles.  And I definitely plan to continue reading this awesome series.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

There is no doubt that I highly recommend this title.

Thanos Rising #1 Review

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Super villain.  Titan gone mad.  The destroyer.  Fascinated with death.  Thanos Rising, a Marvel NOW! title, is a mini-series about the origin of Thanos.

Written by Jason Aaron, the debut issue chronicles the life of Thanos from childbirth to school-age.  Thanos’ mother, the beautiful Sui-San, sensed danger as soon as she saw his eyes.  The story goes on to show a young Thanos being taunted at school.  But he always maintained a positive attitude, explaining his genetic mutation.  Thanos was very smart and friendly.   A group of kids even befriended him.  But things begin to change for the worse by the end of the story.

I am liking the story so far.  I just wish the “good Thanos” would have lasted at least until the next issue.  Let his anger and frustration build a little more.  But I won’t complain too much, because until now, I had no idea how Thanos became a villain.  I didn’t know if he was born evil, or if a life changing event caused him to turn bad.  I began to feel sorry for Thanos after reading this story.  An academically gifted child with a positive attitude, who didn’t let his mutation bring him down.

The artwork is great.  I have no complaints in that area.  Simone Bianchi, artist.  Simone Peruzzi, colorist.

Thanos Rising is a 5 issue mini-series.  By the end of the series, I want to know if Thanos was actually destined for evil.  I want to know if his mother was right.

I definitely plan to read the entire mini-series.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

I recommend this Marvel NOW! title Especially to readers who is familiar with Thanos and/or love super villains.

Guardians of the Galaxy #1 Review

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If there is anyone worthy of being on the cover of Guardians of the Galaxy, it’s the team that’s already pictured on it.  It can’t get any better than this.  The Guardians include:

  • Starlord of Spartax
  • Drax the Destroyer
  • Groot – Did you know he can regenerate from a twig? 
  • Gamora – The most dangerous female in the universe.
  • Rocket Raccoon – Please make sure you don’t call him a raccoon, because it will definitely be your last.

Starlord receives an unexpected visit from his dad, the King of Spartax.  He tells Starlord that Earth is off-limits to all extraterrestrials.  He also wants Starlord to drop his “broken” friends and take his rightful place as the firstborn of Spartax.

Can Starlord trust his dad?  Is the King of Spartax really looking out for the best interest of his son?  Exactly why did the Galactic Council ban ALL extraterrestrial interactions on Earth?

We learned the events leading up to how Peter Quill became Starlord in the debut issue.  Guardians of the Galaxy #1 is a powerful story featuring a kick ass team.  Especially with Rocket Raccoon and Gamora on board.

This action packed series with sharp dialogue and compelling, yet complex characters is written by Brian Michael Bendis.

I am really liking this Marvel NOW! series so far.  The Guardians is an awesome team that values friendship and loyalty.  They can be funny and serious at the same time.  Bendis is doing a superb job with this story. 

The art team includes  Steve McNiven (pencils), John Dell (inker), and Justin Ponsor (colors).  These guys are excellent at visual storytelling. 

The only complaint I have with the art is Gamora’s costume.  She is completely covered and you can barely see her face.  She’s one of the main reasons I’m reading Guardians of the Galaxy, but her costume has taken a lot of that excitement away.  There’s one panel where I couldn’t even tell that she’s green.  I was expecting her to look as she did in Nova.  Instead she looks like an ordinary girl.

Being a female myself, I want female characters in comics to look feminine.  Bare a little flesh.  Let the hair down.  I am not drawn to a story by its’ script alone.  The artwork pulls me in as well.  Believe me when I say I can sit and stare at Starlord and Tony Stark for hours.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

There is no doubt that I highly recommend Guardians of the Galaxy.