All-New X-men #1 & #2
Due to stocking issues that are beyond my control, I’m a little late getting my hands on the first issue of “All-New X-men.” Good news though, I was able to get both issues on the same Wednesday, and thus, was able to read them back to back. I was just going to read the first one, write this review, and then get to the second one when time allotted. But I became so involved with the story I found it impossible to do that. Truly, I was actually disappointed that I have to wait to read the third issue. I’ve said in the past that I like the writing of Brian Michael Bendis, but I’ve never gushed over it like a nerd with a non-special edition version of “Star Wars.” His work can be different to the point of off-putting, but I mostly enjoy his style to some degree or another. The general premises he uses can seem a little recycled, but the amount of wit and characterization he brings to the table outweighs it most of the time.
His first story arc of “All-New X-men” is a prime example. It’s basically a story about X-men from the past meeting the X-men of the future, and this isn’t really something new. In fact, X-men teams/characters have done so many time travel stories that I wouldn’t be surprised that some of them are trademarked by Marvel. But, despite that, Bendis is so engaging here that you don’t care that it’s another time travel story because all of that is just a backdrop to his dialogue and characterization. There is an extremely good focus on Hank McCoy (a.k.a. Beast) as every little plot tread comes to a very fast head. Sometimes I can’t really identify why I like something so much and then wonder if I really do like it or if I just want to like it. However the fact that I can’t wait for the next issue is a clear indicator that I really like this comic. My comic shop better be well supplied in the future. Heads at UPS will roll otherwise.
23 Days Left!
4th of July is right around the corner and so is the new Spider-Man movie. At the time of writing this I’m still on the fence about watching this reboot, and I might wait for the DVD. I was fine with rebooting it, but starting all the way over was just a mistake. The trailers paint it better than I thought it was going to be, but I still don’t know. It’s going to make a hundred million billion dollars at the box office, but I don’t have to be one of them. Maybe if I can get a hot date I might go. Either that or get a free ticket. Being free and hot women, it’s the American way.
“The Dark Knight Rises” is also less than a month away. That is something I am NOT on the fence about.
Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker
“Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker” is Warner Bros. at their very best and very worst. To understand that statement, you have to know a little history. First know there are two versions of this particular movie. One version is the beyond awesome uncut edition that I will be talking about later. The second version is a watered down atrocity that thankfully hasn’t shown its ugly face in years. It was impossible to find the uncut version at first because the re-cut was done by order of Jamie Kellner who is one of the worst bottom feeding executives in the history of the business. Kellner cancelled Animaniacs, green lit 90210, and feels DVRs should be made illegal because skipping ads is “theft”. If it wasn’t for nerds marching with their pitchforks and toy lightsabers, the masterpiece of the uncut version might never have seen the light of day. Thankfully the uncut version survives to this day, proving that there really is a God.
Return of the Joker follows the “Batman Beyond” television series as an extended episode. You have to be at least familiar with the series to watch this movie, but you don’t have to be an expert. At a bare minimal you have to watch the opening episodes to find out how Terry McGinnis became Batman in the first place. However, even if you only kind of liked the show, this movie is still a must. The original setting allows for more creativity and has Batman playing by a new set of rules. This is one of the most creative Batman endeavors ever done with great characterization, thoughtful writing, and one of the most jaw dropping scenes in Batman animated history. It only happens to have a couple of flaws. One, it was done by Japanese animators because of time constraints. The animation is good, but there are some oddball details that got lost in translation. A cop in the background who salutes Batman for no reason is a good example. Two, the middle act will gut you sideways and the final act just seems pale in comparison. It has a good ending, but the pacing writes the movie into a corner. It would have been better to leave the best moments for the end, but the pacing of the script prevents that. I still consider RotJ to be one of the best things in DC animation history, and I say a little prayer every night because it almost wasn’t.
It’s been a couple of months since I’ve said how wonderful of a comic Batwoman is, so I think a new love letter is due. A new storyline, which is really just the second chapter in first storyline, has begun with this sixth issue. Batwoman is now working for the government and has access to all sorts of high end gear. She has to answer to the shady black gloved government agency, but as long as she can still take out her frustrations out on a bad guy’s face, I think she can live with it.
Even though the comic says “Part 1”, there is still plenty of stuff hanging over from the previous issues. Batwoman’s sidekick is still in the ICU, the drowning kid case is still ongoing, and she still has issues fully committing to the relationship of her hot lesbian bed partner. Not a good jumping on point for new readers, but to be fair you people should have been reading since issue one anyways. Batwoman was in development hell for months, and finally saw the light of day when the reboot hit. The material created during that development hell seems to have been completed and now we’re onto fresh material. This doesn’t mean it’s any less awesome though. I hope this writer/artist team stays together through issue one hundred and beyond.
Read more about comics, including Deadpool and Previews!
This comic is mostly a waste of money. It’s not bad, just not very important. It mostly just serves as an interlude between Schism and the new dual X-men comics premiering soon. “Wolverine and the X-men” will follow Wolverine and the X-men (hence the clever title) that chose to follow him back to Xavier’s school in Westchester. The rebooted “Uncanny X-men” will follow Cyclops and those who chose to stay on the island of Utopia. This one-shot comic mostly just follows the two respective leaders as the go through the ranks as all of the mutants make their decision of whose side they’re on. It would have been simpler, and cheaper, if Marvel just typed up a one page list of who is going where. We really didn’t need all of their individual reasons why they chose where. If you’re familiar with the character, you probably wouldn’t have been surprised by their choice regardless if you were told the reasons why. The only real exception is Storm, but the explanation given fits. The comic also contains a metaphor using two primal tribes splitting up, but that is just there to enhance the entertainment value. Beyond that, you could probably skip this comic and not miss much. Unless you really really need to know which side Namor is on.
Read more about comics, including the new Avengers, Batwoman, and Marvel Anime!
The New Avengers #16
With the Fear Itself story reaching its end within the next month or so, we’ll see less and less of the tie-ins. Issue 16 of the New Avengers brings us the second part of last months’ issue, and the final Fear Itself tie-in of the event. Instead of continuing the trials of Squirrel Girl (or Woman, I already forgot), this issue instead focuses on the much cooler Daredevil.
I haven’t been following Daredevil since he’s returned from hiatus, but you really just need the cliff notes (or watch the movie) to follow up on this issue. I only read Daredevil beforehand because Ed Brubaker was writing it, and Andy Diggle did an okay job filling in his shoes afterwards. The Shadowland story line (where Daredevil is possessed by a demon) put Daredevil on hold with the lame idea of replacing him with Black Panther (black dude who wears a panther suit, not much else to say about him) for a short period. Seriously, Daredevil leaves New York City, and Black Panther drops in to protect Hell’s Kitchen for NO REASON. There wasn’t even any build up to it either. It’s like he just wanted a vacation from his overbearing wife (X-man Storm) and ruling his fake African kingdom.
I haven’t followed Daredevil since then, but the vacation is over, and Matt Murdock is back as Daredevil. He swings in, literally, to fight against the chaos of Nazi robots. For reasons that give another example of just rolling with it, Daredevil goes to Avenger Mansion to check on the Cage’s baby. To make a long story short (too late), Daredevil helps save the baby and the Cages make Daredevil a member of their Avengers team. While this tie-in, along with most of them, has been nothing more than a bar fight outside the building hosting the main event, it was good to see some change come out of this. New Avengers was an above average tie-in, and this issue brings about good closer to the story. You honestly can’t ask more out of a side story, except maybe for Squirrel Girl’s phone number.
Read more about comics, including the new Green Lantern and Batwoman!
X-men: Schism #1/Wolverine #12
Jason Aaron is quickly becoming one of my favorite writers. I’ve been spending the past year reading his new Wolverine comic, and I have to say I’ve been truly impressed with what he has put out so far. Instead of the semi-lame good guy with a bad attitude persona that most people associate with Wolverine, Aaron writes with the moral ambiguity that a character like Wolverine deserves. It’s truly enjoyable to read into this gray bleak world as Wolverine struggles to fight the good fight, but doesn’t do many nice things while doing it. It’s also nice not to read “I’m the best at what I do…” or “Shrnk!!” every two pages. Aaron continues his well written trend with issue 12 in his ongoing plot that pits our ‘anti-hero’ against all the people he has crossed in his life, the ones who are still alive that is. If you love Wolverine, you should catch up on the back issues in a hurry. This is shaping up to be the best run in Wolverine comics ever.
Aaron does such a great job writing Wolverine, I was actually a little concerned about Schism, the new big X-men event, since he’ll be writing for most of the X-men characters. The story of Schism still mainly deals with Wolverine with it mostly focusing on his relationship with Cyclops. Cyclops is written fairly nicely but, for the most part, it feels like he is just bouncing off of Wolverine. Also, the other X-men are almost non-existent despite the fact this is a major X-men event, and the ones that are there don’t really feel like they are. Hope especially was so off key from her usual balls-to-the-wall self that I almost didn’t recognize her. There is more than enough intrigue to keep me waiting breathlessly for the next issue and the return of the Sentinel is a nice touch. The lack of X-men in an X-men event still kind bugs me though; but this is, at heart, a Cyclops and Wolverine story that perhaps has just a little more bud than stud.
The Usual Suspects (DC Edition)
In the wind fall of the upcoming DC reboot, I went through all fifty-two new comics that are coming out starting at the end of August, and painstakingly picked out ten that will be on my pull list at my local comic book shop. With all the comics resetting themselves to number 1, you don’t really need to know what the comic is about because everything will be starting over as if it nothing has happened. Here is the said list with a brief description as to why that comic beat out all the others. On a side note, the only reason Secret Six isn’t on my list is because it isn’t surviving the DC reboot despite it being their best ongoing comic.
Here is a link to DC’s site so you can preview all 52 comics.