This week I’m continuing with the video game reviews with Marvel’s Spider-Man.Read more
When I saw The Lego Movie, I was impressed with how the film gave me a false impression of stop motion with 3D animation, and I enjoyed the comedy of the film. While I felt that Lord & Miller’s particular flavor off comedy wouldn’t work for Solo, but when I learned they were doing a Spider-Man movie, my interest was piqued, but I didn’t get around to watching Into The Spider-Verse until Covid-19.Read more
Marvel’s Spider-Man is a game that I recall getting a lot of extremely positive reviews when it came out, and made it into contention for Game of the Year at a lot of places. On the other hand, the depiction of Peter Parker’s close relationship with the NYPD was consider somewhat problematic at the time – and time has not been kind to that aspect of the story.Read more
The first two Marvel Ultimate Alliance games, and their predecessors in the X-Men Legends series, felt like love letters to Marvel Comics. They had a wide variety of characters who you could team up in different ways – with special modifiers based on characters shared history, and a variety of costumes and side missions that played off with that history. With Team Ninja developing MUA3, I had a hope that they would keep with that experience, and combine it with Team Ninja’s background with presenting stylish action. Instead, they just did the bare minimum.Read more
A while back I gave some thoughts on my concerns about the upcoming X-Men series House of X and Powers of X by Jonathan Hickman, and where the X-Line was going to go from there. Well, Hickman’s first two series – House of X and Powers of X – are now out and I’ve read them, and now it’s time to re-assess some of my analysis, as we’ve gotten into the series coming out of those series.Read more
Age of X-Man was a very interesting event, which played with dystopia in a manner that the X-Books hadn’t really done before. However, leading into it and running parallel to it was Uncanny X-Men Volume 5 which, frankly, was something of a slog.Read more
One of the first X-men comics I read was a collection of the first few issues of Age of Apocalypse, back when I was in middle school. While I have still yet to read the entire story, the bits I’ve read left something of an impression on me. When the Age of X-Man event began, I was interested in seeing X-Men writers take on a dystopia that’s different from many of the standard “Pile of Skulls” X-Men dystopia.Read more
There is running theory in stories with romances that the chase is better than the catch – that once characters in a romance get together, there is no motivation to continue the story. These are people who never watched Hart to Hart nor are familiar with Nick & Nora Charles. In the X-Books, probably the biggest of these romances, almost as much if not more so than Scott Summers and Jean Grey, was Gambit and Rogue. However, during the planned wedding of Kitty Pryde and Piotr Rasputin, things ended up not happening, leading to Rogue and Gambit basically deciding to take advantage of the opportunity and the two X-Men who could never tie the other down decided to get hitched.Read more
A while back, Marvel partnered with Stitcher to do their first Podcast audio drama (Podeo drama?) titled Wolverine: The Long Night. The podcast was originally exclusive to Stitcher subscribers before they later went on to adapt it to a comic mini-series, which picked up as it came out.Read more
This past year, when Marvel comics brought back Logan, someone else had already taken on the mantle of Wolverine – Laura Kinney, formerly known as X-23, complete with having her own book branded as All-New Wolverine. Marvel editorial decided that rather than letting Laura keep the code name (as they’ve done with the multiple Hawkeyes), Laura would renounce the code-name, and her book would re-launch and re-brand. Unfortunately, it causes this book to be something of a step back from All-New Wolverine in multiple respects.Read more
There aren’t a lot of fantasy comics out there, and the ones we get in the US are generally licensed from another property, whether Games like D&D or Pathfinder, or literary works like Game of Thrones, Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, or Conan the Barbarian. So, when Marvel got the license to Conan comics again, I was interested, and when they re-launched their classic Conan titles – Conan the Barbarian and Savage Sword of Conan, I added those books to my pull list.Read more
Recently Marvel announced that, as part of Jonathan Hickman’s upcoming run on the X-Men books, the X-Line would be contracted to just two books – House of X and Powers of X, each with a 6-issue run. According to an interview with ComicBook.com, the decision was pitched by Hickman essentially to create a jumping on point for the line for new readers.
The argument makes sense – two books are cheaper than 10 and require less effort to keep track of a story across those books. However, the fundamental idea of the Mutant Metaphor – of Mutants being representative of multiple discriminated minority populations – requires representation not only in the form of the characters on the page but also in the form of the people writing stories with those characters.Read more
With the release of Deadpool 2 this past year, a whole new range of audiences were introduced to Wade Wilson’s grumpy-Gus soldier from the future buddy, Nathan Christopher Askani Summers, aka Cable. Consequently, Marvel also put out a new Cable book, with a mid-volume shift in the numbering to line up with Cable Vol. 1’s numbering. However, what it was not was a buddy-book with Deadpool, Cable was at the fore of this story. So, the question is, what kind of story does the book tell?
This past year, after the Death of Wolverine event, Laura Kinney/X-23, far too briefly, took on the mantle of Wolverine. I’ve read most of that series, and thought, with Logan’s return, I might as well give my thoughts on this series. Read more
I’ve been reading X-Men Red since it started. I appreciate having a team lead by Jean Grey The Elder (particularly since, as of this writing, they’ve killed off Jean the Younger in X-Men Blue), along with having a team with Wolverine II/Laura Kenny (soon to be X-23 again) and Honey Badger/Gabby. However, I do have a problem with the opening villain, Cassandra Nova. Read more
While Marvel’s X-Line has generally revolved around some iteration of the Xavier Institute of Higher Learning and the various Mutant super-teams based out of it, what it normally hasn’t done is spent some time on the actual students attending the school, with some exceptions (like with part of Grant Morrison’s run back in the 2000s). Generation X by Christina Strain puts the focus back on the school side of things, instead of the adventuring super-team side of things – but without going into “Saved By The Bell” with superpowers. Read more
One of the plot elements to come out of Brian Michael Bendis’ last X-Men run was the revelation that Bobby “Iceman” Drake was gay, and firmly in the closet – this revelation coming in connection with the time-displaced Original 5 X-Men coming into the present. This lead to plenty of story opportunities with Bobby The Younger adjusting to the present day, when being gay is (relatively) more socially acceptable than it was in the past he came from. The older Iceman, on the other hand, by all accounts didn’t have that much time to get into that aspect of the story – especially with the major crossover events that came after, leading up to the death of Cyclops. Read more
Over the course of late 2017 and into this year, Jean Grey, for the first time, got her first solo ongoing, not in the form of her adult self (who was, until recently, deceased), but in the form of her time-displaced teenage self, brought into the present day (it’s complicated) – which lead into the return of Adult Jean Grey. As the series recently wrapped up, I figured I might as well give my thoughts. Read more
This time we cover the conclusion of Marvel’s original comic run. Read more
We’re continuing with Marvel’s Star Wars comics with the books published between Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Read more
This time I’m covering the conclusion of Marvel’s initial run on Star Wars:
Writers: Mary Jo Duffy, Ann Nocenti, Roy Richardson, Randy Stradley, Archie Goodwin
Art: Ron Frentz, Sal Buscema, Cynthia Martin, All Williamson
Covers: Bill Sienkiewicz. Read more
So, it’s now time to review the Ultimate Universe’s take on the member of Spider-Man’s rogue’s gallery I hate the most. I’m going to say this right now. I hate Carnage. The character is completely unoriginal. He was created to be a darker-and-edgier version of Venom, who was in turn meant to be a darker and edgier version of Spider-Man. The character has essentially no depth. He kills people for no reason. That’s it. He breaks out of where he’s held, kills people until he’s stopped, and wash, rinse, repeat.
Thus, when I picked up this volume, I had my doubts about how they could make this story interesting. Thus, I was pleasantly surprised by how they did succeed. Basically, they managed to pull it off by not directly attaching the character to Venom, but instead to Curt Connors, aka The Lizard. Connors has been, in my opinion, one of the better members of Spider-Man’s supporting cast. This is, for a large part, because he’s a tragic figure. He experiments on himself in an attempt to develop a way for amputees to re-grow limbs, and ends up turning himself into a lizard-man. Everything the character does is meant with the best intentions, as opposed to villainous figures like Doc Ock and the Green Goblin. Read more
I have a love-hate relationship with Frank Castle. As someone who got into the pulps, especially characters like The Shadow, before he really got into comics, I never really had a problem with a comic book character who killed criminals. Thus, the Punisher appealed to me a little, as the character had a lot in common with characters like The Shadow, in terms of being a grim or mostly silent vigilante who gunned down gangsters. While I recognized that he had to coexist with various Marvel Super Heroes, I’d kind of figured out the sort of “rule of tiers” that the Marvel U operated on, and I figured that Spidey was generally more occupied with the more dangerous super-villains that Frank couldn’t go up against.
The hate part of the relationship comes from the writer whose currently in charge of writing the Punisher in the Marvel Max books-which is when they’re keeping the character at his street-level feel (sort of). I’m referring to Garth Ennis. Garth Ennis writing style feels like he goes for the shock value too often, and he goes for the low brow too often. His writing style also gives me the impression that he hates super heroes. No work shows this better than his run on The Punisher before he went to the Marvel Max version. After the first arc of the Punisher (Welcome Back Frank, which I almost liked), he proceeded to take a dump on every Marvel character he could get away with. He had Frank use Spider-Man as a human shield for The Resurrected Russian when Spidey could have pretty easily taken him. Frank blew Wolverine’s face off and ran him over with a bulldozer. Read more