All New Doop 1

All New Doop 1

Writer Peter Milligan

Artist David LaFuente

Color Artist Laura Allred

Letterer VC’s Clayton Cowles

This story takes place around the margins of Battle of the Atom.  Hence, this is the best story that happens in Battle of the Atom, and it is barely that.

Doop gets an alarm.  He heads to where Kitty and the Original X-Men are, as they get greeted by Cyclops’ Uncanny X-Men team.  We see some of the same dialogue and plot points.

Kitty feels like she is being watched.  Doop is recording everything, like he did for his relaunch of X-Force and X-Statix.

We see Magik kicking much Sentinel can as well as Kitty, so that’s awesome.  They still don’t get any time together though.

Doop has written a letter, we get the impression it is a love letter, but to whom?  We already know from the solicts but let’t not ruin the story with future knowledge.

Kitty phases through a Sentinel and comes across Doop.  He hands her the letter.  She doesn’t get time to read it before young Bobby shows up.  Unlike Wolverine, Kitty can’t understand Doop’s language.

Bobby tells Kitty that he saw her fall, which she corrects that she didn’t fall, she jumped.  There’s a subtle difference.  I already like Milligan already.  He co-created Doop with Mike Allred, who s providing art on the covers.  I didn’t really read their X-Force/X-Statix story.  I read the rest of the X-Force run and own that first trade but then I bailed with the relaunch as it seemed like a good jumping off point.  I also didn’t read much of his proper X-Men run.  I know it dealt with Apocalypse.

We are reshown the scene of young Scott getting hit by a Sentinel blast.  Emma calls for Triage.  He is freaking out, we see that Doop had to literally slap some sense into him and he was able to heal young Scott.  Thus, proper Cyclops lives.

There is an ad for the Amazing Spider-Man 2, which reminds me that I really wanted to play the first game as I read it had a fighting style similar to the Batman Arkham games.  Also, I really like the redesign of eyes on Spider-Man’s mask.  They are so big and white.

We cut to the scene with the Future ‘X-Men’ and the present’s Wolverine’s X-Men.  There is a lot of Iceman on these two pages as Bobby asks Iceman for some advice on how to get ladies.

Scott and Jean run off, holding hands.  Doop fixes the Blackbird so they can fly it.

The Lady Xorn reveal happens.

There is a ‘Trust No One’ ad for Agents of SHIELD, showing Ward – uh, spoilers, ya’ll!

Rachel and Kitty are about to get something to eat.  Rachel runs ahead.  Kitty hangs back as Doop would like a moment.

Kitty finally reads his letter.  Doop would like to marry Kitty, which really, who can blame him?  She is pretty awesome!

She gently turns him down.  Though she makes one big mistake, her main reason for not marrying him is that they can’t communicate.

So poor Doop, it looks painful, rips himself in half and now he can talk.  Your move, Ms. Pryde!

Such a fun issue!  Can’t wait for the next four issues.  This and Marvel Knights : X-Men are already two great X-Mini Series this year.  Going to be hard to beat!

Posted in Review | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Paul Smith Has His Own Website!

http://paulmartinsmith.com/

How is it that I didn’t even know about this until today!?!

I feel like this is my new favorite website, I’ve been spending hours going through his blog and reading what he has to say.  He is very funny.

His commissions are down right now, not like I could afford one but I really really do want to commission a Kitty and Lockheed piece one day.

There is a Contact page and I just embarrassed myself with telling him, how much his run and work on the X-Men has changed me!

I’ve read all three pages of his blog, and I really like his writing style.  It appears he updates every Monday, from what the wording he uses, as there are no dates.

Going to have to check back once a week and see what changes.

Posted in Paul Smith, Websites | Tagged | Leave a comment

Uncanny X-Men Volume Two Issue 9

245561_20120330221005_large

Writer Kieron Gillen

Penciler Carlos Pacheco

Inker Cam Smith

Colors Guru eFX

Letterer VC’s Joe Caramagna

Cover Dated May 2012

Also from the cover, AvX is one month away so this was the last story to show them working together as a team.  Also, one of the few times of seeing them work as a team.

Issue opens with a narration by Danger.  She is the warren to the X-Berg.  She isn’t happy that one of her prisoners is Magik, who is a fellow member of Cyclops’ Extinction Team.  Also not happy, is Colossus.

Magik is in a holding cell, strap to an explosive straight jacket, due to her actions with the Elder Gods in Limbo that resulted in her getting her soul back.  Cyclops wasn’t happy with her as she risked the entire universe to do so and sort of tricked the X-Men into helping.  When she is out in the field, her uniform is also set up with the same time of explosives – so that if she goes rogue, they will go off.  The cool thing about it is that Magik allows this punishment to take place.

Outside, Emma is attacking a Mr. Sinister hologram.  I like the idea of an outdoor Danger Room, for these simple fighting sessions.  If all you are doing is fighting a few opponents, you don’t need to be coup up inside a giant room, you can enjoy being outside and fresh air and fight a few foes at the same time.

Emma is fighting Mr. Sinister, who opened this volume of Uncanny X-Men and was the recurring villain, now that I think about it.  Uncanny X-Men Volume Two is pretty much Cyclops’ Extinction Team along with Mr. Sinister’s continued attempts to fight that team, all written by Gillen.

The Extinction Team is – Cyclops, Emma, Magik, Magneto, Danger, Namor, Hope Summers, Storm and Colossus.

Emma is fighting Mr. Sinister as during their last fight, while in diamond form, her arm was sliced off.  Luckily, Doctor Nemesis was able to figure out how to reattach it so that when she reverted back to her regular form, her arm would still be attached.  She’s also wearing a white bikini type of training outfit, or maybe it is a proper sports bra but because it is Emma, it only appears to be bikini.  I do like seeing her work out and doing fight training as she clearly has to work on her physical side as her second mutation makes her original mental powers inoperable.  Being punched by a diamond fist has to still hurt but having a fighting style is always a plus.

Namor shows up, to make sure Emma is doing okay.  She is glad someone cares about her recovery as Cyclops has been brooding, he really wants another mission for his team to go on.  Cyclops is slightly annoying the Cuckoos as apparently he keeps asking for threats that warrant the big team.

Meanwhile at the Peak, the headquarters of SWORD, we get an awesome narration of Unit, a silver looking fellow.  I became a fan of this character during Gillen’s awesome SWORD miniseries.  Unit’s narration explains who some of the alien prisoners are and what type of horrible event has to happen to release all of these aliens back into freedom.  His narration ends with a, “but you don’t have to worry about that happening.”  Then, of course, it happens.

Unit is a bit of a know it all, he is ancient, and has seen so much.  He was built by an even older race of people and they made him to maintain the peace.  Then that race were killed off and he is the last remnant of them.

Back at Utopia, Colossus is about to speak to Cyclops about Illyana’s continued imprisonment.  Cyclops states that enough time has passed, and he is about to go on when Agent Abigail Brand shows up and asks for their help.  Emma’s initial reaction is thinking that Brand is there to insult them some more, as they have a fun chemistry Brand and the X-Men.  Brand states she has no time to be mean, Earth needs saving.

Somewhere in Nevada, Magik has teleported the team to their first location.  In giant words in the ground, is “I CLAIM THIS WORLD” Terminus has marked his turf.  I know him as an Avengers villain that I’ve only really seen in the JLAvengers miniseries and maybe one other time in a proper Avengers comic.

Back at the Peak, Sydren (probably my favorite pure SWORD agent behind Brand and Lockheed – who feel like proper characters to me now) tells Brand that there are multiple threats.  She doesn’t care about that now that the X-Men are involved, she wants him to locate Unit – as he is the biggest threat of them all.

Somewhere in Canada, a father and son are hunting.  Unit appears before them, trying to speak to them in the base galactic language and of course, Earth is so backwards (to him) that we don’t even speak this language – which is a fun concept.  I imagine it is like Latin, wherein if you know that language, you can meet anyone with Italian, French and Spanish background and be able to at least communicate a little with them.

Unit learns so much from this initial interaction with the two humans.  From the father’s impulse to open fire, to how the type of gun implies that Earth’s viewpoint of hunting for sport is a concept still in practice here.  Since Unit was attacked, he now has the ability to respond in kind and call it self-defense.  Though if you use self-defense as an excuse, is it still self-defense?  I’m sure there has been Law & Order episodes that state otherwise.

Turns out, Unit has a power similar to Jesse Custer, the Vertigo’s Preacher, in that he can change his voice so that it commands any who hear it (or that it is directed at).  He orders the boy to run off and cover his ears.  Since the father’s actions have taught him so much, he wants to learn how humans are made next.

The Extinction Team, who I like the name as it implies the mutant race is extinct as well as it sounds like the away team for the X-Men.

They have dealt with Terminus and want to know who their next target is.  Emma directs their attention to the sky as a Quinjet is arriving.  Emma gets the awesome line of “Someone’s assembled.”  I so miss this Emma, the wise cracking all confidence Emma.

The Avengers are – Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Iron Man, the Protector (the former Marvel Boy), Captain America, Red Hulk and Wolverine but we only see his head in the plane.  He doesn’t get a caption box.  Probably to build up the tension as at this point, Wolverine has the Jean Grey School up and running and there is some anger there between Wolverine and Cyclops as the Schism is still fresh.  But it is still polite tension, AvX will set these two on different courses that they are still mad at each other about and still not really on talking terms.  Here, they can at least work together.

The Avengers have been dealing with Super Skrull in New York, and since they handled one alien threat, Brand has decided to let them assist Cyclops’ team.

Emma gets another awesome line, and gets to continue her relationship with Storm – which is a friendly rivalry, asking Storm why she didn’t assemble with her new friends.  At this is during the time when Storm has joined the Avengers.  I believe it lasted only two issues and that is including the one issue she joins and didn’t do much from what I remember reading about.  She was a member of the Fantastic Four along with her husband, Black Panther, longer than she was a proper Avenger.

Hope, showing her age and experience, shouts “Team-Up!” which is fun.  Cyclops and Wolverine finally get to glare at each other.

Sabancaya, Peru – Magneto deals with Voidian the Destroyer’s giant organ as Spider-Man punches Voidian’s face.

Chichen Itza, Mexico – The Dire Wraiths are at ancient temples, feeding off the power.  So weird how Marvel has the rights to Dire Wraiths but not ROM.  Weird and awkward.  With Disney’s money, one would imagine they can buy the rights to ROM and do something with the rights.  At least be able to print Essentials with all the issues instead of having to skip the ones with ROM.  Hope and Spider-Woman are there helping.

Magik teleports the Dire Wraiths into Limbo, which there they don’t have any power.

Vancouver, Canada – Protector is dealing with the Acute Reflection after the X-Club told him about how to use their weapons against them.  Danger is there, as well.

Las Vegas, Nevada – Juggerlossus is fighting Xemnu.  Emma and Iron Man are creating a device so that Red Hulk can assist.

Not to be that guy, but one would think – production wise – they would have shown the Vegas scene and then the Vancouver so that it segues into the next scene with Unit in Canada better.  That’s just me.

Unit is performing a vivisection on the father.  He ‘apologizes” for not being able to turn off the man’s pain receptors but he has to learn all that he can with the process.  He also then apologizes as his vivisection has become a dissection.  I like how Unit is a fun clever robot type of character in SWORD but left to his own schemes, is a ripe bastard.

Unit then finds the son, tells him to look the other way and in a horrible panel to be seen, eye laser beams the son’s head, causing it to explode.  It is horrible!  He at least had the boy think of a happy thought before doing it.  He claims it is a peaceful death but it sure doesn’t look it.

Then in the very next panel, he wants to learn about mutants so he thumps his head and the Cuckoos see a new mutant on Cerebra.

One of the Cuckoos, so nice that now they all have different hair colors so you can distinguish them, informs Hope that a new mutant has been detected.  Hope tells her to gather her team together.

This must be before Generation Hope is a title but that is who her team is.  Pixie is their teleported, and the other members are Primal, Transonic and Velocidad – who once they show up on the battlefield, informs Hope that her superhero hobby time is over and it is time to return to her day job.  Cyclops tells them that rescuing new mutants is up there with saving the world, so Hope should go.  Before Generation Hope became a title and our real world name for her group, the new mutants were called The Lights due to them being the first batch of new mutants Cerebra located.

The Lights, Hope and Pixie arrive and see Unit.  They know it is a trap now as most mutants don’t look like a surf board with arms and a head.  Hope knows that he must be one of the escapees from the Peak.

Unit commands Pixie to teleport the team eight miles to the north and then in two seconds after that, to fall asleep.  Pixie complies.

I had forgotten this about Hope, that her mutant power is to mimic nearby mutants’ powers.  So now that there are no mutants, she is powerless before Unit.  He then commands her to drop her giant gun (she was raised by Cable, after all).

The issue ends with him finally having a mutant before him, and a powerful one at that, he wants to know what makes a mutant different from a human.  He refers to her as a ‘special’ mutant.

Don’t worry the X-Men and Avengers show up before he can hurt her.

Issue ends with a preview of AvX Issue One.

Posted in Review | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

New X-Men 37

90359_20070411182303_large

Story Craig Kyle and Chris Yost

Script Chris Yost

Pencils Skottie Young

Inks Sean Parsons

Colors Skottie Young with Jean Francois-Beaulieu

Painted Cover and Storybook Pages Niko Henrichon

Letterer Dave Sharpe

Cover Dated June 2007

Quest for Magik : Prelude

Craig Kyle is credited as creating X23 though she doesn’t appear in the issue.

Happy Easter, Everyone!

This may be a little sacrilegious but I’m going with it.  Let me explain first

So back in the day, when I had time to  listen to podcasts, one of my favorites was Comic Book Queers.  They, at that time, were big X-Men fans and so I listen to quite the few that had X-Men in the episode description.  Nowadays they seem to be heavy on DC, thus I no longer listen to them.  It also sounds like they have a whole new crew that I’m not familiar with.  Episode 93 has Brett and Evil Jeff, who I really liked.

Comic Book Queers Episode 93 :

http://www.comicbookqueers.com/?p=28

In the episode they talk about Jean and Magik, which gave me the idea for this post.  So every Easter, I’ll do one spotlight post with Magik and I figured I’ll start the tradition with the first issue of the storyline that brought her back to us.

The episode must have came out around May 2009, as they discuss Messiah War 1, as if it just came out.

Illyana discussion starts around the thirty minute mark.

Other great episodes of theirs are : 18, 52 (the awesome Jean v Emma debate!) 88 (where they talk about Clue, which I love) and 140 – but really if you just do a Control-F for find and type ‘X-Men’ you’ll get a good episode.  They do have some good non-X-Men related titled episodes as well.  Those four I listed and in particular, episodes 52 and 93 are the ones I have relistened to the most and would recommend.  Clearly.

I was tempted to start the Easter idea with whichever issue was next on my list of Magik’s chronological list which is Uncanny X-Men 146 but I thought with the resurrection that the better idea would be to start with her actual return from the dead which was in this New X-Men : Quest for Magik arc.  Also, these would be more current comics, if you can count 2007 as current.  Which if you are a How I Met Your Mother fan, which how can you not be?  – in the penultimate episode, they reference how long ago was 2007, the year Marshal and Lily were married.

Now onto the issue!

Issue opens with some of the students that are left after the massive House of M mutant depowering that hit the students the hardest as there are only like twenty students left.  The students are gathered around Rockslide as he tells a story around a fire.  Listening to Rockslide are Anole, Blindfold, Match, Loa, Pixie and Wolfcub.  Oh Wolfcub, if only I can tell you to get out now.  Also, poor Pixie after this storyline, she is essentially a different character.

Rockslide starts retelling the adventures he has had with the X-Men or his fellow students.  He has fought Sentinels, Apocalypse, told off Professor X, saved Hellion from Wolverine, has been with Lady Mastermind and saved the Cuckoos from the Phoenix Force.  Most of these did occur, Rockslide just wasn’t involved with any of them except for the Sentinels.

Match, whatever happened to that guy?, thinks the story is cool but Anole knows that Rockslide is greatly exaggerating his involvement with the stories.  I like it as it works as a wonderful time capsule moment of what was going on at the time.

Rockslide challenges anyone to tell a better story.  He mistakenly turns to Blindfold to go first, which sets up this story.

Young does all the student artwork and Henrichon does all the awesome splash pages from Blindfold’s story.

This is of course, during the time when she is talking in broken segments.  Which adds to the overall uneasiness of the story.

Her story begins with how a demon lord took a young blonde girl captive.  He was going to use her innocence as fuel for his own power.  A group of heroes try to save the girl but were unsuccessful.  The demon lord becomes the young girl’s master.

I love once we cut back to the students, that they realize Blindfold should not have gone next but she continues.

For the heroes, the girl was lost for only a moment but in that moment, she aged from a young girl to a teenager.  Not only was she older now, she was harden by her experience.  She had become an apprentice.  She was in a place like Hell (Limbo).

Rockslide wonders if the girl is hot and the rest of the students tell him to be quiet.  Rockslide, who looks like the Thing but with more jagged rocks, is very girl crazy.

Meanwhile, Mercury hasn’t gotten out of bed from the previous adventure where the people who created X23 had taken Mercury to use her skin to make the Predator X creatures even more formidable.  Hellion is watching over her.  He’s really taken a beating since New X-Men ended, losing both of his hands during Second Coming.  Only a few of these students are still in tact.  For instance, Anole at one point loses his arm but he grows a new one that is much larger and scalier than the previous one.  He got off easy.

Surge appears to check on Mercury, what ever happen to her?  Surge is the leader of the New X-Men, the field team for the students, when they are able to go out into the field.  Surge tells him that Mercury will get better.  Surge wants to talk to Hellion about something out of the room, he tells her that this is going to be a long night – he doesn’t know the half of it!

There are five Spider-Man related ads in this issue.  The first is for Spider-Man 3, so that explains the extra exposure.  I rather watch 3 than the whole of 1.  Most of these origin stories, on the rewatch, I skip straight to when they don their costume for the first time.

In the story.  The young girl, who if you don’t know who the story really is about, is only shown to be a young blonde girl, it could be a random person but if you do know who it is, it really is an awesome retelling of Magik’s origin.  Henrichon should do an Origins tell for everyone in this manner.  It is awesome.

An ad for the first Mass Effect game on the XBox 360, that is how long ago 2007 is.

Magik was raised by Belasco, (neither are named yet) and trained in the dark arts.  His main goal is to break the girl’s soul into little pieces, Bloodstones, and then use these pieces to release his overlords.  Eventually the blonde fights off the demon lord with the aid of twisted versions of her brother’s friends.  The girl is able to regain a portion of her soul and uses this to forge a weapon, a Soulsword!  She will use this sword to banish, Belasco of Limbo.  The art is really well done.

Rockslide tries to give Blindfold a tip on how to make this story even more gruesome, when Anole finally recognizes this story has one he has read about.  He read it from one of the X-Men files.  He’s pretty sure Blindfold isn’t telling a story, she’s reciting history!

I like the idea that at one point, the X-Men have to sit in front of a computer and type up all of their adventures for future reference.

Rockslide tries to state that his story was real too, especially about hooking up with Lady Mastermind.

There is a fun little joke about Anole calling Blindfold a pre-cog and Rocksldie calls her a re-cog for the rehashing of history.  Kyle and Yost are not about only killing characters in horrible horrible ways, they sprinkle some fun in there too.

Pixie wants the story to continue, oh Pixie, get out now!

Meanwhile, Elixir has finally convinced the Cuckoos to upload all of Beast’s medical knowledge into his mind.  Elixer’s power is to heal and he feels he could do a better job if he knew how anatomy works.  Which isn’t the worst idea to strength your powers with knowledge.  I’m not sure if he’s been seen since his X-Force days.

The Cuckoos give him everything Beast knows about human and mutant biology, genetics and medicine.  This causes Elixer pain and he shouts, I didn’t know!

An ad for Spider-Man 2.1, which I would recommend buying over the original release.  2 is my Spider-Man movie.  My favorite Spider-Man villain and the best of the four films.

Back in the story.  Belasco wants to reclaim his price apprentice.  He goes looking for her and learns that she died (Uncanny 303 – it is sad).  He then finds the latest ruler of Limbo, a new gal name Magik – Amanda Sefton.  From the second Magik titled miniseries, it isn’t very good.

In his weaken state, he kills a demon and uses this new energy to see what is happening on Earth and sees twins reshaping history.  These twins are of course, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, wearing robes and holding hands. He also sees, in a fun next page reveal, Magik of the House of M timeline.  This all occurred in this title back in issues 16 through 19, a full two years prior to this issue, that is one slow burn.

Anole isn’t liking where this is going.  They know that Magik is dead.  He isn’t sure why Blindfold is telling this story.  Loa is confused by reality changing – as only the Astonishing X-Men and the New Avengers kept any memory of what happened during House of M.  For the students, they were minding their own business, learning their powers and co-existence and the next moment, the majority of them didn’t have their powers anymore.

Pixie wonders if Cyclops shows up in this story, he doesn’t.

Wolfcub wonders if Magik really existed and Rockslide wonders who is Colossus.

Blindfold continues, she has no time for answers.  Magik, right before the House of M timeline is changed back, she teleported to Limbo.  Which at the time, when issue 19 of New X-Men came out, I and a bunch of people on the message boards were predicting that this was the way to bring Magik back into our lives.  I know Louise Simonson had another plan to bring both Illyana and Doug back to life but the modern writers found two different ways to do it.  Doug was still dead at this point.

There is a wonderful two page spread of Belasco’s return to Limbo.  If that isn’t every demon in Limbo, it must be close.

Belasco had seen this new Magik and wanted to find her again.  He once again confronted the new Magik, and she fought him off.  In the caption, they talk about how the Black Sun faded.  Which was a truly horrible terrible miniseries.  It sets up the less than stellar second Magik series.  One day I will get around to reviewing both series.  I only own like every other issue of Black Sun.  It isn’t an issue of understanding it, it is an issue of quality of story.  I’ll be curious how I would feel about it 14 years later.

Since Amanda’s sword wasn’t Illyana’s sword, Belasco was able to fight her and win Limbo back.

There is an ad for Spider-Man : One More Day, my time as a Spider-Fan are numbered, I just don’t even know it yet.

In Blindfold’s story, she informs her listeners that Amanda crashed back onto Earth two days ago.  Limbo is once again a dark reflection of Belasco.  He can’t locate Illyana but he can smell those who were with her last.  The children of the Xavier Mansion.

There is an ad for Captain America : Fallen Son, it isn’t very good.

The students who are still around who were part of the House of M Hellions (that Magik was of course a member of) are Hellion and Surge.  The House of M New Mutants that are still around at this point in the title are Mercury and Sophie of the Cuckoos.  The Hellions, if I remember correctly, were meant to be the field team of students and the New Mutants were definitely being groomed to be the next leaders of mutantkind.

This of course, freaks out the students.  Blindfold went from a distant history to talking about two days ago and the mansion.  Eyes are all big.  The entire coloring for the issue is really outstanding with the use of shadows and the flames.

Anole knows that this story went from fiction to a warning, real fast.  Pixie announces she is no longer a fan of Blindfold (which I like as they are current roommates during the latest X-Men Legacy volume).  Rockslide calls Blindfold a, freaky chick.  Opinions are changed.

Anole wants to inform the X-Men immediately.  Pixie wonders if they will be okay, to which Blindfold gives the unsettled answer of , no.  Blindfold adds that she is sorry for Pixie’s lost.

Anole wants to get out of the mansion now but it is already too late.  The floor below them crashes and fire surrounds them.  The students are lost into darkness.

Such an amazing story!

Not sure when I will get around to reviewing the rest of this storyline, hopefully not a full year from now but it will be worth the wait!

Posted in Podcasts, Review | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Contest of Champions II Issue 4

20713_20060509150032_large

Writer Chris Claremont

Penciler Michael Ryan

Inkers Livesay & Kryssing

Letterers AS & Comicraft’s Albert Deschesne

Colors Atomic Paintbrush

Cover Dated November 1999

Inside front Cover is an ad for the first Pokemon movie.  Remember when that franchise was good?  Even the cartoon up to that point was decent, then it started nose diving and hard.  With Ash releasing his Pokemon (like a fool) and the movies getting more and more crazy.  I’m pretty sure I jumped out right around the third one.  I still say though, if they are going to ever make one game, that you can catch all of them on, I would buy that game immediately.  Charge a proper $59.99 and it should balance out at the end.

I’m not sure what made Marvel tap Claremont for this miniseries but I’m glad they did.  He gets to write most of the Marvel Universe, though this is 1999 Marvel and this does a fine job of working as a time capsule of which characters were either new or popular at the time.

I had a bit of an argument with someone online a few years ago over if this counts as a Kitty Pryde miniseries or not.  She gets her own subplot throughout the series, with varying degree of importance per issue.  She isn’t one of those characters who get two panels on one page and never seen again.

What I also like about this, and particularly in this issue, there are a few fights with mutants and one might think with Claremont at the helm, that any mutant would win their match up and he really doesn’t go that direction.  Now, does he go in the opposite direction, having mutants almost lose and lose badly?  Yes, yes he does.  We’ll get to a few examples of that in this issue.

Issue opens with another match, one that was decided by voters on Marvel.com, which I believe was a new website at that point.  I believe I voted there who who knows or remembers which bouts were eligible.

Daredevil vs. Deadpool, which was a pairing that we kept getting during the late 90s.  Mostly do to Joe Kelly being the writer of both characters.  I would have voted for Deadpool in this instance, as I am a big fan of Joe Kelly’s run on Deadpool.  That whole volume was good, including Priest’s run and up to and not including Agent X.  Kelly’s run on Daredevil, I remember buying and liking for the most part.

Claremont has Deadpool cracking wise and actually having Daredevil making a few jokes.  I know after Frank Miller, that Murdock quit being a ‘fun’ character but he’s suppose to be at least, a dry wit.

With all of Deadpool’s chatter, he is the merc-with-a-mouth afterall, he is creating a form of white noise that stops Daredevil from being at his best.  At one point, Daredevil believes Deadpool has a baby and in an attempt to catch the baby, falls into a dumpster, the baby turns out is a fake and Deadpool wins.

We then find Wasp, who is colored much darker than she typically is.  Wasp is running around in a jungle type environment, as she is being chased by a strange looking alien that is out of focus at the moment.  From the cover, and it s revealed a few pages later, that it is the Brood.  They have been disguising themselves this entire series from the heroes which the covers have been doing a great job of slowing revealing the mastermind behind this latest Contest.  The Brood Queen is trying to figure out who the best heroes are, so that they will make the best host for future Broodlings.  It makes perfect sense for a Brood plot.

The Wasp, at this moment, can’t access any of her powers.  She gets saved by Beast, who stomps on one of the Brood.  Then comes Iron Man, Psylocke (in a weird armor herself – is it a skeleton to one of the fallen Brood?) and Lockdown – who was a character Claremont created for his run on the Fantastic Four.

Iron Man and Lockdown explain the situation and release some nanites that fight the Brood nanites that block the heroes’ powers.  They are inside of one of the Acanti, as the Brood are still using that poor race as their starships.

I forget how the heroes of Earth were convinced to participate in this contest but they were promised that the losers will be sent home or to where they were picked up at.  Instead, they are being teleported into the would be prison portion of the Acanti.

The next match is barely that.  Apparently Black Widow has defeated the entirety of X-Force – which is ridiculous, made worst by having Claremont be the writer.  The members we can see are Dani Moonstar, Sunspot and Warpath.  Natasha may have been able to defeat them over time, which I have to imagine is what happened behind the scenes but Dani vs. Black Widow is a match I would like to see played out.

To make matters worst, Black Widow goes from this fight to going up against Thor.  I wish there was a bracket for this issue or the contest itself as it seems all over the place.  Thor can’t believe that he keeps being put up against women, and comely ones at that – which seems to be an odd choice of words for him as he has met all of these ladies in the past and it doesn’t seem like a compliment to me.

So Black Widow turns her widow blasters to full power and Thor no sells the attack and hits her once upside the head and he wins.  So what was the point of her single handily taking out X-Force.  X-Force was there as they had fought the Slingers in a basketball game.  I miss Slingers, such a fun 12 issue series.

Another odd match up, Jean Grey vs. Thing on the Blue Area of the Moon.  The captions imply that both have had many victories here.  Which is odd as the only ‘victory’ Jean had there was when the Phoenix posing as her killed herself at the end of the Dark Phoenix Saga.  Not much of a victory to me.  Not sure about Thing’s track record there.  I know during AvX, he fought Colossus there and lost.

Jean fakes him out by having a psychic double bulk up and fight him.  He goes outside the oxygen filled area of the Blue Area and passed out.  That’s one way to have Jean win.  One interesting moment is that Thing gets a decent uppercut to Jean, and you usually don’t see much male on female violence.  Maybe it is due to her not being really Jean that it was okay to have happened.  Like how on cartoons, Wolverine can claw and dearm a guy and then have it be revealed that that man was a cyborg but not having to establish that first.

Then we find Kitty Pryde, being tortured by the Brood Queen.  All the heroes have nanites in them, but due to Kitty’s natural state being to be phased – the nanites are working twice as hard to get to her, causing her a lot of pain.  This will be the go to example of people pointing out that Kitty’s natural state is to be intangible as that was the case from Fantastic Four vs. X-Men to at this point.  Later writers would forget this or it will never come up again.  I imagine her natural state is to be tangible now that she is back from space.

Kitty is the only hero who has a real history with the Brood, who also knows that the Brood is here.  Beast may have a little experience but not like Kitty’s.  The Brood Queen really wants to impregnate Kitty with a broodling as she was denied the chance back in the day.

Then Rogue comes into the room, she is being mentally controlled by the Brood Queen.  Then the Queen moves her consciousness into Rogue.  Now she has Rogue’s ability to absorb powers – which she can now do to Kitty so that she won’t be in her phasing mode anymore.  Not the worst plan.

Before that can take place, we get a quick page fight of Deadpool vs. Hulk!  It goes about as well as expected.  Deadpool tries to outrun Hulk but gets smashed.  Its fun in how quick and how Deadpool knows what is coming.

One of October 1999′s Hot Picks was Uncanny X-Men 375 – X Marks the Corpse!  Turns out, Wolverine dies.  Turns out, that Wolverine was a Skrull.  In Amazing Spider-Man 12 and Peter Parker Spider-Man 12, Venom joins the Sinister Six, which included Kraven, Sandman and Vulture (in a fancy vest).  Webspinners 12 has Paul Jenkins and JG Jones.  The only pick I didn’t buy was Blade : Vampire Hunter 1.

Back in the Acanti – Hercules, Reed Richards, Spider-Woman (Mattie Franklin) and Daredevil have arrived.  Iron Man and Rosetta Stone (yes, that’s her hero name) she is Lockdown’s partner.  They are from an alternate Earth or dimension, or something like that.  This is where the heroes who have no experience with the Brood or the Acanti, are now informed about who they are.  I like the reminder that even the Acanti’s smaller ribs are still hundred miles high.  It paints a visual for you that then becomes unimaginable.  It is a small miracle that the heroes are even able to locate each other as length wise, the jungle / belly is a thousand miles long.

Iron Man and Rosetta Stone release a probe that should work as a beacon to where most of the heroes are, that also maps the jungle area as well as release positive nanites to restore newly arrived heroes their powers.

Iron Man, being a genius, realizes that there are a lot of heroes present, so the contest must be coming to its conclusion.  He also explains to those present what the entire Brood plot has been – to gather the heroes, find the best of the best, plant embryos into those heroes – have a new master race of Brood.  Also, the Badoon alien race are helping them as the public face of the content.  I am not that familiar with the Badoon besides reading the name in the latest issues of Guardians of the Galaxy.

Iron Man wants to split the loser heroes into two teams, one to keep gathering heroes and the other to start attacking the Brood.

Back to the card!

Spider-Man vs. Domino.  Spider-Man notices that Domino must have a power similar to his danger sense and figures he must move faster to out do her power.  Which he does and after webbing her, is declared the winner.  Which is another insulting win over a mutant by Claremont.  I wonder if he was told to make the victories over the mutants, super lame as his sweet revenge for being kicked off the X-Titles back in the day.

Captain America vs. Black Panther.  This is an odd one as we get both heroes running commentaries to the fights.  Neither one wants to fight the other.  Both can tell the other doesn’t want to fight either.  Also, both can tell the other is holding back as well as both are distracted.  Most likely due to all of those thoughts.  It goes on for pages, but it is only two.

Here are two thoughts : Cap – The speed and stillness of the man is incredible.  Black Panther – The speed and reactions of the man is incredible.

Oh, and this is during the time when Cap’s shield was broken, so he was using a photonic shield.

Captain America finally realizes that now is the time to attack and wins the fight.  Black Panther is super cool about the victory, as neither wanted to do it so it is a hallow victory.

The final fight is between Gambit and Wolverine.  Gambit recalls the very first time they fought each other, in the Danger Room as they are now fighting in the Danger Room again.  Wolverine claims Gambit’s bo staff can’t really hurt a guy whose bones are unbreakable.  Gambit is quick to point out that Wolverine still has flesh and muscles that can be hurt.  Which I do enjoy when opponents of Wolverine’s don’t go for the glory shots but think about how flesh tears and that has to hurt, even if it is for the time that it takes to heal.

Wolverine gets the upper hand on Gambit, when Rogue comes out.  She stinks of the Brood Queen, so this sends Wolverine into a berserker rage.  Gambit takes advantage and empties an entire card deck into Wolverine’s back.  Gambit wins.

Rogue declares the contest over, and the winners of future broodlings are – Scarlet Witch (in an outfit only a hussy would wear), Spider-Man, Jean Grey, Hulk, Thor, Captain America and Gambit.

I like that there is no need to keep having heroes fight until there is one winner.  Six winners makes six future babies and those six offer decent powers.  Also, once those six are dead, then the next fights will be easier.

Issue ends with Hawkeye thinking to himself that there must have been a miscount as the system overlooked him, and now he has been in the rafters this entire time.  He pulls out an arrow and aims it at Rogue’s heart.

We’ll have to pick this up some other time down the road but don’t worry, Rogue doesn’t die.

I forgot to mention, there are page numbers in this issue.  That makes commenting on the issue easier, if I wasn’t so used to not having them.

Posted in Review | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Comixology and Paul Smith

When I first stumbled onto Comixology, they only had issue 167 of the Paul Smith run.  Then on March 1, 2014, they added all of the other issues except for Uncanny X-Men 175.

On April 16, 2014, they finally added the final issue of Paul Smith’s legendary run on Uncanny X-Men.

166

167

168

169

170

172

173

174

175

For only $1.99 each – that will cost you $17.91 and worth every single penny!  Such a great day!

Posted in Paul Smith | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Wolverine Volume Two Issue 40

33652_20060327005509_large

Writer Daniel Way

Breakdowns Javier Saltares

Finishes Mark Texeira

Colors JD Smith

Letters VC’s Randy Gentile

Cover Dated May 2006

Origins & Endings Part Five of Five

Captain America and Iron Man are only on the cover.  The cover is done by Kaare Andrews.

Winter Soldier appears in the present as he tells Logan that he killed Logan’s wife, Itsu – the mother of Daken.

I own this issue due to Ogun being named by Logan to his future clan master.

In the process of proving himself to his new clan, and thus the right to raise his son, he has to go through a special dance. The dance appears as if the combatants are attacking him, so he can’t fight back.  Then the volcano explodes a little, in Logan’s moment of being distracted – he pops his claws, stabbing one of the men. With that, he leaves the clan a disgrace.  The worthy men will raise his son.

Logan decides, he must see Itsu one last time, he heads back.  He recognizes the scent of her blood (weird?) and runs to her cabin.  She has been shot.

This clan is the peaceful one.  Up on the mountain, is the more violent clan.  This clan, Logan joins so that he can be made into a better weapon so that he can get his revenge.

Since Winter Soldier has told Wolverine something he didn’t know before, he tells him a secret.  But we the reader don’t get to hear it.

This story takes place during the Decimation era, which takes place as soon as House of M ended.  House of M, for Wolverine, is where he obtained all of his memories, every single last one of them.

Issue ends with him going back to the clan on top of the mountain, to receive the Muramasa, a sword.

As a Chrono Trigger fan, I’m glad it wasn’t the Masamune as Wolverine isn’t worthy of that sword.

There is an editorial page explaining that this story continues into Wolverine Origins and this title is going to deal with Wolverine’s new adventures whereas Origins will deal with him delving into his past.  He’s going to get some answers.

Posted in Review | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fun With YouTube : X-Men – Days of Future Past Trailer 3

Thanks to YouTuber X-Men Movies for hosting the video.

Kitty shows up at the thirty second mark.

As this is the third and final trailer, it is everything I wanted to see.

It is essentially all 70s footage, mutants and Sentinels alike.

I also like how it is two minutes and forty seconds long.

Can’t wait to see this!

Posted in Fun With YouTube | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Avengers vs. X-Men 7

AvX 7

Story Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction and Jonathan Hickman

Script Matt Fraction

Pencils Olivier Coipel

Inks Mark Morales

Colors Laura Martin

Letters Chris Eliopoulos

Cover by Jim Cheung

Cover Dated September 2012

What Came Before :

The Phoenix Force has arrived!  Tony Stark built a “Phoenix Killer” suit of armor to stop the potentially cataclysmic cosmic entity, instead he fragmented it, causing portions of the force to inhabit in X-Men Cyclops, Magik, Colossus, Emma Frost and Namor!

In the days since, the Phoenix Five have been on a mission to reshape the world, destroying armaments, raising crops, purifying water.  However, there are still those who don’t trust the all-consuming nature of the Phoenix Force.  The Avengers launch a mission to kidnap Hope, believing that she still holds the secret to the Phoenix Force’s power.

The X-Men disrupt their plans, and just as it looks like the war will start anew, the Scarlet Witch appears, speaking of visions of a terrible future and then leaving with Hope and the Avengers.  Believing the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes will never allow mutants to live in peace, Cyclops makes a vow : “No More Avengers.”

The Avengers are -

Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hawkeye, Spider-Man, Black Widow, Vision, Valkyrie, Doctor Strange, Spider-Woman, Red Hulk, Luke Cage, Mockingbird, Daredevil, Thing Giant Man, Iron Fist, Black Panther, Wolverine, Beast, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Falcon, She-Hulk and Sharon Carter

With them are -

Hope Summers, Lei Kung and Black Panther (Shuri)

The Phoenix Five are -

Cyclops, Emma Frost, Colossus, Magik and Namor

The X-Men are -

Magneto, Warpath, Domino, Sunspot, Magma, X-Man (Madison Jeffries’ picture), Psylocke, Dr. Nemesis, Danger, Boom Boom, Velocidad, Transonic, Surge, Armor, Gambit, Iceman, Angel, Havok and Polaris.

While doing the review for issue three, I saw that Captain America is on the cover to issues four and eight as well.  To let you in on the process for picking which 14 comics to do for these Event Months, at least one aspect.  I go to my cover gallery of my collection, over at comicbookdb, and I look for all covers that I can clearly see Cap on.  Also, which covers had the shield, as then, if you see that, Cap isn’t that far behind.  If you ever see your cover gallery, they are done in a four by five grid, so not the largest images.  In this case, I overlooked them, thus, they are not on the list.  The list is plenty long enough, so I won’t be adding to it with those.  There are other steps to the process, but that is the biggest step, after choosing the character.

The Phoenix Five are all powerful and super intimidating, with how their word balloons don’t leak cosmic fire, they explode with it!

The Avengers are hiding, which Cyclops enjoys but Scarlet Witch showed up last issue, and her power somehow hurts the Phoenix Five.  So now Cyclops wants to seek her out and take her off the board.  Plus, she undid the mutant race with a sentence fragment – which is an awesome line, I wonder how long Fraction sat on that one.

Magik has located the Avengers.  She along with Warpath, Nate Grey, Gambit, Havok and Polaris are on their way.

Colossus does nothing with his Phoenix powers, he sits around and watches.

Captain America throws his mighty shield but Polaris reflects it.

Captain America shouts, Avengers — Scramble!  Which is another good line, which makes sense with Fraction on script.

Gambit tries to talk to Iron Fist and gets a shut up in return.  Danny can probably take that accent for only so long.

Spider-Woman venom blasts Warpath.

Tony Stark is in the command center.  He tells Wanda to focus her power, as he needs to collect data on how her power relates to the Phoenix.

The half page of Wanda, reminds me that Coipel drew House of M, so he gets to draw her again here.

On the next page, Magik gets her own half page panel.  She looks magnificent.  Of the Phoenix Five, her new costume is my favorite with Cyclops’ a decent second.  If he wasn’t wearing a red thong over his pants, it would be a closer second.  What’s the alternative?  Red thong, but no pants?

Magik wants to kill the Scarlet Witch, in the name of the mutant race.  It really is something Wanda needs to keep having thrown in her face, no matter how Marvel tries to distance her from the Decimation.

Havok and Polaris take out Vision, Wanda’s former husband, thus she gets unfocused with rage.

Once Magik collapses, Emma arrives.  She calls Wanda, the murderer of the mutant race.  Captain America wants an emergency evacuation.

By the time Doctor Stange arrives, Hawkeye has jumped at Emma.  He fires an arrow with a big explosion.  Emma is not thrilled by this, and straight up sets him on fire!

Cyclops is not pleased, the end goal is to work together to make the world better.  Emma states she had no intention to kill Hawkeye.  She immediately started healing him.  Namor believes they should just kill anyone who gets in their way.

Cyclops tells him, that they are shutting the Avengers down at every turn, there is no reason for such measures.

Namor shouts that this isn’t a gang fight, it is war.  This is when I realized that Namor is as outside the X-Men as it gets.  He spent some time with Xavier in the Illuminati, but as an equal.  Xavier was never an ideal or any sort of guidepost.

Magik speaks up.  She is under the impression that they might have this power to take Wanda out as she seems to be the only person who can hurt them.

Cyclops is using the X-Birg to hold prisoners.  He claims this is a rescue mission, not a war.

Wakanda.  Cap is trying to rally.  They need wins to keep morale going.  Tony tries to make a joke, and Cap shuts him down.  If it wasn’t for Tony, the Phoenix Five won’t even be a thing right now.  A fact, I wouldn’t let Tony forget, even three years later.

Though in Gillen’s Uncanny run, he reveals that the Five Lights that will make up Generation Hope, would have been part of the Phoenix along with Hope.  Unit is the character who tells this information.  He already saw happen once, he wanted this time to see what happens when the wrong five out the power.  So Tony is only largely to blame.

Tony needs more data, and Black Panther is there to also analyze the information.  Cap leaves disgusted.

Black Panther looks over Tony’s plans for his next Anti-Phoenix armor.  Who ever pilots it when confronting the Phoenix would surely die.

Black Panther smacks Tony, like Tony was a bitch.  In the dialogue, Tony implies it was a sucker punch but the art and lettering tells a different story.  SMAK is definitely a smack and Black Panther’s arm after the follow through, is in a slap position instead of a punch position.

Black Panther believes science can only go so far, they might have to mix it with magic. Tony is not happy, but he failed and now the Phoenix Five are terrorizing them, so he should shut up.

Cap gives the rest of the Avengers a set rep.  The plan is to send out Wanda when one of the five shows up.  Doctor Stange brings out Enchantments of Ikonn, who wears this will appear in the form of the Scarlet Witch.  Strange states that they are to be used selectively and only under extreme circumstances.

Cap has a team of Sharon Carter, Luke Cage, Daredevil and Spider-Man.  Colossus, Magma, Sunspot, Psylocke and Danger show up.  Luke Cage gets dragged into a portal, screaming out for Captain America.  The screams will probably haunt Cap’s thoughts for days.  As soon as Luke Cage is in the portal, Cap tells Sharon to wear the enchantment.

Sharon is the worst, as she can’t mirror Wanda’s powers in the least.  The appearance of Wanda is enough to scare Colossus into calling for reinforcements.

The Ukraine, was not familiar with the country having the need for the ‘the’ before it.  Turns out, there is a Scarlet Witch there, too.

The Artic Circle, has one.

The Pacific Ocean, has the real Wanda standing up.

I like the implication that Doctor Stange told them to only use image spell for dire situations, and it seems like everyone pretty much used it as soon as any X-Men showed up.  At least attempt a fight.

Namor fights Wanda.  Doctor Stange, Thing and Mockingbird all teleport back to Wakanda along with Transonic slipping in at the last second.  She will be the Avengers first prisoner.

Wanda powers up, and does the House of M brick separation spell, making Namor break apart.  He makes it back to Utopia, not pleased.

I thought Cyclops’ red thong over the pants was the worst design of the Phoenix Five suits, but Colossus is barely wearing a skirt / loincloth hybrid.  He has always suffered from having suits that only look good once he is armored up.  His suits would look silly on a hanger.

Namor is way out for blood, and has no taste for how slow he is taking things.  Going as far as to claim that Cyclops is a fine leader, but poor ruler.

Tony believes there is a connection between the Phoenix Force and Wanda’s Chaos Magic.  Iron Fist introduces Tony to his fellow Immortal Weapon, Lei Kung – the Thunderer.  They want to take Hope to K’un Lun and give her Phoenix fighting training there.  Tony wonders if they can all go.

Namor is by himself brooding.  Emma shows up, and we get another glimpse of their on again flirtation that they keep happening into when Cyclops isn’t around and once when he was around.

Emma reminds Namor how Scott is an actual boy scout, so make world changing decisions are new to him.  Emma knows where Transonic is, thus she knows where the Avengers are.  They make out.

Captain America reconfirms that they can travel between the two planes of existence.  Thunderer states they can.  Black Panther is in the process of moving all the equipment to the magical city.

One of the Wakandan soldiers comes with grave news.  The lakes  are rising and a tidal wave approaches.  Cap knows what that means.

Issue ends with a double page splash – literally – has Namor declares WAR! as a tidal wave crashes unto Wakanda.  People are for sure dead.

Posted in Review | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fun With YouTube : MTV X-Men Days of Future Past Exclusive Trailer

Thanks to YouTuber Jamaih Lane for hosting the video

It is more of a minute scene than a trailer.  Blink, Warpath, Sunspot, Kitty, Bishop, Colossus and Iceman.  Sentinels attack.  It is awesome.

Cool to see Ellen Page get this much scene time.

Posted in Fun With YouTube | Tagged , , | Leave a comment