Secret Wars 2015 – Giant Size Little Marvels : AvX Interview

Newsarama has a fantastic interview with Skottie Young, writer and artist for Giant Size Little Marvels : AvX, which is a miniseries within Secret Wars 2015.

Giant Size Little Marvel AvX 1 Magik v Iron Man

It fills me with such joy to see Magik as a little kid and attacking Iron Man!  So happy she is involved in this series.

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70th Anniversary Variants

Marvel 70th Anniversary Frame Art

To celebrate Timely’s 70th Anniversary, Marvel released variant covers in the same vein of their November 1986 Marvel 25th Anniversary covers.  These were released August 2009.

Timely being the company that will become Marvel, but it is still an odd thing to celebrate, as they should have waited five more years to do the 75th Anniversary, an anniversary people actually celebrate.d

Border done by Jim Cheung.   Unfortunately, Kitty didn’t make the border to this one, so she is only on the 25th Anniversary and the Women of Marvel variants.

I wish I owned any of these but I do own this :

Marvel 70th Anniversary Frame Art Collection, that contains all of the variants as single page art pieces, which I would buy more of these Variant Collections if they made them.

My wishlist contains :

New Mutants Volume Three Issue 4, with Magik

Wolverine First Class 18, with Kitty and Lockheed

That’s what happens when Kitty doesn’t make the border, my desire of them gets cut way down.

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All New X-Men 35

All New X-Men 35

Writer Brian Michael Bendis

Artist Mahmud Asrar

Colorist Marte Gracia

Letterer VC’s Cory Petit

Cover Artists Sara Pichelli & Marte Gracia, I didn’t even notice Kitty was on the cover until my second read through.

It took three issues but we finally get confirmation that the broad in the white shirt is Ultimate Shadowcat, gone is the purple tint, so they must have got a lot of response to that.  Plus, she gets dialogue this issue, so that helps.

All New X-Men 35 Shadowcat 1a All New X-Men 35 Shadowcat 1b

Castle Doom.  Latveria.  Now.  The Two Icemen can’t believe how this day is going.

Spider-Man calls Rogue, Rock, as he honestly thought that was her name.  It must have made sense to him.  Angel compliments Ultimate Iceman, as he is great with his powers – which makes him realize that he isn’t his Iceman.  Ultimate Jean, I wish there was an easy way to distinguish the different pairs of the characters but I can’t think of one, gets hurt and Beast is concerned.  X23 and Spider-Man get back to back, he calls her, Lady Wolverine, and that will be the last time he tries that nickname.

All New Jean wants to get other Jean off the battlefield.  Spider-Man charges and jumps at Doctor Doom and he starts to blast Spider-Man out of the air.

Hours Before, Revenge style.  The Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters.  Closed.  The Cerebro Room.  Invented by the late Charles Xavier.  Detects Mutants All Over the World.  All New Jean has located her teammates and the Ultimate version of the lady mutant who sent them here in the first place.  Ultimate Jean offers to take her X-Men to locate the All New X-Men.

Latveria.  Doctor Doom reminds Beast, and us, that Beast is under his complete control.  Doctor Doom has a broken time cube and he wants Beast to make it into a dimensional portal.

Weapon X.  Hidden in the Canadian Wilderness.  X23 is slashing away at a defenseless tree.  She isn’t taking it well that humans created mutants in the Ultimate Universe.  Angel doesn’t like seeing her like this.  He calls James, little Wolverine.

All New X-Men 35 Shadowcat 0

It makes perfect sense to go for Angel and X23 first.  One, you get two mutants that way and two, X23 is always useful.  X23 isn’t happy about seeing two Jeans.  Everyone hints at how Ultimate Angel is dead.

All New X-Men 35 Shadowcat dialogue

Such a great page with Spider-Man and the sweet sweet confirmation that this is Ultimate Shadowcat.  I would imagine that Miles and Kitty would have more to say to each other but that probably explains why Spider-Man sat near her.

Angel recognizes Shadowcat as a young Kitty, she is happy about her older self being a teacher.

Angel notices Ultimate Iceman and he takes the opportunity to explain that his All New counterpart is in Atlanta.

Atlanta.  Bobby is trying to power up but even at night, it is hot.  The police locate him, it starts snowing and he ices up.  He meets Ultimate Storm, and I like how he doesn’t really know her as he barely spent any time with anyone who wasn’t from the 60s.

Beast is writing a timeline on a chalk board, I believe this is the third such timeline to appear in this title.  Doom is told that a plane has entered his airspace.  After revealing that the X-Men have a mutant tracking device, Cerebro, and Doom wants one now.

All New X-Men 35 Shadowcat 3

All New Iceman is upset that Ultimate Iceman isn’t engaging him enough.  He is used to his present day self talking to him frequently and even his even further in the future self, chatting with him.  Everyone is ashamed of All New Bobby.

Jean reaches out to Hank, he tells her how he is under Doom’s influence.  Ultimate Jean has the sad duty of explaining that Ultimate Doom’s real name is, Victor Van Damme, it was the media that gave him the much better name.  The Jeans are undoing the mind manipulation that Doom did to Beast.  Beast starts fighting Doom.

All New X-Men 35 Shadowcat 4

Doom gives the order to have all mutants killed.  I do like how now, Kitty clearly has brown hair and no purple tint, what was that about?  It lasted two issues.

Issue ends like how it started, Spider-Man about to jump at Doom and a giant explosion at the castle.

. . .

The Top 9 Comics of 2015!

  1. Legendary Star Lord 8
  2. Legendary Star Lord 7
  3. X-Force 14
  4. All New Ultimates 12
  5. Uncanny X-Men 30
  6. All New X-Men 35
  7. Weapon X Program 5
  8. Wolverines 1
  9. Amazing X-Men 15
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Marvel 70th Anniversary Frame Art

Marvel 70th Anniversary Frame Art

Cover Dated 2009

I would buy these Variant Cover collections, nearly every time.  If you have a theme event, and it has at least 30 covers, might as well collect them.  I own this one and the Wolverine Art Appreciation collection.

To Celebrate Timely Comics 70th Anniversary, Marvel released Frame Art variants like they did for Marvel’s 25th anniversary and the Women of Marvel Variants.  I do wish that they were done as regular covers for the October 2009 issues.

There were 39 of these covers.  All but two are shown on the cover (both front and back).  I wish the frame art would have made part of the cover to this comic.

So the two characters that are not shown on the cover are Magik and X23.  Which is so odd to me as the cover sports three Wolverines and two Spider-Mans.

I just want to own two of these –

Marvel 70th New Mutants Magik Variant

New Mutants 4 with Magik by Elena Casagrande & Emily Warren

Marvel 70th Wolverine First Class Kitty Pryde Lockheed

Wolverine First Class 18 with Kitty and Lockheed  by Takeshi Miyazawa

The cool thing about the covers shown in this collection, is that it doesn’t have the issue numbers or the ISBN cluttering the art.  Another nice thing about the collection is that the covers are in alphabetical order of the comic title.  Not sure what the other way of doing it is but I like that they went with the order they did.

This site has all of the covers –

The other issues were –

Agents of Atlas 9
Amazing Spider-Man 601
Amazing Spider-Man 602
Amazing Spider-Man 603
Avengers : Initiative 27
Black Panther 7
Cable 17
Captain America : Reborn 2
Daredevil 500
Dark Avengers 8
Dark Wolverine 77
Deadpool 13
Deadpool : Merc with a Mouth 2
Exiles 5
Fantastic Four 570
Guardians of the Galaxy 17
Hulk 13
Incredible Hercules 133
Incredible Hulk 601
Invincible Iron Man 16
Mighty Avengers 28
Ms. Marvel 43
New Avengers 56
New Mutants 4
Nova 28
Punisher 8
Runaways 13
Secret Warriors 7
Son of Hulk 14
Thunderbolts 135
Uncanny X-Men 514
War Machine 9
Wolverine First Class 18
Wolverine Origins 39
Wolverine Weapon X 4
X-Factor 47
X-Force 18
X-Men Forever 5
X-Men Legacy 227

The Frame itself was designed by Jim Cheung

Only Storm and Invisible Woman are the only ones who are on all three Frames – 25th, Women and 70th, which is pretty impressive.




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What If Volume Two Issue 1

What If V2 1

Script Roy Thomas

Breakdowns Ron Wilson

Finishes Mike Gustovich

Letters Heisler

Colors Tom Vincent

Cover Dated July 1989

What If the Avengers Had Lost the Evolutionary War?

Splintered from Avengers Annual 17

The Evolutionary War ran through several Annuals in 1987.

According to Wikipedia :

The reading order for the event is :

The Evolutionary War

I only own the New Mutants Annual 4, Part Four, of the crossover.  I did own and read the Spider-Man Annuals before selling them.

It takes one page for Utau to set up the issue.  So here what was changed to make it possible.  High Evolutionary defeated Hercules instead of the other way around.  The Avengers escaped before they could defeat the High Evolutionary.  The Avengers being – The Lady Yellowjacket, Captain America (when he was The Captain), Falcon and Beast.  If Jocasta was able to destroy the Genetic Bomb, instead of the base.  So the one thing they were suppose to do, stop the Genetic Bomb from going off, did not happen.

The issue officially opens with Captain America coming to the surface after the Quinjet crashed into the water.  He had helped, as his old WWII ally and fellow Avenger, Namor, brings him to the surface.  The other three Avengers, are dead.  Oh Beast, you will be quasi-missed.  The remnants of the Genetic Bomb scatter around them.

Within hours, the world is bathed in the particles.  People start panicking.

This was during the Australian Outback era of the X-Men, as Wolverine asks Gateway to gather the X-Men.

High Evolutionary, watching the news, is glad to see his hard work is now paying off.

The West Coats Avengers – Mantis, Wonder Man (the Colossus of the Avengers), Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye and the Vision, are standing outside, watching the dust – and quietly bathing in them.  When the dust lands on a human, it sticks to them but it goes right through non living things, like the Vision.

The X-Men – Wolverine, Colossus (in the same panel with his Avenger counterpart), Storm, Dazzler, Longshot, Rogue and Psylocke – appear in front of the West Coast Avengers.  Hawkeye is surprised, as the world believes them dead.  Namor and Captain America appear before these gathered heroes.

Wolverine suspects Namor is behind this, which seems silly.  Namor calls Wolverine a mutant, which seems racist and silly as he himself is a mutant.

While they are all chatting, Mantis points at Wolverine.  His claws have grown from a foot to four feet.  Which seems odd, as those are metal and not part of his actual body or powers.  All the mutants start becoming enhanced.  Colossus is permanently in his human form.  Rogue has the powers of all the gathered heroes, and she got them just by being in their presence.  Psylocke can hear all of their thoughts.  Scarlet Witch’s hex powers have increased.  Longshot’s luck powers have doubled.  The mutants also look like they have bulked up.  Namor has grown stronger.

The humans have started noticing that mutants have benefited from the dust.  The humans, on the other hand, their heads have become giant, like Egg Head or the Leader’s own head.  They have giant heads and have lost the hair on the top of their heads.  Even the human members of the Avengers are getting big heads.  Aliens like Mantis, also gets a big head.  Captain America and Hawkeye’s head increase so much that they burst through their masks.

Wolverine is quick to get enraged, as he expects the humans’ next move is to blame mutants.  The gathered humans have no interest in that, they can see mutants for what they are, the next step in evolution.

We look around the world and see that humans are all getting big heads.  With their giant heads, comes peace of mind and a sense of unity.

Iron Man can’t wear his armor anymore but he has no interest in it.  The need for violence is no more.  Spider-Man, who was artificially mutated as a teenager, has gained three more pairs of arms.  The Thing has become even more rocky and with spiky rocks.  The Hulk has Banner’s mind but gets to keep his hair on his head.

Daredevil doesn’t get a big head but all of his senses have been enhanced, so he has to go into the wilderness and get away from the noise.

X-Factor, minus Beast, are walking the streets like they never could before.  It seems like humans have become mindful but at the same time, have lost their individuality while the mutants have gained additional powers but kept their main personalities.

X-Factor is heading towards a building.  Doctor Doom stands before them, He just wants to wish them well, as he takes of his faceplate.  He has no scars but his head is huge.  The human minds are slowly becoming linked together.

What If V2 1 Shadowcat

The mutants and the mutated heroes have gathered to determined what is next.  Shadowcat is in the meeting, so that’s pretty cool.  Why she is up in the air, is beyond me.  I guess she is air walking.

Captain America asks the heroes, who are now like gods, to do right for Earth and the Universe, then leaves.  Even the villains feel the need to do good, as they no longer need money and power.

Everyone turns to Wolverine for leadership.  Everyone, even the humans, shout “It is Time!”

Dormammu, Mephisto and Nightmare, pick the worst time to attack Earth.  Doctor Strange, Talisman and Doctor Druid rise up to defeat them.  Their mystic know how combined with the minds of the human race, shuts down the invasion so quickly.  All six individuals disappear for all time.

Captain America and Punisher try to lead the humans.  The human race keeps evolving each day.

The mutants are going to leave the planet.

Thor, who is unaffected and High Evolutionary see the mutants and other super beings fly off to space – on their own, no spaceships are needed.  High Evolutionary came to lead the humans but they don’t need guidance.  Thor is a god so he isn’t needed on the planet.

The Inhumans, who were living on the Moon at the time, follow the mutants into space.  I’m not sure how they were given the ability to fly in space, unassisted.

The Eternals join the combined heroes’ energy.

Various alien races don’t like the idea of Earth heroes in space and have created a fleet to knock them out of space.  The mutants don’t want to hurt the aliens but they will not fly away from the threat and makes short work of the aliens.

Moments in space turns out to be really years on Earth.  We see that Captain America has been buried.  The mutants seem to be immortal but not the humans.  Daredevil comes out of hiding, he still doesn’t have a big head.  For some reason, Daredevil hasn’t aged as he cut out all sensory input – which I didn’t know is what causes us to age.  He is so beyond the five normal senses that he can now communicate with his mind.

Daredevil will try to teach his fellow humans to live like he does.  Vision, standing next to Hawkeye’s tombstone, asks if he can join Daredevil.  He doesn’t have a human mind, so he needs Daredevil to talk aloud.

High Evolutionary is still waiting for the right time to take leadership of humans.

Decades pass.  The mutants are looking for Galactus.  Nova, his herald, stands before the mutants.  They kill her, which angers Silver Surfer.  They take him out and Galactus shows up.  He tries to absorb the mutants’ energies but they slay him.

On Earth, it seems the human race is all white.  They also have gotten rid of all buildings.  They can fly but choose not too.  Daredevil is dead.  Vision is alone to walk the Earth, he turns himself off.

The mutants come up against Death and Eternity.  They absorb Death, and now take on Eternity.

Earth is about to be attacked by the Celestials, they deem to destroy the planet.

The mutants take on Eternity and further merge with it.  They are tempted to come to Earth but decide to keep going forward.

The humans, whose heads look like they are about to crack open, destroys one of the Celestials.  The other three go away.  The humans merge and become one with the planet.

Somehow, High Evolutionary is in space.  He thinks he is equal to the new Eternity but they squash that thought.  They let him live, as he fathered this future.  Eternity creates a new universe.  The new Entity splits into Death and Eternity for this new universe.  The mutants are no more, they are in one or the other now.

So in classic What If fashion, the human race is no more.

There are some fun house ads in the back.  Atlantis Attacks, the crossover in the 1998 annuals.  Doctor Strange is getting a new ongoing, as if Moon Knight.

Inside back cover is an ad for some Atari games – Tetris, Pac-Man and Gauntlet are three of them.  I’ve heard of RBI Baseball (mostly from the Uncanny X-Cast) but I haven’t played it before.

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Marvel August 2015 Solicitations


Cover by ALEX ROSS
40 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

            I own issue one but not issue two, so we knows how anticipated I will be for this issue.  We know Doom has to lose so that the heroes can reshape the new Marvel Earth, right?

“Day One”
• Does one Norrin Radd have to die for another Silver Surfer to live?
• In the space outside of time and the time outside of space, beings of great cosmic power battle for the final shape of the next reality!
• This may be the “Last Days” of The Silver Surfer…
•…but it also might be the FIRST Day of an All-New Marvel Universe!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

            Could Marvel really be placing the building blocks in Silver Surfer? That would be nice for Slott, and he is a big name at Marvel – but four months in advance, something tells me it is doubtful.

• With the Earth on the verge of destruction, the Master of Magnetism is determined to be mutantkind’s savior once more…
• But at what cost?
32 PGS./Parental Advisory …$3.99

As the last “X-Title” that is being featured in the Last Days, I wish this was more star studded!

40 PGS./ONE SHOT/Parental Guidance …$4.99

This could be a very fun series! I’m hoping Kitty Pryde and Quill can get some attention in it!

 MASTER OF KUNG FU #4 (of 4)
• Shang-Chi continues battling through the Thirteen Chambers to face his father, the immortal Emperor Zu!
• But first, he must defeat his rivals, Rand-K’ai, Great Master of the Iron Fist, and Red Sai, deadly leader of the Red Hand!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

I’m fine with Marvel changing Shang-Chi’s father’s name from Fu Manchu to Zu, I see what they are going for there and the copyright issue, and all. Lockheed and Kitty were in the first issue so here is hoping they are in all three! I’m glad they are finally putting the “of __” number in the title. Most of these have end dates, so let’s not pretend like we don’t know them. Either four or six issue series.

• The Shield is under siege! A Siege. In a book called “Siege.” Does this count as a spoiler?
• Things are looking bad for our crew on the Shield, and a “good” day involves everything trying to kill them, so…
• Bizarre armories, viscous villains, unstrung heroes, and battles beyond reason.
• Everyone’s going to die. It’s Awesome. Welcome to the Siege.
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

This is a fun write-up!

• The tear between domains deepens…
• How long can two territories occupy the same space?
•  Here comes MILES…
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

            Here is still hoping that Ultimate Shadowcat makes it to this series! and survives it!

• No one goes AWOL from the SHIELD without the Punisher’s punishment! MIKE BENSON and LAURA BRAGA chronicle Frank’s first patrol with new partner Iron Fist—but something sinister lurking beneath the surface may just make it their last!
• And hiding amongst the humans in the DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, Psylocke finally decides it’s time to make her move and liberate her fellow mutants! But can one psychic ninja hope to take on an endless army of Sentinels?
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


Super interested in the Psylocke Days of Future Past story, though I thought we knew what she was up to from Excalibur 94. Iron Fist and Punisher, I could see being a good team.

Marvel August 2015 Solicts Star Lord AoA Shadowcat 3 YASMINE PUTRI
Art by Yasmine Putri

• The MARVEL UNIVERSE is dead!
• But #Starkat lives FOREVER!
32 PGS./Rated T …$3.99


Is this the final issue of the series? I’m still super interested in the variant covers and I can’t wait for the first issue to finally come out!

Marco Failla (a)
• The House of Magnus controls all, having crushed all resistance to their reign. Magneto rules with an iron-fist, while his children and grandchildren live their lives as royals—with all the privileges and pit-falls that come with that title.
• But is Magneto’s control as all-encompassing as it seems? And what happens to a conqueror when there is no one left to conquer?
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
Marco Failla (a)
• What do QUICKSILVER and NAMOR have planned for Magneto’s kingdom? Is the heir-apparent to the House of Magnus a traitor?!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

I highly doubt Chicago based school teacher, Katherine Pryde, will be involved in this but I will be tracking it.

Variant Cover by MICHAEL WALSH
• Hey there, comic reader! Have you ever wondered what Hydra agents do during their downtime? No? Well…then, uh, go read HAIL HYDRA. For everyone else with a burning desire to see a Hydra agent letting it all hang out, THIS IS THE BOOK FOR YOU! BE THRILLED as Hank picks up his kids from school! BE AMAZED as Hank talks with Hydra’s HR department! And BE STUPEFIED as Hank wishes he had picked a different line of work! From CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM executive producer David Mandel, Hank Johnson, Agent of Hydra will have you looking at faceless henchmen in a whole new light.
32 PGS./ONE SHOT/Rated T+ …$3.99


This is a very fun concept! I wonder if it would be the eventful Journal / Battleworld trade. They have to combine those minis in one trade, right?

• The race to claim the LEGACY VIRUS before it’s released by the human insurgency grows desperate! The X-MEN and the HORSEMEN of the APOCALYPSE vie for a weapon that can mean victory for Magneto’s rebels or ultimate power for the forces of En Sabah Nur.
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

Still waiting for both the cover with AoA Shadowcat and to see if she will play a role in this, at all. As I still believe she can be in two series, at the same time. Of course, she can!

•  With the fate of Arcadia hanging in the balance, a traitor in A-FORCE’s ranks is revealed!
•  But why would she sell out her teammates?
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


            Now that the series is well underway, this seems to not be a rotating cast but a defined one.
Marvel August 2015 Solicts Giant Sized Little Marvel AvX 3 Skottie Young
Art by Skottie Young


Variant Cover by TBA
• Playtime is serious business in the land of Marville and our tiniest heroes are putting in work to prove to their new neighbors which crew
• The smaller they are, the harder they brawl–this is BATTLEWORD after all.
32 PGS./Rated T …$3.99

Lil Magik made it to the first issue and her soulsword is on the cover to this one, so this must still be an outstanding series!

 X-MEN ’92 #3
• When the X-Men are in trouble who can Westchester depend on?
• How about X-Force ’92?
• Cable, Deadpool, Domino, Psylocke, Archangel and Biushop enter the fray!
40 PGS./Rated T+ …$4.99

X-Force 92, is awesome! Let’s see more teams in this universe!

Cover by Ian Bertram
• Is Quentin Quire a Magneto loyalist or simply an anarchist eager for destruction?
• Plus, Wolverine finds himself in a tight situation and Dr. Hank McCoy confronts his most intelligent and formidable challenger yet—himself!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

            That is a lot of Beast on the cover! Once again, I doubt I will be getting into this series.            


Marvel August 2015 Solicts Years of Future Past 4 Art Adams
Cover by Art Adams


• Reeling from the secrets that Kate Pryde has kept, the X-Men lead a prison break from the last mutant internment camp.
• The X-Men clash with friends and enemies alike…and their true purpose is revealed at last!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


Oh, Kate Pryde having secrets, I like that! I take it, the cover has a young daughter and son of Pryde-Rasputin, which makes me sad thinking of them as being dead.

• It’s all-out war as the X-Men invade Genosha to retrieve their captured allies!
• But a shadow from their past may pose a far greater threat than they realize.
• And be prepared for the rise of…WarLocke!!!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

Another X-Series I wish I could be interested in but I doubt I will be.

• As the mysteries of Battleworld begin to unravel, Logan finds himself in a world eerily similar to the one he himself helped dismantle.
• But in trying to untangle the web of secrets, he soon realizes that he may not even be able to trust his own memories.
• And this new neighborhood may not be as friendly as he thought…
32 PGS./Parental Advisory …$3.99

A Spider-Man involved in Old Man Logan, probably filling the role Hawkeye had in the original series? Memories? Maybe we will get a flashback sequence?

• If you don’t, I will eat YOU and your FAMILY
32 PGS./Rated T …$3.99

Devil Dinosaur is getting some edge!

• The gates have burst open. Hell has broken loose.
• And as if things weren’t bleak enough…
• Enter Mister Sinister (shame on you for thinking we left him out)!
• Will anything survive the flame as All Out Inferno War burns on?
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


Sinister’s presence means this series is going to start being heavy on Madelyn Pryor. Let’s hope Illyana still gets some play in this.

• You guys understand this is NOT A SECRET WARS TIE-IN, right?
• It’s nothing less than the TRUTH that THEY DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW!
• THIS is how the ORIGINAL SECRET WARS really ended!
• YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE IT! Which is your right.
32 PGS./Parental Advisory …$3.99

Lockheed did appear in the first issue, so let’s hope he gets in the rest of this series!

• It’s the classic tale of good (squirrel) versus evil (squirrel) as SQUIRREL GIRL fights RATATOSKR, the Norse Squirrel God!  The fate of the world hangs in the balance!
• And yes, “Norse Squirrel God” means that Thor shows up to help!  AND Loki!
• Loki’s a huge character!  He’s been in THREE different movies so far.  Three!
• He’s only in our comic for a couple of pages though
• Oh!  This book also features FRIENDSHIP and SASS and PUNCHES!!
32 PGS./Rated T …$3.99

This series seems like a load of fun!

The original X-Men’s arrival in the present sent shockwaves through the Marvel Universe, but we’ve only seen the effects on Earth — until now! When an alien race discovers that Jean Grey — once (or future) host of the
destructive Phoenix Force — is back, they decide to hold her accountable for Dark Phoenix’s genocide! Now it’s up to the Guardians of the Galaxy to help the All-New X-Men save Jean from twisted intergalactic justice. But
will they be enough against the universe’s most powerful army? Back on Earth, the present-day Beast is tortured by his decision to bring the original X-Men forward in time, but can he repair the damage he’s done while the future Brotherhood of Evil Mutants is still gunning for the time-tossed teens? Collecting ALL-NEW X-MEN #22-30 and GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2013) #11-13.
288 PGS./Rated T+ …$34.99
ISBN: 978-0-7851-9823-9
Trim size: oversized

I could recommend this trade, just for the Trial of Jean Grey so that you would be able to see the beginning of StarKat for yourself! All New X-Men 25 was such a great issue but don’t expect any of those hinted stories to actually happen, as they still haven’t.

The Guardians of the Galaxy are caught in the pull of the Black Vortex! With the Slaughter Lords hot on their tails, the X-Men and the Guardians must find somewhere to stash their precious cargo, but will the temptation of the Vortex’s unknown power be too much for this band of misfits? Rocket leaps into action! Gamora goes on the offensive! Ronan is deposed! Star-Lord is defiant! This story has it all — but does it seem like the Guardians have forgotten something in all the cosmic craziness? Oh, that’s right, Peter got elected president of Spartax! Wait, what?! As rifts begin forming within the team, will their friendship and history be enough to hold the Guardians together? Plus: What is a S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier doing floating in space?! Collecting GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2013) #24-27 and ANNUAL (2015) #1.
136 PGS./Rated T …$24.99
ISBN: 978-0-7851-9766-9
Trim size: standard


This collection has the Black Vortex tie in with 25 and Kitty continued to be in issues 26 & 27, as well.

Cover by JUAN DOE
Mister Sinister was robbed of his prize — the Adamantium-covered body of Wolverine — when the X-Men stole it from his Finland fortress. But they left something behind — another piece of the puzzle, something else that was taken from our team. Now, Sinister has his revenge! And in the aftermath of his brutal attack, which heroes will remain standing — and who will not survive?! As the dust settles, the final pieces of the puzzle fall into place, and Mystique’s endgame stands fully revealed. But she’s not just trying to resurrect her long-lost love Destiny. Where does this leave the Wolverines? Find out how it all ends as everything comes crashing down! Collecting WOLVERINES #16-20.
112 PGS./Parental Advisory …$15.99
ISBN: 978-0-7851-9767-6

            The final storyline, pretty good finish, thus far. I imagine trades one and four are all you really need.

Logan is no stranger to death. He’s killed thousands. He’s watched teammates, friends and lovers die. Now, stripped of his healing factor,
the X-Man and Avenger faces his own date with the reaper. There’s a bounty on his head, a price big enough to put a horde of enemies and assassins on his trail. The race is on to find Wolverine, but who put out the contract? Sabretooth? Viper? Or someone even worse? When Logan discovers that his mystery foe wants him alive, he turns on the offensive. As the hunted becomes the hunter once more, he’s determined to die the way he lived. The Wolverine will go out fighting. Collecting DEATH OF WOLVERINE #1-4.
144 PGS./Rated T+ …$19.99
ISBN: 978-0-7851-9163-6

            Buy this before his return, I bet! Issue three is astonishing and his death is four is lackluster. Could Wolverine be coming back in issue 20 of Wolverines?  That would explain the reissuing of the trade.

Meet Jessica Jones. Once upon a time, she was a costumed super hero — but not a very good one. Her powers were unremarkable compared to the amazing abilities of the costumed icons that populate the Marvel Universe. In a city of Marvels, she never found her niche. The self-destructive would-be Avenger is now the owner and sole employee of Alias Investigations — a small, private-investigative firm specializing in superhuman cases. When
she uncovers the potentially explosive secret of one hero’s true identity, Jessica’s life immediately becomes expendable. But her wit, charm and intelligence just may help her survive another day. Thrust into the midst of a conspiracy that reaches the highest levels, has Jessica burned too many bridges to turn to old friends for help? Collecting ALIAS #1-9.
208 PGS./Explicit Content …$24.99
ISBN: 978-0-7851-9855-0
All she ever wanted was to be a super hero. But life had other plans for Jessica Jones. Now, the adventures of the would-be Avenger turned bitter super-powered private eye continue with two new cases. First, Jessica travels to upstate New York to investigate the disappearance of a teenage girl rumored to be a mutant in a prejudiced small town — but a murder mystery and a drunken, ill-advised fling complicate matters. Then, the hard-luck PI goes on a date with…the Astonishing Ant-Man?! Collecting ALIAS #11-15.
128 PGS./Explicit Content …$19.99
ISBN: 978-0-7851-9856-7

            A tad early for these, right? I liked the series but I don’t quite remember much from it besides the Cage / Jones / Lang relationship.

RRRAAAAAGGGGGHHHHH!!! Action! Excitement! Explosions! The Highest Anti-Terrorism Effort, or H.A.T.E. (a subsidiary of the Beyond Corporation©) put NEXTWAVE together to fight Bizarre Weapons of Mass Destruction. When NEXTWAVE discovers that H.A.T.E. and Beyond© are terrorist cells themselves, and that the BWMDs were intended to kill them, they are less than pleased. In fact, they are rather angry. So they make things explode. Lots of things. Starring Monica Rambeau (formerly Captain Marvel and Photon), Aaron Stack (Machine Man), Tabitha Smith (X-Force’s Meltdown), monster-hunter Elsa Bloodstone and The Captain! If you like anything, you will LOVE NEXTWAVE! BOOM! Included on the Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for 2007 by the Youth Adult Library Services Association, Nextwave is a pure extraction of comic-book action and adventure, with plenty of kicks, punches and explosions along the way! Collecting
304 PGS./Parental Advisory …$34.99
ISBN: 978-0-7851-9839-0

I’ve been meaning to read this, after the years of reading the hype. $35, I wonder how much that would be at Hastings, with the discount?

Penciled by JAE LEE
Cover by JAE LEE
The Inhumans are one of Marvel’s most enduring oddities. A race of genetic anomalies secluded on their island kingdom of Attilan, their mutations are self-inflicted; as a coming-of-age ritual, each Inhuman exposes themselves to the Terrigen Mists that impart unearthly powers — some extraordinary, some monstrous. But now, Attilan is under attack from without and within. Can the Royal Family, led by the mute Black Bolt, repel the foreign invaders who assail their outer defenses, as well as the internal threat of Black Bolt’s insane brother, Maximus the Mad? Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee infuse one of Marvel’s oldest families with a modern sensibility — including international politics, class dissension and the age-old struggle of growing up. Dark and grimly compelling, it remains one of Marvel Knights’ most beloved stories. Collecting INHUMANS (1998) #1-12.
304 PGS./Rated T …$34.99
ISBN: 978-0-7851-9749-2

            I still want to get the motion comic for this as the dialogue is very crisp and the political intrigue, I imagine, would sound awesome. Such a great trade and Agents of SHIELD should have had a commercial for the trade, or something.

Written by JEPH LOEB
Where were you when you heard that Captain America died? You were probably shocked, most likely thinking, “How could they? How could this happen to Cap?” And for a moment, perhaps you thought about all the ways the super soldier meant something to you. Fallen Son follows the reaction of the legendary hero’s best friends and closest comrades as they struggle to work through the stages of grief stirred by the loss of their ally. Wolverine. The Avengers. Hawkeye. Spider-Man. Iron Man. All have their own sense of loss, their own levels of grieving. This is their story. This is Cap’s story. This is our story. The story of a Fallen Son and the world he helped make a better place. Collecting FALLEN SON: THE DEATH OF CAPTAIN AMERICA — WOLVERINE, AVENGERS, CAPTAIN AMERICA, SPIDER-MAN and IRON MAN.
128 PGS./Rated T+ …$19.99
ISBN: 978-0-7851-9859-8


Weird to keep this in circulation, right? Like, why remind people that Cap died and came back, like two years later? Plus, it wasn’t that good.


. . .


So my list looks like this :


Secret Wars 6            $4

Master of Kung Fu 4            $4

Ultimate End 4            $4

Secret War Journal 4            $4

Star Lord & Kitty Pryde 3            $4

Giant Size Little Marvel : AvX 3            $4

Deadpool’s Secret Secret War 4            $4

Years of Future Past 4            $4

Inferno 4            $4


Maybe List


Secret Wars : Secret Love            $5
Age of Apocalypse 3            $4




House of M 1 & 2


Nine titles at $36, which isn’t bad. With my discount at Hastings, that is minus nine dollars for a new total of $27, which is even better! So I could get my maybes at (9-2=7) for $34, that sounds pretty great to me.

. . .

Just for my sake, I have to remember to add both

House of M
Secret Wars : Secret Love

To my pull list.

You may have to, as well but you live your own life.


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Avengers Volume Four Issue 4

Avengers Volume Four Issue 4

Writer Brian Michael Bendis

Penciler John Romita Jr.

Inker Klaus Janson

Colorist Dean White

Letters & Production VC’s Cory Petit

Cover Dated September 2010

Cover by Jim Cheung and Justin Ponsor

Next Avengers, Part Four of Six

I only own this issue for the Women of Marvel cover.

I want to say that I dropped this and the other Avengers titles soon after this.  I think there were rumors of upcoming crossovers and I just wanted to be done with all of that.

I had six of these Women of Marvel variants in my hands at Hastings, one day, the total would have been around twenty dollars and I was heading towards the register and changed my mind.  I still regret that as two weeks later, they were nowhere to be found.  I’m sure someone found them and didn’t hesitate to purchase them.

Issue opens with Iron Man, Captain America, Wolverine and The Protector in a cave under Central Park.  Captain America is Bucky Barnes, at this point in continuity.  Bucky Cap, as fans call him.  The Protector was a creation of Grant Morrison and JG Jones in the Marvel Boy series, which was intended to be an Ultimate Universe miniseries but it was more stand alone.  I believe that was the story.

They are in the future and Iron Man is trying to caution them for what they might see.  They come out of the cave and see Ultron fighting a swarm of heroes.  Ultron is fighting Kang and I can’t tell which side the heroes are on.  The Warriors Thre are there, Silver Surfer is fighting Kang.  Moondragon, Cyclops, Thing, Doctor Doom, Monica Captain Marvel, Carol Danvers Captain Marvel (Ms. Marvel at the time, previously Warbird) and Juggernaut are all on the scene.   So it can’t be all that far into the future.

Oh good, there is a Previous page.  The Avengers are – Wolverine, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Thor, Captain America, Spider-Woman and Hawkeye are hand picked by Steve Rogers – who is the Director of SHIELD, at this time.  The children of the Avengers have killed Immortus, future Kang (it is complicated) and a young Kang told our then-present day Avengers, that their children broke the future.  The Hulk of the future is responsible for sending Kang back in time.  The Avengers built a time machine.  They run into Apocalypse and his four horsemen.  Half of the team, that we’ve seen now in this issue, are in the future while the other half deal with the Present Day Time Quake.

Washington Square Park.  Right Now.  Thor, Spider-Woman, Spider-Man and Hawkeye are talking to Killraven.  Who Bendis really likes to use in his time travel stories (which now that I type this, he really likes to do – it is a fun way to play with all of the toys in the Marvel treasure chest.  Killraven recognizes Spider-Man back in Marvel Team-Up 45, Killraven is from the future, an alternate future.  He tries to warn the Avengers, an explosion happens and everyone is covered in pink goo.

What looks like an Martian Invasion from World of the Wars, with those giant tripods, are attacking the city.  They are not prepared for a direct attack by Thor.  Good thing that guy is on our side.

Iron Man must be coming out as there are plenty of ads for related merchandise.

Maria Hill is trying to get all of the civilians off the streets.

For Killraven, he met Spider-Man only a few weeks ago while its been years for Spider-Man.  Or whatever the sliding time line makes it.

Looking at Killraven’s Wikipedia page, the Martians are part of his story.

Civilians are shouting at Hawkeye, that makes sense to me, I would be so tired of all of the costume nonsense if I lived in New York City.  How many days of work do people miss, in a given month, due to costume nonsense?  Instead of Snow Days, do they have Hero Days or Costume Days?

Poor Killraven, he went to prehistoric dinosaur times, next to the American Civil War, and stopped in the Present Day.  Killraven’s home is New York City, as well.

Civilians start fighting each other.  They look like they are from Gangs of New York.

There is a great splash page, as the previous page Spider-Woman is hoping the time quake (that’s what I’m calling it) is only affecting a few blocks but we see on the splash page, that it is all across the city.  Galactus is there, to correct all of this – the only way he knows how.

The Future.  Bucky Cap aims to shoot Kang but Wolverine stops him.  Wolverine doesn’t think they need to do anything about the Future.  Iron Man calls it, a break in the timestream.  Which is more words than Time Quake.  Is Time Break, a decent compromise?  Iron Man wants to avoid the big battle in front of them, which is smart, it is a mere distraction.  They need to find their children.  Wolverine smells something and takes a Captain America shield to the face.  The Avengers are taking a beating from a mysterious force.

We see the kids from the animated film, Avengers Next, just took down the Avengers – so they are now in Marvel continuity.  There is a Captain America son, a Black Panther son, a third son with black and orange stripes, an Asgardian daughter and a Hawkeye son.

Future Hulk is going by Maestro – which I like that that is the certain future of the Hulk, or he is a mindless brute.

There is an ad for the Hickman / Epting’s Fantastic Four, hinting at one of the Four is going to die.  This ad has Reed, Thing and Human Torch, implying that Susan is the one who dies.  It isn’t her.

Wolverine is the first to wake up, Maestro greats him like an old friend.  He knew Iron Man would bring some people but he wasn’t sure who would make up the Avengers.  He was not expecting Wolverine.  This Maestro isn’t the dictator we have known in previous versions, he seems pretty jolly.

Maestro keeps hinting that someone is pulling his strings.  Turns out, Tony Stark of this future, told Maestro to send the young Kang back in time.

There is an ad for Incredible Hulks 612, back when Hulk had a huge cast of characters – She-Hulk, Red She-Hulk, A-Bomb (Rick Jones) and Skaar, his son.

Old Tony tells Maestro to hold his younger self.  When the Hulk grips you, you are gripped.  Captain America’s son’s name is James, he is a brunette.

Issue ends with what appears to be Old Tony about to cut Young Tony, that isn’t good.

. . .

The issue has a backup feature  :

Avengers Assemble : The Oral History of the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes

Chapter Six

I really like the concept of this and I saw that they did trade this, which is a pretty fun concept.

Characters interviewed in this chapter are : Hank Pym, Tony Stark, Janet Van Dyne, Captain America, Thor, Rick Jones, Hawkeye, Spider-Man and Namor.

 The story goes from after Avengers 4 with Captain America waking up in then modern age to when Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are about to join the team, issue 16.  This continues in New Avengers 4.

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Avengers : Age of Ultron

Avengers Age of Ultron

My wife got her parents to watch Walker Dennis and we got to see Avengers : Age of Ultron!

I really enjoyed the film, a bunch!  There are a slew of little moments and big moments that were pretty awesome.  At two hours a change, it is hard to recall everything so this may be a bit all over the place.

I truly believe that every superhero movie, even the first in the series, should open in the middle of a battle – it kicks the film right off on the right track.  It was a nice connection to have the Avengers be seeking Loki’s specter from the first film.

Nice running gag is started at the beginning when Captain America calls Iron Man on his use of language.

Nice use of Sokovia, Marvel is rich with unique countries so the films should be using that for locations.

We get the Maximoff twins are ‘enhanced” by Strucker’s experiments.  I thought they would state they were, Inhumans, but them being “enhanced” works as they use that term on Agents of SHIELD.  For anyone not watching that show, the end scenes of Season Two episode “Dirty Half Dozen” such a great entire episode, and the beginning scenes of the next episode, “Scars” deal with this film.

They don’t talk until later but I really thought Elizabeth Olsen, portraying Wanda, Scarlet Witch and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Quicksilver, did a great job as their characters.  I know Elizabeth Olsen from Josh Radnor’s Liberal Arts.  Apparently she played the wife to Taylor-Johnson’s character in the latest Godzilla film.  Aaron Taylor-Johnson is the titled character in Kick Ass.  Which I didn’t know until I looked it up prior to watching the film.

Quicksilver and Hawkeye get a fun running, pun intended, gag of not seeing something coming.

Hawkeye gets so much more screen time, in this film, probably done to make up to Jeremy Renner’s lack of screen time in the first film.  Which I am all for.  We get to see Clint’s family and where they live, on a farm.  Linda Cardellini portrays Mrs. Barton, she is pregnant at the time.  There is an air of Hawkeye’s death, throughout the film.

Back to the twins, for a moment.  I really like the accents that they have.  I don’t care for Wanda’s powers essentially being, instead of a complicated to explain hex power, she gets light Jean Great slash Phoenix powers.  She has nightmare inducing powers and her blast powers appear more telekinesis.  It is an odd choice.

The Avengers get the specter back, but not until after Wanda zaps Tony with a nightmare.  All the Avengers are dead, he is last to survive.  At this point, he has lame versions of Iron Man, maybe ‘weak’ is the better term, who try to evacuate the civilians from harm.  We get a hint that people are not fond of these Iron Legion armors but it is never referred to again.

Tony jumps out of his armor, as of course he does, and that’s how Wanda is able to put that nightmare spell on him.  This will be a running plotpoint, of Iron Man causing what happens in the film, to his determent.  If he had stayed in the armor, he wouldn’t have been able to be touched.  Next, the Avengers get the specter and Thor wants to take it home but Tony wants to keep it for three days to run experiments on it with Bruce.  Bruce and Tony discover that Hydra was making Artificial Intelligence, and Tony has this initiative called, Ultron, that will put free thinking machines all over the globe, so he finds this short cut and decides to make the AI work with his Ultron program.

Bruce does put up a fight that they should probably talk to everyone else about this, but Tony doesn’t want to hear about killer machines and harshing of his buzz – so he continues forward with SCIENCE!   Which, as a guy who never wants to see robotics get too advance, I’m already shaking my head at Tony.  This, also, irritated my wife so much, as none of the movie should have happened, as Tony is the worst.  I told her that is why I have never been much of an Iron Man fan, but it was nice to finally see this Tony show up in the films.

That brings up that I kept being amazed with how much they were setting up Captain America 3 : Civil War, with Cap and Iron Man butting heads.

I do wish that they could have sneaked Michael Douglas’ Hank Pym into this scene, so that Pym could have had a hand in creating Ultron.  James Spader does an amazing job with the voice.  It is essentially just his regular voice but the visual really adds to it.

The party scene is a real blast, with special cameos with War Machine and Falcon, I wasn’t expecting Falcon.  Natasha and Bruce flirting, was really nice with him not believing she would take an interest him in.  I also like the idea of a fighter who doesn’t fight as he knows he will win.

The scene with the guys are trying to life, Mjolnir, was terrific.  I like that it bunged, just a little, for Cap.  That is a nice touch.  The look on Thor’s face, of such relief, that even Cap can’t lift it, was awesome on Chris Hemsworth’s part.

Ultron, in his most basic state, was odd to concentrate on.  But he delivers his speech and takes off after another good team fight.  We learn that Ultron killed JARVIS, while both of them were in cyberspace.

The team are super quick to turn on Iron Man, as they should be.

Maria Hill was also at the party and it is always a real treat to see Cobie Smulders in a Marvel film.  We also get explanations for why Pepper Potts and Jane Foster are not present, with their respected gentlemen partners competing to see who has the better girlfriend.

There is a wonderful exchange by Hill and Cap, where she explains the Maximoff twins powers.  She shakes her head at the idea of someone allowing themselves to be experimented on.  My favorite response from Cap, “yeah who would allow a German scientist to experiment on you to save your country?”  Such a great in-character moment.

Stan Lee gets a cameo as one of Cap’s war veteran buddies.

We are introduced to Doctor Cho, who will play a larger role later in the film.

Ultorn retreats back to Sokovia, and starts building his robot army.  He also meets the Maximoff twins and gets them to join his mission.  They are mad at Stark for allowing the fall of Sokovia, and they were threaten for days by a bomb of Stark’s that never went off but they were scared to death of it eventually doing its job.  Captain America really stresses how the team needs to communicate better, they win and lose as a team.

Tony has this lame excuse that the Avengers barely got a win in the first film, that they need an army of robots to stand with them, if the next foe is too big for them.  Robots is never the answer, though.

They follow Ultron’s trail to Wakanda, which is awesome.  We see Ulysses Klaue, one of the enemies of Black Panther, his villain name is, Klaw.  In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ultron is the reason why he doesn’t have his hand, as Ultron straight cuts it off.  Ultron is super intense in this film!  Ultron also killed Strucker, while he was in custody.

Ultron is seeking Klaw out as he wants his sweet Vibranium.  Klaw wants money and with a simple thought, Ultron transfers a large sum of money to Klaw.  Ultron gets a classic line “keep your friends rich and your enemies rich and see which one is which,” Klaw recognizes this as something Stark has said before and Ultron is not fond of the comparison.  So Ultron rips off his hand.

I’m reminded, as Ultron makes another Stark-like comment, later to Thor and this reminds me of how Ultron of the comics is based off of Hank Pym’s mindwaves so I imagine that is how movie Ultron works, that his brain is made by Stark, in a way.  When Ultron was coming to life, he had searched the entirety of the Internet, so another option is that there is more information on Stark than the other Avengers, so he was a bigger influence.

Thor, Iron Man and Captain America confront Ultron, on the ship.  It is always awesome to see the Big Three standing together, on film.  Instead of cowering, Ultron attacks and Iron Man eventually tackles him outside and they start flying about.

There is a moment when Iron Man asks Ultron what he wants and Ultron jokes that he would like to explain his evil master plan, right now.

Wanda causes Captain America, Thor and Black Widow to live out their worst nightmares.  Cap, from what I can gather, is worried about constantly outliving everyone he knows.  Black Widow relives her origins of the Red Room, which we got a hint of on Agent Carter’s show.  Thor is at an Asgardian party and it goes badly when a dude starts accusing him of ruining Asgard.  Thor, at first, believes he is too mighty (Mighty Thor reference!) and he is beyond Scarlet Witch’s ability to manipulate him, as he is saying this, he is in his nightmare.  Pretty funny stuff, there!

Hawkeye and Quicksilver have some more back and forth.  I do like the moment when Wanda tries to put Hawkeye under her spell but he is never going to allow himself to be mind controlled again so he puts an unique arrow on her head, that makes her dizzy.  Quicksilver quickly gets his sister out of there.  Once outside, Wanda catches her breath and sees that Bruce Banner was left behind in the Quinjet and she wants to finish her mission.

Ultron finally gets Iron Man to stop chasing him by revealing that the Hulk is on a rampage in Johannesburg.  Hulk is living out his (or Banner’s) nightmare, that he is unstoppable.  There is so much destruction and when Iron Man calls in his Hulkbuster suit, the destruction reaches Man of Steel levels.  Pretty much, the Hulk is seen as a terrorist now.  There is a fun line where Tony finds a building either in the throws of construction or set to be demolished and he states “well, I guess I bought this building” which is a fun line about consequences.  The suped up suit of armor gives him an almost edge against Hulk but the madder Hulk gets, the stronger he gets.    There is a great moment when Iron Man is just hammer punching Hulk and the Hulk just puts a stop to it.  Another great moment is Hulk rips off the hand of the armor and in its place, is a cage like thing that gets Hulk’s hand stuck in it.  Which might give you the impression that is all Tony needs to win but being handcuffed to the Hulk, is never a good idea.

Maria Hill calls the Avengers, who are taxed from their nightmares and the Hulk’s latest actions, they are pretty broken.  Clint takes them to his farmhouse.  I’m all for Hawkeye being married, as his single status isn’t really a key part of his character plus it gives him instant characterization.

There are some wonderful character moments at the farm.  Bruce gets out of a shower and Natasha keeps hinting that she would have joined him, if he had asked.  She reveals that she can’t have babies, after he says he is no good to her as he could never have a baby with someone.  Which is a very intense part of Black Widow’s origins.  That the toxins in her system that keep her from ever being sick, also prevent her from becoming pregnant as a baby is like a very cute infestation.  Plus, Russia’s viewpoint was, that they never wanted their soldiers to be swayed to stay home instead of ready for a mission.

Thor leaves so that he can learn more about his vision and he enlists Dr. Erik Selvig to assist.  They go to the Well of Seeing – great name.  Thor sets up the two part Infinity Wars Avengers films, as he gets a vision of the Infinity Stones that have been revealed thus far.  The Tesseract from Cap’s film, and the main power source of Loki’s specter, the Aether from Thor 2, and the Orb from Guardians of the Galaxy.  There is a fourth stone that was inside the Tesseract – which seems like a cheat to me.  It was this stone that set into action the events of this film, as it was the source that Tony thought had artificial intelligence.

Steve and Tony have a nice scene about teamwork and the importance of communication.  They talk while cutting firewood.  There is a moment when Steve straight up rips a piece of lumber apart with his hands, he was only using the axe as it is the conventional tool.  Laura, Mrs. Hawkeye, asks Tony to look at their tractor.  Before leaving, Tony tells them to not use any of the firewood from his pile – which is a third of Steve’s pile.

Once in the barn, Fury confronts Stark.  Fury wants the world to be saved, as he is quite fond of it.  He also states there is no SHIELD, which is awkward as there is a SHIELD show, so that’s a missed opportunity to promote that show.  Fury and Stark go inside and Fury explains how there is a force that is stopping Ultron from getting the nuclear codes, so Tony believes they have an ally super hacker.  Banner sees a picture of a butterfly that Ms. Hawkeye drew.  He is reminded that Ultron wants to evolve, so a team is going to go after Dr. Cho.

This takes us to Dr. Cho, who puts up a fight against Ultron (not really) and he just taps her with the Specter and now she is under his control.  She creates a new robot body for Ultron, powered by the Mind Stone (nice that one of these gems gets a proper name).  Her clinic is in Korea.  The new body is also going to be built with Vibranium and we get glimpses that the skin is going to purple, which is awesome!

Ultron starts the upload into the new body, once it is complete.  In the process, Wanda can now sense Ultron’s thoughts and now knows that they were supporting the villain of the film.  In her backlash, she snaps Cho out of her mind control and Cho pauses the transfer.  Ultron is not pleased and steals the regeneration cradle and flees.

Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow are the team that was sent to Korea.  Captain America confronts Ultron, Hawkeye gives him the unfriendly and unwanted advice that Cap doesn’t stand a chance against Ultron.  Those two fight in a pretty awesome way from the transport truck to a train.  Meanwhile, Black Widow is trying to get the cradle.  The Twins catch up to Cap to help him fight Ultron.  Black Widow is about to get the cradle inside the Quinjet that Hawkeye is flying.  Ultron knocks the train off the rails and Cap tells Quicksilver to get the civilians out of the path of the train.  Ultron grabs Black Widow by the leg and flies off with her.  Hawkeye wants to go back to get her but Cap tells him to fly the cradle to safety.

Wanda tells Cap that with this new robot body, Stark is most likely going to be tempted to try again at making a new life form, as Ultron was a failure and Stark loves his second chances.

Ultron locks Black Widow inside of a prison that Hydra had made in their base.  He destroys the body we’ve become accustomed to as now he has an even better one, now made of Vibranium.  I do like how we start establishing that, as long as Ultron has body to transfer himself into, he can never be stopped.  Black Widow sends a message to Hawkeye, old school spy style, so he knows she is okay.

Tony sees that the new robot was only 97 percent away from being completed.  He reveals to Bruce that JARVIS was the secret ally they had.  He wants to put JARVIS inside the body, which Bruce doesn’t want to do as that is how they got in this mess in the first place.  Captain America enters the room, all in a panic and Tony – while talking to him – just goes ahead and does it.  Tony Stark, the worst Avenger.

There is a great exchange because Captain America and Iron Man, Iron Man goes with the mentality that preventing a war before it ever starts, is a preferred option.  Cap reminds him that every attempt to ever prevent a war, before it starts, has lead to massive civilian deaths.  Which rings true.

Thor shows up and lightning charges the cradle.  The quick fight between Vision and Thor ends with Thor stating that Vision is one of the good guys, to his fellow Avengers.  Then Vision just hands Thor his hammer, as if it is nothing.  Which is awesome and I wasn’t expecting that, at all!

Paul Bettany is The Vision

Which I’m pretty sure when Paul Bettany agreed to be the voice of JARVIS in the first Iron Man film, way back in 2008, he never thought he was going to be the model to one of the greatest Avengers of all time!  Well, at least, Pre-Dissembled.  It is a huge step up from the voice of Tony’s home to being an Avenger!

He is called The Vision, because he was the shining light in Thor’s vision, that helped save the day.  Vision is on the side of life so he will stand against his father, Ultron.  I also wish that he referred to Ultron as his father.  That would have been a nice touch.

The Avengers are back in Sokovia and they are nine members strong (minus Black Widow being held prisoner) – Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Hawkeye, Hulk, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch & Vision.  Their first mission is to clear the city of civilians as they are expecting massive destruction, but Cap doesn’t have any plans for tonight, so if this is their last night, he’s available.

Vision fights Ultron, shutting down his ability to connect to the Internet, so his only escape routes is the vast army of robot shells, so the Avengers have to destroy all of these or risk a sequel.

Bruce saves Natasha, they have plans to just leave the fight.  Which I really like that turn of events.  Made even better by Natasha pushing Bruce off of a cliff, as she needs the Hulk.  They will conclude their final mission.  Though, this will be the end of the short HulkWidow as both Hulk and Bruce know that they can’t run away with Natasha, the Black Widow.  I do like how Bruce and Natasha kiss but the angle of the kiss, isn’t super romantic, more finale style.

Ultron’s big scheme is being kicked off.  Inside the church is Ultron’s machine that is capable of lifting the country out of the Earth.  The higher it goes, once Ultorn decides, it will drop and completely destroy the world below.  He has plans of extinction – so the stakes are as high as they get!

An old SHIELD Hellicarrier arrives, as Coulson has been working on this – super secretly, throughout the second season.  We haven’t even had hints of it until the (barely) tie-in episode.  Fury is the commander of the Hellicarrier and Maria Hill is on board.  Back in the farm, the last thing he says is that he will be back and most likely in dramatic fashion – he lived up to that.

Captain America is excited as now they can get the civilians off the newly made floating island.  Once all civilians are accounted for, the Avengers can take the fight to Ultron.  Which is a pretty cool visual, seeing all nine heroes fighting off a slew of cronies.

Iron Man, Thor and Vision knock Ultron out and do heavy damage to his main body.  I wish we got Thor saying, “Ultron, we will have words with thee” as that would have been awesome.

With the Hellicarrier taking on more civilians, the Ultron army turns their attention to the air ship.  We see that War Machine has been on board the whole time, which is odd that he waited that long to jump out.  Unfortunately, no Falcon to join the team, as well.

Ultron steals a Quinjet and starts blasting at the final life raft.  Hawkeye was going to get on board this one but a mother notices her son hasn’t joined her yet.  There is this terrific moment when Hawkeye puts his head down, as he knows that this boy is going to be the death of him.  Ultron starts firing and the bullets get closer to Hawkeye, as he grabs the boy.  He, heroically, turns around so the bullets would ideally pierce his skin, and hopefully not the boy’s, when at the last moment, Quicksilver pushes the two of them behind a wall.  Why he couldn’t have just pushed all three to the side, is beyond me.  We get Quicksilver’s death – so we won’t live in a world of two film franchise’s have multiple Quicksilvers.  I sort of like the attitude of the Avengers’ Pietro as Days of Future Past’s Quicksilver is way too fun and Quicksilver is rarely fun.

Hulk takes the fight to Ultron and wails on him.  Scarlet Witch is left behind in the church to keep facing off all of the Ultrons.  There was a great moment, sorry my memory is all over the place for this post, when Hawkeye saves Wanda and they end up in an abandon building.  She is done fighting and wants to just stop.  He tells her that she can stop, Hawkeye will inform her brother of where she is and he can get her to safety in a moment.  Or she can step through the door and become an Avenger.  It is a really great moment, as it shows why Hawkeye likes being an Avenger and Wanda joins the ranks after a minute or two.  So she is still riding off of that high, while in the church.

Wanda feels her brother’s death and seeks out Ultorn.  She finds him in a bus and rips his heart out.  Of course, doing this left the church unattended and one of the little Ultron bots presses the big button and the island starts to fall.

One of my favorite moments, as a fan of the relationship, is when Vision saves Wanda – which I wish there was an image of that, or just of the two of them on screen together – but it is still too early for that.  I hope that the films gives us this relationship, as it is one of my favorites of Marvel.

Iron Man and Thor destroy the mechanism that Tony had hinted at earlier, of how to fix this situation, if it came to it.  Cap resisted the idea, at first, as people were still on the island.  Now everybody is on the Hellicarrier and they no longer need the land mass.

Once it is destroyed, Black Widow calls the Hulk, trying to direct him to how to turn off the stealth mode of the Quinjet.  Instead of taking her suggestions, he turns off the video conference.  She realizes that the Hulk (and Banner) don’t want to pursue the relationship, or can’t.

Vision finds the last Ultron robot, on the ground.  They exchange some words and Vision blows up the last droid.  The “I was born yesterday” line is pretty clever.

We have a nice time jump.  We are in upstate New York, with the new Avengers facility.  Fury is running it, Dr. Cho is there, as is Maria Hill and Dr. Selvig is there as well.  I wonder if Agents of SHIELD will ever visit this site or recognize its existence.  I do like the idea of the Avengers’ headquarters not being an obvious target for attacks.  Keep that nonsense to the woods, and cut down on the civilian and collateral damage.

Tony tells Steve that he is done with the Avengers, which makes sense.  Natasha gets a text from Clint, they named their son – Nathaniel Pietro Barton.  Thor leaves, knowing that the Mind Stone is secure and safe with Vision.  As Tony and Steve are walking Thor out, they continue to have an exchange about how his hammer works.  Since the Vision is a machine, so it doesn’t count that he can lift the hammer.  It would be the same as if an elevator lifted the hammer to a higher floor.  In the big final battle, Vision hits Ultron with the hammer and hands it back to Thor.  They joke about how the hammer is off-balance, Thor states it is due to being able to hit harder.

Fury tells Natasha that they found an empty Quinjet in the ocean so the Hulk is somewhere out there, alone.

The film, proper, ends with Captain America retrieving Black Widow as they join the Avengers – War Machine, Falcon, Vision and Scarlet Witch.  Six members, not that bad.  I’ve read that all of these peeps will be in Captain America 3 : Civil War.  Which is pretty awesome, and it makes sense to set up a more affordable team, as quickly as possible.

The mid credit scene is Thanos putting on the Infinity Gauntlet as he is tired of all of his lackeys failing him.  So things are now, on!  I’m glad there wasn’t a bonus post credit scene, as my bladder couldn’t hold out one more moment!

Such a great film!

. . .

Links used to refresh my memory of the film.

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Uncanny Avengers Volume One Issue 2

Uncanny Avengers 2

Writer Rick Remender

Artist John Cassaday

Colorist Laura Martin

Letterer Chris Eliopoulos

I like the idea of just lifting the creative team behind the hit Astonishing X-Men opening run and just switching out the writer.  One would think Marvel would be bringing the art team to more titles.

I own this for the Kitty Pryde page later in the issue.  Before that moment, this happened :

Wolverine is back from Tibet, where he tried to meditate.  It didn’t work.  He’s still missing Xavier.  Human / Mutant relations couldn’t be worst.

Last issue, Avalanche went insane and destroyed a portion of Manhattan.  Then he killed himself.  The Uncanny Avengers are helping police and fire crews with the survivors.  Spider-Man is there as he is everywhere.  Wolverine sniffs and he can’t find anymore people under the debris.

Wolverine tells Captain America that Avalanche was no longer a villain, this doesn’t add up.  Thor has decided he will no longer stand silent in regards to the human / mutant war.

Cap tells Wolverine that Havok will lead this, Unity Squad.  A man hugs Havok for saving his life.

There is a double page ad for Amazing Spider-Man 700.

There is a man giving a press conference.  Whoever watches it, sees their ideal type of leader.  All he wants the humans to do is kill mutants.  So they start doing it.  The man works for Red Skull, and his name is Honest John.

Rogue is being held prisoner.  She wonders where Wanda is.  I sort of like how Remender recalls their relationship.  Rouge knows Wanda is a complete nut job but she’s her boyfriend’s daughter, so she has to look out for her.  A mutant turtle (but not a ninja) and a lady made of water arrive to talk to Rogue.  The mutant turtle, Mzee, offers Rogue a sandwich made up of butter of peanuts and crushed fruit preserves.  I sort of adore this guy, already.  The water lady is Avalanche’s daughter.

Somehow, Rogue drinking from a glass and spitting it on someone is enough to count as ‘touching’ as this is what she does to the water lady, absorbing her powers.  Apparently Gambit and her play bondage drinking games.  Those two are kinky!

Rogue realizes that they don’t need her, they just want the Witch.

Red Skull wakes up Wanda, calling her – Jew, gypsy and a mutant, yet so beautiful.  It doesn’t get more back handed than that.  Red Skull has half of Xavier’s brain, thus he has telepathic powers – I’m not sure if that’s how mutant powers work but I guess it does as I just read that is how it works.  Red Skull refers to Rogue as Wanda’s father’s whore.  That’s pretty harsh!  Red Skull also mentions how he knew Magneto has a young boy but couldn’t do anything about it as he had to be the best Nazi that he could be.

Red Skull walks Wanda around his School for Gifted Humans – everyone had schools in 2013.  We get a nifty one page origin recap for Red Skull.  Pretty handy for newer fans as I believe Red Skull hadn’t been seen in a while.  Essentially, Red Skull wants Wanda to pick up where she left off before and be like Michael Phelps and finish a race off.

Poor Wanda, first she undoes the mutant race before Quicksilver told her to do it, now the Red Skull wants her to do it and later, the Apocalypse Twins will want her to do it as well.  Talk about destroying a character.

Avalanche’s daughter’s hero name is, Dancing Water.  Red Skull is informed that Rogue is on the run and he has to go deal with that.  Once he is gone, Rogue appears behind Wanda, ready to kill her.  She heard everything.  She has a little of Wanda’s powers now.

Wanda knocks a hole in the ground, Rogue falls down it.  Wanda follows.  Then they see it.

Uncanny Avengers 2 Kitty 1

Xavier’s dead body . . . minus one brain.  Rogue has a quick flashback to Xavier being kind to her, from Uncanny X-Men 171 (the non-Paul Smith drawn issue of the run).  Nice to see Kitty, drawn by Cassaday again.

Xavier never looked so young before!

Rogue decides to kill Red Skull as the issue ends with him entering the room.  Behind him is his S-Men!

I’ve looked into Mzee’s history.

He only has ten appearances, most of them in Uncanny Avengers – 1, 2, 3, 4, 23, 24 and 25 where he dies.  He also appears in Captain America (2013) 23 and Magneto 9 & 10.  I don’t recall him in issue four but that’s on me.


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Uncanny X-Men Volume Three Issue 30

Uncanny X-Men V3 30

Writer Brian Michael Bendis

Pencils Chris Bachalo

Inks Tim Townsend, Mark Irwin, Jaime Mendoza, Victor Olazaba & Al Vey

Colors Chris Bachalo & Antonio Fabela

Cover by Kris Anka, though he isn’t credited anywhere besides his own signature on the cover.  I like how it is a similar concept to issue 15 of this volume.  It also features all of the X-Ladies of the title, which Kitty is the only one who is missing from this one.  Luckily, not from this issue.

 Uncanny X-Men V3 30 Magik 1

Newberry, South Carolina.  Maria Hill wants the soldiers to confirm what they just said.

Devil’s Tower.  The soldiers are confirming three dead.  Poor Magik’s head garb . . . thingies are still on her head.  I hope someone picks up the Eye of Agamotto as Doctor Strange is going to want that back.

Maria Hill wants a triple confirmation, she isn’t sure if she is about to be made a hero or mutant kind’s worst enemy.

Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters.  Years Ago.  Xavier doesn’t seem to be embarrassed that he is both wearing a green bathroom by the pool and that his Original Five X-Men, are not to be found.  Tempus tries to walk a very thin line of not wanting to review too much.  She is there to get Xavier to change his approach to Matthew Malloy.  Xavier hasn’t really read her mind, only got her name and that he shouldn’t pry too much.

Uncanny X-Men V3 30 Shadowcat 1

Jean Grey School.  Today.  The X-Men don’t know about poor Scott and Illyana being dead – yet.  Beast explains what they all already to know, that Scott wants to recruit Matty M.

Storm is about to talk, and Kitty wants to know what she was about to say when Beast gets a phone call.

Look how cute Doop is at that desk, just trying to follow along with the silliness.

Uncanny X-Men V3 30 Shadowcat 2

It isn’t a phone call but his portable Cerebro going off.  The world has lost two very strong and long lasting energy signatures – Cyclops and Magik.

The Black Vortex double page ad is shown again.  It isn’t until I’ve seen it again that I noticed that Howard the Duck may appear in Guardians of the Galaxy 24.  With how ladies are all draped over Quill, I imagine this is only a fun concept cover.

Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters.  Years Ago.  Xavier resists reading Tempus’ mind, as he is super worried about his legacy being upended.  She really wants him to rethink his approach to Malloy.  Xavier figures out that he isn’t alive in the future.

Devil’s Tower.  Now.  One guy wants to bag and tag the skeletons but another instructs that Maria Hill wants nothing to be touched.  The first guy, I wish they had names, thinks that there really is no difference between her and Nick Fury.  The second guy has the sad duty of explaining that everything that they say is recorded and heard – while they are wearing their armors.

Malloy rebuilds himself, which freaks out the SHIELD soldiers.  They open fire and he rebuilds himself again.

Uncanny X-Men V3 30 Magik 2

Matty M is tired of all of these death attempts and erases the SHIELD agents.  He tries to bring back Magik and Cyclops, but besides making their skeletons dance for him – they are not brought back to life.

I like Matt realizing how far his life has gone in 24 hours, he is upset that he has limits – he can’t bring back the dead, that isn’t him.  He is able to bring his body to full health.  He vows to avenge Cyclops.

Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters.  Years Ago.  I like how Tempus respects and fears Cyclops and Xavier isn’t thrilled that Scott sounds more like Magneto.

I really like the way Bachalo shows him reading Tempus’ mind.  The beginning panel shows Xavier’s side of his face on the left and Tempus’ face on the right.  It ends with Tempus’ face on the left side of the panel and Xavier’s on the right – which is a great way to show that.

Xavier will not kill Malloy and he is getting angry that Tempus has ruined his future and his confidence.  Xavier hints at what many think he will do with the Original X-Men when they come back, that he will simply mind wipe them and act like their months long adventure never happened.  Though with Secret Wars 2015 happening, that whole situation isn’t really going to matter.

How great is Tempus calling on Xavier’s one true status quo.  Teach one thing and then disregard that when it becomes inconvenient.

Uncanny X-Men V3 30 Shadowcat 3

Jean Grey School.  Today.  Emma leaves the school, as her ex-boyfriend is dead.  Rachel wants to force her to take a chill pill, so those two are clearly not friends.

Man, I love Kitty thinking of Magik – someone has to think of her.  She isn’t an also ran.

Uncanny X-Men V3 30 Shadowcat 4

Emma shouts, AAGGH! and everyone is forced to repeat it as her mental powers are great.  Why is Quentin Quire shirtless with Glob and Doop?  In what way can Thanos be right?  That Death is one special type of lady?

Uncanny X-Men V3 30 Shadowcat 5

The X-Men are trying to get themselves back on their feet.

Matty M is naked in front of Emma, no easy feat to do.  Bachalo doesn’t do Matty M any favors with how little and thin those lightning bolts are.

I like Bendis handling that Emma doesn’t know who this guy is.  I doubt Storm has got to describing him to the team.

Uncanny X-Men V3 30 Shadowcat 6

I don’t get why him being there when Scott died justifies punching him in the face.  At least she wasn’t diamond form up.  He responds by breaking her neck, which is super harsh!

Uncanny X-Men V3 30 Shadowcat 7

No one is happy with Matthew Malloy, who tries to explain that he can’t undo what he just did.

The New Xavier School.  Today.  Goldballs wants to know if anyone has seen Tempus.  Hijack wants to know what is going on, none of the grown ups are around to explain anything.  I like Bendis trying to remind us that the All New X-Men in the Ultimate Universe adventure is happening at the same time.  Apparently, Cyclops only owns the one plane.

The Cuckoos lose their respected minds, as they sense Emma’s death.  Good on the Marketing Department not putting one of those “One of These Mutants Dies This Issue” caption on the cover.  Nice restraint!

Issue ends with Tempus bringing Xavier to the present and he gives us “To Me, My X-Men” which seems silly but I guess from his perspective, he sees youngsters wearing similar outfits and assumes they are the X-Men.

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