Tag Archives: Marvel

Cable: Time Cop?

“‘Tomorrow’ becomes yesterday.”

Hey, hey. This is D.C. back to throw down on another new series that hit last week, Marvel Comics’ Cable.

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Who is this Cable?

Nathan Summers is the son of the X-Men’s (dearly departed) leader, Cyclops, and a clone of Jean Grey. An encounter with Apocalypse forced Nathan to be saved and raised in a dystopic alternate future by the Clan Askani, where he became a hardened warrior named Cable. Cable eventually traveled back to his original timeline, where he lead the New Mutants, X-Force, joined the X-Men, and raised the mutant messiah, Hope.

Marvel’s latest initiative RessurXion includes the third Cable series in the lineup, written by James Robinson and drawn by Carlos Pacheco.

Impressions?

I was hopeful going into this new Cable series, since James Robinson wrote an enchanting Scarlet Witch series just last year. With Pacheco backing him up on art, what could go wrong?

Turns out, plenty. Let’s see…

Plot. What plot? There is nothing good plot-wise. There are references to an individual Cable is hunting throughout time, but what about Cable’s motivations, thoughts? More importantly, what about who Cable is? I have intimate knowledge of Cable, but for the new reader with no experience with the character, this issue does absolutely nothing to get that kind of reader up to speed on who Cable is, what he’s done with his life, where he sees himself (heck, I don’t even know that), and where he is going.

Next to nothing on who he is hunting, why he is hunting him (a “device” is all?), and how he came across this character.

I understand not being given all the answers in the first issue, but this issue gives far too little to be understood. Here, Cable is simply doing. All action, few words, and no depth to his character or  his motivations. Here, he is just a man hopping through time, fighting.

Oh, and getting his butt kicked at the end.

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If Robinson was going to dredge out another played out version of Cable being a time-hopping tough loner, he could have at least made a more interesting beginning. I’m surprised to say that Robinson’s work here is woefully mediocre.

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The only saving grace in this beginning issue is Carlos Pacheco’s art. It’s smooth, modern, and full of beautiful atmosphere and structures that are appropriate for their eras of time. The colors provided by Jesus Aburtov simply dazzle with Pacheco’s art, shimmering and darkening when necessary. These two a quite a pairing.

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Verdict

I can’t call Cable #1 anything but a worthless read and an even more worthless new beginning. I’m disappointed, given how well James Robinson’s Scarlet Witch run turned out. But here, it seems as if Robinson isn’t even trying with the time-hopping mutant. There’s nothing here to help a new reader understand Cable as a character; even a seasoned reader like myself find Robinson’s take seriously lacking.

Carlos Pacheco and Jesus Aburnov’s pencil and color combination is top notch here, but it’s simply not enough in the face of such shallow, mediocre writing. Robinson must invoke the skill he has shown in prior work and step it up.

END THROWDOWN.

 

Supergirl: Being Super

Hello everyone, this is Kay G. As always, its been awhile so finally here’s another one from me. Today we will be discussing Supergirl: Being Super. A comic I was little bit skeptical to read since I’m not a huge Supergirl fan.  Although, I have to say I was very surprised how much I actually liked it. Written by Mariko Tamaki and art by Joëlle Jones, the story shows a teenage Supergirl going through regular teenage problems. It’s a great coming of age story for the young super hero who has to make a lot of difficult discussions.

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Along with the art the writing in this comic is fantastic, filled with great images the story real makes an impact. The writer gives Supergirl a vulnerably, to make believe that even though she has powers and strength she is still impacted by tragic events. Supergirl is finding difficulty with her problems along with regular teenage puberty coming about.  When faced in a bind, she is forced to make a heart wrenching choice that leads to a fatality of someone she loves. This act changes her; it not only affects her as a person, but the ability to use her powers correctly.

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I love how insecure she feels, how helpless. Tamkai really focuses on the underlining of a teenage girls problems and the pressure that comes with it. Even if some of Jones art can be questionable in some panels and possibly taken the wrong way, the art matches well with the story; super Kryptonian zit and all.

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The writing is great, real and it speaks to the reader and makes you understand Supergirl’s emotions.  You feel for her as the reader and I can’t wait to see more of where this story goes. Even for a mini-series; which I feel are usually more successful, the story telling is very much worth the time. I can’t wait to see what happens next, so if you readers want to check out something great and want to learn a little about Supergirl, check out Supergirl:  Being Super #1.

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Iron Fist…the living weapon

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Hello everyone this is Kay G. Today we will be discussing Netflix’s original Iron Fist. First of all, this series had a lot of bad mouthing. It had some of the worst reviews for Netflix show, especially a Marvel one. Most I didn’t bother to read most because I didn’t want it clouding my judgement on what I was watching. The few complaints I did read though seemed very off from what I was watching. I felt as though most of them stemmed from either not knowing much about Iron Fist origins and/or didn’t bother watching more than a few episodes. Although everyone is entitled to their opinion, mine happens to be the show is definitely worth checking and worth the time.

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The main cast

I honestly liked the show, now I’ll be honest it was no Daredevil but that’s not a fair assessment. As a whole, Iron Fist’s character even in the comics was never the most popular and perhaps not the most interesting. This mostly has to do with the fact that he isn’t as a heroic icon and a popular Marvel character. Even despite not being the most popular character what I have read, I’ve also very much enjoyed. Iron Fist is the underdog character, this happens to be something I gravitate more towards in my stories. I like different and uniqueness, they’re only so many hero stories with same premise you can read over and over again. Plus his history and his background I’ve found most intriguing.

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The original origins of Daniel Rand are that he was the son of businessman Wendell Rand, who had once lived in the fabled city of K’un-Lun, which exists in another dimensional realm.  This fact stayed the same, what was different was the way his parents died and how it affected Danny’s way of coping with their death. In the show we see Danny more vulnerable than he is in the comics. The best way to describe the real Danny Rand is that he’s Marvels version of Batman. A young orphan who inherits lots money, a company, responsibility and will of vengeance for his parent’s death. So yes, reviews were right about one the thing, the origins of Iron’s Fist story was told differently like much cinematic events are.  But in this case I liked the change; I liked how they adapted the story to fit into the universe that Netflix was trying to create with these characters. They are making it work for the story that they are trying to tell.

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Another bad review was the fighting style. It’s something if only watch the first few episodes of you’ll agree that it isn’t great. Although as the episodes go on, the fighting style increases and so does the capability. Of course this is my own personal opinion, I thought the scenes were well choreographed and strategically done. Not to mention I thought some of them were fairly bad ass. Not to mention when the iron fist came alive…it was epic. Some reviews were about Finn Jones role as Iron Fist and how it wasn’t convincing. Jones might not have looked exactly like the “real” Danny Rand, but to me if was fairly close. Another dismissal I would like to say about the bad reviews was that there was no costume. First of all it’s an origin story so the costume would make no sense and outdated for the show they’re trying to create.

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Iron Fist had everything I look for in a good show. It had action, a little bit of comedy, some romance, some drama and overall it had heart. Every emotion was written in this show, it had a lot of compassion and good moments. I liked how confused and difficult Danny Rand’s life seemed. Rand had to experience deception and really understanding who he is and who Iron Fist is.  I think Finn Jones along with the rest of the cast did a fantastic job making Iron Fist come to life. Netflix has done a great job showcasing these underdog characters and making them great again and not forgotten. It has created new comics, some are good and some are not so much. Either way it’s a good start for anyone who wants to learn and know who Iron Fist is. I made sure to give nothing away, so all of you can watch and make your own assessments. I hope you all enjoy and be prepared to binge watch.

The Goddess of Thunder

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Hello everyone this is Kay G, today I’ll be discussing Thor: “The Goddess of Thunder.” Thor is a wonderful read of Jane Foster as the role of Thor. Foster has gotten a lot of bad here say of how she portrays the role of Thor, mostly because other people don’t like that a woman is Thor. I believe that Jason Aaron does a beautiful job showing Jane’s transformation along with Odin’s (original Thor) struggle with what he’s lost.

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What I liked most about Jane’s portrayal is how heroic she is. She jumps into this role that she didn’t ask for and completely takes charge all while her health is talking a major toll on her body. Foster in lack of better words, “completely kicks-ass” in all ways of being Thor. Odin really struggles in this story, and how he loses his worth and title of his name. Upon meeting Jane her identity is a secret to him, although it is a woman he knows quite well. In battling with her, Odin realizes that Jane is more worthy than he could be and that Mjolnir chose her for a reason.

 

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Even in the battles Jane has a different control of Mjolnir than even Odin ever did.  Jane has to fight off the King of Ascgard, who wants her killed all because he thinks she stole the hammer along with a bunch of other nasty things. I think the people who complain about Jane don’t really know the full story. Odin gave her the permission of being Thor. When she didn’t know what to call herself, Odin named her that. He told her that she was the new Thor now, and that she deserved the title.

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As a woman, I like that we get to see strong woman in the world of super hero males.  Although she plays a strong woman, she struggles a lot with her personal life. Jane Foster doesn’t but up with anyone though and she can completely hold her own. Despite any haters of her, Jane Foster truly is the new Mighty Thor and definitely worth checking out. I look forward to reading more of her and what she can do.

The Unstoppable Wasp

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Hello everyone, this is Kay G. Today I’ll be talking about The Unstoppable Wasp by Jeremy Whitley. I was a little bit uncertain to check out because I wasn’t sure how good it would be. I wasn’t familiar with character and the art work wasn’t the greatest in my opinion. After going back and forth I decided to pick up a copy and I wasn’t disappointed.

 

Synopsis:

The Unstoppable Wasp is about Nadia (Wasp), who spent the entire first half of her life as a captive of the Red Room, but now this teenage super-scientist is on her own for the first time. The daughter of Hank Pym (aka Ant-man and Giant-Man) has a lot of time to make up for and she’s determined to change the world. For those who don’t know about the Red Room: the Red Room is one of the K.G.B.’s espionage training programs. For decades the Red Room had been a Cold War facility to train female spies known as Black Widow.

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Verdict:

The first thing I noticed about Nadia was the way she spoke. She spoke so intellectually and almost child-like. Nadia was seeing and experiencing a lot life outside of captivation. We get so see how exciting even the simplest task and nuances are, such as a phone ringing or taste of a donut.  I loved the way Whitley wrote her character, it was very fitting for her experiences and her dialect really fit. The only problem I really had with it was the art; I did wish that the art could have been much better. To me the art seemed a bit cartoonish but the story definitely makes up for it.

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The one think I loved about The Unstoppable Wasp, was how inspiring it was. Nadia is highly intellectual just like her father and is also an inventor. Nadia makes it a point to be one of the smartest women on the list of smartest in the world. Not only does she want to make the list herself, she wants to find other women like her.

I think this story is very encouraging for young women who want to pursue these male-dominated careers. Nadia is trying to prove that no matter the age or sex of the person, anything is possible. This story is very female-driven, but not done in a way where it screams feminism. Even my partner D.C mentioned that it would be a great read for any young woman.

After I finished reading the first issue as a woman you feel uplifted and want to conquer the world as much as Nadia does (just a little less superheroic, ha). I highly recommend this story to all women and to anyone who just wants to read a good story.

Oh, the (In)humanity!

D.C. here for another throwdown. I had hoped to finish this first, but I wanted to share my thoughts on this crew:

I haven’t watched Marvel’s show “Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.” yet to see the difference (still on my Netflix queue), but meet the original Inhumans.

The Inhumans are just another sub-species of humans that came about centuries ago as a result of genetic tampering and lofty conquest goals by the alien Kree Empire. While they have mostly sequested and secluded themselves from the rest of humanity (and mutantdom…and Atlanteans), the Inhumans have a great deal of history with the Fantastic Four and Avengers (of which Crystal was a member). In this 1998 12-part graphic novel written by Paul Jenkins and drawn by Jae Lee, we get a concise and comprehensive look at just who and what the Inhumans are…both to themselves and to the rest of the world.

The Good

Props to the art

Simply put: I love this graphic novel. the dark tone of the art by Jae Lee is fantastic. I couldn’t believe that the art is 18 years old. It almost disgusts me that the art I’ve seen out of comics pale in comparison to that of Jae Lee.

For example:

Karnak: the seer of all flaws

Jae Lee’s penciling of the characters in Inhumans is well proportioned, even with a species of people with wildly different mutations. Facial expressions were very different for many of the characters I observed, and those expressions gave each character a distinct identity.

Most importantly, to me, Lee’s art fit perfectly with Jenkin’s writing for many of the characters. Gorgon’s gruff and pugnacious attitude was depicted well in his physical demeanor; even when he was humbled, the art conveyed Gorgon’s diminished appearance. Karak’s stoice face and poise go hand-in-hand with his deliberate speech. Maximus…oh, we’ll go into that a bit.  🙂

But you get the point. You FEEL the emotions on the faces and bodies of these characters.

I was captivated by the coloring provided by Dave and Dan Kemp and Avalon Studios (which I’m NOT familiar with). The colors showed great detail whenever Karnak of the royal family seemed to use his powers of detecting the flaw in all things. But that is just one such example.

The synthesis of pencils and colors, as dark as they are, shine brightly in the Inhumans. It is my belief that colors set the tone of the story, and “Inhumans” is a great example.

Props to the writing…

I thoroughly enjoyed “Inhumans” because Paul Jenkins explored not just the royal family of the Inhumans, but also several citizens of Attilan. Life is given to the Inhuman royal family, the next generation of Inhumans, and the humans who lead the attack on the Inhumans.

I was thoroughly pleased with Jenkins’ depiction of Maximus in particular. With Jae Lee’s art, we get the perfect picture of the mad Inhuman prince. And the term “mad” is seen on Maximus’ face and in his speech in so many ways. We see the generic “mad” when Maximus’ body is flailing about while he speaks nonsensically:

We also see how mad–ANGRY–Maximus is at his brother and the Inhumans in general, and how that drives his motives. Maximus’ sticking his tongue out is another beautiful touch to his madness. I couldn’t tell if he was angry, mentally ill, or simply sadistic at those moments. It was a thrill.

Another pleasing inclusion in Inhumans is that we get a tour of just how the Inhuman pet Lockjaw thinks and what he thinks about. What does a dog think about the conspiracies and events threatening to destroy the Inhumans? Does he care? Does he even understand? You get a delightful experience with Lockjaw, even among the chaos befalling the Inhumans.

The questions Jenkins captions throughout the story makes you really want to seek the answers. They are well written questions that deal with morality, decisions, indecision, and the consequences with which you find your answers to these questions.

From the beginning of the story, and especially towards the end, we are forced to question just who Black Bolt is, and just how do he choose to rule over the Inhumans. What does he do to safeguard his people from a “primitive” world that seeks only to reap their existence? When he seems defiant, content to observe his people’s annihilation, how are we supposed to see Black Bolt? He surprises even me at the end, especially with how he treats Maximus, his brother and antagonists. We see so many emotions in the silent king that speaks more than anyone’s in this saga.

Black Bolt: The man with the plan…or is he?

Nonetheless, we see similar aspects throughout this saga, and with so many other characters. We see how conflicted the old and young are, and how determined and heroic and tired many of the characters can be.

The Bad

Hm…Hmmm…HHHMMMMMMMM….

You know what? In my opinion, there is very little I found bad in this story. If I have even one beef, it’s regarding Jenkins’ writing on Triton.

Specifically, his speech patterns.

Jenkins did a fine job having many of the character orate in a manner that is characteristic of them. Gorgon had his own way of speaking, as did Medusa, and (of course) Maximus. Even Black Bolt had a taciturn, yet characteristic, speech form.

Triton, however, seemed to have an inconsistent speech pattern throughout. Triton’s speech in issue #1 was addled and unfocused:

“If it pleasing your majesty… This poor being am poor foolish. I humble apologize.”

–Triton, when speaking to Medusa.

His was clearly distinct, almost like he lacked intelligence. However, in issue #9, in which Triton’s character is highlighted, his speech is starkly different:

“…And I bring the personal note from King Black Bolt, together with regards and respect from all people of our great city to our Atlantean cousins.”

–Triton, when speaking to Namor.

As soon as Triton spoke in issue #9, I couldn’t help but feel confused. What happened? Why is he so eloquent, so articulate? Why does he sound UNLIKE Triton?

From this issue to the end of the series, Triton spoke in the same regal manner, without justification for the change. The lack of consistency is too stark to have left alone without a reason.

It’s no lie that to continue with Triton’s original speech pattern could have been a challenge, but that does not justify an unexplained change. I was fine with Triton’s more complicated speech because it set him even further apart from his cousins in the royal family, just as much as his physical characteristics. To change Triton’s speech midway through to something so similar to the others diminished his individuality a bit.

Recap

“Inhumans” is a great and satisfying story that covers so many aspects.

And in this story, we see that the Inhumans really are just like us, though in my opinion, they are more pure and almost more innocent. We see that even Inhumans are prejudiced against one another, that they are, in their own way, racist against themselves and the Alpha Primitives that were their slaves. Even boisterous commanding soldiers like Gorgon can be humbled and shattered at the decisions (or lack thereof) they have to endure.

We see not just the prejudices the Inhumans place on one another, but the prejudices directed towards them by the human world. It is a trait we have seen in years, decades, and centuries past in human history. It is a cautionary tale of that we are doomed to repeat these prejudices whenever we meet “the other.”

Most strikingly, we get a true understanding of how heavy the crown Black Bolt wears. How, in spite of his regal aire, Black Bolt’s own decisions tear at him more than the insults and condemnations of his people. We see the true price of the crown.

If you’re looking for something new to read, pick up this oldie. For Marvel fans who have little knowledge of the Inhumans and want to read an in-depth storyline that highlights the various characters, give this book a read.

And besides…you people who like to read comics before a movie, “Inhumans” comes out in theaters in about 3 years. So you have no excuse to get a great look into one of Marvel’s most isolated people.

END THROWDOWN!

newuniversal in a new universe?

Yo, this is D.C. Jackson, and for my first (shaky) blog entry, I think I’m going to throw down my thoughts on what should be a game changer in the All-New, All-Different Marvel universe.

That’s far too long of a title, so that will forever be known as ANAD.

For those who don’t know, the ANAD Marvel universe is just the latest move by Marvel Comics to change up its main universe (earth-616) after the winter crossover Secret Wars. For those of you who have NOT read Secret Wars (including myself–but that will change soon!), it is the climax to Johnathan Hickman’s two-year run on the Avengers and New Avengers titles that detailed the end of all universes and reality from the world-ending incursions.

Hickman’s most striking turn in his arc was, for me, the very beginning, when he declared that the Avengers need to get bigger. Look at this group:

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!

This was, by far, my most favorite iteration of the Avengers. And with an Avengers line-up THAT powerful, you know Hickman’s arc will have had to have been monumental. For the record, I enjoyed Hickman’s arc, and I may write my review of that arc. But back to the point…

From what I’ve read, Secret Wars ends in the “recreation” of 616, with some inclusions from Marvel’s Ultimate Marvel line, including Miles Morales (Spider-Man), and the Maker (Reed Richards…wha!?).

Earlier today I thought, with this “new” 616, there should be some game changers, with new, viable threats. Why rehash old stories and concepts if Marvel seeks to create the world anew? Dr. Doom? Thanos? Galactus? Apocalypse?

Psh. I love my villains, but they’ve been around for far too long and have kept up the status quo for the most part.

But then it hit me:

What would be a real, serious threat to not only heroes, not just mutants, but ALL metahumans in 616? My answer was found in the universe of…newuniversal.

 

Enter: newuniversal

 

newuniversal: Great storyline!

A quick-ish recap for those who don’t know: “newuniversal” is a re-imagining of another well-known Marvel universe from the 1980’s, called “New Universe.” Notable characters that emerged from “New Universe” included Justice, Nightmask, and Star Brand. Elements of these concept were reintroduced in “newuniversal,” designated Earth-555 in the multiverse of Marvel, and were also incorportated into the 616 during Hickman’s Avengers run.

Nightmask (Adam) in Earth-616…max love.

Nightmask (Izanami Randall) in Earth-555. MAX love.

“newuniversal” had a very compelling threat to the metahumans that emerged from the White Event: one Philip L. Voight.

Voight: Possible Man-of-the-Year in Marvel?

Philip Voight was an agent of the U.S. government that took part in projects that murdered superhumans. Not captured. Not catalogued. MURDERED. Malicious intent, pre-planned, preemptive attacks on unsuspecting superhumans. No due process. Voight’s victims were none the wiser of Voight’s beloved Project: Spitfire. We will discuss “newuniversal” in depth at another time to see this man’s conviction.

Needless to say, Voight’s conviction to his cause is strong, and his methods were VERY effective.

So, I wonder: Why shouldn’t Marvel incorporate a man like Philip Voight into the 616 post-Secret Wars? It’d be a real game changer, something that will produce a new villain, and a true, efficient threat to the proliferation of superhumans on earth.

With extinction-level powers like Franklin Richards, the Hulk, Blue Marvel, the Sentry, and Hyperion running about with ostensibly (and explicitly) altruistic intentions, we should have an everyman who sees any and all metahumans as a threat. An everyman which personifies the ugliness of mankid, that nagging nature we have covet that which we don’t have, and to hate and cull that which we don’t understand. A man will go to extraordinary lengths to do what men like Henry Peter Gyrich, Steven Lang, and Graydon Creed couldn’t even succeed at.

A man who will go to any length to do what men like Hitler HAVE succeeded at.

Perhaps this man can find new weaknesses to such powerful metahumans in the world, and begin a crusade to wipe ALL post-humans from the world. Voight could continue Project: Spitfire, and he would have plenty of guinea pigs to test it on: mutants, the Avengers, Inhumans, Daredevil, Silk…the list goes on.

Forget the Superhuman Registration Act. Think the Superhuman Neutralization Act.

How would the heroes and villains see regular humans, who MAY support Project: Spitfire? How would they see the humans who suddenly want to take the world back from the gods who fly and battle above them?

How will they see a government–a world, in fact–that now believes posthumans don’t DESERVE due process before a sentence of death?

Would villains and heroes unite, as some have during the first Civil War? How will they face genocide that make the Mutant Massacre, all Sentinel storylines, and the Days of Future Past look like simple scuffles?

Consider that game-changer in the 616, Marvel.

 

–D. C.