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Showing posts from July, 2012

Avengers: Some Assembly required

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AVENGERS ASSEMBLE  # 1 – 5  (May –September 2012) Brian Michael Bendis, writer.  Mark Bagley, penciler.  Danny Miki, inker.  Paul Mounts, colors.  VC’s Clayton Cowles, letterer.When I first saw the announcement of a new monthly Avengers book in PREVIEWS  I wasn’t very excited. Aren’t there enough Avengers books?  Why glut the market with yet another one?  Who could possibly make up the roster of this team?  Isn’t every non-X-Men hero a member of one Avengers team or another?  Who’s left?  When I learned that this new AVENGERS ASSEMBLE team would mirror the characters in the wildly popular AVENGERS movie I immediately concluded = marketing decision.   The AVENGERS movie just might create new interest in these characters and drive new customers into comic stores and book shops in search of Avengers books to read. (Barnes & Noble mostly – sometimes I wonder how well they do with comics sales. I believe they cornered the market for manga.)  Why not put something out there they recogn…

AVENGERS VS. X-MEN, Round Eight + spoilers: Say Namor

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AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #8  (September 2012)  Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction and Jonathan Hickman = story.  Brian Michael Bendis = script.  Adam Kubert = Pencils.  John Dell = Inks.  Laura Martin with Larry Molinar = colors.  Chris Eliopoulos = letters. If John Romita, Jr. can’t be back yet, Adam Kubert is a very welcome alternate artist.  The opening two splash pages with an angry Phoenix-enhanced Namor attempting to destroy Wakanda all by his lonesome is pure dynamite and only the beginning of some marvelous illustrations throughout the issue.  This is a battle issue but don’t confuse it as an expansion of AVX: VS - - this is much more serious and intense.  I prefer it this way.  Without spoiling too much of the action for you - - Namor is stopped but not without consequences for the remaining Phoenix-powered X-Men and further challenges for the Avengers. I find the opening roster page with the character icons to continue to be very revealing, almost like a…

A vs. X cross-overs: I still think Avengers will prevail

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I think I’ll go back to my stack of AVENGERS VERSUS X-MEN cross-over books.  Despite my working off a number of these in my last few blogs - - this is still a good-sized stack.  I don’t want to think what I’ve spent trying to explore this mega-event.  I remember commenting earlier that I appreciated that Marvel wasn’t deliberately trying to include essential elements of the main story in any of the cross-over books.  The idea was that they were there if you wanted to read more, but they would be side-stories that may provide extra detail or background but wouldn’t contain any key moments in the big story.  In spite of that I picked up many of them.  A good story just makes me want to explore further.  Maybe Marvel is finally listening to the general readership and finding a way to present these mega-events without expecting everyone to get all the titles. As long as they include good stories and don’t cheapen up the art teams certain readers will buy enough of the side-line books to h…

More Avengers vs. X-Men Crossovers: “Are you feeling Sinister?”

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. . . with apologies to the music of Belle & Sebastian for borrowing their title                     NOTE: Spoilers are scattered throughout this blogUNCANNY X-MEN #15  (September 2012)  Kieron Gillen, writer.  Daniel Acuna, artist.  VC’s Joe Caramagna, letterer.  Daniel Acuna, cover art.    “This Strange, Unpleasant Land”  Part One of Three.          In my last review of UNCANNY X-MEN #14 I implied that writer Kieron Gillen may have “inserted” some Sinister parts into the AVENGERS VS. X-MEN min-series for the sole purpose of being able to tell this story, perhaps one that he couldn’t wait to get to.   New information in UNCANNY X-MEN #15 would indicate otherwise and suggests that Mister Sinister has been playing a manipulative background role in these events for some time.  Oh, come on!   Excuse me for feeling cynical (apologies to Belle & Sebastian yet again) but I still stand firm on my first opinion.  However, give credit to Gillen for his hard work in finding a way to fab…

A vs. X = catching up to the cross-over stories (some spoilers)

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I’ve been exploring many of the side-stories of the AVENGERS VERSUS X-MEN mini-series. I have been very pleased and only mildly disappointed a few times.  I’ll continue to use my personal five-star rating system to help guide  you to those books deserving of your time and to spotlight those that are the most worthwhile. Good story earns a star, and so does good art. If the story is a “stand-alone” and doesn’t depend on any other issue to either understand or enjoy it - - it earns a third star.  If the story makes me want to read further into this particular title it also gets a star.  And lastly, if the issue manages to connect to the main story and relate an essential piece of the tale - - it would receive the coveted fifth star.  Here are some of the issues I’ve been reading . . . . .  X-MEN LEGACY #266 – 267  (July, 2012)  Christos Gage, writer.  Rafa Sandoval, penciler.  Jordi Tarragona, inker.  Rachelle Rosenberg, colorist.  VC’s Cory Petit, letterer.These issues focus on what ha…

AVENGERS VERSUS X-MEN: ROUND SEVEN

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September 2012 cover date.  JASON AARON, BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS, ED BRUBAKER, MATT FRACTION AND JONATHAN HICKMAN: story. MATT FRACTION, script.  OLIVIER COIPEL, pencils.  MARK MORALES, inks.  LAURA MARTIN, colors.  CHRIS ELIOPOULOS, letters. It is getting harder to write about this  series without letting spoilers slip in.  I will keep trying to tell you what’s good and worthwhile about these books without detailing too much of the plot.  I do not regret investing my time and money in this saga.  I’m being entertained and sometimes surprised.   The books seem to be doing well, and perhaps helping Marvel stay in the limelight.  As of the last update from the PREVIEWS website - - - AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #6 was the #1 ordered book among comic retailers in June, followed by AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #5  in the #2 position.  AVX: VS #3 managed to crack the Top Ten, being the #10 most ordered book in July.  After the turn of events in Issue #6, the advantage in this battle has clearly swung to the X-Me…

These AVENGERS: No Longer A Best Kept SECRET

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In my opinion SECRET AVENGERS is the best of a slew of Marvel books featuring THE AVENGERS in one form or another.  If you only read one AVENGERS title a month, this should be the one.  Rick Remender took over the writing chores as of Issue #22 and has breathed new life into this title.  It’s fun.  It’s entertaining.  The characters have a unique chemistry, sometimes volatile.  It’s good stuff!Flashback to 2010 in the aftermath of SECRET INVASION, DARK AVENGERS and SEIGE – just as the HEROIC AGE begins.  A new AVENGERS title is announced - - - SECRET AVENGERS - - - written by the great Ed Brubaker (who thrilled with his work on DAREDEVIL and CAPTAIN AMERICA) and featuring a new team led by Steve Rogers, Super-Soldier.  I really looked forward to this debut. I wasn’t very excited after reading a few issues.  The mix of team members didn’t seem right.  They didn’t seem to relate to each other well.  The conflicts and plots were not holding my attention.  I kept buying the issues and sto…