Thursday, December 20, 2007


So, obviously I can't keep my schedule going over this break, so I am going to stop my posting until I get back to school around January 14.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Sorry I was late

I apologize for being late for anyone wanting to read my blog yesterday, but other things came up. Um, today I can give you my review of the two comics I missed last Wednesday. I promise I will get the new comic review up by at least tonight. I am on the west coast now, so everything will be later for the East Coast

Spider-Man Family 6

Basic Plot: Thor is turned into a frog and Spidey has to help him find Loki. Spider-Man and Zabu have some tender time together. ASM 180. MTU vol 1 #1. Spider-Man J

So, basically this is a fun comic and I really enjoyed the first and sceond stories. The first one is written and drawn by Chris Eliopoulos who had drawn a cute Puppet Master story in a previous Spider-Man Family. Basically, Loki plans to have Thor dissected by students, but Peter Parker gets the Thor frog, who refuses to go to sleep or be killed, breaks free of the container and leads him back to where his hammer is. Then, he turns back into Thor, although still a frog. Then, being able to speak (since Thor can speak), he leads Spider-Man back to his school where Loki was disguised as a kid to watch Thor die. Instead Thor beats him up and eventually everything is happy. It is a cute story. Like all of the ones in the Spider-Man Family series, I know it means nothing, so I can just enjoy it for what it is. The second one involves Zabu and how he is the last of his kind and lonely because of it. Spider-Man brings him to the Museum of Natural History in order to have him see the stuffed sabretoothed tigers. Zabu grows fond of Spider-Man and when he returns Zabu to Ka-Zar, Zabu gives him a warm goodbye and it is sweet. I love the story as it is simple and cute and Zabu is awesome. The other stories are pretty good (aside from Spider-Man J which I cannot make myself read). MTU is fun as it is a Christmas issue where Sandman visits his mother. All in all, a fun comic to read.

Wolverine 60

Basic Plot: Wolverine looks for the woman he saw in his coma and goes after Scimitar.

Whee! When Wolverine is pissed, boy is he pissed. A lot of death and a lot of action. It is lots of fun and some silliness involved, but overall, I think it is a fun storyline and while it may not be the deepest storyline or even as deep as they want it to be, it still is fun. The fights are a little short, but overall they are still good. I don't like Chaykin all that much, so I can live with shorter fight scenes. Oh, but the greatest part is easily the end when you learn who is behind it all. And believe me, it is hard to figure out. I had a hard time, but I did realie who it was by the second to last page right before seeing him. Oops, now you know it is a guy. Oh well. It you want to know, then just wait a sec, I have ot clear out everybody else. Ahem. SPOILER ALERT!!! So, it is Mariko's father who is back from the grave to exact his revenge on Wolverine for killing Mariko and himself. I love the concept, since there is a lot of resurrection with the Hand and he is a great person to resurrect. Anyway, I want to see where this is going.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Secret Wars Part 1

So, for whatever reason, I just want to review a really good story with one of the most bizarre reasons for its existence, plus it's sequel (to an extent, not Secret Wars II or III, but Beyond).

Okay, so it actually started in Marvel Comics before, but nobody was quite sure what was happening. Basically, Professor X felt strange scanning waves, and was concerned. Spider-Man's Spider-Sense just went off for no reason. Eventually, though, the heroes all realized that there was a purpose for the strange occurrences and they all found themselves ending up at a strange alien site that was in Central Park. They all ended up going into it, knowing they probably shouldn't, and then they all get zapped. Suddenly they all end up on this alien platform in the middle of space. All the heroes introduce themselves. There are the Fantastic Four, minus Sue who was pregnant, the Avengers, which consisted of Wasp, Captain America, She-Hulk, Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau), Hawkeye and Thor, Iron Man (Jim Rhodes) who wasn't with the Avengers at the time, the X-Men, consisting of Professor X, Storm, Nightcrawler, Rogue, Wolverine, Cyclops, Colossus and Lockheed, Hulk and Spider-Man, along with Magneto, who everybody was confused as to why he was there. Then a second platform is seen by the heroes, and Professor X is able to read that Enchantress, Ultron, Absorbing Man, the Wrecking Crew, Kang, Lizard, Molecule Man, Doctor Octopus, Dr. Doom and Galatcus are on that platform. Then suddenly, the galaxy they are in, minus them of course, is destroyed and then they move towards a planet that is being assembled. A rift appears and from that rift, they hear a spooky voice tell them, "I am from Beyond! Slay your enemies and all you desire shall be yours! Nothing you dream of is impossible for me to accomplish!" Galactus, sensing the Beyonder could speak the truth, hurls himself out of the field keeping the villains in and rushes towards the Beyonder, who swats him and Doom (who followed Big G) back, to the shock and surprise of all there, especially Galactus. Eventually, they all land on the planet, and Magneto argues with the heroes, eventually flying away. The team eventually decides to let Captain America be their leader. Meanwhile the villains had found an alien construct that they used as a base. Doom came to them, and they wanted him to lead them, but Doom wanted to fight the Beyonder to try and get his power, as there was a power in the universe that dwarfed all others. He then left them, sad that they couldn't see his vision, realizing that maybe Richards would be able to see his plan, because while Richards is still his greatest foe, he is also a match for Doom's brain. But, when Doom sees pity in Reed's eyes, he leaves the heroes as the villains attack the heroes. Their first attacks take out a lot of heroes as they use a lot of weapons from the base they had. Eventually though, thanks to Cap's leadership mainly, they were able to take out the villains, capturing the Wrecking Crew minus Wrecker, Kang and the Enchantress and discovering a base that they take over, that is humongous (apparently around the size of 54.5 Pentagons). While they rest there, Doom tries to get Galactus to help him, but when he is refused, he returns to the villain base, re-powers Ultron and has programs in Ultron to control him and to have Ultron only obey Doom. He also takes two people from the small suburb of Chicago that was taken to construct Battleworld and makes them into Volcana and Titania using strange devices in the newly christened Doombase. The X-Men decide that they need Magneto and thus go to him in order to get him on their side. Soon though, the villains launch an all-out assault on the heroes and the heroes are caught unaware and they have to flee. After taking a lot of them out, they blow up the base. When they discover that the heroes are running, Titania throws a huge chunk of base at them. Spider-Man senses that the chunk is coming down, and Hawkeye is able to split it in two and Iron Man is able to drive the pieces apart. Then, Molecule Man drops a mountain range on the heroes. Not a mountain, but a mountain range. Hulk is able to support the weight of the range, but isn't doing well. Meanwhile, Thor, who had left slightly earlier, goes back to his base, only to find it destroyed by the villains who attack him, with Ultron seemingly disintegrating the thunder god. Meanwhile, Reed harnesses the power of the Human Torch and Captain Marvel into Iron Man, so he can repulsor blast out of the mountain range. Thor finds them and they then relocate to a small alien town underneath the mountain upon which Galactus stands. Then Galactus moves...

To be continued.

Friday, December 14, 2007

It's over!

For some reason, whenever something ends, I always think of the end of "The Matrix has You" by Legendary Frog and other people, in which, after everything ends from what happened in the Matrix movies, the small Indian computer program (can't remember name) just says "It's over!" and it goes to credits, and for some reason, I always think of it. Anyway, my finals are over, and my first semester of college comes to a close, and I can't wait to go home. As much as I love cold and snow, I can't wait to get to San Francisco, where all of the people that I know live.

I am not a DC fan, as I have said many times, but I am looking forward to DC Legends, just because, like Marvel Legends, it looks to be an amazing set that is both powerful and flavorful. There looks to be things for everybody. Stu gets some seahorses (PONY!), and everybody else gets Starbolts and Scarecrow, Chiroptophobia to make Stu sad. I personally am looking forward to building a Deathstroke deck, or, if possible, add in Deadpool to the deck and have an amazing deck with both of them. Look for it after DCL comes out.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Well... SNOW!

I was thinking about getting today the comics I missed yesterday, but then today came, and that idea went out the window. See, I have lived most of my life in San Francisco, and haven't really been to the East Coast that much during winter, so I never really experienced snow much. Basically, I have seen snow, don't get me wrong. My K-8 school took students to the Sierras in California every other year, so that kids from the Bay Area could see snow. When I visited China, we went to the Himalayas, or close to them, and while high on a mountain (not close to Everest, but we were on a tour group, give me a break), and it was snowy, and I loved sliding down the hill that was there (small little bump on the mountain, not the mountain itself) on my shoes and waterproof pants. When I was visiting the East Coast in the winter, early into it, with my parents, we were with some of my Dad's friends in New Jersey, and they live on a lake, and it had frozen over, and there was some snow. I did really well in our hockey game (8 goals), mostly because I am (or at least was) a really good ice skater. BUT, I have never lived on the East Coast or even been to Troy in the winter. Here, it snows a lot. And I mean a lot, especially in comparison to what I have seen. Snow is amazing. I just love how snow is so pure and white, when it covers everything, making walking incredibly hard, but an adventure. Oh, and I have pics taken by my camera phone, because it was just so cool to me that it was snowing where I live, and in a great amount.

Oh, and I have added a couple things to my Zazzle gallery, and I am going to soon add some more that have come to mind. Have a great time!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Comics for 12/12

Okay, so get ready to be confused. I picked up an issue that I hadn't gotten before and missed two that I would have gotten this week. Sigh, I'll try and remedy the situation, but we'll see how it works.

Captain America 32

Basic Plot: Faustus tries to break Winter Soldier. Falcon and Black Widow break into the current base that he has. Sharon tries to break free from Faustus' mind control.

I know this comic didn't come out this week, but I wasn't able to get it until now. Besides, most other comics are still way ahead of it in continuity, so it doesn't really matter all that much. Brubaker is really doing well in writing a good story for Captain America especially considering Captain America is dead. I don't know what it is about Captain America that makes me so happy to read it, but it is always a delight. Falcon is such a great character, Black Widow is always great as well. Winter Soldier steals the show for me though. I love James Buchannan "Bucky" Barnes. He is really amazing. I love how Winter Soldier almost breaks out of the compund, even with both of his arms behind his back, just by kicking soldiers. It is really amazing. Go Bucky!

X-Men: Die by the Sword 5

Basic Plot: Captain Britain has to beat up The Fury, Roma has to deal with being stabbed, everybody has to deal with the aftermath.

Well, now New Excalibur is dead, so I am sad, but this was a good story, even if I didn't really care for many of the characters. Sigh... I really can't say much about this story except for that I am glad that it is over. The fighting was cool and things were interesting. Oh, and Sage is now an Exile and Longshot is with New Excalibur. They basically switched places. And I actually like Albion now, which is kind of fun, because he does have a sense of honor and he isn't really a bad guy, just a guy who is not the kindest or nicest.

Ultimate Iron Man II 1

Basic Plot: After Iron Man made his quite explosive debut (play on words!), some government guys want to use one of Stark's "robots" for a mission.

I really like Ultimate Iron Man, even though I hate regular Iron Man. He is kind of confusing, with his healing factor and lack of feeling pain and stuff, but Orson Scott Card (yes, that Orson Scott Card) is a good writer (as if I had to say that) and makes Iron Man an interesting character. Plus it is awesome to see Iron Man and War Machine together, especially since I liked Rhodey from Ultimate Iron Man I, and I think it is awesome how they work together. Tony is awesome in this incarnation, and I really like how they can do whatever they want, to an extent. Plus, Pasqual Ferry's art is great.

New Warriors 6

Basic Plot: Still distraught over Longstrike's death, Thrasher discusses the disbandment of the New Warriors.

New Warriors was interesting. I liked trying to discover what the secrets of Thrasher and everything. But I did love it for one main reason. It made me dislike Stark even more. Basically, and spoiler alert if you care, Tony gave the funding to the New Warriors in order to be able to have the Initiative come to pass. He made all of these decisions, including ordering assassinations and other crap in order to get his way no matter what. Although I do like that New Warriors does have a lot of old X-Men characters (basically the team consists of de-powered mutants with superpowers from equipment) that make this an interesting comic. I also am kind of disappointed that it isn't the actual Night Thrasher and is just his brother or something, pretending that he has to be in a wheelchair. Oh, sorry, did you think it was safe to continue reading without spoilers? I guess I never said that I was done spoiling, so it is all your fault if you care.

Nova 9

Basic Plot: Nova tries to stop Abyss with the help of Cosmo. Really, that is all.

In the middle of Knowhere, Nova is stuck trying to fend off zombies with his buddy, the Russian, telepathic, talking dog, Cosmo, who is Chief of Security in the floating base at the edge of oblivion, while keeping the Transmode virus in check, all while facing Xarth's Mightiest Heroes and their ultimate villain. Sigh, just another day for Richard Rider. I do like the story now, although I am kind of sad with regards to how good it could have been with Annihilation. Abyss is somewhat of a pathetic villain, and they don't really explain how everybody became zombies, but other than that it is amusing. I do like watching Cosmo fight though. Cosmo is an awesome character, and I wish he continued on in the series. A talking, telepathic, Russian dog is awesome. Oh, and I really like Drax, so I really hope he gets rid of the Transmode virus soon. Plus, when will they, if ever, rejoin the Annihilation: Conquest storyline. They kind of did with the ending, but not all that much. Hmm, the old Annihilation had no ongoing series that were going on while it was, so I guess it is somewhat more awkward, but it was fun.

Punisher: War Journal 14

Basic Plot: Punisher tries to go after Rhino who was captured by Kraven (Al Kraven) for his zoo.

Okay, WTF happened? Punisher was so cool against Hate-Monger, calm and collected against Winter Soldier, took on that alien bug, but gets his ass handed to him by Al Kraven? Come on! I don't know what just happened, but everything went downhill and now he doesn't do anything the entire issue. I mean, come on! Frickin Al Kraven! Punisher should have just killed him and shot him, but he gets captured. I have no idea why this is so difficult for him. Just don't talk to me about this, and hopefully, after all this is over, we never have to pay attention to this arc again.

New Avengers 37

Basic Plot: The Wrecker tells what happened when the New Avengers attacked them, and then the rest of the story is told.

I really like New Avengers and I really like the Hood, so this arc is awesome to me. It is revealed early on that the reason all those people appeared was that Dr. Strange made them appear to be there when in fact they weren't. It allowed, however, for the actual New Avengers to get the drop on the bad guys and kick their asses, so it was fun, although then, I worry about the Hood, since he did kick the crap out of Tigra. What will he do now to the New Avengers? I guess, since they are hiding anyway, there isn't much he can do, but it would be interesting to see what he can do. I love the Hood. After reading Beyond, he is one of my favorite characters that no on ehas ever heard of before. I do like Gravity more, but Hood is still a good character, and I enjoyed seeing him be bad-ass in these issues of New Avengers.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I wanna

Reading the article yesterday by Rian Fike and the one today by Miguel Rodriguez have made me so want to preview cards. Even aside from getting to know a card before most people, I just like comics enough that I want to show people why the card does what it does and where the stuff comes from. Now, I know that I probably won't get a chance, but I do think that it would be awesome and fun. People do know more about comics than me, but not by much in general, and I think that while there are people who do like comics who play VS, there are also a lot of people who play because it is an amazing game. When people play their Squadron decks, they most likely have never read Squadron Supreme, so I want to explain why they would have a theme of no-hand, or why a character has that power. I just really love comics and TCGs, so I think this would be lots of fun. The preview time is my second favorite time of VS, almost more than actually playing. It isn't quite as good, but it is close. Sigh... Enjoy all the cards that are being previewed, as I know I am.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Marvel Zombies hater

Now, when I posted my movie, I saw someone else who complained that "All your heroes are dead, if they decided to eat people in this universe, then they could be immoral in the regular MU, etc..."

I found it incredibly stupid.

First off, What if...? stories like Marvel Zombies (while technically not under the title, it is close to a What if...? type story), are not meant to be taken in context with the regular MU. If you do accept it, then why would you look at What if...? Planet Hulk any differently? So, then, is it fine that Hulk thought about his wife first or does that make him completely different? In the What if...? story with Spider-Man and The Other (from last year or two years ago or something), are you saying you can no longer trust Spider-Man because in that universe, the symbiote took him over and made him Venom (yes, I know he didn't before when he had the outfit, but the outfit has changed over the years)? Judging the heroes in the 616 universe by what happens in the Zombieverse is like saying the JLA are bad because the Squadron Supreme tried to create a utopia.

Second, he bashes the Ultimate Universe, which is an amazing universe, and if he read Ultimate FF during that time, or any other Ultimate comic, he would understand. Basically, a person should not complain about things he knows nothing about. I complain about things that I know about, and I try to only stick with that.

Third, he calls every writer past the original a fan-fiction writer, in that they are taking the characters and going off in new directions that the original writer might have never intended. So, to clarify, unless a character has been written by the same writer, then it is not the same character. So that means that team-up books and team books are horrible because a single writer (usually) is changing all of these other characters. Now, if a writer took JLA and made Superman just start killing people and Batman decides to just stop fighting crime because he's bored, that would be stupid, although it doesn't happen, because writers always take the characters and continue to use them in new ways. Just because it is a new writer does not mean that everything is completely wrong and that only the original can write that character. That can be the case (like I currently feel about Ultimates 3), although it is not something that automatically rings true regardless of the situation.

Fourth, the moral codes of a character don't have to ring true throughout each universe. Um, the Crime Syndicate is basically the JLA in an alternate universe, where there is mainly evil as opposed to good, and they are evil. Does that work? Yes. Generally, there is a "mirror-universe" where everything is the exact opposite (which is hard to understand in certain ways, like if he turned left, instead of right, he could have died or something, but I digress), where the people in that universe have goatees and are the evil version of the main people. Does that mean that everybody is wrong and dead to society or something like that? No. If you care only for your one universe, then do that, and the other ones will have no effect on your own.

Fifth, the hunger they felt was technically something that they could have overcome about the same that you can overcome dying from re-entry into the atmosphere by being at the exact angle, but if you don't know that, you're screwed anyway, and if you do, it is still incredibly difficult, and you'll probably end up failing. The hunger can be overcome in the Zombieverse, as seen by Wasp and Black Panther in the current issues, although it is not something that is easy to do, especially when you can just eat people to try and get rid of it.

Sixth, he is talking about a time after they had been infected for a while. People did try and find a cure, although they failed. If he had read Marvel Zombies v Army of Darkness, he could see that. Plus, the overwhelming hunger is what consumed them at first. Once they got past the initial hunger, they did realize that they could stem off the hunger, however it would be incredibly difficult, and seeing as they already ate their loved ones first, why should they even try at this point, considering everything they have gone through, it probably would be better to just be zombies then to be alive and having to deal with that the Avengers ate Jarvis and Spider-Man ate MJ and May etc.

Plus, he liked Marvel Zombies, so why was he bashing it in the first place?

Friday, December 7, 2007


I recently bought two boxes of DSM just because I could and they were cheap and I wanted to do a draft/sealed with my cousin (I chose DSM because it was cheap, not because it was good for draft or sealed), and while I didn't get them before I saw him, I did make Sealed decks and fought them against each other. I really like Forager. He is simple, but I like him a lot. So, my challenge to you people who read this and actually care, is to make a deck using Forager. I might give out a prize if it good enough and I get enough entries, but even if not, I will dedicate a blog entry to praising you and your deck if you win. Just e-mail me at with your entry.

Oh, and I'll stop accepting entries on Monday, the 17.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

DCL list

I have made these lists before on, although, since that site is dead, I am going to make it here instead. This post will be edited with the new cards. I have links to each of the pics as they come out. If you find any cards not on my list, please comment:

002: Aquaman, Lord of Atlantis Art
004: Barry Allen<>The Flash, Crimson Tornado Art
005: Barry Allen<>The Flash, Founding Member
006: Batman, Founding Member Art
008?: Batman, Justice's Shadow
010: Dinah Laurel Lance<>Black Canary, New Wings
013: Firestorm, Ronnie Raymond Art
014: Hal Jordan, Founding Member
015: Hal Jordan, Fearless Art
017: John Stewart. The Master Builder
0??: Kyle Rayner, Guardian of the Universe
021: Martian Manhunter, Founding Member
028: Superman, Metropolis Marvel
032: Wonder Woman, Ambassador of Peace Art
033: Wonder Woman, Founding Member
035: Sea Creatures, Army Art
036: Lasso of Truth
???: Hall of Justice
???: Crisis Averted
047: Fearless
048: From the Darkness Art
049: Full Throttle
051: Indestructible
059: Telepathic Link
060: Terminal Velocity
063: Bart Allen<>Kid Flash, Generation Fourth
???: Beast Boy, Freak of Nature
???: Cassie Sandsmark<>Wonder Girl, Might of Atlas
???: Dawn Granger<>Dove,
077: Koriand'r<>Starfire, Fiery Temper
078: Koriand'r<>Starfire, X'hal's Fury Art
???: Raven, Demon Spawn
???: Ray Palmer<>The Atom, Tiny Titan
088: Tim Drake <> Robin, Titan in Command Art
???: Vic Stone<>Cyborg, Mechanized Mentor
???: Vic Stone<>Cyborg, Titans Warhorse
???: Call of the Wild
???: Cunning Strategy
102: Follow the Leader Art
???: Headstrong Charge
107: Starbolts
???: Black Manta, Deepwater Denizen
???: Dr. Light, Blinding Flash
???: Felix Faust, Soulless Mystic
???: Jemm, Son of Saturn
122: The Joker, Killer Smile
123: Lex Luthor, Megalomaniac Art
131: Scarecrow, Chiroptophobia
???: Ultraman, Earth 3
???: White Martian, Earth 3
146: Evil Genius
148: Injustice for All
149: The Joke's on You! Art
157: Black Manta, Underwater Marauder
???: Cheetah, Barbara Minerva
162?: Darkseid, Destroyer of Life
165: Deathstroke the Terminator, Killing Machine
???: Felix Faust, Dark Bargain
???: Gorilla Grodd, Psionic Simian Art
180: Mr. Freeze, Cold Blooded Art
181: Poison Ivy, Intoxicating Art
???: Sinestro, Yellow Lantern
???: Anger and Hate
???: Forced Conscription
200: Monkey See, Monkey Do Art
???: Cassandra Cain, Daughter of Shiva
209: Merlyn, Direct Hit Man
212: Ra's al Ghul, Demon's Head Rising
214?: Shadow Assassins, Army
218: The Demon's Quarters
???: Demonfang
???: The Chief, Niles Caulder
???: Elasti-Girl, Rita Farr
???: Mento, Steve Dayton
???: Negative Man, Larry Trainor
232: Robotman, Cliff Steele Art
???: Dayton Manor
235: Misfits Art
???: Strange Days
240: Lobo, The Main Man Art
???: Duty Calls
???: Mirror Image
???: The Multiverse, Team-Up
???: Nasty Surprise
???: Total Recall, Team-Up

Playmat Art

Preview Art: Doom Patrol
A Doom Patrol guy

001: Hush, Silent and Deadly
002: Espionage, Non-Unique Art
003: At Your Service
004: Flying High
005: Brainiac 13, Mental Giant
006: Teen Supremes
024: Roshambo
026: A Clash of Worlds

Comics for 12/5

Howard the Duck 3

Basic Plot: After being jailed, Howard has his lawyer, She-Hulk help him to get bail and to clear his name, after he has become the biggest news story since Paris Hilton.

I like Howard the Duck although I do think it is a little bizarre and hard to place in the regular MU. He just doesn't fit very well. By trying to make him fit with tiny references and other scenarios, things get out of hand and craziness ensues. Not necessarily good craziness either. At least it is crazy and funny and that is really all I want and expect out of Howard the Duck. He has to register with the US as being super-powered, even though he has no actual powers and given that he was denied being able to register before (in Civil War, they had a single issue with stuff about Venom, Iron Fist/Daredevil, Ant-Man and Howard). Sigh, I guess it is good that this is a mini-series because that is all it looks like it will be and I do think Howard is unfortunately too crazy for an ongoing.

X-Men: Die by the Sword 4

Basic Plot: Excalibur recruits Albion to help them. More fighting.

This one felt less like filler, but was kind of bleh. Jasper is bizarre and I don't know exactly how to describe him other than godly. When heroes are fighting him, it is sad, because they can't do anything to him and he has crazy powers (both in what they are and how powerful) that make it a bizarre fight that is somewhat interesting, but not really. Although I did like the fight between Rouge (not Rogue, but Rouge, one of the villains) and Dazzler and everything Longshot does. Over all, it is good, but I don't know what to expect really. Oh, and Captain Britain is back again. Woo hoo.

Avengers: The Initiative Annual 1

Basic Plot: Origins of Guantlet, Armory, Hardball and MVP along with one more story.

I really liked this issue, as it gave us hints and clues and other such craziness things. Apparently, Gauntlet's gauntlet and Armory's arm cannon both belonged to incredibly powerful aliens who fought and eventually fell to Earth, where Gauntlet got his gauntlet and a power source the alien with the gauntlet had. Then Armory, a depressed girl, tried to commit suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. The arm cannon, sensing her loneliness (or something, it was bizarre) decided to merge with her and latch on. With the cannon, she felt like she could help people and that her life had meaning. Then, after she accidentally killed MVP because of Gyrich and Trauma (Trauma caused, but because of Gyrich), she lost her arm cannon and her sense of purpose. While talking to a therapist who works for Gyrich, she doesn't disclose the secrets of the Initiative, and is said to be able to keep secrets. I just really like what they did with Armory (who I liked and was disappointed they got rid of her after the first issue) and Gauntlet. It was really good and makes a lot of sense. The story with Hardball makes a lot of sense and I also think it was good. Basically, he made a deal with the Power Broker to gain super powers, and the first time he tried to rob an armored car, he stopped it right before it hit a little girl and everybody praised him, including Wonder Man who was flying by. Then, Power Broker, not being able to do anything because the Initiative is too closely knit, sold his contract to HYDRA, who plan on using him later. Dan Slott is really making a lot of things come together and fit well and I really like it. MVP's story isn't as "OMG!" just because we already knew that the Scarlet Spiders are clones of the original MVP, although we do learn that the ultimate diet and training can make a person into a Captain America, so that was awesome. Oh, and the end is awesome. Does it fit into continuity? Who knows? But it was awesome and a hint at Secret Invasion. A Skrull in every state, with every Initiative team and back at Camp Hammond. Yay Skrulls! I personally welcome the Skrull invasion. Thank you for coming to Earth to prove how bad ass Skrulls are (something I have been trying to convince people of for years).

Ultimate X-Men 88

Basic Plot: The X-Men deal with Beast's return. Xavier's School fights the Academy of Tomorrow (in baseball). And Cable(Wolverine) deals with Prof X some more. Oh, and Gerald and Shinobi make their move.

Yay for Robert Kirkman! I love Kirkman and I love this arc and what Kirkman is doing. I read in Ultimate Marvel (the free thing they had around Thanksgiving) what Robert Kirkman's plans for UXM were and I think he is great at doing what he does. The AOA time thing they have with Cable/Wolverine's future is awesome. The dealing with Beast is awesome. Storm and Wolverine are together now, as opposed to Storm and Beast, so it is awkward. Are Wolverine and Beast going to fight? Who knows? Robert Kirkman does and he will continue to make UXM really good. Something I am not as fond of is that they are trying to make the Ultimate Universe a little too much like the MU. Emma is with the Hellfire Club, like she was originally, and while I do appreciate her outfit (like the original with her X-Men outfit, leaving little to the imagination), but I don't think that the way they had portrayed Emma before would lead to her being with the Hellfire Club. Oh, and now Jean knows that she is the Phoenix, so that sounds like fun.

What if? Uncanny X-Men: Rise and Fall of the Shi'ar Empire

Basic Plot: What if Vulcan gained the power of the Phoenix?

God, I hate this artist. Larry Stroman's art just...ugggh! Eyes are too far apart at times and things are too abstract without even being good like Bill Sienkiewicz (Who I also dislike, but can appreciate). I do like the story to an extent, as it reminds me a lot of "What if Phoenix had not died?" when Jean Grey was originally thought dead after shooting herself on the moon. I also like that Jahf is the narrator. I have always liked Jahf since I saw him originally in Essential X-Men vol 1, when Phoenix helped to repair the M'Kraan crystal. One of the guardians of the M'Kraan crystal, Jahf is awesome as he is basically a small alien, who is incredibly intelligent and incredibly powerful. He knocked Wolverine into orbit for taking him too lightly and didn't blink when Phoenix dropped a meteorite on his head. He is awesome and I love him. Okay, so the story I mostly liked because it was similar in that with the power of the Phoenix, most people end up destroying the universe. It seems to just happen. They somewhat tied it into other stories like Annihilation (although it didn't make sense). All in all, I was disappointed with this story as it made me disappointed with What if? stories. I love them, but this wasn't great or even that good. Sigh...

Ultimates 3 #1

Basic Plot: A year after Ultimates 2, the Ultimates face new threats or something.

Sigh. I was looking forward to this so much. Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch did such a great job on Ultimates and Ultimates 2 that I was excited for Ultimates 3 even though Jeph Loeb and Joe Madureira were the creators. Don't get me wrong. I love Jeph Loeb. His work on Wolverine, Batman: Hush (as you know) and Fallen Son was amazing. His writing is really good. Joe Madureira is also an amazing artist. I loved his work on Deadpool: The Circle Chase and everything else he has done. He is a great artist. But, and that is a big but, they did not do a good job on Ultimates. They had better explain things in the future, but either way, this issue was not good. God, I hate Hawkeye's new outfit and mood. Apparently, after his family died in Ultimates 2 #7, he became depressed and suicidal and wears a bullseye on his head, but he wasn't like that in the issues where he returned in Ultimates 2. Maybe it was the pressure of saving the world, but I just don't think it is a good character re-write. Some stuff made sense, although I don't know if they should have completely just outright said that Wanda and Pietro are in love with each other (not just sibling love, but love as in between partners). It was always implied heavily, but I guess it was okay to just say it. Oh, and what the heck was up with Venom. They will explain it eventually, but it was bizarre. I do think it was nice that the doctor that looks at Wanda after she gets shot by some magic bullet that goes directly at her and curves just to hit her looks a lot like Donald Blake (original Thor). They need to explain a lot and make things a lot better. Come one Jeph and Joe! Make this at least a little like Ultimates and Ultimates 2 in terms of how good it is.

World War Hulk: Aftersmash

Basic Plot: Let's see what happens with the Warbound, Tom Foster, Hercules and Amadeus, Iron Man and the Death's Head robots after WWH. Basically, what is everybody's reaction to the end of WWH.

I thought it was really good, although there was a lot to cover. They just did a great job covering all the big bases. I don't really know what to say. There is a lot, as I said, and it is all great. Misty Knight deals with killing, Iron Man deals with everything, Tom gets his uncle's formula and grows, Herc tries to keep Manhattan from sinking, the Warbound deals with traitors because of Miek, and it is just really good. I can't say much without saying everything in the story and I don't feel like writing that much. I do like the previews though for the WWH aftershots, like Incredible Herc, Warbound and Damage Control (which looks like Ryan Ottley's art, but is apparently Salvador Espin). I also loved the Chris Giarusso back-up three page finish that just is awesome. I love Chris Giarusso and his mini-Marvels. I literally laughed out loud after reading it.

Annihilation: Conquest 2

Basic Plot: Blastaar resists torture, the High Evolutionary, Quasar, Moondragon, Warlock discuss their situation, Kl'rt, Ronan, Praxagora, Wraith and Ra-Venn go to recruit Ravenous to help fight the Phalanx and Starlord's team plan an assault on the Phalanx.

I love Tom Raney's art, although it isn't great with this inker or colorist, as I said last time. It is easier to deal with now, but I still don't like it all that much. I love the story though. It is really good, and while it isn't quite Annihilation, it is still really good. Ultron is a bad-ass like he should be. Kl'rt and Ronan argue a lot, which is awesome. Yay for Kl'rt! I look forward to see where this series goes, although I don't think it can be as good as Annihilation unfortunately.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Squadron Defender

One of, no, the biggest complaint I hear about the Squadron Supreme, is that they are rip-offs of the Justice League of America. I really would like to complain about this.

The Squadron Sinister (pre-cursor to Squadron Supreme, kind of, see last post for more details) were originally created as tributes to the JLA. They weren't mocking DC, as Marvel has done (see Deadpool/Deathstroke) or as DC has done to Marvel (see Superman/Batman Annual 1 for the revenge of DC for aforementioned mockery), but as a tribute. When the team was popular enough, they continued to make tributes to the JLA, with their characters like Tom Thumb (Atom), Hawkeye/Golden Archer/Black Archer (yes, first was same name as Clint Barton, who was actually Goliath at the time, but a tribute to Green Arrow), American Eagle/Cap'n Hawk/Blue Eagle (Hawkman) and Lady Lark (Black Canary) were the first additions. Eventually, more tributes were added, with Nuke (Firestorm), Amphibian (Aquaman), Power Princess (Wonder Woman), Skymax the Skrullian Skymaster (Maritan Manhunter) and Arcanna (Zatanna) joining the Squadron. Lady Lark also, in keeping with the JLA, also eventually became Skylark (Hawkgirl). Some of the villains match too, with Emil Burbank (Lex Luthor, opposite, in that his hair won't stop growing), Ape X (Gorilla Grodd), Lamprey (Parasite), Minx (Catwoman) and Shape (Plastic Man/Elongated Man, yes he's a villain originally, but never was really all that evil).

But, this doesn't mean that every single thing that the Squadron did was based off of the JLA. The Sentry was also based off of Superman, but he is also unique. He is a very different character from Superman even though he was based off of him. Sentry does things differently than Superman, and is unique. If you read Sentry, New Avengers or World War Hulk, you could see similarities, but you could also easily tell that he is not Superman and that you can appreciate him for his own values. In the same vein, the Squadron are very different from the JLA. While initially based off of the JLA, they varied from their first appearance so much that they are completely different. Read the Squadron Supreme series! It is amazing and it is a great story, and once you read it, you will find it different from a JLA story and that these are not the same people. What is great about the Squadron being based off of the JLA is that they are unique characters that can be molded as wished, but you can also see them as their JLA counterparts and just know about them and intros do not have to be made and you can get on with the story. Spider-Man and X-Men were good movies, but hampered by the fact that they had to tell the viewers who the characters are. If you have to introduce a character, then it takes time away from the story. By basing the Squadron off of the JLA, they do not have to introduce as much, and can just go right into the story.

Okay, so what have we learned? Just because something was based off of something originally (Squadron/Deadpool etc) does not mean that they have to follow completely and it does not mean that they cannot be original and unique. Yay for Squadron Supreme.

Oh, and a last note, read Supreme Power also. It is a little more extreme and is a Marvel MAX title (I believe), but is also really good. It does for the Squadron what Ultimates does for the rest of the MU.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Squadron Supreme

First off, I want to say that I am sorry if anything I say in this post comes across as rude, but I am in an incredibly bad mood, and I just don't feel that nice at the moment.

Everybody I know who has read it has really liked Watchmen and praised it a lot. Kingdom Come has also gotten a lot of praise. I haven't read Kingdom Come, but I have read Watchmen, and while it is good (a little too wordy for my tastes), I feel that they all take too much credit for their stories. Both are about societies in which superheroes try to take over the world (for the greater good). Before them though, Squadron Supreme was a story like those. And it was great.

Originally, the Squadron Supreme were villains. Well, actually not, but bear with me. Kang and the Grandmaster battled and Kang used the Avengers as his pawns while the Gamemaster used the Squadron Sinister as his. He actually created this team for the purpose of this battle. These characters resembled some recognizable characters, such as Superman (Hyperion), Green Lantern (Dr. Spectrum), the Flash (Whizzer/Speed Demon) and Batman (Nighthawk). As a tribute to the JLA, Marvel made their greatest heroes villains in the MU and as a tribute to the Avengers, DC made them villains in the DCU. The Squadron Sinister was popular enough that eventually, while dimension hopping, the Avengers came across an Earth similar to their own. Inside their HQ, however, were people they didn't recognize. Although they did recognize Nighthawk, the rest were unfamiliar. They fought until they realized that these people were not the same as the villains they had fought, and in fact were heroes on this Earth. The Squadron Supreme "actually" existed before the Squadron Sinister and were the template for them. They teamed up, defeated the villain, and returned to their own world. Many times then, over the course of the Avengers' history, the Squadron Supreme would show up, generally be mind controlled, they would fight the Avengers, make up, and then defeat the villain.

Eventually though, on their homeworld, they decide that the world is crappy enough that they need more than superheroes, but they need people who can stop crime before it starts. Most Squadron members decide to stay, except for Nighthawk, who says one of my favorite lines, and the reason I don't think a utopia would ever work with humans, "How meaningful will a Utopia be if it is not something man has earned himself?" So, he leaves, but the Squadron continue on with their plan, getting rid of lots of violence and creating a behavior modification device (BMD) that can make villains act like heroes if programmed to. Ape X, Foxfire, Lamprey, Dr. Decibel, Quagmire and Shape all were villains before being BM'd. A lot of things go wrong, including Nuke's parents' death because of the radiation he emitted, Nuke's death when he went crazy and Dr. Spectrum had to take him out, Amphibian leaves because of the BMD, Tom Thumb gets cancer because of trying to help Nuke and his parents and eventually is put into the Hibernaculum which keeps him in a slumber until they can cure him or raise him from the dead (or something) which is effectively like cryonics, Ape X has a catch-22 drive her mad (have to report that Moonglow is an enmeny, but cannot betray Squadron), Hyperion gets blinded while fighting the Hyperion from the Squadron Sinister, all while Nighthawk assembles an underground resistance, which he works with Emil Burbank (Lex Luthor of Squadron Supreme-verse) to do, getting some unknown super-beings to join the Squadron. Eventually there is a big battle, where many people die and the Squadron realizes that it wasn't worth it (like what Cap did in Civil War, only it was good) and decide to stop trying control the world and they leave.

The story is really good and I read it because of the Avengers VS. set, as I wanted to know who these people were. I have the series, in comic form, and it is great to have. I recommend the series to anybody. Literally anybody. You get to know all the characters from the series itself and it is easy to follow and a really good example of why utopias don't work, before they made Watchmen or Kingdom Come.
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