Starlord: Another week of funny books folks. Mr. Fett and I are going to sit down and discuss a few of them. Why don’t you hang around and find out what we thought of them.
Our first title we review this week is Mike Carey’s X-Men Legacy #234. The issue focuses on Rogue when she helps absorb some of the cuckoos’ powers so that they can search for the missing Phoenix Force that recently left the three young blonds. During her day with her psychic abilities she discovers a few little secrets from her fellow X-Men; including the fact that Magneto still has strong feelings for her and Gambit is harboring something... or someone deep inside of him. By the end of the issue she has helped several students and friends while realizing that she is happy with the her new role on Utopia.
This is obviously a bit of a breather before “Second Coming”, and I thought a well written one. Of course the whole Phoenix Force subplot is building nicely and I can’t wait until it reappears in Hope... or should I say Jean. This was really a quiet issue, one of which worked, but I’m not a fan of a lot of these at one time. I’ll give it a thumbs up for what it was. What did you think, my friend?
DeadFett: I enjoyed this issue. Sometimes a "down" issue like this is a good change of pace. I'm always happy for a Rogue centered issue as she is a favorite of mine. I really hope the writers keep her single for awhile though. The character needs time to grow on her own. I felt the relationship with Gambit stifled both character's development. I felt the Phoenix Force sub-plot was a big hint of what's to come in Second Coming. Like you said, this was obviously a "filler" issue, but I don't mind as long as it's well written like this was. Something about Paquette's art seemed off here. Felt a little rushed to me. Still, I give the issue a thumbs up.
Next we take a look at Vengeance of the Moon Knight #6. This issue gives us the showdown between Moon Knight and Bushman which has been building since the previous series. Since his return from Mexico, where Marc Spector "died", Jake Lockley as Moon Knight has been attempting to be a better hero by not killing or maiming criminals.
Most of this issue was the fight between Moon Knight and Bushman, who was recently resurrected by The Hood. The battle here is brutal and goes back and forth with each gaining the upper hand. My favorite moment shows Bushman impaled on a rifle and reaching behind himself to fire it at Moon Knight. The battle ends with Moon Knight about to launch the killing strike but doesn't. Instead, much to the surprise of Spider-Man and the police, Moon Knight leaves Bushman to be arrested and placed into a mental asylum.
I really enjoyed this issue. It was a great payoff to all that's been building. The art here was great and depicted the action very well. I give this issue a big thumbs up. Since you normally don't read this title, I'm very curious to see what you thought of this Sir.
Starlord: Now I’ll admit I’m not a huge Moon Knight fan at all, and if it weren’t for the recommendation of The Outhouses own JSalwan, I’d probably never have given this a look, but I’m glad I did. I admit to being a bit lost at times since it was in the middle of an arc, but the powerful dialogue and beautiful artwork sold me. This will probably be the very first Moon Knight I ever pick up in trade. It hooked me. I want to read this entire series. Very big thumbs up for me.
And finally we have Dark Avengers #15, which I’ll state right here is one of my personal favorites of this series. Brian M. Bendis moves a plot forward and wraps up a few subplots by taking us back to Doom’s recent attack on Avengers Tower. Norman, fearing that thanks to The Sentry’s wife, is loosing his hold on him, orders Hawkeye (Bullseye) to eliminate her. This issue shows just exactly that! During the attack Hawkeye grabs Bob’s wife and manipulates the situation so that he can get her alone on one of the Avenger’s jets. Taking her over the ocean he strangles her and dumps her body in the ocean. When he returns to his team he announces in his best chocked up voice that she jumped out of the plane, preferring suicide to living with a husband that scares her. At first Sentry goes after Hawkeye, but Norman stops him, forcing him to realize that she did it to herself. When asked where the body is, the homicidal maniac sends him on a wild goose chase across the farmlands of New Jersey. The final panels are silent, showing a knowing look that passes between Hawkeye and Norman Osborne, but is also noticed by a horrified Victoria.
Before I praise this issue I have to say that it is a bit disjointed since it has the “Siege” tie in on the cover, but really this takes place before that event. It does, however, show the final straw in the story of Bob Reynolds and why he’s finally gone over the edge. This was so well written that I found myself reading the exchange between Mrs. Reynolds and Bullseye twice. The way Bendis and artist Deodato are able to show us the underlying tension in the situation, the salivating tension of a maniac about to do the one thing that he enjoys more than ever, and the nonverbal realization of Sentry’s wife when she realizes that everything is not what it seems is frackin’ brilliant! This was one of my top three reads of the week and I give it a huge thumbs up. I don’t know, DeadFett, have I raved too much about this one?
DeadFett: Nope, you haven't raved too much. It's just my turn now. This series continues to be one of the best reads every week it comes out. I've grown to love this team and will be sorry to see this book go once The Heroic Age begins. The scenes in the helicopter were great. As you stated, the creative team did a wonderful job of building the tension between Bullseye and The Sentry's wife. I love how Bendis has used the past few issues to show us some behind the scenes stuff that has happened during other events. Bendis and Deodato have knocked it out the park with every issue and this one was no exception. I can't wait for the next and final issue to wrap the series up and show us these characters fates. Huge thumbs up from me.
Starlord: And that’s it for this week from us, folks. Now check out my thoughts on several other comics as we I take a last look on last weeks books. Cya in seven.
Imperial Guard #5 of 5
Up until the last couple of years I’ve never been a real fan of Marvel’s spacing faring heroes. Thanks to Keith Giffen and especially Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning that changed drastically. That being said, I was highly disappointed with this mini that completes the Imperial Guards part of the “Realm of Kings” story. This never really felt like it got off the ground. The series pretty much is a five part filler story that could have been condescend to three issues but for the fact that you can’t make a trade out of three issues. It’s unfortunate because these two gentlemen have hit it out of the park nearly every time they’ve gone up to bat. This series feels more like a sacrifice fly. My Score – This Issue: C; Entire Series: D+
X-Factor Forever #1
One of my favorite titles from the eighties, I was excited to hear that this was coming out, if not a little skeptical since I’m a firm believer that you can’t go home again. This story does pick up right where it left off when the fabulous Louise Simonson departed from the book. Apocalypse is still the main heavy and Cameron Hodge still lurks in the ruins of Genosha. This issue pretty much reestablishes the original five where they were at that particular time in the X-Universe while showing us the continuing machinations of their arch enemy. While all of this is going on there is also the subplot about Ship and her connection with the Celestials who shouldn’t be coming back to Earth for thousands of years – uh yeah. With an Apocalypse origin story to round this book out I’ll say it wasn’t the most impressive beginning, but perhaps I was hoping for too much. Or perhaps, as I’ve said before, you just can’t go home again. Still, there was enough goodness here to make me go for at least another four or five issues. My Score: C+
American Vampire #1
This is Vertigo’s newest title which is helmed by writers Scott Snyder and Stephen King. Two separate stories that take place at two different and distinct time periods in American history. Mr. Snyder treats us first to a young woman who has made her way to the City of Angels in hopes to become the next great movie star circa 1925. She is introduced to the go to Producer who goes right for her jugular. In the second story Mr. King takes us back to the old west and a writer who has only written one story in his life, but it is a story of a lifetime that happens to be true. While on a train that is escorting the infamous Skinner Sweet to his hanging when the train is suddenly stopped and attacked by Skinner’s men. When Sweet tries to kill the head of the bank who is also on the train he gets the shock of his life. It seems the guy can’t be killed. But by the end of the first chapter we find out that Skinner can’t be either. Hmm... Both writers are perfect for their stories, both have an obviously great, gory, and fun tale to tell, but the first issue goes to artist Rafael Albuquerque who transforms every panel into a riveting piece of art. The stories are great, the art is mouth watering. I’m coming back for more. My Score: B+
The Brave and the Bold #32
Is anyone else reading this and loving every issue that has come out since writer J. Michael Straczynski? Not only is he writing some wonderfully powerful one issue stories, but his combination of heroes is inspirational. He proves that if done right, any combination can be exciting to read. In this particular issue Aquaman and The Demon join forces to stop an extra-dimensional monster from gaining access through a portal deep in the ocean. It is a pact that the two of them had made years ago. They meet every couple of years to make sure what tries to cross the barrier is stopped. The best part of this story and what really sells it is the fact that it is scene through the eyes of a shipwrecked sailor who is taken on the adventure with our two heroes by necessity. Deep sea horrors are drawn with simple panache by Jesus Saiz which is accented hauntingly by colorist Trish Mulvihill. This is one of those sleeper books really deserves much more praise than it gets. It’ll be said to see Mr. Straczynski leave this series; he’s raised the bar so high it’s going to be near impossible for the next team to reach it. My Score: A-
The secret is out and Tony Daniels finally reveals who is underneath the Black Mask. Unfortunately it’s a story that I’m pretty sure has been done before. Didn’t the father go nuts as well and turn into a villain? I could be mistaken but it did have a huge feeling of been there, done that. The newest character to be introduced, Catgirl, made me roll my eyes but I’ll try to be opened minded. Honestly I wasn’t a fan of Tim Drake when he first appeared so who am I to say with one appearance. I do enjoy Tony’s artwork though and the splash page of Batman and the Bat Family on page three and four was pretty cool. What I enjoyed most about it, though, was Dick’s little soliloquy at the end. He figured out the mystery, stopped the bad guy, and is finally accepting his role as Batman. This wasn’t a bad story for me, but the writing did feel uneven in spots. My Score: B-
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