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Archive for March, 2014

Fanfic Recommendations 21

My own Fanfics:

Ultimate Vanguards #6

Harry Potter & The Path of Indifference # 10

Fanfics that I have found interesting and have recently been updated:

Chaos Theory 23

A Fate Stay Night Fanfic

Summary: Sometimes, the tiniest of changes can have the greatest impact on the world. One chance encounter goes in a new direction, and the course of the Holy Grail War is irrevocably changed…

From Fake Dreams 34

A Fate Stay Night Fanfic

Summary: Emiya Kiritsugu was happy living the rest of his short days. He had put his past behind him… until he began to dream of futures that had yet to be. Let it be known that the Magus Killer was not dangerous simply because he was dying and had no plans to fight.

Fairy Revelation Online 45 – 49

An FSN +  SAO Fanfic

Summary: Ilya likes to play video games, and in the time she has remaining, Shirou is more than willing to play the new VR game with her. But when they are trapped inside the game, [Sword Art Online], they determine something even more distressing: Kayaba Akihiko is definitely a Magus

 

Fairy Dance of Death 19-26

An SAO Fanfic

Summary: What if Akihiko Kayaba had created the Death Game of Alfheim Online rather than the floating castle of Aincrad—a world in which the nine player races are in competition to escape the game, and player killing was not a crime but rather a predictable product of human nature and tribalism in the face of mutually exclusive goals? AU reboot of the SAO universe.

Poké Wars: The Truculence 6

A Pokemon Fanfic

Summary: “Why do I try so hard to stay alive? I lost so much to gain the power to survive, to conquer. And for what? A part of me is dead. Good. That part was weak, now I’m stronger. Do I wish Pokemon were back to normal?” A rare smile painted Paul’s lips. “Never”

Introverted 54-60

A Naruto Fanfic

Summary: Being ignored and gazed at with hatred can lead someone to become a boisterous and loud orange-wearing shinobi, but it can also drive him to become a silent and invisible introvert. Of the two, Naruto takes the logical choice for a future in the Ninja World. Team Sai-Naruto-Sakura. No pairings. Future of bloodshed and grittiness assured.

Legacy of Uzushio 19

A Naruto Fanfic

Summary: The 2nd Shinobi World War left Uzu destroyed out of fear. Its inhabitants were left slaughtered or scattered. However, what if the members of Uzushio’s famed Uzumaki weren’t as scattered as people thought? What would it mean for one Uzumaki Naruto?

Chasing Yesterday 20

A Naruto Fanfic

Summary: Rokudaime Hokage Uchiha Sasuke is a man with nothing beyond duty to the dead. Yet when a second chance comes from the lips of a demon, his battles begin anew… Time Travel/Redo,Female Naruto

Harry Potter and the Puppeteer of Time 19

A Harry Potter Fanfic

Summary: Time travel. It’s always about Potter. Draco Malfoy doesn’t like that fact, but there is no one else who has the power to change the world. Sending his memories to his younger self he hopes to create a better future. Intelligent Grey Draco. No slash.

Harry Potter: Junior Inquisitor 24

A Harry Potter Fanfic

Summary: Time travel. It’s always about Potter. Draco Malfoy doesn’t like that fact, but there is no one else who has the power to change the world. Sending his memories to his younger self he hopes to create a better future. Intelligent Grey Draco. No slash.


Colossus hits stuff

To be fair, this is how the X-Men solve most of their problems after science has failed. They punch it.

Arousing Grammar

On a side note before we begin, there’s a fantastic discussion on my Pixie Pt. 1 article about Greg Land’s tracing pictures and other art when he draws comics.  While I really want to comment, I realize that my success here also comes from me using the works of other people, so I can’t really criticize without being a huge hypocrite.  Either way, I adore reading the comments.

Last time I brought up Colossus, he had been fully influenced by the Phoenix Force — turning him into a total jerk.  He verbally abused his on-and-off girlfriend Kitty Pryde and almost physically destroyed the entire school she taught at.  That’s not fair to Colossus, so I’m going to make it up to him today with Uncanny X-Men #504-507, written by Matt Fraction and drawn by Terry Dodson.

At this point in X-Men history, poor Colossus recently lost dear Kitty…

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March 2014 PPGD Update 2


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All-New X-Factor #5 Review

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Out of one murder attempt by a future member and into another as All-New X-Factor #5 picks up shortly after the end of the previous issue. This is my review of it.

This time around the story opens with Gambit waking up to find a woman in his room while he’s naked beneath the sheets. While this probably wouldn’t be uncommon for him, he didn’t invite Danger to bed last night so he’s confused as hell when he finds her there. She claims that his kiss reset some of her functions, but she needs more interaction to become whole. Better than nothing as an excuse to why kissing her worked I supposed.

It seems that Gambit isn’t the only one who woke with a pretty woman in his room. Harrison Snow, like all married but corrupt CEOs, is having an affair with Linda from his company. Their post-coitus talk is of a new player on the computer market that Harrison wants to buy out and he’s having a meeting with him later on. As he leaves out, he tells her to be out by the time his wife gets back from her business trip and then goes about his day with a swagger in his step.

Quicksilver and Polaris are already up, sharing breakfast and exchanging obscure trivia when Gambit tells them Danger is in his room. Polaris brings up the possibility that she wants him sexually, and Quicksilver sees nothing wrong with it. Then again, their sister married Vision and then magic’d up some kids so…

Anyway, Harrison pops by to tell them he wants them at the meeting and Quicksilver runs out to tell Havok, who somehow comes out acting like even more of a sell-out asshole than normal. He’s like one of those damn stalkers who have a PI following your every step. Quicksilver makes it back to Serval before they think he’s done in the bathroom, smooth as silk, only for Danger to sense his vitals and know he’s been running, but he gets out of it by lying. Same goes for Linda when Danger notes that she has Harrsion’s DNA on her in a way that only comes from being intimate with one another.

The meeting takes two turns, the first being the guy who Harrison planned to buy out turned to be The Magus, an enemy leader of an alien race. Danger discovers this by putting her hand through his chest, and Polaris gives its metallic butt a one-way trip out of the building. The second is when Warlock shows up defending his father, before the two of them split.

I’m sure they didn’t wake up planning to get into a brawl, but now that they were in it they were going to get some answers. And so, as the comic ends, Polaris suggests they pay a little visit to Doug Ramsey aka Cypher of the X-Men, aka the guy who can talk to anything and read any language.

A bit more crude humor-wise, but character development is always welcomed. I’ll give it a 4 out of 5.

 


Superior Spider-Man #30 Review

Superior Spider-Man 030-000

Someone dies tonight in Superior Spider-Man #30 and you can find out by reading my review of it.

This big issue starts off with Superior Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2099 beating down on the hijacked Spider-Slayers when the Goblin King shows him he has Anna Marie hostage and gives him an ultimatum. He’ll give him a pass to finding her if he leaves Spidey 2099 to fight the robots alone, which he can’t possibly handle on his own. Otto ditches his ass, leaving Miguel calling him a fake because the real one wouldn’t do that.

As he swings over the city, we see that it is still going to Hell and for once Otto blames himself completely. The Avengers are busy handling their own things, when Iron Man and Captain America claim they can’t over look Cardiac’s clinic having the stuff it has and since Spider-Man helped they’re going to arrest him too once this is over.

Really? You can’t unsee the whole medical treatment thing and want to arrest Cardiac and Spider-Man for that? Bullshit.

Leaving aside how the super-cops constantly break the damn rules to do what (they believe) is right, this is what you’re trying to arrest him about? Of all the flimsy-ass things, the fact that they are punishing two men for giving life-saving medical treatment to people who need it (the very same people they are supposed to be pulling from the wreckage) really doesn’t do wonders for my opinion of them. And after AvsX and Uncanny Avengers, that’s saying something.

JJJ is completely and royally fucked at City Hall, since his bots went rogue. He shifts the blame, but Liz Allen has paperwork saying she warned him they weren’t tested and ready. A traitor shot reveals she has a Goblin Mask, making it clear this was how the Goblin King got control over them, doing it for her son’s sake.

Menace leads Otto underground as Peter, in the Mindscape, reaches the point where he gave Otto his memories before his first death while in Otto’s body. In other words, he gives himself his own memories that Otto remembered, that he lived. Yeah, wrap your head around that for a minute. In the end he recovers his own sense of self and pops out of it to make Otto jump and save the little girl who he performed brain surgery on from being hit by a train.

Otto decides enough is enough and calls them both out on their flaws as they swing back to his lab at Parker Industries (which Peter has no idea where it came from). Otto was arrogant, flawed, and liked to overcompensate, while Peter was so guilt-ridden about being better than others that he sabotaged himself. So they both have to own up, with Peter saving the day as the Superior Spider-Man while Otto erases himself from the Mindscape so he isn’t distracted.

The comic ends with Peter getting dressed in his old suit and saying it’s his turn to play Goblin’s little game.

It may be a little pre-mature, but I feel as though if they were really going to wipe the slate clean (get Peter back to being a Street Hero rather than an Avenger, ruin all his previous relationships, make him a menace, etc.) in time for the upcoming movie, they could have done it in another way. Then again, it worked. I came into this series all for Otto and, while I still think he made good points and l liked his character, now I’m cheering on Peter.

So this issue gets an 5 out of 5. Well-played, Marvel. Well-played…


Thing loves Invisible Woman

Truly a touching love story in the grim darkness of the Ultimate Universe.

Arousing Grammar

Well, in the Ultimate universe.  For those not up to date, the early 2000s brought us an entire different Marvel universe, where all the heroes de-aged back to when their voices still cracked.  It went well for a good decade or so until Ultimatum event came around.  Because the Ultimate universe isn’t technically canon, the writers have free rein to destroy and mutilate their world and characters as they see fit.  And oh my goodness, did they.  If your name wasn’t attached to a series title, you were almost certain to perish during the event — and even that didn’t save the majority of X-Men.

But rising from the remains of Ultimatum allowed for ideas that could have never gone to fruition before. Like our two characters in the title.  And a new supervillain that terrorizes the entire Ultimate universe for years and years: Mr. Fantastic.  But I’m jumping ahead…

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March 2014 Grim Tales Update 2


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Pixie and the X-Men’s revenge, Pt. 2

Stab him again to be sure!

Arousing Grammar

We left off right as the X-Men attacked the Hellfire Club’s little base, because the people in the base savagely beat Pixie and dozens of other mutants and totally deserve this beatdown.  Note for future bigots: if one wishes to attack a minority group of people, it would help if this minority group aren’t all trained fighters with superpowers like laser eyes and diamond skin.  We’ll pick up once more with Uncanny X-Men #501-503, written by Matt Fraction & Ed Brubaker and drawn by Greg Land with the beginning of the X-Men’s retaliation:

PixieXMenEmpath13

PixieXMenEmpath14

We know enough about superhero fights that henchmen never stand a chance.  They exist solely to ramp up the excitement and show off what our heroes can do.  Crowded battles rock.  But let’s not forget about the mutant supervillain Empath (Manuel de la Rocha) and his emotional death glares.

PixieXMenEmpath15

PixieXMenEmpath16

I know we’re supposed to witness Empath igniting each X-Man’s…

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Pixie and the X-Men’s revenge, Pt. 1

This is why I’m not a fan of humans in the Marvel Universe. All the superpowered people around and they target mutants for Hate Crimes.

Arousing Grammar

It’s a normal California evening for dear Pixie — a well-deserved night of fun for our teenage X-Man.

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PixieXMenEmpath2

PixieXMenEmpath3

PixieXMenEmpath4

Yeah, welcome to the world of mutants.  As the X-Men symbolize minority discrimination in comic books, we can all probably relate to their struggle for acceptance on some level.  And while we don’t have the ability to lift buildings or summon lightning storms, we can certainly take solace that those who get attacked for being different have the ability to retaliate.  And by retaliate I mean destroy the hopes, dreams, and definitely internal organs of anyone who dares target them.  So yes, these bigots took down a young girl in a surprise attack, but they know she has teammates, right?  Big scary teammates with superpowers and grudges.  Meet the new breed of X-Men in Uncanny X-Men #501-503, written by Matt Fraction & Ed Brubaker and drawn by Greg Land.

PixieXMenEmpath5

PixieXMenEmpath6

Y’see, while…

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Electro vs. Spider-Man, Pt. 2

Arousing Grammar

After Spider-Man’s embarrassing loss on Wednesday, he has some serious self-reflection to do.  I mean, not too much because of an insane supervillain prowling the streets that desperately needs a punch in the face — but dear Peter Parker realizes the hard way that webs and kicks alone won’t take down this newly enhanced Electro.  Luckily, he’s also a super genius, and that helps him tremendously in Amazing Spider-Man #425, written by Tom DeFalco and drawn by Bud LaRosa.  But first, Electro:

SpiderManvsElectro11

SpiderManvsElectro12

I know there’s a typo in the third panel on the first page, but let’s chalk that up to Electro’s lack of a quality education.  More importantly, Electro does make a good point.  The dude’s kind of a joke. He doesn’t get the respect that Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus get, and even at his best, he’s only used as muscle for the Sinister Six.  While he…

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Electro vs. Spider-Man, Pt. 1

Arousing Grammar

After Electro’s sob story/childhood recall from last article, it’s time to see our newly enhanced supervillain in action.  Spoiler alert: it’s going to be shocking (I apologize, I won’t do that again).  We keep forgetting that Electro has one advantage that many baddies don’t get: he’s fighting Spider-Man.

Batman, who spends his days inventing batarangs that dispell everything from toxic waste to magic spells to deadly diseases, has a whole belt full of gadgets for practically every power combination or skill he comes across.  Then you add his martial arts and a dozen teenage sidekicks.  But Spider-Man, despite his superpowers, swings around the city packing only web-shooters and a thin layer of spandex.  So when Electro shows up blasting sparks (both physical and emotional) with a level that Spider-Man hasn’t dealt with before, our protagonist’s only secret weapon is praying for a lucky punch. Though to be fair to Spider-Man…

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Uncanny X-Men #19 Review

 

After the atrocity that was Issue #18, I admit I lost some faith in the series. Let’s see if I can’t get it back by reviewing Issue #19 of Uncanny X-Men, in which the war against SHIELD is declared anew.

Our story begins in Atlanta, after Cyclops has kicked Hijack off the team. It appears that a day has passed and Hijack slept off being given the boot, only to wake up and find Maria Hill and three SHIELD agents in his home while he’s in his Spider-Man undies. She tells him they have no reason to fight, not that she didn’t remove everyone else’s car in the neighborhood to be safe, and tells Hijack to give her all the information he has Cyclops or she’ll detain him forever, claiming that since he’s been cavorting with a known terrorist she’s allowed to hack his email…

In which the moron apparently wrote about how he was booted out to his girlfriend and was begging her to take him back. Leaving aside the fact that his girlfriend got him shot before, if you gotta get relationship advice from the person threatening to arrest you, you fucked up somewhere.

At the same time this is happening, Mystique and Sabertooth have Dazzler in some undisclosed location. Her eyes and ears are covered so she can’t hear or see anything, and Mystique makes it known that she considers Dazzler a traitor to her people. But, when asked why she doesn’t kill her and be done with it, she tells Sabertooth that Dazzler still has her uses.

Mystique has been using Dazzler as the source of Mutant Growth Hormone, you know that stuff that pissed off Magneto so he dropped her through a building? She, hypocritically, claims that Dazzler is a “sell-out dirty whore” for working with SHIELD and then goes about her way. The moment she’s out the door, Dazzler says “Ow” which, given the timing, indicates that she’s not only aware of what’s going on but she knows what Mystique is doing to her. Yeah, she’s going to be pissed off as hell once she gets free.

Maria Hill, after the above, is still harassing Hijack and claims that Cyclops knew they must have been watching his place and set this conversation up. Now, while I’d like to dismiss this notion outright, given what happened to Eva and Fabio when they visited home…I have to admit she’s got some logic there in that he had to of known that was going to happen. Since Cyclops didn’t have the Stepford Sisters give a mind wipe to him, the evidence looks damning to both me and Hijack.

Speaking of Cyclops, he’s watching Cerebro for new mutants as Eva arrives. He’s looking at the big picture, reminding himself what they’re fighting for. He then notes Eva has been different after the training mission and tells her that she can tell him anything, but she hesitates and uses the signal of a powerful mutant popping up as an escape to avoid the conversation, only looking on mournfully as he leaves.

The team arrives in Chicago, only for it to be a trap in the form of a big Sentinel that gives birth to a bunch of smaller ones. Magik, Fabio, and Cyclops’ mutant powers fail to work appropriately, leaving Cyclops to cause a boatload of property damage and Magik unable to teleport them to safety before they get caught in the enemy crossfire and there isn’t anything left in the spot, making it seem as though they were blasted to atoms.

However, they appear a minute later safe and sound. Eva sealed them in a Time Bubble and warped them all a minute forward to avoid the damage. Magik then shows the fruit of her training with Doctor Strange before he started playing super-cop and uses a defensive spell, an energy manipulation spell, and a spell to make some multi-headed dragon thing that chomped on the robots.

With that done, Cyclops congratulates Eva on a job well done and she smiles earnestly, but Celeste whispers to her she needs to tell him about what went down in her trip to the future.  Before Cyclops can follow up and tear the biggest robot apart it runs away. They reason that whoever sent it rigged it to mess with mutant powers, but only those they knew about. I’m calling bullshit on this because there are only a handful of ways that works.

One is magic, in which case I expect those Sentinels to be magic-proof like that ass-pull in Battle of the Atom next time. Another is like what they did to Cyclops in the prison with the shock collars. In both cases they were general purpose, but the way they’re talking is that the person making them is tailoring them, and considering Eva’s powers still work it’s not something that suppresses the X-Gene completely.

Either way, the new students get their first taste of a hate mob and Cyclops is pissed off because this was some sick game and he’s tired of being hunted. He declares if it is SHIELD behind this they’re going to war, and if someone else was using SHIELD to do it and they didn’t care enough to put a stop to it, then more war. Basically, he’s decided SHIELD is the main enemy as the comic ends with dome-head watching from wherever he is.

Okay, review time.

Judging from how things are going, I’m just assuming they didn’t count #18 as canon, which I’m all for given the mess that it was. But the humor in this issue was rather crass and I can’t say the dialogue was anything revolutionary, in fact it felt like a step down from Issue #17, but the mediocre artwork is still miles ahead of what it was from the last issue and the plot is progressing.

3 out of 5 is my rating for this issue.


The origin of Electro

Arousing Grammar

With Amazing Spider-Man 2 coming out soon, I figure that maybe a few of you would like to know more about the supervillan (and I hope my shameless pandering’ll increase hits), I have his updated origin story from Amazing Spider-Man #422, written by Tom DeFalco and drawn by Joe Bennett.  I’m aware that the movie’ll change his background.  We, as readers, should be fine with that.  Look, the best part of fictional characters is that they’re fictional — they can have hundreds of different interpretations simply because they’re not real.  We can’t give Nelson Mandela laser eyes in his biopic, but if Electro and the Human Torch become African-American in the movie version — seriously, who cares?  Fiction allows us to do that and it’s foolish if writers/artists/directors/actors don’t take advantage of that.  On that note, here’s Electro’s comic book version of his past:

ElectroOrigin1

ElectroOrigin2

Back story may be necessary, but…

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March 2014 Sugar Bits Update 1


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Superior Spider-Man #29 Review

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The Goblin Nation arc continues in Superior Spider-Man #29 and I’m here to give you my thoughts on it as I review what went down.

The story picks up where it left off, with Anna being brought to the Goblin King by Menace. He tells her to hush up since he’s watching a News Report saying that Peter and Carlie were buried alive, leaving Menace and Anna distraught as their sister/lover were thought to be killed. The Goblin King brushes the death of Carlie off, saying he’ll make her a new sister, thinking that the death of Spider-Man’s best friend was the real tragedy since it was so boring.

The goblin raid continues and it’s revealed that just about every hero in New York is out there and trying to stem the flow, with the head of Alchemax trying to have the mayor unleash the Goblin Slayers to help save people for the PR boosts. JJ, however, doesn’t’ want them out until they can take down Spider-Man with it being made apparent his grudge was getting in the way. It’s enough that one of his staff members leave him behind, saying enough is enough.

MJ is with May and the others she saved, as far away from New York as she could manage, telling them to keep calm and explaining that it was their only choice. She receives a call from Otto, who she tries to get to calm May down, only for him to brush her aside as he tries to cure Carlie with Sanjay. That ends when the Goblin King hacks his number and tells him to put on the mask and meet him.

The Goblin King apparently took killing Spider-Man personally, because he wanted to be the one to do it as his number one enemy while Otto was number two, so he destroys everything related to his legacy, including his childhood home, the place where he had his accident, the clinic where he saved a little girl, and the place where the police have stashed all his goodies. He then tells him that he’s got a classmate of his as a hostage and tells him to meet him at the university.

Trying to get there he ignores a mugging and tries to have the police chief come help in his place, but they think he’s in on it and JJ unleashes the Spider-Slayers to search for him. When he finally arrives, the Goblin King has Lamaze as the hostage. He states he saw the footage of Otto trying to save him during Stunner’s rampage (he must’ve glossed over Anna being there) and assumed he was the closest thing Otto had as a friend.

Disappointed, he threatens to leave and find someone else he cared about. Otto tries to gut him like a fish, but the goblin turns out to have hacked his mechanical arms and turn them against him. One is about to kill him when Lamaze intercepts it, leaving Otto confused about why he would do such a thing.

Lamaze states that it was because when Spider-Man saved him and Anna from Stunner, he regretted running away when she needed help and since then all he wanted was a chance to do what was right. To that end he thanked Otto for showing him what it meant to be a hero and then dies in his arms. Okay, credit where it was due, that was bittersweet.

However, the moment is ruined when the Spider-Slayers show up. Jameson is willing to lose everything to kill him and manages to get Otto in a pinch until Spider-Man 2099 shows up and shuts them down. But, unlike everyone else who grabbed the idiot ball, he knows something isn’t right with Peter and wants answers. Sadly the comic ends before he can get them as the Spider-Slayers are hacked by the Goblin King and grabs both of the Spider-Men.

Okay, review time.

The fallout continues as we see more character assassination on Peter by Otto, who’s getting a taste of what it’s like to be on the opposite end of the whole situation for once. Not only that, but he’s dragging Jameson and several others down with him in the process. That being said, I’m calling bull that the Avengers and every hero in New York are being pressured. New York is where like 90% of them are concentrated at. It’s the one place where the only way for things to get this bad was if they had super-powers again like Spider-Island.

However, I did like the issue and I’ll give it a 4 out of 5.


Avengers Undercover #1 Review

Avengers Undercover 001-000

The sequel to the base-breaking Avengers Arena is now out and I’m here to review it. While I originally only got into the previous series because I was a Runaways fan, I feel compelled to let you know how this Avengers-in-name-only story goes and my thoughts on it as we see the aftermath of Arcade’s Murder-world three months later.

It starts with Hazmat watching a news report on the footage Arcade released from a diner, where three friends are sitting down and talking about their favorites. One of them finds Chase to be a wuss, waiting for Nico to tell him what to do and getting his ass-kicked by little girls, while the other sees him as a loyal hottie. The third, however, proceeds to talk trash about Hazmat’s breakdown and causes her to scare him by using her powers. It turns out after her meltdown she managed to gain control over them.

We then skip over to Chase giving an interview on television, with him apparently being a celebrity and having a book deal about his time during the events of Murder-world since he’s the most outspoken of the entire thing. He states that while the others are fighting it he sees it as pointless and is more focused on getting what he can out of it. While cold, it seems to be his way of adjusting to everything.

It’s then Nico shows up and they have a minor spat on-camera over him breaking his pact. Chase implies that she’s suffered the most from it, with her even missing Molly’s birthday. Considering that she’s the most mothering of the group, of which Karolina, Molly, and Victor are watching from their home, that’s saying something. She grabs Chase and teleports him elsewhere with a spell after that.

Deathlocket, meanwhile, is apparently being seen to by SHIELD technicians. Her cybernetics seemed to be evolving, but she’s not exactly in full control as she materializes a weapon when one man claims to be a fan of hers. She points out that she had to shoot her best friend in the head, she set a kid on fire, and she had to watch Tim die, before storming out to go someplace else.

Cammi, on the other hand, is attending a recovering alcoholics meeting with her mother to give her support. Her mother had it bad, losing three homes and nine jobs, only hitting rock-bottom after seeing what they said on the news about Cammi being forced to participate in Murder-world. While things between them seemed to be better, Cammi tells her she has to leave in order to go somewhere else and apologizes before she does so.

We then go to a recording of Cullen, who apparently got a plasma cannon for his sixth birthday called Brimstone. He then uses it to burn down Arcade’s home. Unfortunately he wasn’t there, much to Cullen’s rage as he smashes the camera. It then skips to Aiden meeting with Cammi and the others at Bloodstone Manor.

He explains that Cullen basically snapped, leaving school one morning only for Aiden to show up at his place three months later. Cullen’s room is lined with information about the Masters of Evil and Arcade, as well as places he might be and so on, showing he’s gone off the deep end. His latest recording three weeks ago show him going to the city of Bagalia to kill Arcade, to which the others are concerned with the exception being Chase (who pretty much is all for him killing Arcade after what he put them through).

Unfortunately, right after Chase jinxes it by saying what could go wrong we see that Cullen’s monster form on a rampage in Brazil and attacking a SHIELD R & D facility. It seems like one of the Masters of Evil, the son of Satan, managed to gain control over him. Without knowing any of this, the group decides to go and check on him, ending the comic.

Okay, review time.

Well, I’ve been waiting for this one and, while not disappointed, I’ve got to say it could have been a bit better. While they gave us a brief look into what the survivors have been up to, I wasn’t nearly satisfied with the brief panel appearance of the rest of the Runaways without Klara. But the biggest issues were Chase and Nico.

Chase came from an abusive home and was so good at hiding it that no one suspected it until it was brought up between him and Nico. Now you have him giving interviews and crap, getting rich off of it. That’s really out of character for him, especially when you consider than after Gert’s death he really matured.

And Nico outright hitting him was overly aggressive for her. Don’t get me wrong, the girl is quick to draw when it comes to the staff, but only when defending her charges. Unless that’s a side-effect of being raised from the dead, which can be counted as justifiable, then it’s out of character for her.

The others were pretty well done, coping in one way or another, although Cullen seems to be the one who suffered the most mental unbalance and completely snapped. What I really want to see is the adults who fucked up and how they’re dealing with this, starting with when Juston’s family finding out about the LMD sent to replace him and how it weighs on Hank Pym combined with Mettle’s death. But I can be patient for the time being…

Anyway, overall it gets a 4 out of 5 and a solid recommendation. I will be following it along.


All-New X-Factor #4 Review

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Its comic book day today and thus it’s also time for my reviews, with the first of the day being All-New X-Factor #4.

The comic picks up where we last left off, with Danger being freed and subsequently deciding to go the usual evil robot route of killing everyone present after she’s dealt with her captor. Gambit tries to reason with her, but she claims she doesn’t know who he is and blasts him with a rocket punch before looking to find Nil gone. He’s fleeing the scene, passing by Jean-Luc as the building explodes and leaves the guy to the mercy of the angry robot.

Gambit intervenes to save Jean-Luc, while Quicksilver saves him. Danger then catches up to Nil, with it being revealed he took her memory from her and offers to give them back. She decides to go without them as long as she gets to kill him, but Quicksilver once again intervenes to save the guy and Danger decides to take off the kid gloves by generating Hard-Light holograms to trick Quicksilver into running off of a cliff.

Lorna stops their fall by levitating them and gives Danger one opportunity to surrender, which she refuses. The mistress of magnetism then tears her apart, causing an argument with Gambit since she and he have a difference of opinion on the robot that was trying to kill them. That ends when Danger turns out to have inhabited their plane, which is something that Gambit should have remembered she could do earlier, and opens fire on them.

While Lorna stops the plane, Gambit faces off against a construct of her and tries to reason with her again on the belief that there is still a part of her that remembers their bond. That’s tested when Danger blows apart the escape ship Nil was boarding, subdues Lorna by distracting her with an image of her father rocking his new solo series outfit, and Gambit arrives to stop her from killing the 150 year old technomancer by following Disney’s mandate and kissing her.

It worked, of course. Danger calmed down and they gave her memories back to her. Then the comic ended with Gambit asking her to join X-Factor since she had nowhere to go, much to Lorna’s displeasure.

Okay, review time.

I can’t lie. I didn’t really like how the comic issue was resolved. In the first place, the “Kissing cures amnesia’” thing is really played out. They could have done a better job with it. Then again, this was basically an excuse plot so that they could add her to the roster and at least it ended quickly.

Secondly, Danger kept putting off killing them to get to Nil when it would have been in her best interest to simply kill them and go about her way. That’s poorly done, unless they justify it by her programming hindering her from doing so or at least show that she had fragments of memories whenever it came up. If the villains aren’t going to actually kill off the characters, or make a solid attempt, then they shouldn’t say so.

In the end, I can only give this an average score of 3 out of 5.


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March 2014 PPGD Update 1


Read the rest of the comics at Snafu-Comics


The love story of Iceman & Mystique, Pt. 3

Arousing Grammar

While Iceman has had his heart broken once and then stomped on a second time by Mystique, don’t think this X-Man hangs his head alone each night as a single tear drips (and then freezes) down his cheek.  Bobby Drake — who is a thirty year-old man still going by the name Bobby — has had quite a fair amount of lovers and girlfriends.  Today, he attacks all of them, but we’ll get to that. In Astonishing X-Men #62-65, written by Majorie Liu and drawn by Gabriel Hernandez Walta, Iceman currently dates Kitty Pryde.  She’s way out of his league.

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But the title of the article includes Iceman and Mystique, so what’s she up to nowadays?

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Mystique only takes baths because she was born before showers were invented.  Look, this arc doesn’t focus solely on our two former lovers.  Mystique only contains a part of the story that leads…

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The love story of Iceman & Mystique, Pt. 2

To be fair, very few of Iceman’s relationships end well. I hope the arc in Astonishing X-Men when he tried to freeze over the world gets covered.

Arousing Grammar

The love part of our story has long since ended.  The two aren’t so much exes as bitter, vengeful monsters that prey on trust to deliver fatal emotional blows.  Well, the blue one anyway.  Today, we check out X-Men: Manifest Destiny #1-5, written by Mike Carey and drawn by Michael Ryan, that forces us to recall when Mystique delicately placed neural inhibitors in her lady parts to defeat Iceman a few issues later.  His problem’s flaring up again, like a robot STD.

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At least this time Iceman has a loving and caring girlfriend by his side.  It’s a delicate time in his life to be eradicating Mystique residue from his body (and memories), but what could go wrong here? Certainly not months of planned relationship building serving only to heighten the sharp pain of another broken heart, right?

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He doesn’t deserve this.  But you know the whole deal with…

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New Warriors #2 Review

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The second entry into the newest incarnation of the New Warriors series is out and I’m here with my review of the comic issue. So let’s start shall we?

The issue picks up with an Inhuman riding a train in New York that comes to a crashing halt. Naturally he had nothing to do with it, but this is the Marvel Universe so he’s automatically to blame. He flees before they can gather a lynch mob to get him, only to run across Sungirl facing off against the evolutionaries to defend the mutants that were under attack last issue.

At the same time in New Salem, Vertigo and Justice are under attack by the same force. They explain that they once defended mutants but were betrayed by them, just as Speedball and Brutacus show up. Brutacus gets taken down fairly easily and they get ready to take him in for gene-sampling when Justice takes off the kid gloves and levels the mouthy evolutionary, asking for answers to what was going on as they retreat.

In Mexico, Scarlet Spider starts a fight with Faira on the assumption that she was responsible for the slaughter. She kicks his ass quickly and is about to drown him when Humming Bird does her fear thing and calms the situation down long enough for her to explain the situation. Atlantis was in the middle of a fight with Deviant forces when the evolutionaries showed up and started slaughtering them all, so she came to the surface for heroes and he started attacking her. Scarlet Spider wants nothing to do with things, but naturally the bad guys show up at that moment deciding to get the Clone (Kaine), Demigod (Aracely), and Atlantian (Faira).

Going back to Speedball and Justice, they arrive at the Avengers Tower in New York to search their database to learn about the enemy. A general overview of the past encounter with the X-Men is given and Cyclops warns that they should be considered an extinction-level threat. An alert then goes out requesting help due to an incident in the subway and they decide to jump in.

In the subway, the evolutionaries stop their slaughter for a moment to try and reason with Sungirl by stating they only want to protect her kind (humanity) by eliminating….well, everything else. She’s a hero so she can’t let that happen, so they are left with no choice but to attack her when the Inhuman from before, Mark, shows up and eats their energy blast. Then Justice and Speedball show up, so the evolutionaries decide to retreat.

As the comic ends, we find Nova in a containment field with the High Evolutionary, who states he intends to have him help cleanse the earth of all impure beings before the Celestials return.

Okay, review time.

No complaints overall, it’s a solid issue that picks off where the previous one left off. The art is nice and crisp, while the plot is progressing nicely with no wasted panels. We have a general idea of what’s going on and we can see the future team coming together nicely, with more of their personalities fleshed out.

You can see how Sungirl is still new at the hero thing, while Justice is clearly the most experienced. Mark was basically just thrown into things, but he didn’t hesitate to help stop a kid from falling when the train stopped or helping Sungirl. Kaine is still a hot-head with a potty mouth while Faira makes it clear she’s a rather skilled combatant and Aracely is playing peace-keeper.

It gets a solid 5 out of 5 and I recommend it for purchase.


The love story of Iceman & Mystique, Pt. 1

Arousing Grammar

It’ll be three parts total, but only today will have the romance and passion that comes from a comic book relationship.  Superheroes fall in love so much harder and so much faster than us real-life folks. Maybe the DC and Marvel universes exists entirely inside an Axe Body Spray commercial.  Though definitely try to enjoy today, as the rest of the week consists mostly of disillusion, brokenhearted resentment, and uppercuts.

We’ll see the entire span of the Iceman and Mystique relationship using pieces of X-Men #189-203, written by Mike Carey and drawn by Chris Bachalo & Humberto Ramos.  Before you question Iceman’s judgement (and you will), Mystique currently has full X-Men membership.  Redemption can be romantic.

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Definitely a more attractive way to save someone’s life than CPR.  Mystique grew up in the Victorian age, but she can still seduce men a fourth of her age.  Thus the two bond…

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Magneto #1 Review

Magneto (2014-) 001-000Something violent to wash down the aftertaste of this week’s Uncanny X-Men

The Master of Magnetism has struck out on his own and I’ll be following along in the path of destruction he has laid out as we review the first issue of the Magneto solo series.

The story starts in Cape Girardean, Missouri, where some unfortunate barista is having the pleasure of being questioned about the murder that transpired moments ago. And when I say murder, I mean the victim got skewered by sign posts through his mouth until he was pinned to the ground. The barista states that the assassin knew his routine and had a brief discussion before he ripped the fillings out of the victim’s mouth, threw him into the street, and then replaced them with said sign posts, and that for this guy killing was like autopilot.

We then go to Kansas, where Magneto contemplates his circumstances in the motel. He knows he’s got a one-way trip to hell, but right now what he’s doing is for the greater good of mutants and so his actions are all that matters. This is shown in a minor flashback to when he met the victim of the murder, who contributed to many of the Anti-Mutant organizations even if he never once pulled the trigger himself. Magneto made him pay for what he did in the past by taking away his future and he would do the same for others.

It’s then a maid arrives and gives him some newspapers that he asked for. He can tell she knows the name he’s given her is an alias and that he’s dangerous, but very few people know what Magneto looks like without the helmet. Still, he makes sure to tip her very well. Never let it be said he was mean to the help.

He then goes to his poster board map, which outlines where he’s tracking down the enemies of mutants. He’s lower on resources than before, going from some of the most sophisticated tech to old laptops and newspaper clippings, but he’s still managed to stay out of the hands of SHIELD and those who would be interested in him. SHIELD’s gone as far as to place fake reports of attacks on mutants to draw him out, but he can tell real from fake and figures they won’t take him seriously until he hits a target too big to ignore.

Until then he focuses on his next target, in Mountain Air, California. It took him awhile to get there since he was flying under the radar, and while tracking the killer of three mutants was easy enough he didn’t expect him to turn himself in. Magneto acknowledges that he’s jailed, but thinks that’s too little of a punishment and not nearly severe enough for the grimness of his crime.

So he strolls into a police station and calmly calls forth all the metal he can to clear out the cops while reforming a helmet to match the rocking black motif he’s got going on. I doubt it’ll offer him psychic protection like the normal one does, but it’s the image that counts. After taking care of the police in the way, he confronts the killer who seems frightful and wants him to leave, even shocked that he murdered someone. Then the freaky stuff happens.

His chest tears open, his arms twist into weaponry, and he opens fire upon Magneto. He’s a poor-man’s version of the Omega Sentinel, a human turned into a death machine. Magneto puts him out of his misery by ripping the machinery away, leaving him dying and in pain.

In the man’s final moments Magneto asks who turned him into that monster, realizing he was as much of a victim as those he killed. He gets a location and relates to his pain of being unable to stop himself like he was on autopilot. And then he swears to find the ones responsible for this and make them pay as well as the first issue ends.

Okay, review time.

Now, this was a good start overall. The plot picks up some time after Magneto dropped a building on Mystique and flew off, so we’re catching up on what he’s like after doing this for some time. There’s no time wasted in-between and we get straight to the grittiness that’s evident in the artwork.

Character-wise, I felt Magneto was spot on. He’s always had mutants’ best interest at heart and punishes those who deserved it for endangering the species. While he’s had moments where he was a flat-out villain, the current version of him tries not to overdo the killing of innocents or straight-up human bashing. You could see it on his face in the final page that he felt bad about it, but there was really little choice in the matter…that being said, if you try to lynch him after he saves your ass from a train wreck, he will drop all the wreckage on you.

I can’t really think of any faults to the story for the opening of the series and it was a decent read, so I’m giving Magneto #1 (2014) a perfect 5 out of 5.


Uncanny X-Men #18 Review

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Fair Warning: This Review Contains Heavy Swearing

…Yeah, I can’t say I’m enthusiastic about this art or issue but I’ve been reviewing the series for a minute and that means I write about the good and the bad. And boy was there a lot of bad in Issue #18 of Uncanny X-Men. So I going to do this, but it’s going to be short and I will be using many, many swear words.

The story begins with the NXS kids and staff returning from somewhere in what appears to be the Blackbird, sometime after the botched Tabula Rasa training mission judging from how they say Tempus has been nagging on Cyclops to take Hijack back into their group for some time. You wouldn’t know time had passed given that her hair is short again while Phoebe’s is missing a distinctive shade of red. Yeah, if I didn’t have enough issues with the art before, I’m going to bitch about that later on. Anyway, it’s the aftermath of the beginning of the Trial of Jean Grey event and as such they find the All New X-Men group gone and the flashbacks begin.

The first one starts with two weeks ago, where Cyclops is training with his broken powers when Magik decides to bring Kitty to meet with him and then goes to hold the rest of the NXS back so they don’t interfere while the two come to terms with themselves. Kitty pretty much puts her fingers inside his head and threatens to kill him by un-phasing just enough for it to damage his brain. Arguments that have already been fucking discussed get brought up again, which understandable given it is a flashback to before BotA, and they whine about it for a minute until he asks her what she needs, which we already knew was a place to stay with the Teenage Original 5 X-Men.

Then, a week later, they pick up with the O5 arriving and some of the worst scenes in the series with Emma Frost bitching about bringing teenage Jean Grey to stay with them. And then the scene between Cyclops and Teen Jean and Teen Cyclops was…lackluster. It was not only short, but what should have been an emotional session that tugged at my heartstrings was a waste of three pages.

Back in the present they wonder what steps they should take next. These range from securing a space-craft and going after them, trusting them to make it on their own and so on. It then ends with Cyclops firing into the sky.

Okay, review time…

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What. The. Hell?

Leaving aside the fact that this art is not my cup of tea—I mean come on, the continuity errors with Eva and Phoebes’ appearances, the lack of eyes some times, the horrendous expressions, and the sheer amount of wasted space was something that spits in the face of those who bought the comic—what is wrong with the writer?

Having Eva whining about Hijack twelve times like a little girl?  Come on now, you can do better when you come from the future. Given some legitimate reasons like if he goes rogue or something, and then take Cyclops, Emma, Magik, and the Stepford sisters, into a private room and do that psychic projection thing that they did in Battle of the Atom so they have a leg up on what’s going down.

And then Emma? What was this? She was practically cordial to her teenage-rival in Battle of the Atom and to this damn point in this series. Granted the moment she saw an adult Jean Grey she tried to gouge out her eyes, but we all knew that was coming. Being so childish and saying she would bring a baby Colossus to their time and see how they liked it…that doesn’t make any sense coming from the former White Queen and Headmistress of the X-Men.

And then the reunion between Cyclops, Jeen, and Tyke? Short, inconclusive, and a waste of three pages like I said prior. This could have gone a lot better, and I mean that in every sense of the word.

And then the plot? Wasted. We just got one team member kicked off, one sent to the future or past and back, and a looming confrontation with SHIELD…and you give me this piece of garbage, Marvel?  The majority of the issue covered the prelude and aftermath of the ANXM kids coming to the school. They turned what should have been inserted directly after that waste of time and money that was the most useless crossover of the year, Battle of the Atom, into a goddamn filler piece that does little to nothing and keeps away from the meat of the good stuff. And there was no damn closure at the end at that.

This issue…words do not begin to describe how disappointed I am. People were already whining Cyclops’ revolution was taking too long, and you put useless filler that would have been better several issues ago in with bad art?  Fuck you, Marvel, for adding to the problem when I legitimately like the series.

This Issue is getting a 1 out of 5.