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Archive for April, 2014

What ever happened to Green Lantern and Hawkgirl?

So…they just put Vixen in a refrigerator?

Arousing Grammar

I remember the Justice League animated show of the mid-2000s fondly, if just because I was far too old to be watching children’s superhero cartoons.  In the series, many young fans had their first interactions with the Green Lantern John Stewart, who besides being an ex-Marine and gifted architect, was a prominent and respectable African-American superhero.  Diversity in comics is more important than you think — the original Justice League consisted of one women, one Martian, and five white dudes.

So when Warner Bros. came out with the TV show in 2001, they figured that John Stewart would be a welcome addition to their starting line up.  Then he and Hawkgirl fell in love.  Normally we’d all cheer and place our hands lovingly over our hearts, but as the series wrapped up, one giant plot twist stayed unsolved.  In Justice League Beyond #7-8, written by Derek Fridolfs & Dustin…

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April 2014 PPGD Update 3


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Daken’s actual final stand

Arousing Grammar

Disclaimer before I start.  I usually avoid large amounts of pages in succession from the issues I choose mainly because I don’t understand copyright and fair use laws.  But today, I’m picking about fifteen pages or so that are basically two groups of seven or eight in a row.  If Marvel or Rick Remender or anyone associated aren’t okay with this, I’ll take it down.  But truthfully, this story needs to be shared.  It’s so good, so beautiful, and so important for the characterization of Daken and Wolverine. And now, you the reader, will promise to go and buy tons of Remender’s Marvel comics.  Maybe all of his Uncanny X-Force run?  Amazon.com always has discounts, y’know.

If you read the last article, Daken barely escaped the explosion he set off in Times Square.  Even though he was badly wounded and only weeks to live, he got better.  I don’t know…

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Wolverine: a love story, Pt. 2

Okay, I know I bag on Wolverine a lot. He’s a man I am not fond of. But his life well and truly sucks. He’s worse than Daredevil when it comes to dead love interests.

Arousing Grammar

Sabretooth would be way more fun to hang out with than Wolverine.  Sure, Sabretooth (Victor Creed) oozes full-on psychopath, but at least he smiles once in a while.  Wolverine (Logan) spends most of his time brooding and drunk — who also by the way, currently stands as the moral center of the X-Men in Marvel comics nowadays.  We continue our story from Wolverine #13-19, volume 3, written by Greg Rucka and drawn by Darick Robertson.  As we left off, a shady corporation kidnapped Wolverine’s feral girlfriend Native; our hero and his new sidekick Sabretooth head out to rescue her/murder a shady corporation.

By the way, remember the passionate off-panel love making in the previous article?  This is how dirty she was:

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For someone with heightened senses, Wolverine certainly doesn’t seem picky about his lovers.

From a story point perspective, Sabretooth’s desire for revenge isn’t well backed up.  The businessmen…

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Wolverine: a love story, Pt. 1

Arousing Grammar

For being a dirty, hairy, smelly little man, Wolverine has quite the impressive list of past lovers. Unfortunately, Wolverine’s love life is forever plagued by tragedy and suffering.  Wolverine’s killed wives, seen his wives killed, killed in front of his wives, etc.  Y’see, these women represent the best of humanity — sophistication, forgiveness, sensitivity — all traits Wolverine lacks.  So maybe to form a long-lasting romantic connection he needs to find someone different, like say, exactly like him. Exactly like him.  Today, we’re wishing Wolverine luck in Wolverine #13-19, volume 3, written by Greg Rucka and drawn by Darick Robertson.

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Oh yeah, Sabretooth (aka Victor Creed) plays a prominent part as well.  If you aren’t familiar with Wolverine’s arch-nemesis, he has the same feral instincts, powers, and general contempt as our protagonist.  Every year or so, they claw each other up, heal, rinse and repeat next year.  Today, Sabretooth’s…

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Wolverine vs. Fantastic Four, Daredevil

Really, jealousy Logan? Even while reprogrammed?

Arousing Grammar

It’s Friday and we’ve all had a busy week.  I could write up a lengthy article on the development of characters through the past events of their lives, but who wants to read that to end their week? Instead, let’s have Wolverine claw at superheroes.

So, Wolverine #20-25, volume 3, written by Mark Millar and drawn by John Romita Jr., had this fantastic idea that the most powerful of the ninja cults, The Hand, manages to kill Wolverine (aka Logan).  Yes, it’s possible.  And so how does that lead to Logan slashing his buddies?  Turns out The Hand has the power to resurrect the dead, only with crazy brainwashing filtered in.  They decide to use Wolverine for evil, because that’s what supervillains do.

We’ll take a look at two of his many battles here.

Wolverine vs. Fantastic Four

Logan ain’t a stranger to butting heads with other heroes.  What…

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Jailbreak: Daredevil

Arousing Grammar

In the 2000s, no one had it rougher in the Marvel universe than Daredevil.  His identity was revealed as Matt Murdock, he watched his girlfriend die and another wife divorce, his career ruined, etc.  He even got set on fire at one point.  Eventually, the poor guy ended up in prison, because that’s the next logical step in misery.  Today, as we cover Daredevil #82-87, written by Ed Brubaker and drawn by Michael Lark & Stefano Gaudiano, all the loose ends of Murdock’s life combine in a whirlwind of sad chaos.

We pick up about halfway through the arc, and so far, prison hasn’t been kind to Daredevil.  First, his enhanced senses don’t do well in the stinky, noisy cells.

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Then, his best friend and law firm partner gets stabbed.

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All the crime bosses he put away want to have some words.

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Next, his psychopathic arch-nemesis Bullseye arrives.

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Plus…

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Daredevil and Spider-Man get pissed off

These two have some of the toughest lives as superheroes, so when they go off the deep end everyone needs to take warning.

Arousing Grammar

The past few articles have been silly and fun.  Let’s do something heartbreaking this time.

I’ve mentioned many times on this blog that horribly tragic events occur far too often in the lives of superheroes.  Not to mention that bad guy beating is a high stress possession.  Plus, you know the cruelty of supervillains.  Eventually, and it’s always an eventuality, a superhero will break. You’ve read the title of the article, so you know who I’m going to talk about.

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We’ll start with Daredevil (real name Matt Murdock).  He’s not as well-known as some of the others and his movie sucked.  When he was young, he rushes to save a blind man from an oncoming truck, causing the truck’s radioactive cargo to blind Murdock.  His father, a famous boxer, was killed by the mafia for not throwing a fight shortly after.  Daredevil has extensive martial arts training , his…

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Ms. Marvel: a tale of two boyfriends

Arousing Grammar

Kind of.  It’s complicated.  But in Mighty Avengers #6, this happened:

And thus began their relationship.

Ms. Marvel’s history (real name Carol Danvers) I covered in a previous article, but I’ve never before brought up Wonder Man (real name Simon Williams).  I know he’s not terribly well-known or popular, but he’s been around since 1964 and was created by Stan Lee himself.  So that has some cred, right?

Nazi supervillain Baron Zemo experimented on Wonder Man, originally a rich businessman, infusing him with a bunch of ionic energy treatments.  I don’t know what that is either. But now he has super strength equal to Thor, can fly and has glowing red eyes.  Good deal.  Most importantly, he likes Ms. Marvel in that emotionally gushy way.

Today we’re taking a look at some select scenes from Ms. Marvel #6-27, volume 2, written by Brian Reed and drawn mainly by Roberto De…

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Hank Pym loves Tigra

Arousing Grammar

Let’s get this right out of the way.  In 1980, superhero Hank Pym instantly became the most despised Marvel character when this one panel forever destroyed his reputation:

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And still today, many fans (some of whom weren’t even alive when that happened) haven’t forgiven him for backhanding his wife.  I’m not saying that a superhero’s domestic abuse crosses the line when supervillains’ serial murdering gets waved off as character development.  Pym definitely deserved a good decade or so of indignant hatred, but the unforgivable aspect from fans may be a bit overblown.

I mean at that time, his wife Janet fought crime as the superhero Wasp, who regularly got sliced up, lit on fire, smashed to pieces, and more every other day as an Avenger — at that stage in her career, she probably woke herself up in the morning with a backhand to the face.  Plus, as a Marvel comic…

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April 2014 PPGD Update 2


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Avengers Undercover #3 Review

Someone dies tonight in Issue #3 of Avengers Undercover and read my thoughts on it in this review.

Our story begins with Baron Zemo in the company of the Masters of Evil, watching the seven Murderworld survivors come face-to-face with Arcade via magic. He’s confident he knows how this is going to go down. After all, he can see it in their faces how Arcade is the embodiment of their torment, the one who brought out the worst of them and then put it online for the world to see.

He has a point as Arcade tells the people who gathered there to start the festivities and things go to pieces. Hazmat goes blank and has to be saved by Ax-Bro while Cullen explains that Arcade can’t pull the same shit as before because heroes tend to get a little more than pissed off when you force their trainees into his games, so he has a bunch of rich guys pay him for a chance to do their own Murderworld impression. Cammi is not amused because Cullen dragged them into it, but Nico is all for it considering she actually died because of that bastard. And when you consider that she usually inflicted a fate worse than death on people who deserve it like Gert’s parents before she tried playing hero and died for it, you can damn well guess he’s not getting out of this alive.

Chase only now realizes she’s messed up as Arcade pops up to face against him, Ax-Bro, and Cammi while Deathlocket, Cullen, and Nico go on a rampage to shut his system down. They all pretty much admit they’re messed up as they face off against Arcade and Miss Coriander, his hyper-competent assistant, and it goes poorly. Arcade himself feels unhappy despite tossing his three around because now that he’s won he’s not sure where to go from there, while his assistant has her three tied up but didn’t account for Deathlocket’s new upgrades and they turn the tables on him.

Everyone takes a crack at the man, but none of them goes for the kill. He notes this by saying that they’re all heroes and can’t finish the job, but Hazmat disagrees as she copies what he did to Mettle verbatim and then kills him. The story ends with the Masters of Evil cheering and saying things are going just as planned.

Okay, Review Time.

Well, Karma’s a Bitch. It’s telling that even the Masters of Evil found Arcade so distasteful they set him up to be killed to get their hands on seven potential villains in the making. He had it coming.

As for the survivors, we see more of the cracks in their personalities. Maybe Nico and Cammi still had some issues to work out from their last battle, but this is the second time she’s resorted straight to violence in attacking people she knows when it comes to bringing up Arcade and Murderworld. When you consider how much crap she’s been through in her own series and Arena, I honestly thought she was going to be the one to finish him off.

But Hazmat deserved it more. She was always a little spitfire and had been in love, only for it to be ripped away the night after she consummated her love. She broke down in Arena once and was mocked for it by nerds, only to come face-to-face with the one responsible and completely shut down. Whether or not this signifies her turn to the dark side I can’t say, but she got revenge for Mettle.

This issue gets a 4 out of 5.


Amadeus and Delphyne’s love story, Pt. 3

Arousing Grammar

Hercules died.  At least for the short time that this article takes place.  In an awkward tip of the hat to Delphyne’s intuitions/grudges, Athena betrays Hercules by having him get caught in a god-destroying explosion.  She totally feels bad about it, but that doesn’t stop her from doing it.  To somewhat justify her actions, Athena’s only allowed one “champion” at a time, and in order for Amadeus Cho to have risen to that honor, Hercules had to go.  Like the mob, it was strictly business.  Luckily, with Amadeus wielding Hercules’ adamantine mace, Bruce Banner’s Bannertech shields, and his own genius mind and sharp fashion sense, the new Prince of Power puts up a fairly solid fight.  But first, a reunion.

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After Hercules perished, Amadeus now devotes all his time to locating and retrieving his dear departed friend. Gods can totally die in the Marvel universe — ask any Asgardian.  Fortunately…

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Superior Spider-Man Series Finale Review

A bit late, but here it is: My review for the last issue of Superior Spider-Man.

The story starts with Osborn holding Anna Marconi hostage above Alchemax and declaring his kingdom the Goblin Nation, while the sky is filled with gliders and corrupted Spider-Slayers. Peter Parker emerges with his mind intact at his lab and learns some of what Otto has been up to, including that Carlie had been infected and somewhat cured by Otto’s genius. Given he’s dealing with foes hopped up on Goblin Formula it’s a good thing to have, and he gets to inform Carlie he’s back to normal and get the story of how Osborn came back strong.

As soon as he gets enough of the cure to use he heads out into the field and starts with calling to make sure his aunt is safe after all this. Given how he was before, it makes MJ’s new boyfriend wonder if he’s bipolar. At the same time Mayor Jameson is ruined while Ty Stone is auctioning off the goddamn robots that are fighting off the Avengers like a merchant of death.

Peter swings by the Empire University just as Miguel O’Hara gets done trashing all but one. You can understand he’s a little mad about what just happened when Otto ditched him, but Peter explains and he believes him. Because that’s exactly the sort crap you would expect to happen to him.

So they spiders go out and save the Avengers from the Hobgoblin. They are just as confused by the costume switch and behavior change as the rest of us, but put it on the back burner so they can kick more Goblin ass. And Peter starts by depowering Carlie’s sister in Alchemax, where we hear the most disturbing laughter coming from Normie…who seems like he’s about to go the way of the Osborn name and snap.

Liz Allen arrives and tells them they need to get out of the building before it blows when Ty Stone activates a Spider-Sense Jammer that cripples Peter until Miguel knocks him the Hell out, which he’s been dying to do and I don’t blame him. Ty still doesn’t seem to get that Miguel doesn’t have Peter’s power set since his powers come from a different source. Liz says that she’ll see him answer for that, but the Green Goblin was on the roof and forcing her to work for him.

On the roof Osborn tries to tease Otto about not being a hero, but as soon as he hears one quip he knows Peter is back and tries to flee and leaves him to save the girl. Peter doesn’t, instead he makes it so she can save herself while he beats down on him and unmasks the goblin. It reveals that he doesn’t look like Norman anymore since he did one of the smarter things a famous villain who wants to go in hiding can do, he got plastic surgery.

He reveals that he built up Alchemax as a legacy for the Osborn name, one for his grandson, and he left the bombs so that the collateral damage will leave it looking like it wasn’t spared by the goblins and thus suspicious. Peter reveals that he needed to keep him talking so he could use the mini-spider bots he smuggled on him to inject him with the cure. Then he saves Anna and Osborn from falling to death, because he’s Spider-Man and no one dies when he’s around.

Sadly his luck ends there as Liz “accidentally” trips the jammer that makes it possible for Osborn to get away. Osborn, now clean of the insanity of the formula, decides just like Otto that his vanity as a villain was getting in the way. Only he decides to be a better and smarter villain since he got what he wanted in Alchemax.

So, the comic’s first part (Goblin Nation: Conclusion) ends with Miguel swinging off and Anna Maria ignorant of the fact that the man she loved is gone. This….won’t end well at all, considering she thought he was Peter Parker. She’s lost the man she said she can’t imagine life without and doesn’t even realize it yet…ouch.

For the aftermath of this, Peter makes up with his Aunt May and tells her and her beau he’s “officially” quit working with Spider-Man and plans to make a press conference about it so they hopefully don’t get targeted again while MJ believes he’s telling the truth about Otto being in his body, because that’s what happens because he’s a hero, and decides she wants it to end. She knows that he’s made his decision to be a hero and respects it, but politely tells him to stay the fuck away so she doesn’t get wrapped up in it.

Peter accepts it for the most part, with lots of regrets, but swings off to go talk to Jameson because unlike most things so far he understands what the man is being harassed for because of Otto. Carlie, his other ex, says she’s doing the right thing considering she’s suffering from some after effects of the formula and she considers them lucky to be alive when Gwen didn’t get out of an encounter with the Green Goblin alive. She decides she’s getting the fuck out of New York for someplace safe and wishes MJ well.

Peter’s conversation with Jameson doesn’t go so well either. Otto has made him look worse and Jameson is owning up to his mistakes, but Peter feels that he shouldn’t take the fall for something that the Green Goblin did with the robots. But it’s too late and he leaves, vowing to start kicking some ass of his own as the comic ends.

Okay, review time.

Overall…it was okay. Don’t get me wrong, it settled things somewhat, but the art didn’t have the same impact as the other issues for some reason I can’t lay my finger on. And then there’s the resolution. I figured what was going to happen to Carlie and MJ leaving his ass since the purpose of the series to burn some bridges and bring back some other loose cases, but they really left a lot of things hanging that I believe they’re going to address in the upcoming re-launch of the Amazing Spider-Man series.

I give it a cool 3 out of 5.

As for the series as a whole, it gets a solid 4 out of 5 because the artwork was lovely and the plot was excellent. There were times when I thought it was somewhat sporadic and the sheer stupidity at which the Avengers exhibited at times also annoyed me, but I could be biased in my opinions there. Still, I liked Otto’s approach and will honestly miss him until his inevitable return.

It was a fun read and one of the things that got me into comics, so I will miss this series.


Uncanny X-Men #20 Review

Okay, things escalated in the wake of the latest Sentinel attack and I’m giving you the highlights in this review of Uncanny X-Men #20.

We start again with David Bonds being interrogated by Maria Hill. She’s grilling him thoroughly, but he knows nothing. She only relents the moment she gets word about the fiasco in the last issue, where Cyclops had to deal with the fact that someone set them up. She ditches David like a bad date and ends up floating 1000 feet over Ohio to get to her real target.

Cyclops manages to get on board by using the triplets to have a little four-on-one chat inside her head, where she declares him under arrest and he blames SHIELD for the attack in Chicago. She claims SHIELD had nothing to do with that and tells him he can use the psychics he has to check her mind. He takes their offer and the Stepford Sisters spill that she doesn’t know who’s sending them, she’s afraid that if it is SHIELD then she can’t touch them, and that she has a crush on Cyclops. You can tell by that grin on his face he probably knew it already, but tells her than until they can prove that they aren’t at least partially responsible then they are at war.

In my opinion I believe that he just baited them into using their resources to fish out their mole. But more to the point, Maria Hill’s obsession with catching Cyclops makes so much sense now. She wants to take him and probably lock him in her bedroom. Well, we can’t blame her since that seems to be a thing going around now that he’s single.

Anyway, back in Madripoor we see that the Blob is still alive after Magneto dropped a building on him. He’s followed Mystique and Sabertooth to the source of the MGH but gets caught in the act. It’s made clear he’s addicted to the stuff and they task him with guarding Dazzler, which will probably bite them in the ass soon enough.

But Mystique has more pressing matters, like trying to get SHIELD and Cyclops to destroy each other. She does so by claiming Magneto was in Madripoor and that was where she was to follow his trail. Maria Hill ends up thinking that he may be trying to fan the flames, but either way you can’t hide giant robots forever.

Meanwhile David Bonds, after having the sanctity of his home violated, decides to go on the move while being unaware SHIELD is tailing him while Cyclops tries to work out how they’ve been led astray by someone hacking Cerebro. Since there are only a few mind intelligent enough to know it exists and how to hack it, all immediate signs point to Beast of the X-Men. The kids note that cutting off their search for new mutants means this is no longer a revolution, but a war.

At the JGSHL Magik and Cyclops immediately run into their old teammates. He makes it clear he wants to check Beast’s lab to absolve him of everything, but no sooner than he gets the words out Rachel Grey senses something psychically amiss just as Cyclops loses control of his power (yes, I laughed when he blasted Beast) and SHIELD issues order to go catch his ass since he lit up on satellite, ending the issue.

Okay, review time.

This issue moved the plot forward and had a few funny moments, but the art was lackluster once more which has sadly become the norm. Other than that I had little complaints other than the cliff-hanger. It gets a 4 out of 5.


Amadeus and Delphyne’s love story, Pt. 2

Arousing Grammar

We pick up soon after we left off.  Amadeus Cho, teenage genius and Hercules sidekick, had just been refused by Delphyne Gorgon, the new queen of the Amazons.  Mainly because any romance between the two is legally forced to end in Amadeus’ slaughter.  The Amazons don’t play around when it comes to love.  At least no more than once.  Yet with Hercules wrapped up in an Olympian feud (followed closely by Amadeus and Hercules’ half-sister/goddess Athena), our two protagonists are sure to meet up again.  Like when Hercules has to battle Hera’s evil Olympus Group.

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But what’s the fun in two gods and a child versus four gods and a snake girl?  To amp up both the excitement and colors used on the page, the battle gets crashed by Norman Osborn’s Dark Avengers. I know romance doesn’t flourish in a massive warehouse superpowered free-for-all, but maybe some questions could be answered.  Like surely…

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Amadeus and Delphyne’s love story, Pt. 1

Arousing Grammar

In our continuing series (and by that I mean the second one), we’ll once again explore two supporting characters’ romantic adventures.  And I love these two.  Amadeus Cho, the seventh smartest person on the planet and the sixteen year-old sidekick of Hercules, will fall madly in love with Delphyne Gorgon, a green-skinned Amazonian warrior with snakes for hair.  You can feel the passion between the two just with my words alone.  But if you’re not convinced, here’s excerpts from Incredible Hercules #121-128 and #138-141, written by Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente and drawn by Clayton Henry, Salva Espin, Rodney Buchemi, Takeshi Miyazawa, & Dietrich Smith; as well as Heroic Age: Prince of Power #1-4, written by Pak & Van Lente and drawn by Reilly Brown, Zach Howard, & Adam Archer.

Much like Bill and Kelda, our two lovers are recent creations, featuring Amadeus’ first appearance in 2006…

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April 2014 Grim Tales Update 2


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Avengers Undercover #2 Review

Avengers Undercover continues where it left off in the second issue and I’m going to give you my biased opinion as I review it.

The issue opens with the group floating above the entrance to Bagalia and Chase having second thoughts. These thoughts are made more vocal as they go down the rabbit hole and into an underground city. When they get spotted by a bunch of D-rank teen villains, naturally, fighting ensues.

During this little skirmish Nico and Chase argue about the fact that he claims to be there because he considers Nico family and needs him, while she claims he came because she made him despite being the “less” broken of the group and not out of loyalty. It hurts me seeing this because after everything they went through in their own series they’ve gone back to not trusting each other. The rest of the group deals with their enemies in short order, with Death Locket finishing things with her gun arm. As they leave, two of the Masters of Evil muse on their skills and decide they want them.

The group traces Cullen to a club and Anachronism breaks in to rescue him, only to come face-to-face with at least a hundred villains. Luckily Cullen diffuses the situation and explains that he isn’t there against his will. He’s there because they accept him for how he is, no shame or fear or pity.

Hazmat drags Anachronism onto the dance floor and tries to comfort him, stating they need to blend in and stay there as long as it takes to bring him back. Chase runs into two hot women who play paper-scissors-rock for him and decides to chat them up, while Nico tries to convince Cullen they should go back and fails since he states that he’s “a cold-blooded weapons expert who hates people and periodically transforms into a ten ton indestructible man-eating soul beast” and he was always going to be a villain.

The son of Satan, Daimon Hellstrom, notes that Nico is trying so hard to turn him because she feels shame for trying to kill him near the end of Arcade’s Murderworld and states no one is forcing him into trouble. So that means he destroy that SHIELD outpost on his own accord, which is equally worrying. Daimon also shows he’s been helping Cullen control his soul beast and he offers to help teach her a thing or two about black magic without following in any footsteps. Even Death Locket is being charmed by Excavator, who I recall Molly Hayes of the Runaways knocked him sensesless during the beginning of their second series.

In the end only Cammi remains untempted by the offering of the villains and drags them all out four hours later, shaming them by stating she didn’t leave her mom home alone to chaperone them and that they’re going home. Needless to say Masque and Constrictor love her spunk when she tears Cullen a new one afterward, but Cullen has Daimon transport them all to where Arcade’s ass is as the comic ends. Vengeance is coming.

Okay, review time.

I loved it, plain and simple. I was expecting the group to go in and get their asses kicked and coerced into joining the villains, but then we see all this chemistry between them and wonder if they might actually fit in better. I mean, let’s face it, you can’t blame the villains for wanting these guys.

Have you seen what they can do? Nico works with black magic, Cullen has a monster form, Death Locket has nanotech that forms weaponry, Hazmat is a poisonous person who learns to make anti-matter in the future, Anachronism is your muscle guy, Cammi is just badass, Chase…well, he’s a good driver and has those gloves I suppose. They were all villains in the making if things took a really bad turn, so it makes sense they fit in.

That being said, I feel that Chase being a flirt is in poor taste considering what happened to Gert and how he damn near committed suicide. Last time I checked he was still grieving. And where the Hell is Old Lace? Not to mention both he and Nico turned against their parents for being villains, so this is a step backwards.

Leaving aside those issues though, I found this to be a perfect issue and give it a solid 5 out of 5.


All-New Ultimates #1 Review

All New Ultimates has arrived, the series that takes the teen heroes from the Ultimates line and makes them into a unit of ass-kicking vigilantes. Here’s hoping they aren’t as dysfunctional as their predecessors as I review the first issue.

Our story begins with a group shot as they discuss their units name shortly after the end of the Cataclysm: Survive and, immediately after, we go to Hell’s Kitchen in the morning. This place is a nightmare in the regular continuity, so it should come as no surprise Ganke Lee is promptly mugged by some gangbangers with superpowers until Cloak and Dagger pop up to save him. It seems like they’ve been doing this for a bit since this is the third time this week they’ve had to kick ass and take names according to them. They try to get him to go to a hospital, but he declines so they take him to their home.

Like their counterparts they reside in an abandoned church and are soon joined by Miles, the new Spider-man, since Ganke is his BFF (their caption, not mine). It turns out Ganke came to get some Legos, which leads me to think that his obsession is unhealthy, but Miles claims not to judge so why should I? Anyway, they leave as we skip to the Lower East Side, where some cops have busted into a Poor Man’s Roxxon-lab only to find a half-melted corpse as the two suspects have run away.

Back in the Church Lana has arrived after talking to her parole officer and immediately bags on Cloak and Dagger’s home and they exchange phone numbers using SHIELD tech since the organization has been scrapped for failing to stop Galactus. Then they get down to business. Since Roxxon was no longer under SHIELD’s protection, for the reasons listed above, a local gang seized one of their labs and has been giving out what amounts to untested Mutant Growth Hormone. Naturally this ends with a high rate of fatalities and they want to resolve this. So they go the vigilante route, although I think Lana’s parole officer might have something to say about that.

In Chelsea Kitty Pryde is staying in Jessica’s place. She’s having second thoughts about everything. First she was hated as the leader of the mutants, now everyone loves her for punching out Galactus while hopped up on Giant Man Serum until Thor tossed his ass into the Negative Zone. She doesn’t want to be in the spotlight and doesn’t want to go back to Utopia for some reason, so she crashes with Jessica who asks her for a haircut.

Lana makes it to her government housing just as the two suspects from the lab, Stone and Styx, try to break into an old Roxxon outpost. The Serpent Skulls are already there and Lana hears the resulting squabble and gets her new team involved…and gets their butts kicked by Styx and Stone until the cops show up and decide to try and arrest them all. So it’s back to people getting ready to shoot at Miles already.

Things go pear shape as Styx melts the skin off one of the cops trying to get Miles and the other cop shoots him dead. Then the Serpent Skulls pop out of the lab intent on beating the hell out of everyone without a tattoo. The comic ends with the leader of the game, Diamondback, telling them to get started.

Okay, review time.

I’ve got to say this isn’t exactly a strong start for their new series. Leaving aside the artwork being inferior to the Ultimate Comics Spider-Man and the characters looking awkward at time, some of their dialogue seems out of character and there seems to be some continuity errors.

For example, Poey was the nickname of Lana’s boyfriend, Sid. He was crushed to death in Cataclysm by a random car to spur her into the hero scene. Now, while I’m all for retconning that meaningless death, I need some sign prior to this that he made it.

Then Jessica’s combat abilities seem to have been downplayed. Let’s be frank, she has training and Spider-Sense (and it’s not the weak version Miles has). She shouldn’t get hit by someone without super powers or extreme circumstances like war.

All in all, I can’t give this more than a 3 out of 5 and hope they do better next issue.


Spider-Man vs. Thing

I’ll miss Doc too, but he completely ruined all the trust Spidey built up during things like this.

Arousing Grammar

Well, Serpent Thing.  Remember a few years ago during Fear Itself when the Serpent sent those seven evil Thor hammers crashing into Earth and gave seven superheroes/supervillains crazy Thor powers?  Me too.  I loved that event.  Poor Ben Grimm happened across one of those hammers, touched it, and became a bad guy for a few issues.  Plus, the dude — who already is roughly ten times as strong as Spider-Man — now possesses a magic weapon that would crush dear Spidey’s skull into Spidey goo with one well-placed shot.  So, it’s going to be a tough fight today for our protagonist in Fear Itself: Spider-Man #3, written by Chris Yost and drawn by Mike McKone.

With near impossible odds of victory just when we compare Spider-Man’s abilities to Serpent Thing’s alone, there’s one more serious danger added to the mix:

SpiderManThing1

SpiderManThing2

Yes, my friends, he has to stop the unstoppable…

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Captain America punches faces

And he becomes president later on. Let that sink in.

Arousing Grammar

Comics are complicated.  But as you know from the Avengers movie, Captain America (real name Steve Rogers), after spending 70 years frozen in ice, has returned to the modern world.  He’s the moral center of the team, leading them to victory with the confidence and competency a war hero would.  But in comics, there are two Captain Americas.  Well, actually like a half dozen, but for the sake of this post, we’re going with Steve Rogers as Captain America.

More specifically, Ultimate Captain America:

A little backstory is required that hopefully won’t take too long.  So in the “normal” Marvel universe, it’s unwritten but implied that most of the heroes have been fighting evil for like upwards of fifteen years or more.  For instance, Spider-Man is most likely in his late 20s.  Iron Man and Captain America are probably around 35.  So how does Marvel attract younger readers when all…

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Captain America vs. Giant Man

Yeah, Pym had it coming in Ultimates. Dude has issues.

Arousing Grammar

After a week of love, romance, and all that other gross mushy stuff, let’s take a week off for punching. We’ll get back to emotions and feelings next week.  Today, we start with Ultimate Captain America battling Ultimate Hank Pym from Ultimates #8-9, volume one, written by Mark Millar and drawn by Bryan Hitch.

Y’see, since Ultimate universe isn’t part of the canon Marvel universe, they have the freedom to do whatever they please with the characters.  Like instead of a mentally ill Hank Pym backhanding his wife Janet Pym once and then spending the next thirty years attempting to redeem himself, Ultimate Hank Pym has a history of abuse and just ended the previous issue by unleashing thousands of hungry ants onto the shrunken Janet Pym.  That tends to be a bit more calculating and vicious, and the good captain would like to have a word.

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CaptainAmericaHankPym2

Please keep…

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The complete story of Bill and Kelda, Pt. 4

Uh…I guess that’s a happy ending…

Arousing Grammar

The end of our tale has arrived.  It’s been full of passion, heartbreak, and lightning bolts.  We pick up immediately where we left off as Kelda, in an attempt at redemption or to lessen her guilt or simply out of moral integrity, visits Bill’s parents to tell them about their son’s death.  Of course they’re upset, but not as much as a squad of Norman Osborn’s trigger-happy soldiers lying in wait on the front lawn. Because while Bill’s family forgives Kelda, inspires her to move on, and patches up her gaping emotional wound, it’s Kelda herself who has to take that baby step forward to being happy once more. Though impaling bad guys with ice spears must be at least a little therapeutic.

She arrives at Asgard in the aftermath of Siege, the event that turned Asgard into a pile of magical rubble.  Oh, and how do you feel about…

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