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Archive for May, 2014


May 2014 Grim Tales Update 2

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Kitty Pryde vs. Emma Frost

Arousing Grammar

One of Cyclops’ lovers has once again become evil.  How sad.  That man likes a certain type of lady, I guess. With Cyclops out of the picture, today it’ll be Kitty Pryde who’s going to punch the crap out of Emma Frost.  As a quick reminder, notice the similarities between the famous panel from last article and today’s homage?



Seriously, superheroes spend more time in sewers than sanitation workers.  Sit back today and enjoy some of the good stuff (though there’s nothing bad in the entire run) from Astonishing X-Men #15-16, written by Joss Whedon and drawn by John Cassaday.

Some quick back story if you don’t mind: Emma Frost always had ties to the Hellfire Club, the billionaire socialite evil X-Men-antagonizing club that shows up every now and then to annoy whoever’s currently at the school.  Actually, their premiere, which the last article touched upon, also introduced Emma Frost…

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May 2014 Sugar Bits Update 2

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The Amazing Spider-Man #2 Comic Review

Well, the re-launch of Peter Parker’s story has started off strong, but can it keep its momentum? Find out in my review of The Amazing Spider-Man #2!

The comic begins with a young woman in a closed room watching videos of old spider-man fights to study his moves. Since she’s capable of using natural webbing like Ultimate Jessica Drew, it’s safe to assume she’s Silk. She even knows his secret identity, which doesn’t make sense if she was affected by the same spell that put up a psychic blind-spot, but maybe after he broke the spell she recalled someone else being bitten and put two and two together again.

Then we go back to where it left off last issue, with Anna asking why Peter didn’t tell her he was Spider-Man. In what must be the smartest thing that I’ve seen when it comes to secret identities, he comes clean about the situation with Doc Ock. She… takes it better than I expected, mainly by closing up her emotions and diving into cooking to think about everything logically. Peter wonders just how far Otto has screwed up his life once more as he gets a call from the Avengers stating they need to talk.

With Electro, he goes to lay low with a woman who seems infatuated with him. He explains that since he accidentally destroyed the prison while trying to spring the other bad guys none of them want to help him out and that his powers were screwed up. She likes the danger, so she’s probably one of those monster fan-girls you hear about.

At the Avengers Tower Peter explains once more that he was possessed by Otto, who changed his web formula so he has to wear pants out since his webbing underwear still won’t come off and he has to pee. And he brought cookies, which are the best thing they’ve apparently tasted. The medical scan comes clean and things seem to look up until Captain America reveals he knew Flash had Venom, which Peter was offended at finding out last since Flash is someone close to him and Venom is like a jilted ex-girlfriend with yandere tendencies.

As much as I like Captain America getting knocked around he does state that Flash had a secret identity like him and fair is fair. He also states he understands what it’s like to wake up and find the world’s changed so much and he’s trusting Peter to watch over the place while they go deal with the prison break and to get rid of those baggy pants. When he goes back to his lab to do that he finds that their rollout project’s glitch has gotten worse and since he’s not an expert in cybernetics like Otto was he begs for help inside his head.

Cue Anna coming in and making me realize why I like her so much.

She gets some privacy with Peter by lying about being pregnant, at least I’m hoping she was lying, and explains that she understands the cybernetics since Otto explained it to her so many times and can teach him since that was her last job as a T.A. before she left it to work with them. Then, after Electro accidentally kills the girl when she kisses him despite his warnings, she tells him where the dissolvent for the web fluid is and she’d cover for him, as well as getting to be his roommate until she can find a place of her own.

She earned that raise alright. Best character to come out of Superior Spider-Man barring Otto himself.

Peter goes out to confront Electro and learn once more that Otto has screwed him over by experimenting with Electro’s powers. He’s not the only one who’s been screwed over as we learn that the Human Torch is depowered at the moment in the audience and Black Cat is next to him and used her luck powers to stop Electro from being shorted out as repayment for freeing her from the prison.

Peter meets up with Johnny Storm later on and learns that Iron Man spread the word about him being Doc Ock for a time and they make up. Their time together even gives Peter an idea on how to use his newly founded company, namely building a new super-prison and depowering Electro as the comic ends.

Okay, review time.

Well, I liked the issue a lot. While I would prefer Peter ask why the hell it took so long for them to figure out Doc Ock was inside his body, he pretty much got word around to most people in the Avengers line. But he’s still dealing with the fallout in the form of Electro and Black Cat, who probably won’t care. Most of all, I like how Anna is dealing with this rationally despite how damn much it must hurt.

5 out of 5 folks. Buy it.

All-New X-Factor #8 Review

Well, that was interesting last time. Now it’s time to see what’s going to happen to Doug after he was desiccated by the pie-loving young woman. This is my review of X-Factor #8.

The story picks up where it left off with Cypher a dried out husk of himself and the rest of the team stunned at how pie-girl is so disconnected from what she did it was like she didn’t know it was wrong. Danger breaks the tension by asking what sort of pie, which gets the ball rolling with Warlock ready to murder her as her father gets the door open with men and guns at the ready.

Polaris pretty much drags him inside, locks the rest out, and force him to admit he’s told his daughter a huge-ass lie. Turns out he’s kept her so locked out of the real world that she believes the majority of people in the world have powers and the few who didn’t worked with her father. Wow, I’m more amazed at the fact he managed to pull that sort of lie off for years than anything else.

Anyway , the police show up and they need her to fix Cypher, but like most mutants who didn’t get training she has very little idea on how to reverse her power but can try if she can get some water. Danger and Warlock clear a path while they make for the kitchen so she can try and reverse it while her father tells her he was just trying to protect her… to be fair, as far as bigots go he’s nowhere near the worst in having a mutant kid.

Rahne’s father straight-up beat and tried to kill her. Not saying its right, but it could have been worse.

In the kitchen she explains she normally drains moisture out of things, which she learned by killing her first kitten by accident, and her father started home-schooling her. She’s going to get as much moisture in her as she can and then put that into him the same way she took it out. Her father points out that it could possibly kill her and Gambit jacks him up and demands to know how could he rail against mutants knowing his daughter was one.

He states he didn’t know when she was born and that she was god’s punishment on him. Gambit points out that maybe the big man was trying to tell him something, but he reasons that maybe god was a dick and just wanted him to hate him as well. Mission accomplished there, but he doesn’t hate the girl since she’s his late wife’s legacy. Gambit must also be off his game, because he gets kicked off by Georgina’s dad and only his daughter telling him to let her try this and if it fails and she dies she’ll have a one-on-one talk with god about it gets him to settle down for a moment.

Once the moment passes Quicksilver takes him and sits him down elsewhere only for men with tracer bullets that would follow him to the ends of the earth to threaten opening fire on him. Never mind the fact that he could probably trap them in a steel box or knock their tracer mechanism out with a pipe or just hide behind a steel wall and let them shatter to pieces unless they’re made of adamantium. Fortunately Harrison Snow shows up out of nowhere to prevent even more ammo from being wasted and takes Scott to discuss this in private like they’re old friends. Quicksilver and the head bodyguard are just as confused as we are.

While Georgina succeeds in reviving Cypher, the police decide to try sniping them. Polaris hijacks their guns and gives them thirty seconds before she opens fire. Her father wouldn’t have given them even that, so they wisely decide to leave as Cypher offers to take Georgina to the JGS when Danger ruins the sales-pitch by pointing out they train to fight evil mutants, risk their lives, and die repeatedly.

She runs like any sane person would as Warlock basically confirm it. To be fair, Danger and Warlock aren’t lying. There are only a handful of X-Men who haven’t died and aren’t wallpaper yet. When her dad is in a meeting she uses her powers to bring the door crumbling down and we learn that he and Harrison Snow want her to go with him.

It’s damn heartbreaking as he tells her that he loved his daughter and when she became a mutant she was just some thing that replaced her. He can’t even face her as he says it while Snow is looking nonchalant about it. As the comic ends it’s made clear that Snow forced him to say it and he’s driven to near tears while alone….

Okay, review time.

Yeah… I’m starting to think Harrison might be evil. He’s taking the man’s daughter as a hostage (come on, even though they didn’t say it we all know that’s what it is). That being said, the fact that he knew where his team was and managed to get inside the locked-down building brings up questions.

Either way, he did bail them out of trouble that they had no business getting involved with. Like I said in my last review they broke a ton of laws that you can’t do when part of a corporate super-hero team and Harrison straight-up Mafia’d them out of trouble to probably save his own ass.

Other than that, I find myself somewhat sympathizing with the man. Don’t get me wrong, I hate bigots in Marvel and if he was a Purifier I would be rooting for someone to put him down. But he’s having his daughter taken away from him because of whatever dirt Snow has on him and the alternative would have somehow been worse. He gets some pity from me… only some, not a lot.

The fact that the comic could make me feel anything like that deserves a 4 out of 5 and only misses a perfect score because the artwork hurts my eyes.

Magneto #4 Review

Magneto’s hunt for those responsible for the poor-man’s omega sentinels has come to an end, but his task isn’t done in protecting mutant-kind. So today we take a moment to look into why he fights once more in this review of his solo series 4th issue.

The story begins with Magneto walking through a pristine and isolated mountain forest. He states he chose that spot because it reminds him that the world is much bigger than the war he’s fighting and had his youth not been stolen from him he may have enjoyed taking a break in the wilderness. Then he opens a lock hidden in a tree with his powers and reveals that he has a secret base in the mountain. Apparently he hadn’t been there in a few years but came back after his latest mission.

Not the omega sentinels one of course. We cut to a scene where a school bus carrying mutants is heading to a remote farm. The seemingly jerkass humans taking them there make many references to god and how they’re better off ignorant of what awaits them, so it goes without saying they’re Purifiers. Naturally Magneto would have words with them and you discover just how brutally he can murder someone with barbed wire. Broken powers my ass.

Turns out that farm they were taking those kids to was a research facility and many dead bodies are laid about as Magneto strolls through to find dissected mutant kids who were taken apart and had their powers cataloged before they were killed. Yeah, I don’t care how you sugarcoat this or dress it up with religion the Purifiers are fucking monsters worse than most of the villains in Marvel.

Therefore, rather than pointing out their hypocrisy on calling out Magneto killing ‘innocents’ when they do shit like this, I point out the dumbasses thought to do it in metallic armor while confronting someone who could control metal. The fight is more of a slaughter, as it always has been, and while he claims they fight because of misguided faith I claim they did it because they got off on killing mutants and it let them get out their violent urges while waving a banner of religion as their shield.

Back in that mountain base it turns out that Magneto has the names of thousands of mutants killed before their time with each one to serve as a scar and fuel his rage. As he adds dozens more to the list from dealing with that last mission, it’s clear that this is a memorial and the first of many. But the rest of the memorials are carved in the blood of his enemies and on their graves to remind him of how small the world is in the face of his rage because of things like this as the comic ends.

Okay, review time…

I hate the Purifiers. Let that be known. Monsters and villains with ambitions are better than these sanctimonious pricks and makes for a damn good reason why Magneto does what he does.

Art-wise the comic is about the same as always, but what moves this story is the plot and the message sent as Magneto adds those names to the list of countless others. 5 out of 5 is my score for this.

Uncanny X-Men #21 Review

And we’ve reached a turning point in Uncanny X-Men #21 folks! Read this review for my thoughts on the matter!

The story picks up where it left off with Cyclops blasting the JGS staff as his powers run out of control until he passes out. Naturally things go from bad to worse as Magik goes Dark Childe and summons a dragon. Storm puts them both down with a bolt of lightning and the group needs to decide what to do with the two as Beast says he’ll handle it. Part of me was cheering that Beast may have been done in by the blast, but it was false hope. Maybe he’ll try to redeem himself by not being a douche-bag, but he doesn’t even get a chance as Mystique wearing Dazzler’s skin has come for the two of them with SHIELD backing her in Helicarriers.

Wait, back up a page. How the hell does Storm know that Magik has Limbo inside of her? She shouldn’t know that unless her daughter from the future told her, and I’d like to have seen that on-panel or at least an admission. And why the hell is Quentin in his bathrobes outside in the rain? Plot-holes!

Uh…anyway, back in Madripoor we have the Blob earning respect the only way you can in the place: kicking the shit out of everyone else in a bar brawl. Like he said, he was an original brotherhood member and he will be respected. But naturally his drug-gained powers fail and he needs his next fix, so like all junkies who know where the source of their drugs come from he goes to get some fresh from it.

He leads Magneto straight to Dazzler, who rightfully points out Mystique has made him a druggie and he should be ashamed. Magneto does not tolerate mutants being exploited for MGH and given the rampage he’s been on in his own series, the only reason Blob is still alive is because they’ve known each other so long. Magneto frees her and they both set out to go fuck up Mystique’s plans.

Back at the JGS it comes as no surprise Maria Hill is there and wants Cyclops. She’s got the hots for him and this is a chance she doesn’t want to pass on. But, since having something wrong with him could potentially back fire while in bed, she gives Beast an hour to see what the hell he can do to fix it, much to the shock of Mystique-Dazzler. They don’t have five minutes before Helmet Head, who I now suspect is a future student of Beast’s from his dialogue, takes control of their Helicarriers and open fire.

Beast, in another moment of shocking competence, tells Storm to take the battle head-on and keep the school intact while he figures out who is responsible by examining Cyclops and Magik. Man, getting chewed out by the Watcher did some damn good after all. Too bad he got shot. As for Maria Hill, SHIELD once more proves their incompetence as they explain they’ve been compromised (again) and Storm brings down the lightning on them.

We then have a brief cut to the NXS school, where the kids have been looking all over for Emma. Her daughters don’t even need to read her mind to know she’s worried and annoyed for Cyclops since he left without her, like you would expect from an ex-girlfriend who isn’t out to ruin your life because you broke up with her. This is a rarity, of course. She says she can feel something is wrong and just as she does something in the sky comes falling down towards them.

The JGS sends out a message for the students to get to the emergency bunker as Quire reads Maria’s head to try and figure out why they’re attacking and Mystique-Dazzler is just walking away. Meanwhile Beast still proves himself a douche-bag by talking trash to an unconscious man he’s known his entire mutant career, but he does say he knows who is responsible just as the Helmet Head tells him it’s time to show him who’s the smarter one as the comic ends.

Fucking teasers! Would it have killed them to just say the guy’s name in the last panel so people could rail about it! Stop dragging it out, Marvel!

Ahem… okay, review time.

The art was not to my liking but sadly was standard for this series, which is a damn shame considering how All-New X-Men is goddamn beautiful. Even worse is the fact that the pages are a jumbled mess to me as they cut away at the worst times. They couldn’t have done the NXS scene before the scene with Maria appearing?

The plot is moving, so there’s that, but I can’t give this more than a 3 out of 5.

The fantastic Invisible Woman

Arousing Grammar

Unlike every superhero ever, I’m in the beginning stages of a cold so I’m going to just schedule this to premiere at midnight and try to fall asleep before the sun goes down.  I’m just saying Batman could have had his leg blown off the night before and tonight he’d still be dragging himself to the Batmobile while incoherently growling to Alfred, “The Riddler is still out there!”  But our fictional characters exist as the best version of humanity (and aliens), so I figure what better way than to show that with a wildly underrated character (at least to casual fans): Sue Storm Richards, the Invisible Woman.

Sue didn’t gain her force field powers until Fantastic Four #22 and despite being a mother, didn’t change her codename from the Invisible Girl to Invisible Woman until Fantastic Four #284.  But unlike Thing’s super strength, Human Torch’s fire, and Mr. Fantastic’s elasticity, her…

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Civil War: Iron Man & Kingpin

Well, there’s a reason he’s called the Kingpin.

Arousing Grammar

While Kingpin sat in prison for all of Marvel’s Civil War event, I’ve seen enough true crime documentaries to know that doesn’t mean he can’t contribute.  But the fact that he appears at all speaks more to the sad notion that superheroes have to scrape the bottom of the morality barrel. Captain America needs bad guys to flesh out his army and Iron Man can use his government influence if a baddie’s willing to beat up some of Cap’s guys.  Really, the supervillains came out of Civil War the best — all except those two that ran into the Punisher.  So with the stake of the costumed world at stake, today we’ll watch Iron Man play games with Kingpin in Civil War: War Crimes one-shot, written by Frank Tieri and drawn by Staz Johnson.

Kingpin, real name Wilson Fisk and the undisputed boss of New York City’s underworld, continually rises…

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May 2014 PPGD Update 1

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Civil War: Mr. Fantastic & Invisible Woman, Pt. 2

Arousing Grammar

As we left off, the Richards’ marriage took a turn for the worse like all marriages do when couples discuss politics.  Sue caused a million dollars in property damage and Reed instinctively almost tried to punch her.  Though as far as superhero couples go, the fight’s still pretty plain.  Emma Frost could turn Cyclops into a mutant vegetable before he could even finish raising his middle finger.  Storm could summon enough electricity to ignite Black Panther’s heart into royal ash before he would even finish taking a threatening step towards her.  Though to be fair to Sue, if she wanted, she could explode Mr. Fantastic’s brain into a pile of genius goo with a simple nonchalant hand wave.  In summary, Marvel women are super dangerous.

After the Invisible Woman leaves to go collude with other criminals, Mr. Fantastic goes about his usual business.  Y’know, helping Iron Man destroy anything resembling a former…

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All-New Ultimates #2 Review

A bit late, but here’s my review of All-New Ultimates #2.

The story starts with the battle still underway and the New Ultimates are in their first dust-up gone wrong and turned into a mess. It quickly turn into the Serpent Skulls versus everyone else and they’ve got numbers on their side. I see a lot of issues in the fight alone, namely Miles getting hit by an opponent who isn’t faster than him while he has Spider-Sense. He shouldn’t be touched at all in this fight, although he’s still inexperienced, neither should Jessica have gotten jabbed by a needle. They been in goddamn war and came out better than this.

Anyway, the fight ends abruptly when SWAT shows up. Diamondback, who seems to have a thing for younger men in spider outfits kisses Miles goodbye as Cloak pulls the rest of the group out of there and back to their base in Hell’s Kitchen, where Cloak is down for the count because of Styx’s touch while Lana flat-out quits because apparently her powers weren’t working during the fight properly and she nearly got killed. They seemed fine to me, but she knows her body better I guess.

Back with the police in the alley, they’re summing up the situation with the only causalities being Styx and the police he grabbed, while someone wearing a hobo mask kills Stone out of what they claimed was justice. Given his experiments led to this, the guy is probably another victim. The Serpent Skulls themselves also note just how big a mess that brawl was and decide to move things faster and quicker since the police and the super kids are working at different angles, but because some other gang is knocking off their own they‘ve decided to just kill all the other gangs to show them what a kill sweep is.

We then go through a series of panels showing that Jessica was poisoned and tells Kitty, who decided she would join in, to call someone for help as she passes out, Miles is recovering from his own ass-whipping with an ice-pack while Cloak seems to be having trouble with his powers, Dagger is stretching, the guy who killed Stone is killing more people in the name of justice, the cop who got hit by Styx died and Lana’s boyfriend stood her up… again, didn’t her boyfriend get crushed by a car?

The comic ends there.

Okay, review time.

I’m not going to lie. This comic isn’t meeting my expectations, but since it’s the first arc I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt. But, while Miles is technically still a rookie, Jessica shouldn’t have gotten her ass-kicked like that. Kitty joining the team felt forced.

Issue gets a 3 out of 5.


Civil War: Mr. Fantastic & Invisible Woman, Pt. 1

Arousing Grammar

It’s a marriage that (almost) tore apart because of a government law.  Y’know, two people love each other but can’t be together because of politics — like gay marriage only everything is different and not at all related to gay marriage.  Unfortunately, Marvel’s number one couple hits a rough patch every other year or so.  Mr. Fantastic tends to have trouble treating his two soul mates equally (Susan Richards and science), and Mrs. Fantastic spends most of her day switching between forcefield-ing catastrophes and taking care of her four kids (Franklin, Valeria, the Human Torch, and the Thing).  So all the camel’s back of their relationship needs is a single piece of straw to pierce the camel’s soul and destroy decades of built up happiness and trust (not a great analogy) — until the status quo returns, of course.  And thank god, because I don’t think I could ever be…

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Avengers Undercover #4 Review

In the last issue of Avengers Undercover Hazmat claimed revenge for Mettle by frying Arcade to death. This issue deals with the fallout of cold-blooded murder when you don’t have ties to the Avengers despite the name to bank off the movie that was released. This is my review of Avengers Undercover #3.

The story picks up where we left off, with the kids standing over Arcade’s remains. Well, the dust from his bones anyway. Cammi, being savvy enough to realize that Arcade was an ego-maniac and was probably filming their rematch, asks Deathlocket if she managed to get the extra cameras no doubt hidden around. When she states she probably didn’t it was safe to say it was time to go.

Ax-bro asks if Hazmat is alright as they flee and she states she snapped but she’s well enough so they can fight their way out through the corpses and other murder-addicted clients. Cullen doesn’t see why they need to rush, but Cammi states they violated several laws including watching as Hazmat put him down, which counts as pre-meditated murder even if only one of them did it. And Chase is slightly more jerkass-ish, but that character assassination is par the course since Avenger Arena and sadly I’ve gotten used to it.

Needless to say Cammi is right since SHIELD, who couldn’t find Arcade any other time to this point, manages to drop in right when they are about to escape. And suddenly they’re able to take down Cullen when he just went through wiping out their Brazil base and Nico? Come on.

Hours later they’re all in a containment facility where their friends and family are visiting, except for Deathlocket’s anyway. Ax-bro gets a lecture from his old man, Cullen and his sister argue, Stryker and Finesse visit Hazmat, Molly is blaming Nico for all of this to Chase while Karolina is greeting Nico. Where the hell is Victor and Old Lace in this? I get they probably couldn’t sneak the dinosaur on-board, but what’s the grandson of Hank Pym’s excuse for not seeing his ex-girlfriend in lock-up other than trying to get him to flash his Avengers card and give them the option of going to Avengers Academy or prison?

The above panels are mere bubbles while the meat of the dialogue is between Cammi and her mother. Her mother doesn’t blame them, like me she believes Arcade had it coming and is willing to fight tooth and nail to get her out. Cammi doesn’t want her to and just wants her to focus on taking care of herself, but her mother sees Cammi as the only thing in her life worth something and she’s not letting anyone take her away. Truly, the most heart-warming moment in this issue…

Of course then SHIELD proves to be incompetent and Daimon warps them all out in like three seconds flat. There’s the incompetence I remember. The son of Satan escorts them to Tower Zemo, where the more savvy of the kids note all this seemed planned out while Ax-Bro once again asks Hazmat if she’s hanging in there while Nico chats with Daimon on spell-working until they reach the banquet hall.

Zemo is there and basically states they live in a world where the average joe can live how he likes but people with powers need to ether cover it up or play heroes, not for personal gain. Now, I want to say he’s wrong. But technically speaking I can’t, because in almost every superhero story you read someone looking out for themselves with their powers will either be called out on it, turned into a villain, or seem like a selfish jerk.

For example Spider-man let a robber go past him once because he wasn’t a cop and thus not obligated, yet Uncle Ben dies to teach him a ‘lesson’ about with great power and responsibility. Come on, the chances of that happening were slim to none if they didn’t want to push him into being a hero. That’s part of the reason I liked Otto and Kaine more than Peter at present and I hope when they introduce Silk into Amazing Spider-Man.

…Okay, I didn’t mean to but that sounded like a plug…

Anyway, the kids tell him to skip straight to the point. He states he’s not asking them to do evil, but they have potential that can’t be realized in the normal world (again, he has a point) and asks that they join them as the comic ends.

Okay, review time.

First off since when is SHIELD competent enough to have a sorcery division? Even if Zemo somehow set it up, and I’m not doubting it, that seems both bullshit and contrived at best. Don’t they have someone else’s lives to fuck up?

Next, it really seems like they’re trying to push Axbro and Hazmat together with all this concern he’s showing her. I get someone needs to play mediator and councilor, but they could have just as easily have had Deathlocket ask her. Please, please, don’t force it Marvel. If it happens, it happens, but don’t force it until we feel like we’re being strangled with the red string.

Last is the recruitment offer at the end. In my opinion, if the title didn’t spoil the whole premise of the book, I can see Hazmat, Cullen, and Deathlocket agreeing off-hand. Hazmat’s stint in Avengers Academy was because she was a potential villain and she wasn’t all that close to her parents before all this so she has no real strong ties left, Deathlocket was accepted there with ease rather than being in a SHIELD lab and she doesn’t seem to have any family while Cullen’s already made his case.

Ax-bro would probably go to keep an eye on Hazmat and Cullen, but Nico, Chase, and Cammi are not as likely. Nico and Chase rebelled against their parents because they were criminals, but they’ve lost their loved ones and Chase did go somewhat villainous after Gert died. If the solicits about Alex Wilder coming back is true, then him and Gert are incentives to join up.

Cammi is the token good-teammate. She’s obviously going to have to be pushed into it. She and Ax-bro are probably the ones who consider this undercover thing in the first place.

Civil War: Thing

Probably one of the most sensible people in the entire event.

Arousing Grammar

The Marvel event Civil War remains the quintessential summary of comics during the 2000s.  Lots of government politics, wildly blurred moral lines, and more superheroes hitting other superheroes than supervillains.  Hell, Iron Man became the Marvel universe’s main bad guy for two years.  But some amazing stories came out of Civil War and the aftermath (plus who doesn’t want an answer to who-can-beat-who arguments? Spoiler alert: Thor) and I’m always a supporter of writers trying to shake up the status quo a bit.  Though through ll the emotional torments and ruined friendships, no one came out of Civil War worse than the Fantastic Four — I mean, besides Goliath and Captain America because of their whole dying thing — and this week we’ll take a look at some of their moments during this crisis.  Let’s read some scenes from Fantastic Four #538-541, written by J. Michael Straczynski and drawn by…

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May 2014 Sugar Bits Update 1

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Wind Monk Banishment #11

Naruto: Wind Monk Banishment 11 (Main)

Chapter 11: Three Uchihas in the Leaves

Author’s Note: Looking back I noticed how when I started writing this series I had far more comedic moments I drew from other fanfics as sources of inspiration. Thus it can only be assumed that the recent influx of dark fics has drastically darkened my view and thus my plot. A lot changes in two years…that being said, let’s do this.

Also: I also want to add that Madara in the manga being responsible for Rin being a Jinchuuriki and her death ultimately are really contrived in an attempt to redeem Obito.

A few years ago

Sasuke Uchiha felt a set of eyes upon his back as he walked through the streets of Konoha. It was roughly two months after he had been returned, forcefully, to the village he abandoned at the promise of power; tainted power, which had been sealed away by a man much more proficient than Kakashi when it came to that art.

He had been allowed two hours time to walk around before he ended back up in holding for his attempted defection to ‘get some sun’ according to one of them, but there was probably a hidden purpose within it. Thankfully it had not been made public beyond those knowledgeable about the mission, but it was clear that the ANBU shinobi trailing him was making themselves known as a warning. If he did or said anything that went against what amounted to his house arrest, he would be back in a cell so fast that the world would spin.

He continued to walk, allowing the hood of the cloak he had been given by the Sannin to hide his face. It was pale after they had their way with him, reinforcing the seal on the Cursed Mark and making him read those reports over and over before sealing away his chakra as well. He was just a well-trained civilian at best, powerless in the grand scope of things. Nowhere near strong enough to kill his brother…

… No, he didn’t even want that anymore. He didn’t know what he wanted. His clan was planning to do something akin to what his brother and whoever aided him had done as well. They were just strangers and their lives didn’t hold as much meaning as his clan’s in his eyes, but any notion of moral myopia was now fallible. What purpose did he have now?

These two hours were a punishment he was sure. Where could he go in the two hours he was allowed? The Training Grounds and any shinobi-related places were off-limits. His clan compound as well. Those places were all he knew in his quest for power and now they were taken away, so what was left? All he could do was walk around while making himself as indiscernible as the next civilian going to and fro on the street.

Eventually he grew bored of walking and, shamefully, allowed his guard to drop from the ennui. As a result he was shamefully caught unaware as a slender hand and feminine voice came from beside him. He brushed the hand aside and leapt back, reaching for where he normally kept his weapons on instinct despite their absence.

He then caught the surprised look on the face of a slender young woman, long brown hair falling down her back that was only tamed by a white bandanna atop it. The white robe and dark blue apron indicated she was a waitress. Her caramel eyes took on a soft and apologetic appearance as she spoke. “Sorry if I frightened you.”

“You didn’t,” he said curtly. His pride wouldn’t allow him to admit she did. He wasn’t that humbled. “What do you want?”

“You’re Sasuke, if I recall?” she asked. “You’re Naruto’s teammate, aren’t you?”

“I… was….” He shifted a little. “How do you know who I am? Who are you?”

“My name is Ayame.” The older girl’s smile was rather gentle despite his tone being harsh. “He’s said a lot about you and your face matched the picture he showed me when he got assigned as part of a team. I thought maybe you could tell me if he’s okay? Dad and I have been worried and everyone is openly talking about the Kyuubi and how it’s inside of him and—”

“You didn’t know?” he interjected.

“I was surprised, I admit,” she confessed. “But he was like a sweet little brother to me. I just want to know if he’s okay after everything, but I can’t find him. Not his place or anywhere. Dad and I are worried…”

Like a little brother… Her words resonated in his mind and overlapped with Itachi’s. Did she care for Naruto like Itachi did for him in the past? The thought kept popping up in his mind as she looked at him with hopeful anticipation for an answer.

The ANBU was still there, their presence still within the range of his heightened senses that weren’t dulled by boredom or stray thoughts anymore, waiting to see how he responded. With a careful and level voice he said, “He’s on a training trip… I suppose.”

He looked in the direction towards where he sensed the ANBU. Whoever it was hadn’t made a move. They knew it was a lie if they were watching him, so it was tolerable.

“Why would he leave without telling us anything?” she wondered aloud. “He’s normally so loud about when he had a mission to leave the village and comes to say goodbye.”

There was a brief flash in Sasuke’s mind as he recalled their last encounter, the clashing of lighting and the spiraling sphere. The next level of the Sharingan and the teachings of the Snake Sannin were to be traded in exchange for his best friend’s life. The lightning penetrated his chest as the spiraling sphere petered out, never intent on delivering the fatal blow, only for the blond to strike him with a blow to the head using a clone hidden behind him during the clash.

He shook himself out of it and said, “Because of a mistake I made he felt like he wasn’t strong enough and left with the Hokage’s permission. I don’t know when he’ll be back.”

She regarded his expression for a moment, her lips pursed and her gaze inquisitive. Then her expression returned to its soft nature and she grabbed his hand. “Come sit, please. I’ll treat you to a meal as a thank you.”

He tried to refuse, but she was insistent and he was starving. The food they gave him in what amounted to his cell was horrid enough that he’d eat just about anything else. He wasn’t even picky at the moment as she made him a bowl of ramen and then presented it.

However, what she whispered in his ear as she set down the bowl, the sound of the broth boiling and vegetables sizzling overlapping it in the background, once more caught him by surprise. “You were lying.”

“I don’t know what—” Sasuke was cut off when she pressed a finger to his lips.

I’ve known Naruto for a long time,” she started with, resting her elbow on the counter top as she leaned over and met his gaze. “I know what someone who’s hurt and trying to mask that pain looks like, not to mention you looked over your shoulder like you were being watched. You probably can’t tell me the complete truth because it’s a ninja-thing, but I could see how pained it was for you to say those words to me.

Why aren’t you angry then?” Sasuke asked under his breath instead of denying it. “It’s all my fault.

Mistakes can be amended. What matters is if you really feel bad about. I can see you do,” she finished as she removed her finger. On her way back to the kitchen she turned and gave him a wink as she said, “Enjoy the meal.”

Clever girl, he thought. Given how he had a reputation for attracting fangirls and Naruto had spoken about him, it would look like she was flirting while the sounds coming from the kitchen would’ve muted the conversation unless the ANBU had put in more effort, in which case they would’ve hidden their presence better from the start.

She knew the truth about Naruto, the source of the hatred that was directed to him, and still considered him family. Sasuke couldn’t help but wonder if things had turned out differently for him if that was the type of person he had supporting him like Naruto did? How would she react if she knew how he tried to kill the person she saw as a little brother just for the sake of power? Would she hate or forgive him?

He just didn’t know. The thought of that gentle face of hers contorted into something ugly by hatred sobered him as he finished the meal in silence. It honestly made him sick to even entertain the notion what hatred could possibly twist someone who appeared as nice as she was into making such an expression. Was that the type of feeling that Itachi tried to foster in him by making him remember the massacre and the moment he killed his parents?

What did Itachi want me to become? Sasuke wondered, brooded even. Then he decided he didn’t feel like walking around anymore with the hour he had left. Standing in the alley and out of sight he said to the nameless watcher, “Take me back. I’ve had enough sun.”

Silence followed. Then the ANBU appeared in a swirl of leaves. He grabbed his shoulder and then Body Flickered with him towards the holding facility, the sensation nostalgic to Sasuke after only two months without being able to feel chakra flowing through him. Soon he was back where he had been left to rot only to find there was a familiar face covered by a mask at the bottom waiting while reading an orange book.

“Kakashi,” Sasuke said as he sat on his bed.

“Yo,” his former Jounin responded back as he put away the book. There was none of the usual joviality in his tone as he did so. Instead there was underlying fury and something akin to failure. “I didn’t expect you to be here for another hour. Just as well, I finished that chapter anyway.”

“I’m surprised it wasn’t you who was watching me,” Sasuke said plainly.

Kakashi shook his head. “My teaching methods and apparent negligence have been called into question. On principle having me watch you would be against protocol due to potential attachments. I’m only allowed to be here because I’m to inform you two things on the Hokage’s orders.”

Sasuke listened. There wasn’t much else he could do. There were no books in the plain room, only a bed and walls.

“The first was that I went tracking for Naruto following Jiraiya-sama’s leads,” Kakashi stated. For a moment Sasuke felt uncharacteristically hopeful that he had found him. But his gut said otherwise and he clamped down on those feelings. “He’s gone.”

“What do you mean gone?” Sasuke asked. “How hard is it to find an idiot dressed in orange without the ability to use jutsu?”

Kakashi reprimanded him with a glare that nearly stilled the Genin’s heart. Silence followed until he deemed to speak. “He went towards the Land of Wind. Desert lands all around, not known for its hospitality at all, not the first place we would look or hope to. We confirmed he crossed the border and a message was sent to Suna asking if he was there. He wasn’t.”

“They’re lying,” Sasuke stated.

“So soon after the invasion they’re not really in a position to do so,” he said. Left unsaid was that the spies Jiraiya had within the village confirmed it as well. “Not to mention that we never went over desert-survival or where their village was located at. Even with a map and the limited supplies he had bought, the sandstorms would play a large factor too and they were active this time of year…”

In other words there was a chance he was one more lost to the desert. “So he’s…”

“Presumed deceased until proven otherwise on paper, anyway,” Kakashi stated bluntly. The next few words he spoke with his voice emotionless, a feat that took great effort on the part of the Jounin. “His name won’t even go on the Memorial Stone.”

Sasuke failed on that end, a hitch to be heard as he ground out, “What do you mean?”

“The first reason was because he wasn’t technically a shinobi anymore,” Kakashi stated. “The second is that doing so would be the same thing as confirming he was dead, something that the Hokage and few others aren’t willing to do. If the Kyuubi shows up in nine or so years then we’ll know, but until then all anyone has is hope…”

More silence followed as he digested the information. The idiot who went through so much abuse to become a Hokage so people would respect him was denied even the right to be remembered as a ninja. The person who he considered killing for the sake of gaining more power, to awaken the next level of his eyes like Itachi told him and to go to Orochimaru, as well as the person who didn’t give up on him because he claimed to be his friend, would only be known as the demon fox who mocked the corps with his actions while only a few would know the truth.

It rankled him. “Why are you telling me this, Kakashi?”

“I thought you should know the complete scope of what your lust for power had wrought.” Kakashi turned his back on him. “Most of the shinobi who are aware of your defection-attempt have less than pleasant feelings towards you, most notably the parents of those whose children were injured bringing you back. The only goodwill towards you that exists is the ignorant, those who believe the Cursed Mark influenced your thoughts, and…well, you can guess that…”

The words brought to mind Ayame. The last goodwill he had was from those who Naruto was close with. Someone who considered him a brother… who Sasuke had taken away from her…

“Back to the second thing,” Kakashi said after giving him a moment to think over his words. “In three months time there will be an evaluation of your mental state and a council of shinobi will judge whether or not you should be reinstated at all. We only need to keep you in the village and keeping your chakra permanently sealed while under watch or imprisoned to ensure your bloodline safety is a viable means of doing so. There’s a very good chance you won’t even be allowed to be a part of the Reserves since you don’t have decent clearance and you did commit treason.

“I would suggest taking up a hobby that you can eventually profit off as a civilian, if they let you out that is. You don’t need the money, per se, but it would do well to help you pass the time…” Without even so much as a goodbye he left after that. It was clear that Kakashi, the man who claimed those who abandoned their comrades were worse than trash, saw him as just that much.

Just like that he was in his cell all alone again with his thoughts. He focused on the aftertaste of the ramen that still lingered in his mouth to hold back what felt like guilt.

Present – With Sasuke

The sound of humming was clear as day to his trained ears. Even over the sizzling of meat over the flames of his stove. Sasuke spared a glance over his shoulder to turn to the source.

Ayame sat at the table in a dress and blouse, her long hair drifting down past her shoulders. There was a small smile on her face that grew a little wider as their eyes met past the candle that burned on the table.

It was date night for the all intents and purposes since they hadn’t spent as much time together between him training to retrieve Naruto and guarding him, while she worked at her father’s stand. Sasuke, wanting to keep his private life out of the public view, only allowed for a few to know about them. To that end he escorted her into the Uchiha District under a jutsu to hide her appearance, just to be safe.

“It’s almost ready,” he told her, returning his gaze to the food. The vegetables were done already, as was the rice. All that was left was the meat. “Just another minute and it’ll be done.”

“Take your time,” she insisted, her brown eyes flickering in the glow of the candle. “It’s attractive watching a man cook.”

He allowed himself to give a short chuckle at that. “Well, I needed a fall back and working with fire and heat comes naturally to an Uchiha. If I had to do something else it seemed like a good idea at the time.”

“Oh?” She honestly sounded amused by that. “So you didn’t do it just to impress Dad and me? After all, you came to our Ramen Shop over and over to eat and ask for advice. I thought it was cute, like a stray puppy coming over and over and slowly opening up.”

“I was thirteen back then. I didn’t entertain the thought of dating back then,” he said with a hint of mirth as he cut off the eye of the stove and prepared the plates. True, he wanted to get to know them better out of some guilt and to know Naruto better than what was on the papers he was shown, and yes she was a very attractive young woman only a few years his senior. “It just happened.”

“Deny it all you want,” she teased as he set down the plates on the tables and took his seat. “We both know the truth, Sasuke-kun…”

He shuddered at that. “Drop the suffix, please. It reminds me too much of less desirable women.”

She only made a light hum before she cut started on her meal. The pair ate in silence. When done, she gave him her opinion. “You’ve improved so much since then. If you do decide to become a chef, you’d do well.”

“Hn.” He took the plates and put them in the sink before turning to find that Ayame was waiting for him on the couch, patting the cushion next to her. Sasuke took a seat and brushed aside her hair to meet her gaze head-on. “So…same as before?”

“Remember not to make it go on for too long,” she warned him. Her tone was more playful than strict. “You’re still trying to keep on my Dad’s good side so we can’t spend too long in it this time.”

Their lips met for a moment in a kiss as she leaned forward. He didn’t resist. Instead he pulled her further into it and brought her on top of him as they laid there. When she pulled away she found herself starting into the famed eyes of the Uchiha and the intimate genjutsu was woven for the both of them…

On the Outskirts of Konoha

At the edge of the village, near a clearing, there stood two guards adorned in ANBU masks, both remaining vigilant as their duty entailed. They were ordered to stand guard in that location while their brethren met with their leader as he discussed what steps they would take next secure the Jinchuuriki of the Leaf that had gone astray over the last few years. Measures would be taken to reinstall loyalty to the Leaf in it and bring it to heel for the good of the village.

A few had already been taken, such as a few of the other ANBU who had been assigned to protect the Jinchuuriki and subsequently replaced. Their deaths were a necessity that would prove beneficial towards the village in the end and thus not lamented, and with the Hokage preoccupied with village matters and Jiraiya out of the village few would be able to stop them. While those two were respected for their abilities their emotions weighed them down and so did their attachments.

ROOT had no such thing. They were efficient and washed their hands in blood so that the village would remain as strong as possible. Even if the pair had some question of what they were doing from a moral standpoint, which they didn’t, their thoughts on the matter were irrelevant for two reasons.

The first was because they were Danzo’s men and unfailingly loyal to him. He was the one the village would flourish under and become strong and stable. They were to be his tools in bringing that to fruition.

The second was because they heard the sound of kunai slicing through the air from behind, two of them to be exact, and both were preparing to penetrate their skulls from behind to embed themselves into their brains for a quick death. With practiced grace and efficiently they both averted death by leaning their heads to the side, allowing the weapons to pass by harmlessly, and then spun on their heels with their weapons drawn, a Tanto in one hand and a Ninja-Tou in the other.

It was then they came face-to-face with the man in a black cloak adorned with red clouds. With raven black hair that fell into the high-raised collar, they faced a pair of pitch onyx eyes that were set in a stern manner beneath a Leaf bandana that was crossed off. They knew in a glance they faced the S-Class Missing-Nin, Itachi Uchiha.

Then death came from them as they felt cold steel against their neck, before a wedge of pain followed the tip piercing the skin and drawing a crimson smile, life-blood leaking to the grass below and staining the dark viridian with what seemed to be luminous scarlet in the moonlight. Even if having their throat slit didn’t finish the job, the kunai were rammed into the base of brainstem from behind to be certain.

The bodies dropped as the weapons were removed to reveal two more copies of the man, solid and wielding kunai with the same lackadaisical expression as the original. Both kneeled down. One grabbed the sword of the dead guard and the other planted a hand onto the seemingly normal patch of grass. The sword was immediately tossed to the original, who caught it in his right hand, while the patch of grass suddenly popped open to reveal a hidden hatch.

The three descended into the darkness of the cavern that had been hollowed out, leading towards the village. The Sharingan came alive, the eyes of insight unveiling the darkness as they ventured forward and navigated the seal traps that laid along the path ahead to be traversed by the ROOT agents through memorization. They eventually stumbled upon a dead end at the edge of the corridor, where what looked to be sheer rock blocked their path with no opening in sight. It needed to be opened from the other side.

With nary a word the two spare clones let their chakra seep around them and into the ground, to change how they interacted with one another. The Underground Projection Fish technique was an immensely useful technique to that end since they were underground, simple in nature as they melded into the ground and swam beneath it to the other side while the original waited patiently with the blade in hand. It was something picked up during his time in Akatsuki, who he spent a few years in the service of. While his purpose in joining the organization was to better serve the Leaf, he would admit that though the actions he took were less than noble he found himself sympathizing with their leader and his partner.

Pain sought peace the only way he believed that Shinobi could attain it, through unmitigated force that would put the fear of God into them. He sought a weapon that would instill the horror that combat wrought into all who possessed it. True the plan was flawed, in that all it would take was one person who was enamored with the destruction to get their hands on the weapon and then all would be lost, but one could admire the resolve he had towards attaining his goal.

Kisame was much the same, Itachi supposed. While he didn’t shy away from violence and even basked in it, the man admired the truth above all else. Considering he lived as one who was part of a world of all lies such a contradiction must have troubled him to no end.

The clones swam beneath the surface of the ground and until they emerged on the other side of the wall, bursting out of the ground in the room with six ROOT agents on guard. The two by the wall where the original waited were the first to perish once more as kunai found the soft flesh of their throat and cleaved through it to spray the wall red in an arch. Touching the dual switches that the guards would have activated upon the pass-code being rapped against the wall, the original came into view as the door slid open upwards and they faced two of the others who fell sway to his eyes of hypnotism.

The two ROOT who were enthralled by the Sharingan drew two kunai and threw them, one burying itself into the skull of the throwers and the other two catching the chest of one of the remaining two to end his life as well. The final guard in the room moved. He made a break for the exit to go and alert Danzo of what had transpired, only to come face-to-face with the original that Body Flickered ahead of him.

Holding onto the blade of the Ninja-Tou to his side, the mirror wheel eyes of red spun as a Genjutsu took hold of him and false memories and a mental directive embedded into his mind like the claws of a crow digging into flesh. Itachi handed him a scroll, which he accepted, and then stepped aside as the ROOT agent continued to run and alert Danzo without being the wiser of what had happened to him.

Looking at the corpses Itachi noted to himself that normally having them turn on their comrades took a few seconds longer, but Danzo’s conditioning had made it much easier. They were trained not to see beyond the scope of the mission and everything else was expendable, including their own lives and those of their allies. It was sad, in a way, that these were what served as the ideal Shinobi, mere tools to be discarded.

A small sigh escaped his lips from behind the high collar of his cloak as he and his clones proceeded onwards to finish things here as their unwitting puppet moved on ahead. He could pick up the scent of hellfire and the screams ahead. His trap was sprung.

It was time to clean up the rot beneath the Leaf…

The Memorial Stone

It was a beautiful night tonight, Tobi mused while gazing up from in front of the Memorial Stone to the moon above. He was taking a moment from his task inside his own personal dimension. His left fingers were tenderly caressing a single name upon it: Rin.

She was his teammate. She was his friend. She was the woman he loved enough to die for once.

And she was killed, by the man she had loved and the man he trusted to look after her.

When he was still Obito he rushed to their aid as they were pursued, only to arrive in time to witness Kakashi driving his Chidori through her chest and killing her. He knew the truth. He knew that she had thrown herself into it. But it still caused him pain, pain unlike anything he had felt before, as his eye morphed into the Mamgekyo Sharingan.

It was then he could see the truth. He could see that the system itself was to blame, villages competing against one another in their power games. Human nature twisting their gifts into weapons until everything was dyed in the color of blood. The world was unsalvageable… thus he turned to the moon for a better world.

Tobi turned from the stone to stare at the Hokage Monument, towards the face of his former leader. A man he admired and trusted at one point. The very man whose life he had sought to end to attain key towards the Eternal Tsukiyomi.

While the man managed to fight him off, as one would expect from a Hokage, he and his wife still died as sacrifices towards the path to the eternal dream. The life they fought so desperately to protect and ultimately sacrificed themselves for, their son, would be another. Had there been anything left of “Obito” he would admit that he was a monster.

But for Tobi it didn’t matter. Nothing in this world mattered when the world he would bring forth was a better one. In that world he could raise the dead and peace would reign within it, something that many aspired for as they were covered in the blood of the innocent and their enemies.

He had already waded through the sea of blood that made up this chaos-riddled land and soon he would finish what he started. When he succeeded and brought them to paradise the deaths and betrayals would not be so many or in vain. Results could wipe any sin.

The space around him twisted as he was pulled into his own dimension, a black world with a number of columns that existed to serve as the floor. Sitting down on the floor, next to a corpse, was the silent and dull-eyed form of White Zetsu. Or rather it was a clone of him while the real White and Black Zetsu were busy in Suna retrieving the Seven-Tails.

He had brought a pair of the clones with him, one already in the field and laying the ground work while the other was kept in reserve here until the proper time. They premature in development, flawed but not without purpose. They could transform into a near-perfect replica of anyone whose chakra they sampled.

The one in the field was already under the guise of a Root ANBU whose corpse now occupied his world, and would be discarded once they got what they came for. The other would be the jinchuuriki. The less people who suspected he was kept alive, the easier it would be to hold him until it was time for the extraction.

The idea would be that an ANBU went rogue and killed the jinchuuriki while he slept under some machination of Danzo. The copy-body would of course be missing the chakra of the Kyuubi, leading to them believing he had extracted it from the jinchuuriki. ROOT would be eliminated by the superior force of the Hokage and Danzo dealt with, no one in the wiser while he worked.

All he needed was a single witness to the scenario he had planned out…

End Note: As you can guess Sasuke was not easily forgiven by everyone and had to build that trust up over time. A lot happened in those four years since then. Also yes, he did use his eyes of hypnotism for some Genjutsu-play with Ayame since he respects Teuchi’s wishes for her not to sleep with him as a loop-hole (off-screen).

Ah, the potential of illusions is so great and vast without needing the finer details…

More violence to come next chapter.

The end of the Hood’s reign

Arousing Grammar

Loki died during the Marvel event Siege.  But he died in that Asgardian god way, as in he came back to life a few issues later.  Unfortunately, Loki’s demise meant the loss of the supervillain Hood’s (real name Parker Robbins) evil magic wizard powers as they were tied to/gifts from the evil magic wizard Loki.  Bad news for the Hood.  Luckily, the Avengers spent most of the battle thumping other supervillains and the Hood manages to escapes with his girlfriend Madame Masque (real name Whitney Frost).

As the end Siege brought forth the beginning of the Heroic Age, it’d be a terrible ending if the former kingpin of New York City flees his crimes to live a happy life in Latveria or Madripoor or other seedy bad guy-friendly places.  So for their final mission as the New Avengers, our protagonists join forces one more time in New Avengers Finale #1

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New Warriors #4 Review

The final issue in the opening arc of New Warriors has arrived and with it the team is all together. Let’s do this review!

The comic opens months ago when the last surviving Evolutionary and the Lord High Evolutionary are compelled to Ethiopia by a being that tells them that their blasphemy in trying to artificially evolve humans and defend mutant-kind by wiping out humanity isn’t doing the trick. Whoever this mystery person is tells them to start working together so that when the Celestials come humanity will turn into something great.

In the present the Evolutionary has had enough after Nova came back to get himself caught, idiot, and tells his partner in crime that they won’t stop until they’ve destroyed everything. He ultimately agrees and tells him to do it quickly since their sins aren’t of their own making. Sanctimonious douche-bag thinks he’s above good and evil as long as humans survive, but at least he’s less of a douche-bag that the sub-human in a blue suit..,

Anyway, that’s when the rest of the New Warriors arrive and they gloss over how with the use of a nameless magician using a magic spell. Lazy, lazy, writing….and why the hell isn’t the Inhuman wearing a shirt? That outfit is horrible.

Anyway, Justice opens with diplomacy but when Nova tells him that he’s going to kill mostly everybody the fight gets rolling. The Evolutionary, still sore about the X-Men turning on them after M-Day, goes straight for the only Mutant of the group, but Justice handles him and tells Sun Girl to free the rest. She hesitates when she thinks Kaine is Spider-Man, Otto really disappointed her, but her aim somehow manages to not hit them and Aracely is giddy to be fighting alongside actual heroes because that means she gets to be one too.

The fight breaks out with Namora giving Aracely some tips, Nova and Speedball double-teaming some mooks while Kaine tells Justice they need to split, and Sun Girl is hiding behind Mark…who turns into some kind of Sabertooth Dragon Beast after absorbing enough energy and starts chomping down on more mooks.

The High Evolutionary decides to cut his losses and activate a machine that he fed the samples of their DNA into. Turns out it’s designed to kill anyone with powers or inhuman-DNA and cripples most of the team (and would have killed them outright if he had Nova’s helmet) meaning only Sun Girl is left unharmed. The High Evolutionary makes it clear he’s not enjoying this, but for humanity to survive the coming of the Celestials the rest need to die.

She tells him to screw himself, blast through him to get to the machine and destroy it. He’s mad, for once, but cuts his losses again as he and the Evolutionary Leader leave. So it counts as a victory and Justice says the New Warriors will stop them if they start again, to which every single one of them says no except Aracely.

The comic ends with the High Evolutionary feeling this was only a setback, but because they are the samples this was meant to be and they would eventually succeed by killing the New Warriors. The second Evolutionary War had begun.

Okay, Review time….

No complaints overall. It wrapped up the opening arc beautifully. There was some good moments and funny moments, and despite my harsh tone I really did like it.

5 out of 5.

Magneto #3 Comic Review

Magneto’s finally found the people responsible for making the poor-man’s version of the Omega Sentinels and now he’s going to make them pay in issue #3. There’s surprisingly little bloodshed, but I still enjoyed it. This is my review.

Our comic opens up at the tent city from last issue, where the SHIELD douche-bags have arrived to kick everyone out of it since Magneto went waltzing through and leaving bodies. Leaving aside the fact that the police were probably aware of the place and let it be until SHIELD comes barking orders, they question Samuel and treat him like he helped the man kill those bastards despite it being clear he doesn’t know a damn thing. This is why no one likes them, television show be damned, but it shows the ramifications of those who were just at the wrong place at the wrong time or are unjustly punished for a good deed.

Magneto himself laments he isn’t as strong as he used to be, since then he would have tossed the building into space. Instead he’s relegated into sneaking around until he comes across the process being done and recalls how the X-Men and him have kicked Sentinel-ass so much that they’d gotten to the point of underestimating them. Then Genosha happened and a nation of mutants millions strong was wiped out in a single attack, a nation he ruled as a safe haven for them.

He maps out the building with a magnetic pulse like a bat does sonar and finds a Master Mold, which he can’t destroy on his own with his powers nerfed. So instead he finds this nerdy looking scientist woman who’s thanking three-freshly minted omegas for sacrificing themselves for this, which Magneto calls BS on. Toying with both human and mutant lives to play at being God is nothing but vanity.

The three attack him, but he makes short work of them after getting nicked by a blade before he gets a name out of her. She’s Elizabeth Alain, the project leader. That was just the person he was looking for to help him shut it down. She resists of course, but that ends as he forces a paper clip into her skin and moves it through her slowly and agonizingly until she leads him to the console room.

She explains that the mutant murders that Colton committed were oversights, an accident. The facility was meant to be a human refuge for those who fear mutants and wanted to be segregated from them. Someone direct them to it so they could create guardians to protect them. Her speech eventually gets on his nerves and he kills her, because all while she’s doing it he remembers Genosha and how that ended, and he brings the place down with a few keyboard strokes.

As the comic ends he wonders if he was too rash, not with killing her but with not getting the name of who led her to the Master Mold and figures he’ll find them just the same.

Okay, Review time…

Now, I have to say either that woman was naive and stupid or she was a liar. Using ramshackle Omega Sentinels at all is not only morally questionable, as it requires messing around with a human being and those people from the Tent City were being forcibly taken, but downright paranoia fuel.

At least with the giant ones when people see them coming they can run. That lowers the number of civilians killed in the crossfire for the most part. The Omega Sentinels are meant to be stealthy so as to sneak up and kill mutants, not guard people when you consider how loose they are with their weaponry.

Whoever directed her had far more ominous intentions, so either she was too stupid to realize it or she knew and was sugarcoating it. It doesn’t matter now. So, it was a good issue and I can’t really find any fault with the comic or story that detracts from it.

5 out of 5.

All-New X-Factor #7 Review

This lackluster issue didn’t really do much for me, but I’ve already reviewed the last six issues so I may as well continue.

The story begins with the daughter of an anti-mutant bigot whining because she’s not allowed to leave home. I can understand that. Then daddy comes in to see her web-show and decides it’s time for them to go and his guard shoots the web-camera because he doesn’t know how to turn it off. He’s clearly not the brightest tool in the shed.

Meanwhile, at Serval, Snow is trying to have his side-chick, Linda, calm down after being confronted by his wife about their nightly trysts. He tells her that his wife is bluffing (I doubt it) and then meets with Lorna to ask about why they didn’t off the Magus. At the same time Danger is reading a book written by the bigot from before, Scott Drake, and Pietro is offended. They argue about politics of it when the book is a spy-thriller when it just so happens that Doug found that web-show of his daughter. Since Pietro has daddy issues and she clearly has some too, he decides to do something about it.

When they bring up the topic Lorna correctly points out that kidnapping is what they’re planning and that might not look so good for a super-hero team that’s corporate. It’s made apparent that they don’t really care and they manage to convince her to join in the kidnapping plan as Pietro gets called in to report to Havok.

He runs in and tells him about the Magus, and Havok asks why he didn’t take him down as well. Like Lorna, he states running a corporation isn’t evil…at first anyway. If the Magus is here illegally I’m sure they can contact SWORD. That or those superheroes who appeared in Scarlet Spider since the Midwest is severely lacking.

Then he ditches him to go flying with the others, while Gambit admits that while he’s focusing on the small scale of someone who needs help rather than the grand scale of things, if she wasn’t the daughter of a bigot he wouldn’t care. At least he’s honest.

They land and go knocking on his door and get warned to leave in five seconds or they’d get gunned down. That goes about as well as expected since the moment they open up the doors the corpses are revealed to be hard-light constructs while Pietro knocks them out. They meet up with Georgia, who it turns out is a fangirl.

They try to tell her they’re here to save her, she thinks she’s fine and wants to stay. Doug tries to tell her she should come with them and doesn’t let go when she tells him to. Apparently she’s a mutant or something and has the same power set as Wither because he ends up getting mummified and she acts all cool about it as the comic ends…

Okay, review time…

Let’s be real here, they were kidnapping her. Don’t get me wrong, rescuing abused children from their homes is always a good thing in comics…well, most times. But X-factor is supposed to be a superhero team, a corporate one nonetheless, but heroes. This was blatant kidnapping of the same vein of the Avengers in AvsX with Hope.

As much as I hate anti-mutant bigots, and may the Purifiers burn in hellfire, he hasn’t broken any laws. You kind of have to agree they stormed private property, assaulted his men, and then tried kidnapping his daughter. I expect this from villains. The fact that the girl was a mutant only came up after they broke in to take her.

It’s clear he’s keeping her locked away because as a bigot he can’t have his daughter being a mutant coming out. Doesn’t help that he probably pissed of f the X-Men by being a bigot, since they usually deal with mutants who need help. His options were limited and swallowing humble pie is never easy, but consider that I’ve seen worse fathers I have to say he’s not exactly doing anything wrong.

Now, until the next issue makes some things clear, I have to say X-Factor were in the wrong. Either way, the issue gets a 3 out of 5.

Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man #1 Review

Okay, Miles has been around for a bit so it’s time he got a series named after him. So in this continuation of his life upon donning the Spider-Man mask again I’ll be reading and reviewing it to give you my biased opinion of what I think of it. This is the first review of Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man and it already contains swearing so beware!

The story begins at a top-secret SHIELD containment facility. Since Cataclysm ended the way it did, SHIELD has been disbanded and that means all their prisoners get transferred to a federal prison. That includes one special bastard who by all rights should be dead:

Norman-fucking-Osborn, aka the Green Goblin, aka the man who killed Peter Parker. Apparently he didn’t die and Fury thought to keep his ass locked up since nothing seems to finish the damn job. The guard, no longer assigned to watch him, knocks his teeth in for killing Peter and tell them to keep an eye on the bastard…it doesn’t take a genius to figure out how that’s going to end.

Meanwhile, in Brooklyn, two guys are discussing whether or not Captain America is dead. Let’s face it, they didn’t find the body so he’ll probably pop up later on. But this meta-discussion gets ended when some spider-man dressed douche-bags decide to make with the robbing of an armored truck. This is not what Miles needs.

Speaking of his needs, he’s making out with Katie Bishop when she’s asking where he was last night. Considering the shot of the All New Ultimates I would say he’s busy, but since he can’t explain that because she’s not in the loop she incorrectly assumes it was because Jefferson had came home. Apparently his Dad decided to simply abandon him…see my end notes about that. Either way the discussion comes to a close when a teacher tells him to get to class and we get an angsty teen shot.

We then skip to Long Island Expressway where Norman turns into the Green Goblin and escapes, shocker, and then back to Miles and Ganke. Miles is once again debating with Ganke on telling Katie his secret identity and Ganke argues against while now crushing on Dagger instead of Gwen. He’s got a thing for older women since puberty kicked in I guess….I can respect that.

Miles reminds him that she’s taken and out of his league and then goes pouty face when Ganke mentions he helped him be Spider-Man. He then decides to call up Mary Jane and gets some advice. She tells him that yeah it’s good to tell the girl because she shouldn’t have to find out after his death makes the front page of the news. But she also warns him that it’s like being married, you tell her then you’re connected for life, so make sure she’s not a villain or decides to go the woman-scorned route if something goes down.

Miles stress-level continues to rise as he learns about the fake spider-men and knows that he’s going to probably be framed for a crime he didn’t commit soon enough. As he enters his home he finds someone ransacking the place looking for something and when they turn around it’s…wait for it…wait for it…wait for it….

It’s Peter Parker!

Okay, review time.

Really, Peter’s back…yeah, I’m not buying it. Last time I checked, Scorpion and Jessica were the only clones still running around so I say it’s him. Actually, did those two Chameleons twins get killed off or not, because that would explain so much…

The debate about telling girlfriend or not doesn’t really interest me because it’s been done before and they have us another shot of Miles being angsty, probably because he resents being Spider-Man again now that it cost him his last family member. His life was so much better before he put it on…

Speaking of which, was the Marvel staff smoking something hard when they thought that up. Jefferson abandoning his son and Miles going angsty? You’re having the African-American father, who was reasonable up until the mask came off, abandon his son? Just to make him a troubled teen rather than the chipper kid he was like ten issues ago? Really?

This…is not the type of controversy they should be trying to stir up. It’d be one thing if Jefferson was shown as abusive before, rather than just one stress-induced incident that they could both sit down and talk about after the end of the world. I mean, he was a semi-bigot with grievances against Spider-Man, but seriously they pulled that out of their asses over the course of ten pages rather than ten issues like Jefferson one day finding his spider-suit and then stewing it over.

I shouldn’t have expected better. I blame myself…no, wait, I blame Marvel. C’mon now, having Jefferson abandon him is just fucking cheap and plays into negative stereotypes on top of Miles going angst over it. The only excuse that I’d accept is that he died and they’re hiding the body. I don’t fucking want broody Miles because his Daddy left him, that daddy issue shit gets old.

You don’t see Cloak bitching about his circumstances…just saying…and for fuck’s sake, stop taking off your mask Miles!

Anyway, I can’t give this a perfect score because of the above and we know that Peter is either a clone or a shape-shifter who appears after SHIELD is closed down. Really, sending super-villains to federal prisons just begs for it. Given that in 616 Mystique breaks in and out of SHIELD for a hobby it’s fairly obvious. In fact I’d like to be proven wrong…

It gets a 3 out of 5. Clean it up, Marvel.


May 2014 Grim Tales Update 1

Read the rest of the comics at Snafu-Comics

Hulk vs. X-Men

Mutants have it the toughest in Marvel Universe…

Arousing Grammar

Let’s jump right into this.  We’re going to talk about the Hulk.

What has made Hulk so popular can be boiled down to two major points:
a) The eternal inner battle between the meek scientist Bruce Banner and his avatar of rage Hulk.
b) Lots of smashing.

In 2006 and 2007, Hulk was shot into space and sent far away from Earth because y’know, he’s super dangerous.  Well, his spaceship made a wrong turn and instead of a happy planet full of flowers and butterflies, Hulk landed on a violent gladiator planet.  Because he’s the Hulk, he fought his way to the top and married a hot space alien (I guess?).  One day, his spaceship exploded, killing his wife.  But who sent him away in that spaceship in the first place?  Yeah – Iron Man, Dr. Strange, Black Bolt, and Mr. Fantastic.  They called themselves the Illuminati, along with Namor…

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