Yes, the wait is over at last!
RWBY is back with season II and it does it with the best Food Fight EVER!
The episode begins with Emerald and Mercury, after robbing the poor dust seller, going to a book store and then subsequently killing the Faunus who planned on running. I suppose that means that Blake was lucky to get out when she did.
Afterwards we skip to Ruby with her team eating lunch, with Ruby planning the best day ever. Blake isn’t too up to it after everything that’s happened, but then Weiss gets a pie in the face. We then skip to Sun talking to his friend about how cool they are as all sorts of stuff happens in the background, until they get in and everyone is running because of a food fight.
Then we get the best food fight ever. Seriously, it was hilarious and bad-ass.
Glenda comes in and fixes their mess, but Ozpin says kids will be kids and to let them enjoy it while they can.
We then skip to Roman, Emerald, and Mercury arguing until Cinder comes in and puts everyone in their place. Then she tells him to pack up the dust since they’re going into phase 2 as the video ends with the new opening.
Perfect episode, what can I say? This is how you do a season premiere!
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.
The Master of Magnetism has struck out on his own and I’ll be following along in the path of destruction he has laid out as we review the first issue of the Magneto solo series.
The story starts in Cape Girardean, Missouri, where some unfortunate barista is having the pleasure of being questioned about the murder that transpired moments ago. And when I say murder, I mean the victim got skewered by sign posts through his mouth until he was pinned to the ground. The barista states that the assassin knew his routine and had a brief discussion before he ripped the fillings out of the victim’s mouth, threw him into the street, and then replaced them with said sign posts, and that for this guy killing was like autopilot.
We then go to Kansas, where Magneto contemplates his circumstances in the motel. He knows he’s got a one-way trip to hell, but right now what he’s doing is for the greater good of mutants and so his actions are all that matters. This is shown in a minor flashback to when he met the victim of the murder, who contributed to many of the Anti-Mutant organizations even if he never once pulled the trigger himself. Magneto made him pay for what he did in the past by taking away his future and he would do the same for others.
It’s then a maid arrives and gives him some newspapers that he asked for. He can tell she knows the name he’s given her is an alias and that he’s dangerous, but very few people know what Magneto looks like without the helmet. Still, he makes sure to tip her very well. Never let it be said he was mean to the help.
He then goes to his poster board map, which outlines where he’s tracking down the enemies of mutants. He’s lower on resources than before, going from some of the most sophisticated tech to old laptops and newspaper clippings, but he’s still managed to stay out of the hands of SHIELD and those who would be interested in him. SHIELD’s gone as far as to place fake reports of attacks on mutants to draw him out, but he can tell real from fake and figures they won’t take him seriously until he hits a target too big to ignore.
Until then he focuses on his next target, in Mountain Air, California. It took him awhile to get there since he was flying under the radar, and while tracking the killer of three mutants was easy enough he didn’t expect him to turn himself in. Magneto acknowledges that he’s jailed, but thinks that’s too little of a punishment and not nearly severe enough for the grimness of his crime.
So he strolls into a police station and calmly calls forth all the metal he can to clear out the cops while reforming a helmet to match the rocking black motif he’s got going on. I doubt it’ll offer him psychic protection like the normal one does, but it’s the image that counts. After taking care of the police in the way, he confronts the killer who seems frightful and wants him to leave, even shocked that he murdered someone. Then the freaky stuff happens.
His chest tears open, his arms twist into weaponry, and he opens fire upon Magneto. He’s a poor-man’s version of the Omega Sentinel, a human turned into a death machine. Magneto puts him out of his misery by ripping the machinery away, leaving him dying and in pain.
In the man’s final moments Magneto asks who turned him into that monster, realizing he was as much of a victim as those he killed. He gets a location and relates to his pain of being unable to stop himself like he was on autopilot. And then he swears to find the ones responsible for this and make them pay as well as the first issue ends.
Okay, review time.
Now, this was a good start overall. The plot picks up some time after Magneto dropped a building on Mystique and flew off, so we’re catching up on what he’s like after doing this for some time. There’s no time wasted in-between and we get straight to the grittiness that’s evident in the artwork.
Character-wise, I felt Magneto was spot on. He’s always had mutants’ best interest at heart and punishes those who deserved it for endangering the species. While he’s had moments where he was a flat-out villain, the current version of him tries not to overdo the killing of innocents or straight-up human bashing. You could see it on his face in the final page that he felt bad about it, but there was really little choice in the matter…that being said, if you try to lynch him after he saves your ass from a train wreck, he will drop all the wreckage on you.
I can’t really think of any faults to the story for the opening of the series and it was a decent read, so I’m giving Magneto #1 (2014) a perfect 5 out of 5.
Fair Warning: This Review Contains Heavy Swearing
…Yeah, I can’t say I’m enthusiastic about this art or issue but I’ve been reviewing the series for a minute and that means I write about the good and the bad. And boy was there a lot of bad in Issue #18 of Uncanny X-Men. So I going to do this, but it’s going to be short and I will be using many, many swear words.
The story begins with the NXS kids and staff returning from somewhere in what appears to be the Blackbird, sometime after the botched Tabula Rasa training mission judging from how they say Tempus has been nagging on Cyclops to take Hijack back into their group for some time. You wouldn’t know time had passed given that her hair is short again while Phoebe’s is missing a distinctive shade of red. Yeah, if I didn’t have enough issues with the art before, I’m going to bitch about that later on. Anyway, it’s the aftermath of the beginning of the Trial of Jean Grey event and as such they find the All New X-Men group gone and the flashbacks begin.
The first one starts with two weeks ago, where Cyclops is training with his broken powers when Magik decides to bring Kitty to meet with him and then goes to hold the rest of the NXS back so they don’t interfere while the two come to terms with themselves. Kitty pretty much puts her fingers inside his head and threatens to kill him by un-phasing just enough for it to damage his brain. Arguments that have already been fucking discussed get brought up again, which understandable given it is a flashback to before BotA, and they whine about it for a minute until he asks her what she needs, which we already knew was a place to stay with the Teenage Original 5 X-Men.
Then, a week later, they pick up with the O5 arriving and some of the worst scenes in the series with Emma Frost bitching about bringing teenage Jean Grey to stay with them. And then the scene between Cyclops and Teen Jean and Teen Cyclops was…lackluster. It was not only short, but what should have been an emotional session that tugged at my heartstrings was a waste of three pages.
Back in the present they wonder what steps they should take next. These range from securing a space-craft and going after them, trusting them to make it on their own and so on. It then ends with Cyclops firing into the sky.
Okay, review time…
What. The. Hell?
Leaving aside the fact that this art is not my cup of tea—I mean come on, the continuity errors with Eva and Phoebes’ appearances, the lack of eyes some times, the horrendous expressions, and the sheer amount of wasted space was something that spits in the face of those who bought the comic—what is wrong with the writer?
Having Eva whining about Hijack twelve times like a little girl? Come on now, you can do better when you come from the future. Given some legitimate reasons like if he goes rogue or something, and then take Cyclops, Emma, Magik, and the Stepford sisters, into a private room and do that psychic projection thing that they did in Battle of the Atom so they have a leg up on what’s going down.
And then Emma? What was this? She was practically cordial to her teenage-rival in Battle of the Atom and to this damn point in this series. Granted the moment she saw an adult Jean Grey she tried to gouge out her eyes, but we all knew that was coming. Being so childish and saying she would bring a baby Colossus to their time and see how they liked it…that doesn’t make any sense coming from the former White Queen and Headmistress of the X-Men.
And then the reunion between Cyclops, Jeen, and Tyke? Short, inconclusive, and a waste of three pages like I said prior. This could have gone a lot better, and I mean that in every sense of the word.
And then the plot? Wasted. We just got one team member kicked off, one sent to the future or past and back, and a looming confrontation with SHIELD…and you give me this piece of garbage, Marvel? The majority of the issue covered the prelude and aftermath of the ANXM kids coming to the school. They turned what should have been inserted directly after that waste of time and money that was the most useless crossover of the year, Battle of the Atom, into a goddamn filler piece that does little to nothing and keeps away from the meat of the good stuff. And there was no damn closure at the end at that.
This issue…words do not begin to describe how disappointed I am. People were already whining Cyclops’ revolution was taking too long, and you put useless filler that would have been better several issues ago in with bad art? Fuck you, Marvel, for adding to the problem when I legitimately like the series.
This Issue is getting a 1 out of 5.
THE WILD CARD APPEARS!
Well, it’s going down as the Green Goblin has declared war on the Superior Spider-Man in issue #28, so let’s get it on.
The comic begins with civilians in the distance watching Spider-Island burn as the attack begins. The Green Goblin gave him a chance to join up, but since he refused all he can do is retreat or die, which he reluctantly does after his favorite henchmen, #23, gets killed off in an explosion while the rest of the Spiderlings up top are getting slaughtered. He orders the ones still alive to hold the line while he escapes with his robot, so they’re all dead I’m sure.
Inside his noggin we have Peter Parker, who tried hiding in his memories and got sucked into seeing just what type of life Otto has lived. An abusive father and a smothering mother, bullies outside and only science as a bastion against the world, it’s really no wonder he turned into a villain. But for all their similarities, Peter had Aunt May and Uncle Ben, and that allows him to hold onto his sense of self as he continues to ride out Otto’s memories…for now.
Back to the Goblins, they destroyed Spider-Island in less than ten pages and the Goblin King has come in for a report. When they report Otto has gone missing, he’s not really worried since he knows his every weakness and orders his men to seek out the people important to him in order to draw him out. Namely the people important to Spider-Man, since he doesn’t know that Otto is wearing Peter Parker’s skin, as you may recall when he first got his hands on the journal and questioned Carlie one it.
At Alchemax, Mayor Jameson has called together the media and informed them that he’s transformed the Anti-Spider Patrol into Goblin Slayers, to which MJ states he’s out of his mind from her living room. She’s with her new boyfriend, who isn’t part of the inner circle, so he doesn’t see why it’s a bad thing. Before she can explain why, the little goblin kids who threw her off a roof and then bombed her club make a third play for her and she busts out the web-shooters.
MJ proved goddamn genre savvy after being the damsel in distress enough. She knows what’s going on and knows what her role in this is, the Wild Card. So the first damn thing she going to do is remove all the pieces off the board.
Back to Otto, he finally arrives at Parker Industries, where his partner is waiting and furious that he’s been missing for a month and tells him the police have been harassing them since Carlie went missing. That’s when Wraith showed up and tried to make him talk, but he knows about her tricks with fear gas and lets her get knocked out by Carlie, who has arrived for him just as a couple of the Ninja Goblins try to kidnap Aunt May and Jay Jameson, only for them to have been take away to safety by MJ already as Peter Parker loses himself in the memories of Otto in the mindscape.
Carlie chases Otto around, making it clear she knows who he is without saying his name as she cuts through the robot butler and defense system of mechanical tentacles. To this end he splits up with Sanji Jaffrey and confronts her alone, willing to defend his legacy now that Spider-Island is gone and kill all the Goblins. Luckily he kicks her right in the earpiece, which allows them to talk in private. Carlie reveals she’s still somewhat sane and needs Otto’s help in holding onto it before she loses control again, cryptically mentioning that he has no idea what the Goblin King has in store for him and the world.
As the comic ends, we see that Carlie’s sister was the only one who managed to get a piece on the board as she finds and kidnaps Anna Maria without her even knowing it by claiming to have been sent by MJ to retrieve her….crap…
Okay, review time.
So the plot moves again as Otto’s first line of defense has been breached. We see a good portion of the people who have been involved in Otto’s time as Spider-Man acting reasonable with more on the way, including MJ doing a magnificent job as the Wild Card. As for Carlie and Anna…well, damn. One’s going to have to live with the fact that she has killed people while on the Goblin Formula, so I feel bad for her, and the other is getting the Gwen Stacy treatment like I feared because the Goblin King wasn’t an idiot. I’ll give the dude credit, he plays hardball.
The art didn’t pop as much as it did in the past, at least to me, but the darker tone probably matches the mood as this is taking a dark turn already. So I won’t hold it against the artist.
A perfect, must have issue that gets a 5 out of 5.
Okay, we are at the climatic arc of Otto’s time as Spider-Man as the Goblin Nation kicks off with a bang rather than a whimper and here’s hoping I’ll be able to review it all the way to the end. So, let’s get to my review of Superior Spider-Man #27.
We start 31 days after Otto quit the Avengers, where he is watching as Goblins rampage over the city with him questioning why his drones aren’t picking up on anything. He quickly realizes that the Green Goblin is behind it, and goes to look for all information related to him inside his mindscape. Ghost Peter is there, hiding amongst the thirty-one memories that remained after Otto dumped the rest and wondering how he’s going to reclaim his body. Again, I would like to point out that once he does get his body back there is so much of who he was missing he’s going to be effectively an amnesiac.
Unfortunately for Ghost Peter, he stupidly ventured into Otto’s memories again (having forgotten he did that once before) and ends up as part of them and most likely will be out of commission until near the end. At the same time, Otto is looking over his Spider-Bot to figure out what’s wrong with them when his girlfriend walks in and points out that he’s been skipping work and forgetting to eat. He thanks her and tells her he’s been thinking of making her a partner, with a panel revealing a wedding ring box in his pocket.
And here’s one of my biggest gripes once Peter comes back. This romance, this heartwarming romance between a woman who has fallen for Otto (in Peter’s body, granted), will end in a tragedy. I blame Otto, I truly do, but all I can do is pray she doesn’t get the Gwen Stacy treatment with the Green Goblin running around.
Speaking of which, after Anna gives Otto his eureka moment with the face recognition software being the problem, we see on the television reporters hounding Jameson with questions to if the Green Goblin and Spider-Man are working together since he got rid of all the competition. Jameson denies it but takes a little trip to Alchemax to visit that little bastard Stone and Spider-Man 2099, Miguel O’Hara, to get his Spider-Slayers since he believes they are working together and Spider-Man must die. And he wants him to know it was him who was responsible.
Yeah, that’s going to end badly for everyone involved.
Spider-Man pays a little visit the guy who made the facial recognition software since he’s avoiding Otto as Peter and he learns about the Goblin Protocol and where the Goblin’s army can be found. So he goes underground to pay them a visit as Captain Watanabe pays Parker Industries a visit, as she wants him for questioning just as much as the rest of his employees. The Green Goblin is waiting and has him sit down for a little chat, revealing he knows he’s Otto wearing his skin by reading Carlie’s Journal.
Otto actually sits and listens to his proposal for an alliance to rule the city…right up until he said Otto was his second. When you have an ego as big as Otto’s, that gets you enraged and he declares himself Spider-Man and that he was going to rid the city of him. Green Goblin tries to fry him with lightning at that, but he reveals that it was the virtual projection made from the tech that Stunner used as he wasn’t stupid enough to go into enemy grounds on his own when he has an army and a brain.
Green Goblin then points out that he was still stupid enough to make his base of operations public and calls for his goblins to destroy Spider-Island, ending the issue.
Well, there was a lot going on in this issue and I must say I’m liking the intro into the final arc. The art was good, the plot was moving, overall it’s a must-have issue and gets a perfect 5 out of 5.
There isn’t much to cover in Issue #26 of Superior Spider-Man as Otto once again gets out of things way too easily, so let’s wrap this review up in a few paragraphs.
The issue begins with the Green Goblin and Hobgoblin going to war with one another at an abandoned Ozcorp factory, with Hobgoblin having a bunch of villains and offering money and franchises for whoever kills the most of the Green Goblin’s men and the goblin in question himself. How the battle started beyond the declaration of war last issue is still up in the air, but it ends abruptly with the Green Goblin calling for a time-out. I’m serious, he calls a time-out and Hobgoblin agrees because it’s being costly to him in the long run when the Green Goblin reminds him Spider-Man has an army.
Cut to Otto ordering his men to protect a shipment from what looks to be AIM when the Avengers show up to have a word with him. He tells them he’s busy, so they just take down both sides to hasten things and then tell him his probation is over. Didn’t Captain America take him off that during the first Superior Spider-Man team up? Whatever, not important given the things that happen later on.
We then go to Ghost Peter, who finds that damn near all his memories are gone besides the ones he shared with Otto during their initial transfer in Amazing Spider-Man #700 and the ones Otto perused through on his own. That’s bad because it means that he won’t remember a great deal of his life even when all of this is over. Worse, he couldn’t beat Otto when he had all his memories and allies, so what chance did he have now? Realizing that, he falls into despair on his knees and wonders what he should do.
Now back to the goblins. Green Goblin and Hobgoblin decide to go mano-a-mano, winner takes all on who reigns as the Goblin King. Now, why villains decide to have rules in the middle of the war escapes me, but they go head-to-head with pumpkin bombs while calling each other fakes, listing others who donned their opposite’s masks as Legacy Characters. Hobgoblin gets in a shot when insults Harry Osborn, nailing the Green Goblin in the chest with a spiky metal ball of death.
Then we go back to the Avengers and Otto in the Avengers Tower, where he’s reminiscing about ASM #700 where Peter pushed him out of that very window while in Otto’s original dying body in an attempt to reclaim his body. He’s broken out of his thoughts when Iron Man brings up the charges of him wiping their medical database of his scans and he claims its to protect his secret identity and states that’s exactly why Iron Man and Captain America had that god awful crossover, Civil War.
They say his excuse about being affected by Venom isn’t going to fly given the timing and Wolverine says he can have a psychic up there in minutes, but Otto points out that Peter’s been accused of acting strange tons of times and asks what makes it so much different than before. They states it because he’s an Avenger this time, which I personally call BS on given all the shit the Scarlet Witch has gotten away with, and Stark decides to take a look at those files himself. Given he’s not an idiot barring certain moments, that causes Otto some stress.
At the same time Ghost Peter gets a second wind because all the memories left behind are those defining moments for him. The moments where he’s been tested to his limits, memories where he’s defined himself as Spider-Man. So I expect him to show up soon enough for a rematch over their body soon enough.
Cut to the goblins where, despite having what looks to be his chest caved in, the Green Goblin stands and the Hobgoblin recognizes the scar on his chest as where the glider impaled him and calls him Osborn (which I won’t believe until I see his face). Green Goblin lays on the beat down and strangles the Hobgoblin to death at that instant, despite taking two knives to the ribs. Thus he apparently earns his men as Otto quits the Avengers, saying he needs no help, just as the Goblin King takes the men back while his Goblin Knight stays behind.
Ironically, the Green Goblin had a point when he called Hobgoblin a fake. With Phil being a bit more savvy about checking the body, as he killed Kingsley’s brother wearing the suit when he tried this himself before, he notes its really not Kingsley behind that mask this time and decides to destroy the body so no one knows and Green Goblin keeps Kingsley’s men under his control.
In the end, Kingsley had split town to France and hypnotized his manservant to take his place, doing the same to some other poor bastard. He’s decided to lay low for the time being and toasts to Osborn on his victory as a graceful loser as the issue ends.
At this point I can’t help but feel that the Superior Spider-Man was solely written to reboot the Amazing Spider-Man continuity without changing the base details, a legitimate way to destroy Peter’s life and start from scratch for new readers once March or April rolls around. They broke him up with MJ, turned Carlie to a goblin, messed up his relationship with Black Cat, killed his close ties with the Avengers, and generally speaking turned him into a menace like long before.
Anyway, this isn’t too hot of an issue for me, but as a prelude to Goblin Nation its somewhat important and the story did progress, so it gets a 3 out of 5.
Wham Issue Ahoy!
Otto’s time as Spider-Man is coming to an end for more reasons than one, and the end can be seen here in Issue #25.
The issue begins with Otto dealing with those poor bastards working for Kingsley when the Avengers show up to stop him, while Kingsley himself is getting into the game since the Goblin Kingpin of Crime has decided to screw him over. The Avengers are putting up a good fight, but Superior calls in his own reinforcements in his Spider-Minions. As they departed, the Goblin Knight (Phil Ulrich) records their reaction so he can pinpoint a weak point.
In the Goblin Underground…Carlie’s gone. That serum fucked her up and turned her into a literal goblin, not some mask, and did something to her mind. You know Peter is going to feel guilty about that when he comes back…more on that later though. Anyway, to prove her loyalty, the Goblin Kingpin (Who claims to be Norman Osborn, but I’ll believe it when I see it) wants her to go out into the fray and paint the town red.
Back to the fight, Captain America is calling in all the avengers except Iron Man since he knows that Venom belongs to Flash Thompson and Iron Man goes to Parker Industries to assist Cardiac and come up with a plan. Logan gets knocked around without his healing factor and, because this is after the Avengers in Space or whatever, the people are quick to draw lines and start smashing the Spider-Bots as the Goblins go hunting. Carly, or whatever she’s going by now, makes short work of one of them while the Phil finishes the poor bastard to send a message to Kingsley.
Otto is still laying on the beat-down until Stark shows up without his armor, having given it to Flash, who tries to reclaim the symbiote. The symbiote, however, decides it wants to be on it’s own and in control. It’s at this point that Otto learns that maybe fucking with Venom wasn’t a good idea and tries to cast it out, but he can’t on his own.
Cue Ghost-Peter to the rescue! Venom is freed from Otto and goes back to Flash, while Otto bullshits his way out of trouble again. Meanwhile Kingsley and the Goblin Kingpin decide to go to war, Captain Watanabe frees Mary Jane from her questioning but warns she’ll keep an eye on her and Peter, and Aunt May wonders if Peter’s on drugs. Otto takes steps to nip this in the bud by meeting with Mary Jane and blaming the symbiote, thinking he’s fooled them all.
But, things unravel as Stark notes the test they did and the results were deleted by Otto, cue them calling him in for questioning as the story ends. There’s not much left to say except we are at the precipice of the end of Superior Spider-Man in about 5-6 Issues, with a relaunch of the Amazing Spider-Man. What this means for Otto, no clue, but Peter is getting his body back and ditching the cool tech. Now, we all knew this was inevitable, but…what’s going to happen to Anna is my question. She doesn’t deserve this sort of thing…
Anyway, this is another must-have issue, so it gets a 5 out of 5.
Okay, the winter break is over and comics have returned to being their usual selves, so I’m back with my review of the end of the current Ultimate Universe. That’s right, they’re relaunching it in the spring. But more on that after the review of Cataclysm: Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #3.
So it starts with two pilots attempting to land a plane, ignoring when the military tells them that they need to break off since there isn’t a New Jersey anymore. It goes poorly and they pass by Galactus. This goes about as well as you expect.
It then skips back to Miles being a dunderhead and revealing himself to his father. Jefferson take it poorly, although it is somewhat understandable since he believes Miles killed his Uncle and led to the death of his Mother. Now, Miles could make several arguments in his case, like his Uncle being the reason he gained his powers and used him before trying to kill him, but there isn’t enough time.
You see, that plane got swatted out of the sky and came down right in their neighborhood so Miles had to go be a hero, leaving his father behind to cry over everything. At the scene of the wreck Jessica tells him to put his mask back on and they get to rescuing the survivors. Guess who’s inside that plane?
None other than John J. Jameson, who Miles manages to get him to safety just as the thing goes up in a fireball. They need to evacuate everyone as soon as possible before the whole place goes up, when Cloak and Dagger pop in to help with his teleporting thing. After the first wave of people are gone, the plane blows up a little more and the tail wing comes crashing down to crush hem, but Bombshell swoops in and blows it to ashes.
The team is all together and JJJ tells them all that when this is over, he’s going to change their lives. Hopefully in a good way, considering they’re saving him like he saw Peter doing during Ultimatum. With that taken care of, Miles goes home to find his dad missing and looks upset about it for a second before Captain America tells him they’re coming to get him, ending the Cataclysm version of Ultimate Comics Spider-Man.
So now it ends where Ultimate’s Last Stand #2 did, with Miles heading off to the 616 Universe in hopes of finding the Reed Richards of that universe and getting him to stop Galactus. Now, I want to say Jefferson is a douchebag for spurring his son away, but it’s mostly the circumstances. Miles springs this on him during the end of the world, so you could understand he’s a little stressed.
Therefore, I’m waiting until things pick up after the relaunch to see what’s going on. If they sit down and talk about it, without him kicking the boy out of the house, then I’ll keep my opinion of him high. Otherwise, another shitty parent.
Issue gets a #5 out 5 for heroes being heroes.
Now, on the subject of the relaunch. They’re ending Ultimate Comics Spider-Man this year and no other Ultimate series has a solicitation in March except one called ‘Survive’, which is the aftermath of Cataclysm. However, it became made clear that they are relaunching in April, as they did after Ultimatum, according Comic Book Cast 2.
Better than nothing I suppose, but since I only review the Spider-Man right now it remains to be seen if I’ll cover it. Chances are good if its a team book with the kids and Jessica, but if its the Ultimates then screw that. They’re dysfunctional as hell.
Edit: Apparently they are releasing the new team book under All-New Ultimates…way to be original, Marvel. Oh well, at least Kitty might be in it.
Well, continuing on as the Devourer of Worlds ravages the Ultimate Universe, we’re picking up right where we left off from Cataclysm: Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1.
We begin with a flashback to two years ago, when Ultimatum killed off the majority of characters who should by all means have survived. It was not well received to say the least. Turns out Tandy was at ground zero with her bigoted mother and wanted to help as she watched Spider-Man doing something since he actually had the power to, but her mother stated they had to help themselves first.
Now, she had a point. They couldn’t do anything because they were powerless. Now Tandy feels different since she has the power to make a difference, and she wants to use it by punching Galactus out. Ty thinks she out of it, but he takes her there and she tries to hit him in the eyes. It did nothing but annoy him.
With Miles with the Ultimates saving people, he comes across some kids abandoned by a teacher and one of them calls for their father, reminding him of what he was doing two years ago. He and his father and mother were trying to escape and the man made a comment that clearly showed he wouldn’t have liked it if Miles was born a mutant. This right here is the reason he hasn’t told his dad about his powers and why his mother told him to never let him find out.
With Lana, she runs into her boyfriend that she broke up a few issues ago. He dies, crushed in front of her, just for the shock value. Now, that’s just senseless death right there, but it motivates her to move and join with the Ultimates in doing something.
Said something comes from some dumbasses robbing people as the fucking world is ending. Really, what the hell are they going to do with it if Galactus eats them? Bombshell puts an end to that and Jessica compliments her on it as Miles helps the kid finds his dad, who tells him nothing is more important than family, and Ty and Tandy, who just barely avoid getting an eyebeam to the face, take a moment to help out some injured people, but realize there isn’t much they can do to get more out in time.
At the end we have Miles seeing his father looking for him and drops down in front of him to take him to safety. Naturally, he doesn’t take the costume well because of his bias and the fact that Spider-Man is technically part of the reason his wife bit the bullet. Spurred on by the moment, Miles takes his masks off and tells his father to come with him to safety.
I originally thought the issue would end where Ultimate’s Last Stand #2 did, with Miles heading off to the 616 Universe in hopes of finding the Reed Richards of that universe and getting him to stop Galactus, but I suppose that’s the next chapter. Instead, with the world ending, Miles decides to drop the bombshell on his father. If there was ever a damn death flag that was it.
Normally I would give this issue a full perfect score since this issue was heroes being heroes and actually helping out. They’re outmatched by Galactus and the Ultimate Universe is severely ill-prepared so that’s all they can do, but how often do you see good guys like this instead of them punching out some other superpowered thug? But, Sid’s sudden death was just poorly done and there was no build up, which takes marks off.
So the issue gets a 4.5 out of 5.
Well, the end is nigh in the Ultimate Universe. At least that’s what some people think anyway and I can’t blame them. As Galactus from the 616 Universe runs rampant on the extremely under-prepared world, I’ll be covering what’s happening in Miles’ corner of the event rather than the Ultimates’ Last Stand or the X-Men. With that said, let’s get into Cataclysm: Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1, shall we?
It starts out with Jessica Drew asking if she was fired for the raid on Roxxon with the Ultimates, who just now learns she’s a clone of Peter Parker since it was apparently classified. Whoops. Captain America thinks she just did her job bringing in bad people doing bad things, while the director states that they had defense contracts with them and says this wasn’t her doing, but Nick Fury’s since she inherited it from him. The discussion comes full circle with Jessica wanting to lead an investigation into Roxxon.
We then skip to Miles sleeping in class, angering the teacher who asks him the usual question that he should only know the answer to if he wasn’t sleeping or she would call his father. He actually gets it right and saves himself. We then skip to Lana, who broke parole by using her powers before she turned eighteen. She states she didn’t want to follow her mother’s footsteps but being a hero felt good, before she runs away from the parole office.
Back to Miles in costume, he ends up breaking up a fight when he gets hit by a beer bottle. Apparently people doubted it was him, claiming the costume was still in bad taste until he webs up the entrance. Webs are the ultimate proof. The police show up and actually hugs him, claiming it was good to have him back. Miles is as confused as we are since the last time he saw them they were shooting at him, but I guess a year off the clock made them fond of the costume.
Tandy and Tyrone are alone in the meantime, with him telling her that their parents gave up on them. She insists he takes her home, where they discover that it was abandoned. Heartbroken, and with no where else to go, we have another case of them discovering that heroics feels good and wondering how they go full time. It’s then that Galactus shows up and the issue ends.
Okay, so great art as usual. That goes without saying, and the plot is moving along nicely.
We’ve learned a bit more about Lana since her absence from the series, namely that she was on a super-power parole and she wasn’t raised to know that being good feels good. Given her mother’s lengthy jail sentence prior to her birth and after it should come as no surprise. And she’s cleaned up her language a lot.
Tandy and Tyrone have come to terms with the fact that their parents abandoned them, at least at the moment, and have decided to make the hero thing a part of their life. Great timing, since the end of the world is upon them. Here’s hoping for the best.
Issue gets a 4 out of 5.
This delightfully long episode begins with team RWBY venturing to the docks undergoing preparations for a festival when they come across the crime scene of a Dust shop. The criminals took all the Dust but left the money in the register, which Ruby seems to recall being the same thing that happen when she met Roman Torchwick.
We then learn that White Fang is a collection of Faunes who, apparently, want to wipe humanity from the face of the earth. Given that this is Weiss talking I take it with a grain of salt as she promptly says something that seems offensive to all Faunes. As Yang tries to counter her point, its then that a Faunes stowaway on one of the boats makes a break for it.
They chase him until Weiss crashes into a girl named Penny, who’s weird even by their standards, and Weiss keeps insults Faunes, which aggravates Blake and starts an argument between them that lasts until they get back home. Weiss then mentions that the White Fang keeps targeting her family, including that train robbery in Blake’s trailer, and it made her childhood rather unpleasant. Her rebuttal eventually causes Blake to say something that gives away she was a member of White Fang.
She then runs out into the night, stopping long enough to remove her ribbon and reveal she has Cat Ears and is a Faunes herself, when the one from before calls out to her. Come morning the others go looking for her, while she sits with the guy from before and enjoys tea before the episode ends on a cliffhanger.
I hate when they end it on a cliffhanger at the good point, but this episode delves into the issues of the world that the girls live in, showing that beneath Blake’s cool exterior there exists a troubled young woman. While I normally like my episodes with a good helping of action, this one gets a perfect score as well since the only fault with it was that it cuts off on a cliffhanger that will hopefully be resolved next week.
Yeah, this issue is more of Otto screwing himself over and Peter as well once he gets his body back.
The story starts with a flashback to the moment where Peter and Otto had swapped bodies and Peter died. His death woke up a few coma patients, one of whom I believe was Madam Web and predicted the death of all Spiders and the other being a woman who seems to like Otto. It then skips to Otto making his way to dinner with Anna Marie, which his relationship with her so far has been his only redeeming quality lately and makes me fear her impending death all the more because when Spider-Man is happy bad things happen, regardless of who is wearing the suit.
He runs across Black Cat and makes short work of her, earning her ire, before getting back to his dinner date and explaining his plans for the future in his own company. We then go to the next day where Aunt May is putting up a ton of collateral for this, Carlie plans to take her paper trail to the Avengers, and MJ is making plans to see the firefighter who saved her. Then we come up to the meeting where one of them recognizes the work he’s proposing as Otto Octavius’ and plans to ruin him and have him seen as the laughingstock of the scientific community.
Note that this is the same man Otto has been antagonizing all this time in the college. Naturally Otto plans to have him murdered for it. At the same time the woman who loved Otto has decided to avenge his death by killing the Superior Spider-Man. Irony, thy name is Otto.
The issue gets a 2 out of 5 (filler to me more than anything) and this series isn’t going to make it past 30-35 issues after everything that’s happened. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Otto going in as before, but I just don’t see it happening unless the Avengers have been hit with the stupid stick once Carlie presents evidence. What I’m more concerned about is the fallout from it is going to leave broken hearts, broken wallets, and leave Peter Parker a broken man when he returns.
After reviewing the last chapter of Battle of the Atom today, I was in a bad mood. But this, Superior Spider-Man #19, pulled me right up out of it. Read on and find out how.
The story begins with Carlie and Wraith harassing a money guy who caters to villains to get a paper trail on unveiling Otto as Spider-Man. Before he snuffed it Peter managed to tell her they swapped bodies while in Otto’s and she’s one of the few people competent enough to follow up on a lead like that apparently. The Avengers have no excuse.
Meanwhile, at Alchemax, Superior Spider-Man decked Spider-Man 2099 right when they needed him the most. Ty Stone has sabotaged the time door and is going to blow the place in a literal time bomb. Otto thinks he can fix it but there’s one thing missing, an equation from Peter Parker that he did on his first day at the job. He spends eight minutes trying to find it, but it is gone and he has no way of retrieving it.
Eventually the smarter people retreat while Miguel tries to do the noble thing and sacrifice himself and Stone so that Alchemax doesn’t come to fruition. Even though it would mean that the future would be completely rewritten. But, Ty manages to coax him into escaping by wagering that his friends and family wouldn’t be safe in the new timeline, and it ultimately ends with him saving them both.
So, with his time stabilized, the boss of Alchemax in the future destroys the machine and strands him in the past. This is stupid because he’s right next to his ancestor and can sterilize him or something, but Miguel has more of a heart than Otto and they know it. Ty Stone is untouchable unless he’s willing to erase his friends and family from the future. The bad guys wins, all according to the history books.
Nine hours later the little douche bag is celebrating when we learn that Miguel O’Hara is his new personal assistant to keep tabs on him and Jameson is willing to keep the feds off of the former owner of Horizon’s back as long as he doesn’t do anything. The moment he’s gone though, he and a few others bring Otto back into the timeline and says they’re even for all the good Peter has done and they never want to see him again.
Otto goes over the missing calls and shows he has wrecked Peter’s life further after costing him his job. He abandoned Aunt May for a dinner and missed Anna Marie, although he has the excuse of being dead for those, but MJ calls it quits completely on dealing with him. Meanwhile the former owner of Horizon heads for greener pastures overseas and leaves behind the other two staff members, one who opted out while the other betrayed his trust to an extent and he was short on it after the betrayal of Ty and Otto. Otto, however, was never one to waste a resource at hand (except deleting Peter’s memories without a damn back up) and offers her a job.
As the issue ends, Carlie and Wraith have found their paper trail on Otto. His actions and changes have drawn attention and have put a bull’s eye on his back now. This is one of the many breaking points Otto has had coming and the Goblin Nation arc bring more after the next filler.
It is important to note this is a sobering experience for him as it cost him his life once again. Instead of retreating because he deleted Parker’s memories like the rest, he tried to prove himself better and paid the price for it, only to be brought back at the mercy of his former boss. Who he thought he was better than. His ego will never let him live that down, that he was inferior to Peter Parker and only brought back by mercy earned by him.
I loved Otto going in, but his ego is too much to stand for so long and needs some sobering and this goes a long way in doing so. On top of that we got Spider-Man 2099 in the present. Perfect issue: 5 out of 5.
Edit: It also seemed like I missed the bottom panels on the double spread, which seems to be a foreshadowing of Ghost Peter returning. It’s an asspull, but whatever.
Okay, so issue #7 of Battle of the Atom Review Time. Let’s get to it.
To begin with Jubilee wakes from her nap to her adoptive baby Shogo’s crying. You see, Young Iceman left him with Broo the Brood. Now, while Broo is one of the softest characters I have seen in an X-Men comic pre-bullet to the head, he’s going to terrify an infant. There’s no helping that.
Jubilee then receives a little present from Bling! and Armor for him, which will protect him from harm, since it is pointed out the X-Men don’t exactly inspire safety given they are attacked weekly by something. It’s keyed into Jubilee’s biometrics already and, when it is suggested someone else adds in, she offers Bling! the second spot since she came up with the idea. Bling! is flattered, but she’d rather have someone to talk to over Mercury. Teen romances aside, they then hear the alarm telling them that the others have returned.
Wolverine tells Rachel with telepathy to keep an eye on the future X-Men they’re with mentally. He claims something feels off. Good guess…only about six issues too late to matter. Eventually these X-Men drop the charade when they find out that Magik took Young Beast and Young Iceman to the future, causing Xavier to start acting like a douche bag attack Bling!, which gives Rachel an opening to look into his mind and declare Logan was Right.
Bullshit. Everyone with a brain cell knew better than to trust them. It shouldn’t have taken that damn long.
Xavier tells Future Kitty to ‘Do it’ and she shapeshifts into a male Mystique with Wolverine claws and shanks him, calling him Dad in the process. Given that Wolverine has a shitty track record with his own kids, this doesn’t surprise me. I’m still wondering how the child was conceived when Logan and Mystique have tried (and succeeded occasionally) to kill one another and she’s currently with Sabertooth. Xavier then has Xorn Jean take out the X-Men in Hank’s Lab, where she blasts Old Hank by accident and he decides to lock down the school while she goes to help the others up top.
Apparently Blue Wolverine didn’t kill his father since he’s still there, but Wolverine lost his healing factor recently and can barely breath. Jubilee decides to tear out Xavier’s throat with her claws (vampire, remember?) but inches from it Ice Hulk tosses her out of the way and through a solid steel wall. Rogue tries to take his power and mind, but there’s no mind in there so she gets knocked out when he backhands her. Good showing from the Avenger Unity squad member there.
Psylocke decides enough is enough and simply knocks the thing out with a ninety-pound psychic flail, one-handed while holding Shogo, and crack jokes about how being a mom was easy. While I don’t recommend the baby having seen such violence, the thing just knocked out his vampire mommy so I get the sense he felt it was justified. Xavier talks trash to Rachel and makes demands when she puts his ass in his place like the little bitch he is before getting knocked out from behind by Molly.
This is what pisses me off the most. Seriously, why the hell is Molly playing for their team instead of the other future team? Did X-23 gank Chase and Nico or something in Avengers Arena and she blames the others?
Anyway, Deadpool declares his love for Psylocke and wants to express it in battle, but seeing as she’s with child at the moment and Shogo does have a nifty little gift for moments like this, Jubilee tells him to ‘Push the Beep-Beep’. He does and Armor’s power forms around him in the shape of a hamster ball. The kid loves it, but is taken by Jubilee while Psylocke stays to take on Blue Wolverine and Deadpool…I’d give her 50/50 odds.
Old Hank and Xorn Jean in the meantime have locked down the school and taken control of the defenses to attack the other X-Men they know are coming, while Xavier has subdued Krakoa. Xorn Jean tries to play it up like this wasn’t their fault and they didn’t want it to come to this, but it rings hollow considering Wolverine’s about to kick it.
On the outskirts Cyclops’ team has arrived and Sentinel-X goes to assess the situation, where he runs into Jubilee, Bling!, and Shogo. Given that they’ve just had a bad few minutes, you can imagine they are on edge and a guy dressed like Iron Man with a sentinel paint job is asking for trouble. So he removes his helmet and shows he’s Adult Shogo.
This makes a lot of sense seeing as he’s a normal human (maybe) hanging around with the X-Men. He needs some damn protection and Iron Man is just a genius who hangs around with gods, so the suit is a good thing. Jubilee is happy since that meant they never took him away from her as a baby. You know, for being a vampire who hangs around mutants often labeled as terrorists or under attack by purifiers or nimrods. Psylocke then shows up and says that things have gone pear shape, ending the issue.
Now this issue drops the exposition and gets to the damn revelations and action, finally ending the drag fest. And Wolverine got stabbed. These are only good things in my eyes. Finally some damn progression that makes this issue worth picking up, but I can’t say I’m happy with the lead up.
Still it gets a 4 out of 5 and the next issue will hopefully have Cyclops’ saving Wolverine’s ass and making him swallow some humble pie.
It is with some hesitation that I post this review of Battle of the Atom #6, because it does very little and I can safely say that the shortness of this issue could have covered the information in two or three pages and brought more of the story along.
It starts with a flashback of Dazzler becoming the first mutant president, for about thirty seconds. Then she promptly gets killed by, not sentinels, but what looks to be some of those dragon-like creatures from the first issue made by that mutant gone wild. I find it hard to believe that their security sucked so badly she managed to get close enough to cause that much destruction and they were relying on one guy who could duplicate himself. After all the shit they’ve gone through they should know better than that.
What, were they going soft?
Then, in the current future we see the Magik’s team meeting with the future X-Men, who do the whole ‘you need to leave routine’, but Colossus is happy to see his sister and has her sword (which is basically her soul). Meaning some real bad stuff went down. Given that present Colossus told her he would kill her the last time they met for manipulating him into becoming the Juggernaut, I would have rather the issue focused on that.
But, after the first round of the usual spiel, we flashback again with Beast stating that for every two steps forward they take seven back as he hangs over Dazzler’s corpse. At this point the future X-Men reveal they know about the team who went back to the past, but rather than stopping them from screwing up the time stream by dragging them back, they just tell the others to go to stop making it worse. Freaking Young Iceman points this out by the way.
So, after Quentin threatens to throw Young Beast into the sun in the same manner that Logan tried to kill young Cyclops, a few of them want to vote to help since they hold some blame. Kymera and Piotr are for, Wolverine against, In the end, Older Cyclops team makes it back to their school when Magik pops up with the real future X-Men.
This issue was really short and, again, most of the details were a rehashing of the last few issues with a backstory that could have been solved in 2-4 pages. I can’t give this more than a 2 out of 5 as it is in no way worth the cost of the comic and the event is dragging along. They should have just made a villain from the future come back to the past or something.
Hell, they could have brought the girl from the first issue as the main future villain.
It’s that time again folks, where I review a comic in depth so you don’t have to, so let’s jump right into it shall we?
Issue #27 opens with Cloak and Dagger realizing they are way over their heads and are still coming to terms with what they’ve become. Being a teenager is hard enough, but being one who gained superpowers without consent is another story entirely. See the Chronicle Movie for just how bad that can go. Then explosions happen in the distance and they leave to check it out.
About eight minutes prior we go back to Taskmaster manhandling the group using some illegal Hydra technology to paralyze them. When he tries to remove Miles’ mask like any decent villain should, despite the fact that he’s never met the guy and probably won’t be able to pick a single African-American teenage boy in New York out of the thousands there. However, Miles takes the Batman approach and, like a mook touching the cowl, the man gets tasered.
But it isn’t enough to take him out and he tosses Miles off the side of the bridge. This fortunately puts Miles outside the range of the device paralyzing him, so he can save himself and web-swings around to save Jessica before she gets a bullet to the head. She gets rid of the device and reads him his rights, telling him that he’s just tried to kill the equivalent of a super-cop (she’s an agent of SHIELD) while Bombshell runs away. She hammers him hard, but the Taskmaster no-sells the hits and gets ready to slit her throat.
Bombshell watches in the distance as Miles jumps on the man and Venom Blasts him, only for him to no-sell that too and reveal he’s a power-absorber of some kind. He then fries Jessica with Miles’ attack and throws her off the roof for him to catch while he preps a rocket launcher. Bombshell then decides to blast him, causing the explosion that we saw at the beginning, meaning this guy has been wailing on the good guys for like eight minutes.
Unfortunately for her, he absorbs her power and gets ready to nail her with it. Fortunately for her, that when the Spider-Pair webs his hands and makes him blow himself up. He comes out okay, but Cloak and Dagger show up and Cloak settles it by swallowing the man into his body, which tends to have the adverse effect of draining life-force if Dagger isn’t there with whoever else is, and then spits him out.
Jessica then finds his phone that conveniently has the fact that Roxxon took out a killing contract on them. Then she says screw it and decides to take him down vigilante style, rather than an agent of SHIELD or the Ultimates, and asks who’s in as the Police arrive. They all decide to join her.
The new team has been assembled and they had their first super-powered fight, which I enjoyed. The art is amazing as always too, and we are reaching the end of the Spider-Man No More Arc. Perfect score all around!
I don’t know what’s more amazing, I’m getting some decent views for my reviews or the fact that I’ve been doing this for a month consistently. The only way to find out is to keep going, and today that involves Battle of the Atom #5 of 10.
The issue picks up with everyone recovering from Xorn Jean mentally freezing them, including Magneto apparently, as she does battle with four other psychics. Now, once again, considering that it was stated that Cyclops, Magik, and Magneto had some psychic protection in All-New X-Men #10 or #11, the least the writers could do was have Magneto take off the damn helmet and Scott take off his mask before it happened. Yeesh.
Young Cyclops wants to help his girlfriend, like a good boyfriend should, but his older self states they have their own fight as Wolverine comes in talking about how he’s getting kids involved, again, which led to Schism in the first place. Please note that Wolverine has no right to talk as his school is possibly one of the most dangerous places on Earth, especially after taking in some of the Hellfire Club brats, and that trip to the Savage Lands was less than peaceful. Young Cyclops blasts him to save us the trouble and Storm tries to play commander, ordering both sides to stand down and painting Scott as the villain, which he calls her out on since she brought the ones causing the conflict here.
Xorn Jean meanwhile manhandles Irma psychically, angering Emma even more than simply being an adult Jean Grey entails, and they quickly go into trash-talking. Being the object of Scott’s affection and their ages are brought up as well, which was due, making it seem like a petty squabble between two women rather than the fate of the future. But, even with Young Jean and two remaining Stepford Sisters, it isn’t enough and Emma gets taken down, with her daughters.
Rachel, Kitty, and Older Kitty arrive, but because her powers are being dampened by Xavier Rachel can do nothing about the psychic battle while Kitty says she hates her older self. Oh yeah, she’s defecting after this event is over. Then, when Young Cyclops tries to help he gets attacked by Ice Hulk and once again the hypocrites speak of stopping the fight with kids present while the future X-men says a couple of bruised kids is worth it to get the original five home and the Cyclops pair decide to settle this the old fashion way–by blasting them.
Oh, and Deadpool says Goldballs is a legend. If I could trust him, this would be awesome.
Magik meanwhile shows up at the Jean Grey School and picks up Young Iceman and Beast for a little field trip to the future. Magik has been once, but she feels the future X-Men are lying in her very bones thanks to being demonic or something and, since all of them have their doubts about who these future X-Men say they are, naturally the only way to get some answers is to go check on the future yourself.
On Utopia, Young Jean wins against her older self and sees something that make her shocked to her core. Personally, I think that fight was fixed and Xorn Jean showed her what she wanted to. At the same time Deadpool gives a speech saying that things were so bad in the future they made him a part of the X-Men, which shouldn’t be so bad considering he was the heart of X-Force, but Young Jean backs him up and says its time to pack it in and leave.
Older Cyclops doesn’t want to let it go, but Magneto points out if its a pretty girl with red hair involved he should always be questioned. For examples see Rachel, Jean, Hope, Madelyn, and so on. Wolverine thanks Deadpool, but Deadpool mentions that it was all a lie under his breath.
Yeah, at this point we can safely assume they aren’t as kosher as we were led to believe. You know, if you ignored the evil faces Xavier kept making. But to compound at the end it Magik arrives with her two passengers in the future, at their school with freaking sentinels that act polite and a bunch of future X-Men…including Kid Omega hopped up on the Phoenix, Gandalf Iceman, Mustache Bar Colossus, and Iron Man?
I’m not going to lie, it was only half the series in and I could tell that these X-Men were playing some kind of second agenda.
I’m not saying they are evil, yet, but it seems like they’ve got their own goals and are lying to their past selves. Look at how they popped up when they were already getting ready to send the rest back and how they resorted to violence so suddenly. I’m more saddened by the fact that future Molly may be a bad guy than anything, but I’m reserving judgement until we get the full story at the end.
Issue #10 has action, the art is nice, and the plot finally moves, so it gets a 5 out of 5.
This episode continues from the last, which has Weiss going against some kind of boar Grimm. She handles it, but her intolerance of Ruby reaches its breaking point afterwards with her flat-out stating that Ruby wasn’t fit to be the leader when it should have been her. Note that at this point it has only been a day after the forest trials.
As Weiss leaves to sulk Ozpin appears from behind Ruby to give her some advice befitting the wise mentor role, while Weiss meets with the teacher who calls her out on her sense of entitlement and seemingly reaches her. When night falls and Weiss returns to the dorms she seems to have cooled her head a little while Ruby has been studying and gives her some coffee to continue, amending the earlier argument.
All-in-all, progress is made in both team dynamics and character development. I approve, so I give this episode a 4 out of 5.
And so begins the fourth entry in the Battle of the Atom.
The issue starts at the SHIELD Helicarrier, with them finally detecting a temporal anomaly. This causes Maria Hill to be the voice of what many people have wanted to say and blame Beast. She’s earned points in my book.
On Utopia there is an introduction all around between the kids on Cyclops’ team and the Young Jean and Scott. Celeste and Phoebe tease Young Jean, which Emma calls them out on having Jean Grey envy. They promptly respond they got it from her, being her clones/daughters, before the hive mind works together to project the images of the future X-men.
Cyclops goes through them all and questions if they are who they say they are, even though he recognizes most including Molly Hayes. For those who don’t know her, read the review I did for the Runways. Anyway, Magik confirms they are from the future which, if you remember the first part of the crossover when she broke her promise to Scott about traveling into the future (her teleportation allows her to cross time and space remember), she has seen and then goes off to do her own thing. This leaves the rest stranded on the island and forced to decide whether or not to send the kids back.
That’s when sides are drawn all over.
The future X-men argue with Rachel and Kitty, who are insistent on defending their right to stay. Rachel dislikes Storm’s taking the leadership mantle already (which is ironic considering Kitty gave her the role of Headmistress and now she’s lording it over her) and speaking for them all, while Kitty makes it clear that she dislikes the steps her future self has taken. Especially when you consider that these future X-Men aren’t saying anything about how bad the future is and shielding their thoughts, which automatically turns damn near every telepath against you despite the right to protect your mind. Kitty states that this isn’t what she signed up for as Future Jean Grey hears something telepathically.
Now they make a point that she’s being a bit emotional, but she also make a point that they should have the right to choose. Logan makes a point that this is Beast’s fault for bringing them here in the first place, but at this point Kitty is Mama-bear over her students and their loss will definitely hurt her if the cover for a future All-New X-Men I’ve seen foreshadowed properly. It’s starting to look like Kitty may very well defect to Scott’s side once the Inhumanity Event rolls around.
Back on Utopia, Older Scott has decided to help them on the same grounds as Kitty Pryde. Emma, however, rudely disagrees in a manner that I can’t help but think that she’s bitter about the whole ‘ripping the Phoenix out of you and breaking your powers’ thing that led to them breaking up. Magneto tries a gentler way of claiming that, much like Kitty, he’s being driven by emotion and needs to send them back.
To be fair, I’m in agreement with the Emma and Magneto. They pose a huge risk to the timeline since Doomlock on the time cube ensures that any action changed in the past affects the future rather than an alternate timeline. We’ve seen that already when time nearly rewrote itself and Young Scott nearly bit the bullet. But the way Emma says it, claiming that its only because he gets to have both his younger self to mold and Jean Grey, is damn cold.
Warren himself speaks up saying that they do need to go back, which he wanted all along, but he’s cut off mid-sentence and frozen. The same goes for Scott and I’m assuming the rest of Older Scott’s team (he and Magneto have anti-psychic gear while the Stepford Sisters and Emma are telepaths and shouldn’t be affected unless the plot demands it). Older Jean Grey decides to end this by mentally dominating her younger self,
Cue Emma calling her out and stating that she called them out there to send the kids back, not toy with them. If there is one thing Emma despises it’s an older Jean Grey and, broken powers or not, she’s willing to go toe-to-toe with her any day. She then makes a meta-comment that the message boards would love this and the issue ends.
First off let me say that they keep dragging the event out with all these build ups, so if there isn’t some earth-shattering Status Quo shake ups in the future I will be displeased. Kitty going with Scott’s team I can approve of being one. Maybe throw in Rachel too.
Next, we can see the cracks in X-Men unity at this point. Emma is undermining Scott’s authority (not for the first time I might add), whereas Magneto at least tried to reason with him with logic rather than claiming he’s thinking with the wrong head, but quite frankly this whole conclusion was made more complicated by what she’s done. The last time she pulled this, while under the Phoenix Force, she led to Namor attacking Wakanda, which was destroyed, and then caused them to slaughter hundreds in Atlantis in retaliation. There will be fallout considering she decided to undermine him in front of the kids.
I know that she, Scott, and Magneto are all leaders with clashing view points occasionally, but you are leading a revolution in the near future and can’t be pulling them in three directions.
The issue gets a 3 out of 5 for art and staying in tune with the characters I know and love. Even Emma’s betrayal was something I honesty expect from her. I just wish they’d get to either fighting or advancing the plot quicker.
Now, remember how Otto erased Peter’s memories? This would be one instant where it bites him in the ass, because Miguel O’Hara has met Peter Parker before. If he kept those memories he would probably have been more inclined to listen to the time-traveler and not cause a scuffle that he loses and wounds his ego.
The battle begins with claws drawn after Otto tries to knock out O’Hara, but Otto’s can’t scratch his outfit because it’s future tech. Low-future tech at that, which insults Otto into trying to crush him with a car. At this point Tiberius uses a device he literally kept up his sleeve to make Otto’s spider-sense go bonkers and endanger a child, which O’Hara saves since he doesn’t have spider-sense. O’Hara notices with his enhanced senses that Tiberius was responsible and disappears with him as Otto claims he would never endanger a child to the child’s mother, which he normally wouldn’t, and then shifts the blame on her for trying to take over Horizon.
Smooth, Otto. Really smooth.
At this point they notice the pair are gone and Otto tells his men to start searching for O’Hara since future Spider-Man is far more dangerous with the knowledge of Parker’s identity. It’s then that his girlfriend calls, Anna Marie, and reminds him of his thesis. Since it’s using Horizon’s resources that means they’ll own it and he would be damned before they get his projects, so he decides to smuggle it out immediately.
O’Hara, in the meantime, is facing the hero’s dilemma. His father, the future Stone, is stabilizing, meaning he’s doing what he’s suppose to. But that means that the future evils Alchemax will commit will come to pass. He’s weighing his own existence against just ridding them from the time stream for the good of all, like a hero normally would, since he has the power to change things now.
Unfortunately Tiberius heard the words “Ancestor” slip from O’Hara’s mouth when talking to his father over his line. He puts together that whoever his descendant was he was someone important enough to send a future Spider-Man to save. He tests this theory by throwing himself over a building. He risks the timeline for this and naturally that pisses O’Hara off and leaves him webbing the guy to a wall and calling for some help from the future to give him an info dump on current events and the connect between everything.
In the meantime, one of Horizon’s employee’s goes to the past while cloaked and catches Tiberius stealing data, while the Otto’s boss catches him smuggling out his goods and states he’s not the man he brought into Horizon. Otto receives a call about the Hobgoblin (Green Goblin in disguise) and decides to leave to handle him, costing Peter his job. At the same time O’Hara learns that Tiberius sabotaged Horizon to literally explode, on that very day, and rushes back to stop it, with Otto spotting him as he hangs up on MJ calling him.
At the end O’Hara arrives to tell them he needs to change the future and that they’re about to blow up, when Otto cold-cocks him and possibly damages his time traveling device to prevent a paradox. In short, Otto has screwed Peter’s life over royally and endangered the people at Horizon at this very moment because of his ego.
The issue was beautiful as always but, to my sorrow, Otto is turning into an unlikeable character. If he put aside his ego for one second so many problems could have been solved. Then again he is a former super-villain. On the other hand, breaking the Status Quo does make things more interesting, but Karma tends to be a bitch about it and I have the feeling that Anna Marie is going to pay the price.
After all, she’s a love interest and the Green Goblin is running around. The fact that he went after a future hero rather than villain only worsens things. Her days and relationship are numbered.
The issue gets a 4 out of 5.
I admit I was not into the English Comic Book scene until earlier this year. Because of that, I am now ashamed that I have missed such great stories. This is now one of them.
I didn’t know what the Runaways was until the X-Men Crossover: Event Battle of the Atom took place and unveiled a character from the future called Molly Hayes. Being the curious person that I was, I googled her and found the series. When I do research into a character and their series, I like to be somewhat through and, as a result, found myself interested in the plot and marathon-ed the main series in about three days with distractions.
The Runaways (at least at first) is the story about six kids who find out their parents are a group of super-villains called the Pride, who own a great part of the West Coast which has little to no costumed heroes since most of the super-villains flock to the East Coast. Except for Wonder Man, but he doesn’t count as a hero according to them. The kids decide to run away and have their parents reported to the police, which are owned by the Pride, and end up being blamed for the murder they witnessed their parents comment earlier and kidnapping Molly Hayes.
With no choice they arm themselves and decide to bring down their parents themselves to save the world. Alex Wilder leads the group with his intellect despite possessing no powers, Nico Minoru discovers her powers as a witch, Karolina Dean learns that she’s an alien that derives her abilities from solar energy, Chase Stein steals his parents’ flame-making gauntlets and x-ray goggles, Gertrude Yorkes becomes telepathically bonded to a dinosaur from the 87th century she calls Old Lace, and Molly Haynes discovers she’s a mutant with super strength and invulnerability.
The plot reveals that the Pride were working for six-toed giants who wanted to cleanse the earth of humanity and needed 25 sacrifices to do so over 25 years, with this year being the final one. The kids eventually confront their parents and stop the giants’ plans, but it cost the lives of all their parents and Alex. They were separated by Captain America and sent to foster homes, but they all escaped and stole back Old Lace from Stark’s storage facility deciding to remain Runaways.
In the aftermath of the first volume it is revealed that the Pride prevented most villains from moving onto their turf by eliminating the competition, so with their deaths there was a power vacuum. Now, under the leadership of Nico, the group works to take out all of those looking to fill in the gap when they receive a visit from a future Gertrude Yorkes who warns them about a teenager who becomes a villain before she dies in Chase’s arms.
They confront the teenager, Victor Mancha, which awakens his powers. While Chase was hostile to him, due to the fact that Gert was his girlfriend and he witnessed a future version of her die in his arms, they assist him in retrieving his mother, who is taken hostage. It was revealed he is a child of Ultron, a cyborg who will eventually be able to pass as human in due time. After his mother was killed and Ultron was destroyed, the team takes him into their ranks.
Later on Karolina was chased by a Super Skull named Xavin. It was revealed that her parents arranged a marriage between them as well as sold out their home world to prevent an invasion of earth (which was pointless given the events of Secret Invasion and every other time). Xavin hoped their marriage would cease the hostilities between the Skrull Outpost and her home world. Karolina was originally adverse to the marriage since she’s a lesbian (whose first crush was on Nico), but Xavin shapes shifts to a female form and Karolina left the group to assist in the marriage.
As the series continued the pair returned after hostilities were resparked during the marriage and both the outpost and her home world were destroyed when the Skrulls launched an anti-matter weapon and made a star go supernova. During this time they traveled to New York to assist Cloak and Dagger, who they met in the first series, and dealt with a time-displaced Geoffry Wilder, who sought to sacrifice them in order to resurrect his son and wife. The conflict ended with Gertrude dying in Chase’s arms, giving him her telepathic link to Old Lace.
Chase went mad with grief and consulted with the giants who killed their parents, now stuck in Limbo, who offer to resurrect her for a single soul sacrificed to them. He eventually offered up his own, but since he was willingly giving up his own soul it would not count. In the end the Runaways manage to banish the giants to a realm beyond death, where Alex was assisting the Runaways in atonement to save Chase and fix Victor. Unfortunately they drew the attention of the Avengers and were forced to go to the Kingpin for help.
The Kingpin wanted them to steal an item that was made by the Yorkes, but it was a plot to send them all to 1907, where they met with Lillie, a wonder (meta-human) who could fly, Klara (who could manipulate plants), and the Yorkes. During this trip Victor fell in love with Lillie and she with him, but a war between superpowers broke out after Nico was kidnapped by her ancestor and tortured.
In the end they offered to take Lillie into the future but she was too afraid, instead bringing Klara with them. It was revealed that an aged Lillie was the one who orchestrated the events of the time travel so that she could convince herself to join the man she love rather than live a life of regret, but nothing changed as her past self was too afraid.
In the last volume during the series, the group returns to the West Coast to continue their work but survivors of Karolina’s race came to take her into custody and be held responsible for the destruction of their world since it was her parents that sold them out in the first place. Xavin knocked her out and took her place in the end. The series abruptly ended on hiatus with the Homecoming Arc, where their home was destroyed, Old Lace was seemingly killed, Klara’s powers ran out of control, they were attacked by US Agents, and Chase was hospitalized chasing after a girl who looked like Gert.
Since the series has been on Hiatus since 2009 it is safe to say it won’t start up again, and the movie deal they had seemed to have fallen through. I remain hopeful that one day we’ll see it though. However, the Runaways have not been forgotten. Besides their crossovers with the Young Avengers during the Civil War and Secret Invasion, they’ve appeared in several series since the hiatus.
The first was Daken: Dark Wolverine Issue #19. That issue takes place after the events of the Homecoming Arc that the third volume ended on with Chase having gotten better somehow but no resolution on that Gert doppelganger. Then they appeared in Avengers Academy #27-#28 trying to retrieve Old Lace.
Hank Pym and Tigra are more than willing to help, but since they’ve got a thing about children being runaways, especially Molly and Klara, it leads to the usual hero brawl. This ends quick enough when they decide to talk it out for once and Nico uses a spell to share their experiences with everyone. Hank and Tigra let them go on the condition that the children are brought in once a month for check-ups and Karolina ends up dating Julie Powers after Xavin’s been gone for so long without any contact (which I assume means he’s dead since his people were the ones who blew up their world and they needed a target to hate-on).
After that Victor was recruited into joining Avengers A.I. by his brother, Vision. His characterization seems off, but he hasn’t seen the other Runaways in some time from the sound of it. A future Molly Hayes joined the X-Men in the Battle of the Atom and her present self has been seen in Avenger’s Arena #13, looking for Chase and Nico who she can tell have been missing despite the precautions that Arcade took and Old Lace’s connection to Chase.
Chase and Nico were kidnapped by Arcade in Avengers Arena to participate in Murderworld. There are some continuity issues in Avengers Arena, which is a blatant rip off of Battle Royale (which they even reference in-story as a source of inspiration and I personally recommend the first movie for viewing), such as the issues that Chase and Nico had and the Staff of One being downgraded. It seems like the writers are ignoring Volume 3, which I have admitted to not being a fan of, and some parts at the end of Volume 2.
Anyway, in the story two major things happen so far at the time of the writing between the members of the Runaways:
The first is that Chase becomes the new Darkhawk, courtesy of finding the pendant after the previous wielder went missing from his power turning on itself. Unfortunately the armor is technological and the main villain for the first arc is a technopath. So he’s forced against his will to attack Nico while under Apex’s control and she dies bleeding out in the snow after managing a final spell.
The spell takes effect some time after she’s died, resurrecting her by the Staff of One (which should not be able to bring back the dead but since the spell was cast before she died maybe that was a loophole) using her blood and half-an-arm as a sacrifice. As a result she received the gauntlet that serves as a replacement staff allowing her to cast spells in place of her missing arm and the staff became more of a wand.
As a group they have a generally neutral stand when it comes to heroics. While on good terms with Cloak and Dagger, they dislike the Avengers since they constantly tried to split them up and send them to foster homes. If it benefits them they will work with someone like the Kingpin, although that ended poorly. They don’t particularly trust when it comes to adults but they occasionally connect with other teen heroes.
Born to Geoffrey and Catherine Wilder, Alex is the first character to be introduced to the series. He is a prodigy in Logistics and Strategy and the one to initially suggest spying on their parents’ supposed charity organization. After witnessing their parents’ (who were revealed to be a secret crime ring called “the Pride”) murder of an innocent teenage girl, Alex organizes the mass escape from their parents. He is later revealed to have known about the Pride for a year and served as a Mole, working to ensure that the six spots for paradise would go to his parents, himself, Nico, and Nico’s parents.
For this reason he distanced himself from the other kids, as he felt that they were going to die anyway. Because of Molly’s interference in the ritual and freeing one of the souls, the giants became aggravated and, when he took responsibility for her, they killed him. In the second volume it is shown that he has regretted the actions that he has taken to earn his parent’s approval and assisted the team from a realm beyond death, intent on earning his way out. He showed no hostility to the giants when they join him and even admits that they were probably trying to do the same thing in earning their parent’s approval.
His relationship with Nico was one of the things that hardened her to be the next leader of the Runaways and, despite the fact that he did betray them, she loved him and attempted to resurrect him shortly after his death. His online gamer friends also tried to do the same, although both efforts failed ultimately. The betrayal struck all of the others hard as well, making them more reluctant to forgive treachery and many still hate him to this day.
Nico Minoru (Sister Grimm)
Born to the Evil Magicians Robert and Tina Minoru, Nico herself is a witch whose power comes from the Staff of One, which bonded to her body when her mother attempted to use it against her and only comes out when she bleeds (cutting herself was the most common way, although she disliked it since she wasn’t into that). With it she casts spells using phrases and commands, however the staff itself will only cast the same spell once without failing and she has to summon up painful memories to fuel it in order to get the most out of it.
Later on in the series she gains more power during a trip to the past by being tortured by the her ancestor, as the more pain she can take the greater power she can wield, to the extent she doesn’t need the staff for some minor spells and the staff will eat anyone who tries to use it. After the hiatus and the continuity issues in the Avengers Arena seemed to eliminate those particular power-ups she gained a new one upon her death and resurrection.
Nico becomes the leader in the second volume, where she and the others work to stop the flux of thugs and villains trying to fill in the power vacuum left by their parents’ death. While she considers herself a den mother to them, sewing their clothing and caring for them, she serves as the lynchpin of the group after all they’ve gone through and can be ruthless in dealing with threats to her group.
Nico has been romantically involved with several members of the group due to a psychological need to be close to someone after traumatic experiences or close encounters, which resulted in her romances with Alex (First Kiss) and Victor (Deflowering), as well as her kissing Chase in Volume two.
Her relationship with Alex, who was her first kiss, left her with little tolerance for traitors and she has threatened to deal with those who betray them harshly. Yet she still loves him and attempted to resurrect him without success. Of all of the group she misses him the most at this point.
When Victor came into the picture she opted to give him a chance after losing his mother as long as he did not betray them. Gert’s death motivated her to have sex with him for solace, which they both regretted, but they attempted to start a romance. When Lillie came into the picture she stepped aside, ending their relationship.
With Chase she acts as the motherly figure to his stern approach most of the time. After the incident where she kisses him and Gert’s death, to whom she was an old friend, they’ve had trust issues and clashed several times as she has a case of Survivor’s Guilt since Gert’s death was supposed to be hers. She sees Molly and Klara as little sisters and looks over them. Karolina has a crush on her and, while she doesn’t love her in that way, she sees her as a friend who she cannot bear losing after all of the losses they’ve endured.
Born to a pair of Mad Scientists, Victor and Janet Stein, Chase Stein was the complete opposite of his parents hopes as he was an athlete rather than an intellectual like they were. Because of this his father often beat him.
Chase uses his parents inventions in combat including Fistigons, the world’s most powerful gauntlets that can create and shape flames, and X-Ray goggles, both of which are destroyed in the first volume. In the second volume he serves as the group’s driver using the Leapfrog and slowly becomes more competent in technology, culminating with a new pair of Fistigons and Footigons in Volume three. He uses a switch blade any other time and, after Gert’s death, he inherits her connection with Old Lace. He has also used the Staff of One, discovered three logic questions that can shut down Victor, and recently gained the Darkhawk amulet.
He is the oldest of the group at eighteen and considered a Wild Card. When Gert died he became darker and out of all of the group he is the most likely to resort to lethal force. Out of all the original Runaways he has the most troublesome past due to his abusive father and neglectful mother, once stating that his power was a “poor upbringing” and has the most street-smarts, but he is fiercely loyal to the group barring the single incident he sought to resurrect Gert with his own death.
Chase’s relationship with the group varies depending on the circumstances, but in general he acts as an surrogate big brother to Klara and Molly, an equal to Nico, and a loyal friend to the others including Victor Mancha later on. With Victor, before their roles switched, he disliked him as his future counterpart killed Gert’s and he has implied that he sees Victor as the son his father, who bore the same name, always wanted. He and Gert were in a relationship, with implied sexual relations, until Nico kissed him and it strained the relationship with her dying in his arms shortly after while saying she loved him and giving him ownership of Old Lace.
Born to the criminal time travelers Stacey and Dale Yorkes, Gertrude was ignorant of their activities until the party but always suspected they were evil. She has a cynical view of the world and boasted the second highest intelligence of the original group. Gert did not think highly of her future self and even though her relationship with Chase softened her, she remained cynical.
Her sole power is her telepathic and empathic link to Old Lace, a genetically engineered dinosaur from the 87th century. They can feel one another and share their pain and experience, meaning that if she dies Old Lace dies unless she transferred the link.
Her relationship with the team consisted of interactions with Nico, Victor, and Chase primarily before her death. Nico was her oldest friend and, as such, she was hit the hardest when she kissed Chase, although they made up before she did with Chase. While Victor’s future self killed hers, she bears little hostility against him and ended up defending him against Chase. It was implied her future self and his were in a closer relationship of sorts.
Her relationship with Chase began near the end of the first volume after she gave him CPR once his heart stopped. Since then they bickered but were in love, with the implication that they slept together. However she was had doubts about her appearance and her relationship (he was a jock and she was a nerd, in her words) so the kiss between Chase and Nico ended things. That being said, she did confront the time-displaced Geoffry Wilder to save Chase at the cost of her own life, telling him she loved him as she died.
While she watched Molly and kept an eye on Karolina, their relationships were distant to an extent. Yet her death impacted them all greatly. Had she lived she would have potentially become the leader of the Avengers under the name Heroine.
Molly Hayes (Bruiser, Princess Powerful):
Born to telepathic mutants Gene and Alice Hayes, Molly is the sole mutant of the group and physically the strongest. She is the youngest until Klara joined the team and the most innocent in terms of her perspective, refusing to believe her parents were evil since she did not witness them sacrificing an innocent girl.
Her parents tested her when she was born for the mutant gene but there were no signs of it until her mutation kicked in when the group formed. Her abilities are opposite of her parents in that she has super strength and invulnerability with the only weakness being that she needed rest after each use until later in the series. She is also one of the most insightful characters and intelligent, although she acts younger than she is to hide it, and was the most keen on being a superhero until later on.
Molly is proud of her heritage as a mutant and once had a crush on Wolverine. Even in the Marvel extended universe she is considered one of the strongest despite her young age and when the Decimation of the Mutant Race happened she remained one of the 198 mutants with their abilities.
Molly’s relationships are based on who she spends time with and she had arguably the best relationship with her parents being the youngest. She often misses them and one of the easiest ways to anger or sadden her is to point out how cruel they were to their enemies. Most of the others treat her as a surrogate sibling and she does the same.
In Battle of the Atom she has resurfaced from an alternate future as one of the X-Men, who as a child she admired but did not join because she saw the other Runaways as family and doesn’t like to be separated from them.
Born to exiled Majesdanian aliens Frank and Leslie Dean, Karolina is a vegan and protestor. Early in the series her heritage as an alien and circumstances left her suicidal, but she overcame it later in the series and regained her free-spirited nature. At times, however, she feels as an outcast being the group’s only alien and lesbian.
As a Majesdanian she absorbs solar energy and radiates it as a rainbow colors, with her main weakness being a special metal that inhibits her abilities and that when night falls she has a limited amount of energy stored to use. After visiting her home world before its destruction she became adept at using her abilities, allowing her to fly, use lasers, force-fields, and concussive blasts. Her blood is toxic to vampires as well.
Karolina has generally good relationships with all of the Runaways and is an open lesbian with a crush on Nico that has persisted even upon her marriage with Xavin, although she loves her just the same. There have been moments of where their relationships have been strained, such as Xavin’s identity.
When the Majesdanian survivors came looking for her, she was willing to go in order to appease them and prevent a fight between her friends and her people, but Xavin took her place and left her grieving. Later on she has begun dating bi-sexual Julie Powers.
The child of famed Skrull Prince De’zean, Xavier is a Super Skrull who hoped to end the war between his outpost and the Majesdanians by claiming Karolina’s hand in marriage. It was clear that Karolina’s parents intended for him to die in the war before this could come to pass but she survived. Xavier at first defaulted to a male form however switched to a female form in order to please Karolina, but in general he/she has a bit of a gender identity crisis.
He has the powers of the Fantastic Four but his limited training with them has at times left him unable to use them to their full potential. He can use more than one at a time, but it rarely occurs due to his lack of training once more.
His attitude is somewhat warlike but he detests the notion of war, having lived his entire life in one. He clashes often with the others due to his different upbringing, questioning Nico’s authority and demeaning Victor as his race sees robots as less than equals, but later on it improves as he /she works to understand what it means to be human.
Xavin has left the Earth in Karolina’s place and hasn’t been seen since, potentially being killed as it has been made apparent that Majesdanians have a hatred of Skrulls.
Victor Manchas (Victorious):
A Cyborg created by Ultron using the genetic material of Marianella Mancha, who could not have children due to being used as a Drug Mule. Like the original Runaways his father is a villain, but he had a decent relationship with his mother, who Ultron killed in front of him. He is the brother of Vision and Hank Pym is his grandfather.
Victor’s body is filled with nanites that will eventually convert his body into that of a human’s, rendering him undetectable by metal detectors while retaining his abilities. He primarily uses electromagnetism in combat but also possesses some level of superhuman strength, incredible speed, a powerful jumping ability, and an automated self-repair function. He is also the only one outside of Chase who can pilot the Leapfrog. Because his future counterpart was designed to infiltrate the Avengers in adulthood and kill every hero, he is knowledgeable about heroes in general and has a fanboyish attitude towards them.
While he was originally under watch by the others he proved himself a loyal member of the team and begun a relationship with Nico after Gert’s death. Once the team was sent to 1907 during the last arc of the second volume he then fell in love with Lillie and she with him. However, she refused to join them in the future, leaving them both heartbroken and with regrets.
Klara Prast (Red Rose):
Klara Prast is a time-displaced mutant from 1907 the team encounters during their stay in that time period. She was sold off to be married to a traveler heading to America after her mother discovered her ability and called her unholy. He often abused her, which Karolina witnessed and later confronted her on her being the one who helped them with some trouble earlier in the arc.
When she witnessed Karolina and Xavin in female form kissing she left feeling it was something she couldn’t tolerate due to her Christian upbringing. This led Molly chastising her and leaving her behind. As the group was preparing to leave the past she appeared before them, beaten even worse, and was taken with them into the future.
Klara can manipulate plants in general by simply asking them to do what she wants but likes roses as she can hear them speak. Her powers are somewhat uncontrollable when she is distressed or panicked, such as when she saw Old Lace killed and entombed the team in their house within out of control vines and nearly killing Nico.
Klara is closest to Molly, as they are around the same age and she helps her adapt to the time period. However, because of the time period she comes from and her religion, she sees Karolina and Xavin’s relationship as something abominable due to race and gender. She has tried to get better about it and the change in the time period has made her much happier than living in her own time period.
What I like about this series:
Cover Art: Let’s be clear, in the first and second volumes especially, the covers are goddamn beautiful.
Plot: The plot goes from clearing their names and turning over their parents for murder to saving the world and then keeping their city safe, all while remaining on the run from the authorities and most other heroes.
Character Development: The characters grow as the story continues, maturing slowly as they struggle to not be like their parents. Even though there are moments when they seem just like them.
Relationships: The relationships are flawed, much like real life relationships, but they struggle and love. These relationships evolve over time and are realistic.
Concept: The idea of villains’ children becoming heroes (sort of) is one that isn’t commonly explored, but while they admit their parents were bad people they still hold some affection to them and their memories. Most of them anyway. The kids distrust authority like most teens but take things into their own hands and have slowly come into positions they are comfortable with.
What I dislike about this series:
Volume Three: In general Volume three has been my least favorite due to the weak plot with the exception of the Xavin/Karolina story and the fluctuating artwork. The Rock Zombie arc was just ridiculous and the Homecoming arc was flat out confusing and ended at the worst point, only to be skipped over as the characters were transferred to guest roles in other series.
Well, it’s Marvel Wednesday again so it’s time for a review. This time it’s the continuation of the 10-part Battle of the Atom story that started this month.
The issue begins with Older Jean explaining she can’t keep that Xorn helmet off for more than a few minutes because her powers have grown out of control without it. When Jubilee (now a vampire mother if you weren’t keeping up with her story) points out that the kids stole what was apparently their only Blackbird, Xavier and Old Beast point out that it was hardly the only one they had and end up forcing Modern Beast and Teen Beast to reveal they made a second one that they call Dove. Xavier then pops a pill called a Cerebro Spike and they take off after the two teens. That’s right, drugs are good for you in the future apparently.
Teen Scott and Teen Jean meanwhile steal some clothing and someone’s bike to continue their getaway as the future team secures the Blackbird. Xavier’s drug kicks in and creates a Cerebro-like projection allowing him to track the teens down with Older Jean’s help. At the school, however, Rachel and Kitty find themselves at an impasse because they don’t want to force the kids to go home.
Considering that Rachel (and her brother) both come from the future or alternate future and stay in the present, she feels like she doesn’t have the right to throw stones, while Kitty feels comfortable around them and hates the idea of sending them back to the past where they will be mind-wiped and suffer (Scott being possessed, Jean dying twice, Beast becoming Beast, Angel getting wiped after being Archangel), so they decide to be irrational and interfere. I could say that this is a case of putting their feelings ahead of the fabric of space and time, but at this point it doesn’t really matter. So many teams and heroes interfere with the space and time fabric that it happens all the time.
Anyway, the teenage runaways send out a call for help when they get spotted by the future team and thus begins a game of cat and mouse, involving Teen Scott finally blasting Beast for bringing them there and then trying to get them to go back. No matter how you look at it this is his fault in the first place (which Maria Hill will attest to in the next issue if you read the previews). Rachel and Kitty arrive and lays into the adults which gives the runaways time to steal their ride. How they managed to do that around people that have augmented senses and telepathy escapes me short of the fact that the plot demanded they do it.
The issue ends with them heading to Utopia and meeting who Teen Jean called for help, Older Cyclops and his team. Teen Scott is not pleased since they haven’t been seeing eye-to-eye. Personally, I’m looking forward to conversations between the teens and this team of newcomers and leaders.
This issue was more plot advancement but realistically speaking there is a major flaw in this whole storyline in general, in that it shouldn’t have happened in the first place. To begin with, Beast shouldn’t have brought them into the future knowing that they would learn several things that would entice them to stay. He was dying, but come on all his accusations at Older Scott about abusing his power ring hollow considering he’s responsible for this.
On top of that, while I respect they let the teens make their own decisions, common sense dictated that they really should have forced them back so they didn’t risk breaking the time-stream again. Short of undoing all of X-Men history we know they’re going to go back one way or another and get mind-wiped. Of course, what Professor Xavier does with the knowledge of how the future plays out will be the question I’m asking.
Either way I honestly don’t see this going ten issues without some kind of antagonist, meaning the future X-Men are either traitors or pawns. Considering that the adults were going to send them back in the first place before the future team pops up and Xavier creeps a good portion of the readers out, it’s another nail in the coffin. That or the enemy from the future shows up.
I give it a 4 out of 5 and await the Uncanny X-Men’s role in the story.
The following review is for the Battle of the Atom Crossover, chapters 1 & 2, which include the Battle of the Atom and All-New X-Men Ch.16.
We begin with Magik traveling into the future to see what they are fighting for (remember, her mutant power is teleporting stepping disks that can traverse time and space) and sees the future X-Men fighting hordes of Sentinels. That was a flashforward as currently the Original X-Men team at the Jean Grey School are enjoying school lunch, with Teen Bobby thinking of starting a food fight, when they receive an alert of a new mutant causing problems. She’s a career criminal who conjures up dragons and such and decides to lay waste to her city. Before they can subdue her, Sentinels decided to pop up and lay waste to the entire group.
Kitty protects them with her power, but Scott leaves to protect a civilian family and winds up getting blasted. That’s when his older self’s team shows up and the two teams decide to work together to eliminate the threat in general. The beauty of it is that they hold no real animosity with each other, despite the light banter, and work seamlessly to take out the Sentinels. That’s probably because Wolverine and Present Beast were there.
However, one of them gets in a lucky shot and critically injures Teen Scott. This causes Older Scott to literally vanish until Triage (Christopher Muse) manages to bring Teen Scott back to life. Once the police shows up, Cyclops’ team splits.
Back at the Jean Grey school they finally decide to send the kids back because, as it should have been obvious, having one of them die or get critically injured will completely screw up the time stream. That’s when the future X-men show up and volume one ends.
Volume two begins at the New Xavier School, where they are reviewing the battle and Triage is freaked out about his powers and Scott tells him that he’s grateful for the save. Triage then claims that the X-Men are so used to this sort of crazy thing that they have no idea how crazy it is, but Scott assures him he does.
At the Jean Grey school the future X-Men consist of Xavier (named after his Grandfather so Legion and Blindfold must’ve gotten busy), Future Kitty (who hugs Wolverine from missing him and worries present Kitty about her future appearance), Future Beast (who has mutated into a Chimera thing), Ice Hulk (who looks exactly like he sounds), Female Xorn, Molly Hayes, and Deadpool. They tell them they came to send the teenage X-Men back home only for Wolverine to attack.
It turns out that Jean Grey made him do it so she and Scott could get away so she didn’t get sent back to the past. She’s suspicious of them and ran for it, because Xavier shielded the future X-Mens thoughts. It doesn’t help that the last person wearing Xorn’s helmet killed Jean Grey in that school, as Rachel Grey points out. Female Xorn removes her mask to reveal she is in fact a future Jean Grey, who should not exist, indicating they did screw up the time stream.
It ends with the X-Men jet that the pair stole washed up on a beach and them running away.
Okay, so over the last year Marvel has been screwing with time in the Heroic Age (a fact lampshaded in Superior Spider-Man #17) more than usual. We’re not talking simple time-displacements like Rachel Grey and Cable, but have been royally manhandling it by damaging the past. In fact they have literally broken time, so you can imagine as a consequence we have these paradoxes piling up.
It doesn’t help that the original five were allowed to remain in the present when one of their deaths would essentially screw over the time stream even further. With all the Sentinel attacks that’s a given. So their stupidity in taking them into the field is finally rectified as they just seem to be getting the message now that they’ve had an example up front and there’s no doubt it probably made things worse.
Jean Grey is proving not to be the woman everyone looked up to. First she reads minds uninvited, then she manipulates Scott after doing so on Henry failed. They kissed in the last issue, because apparently she feels the need to botch time further as well as teenage hearts, and it is revealed that knowing about her death has led to these abundances of mistakes so she doesn’t want to go back.
Some of the interactions were interesting. Kitty was a bit shocked by her future appearance but notice how they mirrored each other when they discovered the two teenagers were missing, and the present and past Hanks were more fascinated by their appearance than anything. The past and present Bobby’s however, were utter stumped by what they became.
Now, in terms of art work there are certain moments between them that are less than stellar. The Stepford Sisters have identical hair styles in the first volume, which hasn’t been in effect since Irma decided to be a new her. Not to mention Ororo’s face when the reveal that Female Xorn is actually Future Jean Grey.
There are some continuity errors as well, such as the aforementioned hair styles and Christopher freaking out about his powers when at this point he has raised the dead twice. I want to give this a perfect score but, leaving aside the art, this shouldn’t have even taken place as it was stupid of the X-Men to risk their present in the first place.
It gets a 4 out of 5.