Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Early 90s

The Early 90s are back people.

Massive guns. Holsters. Lots of small packs filled with junk and random additional utility pouches filled with god knows what.

And you know what?

Comics are good again.

This was a heavier week in the comic world for myself. I bought this lovely book to my right (and yes, Nate has a baby strapped to his chest) as well as a number of others. Some reviews?

Let's do it.

Invincible Presents: Atom Eve 2

Invincible is one of my favorite comics, and Atom Eve has slowly become a very visible and great character in that universe. Continuing the origin tale of Samantha Wilkins, issue 2 hits with a bang. Samantha meets her "brothers and sisters" (she was created by a scientist) and these family members are there to trap her and her "father."

For those that don't know, comics are just another form of soap opera.

The artwork and writing, while not by the regular Invincible Team, were awesome. Benito Cereno and Nate Bellegarde deserve their own universe of comic characters that I will follow to the ends of the Earth. Atom Eve is finally a character I like as her story is much more fleshed out.

Young Avengers Presents 2

A lot of presents and a lot of number 2 issues this week. Sadly, this came out last week, and like a goon, I picked up a second copy of issue one, which I already had (a good rule of thumb for comic buying, pull from the back of the pile as those copies are usually flipped through less at the store and are in better condition). So, no review here.

Marvel Knights Logan 1

I like this book a lot. Brian K Vaughn of Lost, Runaways, and everything else is a fantastic writer that I have followed for quite awhile. Eduardo Risso is an amazing talent (from his nearly 90 issues on 100 Bullets). It's a story of Wolverine's past in Japan. Meeting a Japanese woman. Falling in love. Breaking out of a Japanese POW camp. Logan works best in the shadows, and the new villain presented at the beginning, made of fire, is hinted at quite nicely by the last panel.

My only issue, and it can be a major one, is the Marvel Knights banner has been bandied back and forth whether it's in continuity or not. Clearly, Logan talks about being James Howlett and recently regaining his memories (which he did at the end of House of M), and yet the tale is a Marvel Knights tale. Which, out of continuity, wouldn't make sense.

Ho hum. The artwork is spectacular. So spectacular that they put out a variant version of the book only in black and white. And I almost purchased it for its beauty.

Moon Knight 16

This is what I wanted. The book finally picks up. Things happen. We learn a little more about how Marc Spector is ruining the lives around him (and his own, as when he climbs into costume you catch a glimpse of his massive leg braces) and we see more of Carson Knowles, one of Moon Knight's former villains.

The story goes that Moon Knight has gone off the deep end since he received his registration card. Carving the moon symbol into wife beaters, rapists, thieves, and anyone else that crosses his path. Right on their foreheads.

And Carson does one better. Sneaks into a hospital, kills a man sleeping peacefully, and carves the emblem into his head.

And the shit hits the fan. The cops are after Moon Knight. And the book has FINALLY picked up again. So glad I didn't drop this.

X-Force 2

Another #2 ish. Jesus. The 90s invasion continues. Wolverine explains why he isn't the best leader (as he just doesn't lead). X23 is insane. Wolfsbane wants revenge. Bastion has taken over the Purifiers. Clayton Crain's artwork is amazing. And Warpath doesn't like the people he's tied to.

All this and more badass moments from the commanding Cyclops and a cameo by Angel worrying about the team and what they've gotten themselves into.

I've said it before, Yost and Kyle know the X-Men. They know what makes them tick. They know what makes them a family and a group of people standing together (almost as much as the last review of the day). They have the team figured out from the get-go, and the readers are catching on panel by panel. I do, however, think they should be the only people allowed to work with X23 as she doesn't seem to work as well under anyone else.

Cable 1

This book kicked my ass. Ariel Olivetti is a ridiculous talent, even though his backgrounds are completed CG-rendered. Duane Swierczynski (what a name) comes from his fiction background and drops Cable into the year 2043 in a dank future New Jersey (most people think it's regular Jersey).

Lots of fun commentary on the state of the universe and the background of how it got that way. And Cable's fight with the gang is wonderfully staged. He sees all angles. He knows all the moves. And he's protecting the future of the mutant race as he does, so every movement has to be well thought out.

Cable changing diapers is pretty hysterical. Especially when he uses a bandanna from one of the men whose asses he just kicked.

I love this book. It has joined the ranks of monthly purchases. The Return of Bishop at the end makes it all the sweeter and all the more tense. Hey, Jeph Loeb! You want to learn how to create a well-rounded monthly comic mystery? That comes out on time? Check this book out.

And look at Bishop's MASSIVE robot arm.

Best of the week:

Uncanny X-Men 496

Mike Choi. Wonderful. Sonia Oback. Outstanding. Ed Brubaker. Amazing.

The X-Men aren't even a team currently and spoilers alert, there's a doozy in these here pages.

Angel and Hepzibah have gone to San Francisco (which has been reverted to 1969 style, b/c of a mutant LSD trip, seemingly). And Cyke and Emma are on the case. Their interaction on the X-Jet is hilarious. Emma calls Scott out on not really learning anything other than tactics and team-building. He makes fun of her for osmosis. And Cyclops, in full X-gear, looks like a square to all the San Franciscans in the drug-trip.

And the meat and potatoes of the issue, the reason it's the book of the week (and generally is whenever it hits stands), is the other storyline set in modern-day Russia. Wolverine, Nightcrawler (with his trusty image inducer making him look like a German Jude Law) and Colossus visiting the dead and buried from Colossus' past life.

And in case no one saw it coming, Kitty Pryde died. And they mention that.

The reason this works well is because Bru understands the dynamics about these three characters. The drinking buddies. The friends that go out and get in bar fights. That talk about girls and pain and fight it out of their systems. Logan makes mention of the fact he can hide his pain easy, but Piotr can't and needs to let it out. And needs to remember the good things, or the things that can help (read: X-men).

And Wolverine talking about how much he misses Blob is hilarious. He's sick of the skinny punks that try to fight him and can't stand their ground.

You really feel this friendship. This camaraderie. This is a group of friends who love being around each other. And ever since Colossus came back (in 05 or whatever), they haven't really appeared together the way they were meant to. And yet again, Bru does it.

And finally, the end. THE RED ROOM IS BACK. Talk about trudging through history with both hands wide open, picking out your favorite parts. The Red Room is where the Black Widow trained. And they want more mutants? Crazy.

This book takes the cake on crazy ideas and awesome shit. I love it. And will continue to love it. Thank goodness for the awesome writing talents on the X-books currently.

The Marvel universe is wide open. The 90s are back. My love for Wolverine should be apparent as 3 of the books this week featured him prominently. Hope you enjoyed, and see you back in the funny books.


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