Remember the Avenger movie that was a Captain America movie named Civil War? Yeah, it was good but in that the new Sony Spiderman made an appearance in the Disney Avengers. That was exciting but more so was he was spot on as the wisecracking teenager Spidy. So after seeing Peter Parker in detention watching a video featuring Captain America whom he just fought… Mike was sold. I was willing to try again. There had been enough time after the terrible Spiderman 3 starring Toby McGuire. That movie actually burned me so bad I skipped all the Spiderman movies since. BUT I have to say this one was spot on.
The required US legal disclaimer: All images are the property of their owners I reproduce them here under the Fair Use Doctrine of the copyright law for commentary and critique The required US legal disclaimer: All images are the property of their owners I reproduce them here under the Fair Use Doctrine of the copyright law for commentary and critique
Since I gave up comic books for other things, like space in my home, I get my fix in comic book movies. I didn’t see Avengers 2, aka Ultron, in theaters because of all the moaning about how badly it dissed Hawkeye. I did see it in February on the cruise. Deadpool I was anxious to see but came out in a busy time in my life so saw it via DVD. This summer with little to do when camping in an apartment and waiting on a house to move into we went to movies regularly – saw Civil War and Apocalypse in a theater. Now I know those are two studios but for a comic book lover like me it’s one publisher Marvel. Thus I’ll give my short thoughts on each in one post about Marvel’s Movies. Warning SPOILERS ahead if you don’t want them for a particular movie skip to the next. I feel comfortable doing spoilers because it has been sometime since the movies were released and they were successes. Thus I feel those who care passionately about the story lines have already been exposed to the plots. Continue reading
Yes, I’ve seen the movie. Yes I liked it very much. Yes, I thought it was better than his Origins movie though I never thought that was as bad as some made it out to be. For me the stinker was X-Men III. I regretted that this movie had to pull from that one but Logan’s pining for Jean Grey is legendary. So it’s an important character element. I still have issues of casting Famke Janssen in the role.
The movie takes a classic and beloved story line of Logan meeting one of the major loves of his life Mariko and tells it in the film universe. Sure some changes are made in the telling but the heart of the story is there, and the story is about the heart of a warrior falling in love with a quiet powerful woman and having that love returned. Some of the changes I like – I like Logan having to face his healing power being diminished. He deals with fatigue, blood loss, medical care, and stuff all of us would have to deal with being a hero. I also like that he gets it back in time to be what many come to see in a Wolverine movie – kick ass. I fear the comic’s attempt at copying this idea of losing healing will not be executed so well and will fall into the category of the 1992 nose-less feral Wolverine no one at Marvel ever acknowledges much to the relief of fans (may the whole Romulus crapfest, Native’s frozen wolverpups, and Agent of SHIELD all fall into this category).
I liked the movie and found it a stronger better story than his Origins one. It didn’t feel rushed nor that it was an attempt to shove in as many mutants as possible into one movie. The characters served purpose to build and move the story along. I think the action scenes were well done (but really for all fanboys goggling over the train scene I preferred the funeral one hands down for action). I did feel that the climatic scene between the Silver Samauri and Logan was a bit over the top for this movie’s style. I also wasn’t a fan of the Silver Samurai being a giant. That said I like how Logan recovered from the attack of the admantium cutting sword. That was awesome!
Viper was interesting but I missed her trademark green hair. (Also don’t forget she has a thing for Logan, even blackmails him into marrying her but even then he’d sleep with just about ANYONE but her). She had the right level of self-centeredness to make the character recognizable but would like more of a hint of her lust for Logan’s body in her reaction to seeing him shirtless & cleaned up.
Mariko was Logan’s first wife for a long time but then he got his memories back and remembered Itsu (Dakan’s mom). Now Mariko isn’t even considered his wife but instead one great love that took him years to get over losing. For those who don’t know she’s poisoned and dying, she begs him to kill her so she won’t have to suffer the agonizing death for which there is no cure. He does then revenges her death on those who killed her to get her conglomerate.
Yurkio being psychic about deaths only was a nice touch. I don’t consider this a mutate so much since it happens among normal people. It’s just a fun element to give a ninja woman. I like how her friendship developed with Logan. Eventually after Mariko’s death she’ll help Logan raise his foster daughter Amiko. Sure at times they are friends with benefits but when one or the other is in a relationship they support that. It’s a complicated friendship but one that isn’t overburdened with romance. I like how it started here and feel it’s got a good future on screen should it be developed.
Logan himself – what can I say but WOW! Jackman pulled out the stops in getting into Wolverine shape. He does the comic proud. Also the short hairstyle is awesome and more what I picture the up lifts being – side cowlicks that just curl up. I did enjoy his mountain man scenes and long for a bit more exploration of that since it was a frequent retreat in the comic books. I get that this movie wasn’t about that so in interest of moving the story along it was just enough. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t enjoy a bit more of the surly mountain man kicking the city slicker hunter’s ass in the dive bar. LOL!
Finally the kicker after the credits (Marvel is famous for that always stay in their movies to see them) was awesome! It’s a nod to Days of Future Past coming out in 2014. This is another classic comic tale for the whole team but in the movies it will blend the cast of First Class with the cast of X-Men I. I am hoping that it is along the lines of this movie and First Class in tone not the hyper frenzy of X-Men III or Origins where it was thought the more thrown in the better (psst I prefer Taylor Mane as Sabertooth sorry Liev ).
In the end I think The Wolverine is a rare comic book movie that doesn’t suffer from being over done. It doesn’t suffer from what I call Fanboy syndrome of constant battles. It takes time to have action and emotion. It does well to juxtaposition peaceful with traumatic imagery. I think that unlike some comic book movies this one is more accessible to those who don’t know the comic. The Romeo/Juliet or right/wrong side of the tracks romance between Logan and Mariko is something many people can understand. What makes this movie stronger than many of the ones before it in Wolverine’s story is that it has a core, a heart, and isn’t afraid to be quiet and serve that heart, much like best portrayals the Wolverine himself.
Until next time.
My recent trip to Norfolk convinced me to make the jump to digital comics where I can. Let’s face it, I’m not of the digital generation. I remember TVs with two dials for UHF and VHF. I remember when phones had dials and to place a long distance call you had to talk to the operator (no shit). Heck I grew up on a semi-private line meaning instead of a party line where 5 people were on it and you had to know your ring to answer your calls but the other rings still rang through too. We shared a line with one other household and didn’t get her rings – luxury I say LUXURY!
Given my start and the fact I’ve never had a computer class in my life just got thrown into a PC lab the senior year of undergrad and had to learn on the fly – I think I’m doing pretty darn good in the digital age.
For a year or more I’ve gotten free digital copies with some of my Marvel comics. That’s what I used Comixology to access on my smart phone for the trip. I didn’t have to pack a stack of comics but I could read a stack while traveling. A definite bonus when there are fees to check luggage and I was getting by for a week with my one carry-on.
I found I liked the digital and that some issues that aren’t available digitally from the publishers are now available at Comixology. There is also the bonus of not having to find storage for the past issues. IF there was a comic shop near me where I got my comics I would be much more hesitant to make the digital jump. However, I must order and wait for my once a month delivery. Which is yet another reason I am willing to give Comixology a try.
They are offering subscriptions. I checked and they are as up to date as the in print ones for many of the titles on my pull list. So I’m moving titles that do not come with digital copies to Comixology. If I am happy with the service and find that my issues come in just as quickly if not more so than my monthly delivery I will move all my titles there.
This old lady is learning new tricks. I think digital will be the answer for me. I’ll let you know if I go totally digital.
Until next time.
The title of this post says it all about these three issues – I don’t know what the heck is going on in the story. This crossover took place in Astonishing X-Men issues #59-61. This reflect the culmination scene from X-Factor at title I don’t follow. So before I attempt to explain my confusion and why I don’t care to put forth the effort to clear it up, let’s take care of technicalities.
Disclaimer: All images are the property of their owners I reproduce them here under the Fair Use Doctrine of the copyright law for commentary and critique. No more than three pages total from any one issue is reproduced.
These credits are very complicated please excuse them but if I don’t say the credit covers all three issues: Marjorie Liu, Writer – David Lapham, Marjorie Liu, & Greg Pak, Story Issues #60 &61 – Gabriel Hernadez Walta, Artist #59 – Matteo Buffogni & Renato Arlem, Artist #60 – Renato Arlem, Klebs deMoura, Matteo Buffagni, Raul Valdes, & Carlos Cuevas, Artists #61 – Chris Peter, Colorist #59 – Christopher Sotomayer & Lee Loughridge, Colorists #60 – Lee Loughride & Chris Sotomayer with Andres Mossa, Colorists #61 – VC’s Joe Caramagna, Letterer #59 & #60 – VC’s Joe Caramagna with Clayton Cowles, Letterer #61 – Phil Noto, Cover #59 & varient covers for #60 & #61 – Giuseppe Camuncoli with Cam Smith and Rain Beredo, Covers #60 & &61 – Jennifer M. Smith, Asst Editor – Jeannie Schaefer, Editor – Nick Lowe, Group Editor – Axel Alonso, Editor in Chief – Joe Quesada, Chief Creative Officer – Dan Buckley, Publisher – Alan Fine, Executive Producer.
The whole concept of the title is a group of time-line jumping X-Men that keep the time-lines straight. Think Time Cop kinda thing but with mutants. I am aware of various incarnations of characters I try to ignore this but with Logan’s best friend Kurt Wagner (Nightcrawler) who died heroically has a doppleganger with a helpful red face tattoo to tell him from our priest Nightcrawler has been on the X-Force team (a title I followed). There’s some big shouting battle in issues #60 & 61 with a mismash of artists. I don’t know who is who since I don’t follow that title and don’t care to follow it. Then after all this of deaths of some their characters in my book it is continued out of my title somewhere else. So essentially I paid for a two issue ad for another title.
Also in issue #59 the concept of the US deporting Northstar. If you don’t know the character he’s an X-Man that’s Canadian and gay. He’s the one that got married in Astonishing X-Men #51 but the fact that he married an American doesn’t help since at that time gay marriage wasn’t federally recognized. That’s changed recently but any way, it doesn’t matter since that plot line just falls to the side and gets lost in the big advertisement for X-Force.
As for the art – I’m not a huge fan of Walta but find him serviceable. However for issues #60 & #61 it’s a mess of styles that just shocks the eye. It’s not fair to give a read on any of the artists because it’s such a mess.
Moving on to the covers – I like #59 and the variants for the other two issues because I enjoy Noto’s art. As for the non variant covers – #60 is passable but looks like a bad photoshop of various artists’s interpretation of characters pasted together. #61’s cover looks like art from the County Fair’s middle school exhibit – sure they have potential but it’s too blocky, no life in it just overly studied with tight interpretation and over-consciousness on technique. I don’t even know whose work that is given the long list of credits. What possibly happened is too many were involved that no one put their style to it thus no life was ever breathed into the work.
Overall these three issues were worthless to me. I don’t need another X title and am contemplating dropping this title completely if the current Iceman centric arc isn’t awesome (or at least good and makes sense) then I shall drop it.
After the jump are a few panels I enjoyed just for themselves.
I know I am WAY behind on my Comic Comments but I’m making effort to catch up with the list. I am seriously considering doing by issue once I get the backlog diminished significantly. Mostly because it would be easier to keep up with what I’ve reviewed and what I haven’t.
Okay my mea culpa and plans revealed let’s talk zombies! This is a one-shot that fits into the Marvel Zombie line but not into any continuity. Just think of this as a fun story, part of the fun is figuring out who is who in this post zombie apocalypse world. It’s an excellent Marvel superhero tale for Halloween.
First give credit where credit is due for this one-shot: Fred Van Lente, Writer – Alessandro Vitti, Artist – Jean-Francois Beaulieu, Cover – Jon Moisan, Asst. Editor – Bill Roseman, Editor – Axel Alonso, Editor in Chief – Joe Quesada, Chief Creative Officer – Dan Buckley, Publisher – Alan Fine, Executive Producer.
Next the legal disclaimer – All images are the property of their owners I reproduce them here under the Fair Use Doctrine of the copyright law for commentary and critique. No more than three pages total from any one issue is reproduced.
The art is perfect for the issue. I like the ‘dirty’ line look and really suits Old Man Scratch in his appearances. It also does well with the zombies by giving suggestion without being too explicit on the details of decay. I thought it was excellent and made the tale even better.
As for the story it starts out with a definite Walking Dead (tv show) vibe but quickly becomes a Marvel tale. The premise is that a mother and son have established a safe camp in an old Victorian mansion complete with a greenhouse for safe gardening. The boy is going over the calendar and discovers it’s Halloween. After them mom explains what the holiday was and the boy wants to celebrate.
Here the tale takes the Marvel turn – they find the boy a Wolverine costume in the basement. When they head out to get candy – they encounter superhero zombies. I’ll leave it to you to discover just who these are! It’s fun to see them in that form, LOL!
Then Old Man Scratch makes his appearance accompanied by the Rolling Stone song that introduces him. The question becomes – do you want to be in debt to the devil or eaten by zombies? I’ll leave you with that only to say that in the end a black kitten makes it all worth it.
Just who are the mother and child? That’s part of the twist too! Let’s just say there is a clue in the fact Mom likes Wolverine (no he’s not the father of the boy THIS time). In the end I enjoyed the tale of Halloween during a Zombie Apocalypse, well done Marvel, well done! If you didn’t pick this one last Halloween get it in time for this one.
The Dreaming Maiden was the final arc of Wolverine Volume #4 taking #314 through 317. There is much here that I liked about volume #4 – Melita and Jean Grey School. It also includes some things I don’t like – magic crap, Seraph’s Angels, and yet another group Logan was a member.
First off let’s give the usual disclaimer: All images are the property of their owners I reproduce them here under the Fair Use Doctrine of the copyright law for commentary and critique. No more than three pages total from any one issue is reproduced.
Credit to the creators of this arc: Cullen Bunn, Writer – Paul Pelletier, Penciler #314-316 – Cam Smith, Penciler #316 -317 – Dave Meikis, Inker – Cam Smith, Drew Hennessy, Mark Pennington, Inkers #317 – Rain Beredo, Colorist #314-316 – Wil Quintana, Colorist #316-317 – VC’s Cory Petit, Letterer – Mike DelMundo, Covers – Jared K Fletcher, Designer – Jennifer M. Smith, Asst. Editor – Jeannie Schafer, Editor – Nick Lowe, Group Editor – Axel Alonso, Editor in Chief – Joe Quesada, Chief Creative Officer – Dan Buckley, Publisher – Alan Fine, Ex. Producer.
In this arc a good deed Logan did back in his days as a free-lance muscle guy comes back to haunt him. It turns out years ago he was hired by a group called The Covenant to kill a maiden that dreams the future. As he’s trying to recover his relationship with and memories of Melita after his second encounter with Dr. Rot he’s interrupted by his past. He leaves Melita to ensure his good deed still saved a life.
As the story progresses we learn magic is involved, possibly aliens, and there’s yet another shadow group of super powers with their agenda operating in the world. I get that Logan is getting near 200 years old and that he might have involvements we haven’t heard about. Yet I find that Marvel universe is getting crammed full of superpowered groups (magical, alien, mutant, mutated like Spidy, etc.) that I have to wonder are there any normal every day humans left? Also how can one of these groups turn around without bumping into another one – be they good or evil groups? It’s getting too far fetched that was supposed to be fixed with the M-Day arc but no it’s getting bloated again.
As Logan goes about protecting the Dreaming Maiden again Seraph’s Angels get involved to help him. If you aren’t familar with Seraph’s Angels it’s a group of Logan’s bitter exs that now are a super-team themselves. Melita is the newest member. I have issues about this on several levels. First I find it insulting to women that they all unite having been in a relationship with the same man. Is that all that defines them now – ex-girl of Wolverine. I find that very demeaning of women. Especially these women that were portrayed as very strong women in their own arcs and now they are mewling jilted lovers that can’t get over it so banded together to kick ass. Not a concept I enjoy. Not something I enjoy seeing as a role for a strong female character. Next Cassie the BTF Agent wasn’t really a girl friend – she chased him and eventually he screwed her to feel human after placing a dead drug dealing woman’s baby in her nice sister’s care. As far as she goes it seems to be a one-night stand she never got over. Next issue is there was this big arc where Logan dug up Seraph’s body to find out about the Romulus crap. So she’s supposed to be dead – but if it gets rid of all that stupid line about Romulus and Remus I’d love to have Seraph back. Though I do wonder how she’s not a little person any more and how this effects her dying wish he marry Viper to keep peace in Madapoori. That all said there were some funny panels that come from exs working together.
Once again during the climatic scene that addresses the major issue of the arc – Wolverine/us black out to learn how it resolved itself without us. This has a rushed feel and looking at the number of inkers, change of colorists, and such add to that impression. We are left with the hanging questions that won’t be answered since the title is off to relaunch as part of the Marvel NOW initiative. The sad thing is that when the arc started it was pitched as a jumping on point but then we are left wondering – “What will the reunited Covenant do now?” “Are the Dreaming Maiden’s people coming for her?” “What’s the status between Logan and Melita?” So far in the new volume these are just dropped threads that may never be picked up in service of the trend of bit events and relaunches of titles after them.
Over all I lie the concept – Logan spared a life back in his for hire days. The group that hired him for hit find out their target is still alive and come after Logan to finish this supposedly “finished” contract. In the course of saving the target again he has to work with a bitter ex or two. Is a great pitch, a great set up and a story that I wanted to read. However to have him black out during the resolution, the group that hired the hit slip away, and magic/aliens be involved destroyed it for me.
As for the art, it was good until #316 then it develops what I consider a rushed feel. Suddenly we change pencilers, we have a team of inkers, and the colorist split the job. Not only does the story feel rushed to the conclusion but so does the art. Not keeping the at least same penciler through out the whole arc or changing artists to make say flashbacks differ from story today is fine but this like the jump in artists in the Warbird arc at X-Men gives the story a rushed to finish patchwork feeling.
That said I do enjoy Pelletier’s art. It’s not in my top loves but I like it and enjoy it. Smith does well picking up and blending in as best as two artists can. Their styles aren’t as abruptly different as those in the Warbird arc I mentioned. I think the expressiveness in the opening scene where Logan is trying to understand and recapture what he had with Melita is touching and well done. Pelletier is good at giving a strong character the looks of vulnerability, regret, and sadness without much to-do. It adds well to the experience of the comic where not everything is stated some is shown.
Once again I’m left feeling Marvel missed the mark in the rush to keep to corporate plans. Honestly, I am waiting for the day when they realize that well written stories coupled with strong supporting art will sell comics better longer term than marketing gimmicks. I know of two faithful readers that have dropped many Marvel titles because they are tired of potentially good story concepts ruined by forced cross-overs or rush to the next gimmicky event.
Next a few highlights from the issues – some laughs with ex-girlfriends and some touching scenes along with nonsense.