It’s not a secret to long time followers that I’m a big fan of Wolverine. Just look back at my comic comments tag and you’ll find a lot of Wolverine. While the movies have been fun up to now I’ve not felt he has gotten the movie he deserved for being one the strongest franchise characters for Marvel. That ended this March. Sadly the last movie with Hugh Jackman as Logan did them both justice. Continue reading
So I’m getting back in the blogging saddle with comics. They are comforting and I have a box to review. Before we get on with that I want to thank you for all the support from friends during our family’s losses. Of course after such an emotional blow our immune systems were low and we battled the cold from hell. Never bad enough to toss in the towel and go to bed but bad enough that life was work and sleep until we healed. We are well now, Spring is attempting to spring and life is blooming again.
Now to the comic – a limited series to wrap up the Avengers vs X-Men shenanigans or as I liked to call it AvX Interruptus because many good titles were interrupted in their strong story lines to tell this weak story that was an excuse to undo M-Day. Honestly this was a weakly veiled Marvel marketing ploy to sell more comics trying to get people to buy comics across titles. Unfortunately the title samples they are buying weren’t as strong as the story that was interrupted by the ploy. Don’t get me wrong I like a well done cross title story (see House of M and M-Day, Don’t see Civil War or World War Hulk) but forcing one at least once a year not to expand the universe but to push sales is lame and gives you at best something like Civil War that started out strong and ended weakly or just stupid.
I wasn’t going to get this title due to my avoiding of the whole cross over except when it intruded into my normally subscribed titles. Yet I saw a few sample scans of the scenes between Logan and Scott and wanted see how they played out. I do like how they officially switch roles. Yes it had happened with Schism but this solidifies it with Scott truly a criminal and Logan the experienced headmaster proving to be Xavier’s real disciple.
Now for the credits: Kieron Gillen, Script – Tom Raney, Art Issue 1 – Steve Kurth, Pencils Issue 2 – Scot Eaton, Pencils Issue 3 – Mark Books, Pencils Issue 4 – Gabriel Hernandex Walta, Art Issue 5 – Jim Charalampiois, Colors – Allen Martinez, Inks Issue 2 – Andrew Hennessy, Inks Issue 3 – Mark Brooks & Andrew Hennessy, Inks Issue 4 – VC’s Clayton Cowles, Letters – Patrick Zircher & Dommo Sanchez Aymara, Cover Art Issue 1 – Paolo Rivera, Varient Cover Issue 1 – Ron Garney & Jason Keith, Cover Art Issue 2 & 3- Shane Davis, Danny Miki, & Morry Hollowell, Variant Cover Issue 2- Adi Granov, Variant Cover Issue 3-5 – Salvador Larroca & David Curiel, Cover Art Issue 4 & 5 – Jordan D. White, Assistant Editor – Nick Lowe, Editor – Axel Alonso, Editor in Chief – Joe Quesada, Chief Creative Officer – Dan Buckley, Publisher – Alan Fine, Executive Producer.
The ever present 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. No more than three pages total from any one issue is reproduced.
WOW! Look at the artists that contributed to this 5 issue run. Lots of them and honestly I don’t have a complaint about any. They all have their own quirks and styles but I like them. They aren’t overly stylistic so that it becomes painful (yes I’m thinking of the first few issues of Wolverine and the X-Men, OUCH) nor are they too cartoony. All these artists hit that balance I look for in a comic, realism with just a toe over the line to make it fantasy (trust me boobs don’t do that on their own). So reading this I didn’t cringe and cling to the script for the story nor did I stop astounded at the artistic beauty. The art completed the tale, added dimension, and made it a full experience. I have my personal favorite Tom Raney and personal least favorite Gabriel Hernadez Walta. But still I enjoyed them all. Cudos all the way around!
Now the story – or stories I should say. It’s a follow up on the Phoenix 5 focusing mainly on Scott in jail. We get glimpses of other aftermath but the central thread is Scott Summers. We see Tony Stark dealing with the illogic of the Phoenix. Hope Summers try to be a typical girl who goes out to hunt for her partly cyber foster father from the future. Kitty Pryde and Emma Frost exchange zingers at each other. We learn what the fugitives Namor, Magneto, and Magik are up to. Also get the low down on Agent Brant and Hank McCoy’s relationship status. We see Colossus dealing with part in the whole thing, poor woobie. Oh and Danger the AI droid from the previous declared “totally separate” Ultimate universe is here throwing in with the fugitives. (I hate hate hate that Ultimate has crossed into 616 cannon really enjoyed the separate takes for separate generations of fans). Storm takes her place at the Jean Grey School and Logan chats with Capt America. (does Steve Rogers ever get out of costume? I think he wears it like Bobby Drake runs around iced up in every day life)
Since I’m a Wolverine fan you’ll know I’ll spend the most time there. I liked the dynamic between Logan and Scott. It was interesting to see reluctant partners with totally different approaches in life, personal life differences, still go after agreed upon goals for the common good. But as they matured and one lusted after the other’s wife you knew it wasn’t going to work long term. As a Logan gal I can see how Xavier’s dream appealed to the man who had high goals and morals but always fell short of them. Honestly you take in the whole of Logan’s path and Xavier gave him a way to mature as a man into the son of John Howlett not the biological pup of Thomas Logan. When you get down to it that’s Logan’s story nature vs nuture. He chose to be more than his genes. Xavier helped him see how to do that. While Scott always lived the good boy dream raised to be a superhero, and was the expected heir. I’d say he rebelled when he dumped Jean for Emma. That he was always prone to rebel to the dark side as part of his growing. So no surprise he’s now thrown in with Xavier’s arch nemesis Magneto. I can see the progress of the two down these paths. I could also see how it could have gone the other way with Scott never rebelling and Logan becoming say a Nick Fury like black ops go to guy for mutant issues. But then neither gets much character growth from that scenario. I always contended once Logan got back his memories and processed them he’d have to be more mature than any of the other X-Men because you can’t have over a century of life experience and not become more than what those with less than half a century are. So it makes sense that out of the two Logan would be the most mature adult about dealing with things.
It’s not that Logan doesn’t deal with the feelings. He admits to Capt America that his emotion is to deal with Scott by killing him but he learned from Xavier what he should do and that’s why he gave Xavier’s eulogy. He can be what Scott called in issue 5 “the better man” but it’s a struggle. That’s why I like Logan he’s honest about his internal struggle between wanting to just go with base reaction rather than reason. Yet he has matured enough to know when that’s called for and when it’s time to grow up and do what you should instead of what you want. Which is what leads to the Issue 2 and the conclusion note to Logan from Scott in Issue 5. It’s previews of those two scenes (you’ll see a my preview choices from them below) that drew me to purchase the arc. Both characters make choices that if they hold as long as Jean’s death, Logan having his memories back, and a few other things have these developments will change the characters significantly. I also like it because it follows what has been my impression of the characters for years. It also nicely mirrors the Xavier/Magneto split of the generation before, former teammates now arch enemies. I wonder who will be the two for the next generation- will Quire follow in Xavier/Logan footsteps or Magneto/Scott? Who will be his balance Evan? or have we not yet met the two future leaders?
That leads me to say to be an all around trying to gather up loose ends and point to the new directions and arcs of multiple titles the writing in this is good. Gillen succeeds in his labor intensive task of staging the relaunch/launch of many titles under the Marvel NOW! banner. Not only does he achieve his corporate directive but he writes some great scenes that redefine characters as well as give them the starting point for new growth down divergent paths. As a writer who knows the difficulty of fusing your contractual assignment with the art of writing I give him praise for taking what could just be a through the paces move characters about to get them where they need to be for the title launches into a true story that can be used a defining moments for the storylines to come.
Over all if you are into the Marvel universe and want to keep abreast of what changes were wrought by the AvX Interruptus these 5 issues are for you. They are not the jumping in point for those who aren’t familiar with the characters. It for those of us who know the characters and want to get insight into where they are now.
Next up from the Review Box – Astonishing X-Men Issue 57-58 a mini arc that centers on Warbird.
Below here there maybe SPOILERS in scans
You have been warned
Don’t want to see then stop scrolling
Really this is your last SPOILER ALERT. Continue reading
I have to run to work – working late tonight. Yet I wanted to share what came in the mail yesterday! Original art work especially for me by Vanessa Catnose! We chat occasionally on over on G+ and she graciously offered to do original sketches for me of Wolverine! Then she mailed them to me. They are going to be custom framed and will hang in my office!
Here he his at work doing what he does best!
Then in his down time making dinner, I have to say this is my favorite. Just watch out for ashes in the fruit salad.
Thanks Van! Until next time!
For those not into comics I introduced the concept of the Annual back with the Uncanny X-Men’s 2012 Annual. I’ve been avoiding the Wolverine Annual double issue entitled Clandestine due to the cover. It has the wacky faux Ancient Egyptian look to the cover. After studying Egyptian hieroglyphs some I just can’t tolerate the ‘Hollywood’ image of it, so built on horrid misunderstandings. Take that and couple it with my severe dislike of magic or aliens in my X-Men and you can imagine my severe disappointment that this year’s annual double issue was based on a blending of both. Yeah, to say I didn’t like it is putting it mildly. Disgusted dislike coupled with taking offense for a now dead for centuries religion/people might get to the heart of my thoughts.
Now for the every present 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. No more than three pages total from any one issue is reproduced.
Giving credit where credit is due – Alan Davis, Writer & Penciler – Mark Farmer, Inker – Javier Rodriguez, Colorist – VC’s Clayton Cowles, Letterer – Davis, Farmer, & Rodriguez, Cover Art – John Denning & Jake Thomas, Assistant Editors – Lauren Sankovitch, Associate Editor – Tom Brevoort, Editor – Axel Alonso, Editor In Chief – Joe Quesada, Chief Creative Officer – Dan Buckley, Publisher – Alan Fine, Executive Producer.
This annual ties into Daredevil Annual this year. Clandestine opens with a dream memory of Logan/James. As he falls asleep (btw he has a HUGE tv in room perks of being the headmaster I’d guess) there’s a news report about a about a museum fire stopping the plastoid robots murderous rampage. This is noted to have taken place in Daredevil’s issue.
We are then introduced (or reintroduced) to the Destine family. They are descended from Adan Destine (who James knew long ago) and his djinn lover Elalyth. I don’t know much about the Destine family and tend to ignore them. They are too magical for me. In this issue they consist of two kids that want to be superheroes with their powers, a blue furry man with red hair that turns to fire when he’s angry (looks a lot like our beloved Dr. Hank McCoy) some silver woman, a floating computer geek, and a lovely raven haired beauty that used to be one of Logan’s many flings.
It seems that a deceased family member has something to do with the plastoid robot attack on the burning museum. James being Logan, near by, and a family friend gets called into the fray. Except it’s under false pretenses, which seems to be the modus operendi for this family. Then again they are all siblings and half djinn. Dr. Strange shows up because of all the hoo-doo going on set off his alarm bells.
There’s much angsting, magical morphing, magic tripping, magic and regular fighting. Then at one point canopic jars turn into monsters which Logan battles – thus the tacky cover. In the end Logan the new man, protects the kids and makes a noble sacrifice to do it. Then he doesn’t want the kids to see him as heals from the massive damage he took, another sign of growth and caring in the man. He does show some of his headmaster self in doing a mini-Loganesque-lecture to the family about false pretenses being appearing to be the easiest solutions but causing the greatest damage. I mean look at the burned out museum and lost antiquities, the dead brother, those killed by the plastiods, and his own damage. The lessons are good but really made me want to fall back on “knowing is half the battle. GO JOE!” at the end.
Also my stomach turned at how abused the Ancient Egyptian was in this. It’s a personal peeve of mine. In cases like this I just roll my eyes and think “Hollywood!” disdainfully. However the Egyptians left written explanations of what they thought, meant, did, wanted, dreamed about, wished for… I studied hieroglyphs because I felt if a people wrote all over stuff they were a people who wanted to be understood. Our knowledge and understanding of them grows exponentially each year as more and more is translated. We are way past Budge’s bad translations, Victorian moral influence filtered by his mastery of Sumerian first. However as was lamented in StarGate by Dr. Jackson the Egyptologist “You guys are still relying on Budge!” as he erases their bad attempt at translation. I find it frustrating that an ancient peoples who we can know so much about from their own words are so misunderstood and misrepresented. As a writer who attempts to be understood through the written word my heart goes out to them, fellow writers of thousands of years ago.
Now for the art – I did enjoy that. It’s very strong art with origins in the old comics I used to read. No wacky 80s influence of hair flowing every where and odd shaped “fit” people. Sure the people are fit and better than average but that’s what comics do make take the normal and teak it to be a bit more – lovely, grotesque, fit or whatever. This art does that. Can’t complain as a Wolvie fangurl for his nude sleeping scene nor do I take task for the overly endowed women. All are within range for me in comics, not too extreme. As for the coloring there were a few times things looked a bit too ‘shiny’ or over highlighted for me. That’s just being picky, and it wasn’t something that bothered me or kicked me out of the story. So Cudos for the art team if only you’d had a decent story to illustrate.
You know what’s next – a few scans that may be spoilery so you’ve been warned
In the last arc of Uncanny X-Men Kyle and Jean-Paul were married. Then Wolverine exploded at their reception at the Jean Grey School For Higher Learning and their honeymoon got postponed. (I’ve heard exploding Wolverines will do that.) So the 2012 Annual of this title’s first story Welcome To The Family covers the delayed honeymoon – that’s even further delayed. No Wolvie didn’t explode again, thank goodness! That’s a mess to clean up and heal from!
The second story is a reprint of Alpha Flight issue #106. This is the issue is entitled The Walking Wounded where Jean-Paul Beaubier comes out to the world. He loses his adopted daughter to AIDS, she was found in a trash can as an infant. He feels he can live in hiding no more and must come out to bring open the discussion of the AIDS epidemic at the time. This was set in the 80s.
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.
Now the credit for Welcome to the Family: Christos Gage, Writer – David Baldeon, Penciler – Jordi Tarragona, Inker – Veronica Gandi, Colorist – Chris Elipoulos, Letterer 0 David WIlliams & Jay David Ramos, Cover – Daniel Ketchum, Editor – Nick Lowe, X-Men Group Editor – Azel Alonso, Editor In Chief – Joe Quesada, Chief Creative Officer – Dan Buckley, Publisher – and Alan Fine, Executive Producer.
Credits for the Walking Wounded story are as follows: Scott Lobdell, Words – Mark Pacella, Pencils – Janice Chiang, Letters – Bobbie Chase, Edits – Tom DeFalco, Editor In Chief.
The first story is Welcome to the Family of how Kyle’s and Jean-Paul’s honeymoon is interrupted by the team. There is a threat to all non-mutant loved ones of the team. Northstar is the only one with enough speed to reach all of them and warn/take them to safety. He does want to go but Kyle says – go the team will be enough to protect me here and they’re family! So Kyle is left in his honeymoon suite with the team. He tries to get to know each one individually. As he has a conversation with each he gets relationship advice of course. None of it sounds promising as each has a heartbreaking story of loss of a loved one.
I felt for Kyle in this issue. Having been a Navy wife for going on 28 years I know what it’s like to have a spouse that must leave to harms way when duty calls. Yes when we were starting out I got a lot of advice. I faced the highest divorce rate in the services at the time – submarine wives (back then only men were on subs that’s changing). As I read the issue I reflected on the advice and stories I was told. What helped the most oddly paralleled what Logan tells Kyle in the end. Strength holds you together because you know you are better and stronger together than you could ever be apart, because your love for each other is strong enough to flex and not break, because you are strong enough to be on your own when you have to be and strong enough to lean on the other when they are there. Yeah that’s strength to take the risk of loss because the moments together are worth it. In the end Kyle has to find his own way to cope with Northstar’s X-Family and their world saving needs. Just like all military spouses every day have to do the same.
As for the art of this story – it was okay. I found the colors a bit too glowy for my taste, too bright or primary not blended or muted enough. Also the heavy outline of each character gave them cartoony looks at times. I didn’t care for that effect. Though I like the depiction of Logan more as a short powerhouse almost barrel chested than the more Hugh Jackman look he gets at times. (not that I object to Hugh playing Logan in the least! I don’t but it’s nice to see him portrayed as the powerful runt from time to time). Over all it did nicely.
The second story struck me as somewhat of a cop out for an Annual. I like it when they are one long stand-alone story or two new stories that are asides supporting the title’s continuum. I get that this coming-out issue was an important one for the star characters of the story – Marvel’s first married gay couple. But really there was an era there that was horrid in art – it was called the 80s. Time has not been kind to it as it has say the comics of the 50s, 60s, or even 70s. Instead I think as time goes on it becomes more atrocious to me. I’ve read the issue years ago and this time I couldn’t make it deeper than a quick scan due to the art. OMG! I just couldn’t stomach it. I began to think of what I could say good about it – at least there were any ties going back and curling up like greyhound tails that have to poop. Oh and at least I could follow the story with the images, though it wasn’t pleasant.
So that’s this year’s annual Kyle meets the family and comes to terms with Jean-Paul’s 24 hour, 7 day a week, on-call job.
****You know what’s next SPOILER SCANS***You’ve BEEN WARNED**** LOOK AWAY IF YOU MUST*****
If you are keeping track you know I didn’t like the last issue of Wolverine and the X-Men because it was like the Holy Roman Empire (which was neither holy nor Roman nor an Empire). However I loved the issue before that. Well we are back up again. I thoroughly enjoyed this issue. Though it seems just dropped in the middle of things. It’s not got an AvX Interruptus connection like the last few issues or the one that follows. I think they just had a finished issue and stuck it in here for some reason only the Marvel Star Chamber comprehends. However, thank goodness they did. I needed it- a silliness break. This issue is why Doop is the receptionist at the school when very few understand what he says.
Credit where credit is due – Jason Aaron, Writer – Michale Allred, Artist – Laura Allred, Colorist – VC’s Clayton Cowles, Letterer – Michael & Laura Allred, Cover Artists – Jordan D. White, Assistant Editor – Daniel Ketchum, Associate Editor – Nick Lowe, Editor – Axel Alonso, Editor in Chief – Joe Quesada, Chief Creative Officer – Dan Buckley, Publisher – Alan Fine, Executive Producer.
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.
Okay this stand alone issue is just fun. The summary of story to this point says it all for how to take this issue “Lots of things happened, but don’t worry your pretty little head about it. ENJOY!” Yep that sums up the who why Doop is on the staff of JGS.
Despite Logan saying in the Just Another Day in Westchester that he didn’t want any secrets from his staff. Well, he’s got one – why he hired Doop. They are asked to just trust him on it. As Doop doesn’t seem to do any thing – get in their way or cause trouble – the staff accepts this. We see the real reason and just the lengths Logan had to go to to get the little green guy behind the reception desk.
Just so you know, I still hold fast to my rule no aliens in my X-Men. I stick my fingers in my ears and go la-la-la-la-la then Doop becomes just another mutant. True he’s an odd mutant that speaks his own Doop language that few understand. BUT in my book just like Warbird and Kid Gladiator – he’s another mutant. We see Doop is a man about town and does get around the Marvel Universe more than any one else. Then again it’s kinda what he was hired to do… sorta.
The story is light, it’s fun, and it makes me laugh. That’s good on occasion given the heavy results of AvX that will be hitting the school. It is school centric and involves staff of the school. So I’ve got all I need when it comes to story.
The art is fun and fits the issue. It’s cartoony but that suits the silliness of the issue. I don’t know why Logan’s hair is purple black instead of the traditional blue-black but I consider it’s one of Doop’s employment conditions and move on. Over all I found enjoyable and supporting the story at hand. Which is what comic art is supposed to do!
*** More Scans this time That Could Be Spoilery***YOU ARE WARNED********
When Logan goes to hire Doop, Doop refuses to take the job. Logan swears he’s not leaving until Doop agrees. This leads to funny pages where Doop is trying to get Logan to leave by sitting up silly job conditions. This page is the start of that.
Just two questions come to mind from this scene – first off what are my dear Bamfs doing? Second why did the whole senior staff sit on the same side of the table. Did they think they were having dinner while being in a sit-com?
Sometimes you just don’t want to know Logan, really you don’t.
Okay I’m not sure which couple is stranger – Husk and Toad or Doop and Warbird – Xavier warned Logan before the school officially opened about fraternizing among the staff. Also just who do you think Logan was with in the old Danger Room? hmmm? been referenced in several issues that he was with an X-Woman in the danger room… bet it was Ororo.
Until next peeps.
THIS is why I read this title! I know, I know it’s a tie-in to the AvX Interruptus that I hate so but it is completely school centered. The story is set in the school, centered on staff and students, develops a larger story and is what I want when I pick up this comic. It is a stand alone issue entitle “On The Eve Of Battle”.
First cudos to the team on this issue: Jason Aaron, Writer – Jorge Molina Penciler, Norman Lee, Inker – Morry Hollowell, Colorist – Chirs Eliopoulos, Letterer – Stuart Immonen & Marte Gracia, Cover Artists – Jordan D. White, Assistant Editor – Daniel Ketchum, Associate Editor – Nick Lowe, Editor – Axel Alonso, Editor In Chief – Joe Quesada, Chief Creative Officer – Dan Buckley, Publisher – Alan Fine, Executive Producer.
Next we need to get the legal statement out of the way – 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.
As I said I’m very happy with this issue. It’s school centric which was the whole purpose of this line of comics to tell the story of Logan’s founding the Jean Grey School for High Learning. Here the X-Men that aren’t Pheonix possessed or backing those that are, have gathered at the school. Xavier is there. We deal with staff and student issues. New students from Utopia have enrolled and Headmaster Logan is as to the point as ever announcing over the PA “Attention students this is your headmaster reminding you welcome our new arrivals OR ELSE!” Gotta love ‘im he’s so not cut out to do what he’s doing but he’s trying.
The art is good. It’s not my favorite but given how much I disliked the first art of this series this art is more than serviceable. It’s good strong art that is not overly stylized and supports the story well. I totally enjoyed it and was thankful for it. However it wouldn’t rank in my top five, should I be pressed to do such.
In the end I put down the issue happy to be back to the core of the title. I enjoyed the whole thing from cover to cover. I like how Logan welcomed back the staff that had disagreed with him at the start of AvX but now sees it his way. I get the touching moment with Hank and felt it too. I worry about some of the hints dropped by students – who is Idie seeing at this church? How Quire deal with the Stepford Cuckoos given his feelings and resurrection of their sister? Warbird what will her new role be? Good plot lines to be developed over time if they don’t get lost (shhh we shall never bring up frozen wolverpups again that should be lost along with the stupid lupine/Romulus crap) in service of the huge ‘event’ multi-title marketing arcs.
So hang on to your hats an issue I thought lived up to the promise of the title but trust me it doesn’t last long. But let’s bathe in the joy of the moment shall we?
****Scans that are possible SPOILERS*** WARNING WARNING WILL ROBINSON DANGER OF SPOILERS*****
The great scientific minds (minus Bruce Banner) were puzzling over the Phoenix problem but Broo the JGS student saw the answer to their equation. I have to say I love how Tony befriends little lost Broo. Oh wait didn’t Tony want to register all mutants and declare them… oh let’s let Civil War by-gones be by-gones and enjoy the cute. Still if it were mutant me I’d hold a grudge against him.
There are so many things I loved in these few panels. First Logan’s announcement his gruff exterior with a heart of gold to run the school was showing in just that little bit. Next Quire and Stepfords LONG story there but to see him with them again in a school oh… you know that’s going to cook up trouble. Finally in the last panel there – my beloved bamfs. Not just because they are like naked little Kurts running around (I mean I adored Kurt as Logan’s BFF) but also how they seem to like and protect Kitty. I love how she’s petting one here and the look on that one’s face. So cute.
I think I liked this page best. Except that Bobby is iced up again. I am starting to feel sorry for Toad who must have to follow Professor Drake about and mop up the water puddles. Serious Bobby why?
Any way I like how Logan handles Bobby’s return. I want people who aren’t yes men. Logan knows he’s taken on something that goes against his grain, that isn’t his natural talent. Doesn’t mean he can’t do it just means he’s working at it and needs people who aren’t afraid to tell him like it is. Yeah there at the end Bobby’s totally right. Logan knows it but can’t change everything in the first year of being headmaster RIGHT?
Until next time folks!