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
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.
So it’s not like I’ve got enough to do… I mean work is about to get swamped. I’m flowing on a novel. I’ve got jewelry projects out the wazoo. Genealogy is only adding more people as I type this. Summer is coming and that’s photography time for me… BUT I needed one more thing to keep up with. Yes, apparently I did.
I know the internet can be a big help or a big time waster. I do my best to keep up with Google+, Twitter, Flickr, favorite blogs, and writing here regularly. So I’ve avoided Pintrest like the plague. Not because I thought it was bad or any thing (like the evil Facebook) but just because I didn’t want another thing to keep up with.
Then it happened. I had all these visual references for this story I’m writing. I was wanting a place to keep them so I could access them from any computer/device where I was writing. That’s when a friend who shall not be named or blamed suggested using Pintrest for this. “But I don’t want them to be publicly seen as I’m working.” That was my comeback but quickly they disarmed me “Oh but then you could make a secret board. Then to access it from say your phone, netbook, desktop or any where just sign in.”
So I did. It’s great but then I thought well I should have a public board… I made one to keep all my Wolverine links to images, scans, fan art, previews, etc. So if one hobby has it why not the other – thus the bead board was born. But wait! I like books too! and coffee, and writing, and so on, and so on…. until it became THIS!
Now part of my unwinding to go to bed is pinning stuff… At least hop over there (link in the THIS above) and look around. If you are Pinterest let me know and I’d love to follow you. Now to make sure I don’t waste too much time there…
Except there’s this great Logan over at Comic Art fans… I’ll just pin that… .
Until next time!
There are some arcs in the Wolverine solo title universe that just don’t exist in my Earth -616ML version. One is the Enemy of the State (Wolverine Vol 3 #20-25)/Agent of SHIELD (Wolverine Vol 3 #26-31 arc which I lovingly refer to as Mindless Enemy/Agent of YAWN because the whole mind controlled Wolvie crap had me bored to tears yet again. Another was the Return of the Native arc (Wolverine Vol. 3 #12-18 ) which still has what I refer to as frozen-Wolverpups still out there somewhere. Lame, lame, lame to do yet another rewrite of Weapon X. Oh and finally the whole Lupine, Romulus crapola fest (Evolution arc Wolverine Vol 3 #50-55) – not human but descended from dogs. Yeah way to negate the whole mutant thing of that universe. I dropped the series for a few years after those horrid messes of story lines. So when it comes to those arcs I stick my fingers in my ears sing LA-LA-LA-LA and ignore it all. BUT the ghost of the Evolution arc is baaaack to haunt me. Yes this arc entitled Sabertooth Reborn (Wolverine Vol 4 #310-313) is based on the whole Evolution arc from the Romulus crapola fest. Totally ignoring that we know Sabes is back from the Then There Was A War/Back In Japan arc of this Vol 4 that preceded this one. Not to mention Logan showing up at Sabes b-day party in One More Round. So I started off really annoyed that in the same volume that couldn’t keep their conitunality straight for five issues! Stay tuned and I’ll really tell you what I think about it!
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!
I’m grouping Issue 18 & 19 of Wolverine and the X-Men together for two major reasons 1) I’m very behind on my Comic Comments and 2) both deal with post AvXinterruptus. I’ll give the writers credit this time they did say school focused no roaming off with the Jr. Hellfire Club (though they make an appearance), no roaming off with one student or faculty member (though various ones move in and out of the spotlight). Humor is used well in Issue 19 to ease the serious losses in 18. In these two issues I’d say Marvel has shown it can master the ensemble cast – have them going different directions, cover them and not tell a disjointed story! CUDOS! Yes when one story gets hot focus will have to draw only onto that story & characters with a few ‘meanwhile back at the ranch…’ panels. I enjoyed both issues and think this is how I wanted to see AvX in this title – from the school’s point of view.
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.
Issue 18 entitled Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow credits – Jason Aaron, writer – Jorge Molina, Penciler – Norman Lee, Inker – Morry Hollowell & Rachel Rosenberg, Colorists – Chris Eliopoulos, Letterer – Ed McGuinness & Morry Hollowell, 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.
Issue 19 entitled More Pencils, More Books, More Teachers’ Dirty Looks credits – Jason Aaron, Writer – Nick Bradshaw, Penciler – Walden Wong, Inker – Laura Martin, Colorist – Chris Eliopoulos, Letterer – Nick Bradhaw & Gurur EFX, 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.
AvX has been over enough I don’t feel it is a spoiler to say – Phoenix is destroyed erasing M-Day (so why did we go through that just to undo all of it!) and making many new mutants. Charles Xavier is dead (AGAIN! I think this is about the 10th death maybe the 9th still lags behind Jean Grey’s 14 – 20 deaths). Oh and Scott Summer killed Xavier this time and is in jail for it (at least for now).
Issue 18 shows how the school views all these big universe. While this is going on Idie, Quentin, and Broo all have their own important events happen. Staff wise Husk is feeling the strain of her powers fracturing and being a teacher. We see more of her relationship with Toad as she makes a big life change.
Issue 19 deals with the aftermath – Broo’s injured and Henry is doing all he can to save the boy. Kitty is stressed with Husk gone and more mutants popping up and enrolling daily she needs to expand the staff. Logan is out to find Broo’s attacker. We also see the next arc setting up with Frankenstein’s Circus rolling into town…
I love how the financial issues of the school were solved with Warren gaining control of his company and Xavier leaving his estate. Yet I’d enjoy it more if a constant stressor on Logan was paying the bills. I think that would relate to the real world’s economy and give interesting story lines for the school. Can you imagine a bake sale in town with the Jean Grey Students? Or in his solo title Logan taking various jobs for pay to support his school? Oh the comic interludes, moral questions, serious situations, and interesting issues that could be raised and dealt with – but no money is no longer a worry. Phooey heck even Krakota could make diamonds if need be… pfft too easy.
The handling of the title as an ensemble TV show is improving. Think of any show you followed that had an ensemble cast – there’s the lead characters (here Logan, Quentin, Bobby, Kitty, Hank) and the major characters (Idie, Broo, Husk, Toad) and the supporting regulars (Chamber, Gambit, Doop, Glob…) Rarely do you have a show (or issue in this case) where the lead character’s story isn’t addressed or moved forward. Next if the lead characters are in the valley between stories you catch us up then shine the light on the major characters to move their story forward more significantly. Finally the regulars take stage if there is time if not they support the other story lines. Think of Hillstreet Blues one of the best written longest running ensemble shows – that’s how it’s done. I applaud these issues for mastering it so well! We get the conclusion of the major multi-title event but not without losing the title’s focus of the school. We see the issues faced after the event but again through the school’s perspective. Yet while doing this we’re developing the major character story lines since the lead characters are winding up their major story arc. Cudos!
I can’t not mention my ache for Broo and hope that they do bring him back. I think he’s a good student for Henry to mentor for many reasons. They are so similar. Besides I love Broo and don’t want to lose him. Next I have to mention Kitty’s interviewing of various Marvel characters for position as teacher at Jean Grey… hilarious and the one REAL teacher’s reactions OMG! I got a case of the giggles. Great comic relief and excellent way to intro the new lead character!
Finally – the budding student romance has been hinted at in the flashes into the future finally gets a small start here. I enjoy seeing Quentin’s insecurities at the first school dance. For all his bluster and talent he’s still just a scared kid inside. So good, so good… I see Quentin and Idie being that generations Jean & Scott with Broo being that generation’s Logan carrying a torch for Idie. The more things change the more they stay the same.
As for the art – OMG they got it right! After such a hideous start to this title with tiny footed Kitty and gotta poop tie Logan with such confusing panels that the story was overwhelmed Marvel has found its footing with solid art that has style but supports the story! I actually recognize the characters. Their proportions don’t throw me out thinking they look like toddler toys with the oversized feet for easy play. Here they have comic features when needed – see the cover of 18 for the students looking almost Archie-like to Scott being rendered dramatically with hyper-realism. I think that juxtaposition sums up the story of the school trying to put on the happy face of normalcy with a dance as the final battle rages. Then the cover of 19 returns to the ensemble cover we’ve seen in other issues.
I give credit to Marvel for having rescued this title from the roller coaster of good school centric issues to WTF where’s the school issues! They pulled it together for these two issues and the following arc. **STANDING OVATION** This is why I get this title!
You know what is next…. interior scans
These might be spoilery for some…
So if you are worried…
Stop scrolling right NOW
If not then here’s the first page…
Here we see Xavier extort the promise from Logan to protect the next generation. While that is going on we see the dynamic of the next generation start to take shape. I thought the set up here was very effective
Okay this amused me on many levels – first the Bamfs at the buffet of the dance! So cute I can’t wait until we get the issue or arc that explains how they aren’t grimlins. Next I used my trusty Doop Translator I determined he says “You know my wounds have healed from last time.” I still can’t wrap my head around those two being friend with benefits. I think I really don’t want to go there.
Deadpool you crack me up! Oh Spidy I think it’s worthy of getting a picture of him actually doing it for his English Lit class. Good summary of how Kitty’s interview process is going be sure to check out the real teacher in the issue!
Remember Broo helped Tony solve the Phoenix problem and became a friend of Tony Stark’s. I find it touching Henry consults the brains of Marvel Universe in an attempt to help Broo.
I don’t know if it’s good that the headmaster dons stripper spandex and goes about sniffing floors in town… I know it is for a good cause but really if you are trying to build good relations with the community does this work? I won’t go on my rant against the return of the blue and yellow spandex uniform. Honestly I liked the black one best be it the turtleneck with shoulder holster, leathers with a shirt please, or my fav the western look with cowboy hat.
Any way that’s it until next time!