Tag Archives: avengers

Thoughts on the Justice League Movie Rumors

jla3

If you are a comic book fan or at the very least a fan of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, you might have heard the rumor that Nolan and Bale are going to reunite for the Justice League movie.  The story goes that Christian Bale will once again don the cape and cowl, joining Man of Steel’s star Henry Cavill in the Justice League film.  Man of Steel director Zack Snyder is the rumored director, with Nolan in the role of series “Godfather.”  I am pretty cautious when it comes to the rumor mill, though I suppose it could happen, like the surprise announcement of J.J. Abrams directing with the new Star Wars trilogy.

There are several issues with this possibility.  After putting Batman and Gotham City through hell in The Dark Knight Rises, Nolan and co. took the unique route of giving Bruce Wayne a happy ending in a life of retirement with Selina Kyle.  After this reward for the tireless champion, would it really make sense for him to give it all up and re-enter the ring?  The Justice League movie in question could of course provide a high-stakes explanation that would force Wayne out of retirement to save the world with Superman, Wonder Woman and the rest, but I don’t think it would feel right.  Without delving into it heavily, Nolan’s films set up a very finite story for Bruce Wayne and a legacy that will live on through Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s John Blake.  I don’t want John Blake Batman in the JLA, and it’s been confirmed that that wouldn’t be the case, but I think they should just leave Christian Bale Batman alone altogether and start fresh.

Marvel Studios has obviously been successful in their world-building films, and DC/Warner Brothers is most definitely trying to match wits with the giant, but they lack foresight, and always have.   Even though DC Comics gave birth to the popular notion of the superhero (with Superman), they have almost always been behind the curve in relation to Marvel Comics.  The 1960s saw the birth of the Marvel superhero and with it a meticulous interwoven universe where Spider-Man regularly ran into The Fantastic Four and everything was interrelated.  Conversely, outside of Batman and Superman, the DC superheroes didn’t interact as often, and their universes were frequently inconsistent.  Even today, with The New 52, DC Comics massive reboot character depictions don’t really gel among many books.  The Wonder Woman of her own title feels vastly different from the one in Justice League, for example.

Iron Man and Iron Man 2 began the trend of laying the groundwork for future Marvel films, without sacrificing its own story (for the most part.)  I think that if Batman Begins and its subsequent sequels tried to do this by dropping mentions of “Superman in Metropolis” or “that Wonder Woman person” would’ve changed the nature of those films and probably ruin them altogether.  So I hope that DC/Warner Brothers cuts any ties to Nolan’s saga and starts off in a new direction with Man of Steel.  They want so desperately to have a presence as big as Marvel’s in the movie business, but they are nowhere near ready for it.  I pray that they realize this and take a slow-and-steady approach to an Avengers-style Justice League movie.  But I kind of doubt they will.  Oh DC, I love you so very much, but sometimes you are crazy man.

Tales From the Water Cooler #95

Welcome to Tales From the Water Cooler!

The Clergyman is back this week the guys play another round of Super Hero Family Feud and take a look at Human Bomb #1, Doctor Who #3, I Love Trouble #1 and Avengers #1.

And don’t forget to LIKE us on Facebook!

Tales from the Water Cooler: Episode #95

You can click the link to listen to the podcast or right click “save link as” to download it.

 

Review: Amazing Spider-Man #699 – Maybe it’s not so bad after all…

Amazing Spider-Man #699
Writer: Dan Slott
Art: Humberto Ramos [Penciler], Victor Olazaba [Inker], Edgar Delgado [Color Art]

[HEY!  LOOK!  THIS REVIEW HAS SPOILERS, AND YOU MIGHT FEEL CHEATED IF YOU READ IT BEFORE YOU SEE THE ACTUAL BOOK!]

While I’ve calmed down about the big reveal last issue, it’s still a touchy subject.  If you missed it, a dying Doc Ock swapped brains with Peter Parker, hinting that the “new” Spider-Man in the upcoming relaunch of the book as Superior Spider-Man is actually Doc Ock in Peter’s body.

It’s not that I didn’t like the way it was written–Dan Slott’s writing makes me really want to like the story.  It’s just that there are two types of stories I hate–stories centered around mind swaps and time travel (we’ll get to that another time, maybe, because Slott has actually written a time travel story that I like).  I already know the response to this assertion, too.  It’s a comic bookScience fiction.  Real world logic and plausibility don’t apply.

Fair enough, but the limits of everyone’s suspension of disbelief are different, and this is why we probably won’t ever see Fin Fang Foom in an Iron Man film.

That said, let’s completely suspend disbelief for the rest of this review even if the concept is a bit much to wrap our heads around.  This issue, and the story as a whole, are very well-written.  Amazing Spider-Man #699 opens with Doc Ock’s body being revived following its flat-lining at the end of the last issue. Upon being revived (and spat on by a prison nurse), Peter Parker–keep in mind, again, that his mind is in Doc Ock’s body now with all of Ock’s memories and vice versa–examines the situation he’s in and begins trying to figure out how, with only hours left to live, he’s going to get out of this predicament and back into his own body.

After searching Ock’s memories, and giving us the totally unnecessary reveal that Aunt May had sex with Otto back in the day, Peter realizes that every time he used Otto’s own Octobot control helmet tech to stop him, he made his mind vulnerable.  Ock was then able to somehow put his brainwaves in the golden Octobot (seen occasionally since the end of “Ends of the Earth”), which then made its way to New York City and “hacked” Spider-Man’s mind when he was otherwise distracted by the spider signal jammers from the recent Hobgoblin story arc.

Pete then figures out that the golden Octobot had a mental link with Otto and takes control of it to put into action a plan that his life now depends on–forming his own Sinister Six–which includes Hydro-Man, Scorpion, and Paste-Pot Pete–to break him out of prison and capture Otto-Spidey.

As I said before, Slott’s writing on this story is still great despite my lack of enthusiasm over the premise.  You can tell he put a lot of time into planning this out at least as far back as the beginning of his run on the book with “Big Time,” and maybe even as far back as 2009’s Amazing Spider-Man #600. Humberto Ramos’ art in this issue is some of his best so far, and I’m looking forward to seeing what I’ve read is the best art of his career later this month in #700.

Overall, not a bad issue.  I really could have done without being presented the idea of Aunt May and Dr. Octopus having sex, though.

RATING:  7/10 (Because Aunt May having sex with anyone is just kind of gross.)

Review: Amazing Spider-Man #698 – WHY, DAN?! WHYYYYYYYYYY?!

Amazing Spider-Man #698
Writer: Dan Slott
Art: Richard Elson and Antonio Fabela [Color Art]

 

WARNING:  THIS REVIEW HAS MAJOR PLOT SPOILERS FOR AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #698 AND BEYOND.  DO NOT READ IT IF YOU PLAN ON READING THE ISSUE.

Dan Slott, you broke my heart.

Ever since your run on Amazing Spider-Man began last year, I’ve been one of its biggest supporters, going so far as to compare it to the Michelinie and Stern runs.  And then you did it.  You drove that spike in my heart that was like a thousand One More Days.

Actually, that’s a terrible analogy.  I actually liked One More Day.  Comparing that spike to 1,000 Clone Sagas or Ben-Reilly-replacing-Peter-Parker scenarios or JMS runs is far more accurate.

But the point is, you shook my faith in my favorite series.  You weren’t the first, though.

When I was nine years old, I quit reading new issues for five years because of the ridiculousness of the aforementioned Clone Saga and (temporary/retconned) replacement of Peter by his clone, Ben Reilly.  What you have done here, though, may be impossible for me to recover from.

Amazing Spider-Man #698 begins with a reminder that Doc Ock is on his death bed, with only hours left to live.  He’s struggling to say something, and it turns out what he’s trying to say is, “Peter Parker.”  For the rest of the issue, longtime readers will notice that the way Slott has written Peter’s dialogue and inner monologue is strange, and we eventually find out why when Spider-Man is summoned by the Avengers to the Raft (the ultra high security prison for supervillains) because Ock’s about to die and he keeps saying the name of Spidey’s secret identity.

And then, once the two are in the room, we get the big reveal.  We now know why Peter’s words sound so strange in this issue.

It’s because one of the most ridiculous and asinine predictions for what would happen in the “Dying Wish”/Amazing Spider-Man #700 arc ended up being true–Doc Ock somehow switched his consciousness into Peter Parker’s body and vice versa, and Ock’s body dies with Peter’s mind trapped inside.

I’ll probably still buy #699 and #700 just to have a complete run up through the “final” issues of Amazing Spider-Man–and I’ll probably still buy Superior Spider-Man #1, because, well, eBay–but for the first time in about five years, I’m not all that excited about the next issue of Spider-Man.

On the bright side, I can’t imagine this being something that sticks in the long term.  For the foreseeable future, however, it might be time to move on to something else.

RATING:  It’s gonna harsh your mellow, man…but at least the art is good.

 

Review: Amazing Spider-Man #694 – The 50th Anniversary story arc concludes!

Amazing Spider-Man #694
Writer:  Dan Slott
Art:  Humberto Ramos [Pencils], Victor Olazaba [Inks], and Edgar Delgado [Colors]

If Amazing Spider-Man #692 and 693 were about introducing Alpha, then this week’s #694 is all about setting the character up for his next chapter–whenever that may be.

Deciding to take a break from his research at Horizon Labs, Peter Parker heads out to the airport to say goodbye to his Aunt May and her husband, J. Jonah Jameson Sr., before they head back to Boston.  As is the case when he has something to do or somewhere to be, he’s interrupted.  The Avengers request his help fighting off Terminus, who’s once again intent on taking over the Earth.

The Avengers unfortunately have the bright idea of having Spider-Man summon Alpha, and the egotistical teen hero with more power than everyone else present darts across the world from Japan to lay the smackdown on Terminus.  This causes problems, as the fight takes place above the airport and Alpha’s irresponsible use of his powers short circuits all of the planes currently in the air–including the jet carrying May and Jonah Sr.  Naturally, the day is saved, but as soon as Alpha leaves, Spider-Man and the Avengers all agree his powers, created in a lab accident by Peter’s “Parker Particles,” must go.

But, irreparable damage may have already been done.

Dan Slott packs a lot of great moments into this issue, continuing to showcase Alpha as an extraordinarily unlikeable character.  At least two recurring members of Spidey’s supporting casts get apparent status quo changes here, as well.  Seeing Peter act in a more stern, almost parental-like manner was different for a change, and I especially enjoyed Dan’s nod to all of the people who are unclear as to whether or not Spider-Man is still a Future Foundation member.  Combine this with Ramos’ art and a nice lead-in to the “Danger Zone” arc and you’ve got a solid conclusion to Slott’s 50th Anniversary story arc.

RATING:  A Tantalizing Tale in the Mighty Marvel Manner!

*ALSO:  If you didn’t notice, this issue’s cover was an homage to a classic cover from when the “big two” comic publishers could play nice every now and then.

Review: Avengers vs. X-Men #9 – Jason Aaron writes sweet music

This week Matt chats about Marvel Comics Avengers vs. X-Men #9 and Image Comics Harvest #1. Jason Aaron does a great job writing Spider-Man, he deserves to write a Spider-Man book. Bring back Web of Spider-Man!

Harvest #1 review: http://bit.ly/Rhp9z9

Avengers Vs. X-Men #9
Written by Jason Aaron. Illustrated by Adam Kubert.

• Their numbers dwindling, the Avengers stage a daring raid on the X-Men’s prison to rescue their captive members-and you won’t believe where it is!
• Alliances begin to change as the nature of the Phoenix becomes apparent!
• And in the end, it all comes down to Spider-Man!

Follow Matthew Sardo on twitter @comicavult
If you would like to be part of the weekly chat as a guest email Matt at sardo@chicagocomicvault.com

“Avengers” Thanos clip

“The Avengers” comes out on Blu-ray and DVD on September 25, 2012 but here is the final clip of the film to get you hyped up. It appears that Thanos will be the villain for the Avengers sequel. Let the story-line speculation begin. For those of you who do not know who Thanos is I have taken a segment from Wikipedia:

Writer-artist Jim Starlin originally conceived of Thanos of Titan during college psychology classes. As Starlin described:

“ I went to college between doing U.S. military service and getting work in comics, and there was a psych class and I came up with Thanos … and Drax the Destroyer, but I’m not sure how he fit into it, just anger management probably. So I came up to Marvel and [editor] Roy [Thomas] asked if I wanted to do an issue of Iron Man. I felt that this may be my only chance ever to do a character, not having the confidence that my career was going to last anything longer than a few weeks. So they got jammed into it. Thanos was a much thinner character and Roy suggested beefing him up, so he’s beefed up quite a bit from his original sketches … and later on I liked beefing him up so much that he continued to grow in size.”

Starlin has admitted the character is influenced by Jack Kirby’s Darkseid:

“ Kirby had done the New Gods, which I thought was terrific. He was over at DC at the time. I came up with some things that were inspired by that. You’d think that Thanos was inspired by Darkseid, but that was not the case when I showed up. In my first Thanos drawings, if he looked like anybody, it was Metron. I had all these different gods and things I wanted to do, which became Thanos and the Titans. Roy took one look at the guy in the Metron-like chair and said : “Beef him up! If you’re going to steal one of the New Gods, at least rip off Darkseid, the really good one!”

Thanos is real tough with his little Cosmic Cube!


Marvel Comics Tuesday afternoon released a teaser image for Avengers Assemble #7 written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Mark Bagley. The image shows Thanos in bad-ass form with the Cosmic Cube. Avengers Assemble will be in your local comic book store on September 12th, 2012.

Thanos Brings The Avengers To Their Knees With A…COSMIC CUBE?!

With the Mad Titan, Thanos, out of the reach from Earth’s Mightiest – his quest for power and domination over the Marvel Universe continues in Avengers Assemble #7! But the Avengers won’t go down without a fight, and courtesy of Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley, they’re bringing the Guardians of the Galaxy with them! But can even their combined strength defeat Thanos with a cosmic cube in his possession? Find out in Avengers Assemble #7, hitting comic shops everywhere, the Marvel Comics app, and Marvel Digital Comic Shop this September.

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #7 (JUL120551)
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Pencils and Cover by MARK BAGLEY
FOC – 8/20/2012, On Sale – 9/12/2012

Marvel reboots NOW, but now means October


Marvel Comics Thursday morning announced a reboot of the current universe after the events of Avengers vs. X-Men. This reboot wasn’t much of a secret and now leads to speculation of how AvsX ends and the return of Jean Grey. What strikes me as odd, is why Marvel is announcing it now and not waiting a week to make a grand spectacle at Comic-Con. Also, a teaser image was released as well with character redesigns yet again. Instead of redesigning existing characters why doesn’t Marvel create new characters?

The Future of Comics is Marvel NOW!
Top Comic Book Series ReEvolve With All New #1 Issues Beginning October 2012

New York. NY—July 6, 2012— The most popular characters. The most acclaimed creators. The most ambitious stories. This is Marvel NOW!.

This Fall, the Marvel Universe heads in an exciting all-new direction, as the industry’s top creators join the top Super Heroes– Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, Spider-Man, Wolverine and more– to deliver all-new ongoing series, each beginning with issue #1! Marvel NOW! is the culmination of Marvel ReEvolution, the groundbreaking new initiative to evolve the comic book experience through innovation.

It kicks off in October’s Uncanny Avengers #1, from the superstar dream team of Rick Remender (Uncanny X-Force, Venom) and John Cassaday (Astonishing X-Men, Captain America) and continues with jaw-dropping new Marvel NOW! series nearly every week through February.

“There’s never been a better time to check out comics than Marvel NOW!” said Axel Alonso, Editor in Chief, Marvel Entertainment. “This isn’t a reboot or a reimagining—Marvel NOW! is all about looking forward, building on our rich history of great stories and delivering new ideas.”

In Uncanny Avengers #1, the Avengers and X-Men must join forces to overcome the greatest challenge either team has ever faced, one so devastating that neither can afford to do it alone! Can Captain America’s newly assembled team find a way to peacefully co-exist while also dealing with the game-changing repercussions of Avengers VS X-Men?

Then in November, Marvel NOW! expands to all corners of the universe with launches including All-New X-Men #1 by Brian Michael Bendis (Avengers VS. X-Men, Ultimate Comics Spider-Man) and Stuart Immonen (Avengers VS. X-Men #1 Infinite, Fear Itself); Avengers #1 by Jonathan Hickman (Avengers VS X-Men, Fantastic Four) and Jerome Opena (Uncanny X-Force), on-sale in December; and New Avengers #1, by Hickman and Steve Epting (FF, Captain America), on-sale in January 2013.

“We brought fans the biggest comic book event imaginable in Avengers VS. X-Men and now we’re taking the Marvel Universe to an exciting new place, beginning with Uncanny Avengers #1,” said Tom Brevoort, SVP, Executive Editor, Marvel Entertainment. “If you’re a long-time fan, all the stories you’ve read will give you even more enjoyment of what’s happening now—we’re not abandoning our past. But if you’re a new reader, this is where you’re going to learn just why Marvel comics are unlike anything else you’ve ever read. And no character is left unaffected by Marvel NOW!.”

Every comic book bearing the Marvel NOW! branding includes a code for a free digital copy of that same comic on the Marvel Comics app for iOS and Android devices. Additionally, each issue #1 of Marvel NOW! series features special augmented reality content available exclusive through the Marvel AR app – including cover recaps, behind the scenes features and more that add value to your reading experience at no additional cost.

“This is the natural next step of the Marvel ReEvolution, as we evolve every facet of Marvel publishing,” explained Joe Quesada, Chief Creative Officer, Marvel Entertainment. “You’ve seen us craft new digital storytelling formats like Marvel Infinite Comics and bring added value to our comics with Marvel AR. Now our print comics leap into the future with a cinematic new look for our covers, exciting new designs for our biggest characters and stories that will send you on the kind of journey you can only get at Marvel.”

This October, “Join The ReEvolution” as Marvel NOW! kicks off with Uncanny Avengers #1, ushering in a new era for comics and the perfect jumping on point for new readers. The biggest creators bring you the biggest characters in the biggest stories…and it’s happening NOW!

To commemorate the historic release of Uncanny Avengers #1 on Wednesday, October 10th, participating retailers can host special advance release parties the night before! That’s right, you can experience the biggest new series launch of the year on Tuesday, October 9th at select retailers, who’ll also have limited edition giveaways exclusive to these events.

Happy 4th of July America!

The Comic Vault wishes you a great 4th of July. Enjoy your BBQ, comics and America!

Captain America is a fictional character, a superhero who appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character first appeared in Captain America Comics #1 (cover-dated March 1941), from Marvel Comics’ 1940s predecessor, Timely Comics,[1] and was created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. As of 2007, an estimated 210 million copies of “Captain America” comic books had been sold in 75 countries.[2] For nearly all of the character’s publication history, Captain America was the alter ego of Steve Rogers, a frail young man who was enhanced to the peak of human perfection by an experimental serum in order to aid the United States war effort. Captain America wears a costume that bears an American flag motif, and is armed with an indestructible shield that can be thrown as a weapon.[3]
An intentionally patriotic creation who was often depicted fighting the Axis powers of World War II, Captain America was Timely Comics’ most popular character during the wartime period. After the war ended, the character’s popularity waned and he disappeared by the 1950s aside from an ill-fated revival in 1953. Captain America was reintroduced during the Silver Age of comics when he was revived from suspended animation by the superhero team the Avengers in The Avengers #4 (March 1964). Since then, Captain America has often led the team, as well as starring in his own series.
Steve Rogers was purportedly assassinated in Captain America vol. 5, #25 (March 2007), although he was later revealed to be alive. The comic-book series Captain America continued to be published,[4] with Rogers’ former sidekick, James “Bucky” Barnes, having taken up the mantle, and keeping it at the insistence of Rogers, who upon his return began operating as an intelligence agent in the Secret Avengers title, and in the limited series Steve Rogers: Super Soldier, before resuming the identity after Bucky was killed in the line of duty.
Captain America was the first Marvel Comics character adapted into another medium with the release of the 1944 movie serial Captain America. Since then, the character has been featured in several other films and television series, including Chris Evans’ portrayal in Captain America: The First Avenger, released on July 22, 2011, and The Avengers, released on May 4, 2012. Captain America was ranked sixth on IGN’s Top 100 Comic Book Heroes in 2011.

AvsX – Just went Highlander on us!

Marvel Comics Monday afternoon released a teaser image for Act 3 of the Avengers vs. X-Men mega event. The image has the tag-line of “There can be only one!” The major problem with this is it is a complete rip-off from the “Highlander” franchise but maybe Disney bought that too! Well, we look forward to more original ideas coming from Marvel in the coming weeks.

Avengers Vs. X-Men – Act 3 Begins: THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE!

This August, the comic book event of the year – Avengers VS. X-Men – reaches critical mass as Earth’s Mightiest make their last stand against the Phoenix Force. But when the Phoenix Force yearns for a single host, who will it choose? There can only be one! Act Three kicks off in Avengers Vs. X-Men #9, hitting comic shops, the Marvel Comics app, and Marvel Digital Comic Shop this August.

Which team will reign supreme? Join the conversation on Twitter with #AvX!

For more on Avengers VS X-Men, please visit http://avx.marvel.com

AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #9 (JUN120592)
Written by JASON AARON
Penciled by ADAM KUBERT
Cover by JIM CHEUNG
FOC – 7/9/2012, On Sale – 8/1/2012

Tales From the Water Cooler #71

Welcome to Tales From the Water Cooler!

Join Infinite Speech, Decapitated Dan, and the Southern Sensation each week as they gather around the water cooler of stories to talk about comics.

Listen in as this week as Speech and Sensation are on vacation, leaving Decap to be joined by the White Marvel and Spider-Man Geek. Check out what the guys think about this weeks books Avengers Vs. X-Men #6, Saga #4 and Mars Attacks #1.

All that and more can be found here, each week on Tales From the Water Cooler!

And don’t forget to LIKE us on Facebook!

Tales from the Water Cooler: Episode #71

You can click the link to listen to the podcast or right click “save link as” to download it.

 

 

Secret Avengers #28 The Fate of the Kree lies in the hands of the Secret Avengers

Secret Avengers #28

Written By: Rick Remender

Art By: Renato Guedes

Rick Remender sets things into motion this issue with Ms. Marvel acting as the narrator to the events that unfold. The Kree and Captain Marvel have finally had their minds restored after Minister Marvel and his son had manipulated everyone to stay put as sacrifices to the oncoming Phoenix Force. The Secret Avengers fins out where Minister Marvel is hiding and are dead set on stopping him.

I like that Remender created a memorable villain in such a short amount of time. The Minister is unpredictable as he descends deeper into his own insane mind. While most people would assume this would turn into one giant brawl Remender has other plans in mind and creates something larger and worth while.

This leaves the team with the ungodly task of stopping the Phoenix Force from devouring Hala. Remender has fun using some of the heavies this issue. Both Thor and Captain Britain have great moments together. In the end though Remender goes back into Carol Danvers history and creates one the most fun and off the wall moments for the character.

Renato Guedes artwork continues to impress me. His pencils are hyper detailed and manage to convey many layers of emotion . The action is clean and easy to follow and aside from a few character design choices ( Beast and Thor I’m looking at you) his characters work is amazing. Id like to see him stay on this book for the foreseeable future with Remender.

At the end of the day this is a story about Captain Marvel and Remender does a good job reinforcing that he was a fearless hero who managed to make the tough decisions when the time came. In fact this is a nice companion piece to the Death of Captain Marvel and manages to set itself apart from the other A vs X tie ins due to the fact that it not only tells its own story in Captain Marvel but give good explanation why Carol would want to become the next Captain Marvel. This series continues to be an engaging and fun book full of great character moments and gorgeous art. Add it to your pull list.

Review Score: 8.5/10

Mike DeVivo

Follow me on Twitter @pandasandrobots

 

 

 

 

6-page preview: Amazing Spider-Man #692 – Alpha origin

amazingspiderman_692_cover
[nggallery id=96]

Marvel Comics Wednesday afternoon released a six-page preview of Amazing Spider-Man #692 written by Dan Slott with art by Humberto Ramos. This issue contains the origin of Alpha, Spider-Man’s new side-kick. Amazing Spider-Man #692 swings into your local comic book store on August 22nd, 2012.

Introducing ALPHA in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #692!

Fans across the globe have been asking, “Who Is Alpha” and this August, in Amazing Spider-Man #692, they’ll find out! Marvel is celebrating Spider-Man’s 50th anniversary in style as the blockbuster creative team of Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos give Peter Parker his very own….sidekick?! When he’s not working with the Avengers of the Future Foundation, Spider-Man has been saving the Marvel Universe on his own for fifty years! But now, with his anniversary right around the corner, that’s all about to change!

This special event, could only be told in this oversized issue celebrating the values that made Spider-Man the world’s greatest super hero for the past five decades and many more to come. And with special variant covers by superstar artist Marcos Martin, depicting Spider-Man through the years, no fan can miss out on this! Get ready for a story about power and responsibility like you’ve never seen before in Amazing Spider-Man #692, swinging into comic shops everywhere, the Marvel Comics app and the Marvel Digital Comics Shop this August.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #692 (JUN120622)
Written by DAN SLOTT
Pencils and Cover by HUMBERTO RAMOS
FOC – 7/30/2012, On Sale – 8/22/2012

A Vs X “Round 6” No More Avengers?

Written By: Jonathan Hickman

Art By: Oliver Coipel

Six issues into A Vs X and the bigger picture is starting to come into focus. I’ve been admittedly hard on this “Event” book since its started. The characterization of Scott Summers as character has been erratic and off-putting enough to make the rest of the story fall flat under its lofty ambitions.

After Iron Mans failure to contain the Phoenix Force last issue ended with the creation of “The Phoenix Five”. Ten Days have passed and The Phoenix Five have done a lot to fix different parts of the Country. Charles Xavier finally accepts an invite from Magneto and Cyclops and this is yet another attempt at beating us over the head with the notion that Cyclops is losing his touch with reality.

Cyclops credits all of this work to be done in honor of Charles and then proceeds to explain to Hope that she didn’t deserve the Phoenix Force after giving it up. He then tells her she isn’t a prisoner and can leave when she wants.Again it all seems forced and while he dialogue is good and it creates a layer of tension and creates a pretty big threat it doesn’t feel fully realized and polished.

There in lies the problem. A few pages later and The Avengers have decided that The X Men must be held accountable for their actions regardless of their intent. I understand that Marvel wants to ground things in reality but must every big event have the President involved?  The Avengers are presented as nothing more than pawns of the President in this issue and it doesn’t give a compelling argument as to who your more interested in seeing “win”. Once again Tony Stark creates some cool suits for The Avengers to use and develop a plan. The Avengers decide that Hope is the key to figuring out how to stop the Phoenix and go on a rescue mission to kidnap Hope off of Utopia.

I will say I was very happy to see Oliver Coipel’s pencils this issue. He’s always been able to draw epic action scenes and I actually thought the redesigns of The Phoenix Five looked far cooler this issue than what Romita Jr. had created. I’m hoping he continues to draw the next few issues. Say what you will about how odd the story and plot of this issue were at least it’s pretty.

With a conveniently placed cameo the story progresses in a way that drives Cyclops even further in to the realm of Crazyville. I know that some people may enjoy this series but for me it still continues to show us that good Event Books are few and far between. The story is full of too many characters and with more being added each issue with little to no character development how can we truly care about whats happening in the series at all? I’m really hoping for some last-minute magic here other wise I have to say this is one of the bigger disappointments in recent memory for something that had so much potential coming out of the gate.

Review Score: 5/10

Mike DeVivo

Follow Me On Twitter @pandasandrobots

 

Review: Amazing Spider-Man #687 – As the World Burns

Amazing Spider-Man #687
Writer:  Dan Slott
Art:  Stefano Caselli, Frank Martin Jr. [Color Art] 

HEY!  WAIT A MINUTE!
If you haven’t read the rest of this story arc, this review will spoil a few plot developments, and we wouldn’t want that, would we?  The end of this issue isn’t spoiled, though, so you’re safe there.

Victory is once again within Doctor Octopus’ grasp and the only people who can stop him are Spider-Man, Black Widow, Silver Sable, and Mysterio–who switched sides last issue, natch!  Unfortunately, they’ll have to go through the (mind-controlled) Avengers first.

The ensuing battle is among the best-written team battles to take place in Spider-Man (or a lot of other books) in recent memory.  Dan Slott takes advantage of the various characters involved, as well as plot points from previous issues in the last few years, to showcase everyone (with the exception of Black Widow and Hawkeye, but they were knocked out early on).  The Spider-Man/Spider-Woman fight and the bit with Thor’s Mjolnir were nice touches, but the turncoat Mysterio was the true standout in these pages as he showcased his mastery of illusion and quipped about leaving the super villain business for television.

This being the final part of the story arc, Spider-Man does finally confront the still-dying Doc Ock in his underwater base (where do these guys get the funds for this stuff?).  Octavius’ intentions are, indeed, to purge the Earth using his Octavian Lens, and with the doctor so close to death and the Rhino still on Ock’s side, Spider-Man’s pact of “no one dies” may finally be forced to end.  The people who (seemingly) die here just aren’t the ones you’d expect.

Overall, Slott gives what is thus far his best Spider-Man “event” story a fitting end.  The action stays on point, the dialogue stays fresh while referencing previous issues, the (seeming) deaths don’t feel meaningless, and several threads are left open for later.  In particular, it will be interesting to see whether or not Horizon Labs was ever able to figure out that a lot of Ock’s tech was developed by them–and Peter Parker, in particular–and what repercussions that may have.  Stefano Caselli and Frank Martin, Jr. continue to deliver the goods as well, especially with what might be the most menacing-looking incarnation of Doc Ock.

As with every other issue of this arc, if you haven’t read it, GO BUY IT NOW!

RATING:  EXCELSIOR!

Review: Amazing Spider-Man #686 – Something You Expected, and Something You Didn’t

Amazing Spider-Man #686
Writer:  Dan Slott
Art:  Stefano Caselli, Frank Martin Jr. [Color Art]

[SIMPERIN’ SPOILER ALERT:  Reading this rollicking review might spoil certain exciting elements of this book’s pulse-pounding plot for you, oh consummate Comic Vault reader!  You’ve been warned!] 

An entire hemisphere of Earth, including Silver Sable’s native Symkaria, has been destroyed at the hands of Doctor Octopus!

Or has it?

Given the ending to Amazing Spider-Man #685, one might think that Spider-Man, Silver Sable, and the Black Widow had failed in their bid to prevent Octavius from destroying the world once and for all in his final dastardly deed before death.  However, one might think wrong–especially given that two of the other members of the Sinister Six still remaining at that point were well-versed in illusion.  Longtime Spidey fans could probably see where this was going, but it would be a crime not to use such a scenario with Mysterio and Chameleon both on the same team.

That said, as Spidey and Co. continue to disrupt Otto’s dying wish, both sides begin finding that they are victims of wavering allegiances.

Again, Dan Slott provides an issue that stands up not just to the rest of the arc, but to the classics, as well.  While one of the big allegiance shifts here was a no-brainer following the orbital octobot crisis from Amazing Spider-Man #680-681 (plus the cover to #687), the other was a total surprise.

It’s also been nice to see Spider-Man written in a team role as a leader as opposed to comic relief, and the way Pete asserts himself in this arc has been phenomenal.  That’s not to say the old Peter Parker neuroses aren’t there, though.  It will be interesting to see the aftermath of Spider-Man having realized that Doc Ock’s tech has been supplemented by technology he developed as Peter Parker for Horizon Labs–especially if that connection is made by Horizon, as well.

The rotating art on this story has also surprisingly not been as jarring as one would expect.  Stefano Caselli returns for the last two issues of the arc after getting a two-issue break from Humberto Ramos, but the switch barely registered to me either time.  Sure, Caselli’s art veers more toward the realistic than Ramos’ more animated style, but both artists have grown on me to the point that I’m glad to see either on a story.

If you’re a spider-fan and you haven’t been keeping up, you’re missing out.

RATING:  EXCELSIOR! 

Animated Storyboards from Marvel’s The Avengers by Jane Wu

Jane Wu published two sets of animated storyboards from Marvel’s “The Avengers.” The first set of storyboards show the Black Widow stealing a speeder-bike, then second set of storyboards show Hulk and Thor taking down the giant metal dragon with the infamous Hulk/Thor punch.

“The Avengers” continued the box office tear when it earned $55 million in its third weekend and now sits in fourth place for highest grossing film ever at $1.18 billion.

Review: Wolverine and the X-Men #10 – Cyclops Comes Calling

Wolverine and the X-Men #10
Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: Chris Bachalo [Penciler/Colorist]; Tim Townsend, Jaime Mendoza, Al Vey, and Victor Olazaba [Inkers]

The events of Avengers Vs. X-Men had to hit home at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning sooner or later, and when Cyclops comes calling, boy do they ever.

Taking place between Avengers Vs. X-Men #2 and 3, Wolverine and the X-Men #10 provides some additional insight into what happened between the storming of Utopia and Captain America organizing teams of Avengers to search the planet for Hope Summers (and ultimately betraying Wolverine by throwing him out of a Quinjet).

To sum it up, Cyclops, Emma Frost, and Magik show up at the Jean Grey School and insult everyone there so they can recruit additional X-Men to their side.

Perhaps more interesting than the main plot, Genesis finally figures out who Apocalypse is (but remains unaware that he is a clone/reincarnation of the villain) and Angel finally realizes that he isn’t an angel, but a mutant who used to be known as Warren Worthington.  Genesis and Angel are also quickly forming a bond, which will be interesting to see play out in the months to come considering Angel was once Apocalypse’s Horseman of Death and replacement prior to losing his memory and gaining his new abilities.

With this issue, Jason Aaron has crafted a tie-in issue that doesn’t exist solely as an extension of the event it’s a part of and continues to develop stand-alone plot threads.  Additionally, some of these plot threads are likely to have an impact on the event as a whole–namely the entry of Gladiator and the Shi’ar Death Commandoes, who have dealt with the Phoenix and the X-Men before, into the fray.

Chris Bachalo’s art in this issue also transitions much more smoothly between panels, feeling much more in line with his earlier work on the book and his stellar art on the 2010 Amazing Spider-Man “Shed” arc.

This isn’t a perfect issue, but it’s still a damn fun ride.

STORY: 8/10
ART: 8/10 

The Avengers film: Whedon strikes out when it counts

This will go down as one of the most hated movie reviews in comic book geek-land, but Joss Whedon’s Avengers was a beautiful film in the same way that James Cameron’s Avatar was an amazing film. Both films had great visuals but no substance.

The biggest criticism of the Marvel films so far is that they’re too campy. Not every comic book movie needs to be Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, but they do need to have a balance of serious and light moments. Maybe I want too much but I was not inspired to join the Avengers after the film. There is no moment in the film where I feel like the Avengers will ever lose. No suspense in a $250 million budget film means that they forgot to pay the writers when they were planning to blow-up Ohio. Which is a waste because the film is well casted and the actors bring their A-game.

The Avengers will make a billion dollars and kids will love it, but is wrong to ask for just a little more. The set-up of the film was good and the movie paced well for two plus hours but when the going gets tough and the Avengers need to rise up to save the day, the moment was hollow. This happens because Nick Fury cons them into the moment instead of Captain America kicking some ass. How hard is to write a Captain America inspirational speech?

The Avengers film does nothing to progress Steve Rogers as a character. When the film ends you learn nothing new about the character that you didn’t know already from the “Captain America” film. Rogers is the heart of the Avengers and whether is was the writers fault or the actors fault, there was no inspiration. There is a scene in the film when Captain America gets shot with a laser and Thor is getting tired, this could have been the instant when the Avengers pulled themselves up by their boot straps and make an inspirational moment but Whedon doesn’t swing the bat. Whedon directed the film very light and never attempted a suspenseful moment. The problem is there are at least five moments in the film when Whedon could stepped in and said, ”Hey guys, this is our Oscar moment so let make it happen.” The most inspiring moments are in the trailer and those moments are inspiring because the way the trailer is editing not the way the lines are delivered in the film.

The Avengers is a very solid B+ film, but they had many chances to hit the grand slam and struck out looking at the plate.

The best part is this film is that it will make and insane amount of money and a sequel will come out in a few years.