Tag Archives: Juggernaut

The Walking Dead #97-99 Receive 2nd Printings and new covers

Image Comics Monday announced that The Walking Dead #97-99 would receive a second printing and the covers would connect to create a landscape of Negan and Lucille. The reprint will be in your local comic book store on August 22, 2012.

LANDSCAPE OF THE DEAD
THE WALKING DEAD #97-99 will be reprinted

The first three issues of the series-changing “Something to Fear” story arc of THE WALKING DEAD will receive second printings with covers that will combine to find a large, landscape image. Issues #97, 98, and 99 of Robert Kirkman’s zombie juggernaut, published by Image Comics/Skybound, have sold out. The reprint covers for #97-99, which will combine to depict the villain Negan and his now-infamous baseball bat, Lucille, are by series artist Charlie Adlard.

THE WALKING DEAD #100 became the best-selling comic in fifteen years when it sold more than 380,000 copies in July.

The reprints of THE WALKING DEAD #97-99 are scheduled to be in stores on August 22 and are available for pre-order now with the Diamond codes JUN128147 (#97), JUN128148 (#98), and JUN128149 (#99).

Avengers Vs. X-Men #2 – Cyclops has lost his mind

Avengers Vs. X-Men #2
Writer:  Jason Aaron
Art:  John Romita Jr. [Pencils], Scott Hanna [Inks], Laura Martin [Colors]

[We’ve tried our best to be as spoiler-free as possible here, but nobody’s perfect.  Read at your own risk.]

Defying Captain America’s request to take Hope Summers into custody last issue, Cyclops fired the first shot in the X-Men’s war on the Avengers against the Star-Spangled Hero himself.

As the Avengers take Utopia’s beach, Emma Frost moves Hope inside–assuming the girl, with more questions than answers regarding the Phoenix and what its return means regarding her, will stay put.  In short order, the most epic battle in comics since the end of 2008’s Secret Invasion or 2006’s Civil War commences.

Jason Aaron sets up several of the fights to take place in the accompanying Avengers Vs. X-Men: Versus mini-series beginning next week, with several moments in this issue hinting at the outcomes of those fights.  He brings Quicksilver into the fray, revealing where the son of Magneto stands in the fight (HINT:  There isn’t going to be a reunion of the original Brotherhood of Evil Mutants anytime soon), and teases the entrance of Magneto’s daughter, the Scarlet Witch, with no hint of who she’ll side with.

The highlight of this issue is arguably Aaron’s insights into the match-ups, like calling Emma Frost’s organic diamond form punching Tony Stark’s multi-billion dollar armor the “most expensive punch in history,” playing up the marital dramatics in a fight between Storm and the Black Panther, or pointing out that Wolverine is fighting against an island of characters he once called family.

This initial battle is all for naught, but it does skirt on the idea that Cyclops might potentially become a villain.  Much of what he says in this issue sounds like things reformed X-Men über-villain Magneto would say, and he does have his own Juggernaut now in Colossus.  With 10 issues to go, the only things that are certain are that several characters are bound to switch sides, Civil War-style, (Hell, it’s even teased in the Cap vs. Wolverine cover for AVX #3) and that things will spiral further out of control.

At this point, my biggest hope (aside from wanting a Cyclops villain turn) is that we at least get a Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 video game out of this in a year or two.

– Roger Riddell

Follow me on Twitter @RRiddell3 

Mike DeVivo’s take forthcoming

Alright Roger Ive Assembled here!

So, two issues into Avengers Vs. X-Men and I can say I’m underwhelmed. What I thought was largely going to be a collaborative effort in bringing two different teams and their vantage points to light has thus far turned into “Cyclops is crazy and the Avengers aren’t.” I don’t buy the angle that Cyclops is losing his mind, or that he’s taking things too far. It paints every X-Man and woman as blind sheep fighting for the cause of a crazy man. Maybe I’m rooting for the little guys, in which case i feel the X-Men are warranted to protect one of their own. The characterization feels off, especially with Cyclops and Wolverine. Again, maybe it’s because I’m in Cyclops’ camp here, but I can’t help but feel like this story feels off.

I do love John Romita Jr.’s work in this series so far. His facial work with females has improved very much. His pencils give all of the energy and intensity you’d expect between a battle of the two most recognizable factions in Marvel.  Aaron’s script does provide great narration as Avengers and X-Men beat the hell out of each other. Also, kudos for him creating the Magnetic Fastball Special. Those moments are what I’ve enjoyed about this series so far. He also gave Emma the best line in this issue reflecting the tone I think most X-Men have towards their Avenger counterparts. After Iron Man refers to Hope as “the girl,” Emma responds by telling him that the girl’s name is Hope and that they never requested help in the first place.

We get quick glimpses of Quicksilver and Wanda ,with Quicksilver rushing to join his Avengers team and Wanda walking away from her journal not joining the fight just yet. The journal by the way is called “Wanda’s Dream Journal” (slap forehead with hand) there are more than a few of these moments in this issue that make you cringe. As I said in my opinion this book hasn’t delivered the goods just yet with the story. It’s a pain to see characters like Quicksilver, who was actually  insane (anyone remember House of M?), fighting along side Avenger’s while Cyclops is characterized as a mad man losing touch with his reality.

I’m hoping next issue improves a bit and makes the reason for this fight a bit less one-sided. With the cover to issue #3 showing Cap fighting Wolverine, it will be interesting to see why he defends the X-Men after dropping down and beating up the same students he defended during Schism.  As I said, as a fight book this is fun. As an event that is supposed to change Marvel’s landscape for the next year…not so much.

– Mike DeVivo

Follow me on Twitter @pandasandrobots


 

Review: Avengers Vs. X-Men #1 – ‘Nuff Said

Avengers Vs. X-Men #1
Writer:  Brian Michael Bendis
Art:  John Romita Jr. [Pencils], Scott Hanna [Inks], Laura Martin [Colors]

After what has felt like an eternity of build-up (but was really more like just over six months), the event to end all Marvel events has finally arrived on shelves–but was all of the hype worth it?

So far, it’s a toss-up.

The premise, in case you’ve been living under a rock or reading some other company’s books, is that the Phoenix is coming to Earth and has chosen the would-be-mutant-messiah Hope Summers as its host.  Hey, she looks like Jean Grey, so who else is it gonna pick, right?  Anyhow, the Phoenix is a cosmic firebird that leaves devastation in its wake on a planetary scale wherever it goes in the Universe.  It chose Jean Grey as its host once and she almost destroyed Earth, but that’s “The Dark Phoenix” saga and you can read about that elsewhere.

Avengers Vs. X-Men #1 opens with the Avengers hanging around Avengers Tower doing the sorts of things you’d expect powerful people in tights to do (but not those things, sicko!) when all of a sudden, the intergalactic superhero Nova conveniently crashlands in New York City after falling from space.  He warns the Avengers that “it’s coming,” and Iron Man deduces that he’s referring to the Phoenix.  He and Captain America then brief the President on the danger.

Meanwhile, Cyclops–who has known all along that the Phoenix was on its way back–is training Hope and trying to prepare her in the hope that she’ll be able to control its power when it does return.  This entire conflict centers around the Avengers’ belief that the Phoenix will use Hope Summers as its vessel to try to destroy the world again versus Scott’s belief that if Hope can somehow control the Phoenix’s power, then she can undo the “no more mutants” spell that Scarlet Witch decimated the mutant population with.

Scott believes that Hope is the savior of the mutant race, and he’ll stop at nothing to see her fulfill that destiny–perhaps to the point of taking things too far during his particularly ruthless training sessions.  During the time that has passed since he joined the X-Men, Magneto has pointed out that Scott is growing more and more like him than his mentor, Charles Xavier.  This trend continues here, as Magneto–watching the training from a distance–comments to Emma Frost regarding the difference between “taking it seriously” and “compulsion,” perhaps foreshadowing things to come.

Anyhow, Hope is finally pushed far enough and releases a flare of Phoenix-like energy strong enough that the Avengers notice it.  Traveling to Utopia to see about taking Hope into Avengers custody until the Phoenix situation is figured out, Captain America is greeted by a particularly hostile Cyclops.

Thus, the first shots in the battle are fired, so to speak.

Over all, this is a solid start to the event, but it is by no means perfect.  Despite being packed with action, the dialogue pulled me out of the story on a few occasions, most notably during the conversation Captain America has with Wolverine regarding the Phoenix.  Given Wolverine’s history with Jean Grey and how he felt about her, I have a hard time believing that he wouldn’t just refer to her by her first name.  Using her entire name felt a little unnatural, especially after the previous scene already established her history.

Aside from that, though, anything else I noticed here would just be nitpicking.  Bendis’ first chapter draws you in and gives new readers a primer on what’s going on, and the art here is phenomenal.  The facial expressions of everyone standing in the vicinity when the first blow of this battle is landed were perhaps the highlight of the entire issue.  Desperate times call for desperate measures, especially when your bluff is being called, and that panel alone sells that idea absolutely.

After event fatigue had fully set in following last year’s Fear Itself (which, no offense to Matt Fraction, fell short of expectations), I swore I’d never drop $3.99 an issue on another “event” book again.  Despite being highly skeptical of the idea of Avengers Vs. X-Men, I have to say I’m impressed so far and actually looking forward to where this goes from here.

STORY:  8/10
ART:  9.5/10 

Review: Uncanny X-Men #8 ‘Tabula Rasa Concludes!’

Uncanny X-Men #8
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Greg Land and Guru eFX

‘Tabula Rasa’ comes to a close on a very high note. Though this arc had a solid story, it was plagued with awkward pacing. The arc had a solid conclusion within the last issue. Here, we pick up the loose ends as Colossus delves deeper underground to find his sister, Magik, who has been captured by ‘mole’ natives. We also tie up Hope and Namors diplomatic expedition underwater; both of these story beats were introduced within issue 6, so you can see the pacing problem. Again, this arc does concludes on a high note, portraying some fantastic character development.

To get you up to pace, ‘Tabula Rasa’ is a rapidly developing ecosystem  created by Archangel (possessed by Apocalypse), during ‘The Dark Angel Saga’ within the pages of Uncanny X-Force. This wildly advanced and growing ecosystem was left unchecked and Psylocke, whom inadvertently took part in the events leading up to the creation of ‘Tabula Rasa’, brings its existence to Cyclops and his Extinction team attention. Upon arrival, the X-Men discover a humanoid race, who revere Archangel their God… carnage ensues.

As noted before, Kieron Gillen filled these pages with shocking character moments; further exploring Peter Rasputins transformation into the Juggernaut. Hope and Namors adventure underwater was humorous and downright nasty, revealing Namors fishy fetishes. This allowed penciler, Greg Land, to draw a jaw dropping image of Namor locking lips on a undwater squid queen! Just what I was hoping for when I cracked this baby open.

Greg Land produced solid pencils throughout; with woman well endowed, as always, yet he kept a proportionate female frame. One terrifying image comes to mind of Colossus giving into the demon Cyttorak, himself being disfigured and looming over his sister, Magik. This was a great scene, as Magik motivates Colossus to remember who he is and that the demon is only a part of that. Magik having her own personal demons to have overcome, this turned out to be a powerful scene.

Overall, this arc has a strong backbone of a story, but is oddly paced which made the overall arc feel stale. But again, this concluding issue was great. The closing scene is one I’ve been dreadeding to come and see the light of day, the first crack in Magneto’s ‘hero’ charade (unless you’ve been reading Magneto:Not a Hero mini). This larger than life team is revealing a lot of chaotic elements where I can’t imagine the statue quo surviving the upcoming event of ‘Avengers vs. X-Men’. But it’ll be a hell of a last song!

Story: 8
Art: 8

Personal Recommendations for the week:
Swamp Thing #7 – This series has been gold! The return of Swamp Thing!
Age of Apocalypse #1 – Surprised me, considering the state of affairs the universe was left in Uncanny X-Force.
Avengers: The children’s Crusade – Just give the Young Avengers back their own book already!!!!

Follow me on Twitter @ddsuperbatnix

Review: Mighty Thor #7 – Surprise, Odin loses an eye

The Mighty Thor #7 is about the untold story of Odin and his brother Cul. How Cul becomes the Serpent God of Fear and how Odin loses his eye and the coming of the prophecy of the world tree.

This book is well written and there is so great dialogue between Odin and Cul. Pasqual Ferry’s art is top-notch. The coloring by Frank D’Armata really makes Ferry’s art shine.

The problem with this book and with the Mighty Thor series is continuity or quality control. There is a panel that takes place before the dawn of time in this book and it has Juggernaut, Thing and Absorbing-Man as heralds of the God of Fear. How can this be? Before you blow up your brain trying to figure time travel pause for a second. Is it that hard to create new concept characters for six panels. You already have the designs. One of the other heralds looks like Hulk but he/she is a different color and you can’t tell for sure and the same for the others. Even if you left out the Thing’s rocky look and used his body type.

I wouldn’t find this an issue if it was the first time, but I made sure to reread the Mighty Thor series before issue seven and found several continuity problems. Thor would have a beard and then he won’t. Thor would have armor on, then it would be off. I know that sometimes artists draw pages out-of-order but Fraction might need to communicate better with his artists and make sure the details are straight. The problem when a book is for teens plus and that adults catch these things and expect more when your spending your own money.

Follow Matthew Sardo on Twitter! @comicvault

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Review: Uncanny X-Men #544 “It’s the end of the X-Men as we know it, and I feel fine!”

Uncanny X-Men 544 Cover

Uncanny X-Men #544
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Greg Land

This issue of Uncanny X-Men is one of many issues depicting the emotional anguish from the fallout of Schism. It also marks the ending of volume one for this series, which is always sad and rarely justified; especially with the fact that volume two is right around the corner: coming in November. Mr. Sinister takes a role in this issue as narrator, walking us through the events that caused the break between Cyclops and Wolverine. As this event is still very fresh in our minds, his part in this issue was a complete waste of space in a comic that should have fired on all cylinders as a tribute that was the past 48 years of X-Men history. Granted, there was a scene within showing Sinister being, “birthed”?, from a mechanical sphincter and yes, it’s hilarious looking! Sorry for that spoiler, but from here you can run wild imagining the context around such event!

But, when you judge only half an issue on its content, it seemed mildly worth it. This series’  just coming out of an epic event with Colossus becoming the Juggernaut as a sister story of Fear Itself, which I think may be the best concept coming out of said story. So congratulations there! I was ready to wind down from these “larger than life” events marvel continues to weave, so the content between Scott Summers and the few X-men they could fit in, was touching. Beast had to fly himself to Utopia to make one last personal jab at Cyclops, cause we hadn’t heard it enough from him. Beasts’ character has certainly taken a hit; since they turned him into a whiner, thank goodness for Iceman in this issue!

Writer, Kieron Gillen, really attempts to set the stage for volume two of Uncanny X-Men, cue Mr. Sinister. I think everybody’s  “Hype-O-Meter” is soaring surrounding X-Men titles, that the necessity to plant seeds in this issue truly wasn’t necessary and really hurt the underlying emotional turmoil that this “family” is breaking. Never the less, I’m extremely excited for volume two, because ever since Gillen has come on board with X-Men titles, he’s been producing great work. Generation Hope took a while to find its wings, but it’s certainly starting to pick-up.

Uncanny X-Men Sketch, By: Greg Land

Artist, Greg Land, does a good job this issue. I am a fan of Land, though I agree his anatomy of a woman is tweaked to appeal to the perv in all of us. But he conveys emotion very well and holds weight in this issue with scenes of Cyclops packing away old photos with not a word spoken. Also, i commend the way he pencils Cyclops overall. Over recent years, Scott Summers has been built up to be a  commander of a truly powerful army and you have to almost have a Steve Rogers confidence and appeal to pull such a feat off and Greg Land really paints that image of him well.

This issue is an unfortunate send off to such an influential run. Though this sure doesn’t dampen the excitement for upcoming volume two! I mean, have you seen the roster, this team is going to rule the world within Cyclops and Magnetos iron grip! X-fan’s it’s an exciting time,  so save your pennies!

Story: 6
Art: 8

Follow me on Twitter @ddsuperbatnix

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Review: X-Men Destiny 360/PS3/Wii

X-Men: Destiny
Xbox 360, PS3, Wii

Let me start out by saying: “I am an X-Man”. I say this because I deeply immersed myself within the X-Men mythology at a ripe age of seven; reading issues written by Chris Clairmont himself (right before his steady decline; the man can only have so many incredible stories to tell and told he has!). When I first heard that X-Men Destiny was in early stages of production I couldn’t help but be ecstatic at the idea of controlling my much loved characters once again on a platform console. Also worth mentioning, the game is written by comic book scribe, Mike Carey, who does really great work writing X-Men’s title, “X-Men Legacy”. Unfortunately, soon after I read the announcement of the game, I come upon an article stating Silicon Knights grand idea to assimilate three brand new main mutants for you to control, and to hopefully create an unbiased experience thru the X-Men universe. Was this really a grand idea? Not so much.

But enough talk, let’s play!

The game begins in San Francisco during a mutant rights rally, featuring the X-Men as protagonists to the mutants freedom cause. The rally then falls under attack by who obviously seems to be Magneto, time will tell. Impending dangers ensues and you find yourself ready to choose from one of the three new playable characters, they are as follows:  

Aimi Yoshida, born in Fuji, Japan by her mutant birth parents, who decide to send Aimi away to America in fear that she’ll develop her own mutant abilities and be persecuted due to them within Japan. Why they believe America would better understand her “condition” was never made apparent.

Grant Alexander, born in Sandersville, Georgia, is a college freshman with the hopes of becoming a professional football player, and I know, these back stories are incredibly overwhelming!

Adrian Luca (the one that most grabbed my attention), born in Los Angeles, California, is the son of a martyr to a anti-mutant extremist religious group, known as the Purifiers. 

Finally, you get to choose one of three abilities for a main base power. One allows you to control your own density, by rocks forming in and around your body? Sure that makes sense. Or you can have the control of energy manipulation, which will eventually allow your character to supernova, becoming a tiny star. And last but not least, you can obtain the dark energy known as, the Shadow Matter. Shadow matter allows the player to create sharp knives that form around your hands, much like the power “Density Control”.

Now, the endless slaughter of Purifiers, U-Men and MRD agents can begin! Wave upon wave of bad guys will flock to you, which is the premise of most missions, destroy a specified amount of bad guys within the time limit and unlock an x-gene ability! Each non-playable mutant has three x-genes and a costume you can find through out the game and equip at any time. This leaves a large margin to really make your character something special. Most x-genes can be leveled up multiple times which is a welcome addition to the bland game play

 

As you play, you come across a plethora of mutant characters (both good and bad). Each character will have a short “mission”, if that’s what we have to call it, to determine whose side you’re on. Will you fight alongside the X-Men, in hopes of peaceful coexistence, or fight alongside the Brotherhood, terrorizing humaninty at every turn? Either way, it really dosen’t matter! These “decisions” will very marginally take you away from the main track which is the backbone of the story. Even your choice of character dosen’t change the story, more the way your character reacts to what’s going on around you. Whether you decide the Brotherhood over the X-Men, you still end with the same boss fight and same conclusion. The only difference being, during the end battle there is a forty second cut scene in which twenty of those seconds change depending on your decision to fight for good or bad. Now, if this would be your decider on whose side you’re going to choose, I’d side with the X-Men; Cyclops really blows you out of the water during those twenty seconds!

 

Fighting alongside the various X-Men and Brotherhood is a great joy. If there is one thing that Silicon Knights got right, it’s the action! You can’t have a proper button masher without great fighting mechanics. Your AI battle partners, which you’ll fight alongside most of the game, are a lot of fun to watch as they tare holes through groups of baddies. Most non playable characters kick butt and have fun moves, which is a pro and con. Pro: it’s an honor to fight alongside beloved mutants with incredible powers. Con: I want to be these beloved mutants with incredible powers!! Really, why can’t I just be Cyclops! You let me wear his themed costume and equip specific x-genes that resemble his powers, just let me play as him! This is exactly why DC Online never caught my eye. Sure it’d be fun to fight alongside your favorite heroes, but at the end of the day, don’t you just want to play as them?

Overall, the action sequences are fun; for instance, there’s a battle with Cyclops and yourself against Magneto and Juggernaut, on a chunk of the golden gate bridge that Magneto in suspending over San Francisco. As an X-Man fan, it blew me away! Honestly, it’s Cyclops and Magneto that steal the show every time they’re onscreen. It really solidifies the fact that I wanted to play as them in this war, not as their pawns. The idea of this game being that you can create your own destiny is laughable. And that’s beyond the fact that the game can be completed in one night.

So, if you’re looking for a fun X-Men game, keep looking, there are others out there. Like X-Men Legends, which lives up to its title. Here you can be the actual X-Men, fighting other powered mutants such as Magneto and battle the hate fueled machinations known as the Sentinels. And if you really want to be the bad guys, then look no further than X-Men Legends 2, where you can put together a four man group of just Brotherhood or mix it up with some X-Men! Your destiny truly is your own to create!

 

Score: 5/10