Inferno #1 (Secret Wars)

Inferno #1 (Secret Wars)

Written by: Dennis Hopeless 

Art by: Javier Garron 

Cover by: Javier Garron 

Released: May 27, 2015 

Veering off from the original story, things didn’t end in quite the same way. The demons actually won and Illyana Rasputin has been a prisoner of theirs for four years. Where Dennis Hopeless brings us in is a group of X-Men, consisting of Colossus, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Boom-Boom, Nightcrawler, Beast, and Psylocke are making their yearly attempt to try to rescue Illyana. There’s something about seeing the X-Men on a more focused mission like this. You can feel there is more at stake and seeing a determined Colossus able to let go against the demons after trying to contain his anger throughout the year. And, as you would hope or expect, there are casualties. If the stakes are indeed higher than normal and this has been going on for four years, it shouldn’t be a walk in the park for them.

Javier Garron does a good job capturing the despair of the transformed Manhattan. While I didn’t really care for the design of the demon N’astirh, he and the others look as they were originally designed. In all I would rate this issue an 8/10 that’s all for this issue and as always keep on marveling. 

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Avengers vs X-Men #11

Avengers vs X-Men #12

Written by: Brian Michael Bendis 

Art by: Olivier Coipel 

Released: September 12, 2012 

There comes a time in almost every tale of heros battling heroes where the two factions put aside their differences to confront a common foe. That point has arrived in Avengers vs. X-Men #11. Pretty much any hero, be they mutant, super-soldier, or Asgardian, can agree that Cyclops is a big jerk. The event has now come down to a battle between the combined Avengers and X-Men on one side and the all-powerful Cyclops and Emma Frost on the other.

Issue #11 focuses on this big fracas and little else. As has been the case for the majority of Act 3, the story has become much more direct and focused. This issue really only offers up three main scenes — Captain America’s attempt to recruit a new player into the fold, the reunification of the X-Men under Charles Xavier, and the massive battle that follows. Even at roughly 30 pages, the story is a bit light and sparse. The advantage, however, is that Brian Bendis steps back and allows the art team to work their magic on a very visceral series of pages.

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Avengers vs X-Men #8

Avengers vs X-Men #8

Written by: Brian Micheal Bendis 

Art by: Adam Kubert 

Released: July 18, 2012 

Avengers vs. X-Men wraps up Act 2 with issue #8 this week. The previous chapter set up an epic conflict between Namor’s forces and the people of Wakanda. That battle rages across these pages. However, if you’re expecting much more in the way of plot progression or answered questions, this issue may disappoint. Issue #8 doesn’t provide the definitive cap to its respective act that issue #5 did.

The most immediately noticeable quality about AvX #8 is that Oliver Coipel is missing in action. While the original plan was to feature one penciler per act of the event, somewhere along the line it was decided to bring Adam Kubert aboard an issue early. And while losing Coipel is disappointing, at least Kubert is a worthy replacement. 

His pencils capture all the chaotic energy and destruction of the battle for Wakanda. The scale is bigger than any clash in the series so far, with waves toppling buildings and a dozen Avengers doing their best to pound Namor into a pulp. But perhaps the most visually striking sequence comes near the end, as Xavier returns to the forefront of the conflict again. Kubert and his collaborators blend traditionally inked art with a more stylized, rough approach that creates a nice blend. In terms of visuals, this issue more than holds its own with any of the previous chapters. But as Kubert isn’t one of the speedier artists in the industry, the question is whether this level of detail and scope can remain consistent for another four issues. In all I would rate this issue a 8/10 that’s all for this issue and as always keep on marveling!

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Avengers vs X-Men #7

Avengers vs X-Men #7

Written by: Matt Fraction 

Art by: Olivier Coipel 

Released: July 4, 2012 

 This issue does a lot right, as well. Fraction does a fine job of capturing the growing tension on the Avengers side. The interaction between Black Panther and Tony Stark stands out particularly. These two have never had the warmest of relationships to start with, but here Tony’s latent death wish becomes a major source of friction for them both. With Wolverine continuing to fade into the background in Act 2, it’s really Panther of all characters that is stepping us as the neutral party and moderate voice of reason. Marvel has also been promising a major game-changer with this issue. While I’m not sure I would describe the final pages as “game-changing,” Fraction does deliver an impressive escalation in the conflict that promises a very memorable issue in #8. In all I would rate this issue a 7.5/10 that’s all for this issue and as always keep on marveling!

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(AVX) Avengers Academy #32

avengers Academy #32

Written by: Christos Gage 

Art by: Timothy Green ll

Released: June 20, 2012 

The squabble over the Sentinel quickly spirals out of control once Emma Frost shows up on campus to deliver her Sentinel-melting treatment to Juston’s pal. If you’ve ever wondered how The Iron Giant might play out within the Marvel Universe, this issue will make you happy (Gage even acknowledges this comparison within the script). Far more interesting than the physical confrontation with Emma is the meditation on friendship and artificial life. It’s pleasing to see Juston finally come into his own as a member of the book’s cast.

While I was happy to see Timothy Green come on board for this art, the actual art quality is fairly disappointing. Green generally offers a surreal, almost European approach in his Marvel work, but this issue sees him struggle with a more traditional superhero style. Characters often seem overly stiff and posed, while the facial work consists mainly of grimaces and gritted teeth. It’s too bad more of the energetic, manic style seen in Green’s recent Rocket Raccoon/Groot stories couldn’t have appeared in this book. In all I would rate this issue a 7/10 that’s all for this issue and as always keep on marveling!

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(AVX) Uncanny X-Men #14

Uncanny X-Men #14

Written by: Kieron Gillen 

Art by: Dustin Weaver 

Released: June 20, 2012 

Kieron Gillen gets mad props for truly making his mark on Mister Sinister. I’d go crazy if he had him make speeches about Apocalypse or talked about whipping out his science kit to do some gene splicing again. No, Gillen sees him for what he truly is — a narcissist — and applies that to the mad scientist aspect of his character to pleasing effect. By the end of the issue, Gillen has neatly set up the battle to come, but there is a sense that he could have given us a more satisfying start to Sinister’s actual conflict with the X-Men instead of ending it with him literally sitting down to wait.

Dustin Weaver’s pencils are sound, but it’s Jim Charalampidis’s faded color palette that sets the excellent Victorian-era look for the book. An issue featuring the brightly colored battles of the X-Men might not have worked as well in this style, but the open countryside and sprawling Sinister London have a painterly look to them that show the influences of Sinister’s mindset on his new world. Melded with this dated look are sparse instances of glowing futuristic technology which all work well, save for the the journalist’s coat. It looks like he stole it off the set of Tron: Legacy. In all I would rate this issue a 7/10 that’s all for this issue and as always keep on marveling. 

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(AVX) X-Men Legacy #268

X-Men Legacy #268

Written by: Cage 

Art by: Reber 

Released: June 13, 2012 

The devastating blow to this issue is dealt when Gage tries to tie this imagery and character development to larger points about violence and justice. Frenzy plops into the target village, dealing out justice with little more than a quick once-over to determine villains and victims, just like Americans are criticized for doing in real life (as pointed out in Gage’s dialog). However, there’s a contradiction in which violence is both the method of villainy and deliverance in this issue. Frenzy punishes the locals who subscribe to a “might makes right” ethos thanks to her own appreciable might. 

What makes her right then? Well, in this instance, she is clearly defending an innocent from evil, but is there a clear message to be found when it’s still the mightiest warrior who claims to be in the right? Further more, a flashback shows Frenzy committing murder in self-defense. Once again, Gage never defines the violence well enough to show when such extremes are okay and when they aren’t. I can understand trying to cast doubt upon Cyclops’ dictates (and, by extension, American foreign policy), but the messages in this book are too vague in all the most critical ways to inform a reader’s decisions from even an unbiased position. In all I would rate this issue a 7/10 that’s all for this issue and as always keep on marveling!

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Black Vortex: Legendary Star-Lord #10

Legendary Star-Lord #10

Written by: Sam Humphries 

Art by: Paco Medina 

Cover by: Paco Medina 

Released: March 25, 2015

In this issue we see J’son destroy yet another planet. He destroyed Spartax and freezes up everyone. The Guardians and the X-Men are trying to find out what happend when they arrive at Spartax. When they arrive they get attacked by the sluaghter squad this issue was alright there was a lot of chatting though. The artwork by Paco is really good in all I would rate this issue a 7./10 that’s all for this issue and as ways keep marveling! 

Black Vortex: Guardians of the Galaxy #25

Guardians of the Galaxy #25

Written by: Brian Michael Bendis 

Art by: Valerio Schiti

Cover by: Valerio Schiti 

Released: March 25, 2015

This issue was very strong. This issue starts of with the Guardians and the X-Men arguing about who gets the black vortex with the Kree empire. The Guardians and the X-Men make a plan to steal the vortex and run away and this is where things get good. While they are shooting everyone Nova takes the Black Vortex but one of the Slaughter squad is chasing him. The Guardians escape the Kree empire only to see it get completely destroyed but no one knows who or what did it. 

This issue is very good. The artwork is very fluid and nice, it engages the readers to read more. This issue is probably better than the previous issues. With that being said I would rate this issue a 8/10 that’s all for today and as always keep on marveling!

Avengers vs X-Men #5

Avngerd vs X-Men  #5

Written by: Matt Fraction 

Art by: John Romita Jr.

Released: June 6, 2012 

This issue started off real nice. The Avengers are fighting the X-men but time is running out. The Phinox is getting and getting closer to Hope. Tony and Pym make some kind of space thing to try and stop the Phinox. After they try to kill the Phinox they realize that it’s a complete faliure and now the X-Men have a little part of the Phinox in them.

This issue was very intresting because we get to read what Hope is thinking in her mind. I though that was neat. The art work is okay sometimes it looks wierd other times it looked great. In all I would rate this book a 7.5/10 that’s all for this issue and as always keep on marveling!