Category Archives: COMICS/PRINT

Return of an X-man? Again…

There has been plenty of comic news coming out of C2E2, the Chicago Comic Convention, over the weekend. And even though the following snippet via IGN is not big news, it’s something that we’ve all come to anticipate from a comic book death; a comic book resurrection! The character in question is Nightcrawler who died at the hands of Bastion saving Hope during the Second Coming story arc.

The panel’s response to if he would return was a bit muddled:

“We’ve talked about it within the X-Men office,” noted X-Editor Daniel Ketchum. “It’s always a card on the table. I guess I’ll leave it up to you to figure out, ‘Well, are we going to play to type or go against the grain?'”

I would imagine that means they are conflicted about whether they should bring him back like every other character, or actually try to keep him dead. As we all know, no comic character ever stays dead, but I think their death and inevitable return means more the longer they are gone. So as much as I wish that Nightcrawler would grace us with a return it would be the same old crap with him returning after only a year of being gone.

Below is a small list of X-men who have died and the circumstances of both their deaths and returns. Some of the reasoning behind their resurrections are quite amusing if not completely ridiculous.

Colossus

Collosus_01

– Death: Injected himself with the cure to the mutant killing legacy Virus with the full knowledge that in order to spread antibodies the cure would kill the first user. Ballsy.
– Return: Turns out he didn’t die, and an alien named Ord switched bodies with a duplicate. Rrrrright.

Psylocke

psylocke_alex_garner

– Death: Killed in combat by the loser villain Vargas.
– Return: Her brother Jamie Braddock reached back in time to stop her spirit from reaching the afterlife. Wow.

Cyclops

Cyclopsjc

– Death: Merges with the spirit of Apocalypse to save his son.
– Return: Jean and Cable track down CyPocalypse and separate their two spirits. Sounds like a cheap rip off of The Exorcist.

Professor X

Professor_X_by_JoeJusko

– Death: Accidentally killed by his son when he went back in time to kill Magneto.
– Return: Death is undone when Bishop travels back in time and stops Legion. Time travel is super nifty.

Jean Grey/Phoenix

1

– Death(s): Committed suicide to stop the Dark Phoenix and was also killed by John Sublime…posing as Magneto…posing as Xorn. That’s a crapload of retcons there.
– Return(s): Retcon with the Phoenix Force being a copy of Jean, while the real Jean is in a healing cocoon. Yes… a healing cocoon. Brought back to life by the Phoenix Force after the Sublime kill, now living on a higher plane of existence.

And the list goes on – Cannonball, Havok, Storm, Warpath, Archangel, Rachel Summers, Emma Frost, and of couse, Wolverine. This isn’t even all of them either…

With very few exceptions, Comic Book Deaths are a very fickle thing…

Star Wars: Deceived – Book Trailer

Deceived is the newest Star Wars novel to be released on March 22nd 2011. It is by Paul S. Kemp (Michigan resident! Whoo Hoo!) who has already written two other Star Wars Novels so far: Crosscurrent and the forthcoming Riptide. Deceived takes place in the Old Republic era to coincide with events that will take place in the soon to be released MMORPG. Check it out below:

The trailer seems to be a couple of clips from the first two ‘Old Republic’ trailers, while the last clip is entirely new to me. The story focuses on Darth Malgus, who is a pretty big bad ass, and based on an excerpt I read from Deceived, may have a bit more to his character than just a mindless Sith warrior. The video below is how the novel begins:

And here is yet another trailer for the Old Republic starring Darth Malgus. This guy can really take a beating. What happens to him at the end is why he has to wear his imitation Darth Vader mask in the Deceived trailer.

I can’t wait for the book to come out because Paul S. Kemp is a brilliant writer, especially in the Star Wars world. He has already shown that he can write a Sith character well beyond the generic bloodthirsty killer role they play in a lot of stories. Don’t get me wrong, Sith are bloodthirsty killers, but they all have a past. Kemp touched on this in his Crosscurrent with the Sith Lord Saes Rrogon. In one of the preview excerpts from Deceived, Malgus’s past life is delved into briefly, hopefully we get to see more in the rest of the book.

Spidey Suit Poll

Looking back on my first Spiderman Suit article, I thought maybe I didn’t give enough choices in the poll and some people (*cough* Ms. Shaw) thought that the original suit should have been included. I agree and thought it would be fun not only to do another poll but take a look back at all of the other Spiderman suits from over the years. For better or worse.

And here we go:

Stealth Spidey                India Spidey                 Spiderman 2099          Ben Reilly Clone
Stealth Spidey, India Spidey, Spiderman 2099, Ben Reilly Clone
Electro Insulated             Iron Spider                 Black Armor Spidey    Silver Armor Spidey
Electro Insulated, Iron Spider, Black Armor Spidey, Silver Armor Spidey

 

Scarlet Spider              Cosmic Spidey,            Black Suit Spidey        Future Foundation
Scarlet Spider, Cosmic Spidey, Black Suit Spidey, Future Foundation
Baghead Spidey               Spider Thor                    Spider Ham                 Spider Carnage
Baghead Spidey, Spider Thor, Spider Ham, Spider Carnage

And the best for last:

The Original Red and Blue! (And my favorite cover)

Whether there are too many choices or not enough please vote in the poll below!

Star Wars Comics Aplenty: Knight Errant/Invasion/Dark Times

You will be happy to know, unless you hate Star Wars, that Darkhorse is set to continue three story arcs on three titles coming soon according to TheForce.Net.

Knight Errant

Let’s start with Knight Errant, my least favorite title out of the three, but still a good bit of Star Wars, opening up the time period between Knights of the Old Republic and the rise of Darth Bane.

Darth_Bane

This title features a strong female lead named Kerra Holt, a Jedi Knight who is forced to wage war alone against the Sith Lord brothers Odion and Daiman after her master is slain. To add to the drama, Sith Lord Odion is also the one responsible for attacking Kerra’s home planet and killing her parents. Talk about having a grudge against someone.

Odion and Daiman are an interesting couple of Sith Lords, despite being brothers they have been at war with one another for years and are a total antithesis to one another. Odion promotes only death and destruction to his followers, while Daiman believes that he is the creator of all living things in the universe. Daiman is a little more interesting to me, seeing how much he changes to make himself believe that he is a God. Everyone in his service addressed him with “As my Lord already know” before telling him something and he even has all written text changed to his own alphabet. Freakin’ nutjob.

The first story arc Aflame started off strong and maintained it’s momentum throughout until the very last issue, though seemed a little abrupt for my taste.  For anyone unable to wait for the next arc titled Deluge, which sees Kerra returning to her homeworld, then I would suggest picking up the novel Knight Errant. The book takes place after Aflame, but before Deluge. The book is a little less action packed than the first comic arc but definitely adds great insight into the current Sith Empire’s goals and power structure.

From left to right: Kerra Holt, Lord Daiman, Lord Odion
From left to right: Kerra Holt, Lord Daiman, Lord Odion

Invasion

The next series, Invasion, takes place 21 years after Return of The Jedi, in between the 19 novels of the New Jedi Order Series. The New Jedi Order chronicles the Yuuzhan Vong War, an invasion from outside the Star Wars galaxy by a race of aliens sharing the same name as the war. The Yuuzhan Vong are undetectable through the force, have highly adaptable biotechnology, and a high tolerance for pain. Understandably this makes for a good time in the comics and gives the Jedi a challenge trying to slice and dice the Vong. Invasion which is now coming up on its third story arc, begins with the Vong invading the peaceful planet of Artorias. At this point the war is only in its beginning stages, but the first battle and the death of our beloved Chewbacca has already come to pass.

Chewie’s last stand

From that world comes our protagonist in the form of Finn Galfridian, son of the king of Artorias. Thankfully he isn’t the spoiled annoying kid you would imagine of a royal offspring, instead he is a Jedi in training who has a score to settle with the invaders who destroyed his home. Plus he has a cool droid name Prowl, who can act as Finn’s eyes and ears through a pair of nifty data goggles.

Finn and Prowl along with some really pissed off Yuuzhan Vong!
Finn and Prowl along with some really pissed off Yuuzhan Vong!

And no, Data Goggles with a programmable floating droid are not real.

Dark Times

The third and last series to continue is the depressing but awesome Dark Times, which of course refers to the events following Revenge of the Sith. In this time period star systems are savagely oppressed by the Empire, and remaining Jedi and being purged from the galaxy. Our main character is Jedi Master Dass Jennir once again. Jennir is a Jedi who has crossed the line a couple times, acting very un-Jedi and blasting a couple unarmed bad guys directly in the face. Sure they deserved it, but the whole ‘Dark Side’ thing is still in effect. After being in the first story arc of Dark Times, on the run from the Empire, Jennir sat out the second arc before returning to the fray in the excellent Blue Harvest storyline.

Wait, not this one…

In Blue Harvest Jennir is roaming from place to place while keeping a lid on his Jedi identity. He passes time by taking up bounties that do not conflict with the Jedi code and trying to stay alive. Then a bounty takes him to a planet where he plays two rival gangs of slavers against one another to meet their mutual destruction. [Ed. – Much like in the 1927 novel ‘Red Harvest’, which inspired the movie ‘Yojimbo’. That was directed by Akira Kurosawa, who also did the movie ‘The Hidden Fortress’ which was later ripped off remade into ‘Star Wars’ in 1977. ‘Yojimbo’ also has a few remakes – ‘A Fist Full of Dollars’ starring Clint Eastwood and Bruce Willis’ ‘Last Man Standing’ ]

The story arc had a very ‘Clint Eastwood/Western’ feel to it, and Doug Wheatley’s art is once again rich in detail. It seems as if in the next arc (coming in August) that Jennir will draw the ire of none other than Darth Vader. I’m hoping this won’t be the end of the road for him, but with Darth Vader coming after you the odds don’t stack in your favor.

The many looks of Jedi Master Jennir
The many looks of Jedi Master Jennir

It’s going to be a good summer with these three titles starting up again following the now ending Star Wars: Legacy comic book. I fully expect them to exceed the previous arcs and add to the ongoing space opera that is Star Wars.

Gotham’s 20 Best Villains: #1

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1. The JokerBatman #1 (Spring 1940)

And in a complete and utter shock to absolutely NO-ONE, The Joker tops my list. Sorry for the lack of surprise here gang, but there is a reason he’s the obvious choice. He is, plain and simple, Batman’s nemesis.

Continue reading Gotham’s 20 Best Villains: #1

So Many Spidey Suits!

Oh boy, another few years pass by and we get yet another Spiderman suit! Even though unnecessary, I could tolerate a new costume if it looked cool but this one ranks right up there with the Iron Spider or the Scarlet Spider (It does count if it was Parker’s clone wearing the suit, right?).

The IRON SPIDER in all it’s glory…

In case you’ve been living under a rock somewhere, our beloved Johnny Storm died so hard that he was dead. Spiderman will be donning the suit to replace the dearly departed in the new Fantastic Four, now named the Future Foundation. Behold the newest Spidey suit in all of it’s black and white majesty! I suppose I don’t hate it as much as the Iron Spider suit, or the denim vested Scarlet Spider costume. I guess at this point he has so many suits that he could wear one in each of the comic books he now appears in and still have a couple in the closet.

So of course it’s not all about the suit. What to think of Spiderman being in this Future Foundation? He’s been on the team temporarily in the past, not this official. Will this be a permanent spot for him? I mean come on, how long can John boy possibly stay dead?

Even though I do enjoy Spiderman, I don’t think he needs to be on yet another super team. He is currently on the New Avengers roster, and the Mighty Avengers roster, and there is also his solo series. Next he would just have to join the X-men and he would be in almost every major Marvel title!

Marvel’s Next Big One: The Road to ‘Fear Itself’…

I remember a little over a year ago talking to my comic guy about the then upcoming Marvel event, the Heroic Age which was about to start up. It was supposed to return the heroes to a more peaceful and manageable existence. He was ready for the heroes to get back to basics and just be superheroes without all the complexities of real life added in. His main reasoning was that there had been too many ‘dark times’ for the Marvel superheroes, and it was time for a mood change.

I couldn’t have disagreed more. I love nothing more than seeing the Marvel heroes collectively fight for their lives and deal with loss as normal people do. I love seeing that heroes from Hawkeye to Captain America are not only vulnerable, but killable. And heroes like Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are mentally vulnerable. The last several years at Marvel had been all about this, dark and depressing. And the story that started it all was of course Avengers Disassembled, where the Avengers were literally – disassembled.

And done so,  from the inside by one of their own. We have an unknown force messing with the Avengers, which results in multiple casualties, seeing Ant-Man and Hawkeye both killed in the first wave. Tony Stark is then ousted as the U.S. ‘Secretary of Defense’ and Avengers Mansion is all but destroyed. Numerous Avengers are put out of commission including She-Hulk, Vision, and the Wasp. The big reveal is that it was the Scarlet Witch committing all of these attacks, and it was actually quite heartbreaking to see why she did what she did.

Years earlier the Witch used her magic to become pregnant with twins, using Mephisto‘s essence, but they were suddenly taken from her when that essence returned to Mephisto. Imagine trying to cope with your kids just ceasing to exist, I’m not a mother but that has to be a cause for severe depression. Combined with constant abductions by jobbers such as Chthon and Immortus and manipulations by her loving dad Magneto, and even Agatha Harkness routinely wiping the memory of her children away it’s no wonder she suffered a nervous breakdown. Maybe this all could have been avoided with a nice psychiatrist seeing Wanda a couple times a week. After the heroes confront Wanda and a super throw down ensues…in House of M.

In House of M, the Marvel Universe is transformed by the Scarlet Witch’s reality altering powers into a mutant utopia where humans are the minority, and Magneto is the ruler of the United States. Once the heroes determine what has happened they realize that Magneto didn’t manipulate Wanda into doing this, but that it was her brother, Quicksilver. I mean seriously, who needs villains at this point?

By the end of House of M we are left with the majority of the mutant population de-powered due once again, to the Scarlet Witch .

Civil War begins with the heroes slowly recovering, and the mutants effectively sitting it out due to their kick in the oblongs from the events of House of M/Decimation. A shenanigan involving the New Warriors and an obliterated elementary school eventually culminates in the passing of the superhuman registration act, where all heroes will work under the U.S. government, sans secret identities to keep the public safe. The inevitable then happens, with heroes taking sides on the issue and all hell breaking loose between them.  Like I said, who the hell needs villains at this point? The series ends with many heroes going underground and Captain America death.

The next event kind of comes out of left field, but The Secret Invasion storyline was still pretty decent, and was a stepping stone to the next event.

Basically there is a Skrull invasion of Earth. All the heroes unite to defeat the aliens, but in the end it is too late to stop our old, psychotic friend Norman ‘Goblin’ Osborn from stepping up and taking control of SHIELD. Under Osborn’s leadership SHIELD is renamed HAMMER. [Ed. – Reminisant of DC electing Lex Luther President]

This leads us into Dark Reign, where the world is slowly placed in the grip of the world’s villains. Norman Osborn replaces the Avengers with his own team of “superheroes” consisting of :

  • Iron Patriot – Norman Osborn wearing a suit of Iron Man armor emblazoned with the star of Captain America.
  • Hawkeye – Bullseye, Killer extraordinaire.
  • Wolverine – Daken, the son of Wolverine.
  • Spiderman – Mac Gargan, the Scorpion, wearing the Venom symbiote.
  • Ms. Marvel – Moonstone
  • Captain Marvel – Noh-Varr, Kree Warrior.
  • Ares – Greek God of War.
  • Sentry – Superpsycho.

Dark Reign the leads into Siege where Osborn tries to conquer Asgard, but is finally defeated by the Avengers and promptly arrested (His inner goblin finally reared it’s ugly head for all to see).

With the heroes finally united again, and the Heroic Age stuff about to wrap up it’s finally time for a new storyline for our superheroes.

The very ominous looking Fear Itself.

Not much is known about the seven part series except that the superheroes will be facing off against a God of Fear, perhaps from Asgard? The heroes will face their greatest fears, which should be interesting in itself. Just to see what currently haunts big hitters like the Thor, Captain America and the Hulk, sounds good. There is going to be a prologue where a supposed “concealed act” in Marvel history occurs that has ramifications for the story. This prologue involves the Red Skull during World War 2 and it reeks of some sort of change in continuity.

That part may be good or bad. From all of the recent promos for the storyline Asgard must figure in somehow with different trios of characters reaching for what look like different variations of Thor’s hammer Mjolnir.

I don’t need multiple doom and gloom storylines for the next five years, but I hope starting with Fear Itself Marvel gets back into the swing of making the stakes for our heroes high, and the ramifications of said event significant leading into the next one. So far Fear Itself is shaping up to be very interesting.

On the other hand I’m not excited about what Juggernaut appears to be doing in his promo picture. Is that Hercules in the peculiar position in front?

Gotham’s 20 Best Villains: 10-6

10. BaneBatman: Vengeance of Bane #1 (January 1993)

Villains

According to his creators, Bane was originally intended as a “dark mirror” of the highly disciplined and multi-skilled pulp hero Doc Savage. Savage was an early influence in the creation of the Dark Knight himself.

Continue reading Gotham’s 20 Best Villains: 10-6

Gotham’s 20 Best Villains: 15-11

15. The Mad HatterBatman #49 (October-November 1948)

Villains
Jervis Tetch is fascinated with hats of all shapes and sizes. Also with the book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass, particularly favoring the chapter ‘A Mad Tea Party’.

VillainsJervis made his first appearance, along with Vikki Vale in 1948, and was locked in Arkham not to appear again until 1986. However, during his incarceration, beginning in Detective Comics #230, in April of 1956, another man took up the mantle of ‘The Mad Hatter’ claiming that in fact, HE was Jervis Tetch.

Continue reading Gotham’s 20 Best Villains: 15-11