New week, new round, and ALL Marvel: Bullet Reviews #134 featuring All-New X-Men, a Superior Spider-Man and his Foes, an Ultimate Cataclysm and so much more!
ALL-NEW X-MEN #18 (Marvel)
Let me just say Brandon Peterson earned a gold star. This cover on this issue is stunning to say the least. It is so powerful. Kitty Pryde kneeling on the floor looking at the old X-Men uniforms. Bold foreshadowing for something sad? Is an original X-Men gonna bite the dust? No! The new X-Men just got new uniforms! I am glad they have new uniforms but why now? Because they are at a new school? And if All-New X-Men is now Cyclops team, is Uncanny X-Men about the real X-Men? Even after the X-Men learned that the multiple factions of X-Men teams causes such a big rift between them that they are at war with another in the future…they still go their separate ways!? Come on! The stepford cuckoos aren’t exactly awesome characters but they are supposed to be creepy Bendis, they are carbon copies of Emma Frost, not Jubiliation Lee! I have enough issues with Kitty Pryde up and leaving the X-Men, when she is the headmistress, and joining with the guy who killed Xavier! I understand that water is under the bridge easily in comics but come on now. Jean Grey appears to be losing her mind (again) so we got that to look forward to. The title was already filled with characters I didn’t care about, but now the characters I should care about are gonna have to take a back seat to the original X-Men. Will Kitty Pryde still be part of the X-Men solo title? I have all these questions now Marvel! I need that school to recruit Colossus. He needs to be in X-Men again. This was possibly the most confusing issue ever and Not recommended for new readers as a jumping on point. I did enjoy it just not sure where things are going exactly. Maybe that is a good thing? Remember when it was clear who was an X-Man and who wasn’t? Now I can hardly remember which X-Men are on which team. The book is still entertaining and that is really all you can ask. -Nick Furious
AMAZING X-MEN #1 (Marvel)
Of all the comic writers I have met no one stands out as more “disappointing” than Jason Aaron. I knew he was a midwest native so I tried to talk comics with him, he didn’t really have anything X related to talk about except the Schism trade and the god awful Wolverine and The X-Men comics. He clearly had no interest in talking to me and I still regret to this day not telling him how awful he does on X-Men. He is a terrible X-Men writer. I love what he has done with Thor and Scalped is fantastic. But his work on X-Men has been atrocious. I really didn’t want to pick this book up. I really wanted to let another X book go by the way side because I knew it wouldn’t be any good. But it has freaking Nightcrawler on the cover! And THE Ed McGuinness is doing the artwork! Was Amazing X-Men any good? I will get to that. We open to a beautiful scene of Kurt Wagner in a peaceful and quiet land (Heaven?) and it just feels good to see Nightcrawler again. If they ever truly killed off character I think comics would be even more brilliant than they are now. Pave the way for new characters, write flashback stories if you wanted to write a story that involved the dead characters. But that is just me! Where was I? Azazel shows up and starts some shit and we have our big story arc, Nightcrawler vs. his dad. Unlike X-Men First Class, Azazel is actually pretty awesome in comics. Things that I didn’t like with this issue: Bamfs. Why did they just let them exist at the school if they destroyed stuff? I get the idea of what they are doing there but Rachel is just now being able to read their minds? Firestar and Iceman are back on a team together. Unless there is a Spider-Man reunion issue with the three of them I still think Firestar is a silly character who doesn’t feel like an X Man. Northstar. The gay X Man. Please don’t use this book as a publicity stunt to push gay acceptance. It would be one thing if you did it because you believed it and wanted others to stop hating, but Marvel uses it to get more money. It is simply a propaganda tool. Iceman is back to his 90’s look? But on the cover he still looks like the Iceman we have come to know in recent years. And Storm. My God Jason why can’t you leave Storm out of your books! You make her sound foolish. She is easily one of the greatest X-Men ever, and the way you write her, you would never even know she was from Africa, full of wisdom, and a natural-born leader who has come to be a truly amazing character. Gone are the days of Storm being intimidating and fantastic. Gone are the days of her speaking in such harsh tones. One of my favorite lines ever was when Storm said “Genejoke. That word. I do not like it.” Gone are the days of Storm being Storm. On the plus side: It feels epic! It feels like this story is going to be one of the great X-Men stories! The feeling I got from the prelude alone gave me chills. The Search for Nightcrawler is like searching for Spock! You know how it ends but the adventure excites you none the less! Overall a better issue than I expected. I hope Amazing X-Men lives up to the hype. We shall see. -Nick Furious
CATACLYSM: ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #1 (Marvel)
If Cataclysm: The Ultimates Last Stand #1 was to give us a taste of the action and the power of Galactus in the Ultimate Universe, then Cataclysm: Ultimate Spider-Man #1 is the setup book for all the other players in this little wrap-up story. The S.H.I.E.L.D team including Spider-Woman, Spider-Man, Bombshell, and Cloak and Dagger will be playing prominent roles in the battle against Galactus. Brian Micheal Bendis is building a solid story, showing the return of Miles to the Spider-suit and being welcomed by the police was a nice touch. It was kind of refreshing to have the cops say, “When we see those webs… We know our lives just got a whole lot easier.” Peter Parker never got that sort of positive feedback for all the times he was nearly killed in the defense of the city. The story of Bombshell was interesting. A delinquent girl whose mother was a supervillain and used her own daughter in her capers. The scene between her and her parole officer is interesting and uncovers her want to be a superhero, not just to attain for past wrongs, but just because it feels great. Cloak and Dagger are a different kind of story. Two best friends who discovered their powers and left home. They have fought alongside Spider-Man and some other folks to bring down Roxxon and now they want to be something more. The last scene, wrapping up the story of Cloak and Dagger, is amazing. The picture of Galactus in the distance destroying… that is classic and just makes me want more of this story. A great storyline so far. -Aaron Clutter
MARVEL KNIGHTS: X-MEN #1 (Marvel)
Few X Tales have a true “X” feel to them these days. Even fewer even attempt to make an X Book feel like it resembles anything remotely close to X-Men in general. I am happy to say X-Men Marvel Knights doesn’t feel like an X Book either, and it is actually a good thing. Although I think the shotty bizarre artwork is getting a little too trendy thanks to Hawkeye and the likes of those type artists, Cris Peter is a great addition to this tale. The story doesn’t feel very X like and the artwork doesn’t feel very X like. Fair enough. This is its own thing. Keep in mind I have no clue when this series takes place since big changes have happened recently and Kitty Pryde is no longer with the X-Men. Anyways, this story takes the generic story where the X-Men go somewhere to find kid mutants. They can try to make a book entertaining using this plot line but after the X-Men Anime I don’t think anyone should even attempt it. Oh it involves Sabretooth? Okay now you have my attention. Sabretooth is the one villain that I feel is an X-Men worthy villain. Logan doesn’t have his healing factor…right? Once again I have no idea when this story takes place and they don’t really go into it, but I am assuming that Logan has no healing factor, and all he has is Rogue and Kitty Pryde with him. Three A-Lister X-Men vs. Sabretooth? I like the odds. What I like even more is a battle between Wolverine and Sabretooth with no healing factor. I don’t care if it has been done before, but his is Marvel Knights we are talking about, big things are gonna happen! Kitty Pryde has always been my favorite X-Man so I am glad she is along for the ride but I have to wonder why these three of all the X-Men? Either way the story is generic and bland, but the writing is above par and the artwork screams dark and dreary as the artwork should! Not the best book on racks but it most certainly isn’t the worst. That title is reserved for Iron Man and Avengers A.I. -Nick Furious
MARVEL KNIGHTS X-MEN #1 (Marvel)
When Rachael is hit with a psychic impression detailing a young mutant’s murder, the team traces the source to a tiny little southern town barely on the map. Some quick research shows a few other mutant signatures in the area, and missing persons reports all around. Wolverine won’t sit around when he can tell that mutant children are in trouble, and immediately decides they’re going in guns a’blazin. He makes the distraction while Rogue and Kitty look for the first of the mutants, and after a whole lotta trouble and explaining one grudgingly agrees to accept their help. As they track down the next mutant, Sabretooth comes busting out, but is this really Sabretooth?
On the plus side, it’s kind of like an X-Men horror comic, it’s dark and spooky with a lot of atmosphere. The visual art is non-mainstream, which I know is a turn off for some. It’s not meant to be a high realistic style, but there’s still a lot you can do with that, like the dreadful look on Beast’s face when he suggests that there being too many mutants in the area could mean they were brought there, for you know, bad purposes. I really dig all the psychedelics, I wasn’t expecting them but they kinda made the book for me.
On the bad or at least in between side, this book is gonna poke holes in your brain continuity wise. Marvel Knights usually get some room to roam, but this doesn’t much, it’s a very fitting in universe story, even touching perfectly on the idea of Wolverine and Cyclops’ war of ideas, and questions if this world really does force mutants to choose a side, but Kitty is in it, which doesn’t work for current stuff, although then again she’s still in Wolverine’s killable arc. Still, everyone is characterized really well; Marvel Knights or no it feels like a solid X-tale so far. -Scorpio Moon
MIGHTY AVENGERS #3 (Marvel)
Apparently Infinity is still going on? I love the roster for this team but the writing is just not good! The artwork is excellent and I wish all of these artists would be on all Avengers titles. I am a big fan of the showcasing of all the ethnic superheroes, but why call them Avengers? Oh because more people will buy the book? No! In this issue it explained that they were the only people on Earth to stop an invasion (they stop one monster) and they did (they only had to fight one monster). I find it hard to believe no one else came out to help them in New York. Yes, the Avengers are in space, I get that, but New York is FILLED with heroes. Okay, I’ll bite, the Mighty Avengers are another Avenger team. But didn’t Cage want OUT of the Avengers so he could be a family man. Keep Jessica Jones and his baby safe? You made the right choice Luke! Be a family man, let everyone else deal with the end of the world, you finally found a girl you love, be the only superhero that actually gets a happy ending! But no Luke Cage is destined to be miserable his whole life just like any other hero as he answers the call from…no one. No one actually asked him for help he just decided he wanted to fight crime again. I guess what I am saying is this, I am gonna need a helluva good reason why this guy would just give up being an Avenger to keep his family safe, and then out of nowhere be like, “Yeah, F what I said earlier, I want to fight bad guys again”. Why couldn’t this just be a Heroes for Hire? A new Heroes for Hire? I like Luke Cage, nay, I love Luke Cage, especially the Power Man days so I will stick with the book, but I also love Vision and Avengers A.I. was dropped after the second issue. Don’t be like Avengers A.I. -Nick Furious
SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN #5 (Marvel)
The five members of the Sinister Six, well, I guess there are four members now after Boomerang stuffed Shocker in the trunk of his car and drove it off a bridge but who needs math? Anyway, the four members of the Six decide it’s time to buckle down and break into the Owl’s place and steal the head of Silvermane (and the money he has stashed there as well) but following Boomerang’s lead might not have been the best choice for them but if they don’t know it then it can’t be wrong, right? After all, maybe he forgot to mention the fact that the elevator works. But what might be a problem is that the true prize they are after isn’t the head of an old mafia boss but a painting. Not just any painting, a piece of work that is called “The True Face Of Victor Von Doom”!
Now, I didn’t expect anything from this series. Hell, I fully expected Marvel to cancel it by now since they rarely allow original ideas like this to last very long but it’s certainly become the surprise hit launch of the Marvel NOW! stuff which, to me, has been very lackluster. It’s a comic book. Yeah, I know, that doesn’t sound like much praise but this is my point: Most of the books Marvel puts out these days seem to be done more for movies or TV shows, not so much for the pure fun of being a comic book but this series takes me back to the days before we had Marvel ‘Entertainment’ and had Marvel COMICS. Honestly, Marvel needs to stop trying to shoehorn the movie crap into their comics and get back to basics. This book is a great start! It’s also one of the 3 Marvel books I read anymore. -Skott Jimenez
SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #21 (Marvel)
At this point I think I am befuddled with this series. Can it do no wrong!? Stunner has to be one of the dumbest villains in the history of Spider-Man, yes I know there have been MUCH DUMBER villains, but in this NEW generation of comics where things are bit more mature and “ground breaking”. I use that word in quotations because new comics aren’t ground breaking…BUT SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN MOST DEFINITELY IS!!!! For those who just can’t seem to shake how awful the MU is without Peter Parker I just feel sorry for you. You are missing the single greatest comic Marvel puts out. And I just feel sorry for you. You know Peter isn’t gonna be gone forever! You know he will be back by the time Amazing Spider-Man 2 hits theaters! We bitch and we bitch and we bitch about how un-original everything in comics is these days, but we can’t seem to handle the shake down! Why is that? Two reasons. First being fanboys are whiny cry babies who will never be happy with anything. The second being that Marvel doesn’t give two shits that we are unhappy! That being said, there is now a LMD of Doctor Octopus. Carlie knows Peter Parker is actually dead. The Wheels are turning. Peter Parker is almost a doctor. Good things happen to good people. That is what Doc Ock’s midget girlfriend, Anna, said. But Doc Ock is not a good person Anna. Something dark is brewing for Doc Ock. Something terrible. Everything is going so well. But then we have the Green Goblin who is planning something BIG, and now he knows that Parker is Spider-Man, better yet, he knows Doc Ock is actually Parker. That great big pile of fortune is crumbling as we speak! Superior Spider-Man your days are numbered. Is this enough fanboys? Will you please read this title again? OH wait I couldn’t care less because it STILL crushes sales every month. -Nick Furious
X-MEN LEGACY #19 (Marvel)
Every time I open this comic each issue feels like a whole new book, whether it’s by the look of it, or what’s going on, so here we flash-forward to after legion is knocked out, Cyclops called in a favor from Abagail Brand of S.W.O.R.D who housing Legion in a stasis pod, because they have the best power suppression tech. Kinda dubious on if Cyclops would turn a fellow mutant over to Marvel’s alien division like that, but I guess Cyke does have some friends after all, take that Emma!
Throughout the issue they string along two mysteries, one is the exact nature of Legion’s escaped personality, the other the exact nature of the weapon meant to kill it. They kinda poke fun at or at least toy with a bit of Marvel history here, suggesting the personality could be a mumadria, or Legion’s version of Onslaught, and I mean admittedly those are ideas that Spurrier could have easily gone with, but he leaves us to ponder that one, preferring to drop the cliffhanger that Aarkus’s weapon is a phoenix! It’s totally cheating, the whole idea is that the phoenix dies and is reborn, but this guy kinda picked up the leftover, or something. I’m not exactly sure on the physics here but hey why not.
One of the other ideas they bring up, is that as a being of energy Legion’s escaped personality found that just wreaking havoc with a few possessions was too small, so it spread itself all over the word, influencing people to give in to violence, basically becoming hatred personified, in wars, and tribal genocides, ethic cleansing and religious intolerance, like all the kinds of things that superheroes can’t just punch in the face, problems that superheroes can’t or don’t typically solve. It borders on non-traditional superhero storytelling to play with those ideas, or at least to expose them. -Scorpio Moon