Review – X-Men #30

Writer: Brian Wood
Pencils: David Lopez
Inks: Alvaro Lopez
Colors: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover: Jorge Molina
Published by: Marvel Comics

Taking a break from the AVX madness we see the X-Men story line focus on the building of a new mutant security force to help patrol and protect the world from unique threats to the human population. The discoveries though seem to lead us to the potential for a new arc and some bad times ahead for the X-Men as they stumble upon new threats and challenges brewing around the world that will come to shock them once the truth emerges.

Pixie acts as background through the majority of the issue, popping in to chime in with self praise or complaints about the situations she’s thrown into. As someone with the ability to teleport more than 5 feet it’s almost a given to expect the team to drive that opportunity into the ground, fortunately they only ride her taxi driver future for a short period. The rest of the issue tackles new zombie mutations and a secret discovery that looks like it could shake up the entire mutant world, fearing for the worst we see Storm take the initiative and hide it from Scott as he faces even greater issues in the moment. There’s a lot of tension destined to build given the secrets building up and the tensions about the mutant genes coming back into the mix.

As a side story it’s a decent break from the normal offerings right now, lets hope they can turn the momentum into a solid arc for everyone to appreciate though. The current 5 member cell actually keeps the personal developments relatively direct and fun without having to worry about everyone lurking in the background. Pixie, Colossus, Storm, Domino and Psylocke are geared up for anything and the cliffhanger shows it’s a good thing they are, otherwise they would be in some bad trouble right about now as the cover teases.

Story:★★★½☆ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★½☆ 
Overall:★★★½☆ 

Review – The Amazing Spider-Man #687 – Ends of the Earth

Writer: Dan Slott
Art: Stefano Caselli
Color: Frank Martin Jr.
Letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover: Caselli
Variant Cover: Gabriele Dell’otto and Perkins / D’armata
Published by: Marvel Comics

The end is at hand, Spider-Man and company have fought through numerous obstacles trying to find Doc Oc including the Avengers in this latest battle. With so little time left there’s absolutely no time to fool around and there’s still so much to do with the launch of the rockets coming at any moment to possibly save the world or send it spiraling into doomsday. Spidey has managed to recruit even Mysterio into the fold using his mass desire for wealth as a motivating force to help put an end to the games and save the planet and his billions.

Unfortunately this issue puts the heroes at a huge road block and they rise to the limit to do what feels like the impossible, the drama of Sable, Widow and Spidey is balanced with the humorous behavior of Mysterio as he bounces around. It’s not to say they make Mysterio a stupid or slapstick type of character, it’s actually a witty relief of a character joining up on a side he feels he has to out of personal interest more than a moral interest. The pace of this last section of the story is intense and it drives home the sense of urgency and desperation to do whatever it takes with who and what is available in this final hour.

The wrap-up to the issue feels a bit forced, you have a massive build up that doesn’t manage to deliver as much as you would think in that final moment when it’s all there. I understand there’s the classic moral decisions of Spider-Man in his series but I guess you can’t expect a huge throw down with a villain on his death-bed clinging to his final moments that can barely stand on his own power. Overall it’s an impressive arc and I’ll be going back into the past releases to catch up on the full story as I joined late into the releases.

Story:★★★★½ 
Art:★★★★★ 
Dialog:★★★★☆ 
Overall:★★★★½ 

Review – Avengers #27 (AVX)

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils: Walter Simonson
Inks: Scott Hanna
Colors: Jason Keith
Letters: VC’s  Cory Petit
Published by: Marvel Comics

We’re back with Avengers #27!

The Secret Avengers are facing huge problems as they plummet toward the Sun, The Protector acting on the orders of the empire has betrayed the group to get his hands on the Phoenix Force they were able to capture. Naturally betraying a group of super heroes isn’t without some regrets, we see an emotional battle with him as he displays his job well done and comes to find his expectations weren’t mirrored in the upcoming actions from the colony. Instead of being one to have it both ways and enjoy a job well done, he’s torn that such thoughts are merely dreams and he may have just cost dear friends their only hope.

The story dances between this issue and the reawakening team on the shuttle pulling out of a near death course set toward the Sun, using all of their might they were able to bank away from incineration this time but only by the smallest bit of luck. As one might imagine they were a little more than angry about the backstabbing and attack that went down on the ship and the idea that he would leave them for dead in a flash of a moment. The story wraps itself up quickly to get back on track to the main AVX arc instead of hanging behind as it has so far, the teaser for the next issue falling on Red Hulk so it seems they’ll leave the rest of the story catch-up to the Secret Avengers books again.

Overall it’s a solid entry, the twists in the issue are well placed to keep tension and guessing until it hits and even then it has some surprises that are pleasing to see given how much passes in just a few pages. I’m still not a fan of the roadkill face Thor though, I don’t think I ever will be, I know he’s burly and huge and that’s cool but it’s like someone used a rolling-pin to flatten his face out and it just kills. In general the faces could use a bit of extra attention but it seems to be par for the course right now so it’s one of those things to live with or skip over it.

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★☆☆ 
Dialog:★★★★☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆ 

Review – Avengers Vs X-Men: Versus #3 (AVX)

Thing Vs. Colossus
Writer: Jeph Loeb
Pencils: Ed McGuinness
Inks: Dexter Vines
Colors: Morry Hollowell
Letters: Comicraft’s Albert Deschesne

Black Widow Vs. Magik
Writer: Christopher Yost
Pencils: Terry Dodson
Inks: Rachel Dodson
Colors: Guru eFX
Letters & Production: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Published by: Marvel Comics

*That’s a ton of credit to give just for a single comic D:

Here we are in the heat of the Phoenix Force struggle and we get two impressive battles to go through, Red Hulk vs anyone he wants and Thing Vs. Colossus and Black Widow Vs. Magik. As you might be able to guess the Red Hulk beating on anyone moving thing is getting a bit tired for me and the solution it seems by Marvel so far is to just use Thing as the scapegoat. With that said we have Thing and Black Widow trying to hold down the fort in the Blue Zone of the moon which is the only safe zone area for humans to exist without assistance.

Thing Vs. Colossus is the first battle exposed once Red Hulk punches Juggerlossus across the moon over to Thing for the next round. It’s a slugfest and an ugly one at that, we see Colossus finally get a boost in the battles and his dark side emerges in battle, that blood lust he suppresses so hard finally comes forward as he declares he is The Juggernaut. For those hoping to see a continued streak of Avengers win’s it’s 50/50, you’ll see Red Hulk play god and then it doesn’t go nearly as well for Thing as you might hope. It’s still an entertaining battle though and a nice glimpse at Colossus letting it rip.

Black Widow Vs. Magik takes over the stage for the next battle, it’s a rough spot for both characters as they engage in a ballet of warfare, Magik playing with her food while Black Widow underestimates the power of magic and spell casting. It’s a bit more amusing given Magik pops in and out of the world at will and has so many powers that haven’t even been touched upon in this series so far. Unfortunately those who see a human coming out on top will be sorely mistaken, while it’s a cool fight there was a lingering concern that it was just a way to pass the time and not so much a life or death struggle.

For those hoping to focus on just the battles Versus doesn’t disappoint and honestly it feels like one of the better balanced issues in the series so far.

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★½ 
Dialog:★★★★☆ 
Overall:★★★★½