EMPIRE: UNITED WE STAND Trailer!

It’s been building for months, across a bevy of titles! It’s time to stand together against Hydra and the forces of evil, but how can the heroes of the Marvel Universe cope with this shattering betrayal by the most trusted figure among them? And what will this mean for the world?

It’s the story that has shocked the world. Captain America is an Agent of Hydra?! Now – superstar creators Nick Spencer, Daniel Acuna, Steve McNiven, Andrea Sorrentino, Rod Reis, Leinil Yu, and more, bring you the most ground shaking Marvel saga ever – SECRET EMPIRE! Available now in comic stores everywhere, Marvel is pleased to present a special trailer devoted to the devastating first arc of this blockbuster series!

As Hydra’s tentacles tighten around the world, Steve Rogers’ seemingly full proof plan for global domination begins. Can the heroes of the Marvel Universe find the cracks within the foundation of Hydra’s control or will they ultimately succumb to the power of one of their most trusted allies?

Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite News and details

Capcom, a leading worldwide developer and publisher of video games, today announced a Hulk-sized helping of new information for MARVEL VS. CAPCOM: INFINITE, the highly-anticipated return of the revered action-fighting game series. Imagined and created through a shared vision between the two companies, the game will feature free-form 2v2 team battles integrated into a wide variety of exciting and accessible single player modes and rich multiplayer content for new players and longtime fans alike. MARVEL VS. CAPCOM: INFINITE will simultaneously release on the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One®, and Windows PC across North America on September 19, 2017.

For the first time in franchise history, the Marvel and Capcom universes collide in a visually stunning and immersive cinematic Story Mode, as heroes and villains battle together to save their merged worlds from a sinister new threat, Ultron Sigma. A combination of the robotic foes known as Ultron from the Marvel Universe and Sigma from the Capcom Universe, this psychotic villain is obsessed with infecting all organic life with a cybernetic virus. History’s greatest gathering of warriors must now unite to fight back against Ultron Sigma and save their newly formed world.

Announced today, more new characters have joined the battle for survival against the forces of evil in MARVEL VS. CAPCOM: INFINITE including:

  • Ultron
  • Hulk
  • Thor
  • Hawkeye
  • Rocket Raccoon
  • Chun-Li
  • Strider Hiryu
  • Chris Redfield

Each newly-added character will feature unique abilities, iconic special moves and will join other previously-announced characters, including Captain Marvel, Iron Man and Captain America from the Marvel side, and Ryu, Mega Man X and Morrigan from Capcom. The use of powerful, game-changing Infinity Stones further deepens the customized gameplay and allows players to equip and unleash elemental in-game powers, such as Time, Power and Space.

In addition to the compelling cinematic story experience, single player Arcade, Training and Mission modes and vast multiplayer offerings will provide memorable experiences and infinite gameplay possibilities for players of all skill levels. More characters, stages, game features and story mode details will be revealed in the coming months.

Pre-orders for MARVEL VS. CAPCOM: INFINITE are available beginning today on all platforms for the $59.99 MSRP Standard Edition and $89.99 MSRP Deluxe Edition. The Deluxe Edition includes the main game on PS4 or Xbox One and a 2017 Character Pass, which contains access to six all-new additional post-launch characters including Sigma, the main antagonist from the Mega Man® X series. Pre-order bonuses for all versions in North America include Warrior Thor and Evil Ryu costumes. Check with individual retailers for details in Europe and Australia as some offers may vary. The pre-order bonus for the Deluxe Edition is the same as the Standard Edition, but also includes two additional costumes: Gladiator Hulk and Mega Man Command Mission X. For specific details, please check with individual retailers.

Capcom also confirmed today that a limited MARVEL VS. CAPCOM: INFINITE Collector’s Edition, brought to you by TriForce, is available now for pre-order on PS4 and Xbox One. It will include four premium character dioramas of Iron Man, Captain Marvel, Mega Man X and Chun-Li, a case filled with six Infinity Stone replicas, as well as SteelBook packaging that contains the Deluxe Edition of the game, all for only $199.99 MSRP. Contents may vary depending on region and for European pricing please check with retailers. All editions and versions of MARVEL VS. CAPCOM: INFINITE will simultaneously release on September 19, 2017.

Review – Avengers (2016) #1 MU

Writer: Jim Zub
Artist: Sean Izaakse
Colorist: Frank D’Armata
Cover Artist: David Nakayama

In the past runs that feature the more popular have more interesting stories in my opinion, and Avengers Monsters unleashed appears to be in the same category.

Avengers (2016-) #1 Monsters unleashed is one of those fun teamups that’s not to be taken seriously, now I’m not saying the team it’s self is not filled with star power like the original team was, but it does feature characters’ that aren’t house hold names.
Everything seems to be normal for the Avengers in fact alittle to normal in the begin of the issue, with nothing more than street level bank robbers the team of Wasp (Nadia Pym), Thor (Jane Foster), Captain America (Sam Wilson), Vision, Spider-Man (Peter Parker), and Hercules finds themselves bored, so when Spider-man is given a tip of criminal activity in Boston, they jump on it quickly despite the lack of danger it presents to the world. Most of the comedic comes from Spider-Man usual sarcasm, the issue picks up when the team runs into The Controller, he was the man behind the criminal activity in Boston.

After taking out the Controller the Avengers are hit with a series of attacks form Leviathons, the danger has jump from a 1 to 10 when vision informs them that similar attacks are happening in Los Angeles, London, Venice, Wakanda and more.

Conclusion: This was clear a setup chapter of whats to come in future issues, because of that not much was revealed, I found it a bit simplistic like most setup issues are. But that’s not saying it’s bad, just a straightforward “this is what’s going on right now” issue. The dialog between the Avengers is noteworthy, especially times when Peter Parker is trying to act as the group’s leader and Sam reminding him he’s not. As a Tie in arc Avengers Monsters Unleashed has some potential and because of that I’ll have my eye out on this Jim Zub Run.

Links: Preview | Order (Digital)      Release Date: Out Now

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

Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War Trailer #2 – Spider-Man

Finally the your family neighborhood Spider-Man has appeared and it looks as if he’s team Iron Man. Since Marvel announced Spider-Man’s debut in the cinematic universe fans have been eager to see this rendition of a fan favorite.

Civil War hits theaters May 6, its sure to be another hit from Marvel!

Review – The Uncanny Avengers (2015) #1 “An imprefect Union”

Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Ryan Stegman
Cover Artist: Ryan Stegman & Richard
Published by: Marvel Comics 

The Uncanny Avengers (2015) #1 takes place after the Avengers vs X-Men, when Captain America decided to formed a team featuring mutants and humans called Avengers Unity Division, this team of Captain Steve Rogers, Rogue, Deadpool (Wade Wilson), Human Torch (Johnny Storm) Synapse (Emily) (First appearance), Doctor Voodoo (Jericho Drumm), Quicksilver (Pietro Maximoff),Spider-Man (Peter Parker) are supposed to show the world that all of mankind can work and live together in peace, with that said coming into this I wasn’t familiar with its first run by Rick Remener so I had no unbiased opinions before reading. One of the few things I found to be head scratching is the implementing of the inhumans into the story, granted this run takes place months after the original teams run post-Secret Wars, Rogers and company are still trying to improve human and mutant relations while also keeping a terrigen mist outbreak from turning the world upside down once again, but the main focus in this issue is the team’s dysfunctional unity. Throughout the entirety of this issue Cap has to deal with jealousy, anger and resentment within the group.The Uncanny Avengers (2015) #1 Pic 2

One of the groups key member Spider – Man quits because of his dislike for Deadpool, stating that he is a distraction and too dangerous for the team, on the other hand rouge also expresses her discomfort with Deadpool also, she admits she’s tired of him and all the limelight he’s been receiving, but Cap tells her that Deadpool’s popularity is bring in funds for the team so she as well as the others have to deal with him for now, For me the most intriguing moment of the issue is when Rouge expresses her true feelings towards the inhuman outbreak, calling it inhuman poison she goes on to tell Cap she doesn’t truly trust Synapse because of her inexperience, we also get a glimpse of Terrigen Mist’s effects on Rouge after takes off her glove when she checks her Terrrigen levels.

With all this drama surrounding this team so early it’s hard to believe that members won’t be replaced, things do get a little better when an outbreak of spores that evolving into insects and animals attack New York City during Quick Sliver and Synapse’s date, this makes the team come together as they try to figure out who is behind the attack. The issue ends when a cop who is evacuating people stumbles upon a new villain by the name of Shredded Man.

Conclusion: Besides the group’s inner turmoil nothing real catches your attention, in fact this seemed more like a 3rd or 4th issue, the lack of appealing members of the team is big downside for me, tag that with a poor plot development make this issue uninteresting for the time being, hopefully in the future that will change.

Links: Preview | Order (Digital)
Release Date: Out Now

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

Review – New Avengers #29 (AVX)

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Mike Deodato
Colors: Rain Beredo
Letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover: Ron Garney & Jason Keith
Published by: Marvel Comics

In an earlier time during the AVX saga there was a moment, a key moment where Captain America and the world deciders wanted to hope for something else.

New Avengers #29 jumps into the time machine, we see the secret council brought together one more time in the darkest hours of the Phoenix taking over and the Avengers feeling helpless to it all. The same group that debated the fate of Hulk and so many other cases in private for the good of the world. It’s not something they pride themselves in, instead they often debate and dread the grouping of the team as it always brings so much conflict and a deep seeded sense of regret for the outcome that follows.

For Captain America, this reunion isn’t just about doing something for the Earth, it’s about trying to understand where times split and how to get back to a sense of normal again. With the group so emotionally split it’s a tough debate that follows and leaves them split on where this all will go, so many are at a crossroads given the advancements to humanity and the world that going against it seems equally as damaging. We get an insight into Reed Richards as well and his MIA nature in this whole battle.

It’s a good read and it helps explain why Captain America is so torn apart on what he’s doing, he knows what these changes bring but it’s the condition that lurks on him and drives him to create these resistance attacks. For those following AVX that want a good break from the battle and a bit of time to feel bad for Cap this is a solid read.

Release Date: August 8, 2012

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

Review – Avengers vs X-Men #5 (AVX)

Story: Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction and Jonathan Hickman
Script: Matt Fraction
Pencils: John Romita Jr.
Inks: Scott Hanna
Colors: Laura Martin
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Cover Art: Jim Cheung & Justin Ponsor
Variant Cover Art: Ryan Stegman & Marte Gracia
Published by: Marvel Comics

So we’re a bit late to the AVX party on this one but we’ve been following the series so far and wanted to continue at least with some coverage of the latest happenings after that 3 week break that Marvel took.

We’re back on the Moon and Hope is merging with the Phoenix, the Avengers and X-Men are clashing on the moon and it’s about to go down in a bad way. Hope is feeling the limits of this event she’s prepared so hard for and no amount of training and preparation she attempted is providing much help right now. Regardless of this bad situation, everyone is battling out their own personal pursuits on the surface as the apocalypse itself sets in.

Avengers vs X-Men #5 dives into the dilemma that is Hope’s mind, she’s torn on what it is she’s exactly doing anymore, the force is too strong and she has no idea on how to tangle with this cosmic bird trying to overwhelm her. Instead of embracing it like the warrior pictured through all of this lead-in, she’s still the scared girl and now she’s trying to get away.

The issue  is one of the strongest yet, we see a bit of everything in the pages of issue 5 including where this whole story goes once the Phoenix Force and Hope have their difficulty in bonding. Many have had an issue with the Avengers beating down every X-Men member they see but that will not be the case anymore, honestly everyone on the Avengers just died a little inside. Balance issues with Red Hulk dominating everything that gets in his way and so on seem flipped for the next arc.

I’ve been hoping for a brighter side to this story for the X-Men side, I don’t know if that’s exactly what happened in this issue. Some fans will of course be cheering because of the cool new attire and powers but at the same time it could very well mean doomsday is just around the corner for Earth yet again with 5 avatars full of stupid amounts of power. I can say I’m really looking forward to seeing where this whole twist goes in issue #6.

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

Marvel Free Focus returns with more free issues (5/7/12)

Captain Britain, Daredevil and Captain America arrive on tap this week for Marvel fans looking to catch a few freebies, unfortunately we’re winding down from our previous months of high volume releases but that will only small bump in the road as next week takes things up to 4 releases.

  • Coming soon*
    • ASTONISHING TALES (2009) #6
    • VENGEANCE (2011) #5
    • RED SKULL (2011) #5
    • CLOAK & DAGGER (2011) #3

If we see any other releases from next week show up early we’ll get on it, enjoy the sales and the freebies to help carry you until next week.

Review – The Avengers (2012) Movie

The wait is over for the latest Marvel Super Hero installment, Marvel has released The Avengers to theaters this weekend and it’s taking off like mad. The new movie spearheaded by Joss Whedon sets out to combine the lives of Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye into a single classic package from the comic world. The article will try to stay as spoiler free as possible so everyone can read it without feeling like I just killed the ending.

Given past experiences this isn’t something that’s a given to go well, many have felt the burn from bad group movies like Fantastic Four and some of X-Men as well. Fortunately Whedon has a history with Marvel in writing story arcs and developing characters across their roster, as a result he has a bit of an understanding about how they work. Add onto this he’s a creator from the genre and understands developmental trends from the Marvel Universes, as a result we get a mixture of hero profiles that set up a great experience without trying to reinvent the wheel, instead he just borrows from the best of all there is to pick from.

The basics are easy, Loki has returned and he’s in for payback, he has an army with him and a plan to launch a full-scale invasion if he’s lucky. With his brother preoccupied elsewhere and his existence thought to be lost to the void he’s on a limited free ride ticket to get into action while he can. Unfortunately this is where things go horribly wrong, in his last trip to Earth he didn’t take the time to absorb the level of the heroes on the planet, as a result he’s stuck with something he didn’t account for, some big names that don’t take kindly to getting shoved around.

As a Marvel movie this hits a lot of points that get missed in regular releases, while running at around 2 hours and 30 minutes from previews to credits it uses the time to create story, relationships, conflicts and resolve without axing too much off. It’s very common to see critical development skimmed through in favor of being flashy or saving time, Whedon doesn’t dive into this all that much and the experience is richer for it. We see a band of heroes that had no real relations jump into the fray with genuine conflict instead of magical cooperation, given the fights that happen in the comic universe it was a relief to see that no one was really happy-go-lucky in the story.

The result of this is an intense experience and one of the most impressive accomplishments is the development of the best Hulk I’ve seen yet in the movies from Marvel right now. The personality development is critical and the focus goes from the random generations of Banner to something closer to the Hulk seen in arcs like Planet Hulk. If there’s a chance to keep that thunder going it would likely prove to renew faith in the franchise even if it was yet another reboot. Other characters like Captain America get a heavy kick to the modern age, we left off with him trying to cope with the modern age but Whedon helps crank a reluctant Captain into full gear by making him step up to the situation at hand.

Other developments include a reformed Thor, while headed toward greater responsibility he’s less of a hot-head figure in the development, using calculated attacks and complete control of the hammer to dish out heavy damage to anyone in his way. The other step up in development came from Iron Man, while there’s no doubt that Tony Stark likes to let it rip, he’s at a technological point where he’s more interested in knowing more and doing more than ever before. While he still gets to be a bit of an ass it’s nothing that dwarfs the rest of the cast in the movie and often serves to develop the story around other characters even more.

While I had a lot of excitement going into The Avengers, it was a true test to see if it held up to expectations, it’s safe to say that it delivers on multiple levels. As a comic movie it brings intense action and storytelling to new levels, it doesn’t short the audience to meet a deadline and it draws a full story experience from start to finish. Joss even finds time to tease other parts of the universe throughout the film to the final seconds before the MPAA rating screen closes out the movie, yes that’s right sit through EVERYTHING, if you leave early you’ll only hurt your own experience.

Visually The Avengers brings intense environments through heavy use of locations and CG implementation, the story sells because they took the time to go through how they sold the comic and kept to that. With so much time taken into making this a major accomplished piece there aren’t any areas that just blatantly scream out that a corner was cut. It’s easy to know so many things are CG in the film but the immersion remains strong throughout the movie and owns what it is by utilizing the technology to the extreme.

Overall it’s an experience to catch although some may need to prepare themselves for it based on the running time. While it is action driven it’s very much about the drama and adventure throughout the story and that may set some fans back. If you’re a general movie fan hoping for a blind rush of action that lacks depth I’d still say try to see this, if you’re looking for a well executed comic movie, you’d only rip yourself off by skipping The Avengers. Now the question remains if Marvel can hold the rest of their movies up to the same bar. For my experience this was one of the most rewarding installments I’ve come across for Marvel movies, I was interested going in with minimal fears and I came out wanting to see it again.

Story:★★★★½ 
Cinematography:★★★★★ 
Dialog:★★★★½ 
Overall:★★★★½ 

Review – The Avengers #25 (AvX)

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

Avengers vs X-Men spills into the pages of The Avengers #25, the fight is on and then we shoot back into the memories of Captain America. Unfortunately yes, we’re in another back story sandwiched between minutes of the fight breaking out. This isn’t to say it’s irrelevant in the story though, in fact it’s a chunk of a huge story panning out for the arc . We’re given a glimpse at Captain America in this struggle, it’s not one he’s all that accustomed to though, he faces issues of public perception and doubts in his own mind about his ability to deliver. No one ever said being the face of a super hero group would be easy though, even his allies remind him of that as he wishes for that one move to put them back in the good grace of the public.

Issue 25 takes us into the heart of Cap’s doubts and desires to deliver a win for the people, with the help of his fellow Avengers and a streak of luck delivered by Noh-Varr they take on a piece of the puzzle that delivered such a heavy blow to the image of the Avengers. With swift action and coordination Captain America is able to relive the good moments of this job, tackling A.I.M. and renewing faith in his team to protect the world in a way they only can. It’s a deep side story that really drives off from the Phoenix issue at hand, that is until the end of the issue and then you find out yet another interest rests under the surface of this conflict. Who else in the Avengers will develop a new agenda as they come to this fight and how will it spiral out for the team?

For those hoping to see a dramatic battle in Avengers 25, you’ll get one but it will not center around the X-Men, instead the focus shifts over to A.I.M. and it’s an important step to introduce a greater issue at hand. It’s a shame to see so much back peddling but understandable given where this story is directing itself, what was originally a battle to save the Earth from the Phoenix force is now developing into a galaxy wide battle to control it. We’ll have to see how well they can keep it together when they start to wonder who they can really trust.

Outside of the story, the rest of the issue is a good read, although I still struggle to see why Thor came off so odd, his face almost too flat to imagine as he flew in to lend a hand to Captain America. So much of the book went fine minus that moment and it was so large of an exposure that seemed to never repeat itself after the fact.

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