It’s that time again: Bullet Reviews! This week is a full one: All-New X-Men #7, Avengers #5, Avengers Arena #4, Daredevil: End Of Days #5, Fantastic Four #4, Mars Attacks #7, Superior Spider-Man #3, Transformers: Regeneration One #88, Uncanny X-Men #1, and X-Men #41:
ALL-NEW X-MEN #7 (Marvel NOW!)
All-New X-Men continues the hot streak as Bendis and team nail another issue. I feel bad for all the people who stopped reading comics after Avengers vs. X-Men. Yes, I will agree the concept wasn’t nearly as fun as it could have been. But the results of Avengers vs. X-Men have been incredible. And bringing in the original X-Men? Loving every second. For those who felt betrayed by Marvel for Scott Summers becoming the new leader of “evil” mutants, fret not! Young Scott Summers still has a good head on his shoulders and gives you the boy scout good guy you remember, while the present Scott Summers continues to push the storyline towards the revolution. Cyclops has become a sign of hope for some and a sign of fear and hatred for others. This book has a classic villain returning in the form of Mystique and she is up to her old mind tricks. Of course, it has Kitty training the Original X-Men to become future bad asses, plus Jean Grey gets a taste of the hell that Scott is going through and I still haven’t even come close to explaining how great All-New X-Men has been! Nay! Has Been and Will Continue to be great. The artwork on the X-books has been pretty distasteful for the most part but I very much enjoyed David Marquez and Marte Gracias hard work. And the cover is just gorgeous, best All-New X-men Cover yet. Overall a great read, a gorgeous view and some good old-fashioned fun -Nick Furious
AVENGERS #5 (Marvel NOW!)
Avengers #5 continues down the path of – Well, I’m not entirely sure what is going on, to be honest with you. But the artwork is lovely! I understand the Avengers are getting bigger and the ranks are filling up each issue. I never really thought the Avengers were small to begin with but if they say they need it bigger than I am gonna need to see threats that are bigger. I’m gonna need to see Justice League type threats. This time around we get to see the Mythos of Smasher and how she came to be an Avenger. I will agree that the Hyperion issue was not bad but this issue wasn’t really bad either. Except for one little thing…CAPTAIN AMERICA LET HER BE ON THE AVENGERS AFTER ONE FIGHT!? Hey Captain Rogers this isn’t a tree house club, it’s the mother ##$%#@ AVENGERS! Most of the team (that we know of) is compromised of people we know, characters we have seen before. If you are just now jumping on board with Marvel Now! then you are probably all sorts of confused. I have been following Avengers for years and am STILL slightly confused. Maybe its sloppy writing or poor storytelling but this run of Avengers is just disappointing. I can’t just drop THE Avengers title. I can’t. I know it will get better, it always does but right now I’m just not sure they know what they are doing. After a fantastic run on Fantastic Four it feels like Hickman is calling in sick on Avengers. I don’t want Mythos of multiple characters. I want The Avengers. -Nick Furious
AVENGERS ARENA #4 (Marvel NOW!)
This book is just so f’ed up. On the last issue you may remember Darkhawk died (or did he) and everything was going to straight to hell. This issue pushed that concept and made more friends become enemies. Pushed the whole “trust” thing in a totally different direction. I won’t spoil who dies this time around but we did get blessed with two deaths. This book appears to be a way to knock out a bunch of Marvel characters that Marvel wants to throw in the dumpster. In the end there will be only one standing according to Arcade. I doubt that will be the case. But if it is I’m pulling for Hazmat as she was my favorite character in Avengers Academy. This is the first time that I kind of missed Avengers Academy. I never realized I missed it that much but it was a pretty fun book and I’m sorry to see it go. The cover although awesome is total crap and Darkhawk and X-23 don’t fight. Don’t buy into the hype. The series is still entertaining but I don’t know how long this series can keep me hooked. I wouldn’t say I’m hooked, but I haven’t considered dropping it yet. Still read it, just don’t expect anything spectacular. -Nick Furious
DAREDEVIL: END OF DAYS #5 (Marvel)
The twisted final story of Ben Urich as he attempts to do a piece on Daredevil. The life and death of Daredevil. This issue pushed us much further in the story than previous issues but it was just as good as the rest. I nominated Daredevil – End of Days as the best miniseries for 2012 but it leaked into 2013 so maybe I can nominate it next year as well. While Mark Waid has brought the Daredevil back in a big way, Bendis has done the same for Daredevils legacy. This series pushed the concept that years later Daredevil will train a replacement. Someone to take the mantle. I don’t know what it is about stories where a mantle or persona is passed from one generation to the next but I love them! In the future it would appear that things not only get worse, but heroes die. Usually in the future it is depicted as a world where robots have taken over or we have hit a second depression. No this world is just like ours only less heroes. Less villains. Reformed villains and heroes alike. Who is the hero taking the mantle from Daredevil? You will have to read the issue to find out! -Nick Furious
FANTASTIC FOUR #4 (Marvel NOW!)
Way to go Matt Fraction! Stellar fourth issue! Dare I say it was “Fantastic”? Fraction has set-up the concept that Reed Richards is searching for a cure as his body is starting to decompose and is slowly killing him. Finding no cure he take his family on an intergalactic adventure, while secretly searching for a cure. On the first few issues it seemed like Sue was being written very 2-D. But this issue? This issue makes me think Fraction might know Susan better than most writers out there. Sue Storm is everybody’s favorite Fantastic Four member and it pains everyone to know Jessica Alba played her in a movie. Reed’s secret is coming to a close because Susie knows when Reed is hiding something. Reed is a terrible husband, everyone knows it. The one thing I am really hoping to get out of this run is finding out what powers Franklin and Valeria actually have. I am so confused. Just explain “Time Dancing”. Please. The flashbacks where Reed first meets Susan are sweet and definitely add character depth to Sue and Reed. A great read especially for Valentines Day! Look forward to number five as Fraction appears to be getting a nice feel for his superhero family book. -Nick Furious
MARS ATTACKS #7 (IDW)
We can’t have an all Marvel Bullet Reviews, now can we? Certainly not! The Martians, fresh off defeats in other realities (though I think they may have gotten a few things I hope they will use in the future from those realities) return to their regularly scheduled invasion in their own reality. They are still focusing on the town of Tortilla Flats as they search for the scientist whose invention actually poses a serious threat not only to their invasion but their lives as well. They have frozen most of the town solid to make the search easier and only a few humans remain to oppose them. But, in the case of Raymond Delvechio, aka Ray The Rat, survival is more about himself than the whole of the human race. He’s in Tortilla Flats to hide from the hitmen hired to take him out for turning state’s evidence which puts him in a serious situation. One he gets out of, he thinks, when he discovers young Tommy Bailey and his Martian Translation device. He quickly puts the pieces together and offers to help the Martians find the weapon and scientist in exchange for not being killed. The guy is scum but if these Martians are anything like the others he won’t live much longer.
While it was fun seeing the Martians attack other franchises, I have to admit that it’s nice to be back in one book and it’s even better to see the Martians being a little more vicious. I understand the underlying reason for their invasion is what happened to their scout ship decades ago but it’s just better seeing them as the villains more than getting a victim’s revenge. This issue also features one of the most unusual covers for this series. It’s almost Bond-like. The regular cover also comes sealed with an all-new trading card featuring the moments following certain iconic cards from the original series. It’s pretty sweet all around! -Skott Jimenez
SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #3 (Marvel NOW!)
After reading the comment board it has become very clear to me I am one of the few that actually applauds the change-up for Spider-Man. I will admit on the front cover it depicts a very bat-signal like spider in the sky. I have always found the Bat-Signal silly but it’s part of Batman so somehow it fits. I absolutely loved Octavious explaining the signal is a very easy way to get everyone killed. Alert every enemy out there where Spider-Man will be. Genius idea. And J. Jonah Jameson eating out of Spidey’s hand – I thought I would never see the day. Is Jameson going to be taking on a very Commissioner Gordon type role? I dunno but I think it would be pretty entertaining if it did. They have so much opportunity to do anything they want. Nothing has to stay the same. Everything can change at the drop of a hat. Aunt May hasn’t been in the last three issues. That is a huge plus in my book. I still think Slott and Stegman are still the best “team” as far as writing/artist team-ups in the Marvel Now! revamp. That could very easily change with Guardians of the Galaxy but I will have to be very impressed with Guardians. Once again Superior Spider-Man impresses me. They have run miles with Octavious taking over the role and honestly it is a very nice change-up. And Vulture being the enemy! Two guys that know each other very well! This is the kind of thing I look forward to; Octavious knows these guys inside and out. He can play mind tricks on them that they don’t even know Spider-Man knows. It can get sadistic. It can get rough, as depicted by Vulture’s horrible fall. But this is Spider-Man! We all know the rogue gallery of villains. We all know the supporting characters. Peter is still a main character. Just read the book and enjoy it. You might find that it’s actually pretty damn good. -Nick Furious
TRANSFORMERS: REGENERATION ONE #88 (IDW)
There is a lot of madness going on here! Scorponok is turning all the Transformers into ‘bots more like him. He has a key that unlocks the more base nature of the ‘Formers and allows them to cut loose without regret. Basically he’s turning everyone into Decepticons, HIS Decepticons. The more that turn, the more the madness spreads and it’s all because Grimlock wanted to be able to transform again plus find, and cure, his fellow Dinobots who he seemingly betrayed years ago. But Grimlock is still, at his core, and Autobot and he isn’t able to go along with Scorponok’s plan freely and ultimate pays a price for it.
But while all this is happening, what of Hot Rod? He continues his search for the Primus Chamber hoping it will salvage what’s left of the Transformer race, instead he find a race of creatures deep in the bowels of Cybertron who at first call him Creator but quickly attack him… though I have doubts if it was a full on attack or their way of guiding him because once the chase of over he finds something very…VERY interesting!
Regeneration One continues to be the Transformers series I love the most. The others are fine, I expect, but this is the one I recognize the most. I still have to wonder if they are planning to end it with #100 as I remember seeing somewhere because this series is pure fun! -Skott Jimenez
UNCANNY X-MEN #1 (Marvel NOW!)
Finally! Cyclops has the uniform that we have all been waiting for! Around last year they teased the future of Marvel Now with just a photo of a few characters and in it we saw Cyclops and his new uniform which kinda sucked because everyone was hoping Cyclops would die during Avengers vs. X-Men. Sorry Die-Hard Cyclops Haters. Cyclops is here to stay. They won’t kill him off anytime soon. I love that Bendis is on both X-Men books. I’m not a Chris Bachalo hater but I also don’t think he is the most talented artist in the world. I prefer more gritty darker for the X-Men, especially in these dark times. But I’m not gonna complain too much it could be much worse. Throughout the issue someone is talking to Maria Hill about Cyclops new team. So we know a traitor is in the midst, we just don’t know who, until the last page. But if you follow X-Men you know who it is from the first page. Not a big surprise for the end, but a decent first issue that basically recaps everything so that you never needed to read any other book. I don’t like that. All-New X-Men and Uncanny X-Men should go hand in hand. They should almost always cross-over. Especially now that Cyclops “X-Men” might as well be the new Brotherhood. -Nick Furious
X-MEN #41 (Marvel)
I don’t read X-Men self titled. I used to but around 2010 I dropped it. Just wasn’t what I was wanting out of X-Men. Plus with 47 other X titles I could be a bit choosy. The only reason I grabbed this issue was because I loved the cover. I rarely grab comics I don’t buy for the cover but this cover is just amazing. What a rush of my childhood sweeping back to me. The cover shows the X-Men (the actual X-Men) along with a few of the new comers who have joined along the way, but for the most part the core team. Even Nightcrawler is on the front cover and who doesn’t miss that guy!? Kitty Pryde in her old uniform, Cyclops rocking his 90’s X-Men uniform. Just made me happy to see that, happy enough to where I bought it. As for the issue itself it is garbage. The art is terrible, Storm couldn’t look more ridiculous in the drawings. Someone should send Rob Liefield a tweet letting him know there is someone out there that draws worse than him. I won’t be buying any more self titled X-Men til April, when the all female X-Men team emerges. I honestly can’t believe X-Men self titled went on this long. Awful. -Nick Furious