Marvel Now From Then Is Now Again

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Or some Marvel books I read last weekend. Lots of spoilers, too many words, and some terrible jokes to come.

All New X-Men #22.NOW

Writer: Brian Micheal Bendis

Penciler: Stuart Immonen

Inker: Wade Von Grawbadger

Colorist: Marte Gracia

Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit

The Original Five X-Men are back at the New Xavier School doing that thing they do when Cyclops isn’t playing grab-ass with the female teenage clone of Wolverine and Hank takes a break from further mutating or whatever the hell he does with his equations. The O5 Scott, Warren and Jean sit down in the cafeteria for some lunch which quickly degenerates into a shouting match that is mostly spoken and partly Jean reacting to what she is telepathically picking up from Scott, with poor Warren sitting between them. For 6 pages. And that’s not actually a complaint, Immonen is great at body language and facial expressions with Warren and his reactions probably being my favorite part of it all. Outside, Bobby’s moonlit snow frolic (when a character who looks like a snowman is playing by himself in the snow, he is essentially playing with himself right?) is interrupted by some heavily armored Shi’Ar warriors. The O5, X-23 and Professor Kitty Pride are no match for the Shi’Ar and their alien bubble technology and the Shi’Ar take Jean Grey to SPAAAAACE! And just a moment too late here comes the Guardians Of The Galaxy to–

(*mouth fart, jerk-off motion*)

And so begins The Trial Of Jean Grey a six part crossover between All New X-Men and Guardians Of The Galaxy. So, I guess I’ll have to read a couple of issues of Guardians. Or drop this book for a couple of issues, but I’d go nuts with that two issue gap in my collection.

All New Invaders #1

Writer: James Robinson

Penciler: Steve Pugh

Colorist: Guru eFX

Letterer: Cory Petit

We open in the desert Kree soldiers, the smoldering body of a dead Shi’Ar Imperial Guardsman as the Kree find a piece of something called The Gods Whisper, hidden here by Namor in I guess would be the last place someone would think an Atlantean would hide something. Then two full pages devoted to a title splash made up of recycled art from around the issue, then it’s off to Blaketon, Illinois. Here  we meet up with Jim Hammond, the original android Human Torch, where he is working on cars, as he has a “thing with machines” and wastes a little less pie than Jason Biggs at the little diner. This little slice of idyllic Americana certainly can’t last for Jim though, as he returns to the garage to find an armored, blue-skinned woman he initially thinks is Atlantean standing over the body of his boss. Here we get a full-page of Jim igniting, hat rising with the heat, jumpsuit burning away and the battle is on. The fight in the middle of town with the Kree warrior Tanalth The Persuer draws attention from the locals and she zaps him with some sort of gun which triggers a flashback. Or almost flashback of The Invaders minus Toro the Human Torch’s sidekick and Captain America replaced with someone named Major Liberty, fighting Baron Strucker who appears to controlling Hela. The Torch realizes he is more than just watching all of this unfold, he is a part of it somehow, along with Namor and Bucky or Winter Soldier these days. Major Liberty is killed by Hela and Jim comes back to reality. Tanalth tells him she is looking for the last piece of The Gods’ Whisper, a device that can control Gods or Goddesses, a piece that was supposedly hidden by the Human Torch. We get Jim rescuing a bystander turning off his flame selectively to grab him before he is pummeled through a vehicle and before Tanalth can make good on her threat of destroying Jim and everything else around, we get a dramatic full-page of Captain America and the Winter Soldier telling him they have his back. The issue ends with Namor in agony on the Kree homeworld Hala. This is a pretty good book I’m on for at least a couple of issues, it did feel light, not in tone, in content. Those splash pages add up, especially that double pager up front.

Daredevil #35

Writer: Mark Waid

Art: Chris Samnee

Colorist: Javier Rodriguez

Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna

Matt Murdock rushes into the hospital, his partner and friend Foggy Nelson has been battling cancer and things are apparently looking bad for Foggy. In the hospital room, a doctor Matt doesn’t know says that he has given Foggy an experimental and illegal drug as this doctor and his associates have an interest in keeping Foggy alive. Those associates of course are Sons Of The Serpent, the white supremacist group that has slithered its way into all levels of government and law enforcement that Matt has been battling for a while now. The Sons Of The Serpent (idea: faux snakeskin pants called Serpants) want reparations from Daredevil. They have a job offer for Matt defend the son of one of the Serpents, a Serpent himself in a trial for an arson charge. Despite Matt denying he is Daredevil, they reveal that they know everything there is to know about Matt, how and when he got his powers, how they work and how to confuse them. And perhaps more damning, a sworn statement from a drugged Foggy detailing how he quieted things down after being outed as Daredevil once before. Information that would get Matt disbarred and with no income coming in, no way to pay the hospital bills for Foggy. A couple of hours later Matt is talking things over with Elektra, saying that he is at his best mentally when he is sparring, and he spars best with Elektra. They go to the scene of the tenement fire the man is accused of starting and run across Serpent Society members Constrictor and Mamba sporting some upgraded duds. We get one of my favorite things to see in this run, Daredevil leaping into battle, smile on his face. Elektra makes short work of Mamba (wasn’t she called Black Mamba back in the day, if I remember my OHOTMU correctly) Matt however cuts things a bit closer with Constrictor, though he does prevail of course. Matt and Elektra talk a bit more and she reminds him that he taught her to never attack where he could see. The trial is getting ready to start, at the last moment, Matt and his current partner Kirsten McDuffie arrive. He makes sure that his client’s father is in the courtroom, and he attacks, where they wouldn’t see. The defense waives it’s opening remarks and wants to go directly to testimony. Matt makes Kirsten lead counsel, as her first witness she calls Matthew Murdock. After he is sworn in she asks him to state his name for the record. “Absolutely. My name is Daredevil.” And there it ends. Is this the last issue before the relaunch, or is there one more? If this is it, it;s a hell of an ending, thankfully the relaunch will continue with Waid and Samnee on DD. What a wonderful series this has been.

Superior Spider-Man #26

Writer: Dan Slott

Pencilers: Ramos, Rodriguez & Martin

Inkers: Olazaba, Lopez & Martin

Colorists: Delgado, Rodriguez & Martin

Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos

Normally when I see 3 different artists on a book like this I cringe a little, anticipating jarring changes in art as the story goes on. This book does it right, with each team handling a different section throughout the story. First up is Ramos/Olazaba with the Goblins. Green Goblin, Hobgoblin and assorted other related characters are battling it out when Green Goblin calls for a stop to the fighting, saying they are wasting money and resources fighting each other, that every Goblin needs an army since the Spider has one. Next up, it’s Rodriguez/Lopez handling Spider-Man and his Spiderlings (henchmen) going after an AIM shipment, when the Avengers show up, they would like to have a word with Spidey regarding his membership. Marcos Martin takes us inside the mindscape with Peter Parker wandering the wasteland where the memories Otto deleted once were. What memories are left though are key memories. The Goblins agree to a one on one battle, winner take all, whoever wins gets the losers army. In Avengers Tower, Iron Man and the others confront Spider-Man with the footage of him deleting his medical scans. He claims he did it to protect his secret identity. Peter Parker notes that the memories he still has are him, distilled to his core, the guy who never gives up. Hobgoblin had accused the Green Goblin of not being Norman Osborne. Green Goblin shows his gnarly chest dent where his glider crashed into him and killed him, proving he is Norman. I wonder if he ever just lounges around and fills his chest-bowl with salsa or something? Osborne wins, he strangles the Hobgoblin to death. Spider-Man, angry that the Avengers are meddling in his affairs, quits the team, jumping through a window. Green Goblin now in control of Hobgoblins forces too leads his now united forces under ground. While over the body of the Hobgoblin, Goblin Knight or whoever this guy is (Toddgoblin?) decides to verify that Hobby really was in fact Roderick Kingsley. He was not. In Paris, Kingsley is apparently uploading his combat training into another man, also working on getting the voice to match, so that I guess he can send out another Hobgoblin. Just a couple more issues until Peter is back in control of his own body, he’s out of the Avengers, probably setting Spidey up as an outsider again, back to the “Threat Or Menace?” type perception in the MU. I cannot wait to have Peter back. It’s been a fun ride with Otto, it got me reading Spider-Man again, but I want a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man again, not a Superior Spider-Man.

Uncanny X-Men #16

Writer: Brian Micheal Bendis

Penciler & Colorist: Chris Bachalo

Inkers: Tim Townsend with Al Vey, Mark Irwin & Victor Olazaba

Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna

At the site of a previous X-Men battle, Magneto watches a human giving a pro-mutant speech in front of a large gathering of students. He fantasizes about attacking the crowd of humans, giving them a taste of mutant suffering. Dazzler arrives, his SHIELD contact, they talk a bit, with Dazzler suggesting that perhaps his power loss is psychosomatic. He tells her that while he can no longer throw around a tank, he can still throw a knife or bullets. She tells him that someone is trying to turn Madripoor into another island for mutants, like Genosha, that Madripoor is no longer under HYDRA control. Interspersed throughout the coversation and the pro-mutant rally, we see Magneto, walking the streets of Madripoor. He witnesses some teens scoring vials of Mutant Growth Hormone from a bar where he goes in for a drink. Sniffing around for the mutant in charge gets Magneto assaulted as they attempt to extricate him from their little operation. Unfortunately for them, even a weakened Magneto is more than a match for a group of toughs, using his powers to incapacitate all but one of them who he questions about the MGH. The only useful information he gets, before using his powers to go Chinatown on this guy, is that the MGH is coming from Hydra Tower. Cut to Magneto outside the tower, where former Brotherhood Of Evil Mutants, Fred Dukes aka The Blob greets Magneto and they take the elevator to the rooftop. There they meet up with Sabretooth and the Silver Samurai as they wait for the new Queen Of Madripoor to appear…Dazzler? Nope, it’s Mystique naturally, who informs Magneto she has taken over for Dazzler in SHIELD. They want to offer Magneto a place in their new mutant nation to repay him for what he has offered them over the years. Mystique doesn’t see the harm in the MGH on the streets, using the money it brings in to help finance their endeavor. Magneto, with his dreams of mutant domination is angry about the MGH calling the society they are setting up a nightmare. He uses the sword of the Silver Samurai to stab Mystique, and taking everybody down with a pocketful of bullets before escaping, it appears he forces Blob down through the building, destroying the tower. Back at the New Xavier School, present day Cyclops wonders where Magneto has gotten off to, which is a set up for Magneto #1. This was a solid book, thankfully light on all the blondes that are all over this book with Emma, Illyana and Dazzler being sometimes hard to distinguish when Bachalo draws them. And Magneto in the bar in Madripoor was a bit reminiscent of the best part of X-Men: First Class, Micheal F. Assbender, nazi hunter. It looks like this book is staying out of the Trial Of Jean Grey at least, so that’s a plus.

 

-Kris

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