Title: X-Men – Regenesis (One-Shot)
Author: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Billy Tan
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release date: October 12, 2011
This is a time of upheavel for the X-Men. After the events of the five-issue X-Men Schism storyline, it seems as though Marvel’s mutants have went their separate ways. On one side you’ve got Cyclops and his crew living on the island of Utopia in the San Francisco Bay area. They continue to treat each day as a battle wherein they are on guard for the entire species and aren’t afraid to defend themselves from a world where people hate and fear them.
Then, on the other side of the coin, you have Wolverine and his crew. They’ve returned to Westchester New York in order to reopen the school that they called home for most of their history. The school is now called the Jean Grey Institute for Higher Learning, and the point of this whole thing is that the kids who go there get to be students first. Not grunts in the Mutant Army, but kids who get to go to classes everyday and are training to control their powers. Not to become living weapons, but to become well adjusted young members of society in control of their special gifts.
X-Men: Regenesis is really all about Wolverine and Cyclops feeling out their team members to see who will go which way. In this case, “with” Wolverine or “with” Cyclops does not neccesarily mean against the other…it just means that they believe what is best for the mutants is either the island or the school. Cyclops believes that they are too exposed in New York and can’t affectively protect themselves the same way they can on Utopia, while Wolverine believes the opposite. Just look at Utopia’s history from when it was Asteroid M up to last week. Truly not the safest place on Earth.
So…now the lines have been drawn. Each person has made their choice and picked their side. The really interesting part is still to come with the debuts of both Uncanny X-Men #1 and Wolverine & The X-Men #1, both shipping in the next few weeks. Books like X-Factor, X-Force, X-Men, X-Men: Legacy and Generation Hope are still going strong and their rosters will shift based on which X-Men they are featuring. This is really an exciting time to be a fan of the X-Men. The last few years have been good, but I suspect that the coming storylines will be even better. Kieron Gillen is really coming into his own on the X-Men, while Jason Aaron is one of the top guys in the industry right now. And with artists like Carlos Pacheco and Chris Bachalo taking over the core books… I’m not sure you can get much better than that.
So what did you all think of this issue? How about the whole new direction for the X-teams? Are you with Wolverine or Cyclops…or are you like me and plan on getting both books? Either way, sound off in our handy comments section below J .
Title: Uncanny X-Force
Author: Rick Remender
Artist: Essad Ribic
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release date: April 13, 2011
This issue featured the conclusion to Uncanny X-Force’s second storyarc, Deathlok Nation. I have praised this series before, but it bears saying again as there is nothing better coming out of Marvel’s X-Offices than this book. The way this team interacts, on top of who populates this team, makes this book, with the possible exception of Secret Avengers, the coolest team book from the best comic book company of the day. Really. It’s that good.
The first arc featured an assassination mission that turned in a really unsavory direction at the end. I hadn’t ever read a Marvel comic (or DC for that matter) that dealt with the moral quandry of killing a child, but somehow writer Rick Remender made me feel bad for Apocalypse at the same time as making me want someone to kill him, even though he was a child. I love when a writer can really make you think and explore the moral ramifications of the work a team like Wolverine’s X-Force has to do for the greater good.
The second arc, which just ended, built upon the relationships forged in the first arc, and dealt with the bad feelings that were felt by the various members after they completed the dirty task. We are brought into a synthetic world where time moves at a different pace and Deathlok assassins and their “Father” rule over everyone. The setting was really a secondary concern as this arc was used mostly to explore the realtionships of the team members with one another. With only 5 members in this iteration of X-Force, the creative team really has room to stretch and explore these induviduals and the reasons they are on the team. I give this arc, much like the last one, top marks in my book. The first hardcover collection of this series debuts this May, and if you’re not reading Uncanny X-Force on a regular basis already, I whole heartily recommend that you start.
Title: Invincible Iron Man #500.1
Author: Matt Fraction
Artist: Salvador LaRocca
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release date: February 2, 2011
This is the beginning of something Marvel has had in the works for awhile now. A few months ago Marvel announced that they would be introducing a new method to get people into new and old series alike. Both of the big companies have done things where they say a certain issue is perfect for jumping onto a book, even though it wasn’t an issue #1. Now Marvel has introduced a new program of point one (0.1) issues where the reader can come in, read a single issue and understand the series, and they are doing it for some of their top books. This week we got Invincible Iron Man #500.1, done by the regular creative team, and it was fantastic.
The entire issue wasn’t really a rehash of what has come before in Matt Fraction and Salvador LaRocca’s run, but more of a primer on Tony Stark and his history in the Marvel Universe. Mr. Fraction placed Tony in an AA meeting and let him tell the crowd his story with little actual detail, but he was really talking to us. The real details were in the amazing art provided by Salvador. We see how Tony started drinking and what that did to his life. It was so intense in some places that I would recommend this issue to anyone who is trying to quit something that is destroying them whether it is drinking or drugs or destructive relationships. We see what happened to Tony and what his motivations are to the right thing, but then we saw what might be considered the beginning of another fall.
Months ago, Tony lost all his memory of the time where he was in charge of S.H.I.E.L.D., and this was a really interesting time. Tony has been learning of some of things he did in that time, and revelation after revelation seems to bring him more and more down. He finally found out that he slept with Pepper after all these years of almost going that far, but never quite doing it. He found out at a time where he was very vulnerable and needed a friend, and then realized that the most important person to him in the world now felt incredibly awkward around him. At this point, Tony does something that could be misconstrued as the beginning of a journey that will lead him down a very dark path. Suffice it to say, Matt Fraction has made Tony Stark one of the most interesting characters in the Marvel Universe, and it doesn’t look like he’s going to let up anytime soon.
In the next few weeks and months we’re going to be seeing all kinds of these point one (0.1) issues hit the stands like Wolverine #5.1, Captain America #615.1, Amazing Spider-Man #654.1, Thor #620.1, Hulk #30.1, Deadpool #32.1, Uncanny X-Force #5.1, Avengers #12.1, Secret Avengers #12.1, and Uncanny X-Men #534.1. All of them are touted as perfect jumping on points. I don’t know about you, but I’ll be picking up all of them.
So what did you guys think of Iron Man #500.1? Was it is so good that it has spurred you on to buying more of the 0.1 issues? Let us know in our handy comments section below J
The biggest week in Comic Book fandom has just passed us by. Yes…that’s right. The San Diego Comic Con just happened, and we have a report on some of the biggest news items to come out of SoCal. Check it all out!!
- DC has announced that David Finch, who in January signed an exclusive deal with the publisher after several years at Marvel and Top Cow, will be writing and providing art on a new ongoing Batman series entitled Batman: The Dark Knight. The book will feature Bruce Wayne as Batman in stories inspired by the 1970’s Batman runs by Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams. This series is set to debut in November 2010.
- October will see the release of a one-shot entitled Batman: The Return, written by Grant Morrison with art by David Finch. This book will act as a precursor to Finch’s Dark Knight series.
- Anton Yelchin, best known as Chekov in the new Star Trek and John Connor’s father in Terminator: Salvation, has been cast as Harry Osborn in the new Spider-Man reboot film. This kid is a genre superstar!
- DC Comics has announced that the ongoing Vertigo series, Greek Street, which is a modern retelling of Greek tragedies using modern day London as its setting, has been cancelled. The series last issue will be issue #16.
- Grant Morrison is working on Multiversity, a massive DC-multiverse spanning series that will have ten artists attached to it. Currently the only known confirmed members of said group of ten are Frank Quitely, who will be drawing the book detailing Earth-4 and all the Charlton characters. It should be very “watchmen-esque”; and Cameron Stewart, who will be working on “Thunderworld” which is a look at the Captain Marvel family of characters.
- Marvel has announced that X-Force will be relaunching this fall. The series will be re-titled Uncanny X-Force and will launch with a new #1. The team will also be making some roster changes. The new line-up is: Wolverine, Deadpool, Archangel, Psylocke, and Fantomex. The first villain they will tackle is expected to be Apocalypse. The series will also have an “Explicit Content” tag on it due to all the bloody gore that is expected to populate this series. Rick Remender will write the book while Jerome Opena will draw it.
- Marvel announced a new Spider-Girl ongoing series, but it will have nothing to do with Mayday Parker or her long time writer, Tom Defalco. The new series will star Arana who turned into the new Spider-Girl in last issue of the Grim Hunt storyarc that just wrapped up in Amazing Spider-Man. The series will be written by Paul Tobin and feature artwork by Clayton Henry.
- Marvel also announced two new Spider-Man mini-series. The first, Osborn, will deal with Norman Osborn behind bars. This series is brought to us by writer Kelly Sue DeConnick and artist Emma Rios; while the second is called Carnage and will be brought to us by writer Zeb Wells and artist Clayton Crain. Both series will run for 5 issues and begin later in 2010.
- Scott Kurtz, the mad mind behind the series PvP, is pulling the book from Image Comics as well as Diamond Distributors. Kurtz is going back to self publishing and plans on selling the book directly to stores and fans via his website. The single issues will disappear, but graphic novel collection will still be available. Is this the future of the creator owned book? Will Diamond’s monopoly finally be challenged in a meaningful way?
- Jimmy Palmiotti along with AiT/Planetlar owner Larry Young and Hollywood producer Jason Netter have announced that they are starting a new comic book company called Kick Start Comics. The company will be attached to Kickstart Entertainment. The company will publish four books a month to start and will be distributing their wares to the direct market via venues such as Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Barnes & Noble. Expect these books to be published in a different size than regular comics to accommodate different sized shelf space at these stores. The debut comics include Bad Guys by Phil Eisner, Rift Raiders from Mark Sable and Julian Totino Tedesco, Adam Freeman and Marc Bernardin’s Hero Complex and Terry Matalas and Travis Fickett’s Witch. Netter, Palmiotti and Justin Gray had already been behind Image titles such as Splatterman/Random Acts of Violence.
- DC/Vertigo has announced that starting in October they will be releasing previously unreleased issues under a banner called “Vertigo Resurrected”. The line will be used to release books that were scuttled out of fear that they would upset readers. The first issue seeing publication is Warren Ellis and Phil Jimenez’s issue of Hellblazer (originally supposed to be #141) called ‘Shoot’, which deals with a school shooting. It was pulled before publication originally as it’s release would have been just a few weeks after the Columbine massacre of 1999.
- Writer and Image partner Robert Kirkman (Invincible, The Walking Dead) has announced that he is launching a new creator friendly/creator-owned imprint out of Image Comics. The Imprint, called SKYBOUND, is more creator friendly than the regular Image Comics wherein under Skybound’s banner Image will help with advanced payment and marketing assistance (which IMAGE Central does not do). Because Kirkman is taking this on himself, Mr. Kirkman will receive a cut of the money made from the various licensing deals that would flow from his help. The first tile to launch under the Skybound banner will be “WITCH DOCTOR” by Brandon Seifert and Lukas Ketner, while the second announced title will be Thief of Thieves by writer Nick Spencer, who is already working with Image on Existence 2.0. and Forgetless. Also, Kirkman’s books Invincible and The Walking Dead will be moving under the Skybound shingle as well. Click here for the full scoop…
- Marvel Studios has finally confirmed the identities of the actors who will play Bruce Banner/The Hulk and Clint Barton/Hawkeye in Joss Whedon’s Avengers film: Mark Ruffalo will be the third man in a decade to play The Hulk on screen, while Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker) will strap on the bow and arrow as Hawkeye. Click here for the full scoop…
- An unconfirmed rumor out of Comic-con was that writer Jeff Parker, the current Hulk scribe, will be taking over the adjectiveless Avengers title with issue #7. It was confirmed that Red Hulk would be joining the team with that issue, so Parker taking over would make sense. We will provide confirmation once we have it..
- Writer Marc Guggenheim has announced his new imprint with Image called Collider Entertainment. The imprint will primarily feature Hollywood screenwriters creating original comic properties, but without the intent to one day make the comic into a film. Marc mentioned that most film writers will just use an old spec script they wrote years ago as the basis for a new comic, but for his imprint, he wants totally new and original content.
- DC Comics announced that a new T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents book will be launched in the coming months. The series will be written by Nick Spencer and feature artwork by CAFU. We can also expect a cover by Frank Quitely and a variant cover by Darwyn Cooke for the first issue.
- For those who remember him, Joe Madureira, best known as the big X-Men artist in the mid-1990’s, is having all 9 issues of his creator owned Image series, Battlechasers, collected in a soft cover collection in November. The series ended on a cliffhanger, but since he has no plans on ever going back to finish the story, collecting all 9 issues seemed like the thing to do.
- Artist Darick Robertson and writer Christos Gage are currently working on a project together for Wildstorm Comics that they are currently unable to announce the title of. All we know is that it’s a creator-owned mini-series. We can expect to see it in 2011…
- Marvel’s top creative executive Joe Quesada let it slip that it looks like Marvel will be re-printing the long out of print back catalogue of Crossgen comics. Crossgen, which was around from 1998 to 2004 was bought out completely by Disney a few years ago in order for Disney to acquire the rights to the book Abadazad. With the recent partnering of Disney with Marvel, this one was a no-brainer. Even though Crossgen failed as a company, they still had some great comics…
- Writer Mark Millar has finally announced his new creator owned book from Marvel’s ICON imprint. The book will be call Superior and will feature artwork by none other than Leinil Francis Yu. Millar also took the chance to announce that Matthew Vaughan, the director on Millar’s Kick-Ass movie as well as the upcoming X-Men: First Class film, plans on bringing Superior to the big screen after he finishes up with X-Men. Click here for the full scoop…
- Marvel has announced that they will be bringing an Ultimate Spider-Man animated series to the small screen in the near future. The coolest news attached to this announcement is that Brian Michael Bendis, the man behind scripting the actual comic book series, will be writing for it as well as being a producer on it.
- DC announced that all of the character from various Vertigo titles that got their start in the DCU (ex. Swamp Thing, Madame Xanadu, Death, Sandman, etc.) would be returning to it. Of course, the only exception to this is John Constantine, Hellblazer, who will stay firmly entrenched in Vertigo’s sandbox…
- Writer Scott Snyder (Vertigo’s American Vampire) has signed exclusive with DC. Snyder will be the new regular writer on DC’s Detective Comics starting later in 2010.
- Tyler Kirkham has signed an exclusive deal with DC Comics. The artist has been made the new regular artist on DC’s Green Lantern Corps with Tony Bedard as the writer. Look for his run to start in October with issue #53.
…and that’s all from the SDCC 2010 for now. As more analyses is completed, we’ll report on anything that fell through the cracks. Enjoy everyone
Title: X-Men: Second Coming #2 (Finale)
Authors: Zeb Wells (p1), Mike Carey (p2), Craig Kyle & Chris Yost (p3), and Matt Fraction (p4)
Artists: Ibraim Roberson (p1), Esad Ribic (p2), Greg Land (p3), and Terry Dodson (p4)
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release date: July 14, 2010
It turns out that SIEGE wasn’t the only crossover event at Marvel Comics this summer. For the last few months Marvel’s X-Men line of books has been participating in a line wide event called X-Men: Second Coming, where the few mutants that are actually still left alive in the original Marvel Universe have been fighting for their very existence as a species. And not just fighting enemies in the modern world, but mainly a cadre of time traveling sentinels that are hell bent on the total annihilation of every last mutant. Said group is being led by Bastion, the evil A.I. from the post-Onslaught storyarc Operation: Zero Tolerance and he doesn’t plan on halting his attack until the entire mutant race is nothing but a memory.
This issue contains four chapters, with each chapter acting as a type of bookend to the stories that have been taking place in not only Uncanny X-Men and X-Men: Legacy, but also in New Mutants and X-Force. Each of these books has helped contribute chapters #2-#13 of the crossover event (#1 & #14 are both one-shots), but each distinctive title has had its own tale to tell within the grand tapestry.
The first chapter sees the direct aftermath of Cable’s death on his adoptive daughter, the mutant messiah known as Hope. We see her curl up beside Cable’s arm (the only part of him not torn apart by the time travel) in the foetal position before she falls into a deep sleep that lasts roughly 30 hours. Hope then stirs awake in Hank McCoy’s infirmary and we get to see some of the other wounded getting repaired. Colossus gets the bones in his arm set with an awesome machine that can help produce the near 25,000 PSI required to set a bone that is encased in bio-organic metal. We see Archangel getting his wings repaired and we also get to see Magneto healing up on the bed beside Hope. Magneto and Hope have some words before they both fall back to sleep for a well deserved rest.
The second chapter opens with a flashback to when Cable and Hope were still slumming it in the far future. Hope talks about how she’s scared that Cable will die one day and leave her all alone. Cable promises not to die on her, but then the flashback fades away and we get the scene of Cable’s funeral with seemingly, the entire mutant race there to see him off. Cyclops, Cable’s father, tries to deliver the eulogy, but is too choked up to do so. Hope steps in and gives a wonderful send off saying no one should cry for Cable, because as a soldier, he died how he would have wanted. Hope says it best when she said, “…to fight for things that matter. To fight with comrades who he loves and to die on his feet. He got three for three.”
Chapter three was where Cyclops and Wolverine finally had to deal with and answer for, what they had done when they created the new X-Force. Many of the X-Men were disgusted with the two of them. Storm has pretty much written off both of them, while Beast has decided to leave the team all together. After all of this Cyclops orders Logan to disband the unit and destroy their base as in this new Marvel Universe that’s all bright and shiny, the X-Men will no longer participate in any killings. Wolverine says he’ll take care of it, but that’s not exactly what happened. Wolverine just takes the team “under ground” and brings in some like minded folks who will keep his secret assassination squad a secret. The final two page spread gives us the new roster, and Marvel’s recent announcement lets us know that the team will be back in operation in the upcoming Uncanny X-Force #1.
The fourth and final chapter sees Beast leave and a little comic relief with Namor and Iceman, but it also has the most important scene in the whole crossover. Cyclops is writing a letter to the recently deceased Nightcrawler’s sister, when Emma Frost sees the distinctive shape of the “Phoenix force” in the flames of a bonfire where Hope is hanging out. Right after Emma sees this; she tracks down Cyclops and lets him know. At the exact same second, Cerebra detects five new previously unknown mutants. It seems as though it was all worth it after all. Or was it?
What did you think of this issue and the whole crossover in general? Let us know by sounding off in our interactive comments section below. J
Title: X-Men: Legacy #235 (Second Coming chapter 4)
Author: Mike Carey
Artist: Greg Land
Storyline: X-Men: Second Coming
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release date: April 21, 2010
Checking back in this week with X-Men: Second Coming, the current big X-Men crossover, we look at chapter 4: X-Men Legacy #235 written by Mike Carey and drawn by Greg Land. So far, Second Coming has been interesting, but mostly it’s been a “chase movie”. Cable along with the young mutant named Hope, the only mutant born in the post-M Day Marvel Universe, have just returned to the present from the distant future where Cable raised and hid her. At every opportunity characters like Cameron Hodge and Bastion are trying to stop Cable and kill Hope as she actually represents all of mutant-kind’s hope for a future for their race. When last we left off, Karma, a member of Cannonball’s X-Men team, had been gravely injured by the cyber-beast known as Hodge.
What was made clear from the get go, is that mutant-kind is very much in trouble. Very big trouble. There are less than 200 mutants world wide now so every time another mutant dies, it’s the equivalent of 30 million regular humans dying. Every death is like 5 times worse than the holocaust. This one figure put everything into perspective for me. It’s mind boggling to take it in. In this issue, they were lucky and only lost one mutant, but their numbers are dwindling, and fighting back is getting more costly every day. But what choice do they have? They have to fight to stay alive.
In this issue the team of X-Men being lead by Wolverine finally catches up to Cable and Hope in an abandoned trailer park in Nebraska. Cable finally gets to talk to the “good guys” who promptly inform him that he, and his tech virus, are how Bastion and the group known as “The Right” have been tracking Cable and Hope across the country. The only solution, of course, is for Cable and Hope to split up. They do just that with Hope going with Rogue (with some awesome augmentations from Wolverine, Archangel and Psylocke) while Cable sticks with Wolverine and his group while they play the role of decoys. All in all a good issue, but by no means was it a stand-alone. You must read the previous chapters to get it. I’m really digging Second Coming so far. It’s a nice change of pace to see the X-Men in their own crossover. It reminds me of the Onslaught days when I first got into the X-Men in a big way. Next week we can expect X-Force #26 and chapter 5 J .