“Always Had A Soft Spot For Sideways”: Bullet Points Part 2 – Marvel/Independent Comic Reviews 10/31/12


So here are my reviews that I call Bullet Points. These reviews will mention the highs and lows, favourite moments, and contain general discussion about each issue. The second part will start and finish my Marvel along with starting my Independent reviews. Only comics that I have purchased will be reviewed. Also I should mention that there be SPOILERS in these reviews. You are warned!

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New Mutants #50

The New Mutants series has reached its’ conclusion after 50 issues and it surprisingly hasn’t been selected to be rebooted in Marvel NOW. Really? You reboot X-Men: Legacy but not New Mutants? Regardless, will this last issue deliver a satisfying conclusion or give us the cold shoulder as it slinks off into the abyss? Read on:

Cover: One of my Covers of the Week. To see more check out: https://thegothamrogue.wordpress.com/2012/11/04/covers-of-the-week-103112/

Pros:

– Sunspot, Cannonball, and X-Man are out trying to BBQ but Cannonball has killed the BBQ by adding Beast’s fusion lance. Magma comes out and creates a “magmatic char-grilling mini-volcano” and shows up the boys.
– Mephisto shows up to win Amara back but threatens her after she rejects him. When she says she’ll get the Dsir he flees pretty quickly. Sunspot and her kiss to end the scene. Finally!
– The background interactions between the various guests at the party were great and really added to the scenes without taking away from them.

Cons:

– Not a fan of the art in general.
– The sub-plot was unnecessary.
– Who is Tyro and why was he introduced in this last issue?

Spoilsport: The New Mutants are throwing a BBQ party inviting various characters that have appeared throughout the series and various other X-Men. Cameos include Doctor Strange, Mephisto who gets brushed off by Magma, and Wolverine who comments how good a job everyone is doing. Warlock is attacked by Tyro who is out of control, the party comes to the rescue, and Cypher rewrites Tyro and saves the day. Everyone is happy to end the issue.

Favourite Lines:

Karma: Ooops. I think Amara just shamed the boys and their fire-making abilities.

Wolverine: Slim was on the money with your team, Dani. He believed in you. Real world, real problems. Real business to tidy up. Look around, Moonstar. Xavier’s dream of human/mutant integration. Keep going. You’re doing the right thing.

Walock: Yes, Self/Friend. Remade through trauma. Stronger. Better. Like the New Mutants.
Cypher: Here’s to business…never finished!

I’ve enjoyed Abnett and Lanning’s run on the title so it is with a heavy heart that I label this finale as a disappointment.  What started out great in the first half of the issue regressed into a pointless fight with a character that has never been seen in the series before. If only the second half was more like the first half this issue would have been great instead of just being average. With the title finished and not being revived anytime soon, who knows where we’ll see these characters next (besides Cannonball and Sunspot appearing in Avengers) but when we do it will be with open arms and a smile on my face.

RATING: ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆

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X-Men: Legacy #275

Rogue’s journey is coming to an end and with it my time with X-Men: Legacy. No, I will not be following it when it reboots into a Legion solo book so this is it for me. Will the last issue go out with a bang or an unnoticeable whimper? Here we go:

Cover: A beautiful cover with the various X-Men rushing towards the reader, Rogue front and centre as she should be.

Pros:

– Rogue’s speech to the prisoners was moving.
– The other prisoners want to kill the ones that are volunteering to help Rogue. She says if anyone touches them she’ll shown them what she was like when she was a bad guy. Love it!
– Rogue at max power with all the various abilities was a sight to behold.
– Mimic asks Rogue what it’s like when you get there, when you discover who you are and what you want to be. She says you don’t, that it never ends. But at the end of the issue she admits that it feels great. Her journey has reached its’ end, at least in this series.

Cons:

– Nothing too spectacular happened.
– Dangling plot threads left unresolved.

Spoilsport: A prison riot is going on upstate and the Warden contacts Rogue asking her for help. She grabs Mimic to come with her but along the way Mimic reveals that he is having doubts about staying at the school because he doesn’t know if his personality is his own or not due to the strong personalities at school that he may be copying. They fight the rioters but the villains elude Rogue so she can’t steal their powers. She goes to another cell block and asks for volunteers appealing to those who want to make amends and finds some. They defeat the villains and then she tells Mimic he has to do what he has to do in the journey to find oneself. She is happy at end, satisfied on how her life is going.

Favourite Lines:

Mimic: The way my powers work, I tend to instinctively mimic strong personalities. The X-Men are full of them. Except for mine. It’s easy to lose myself. Too easy. I don’t know if what I feel is me, or…Wolverine seeping in around the edges.

Rogue: Sugah, for me a “wide range of power sets” is like a trip to 31 flavours. Gimme a minute…and their skills are gonna be workin’ for us.

Schizoid Man: You think you can stand up to the darkest visions of your own fractured minds?
Rogue: Yeah. Ah done it a lot. Truth to tell…it’s gettin’ kinda boring.

Rogue: Ah’ve figured out the hard way the toughest thing to do is trust yourself. It’s also the most important.

It’s fitting that a book so long associated with being Rogue’s star platform goes out with the focus solely placed on her. The difference to where she is in life compared to where she was is represented perfectly with the inclusion of Mimic. Regardless, I could have lived without this issue turning into one big slugfest and would have rather had it been a more introspective look at Rogue. It was pretty much the last opportunity before she fights for time and space in the pages of Uncanny Avengers. At least I’ll still get my Rogue fix there but it still won’t be the same.

RATING: ★★★★★½☆☆☆☆

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Angel & Faith #15

It’s history lesson time with this issue of Angel & Faith. We are finally going to learn the backstories of Whistler, Pearl, and Nash. Will these revelations be revolutionary or simply run of the mill? Find out:

Cover: One of my Covers of the Week. To see more check out: https://thegothamrogue.wordpress.com/2012/11/04/covers-of-the-week-103112/

Pros:

– Whistler brings up a lot of compelling arguments to Angel that really makes me see his side of things. I really enjoy their back and forth here.
– Whistler is going to gather up all the items with a magical charge left in them, grind them up, and spread them over the planet infusing the world with magic and changing it to avoid an apocalyptic future he foresaw. The cost will be severe as billions will perish. What’s that saying? Can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.
– Whistler can’t kill Angel because he’s his favourite. Awww…
– Pearl and Nash’s backstory was much-needed and made me hate them even more. Usually something like this makes me feel for them but that is not the case here but it works.

Cons:

– No appearance by Faith.

Spoilsport: Angel meets Whistler in a diner. We learn his history: how Whistler is a child of an agent of the Powers That Be and a pure blood demon. His parents were killed but he was saved because they saw him being unique for he had a foot in both worlds. He became the agent of balance making sure neither side got too big an advantage over the other one. Whistler’s plan is to collect all the objects containing trace amounts of magic and spread them across the globe changing things and killing countless billions to save the world from an apocalyptic vision he had. He wants to work with Angel again but Angel tells him he thinks the lack of magic has caused an imbalance in his brain. Whistler proceeds to punch Angel through his stomach but leaves him alive because he can’t bring himself to kill him. In the back-up, we learn Pearl and Nash’s backstory. Their mom made a deal with a demon to father them and afterwards she wanted Nash and Pearl to create a new order by having babies with demons. We flash-forward to some townsfolk rising up and killing all their demon babies putting an end to their plans. In the end they visit their mother who is dying because magic no longer exists. They vow revenge on Twilight/Angel for his deception before killing her as she wished to feel no more pain.

Favourite Lines:

Whistler: Evolution’s a bitch. That’s why they call it Darwinism…’cause that dude was ugly.

Whistler: What the hell d’you think destiny is, kid? It’s the universe using you.

Demon: Wonderful. Another barely literate human finds a book of magic and manages to decipher a summoning spell. Thank you, Mr. Gutenberg. Your printing press was such a wonderful invention. Very well, woman. Thanks to some ridiculous rules I frankly don’t understand, I am bound to perform one task before I leave your miserable hovel.

Pearl: Salvation and revenge. I scarcely know which I look forward to more.

I’ve been waiting for the origin of Whistler ever since he made his debut on the television show and after all these years it had finally transpired in an issue that was more concerned with story then action. His relationship with Angel is complex and their point-counterpoint in the diner was a great verbal debate that was the highlight of the issue. The Pearl and Nash backstory was the weaker of the two stories featured in the issue but it was also much needed to flesh out these two miscreants. I still think this series works best when Angel and Faith interact with one another but this issue also provided a nice change of pace.

RATING: ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆

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Doctor Who #2

Part two of the Hypothetical Gentleman is here in this second issue from the latest volume of Doctor Who. Will it take us beyond time and space with its’ brilliance or will it fail to get any traction? Discover below:

Cover: The cover is bland featuring the Doctor falling towards the reader inside of an unknown white silhouette. Not impressive at all.

Pros:

– I love the full page shot of the creature from the machine with all the different Doctor Who villains represented in him after Emily asks him to show her what’s inside of him.
– Amy is mad at the Doctor after finding Rory frozen. He told her he’d be safe. She says they should have listened, that they never listen to Rory.
– Who is pulling the strings? Who gave Emily and Charles the blueprints to the Tardis’ circuits? The plot thickens.
– Amy worries that the creature will kill the Doctor but he calls her silly and says they never before being cut off by the creature when it jams its’ hand into the Doctor’s  head. Almost broke the fourth-wall there, Doctor.
– The creature is in the Tardis after Amy thought she rid them of him. Uh oh.

Cons:

– The art doesn’t wow me.
– A pretty average story.

Spoilsport: The Doctor and Amy arrive back to find Rory frozen. The Doctor figures out the individual has fixed himself into reality by stealing time from others and the Doctor wants to find out who is behind this by trapping him but Amy just wants to save Rory by destroying the machine. The Doctor is caught off guard by an attack by the creature and Amy gets her way and stops him by destroying the machine. Everyone that was frozen was saved but unknown to The Doctor, Amy, and Rory, the mysterious individual has hitchhiked along in the Tardis.

Favourite Lines:

The Doctor: I think maybe, possibly, we should probably get back to the exhibition very quickly indeed. Like immediately. Right now! Come on!

Amy Pond: What’s the matter? I thought you said the resonator was just a…a window!
The Doctor: Well, that’s the scary thing about a window, isn’t it? What if something climbs through?

Creature: It irks you, does it not? That itch you can never scratch…not knowing!

The Doctor: Onwards and upwards, eh? Or quite possibly sideways. Always had a soft spot for sideways…

When you take a franchise as beloved as Doctor Who and move it into the world of comics the expectorations are at an all-time high. While the “voices” of the characters were spot on, the issue’s plot didn’t take off flying and felt more like a setup for a villain just for the sake of having him return down the road. Nothing remarkable happened in the first two issues of this new volume, but hopefully the next arc rights the ship back on course and puts it on a path worthy of being associated with the Doctor Who franchise.

RATING: ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆

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And that is Part 2 complete. Agree/Disagree with my reviews? Comment below!

3 thoughts on ““Always Had A Soft Spot For Sideways”: Bullet Points Part 2 – Marvel/Independent Comic Reviews 10/31/12

  1. “The New Mutants are throwing a BBQ party inviting various characters that have appeared throughout the series and various other X-Men”: I wish I could get slice-of-life moments like this more frequently, when I read superhero comics.
    That’s why I enjoyed so much Blue Beetle: it didn’t focus only on his fights with this villain or that, but also on his school life, his best friend Paco, the girl Jaime had a crush on, Brenda… also, the moments he shared with these characters were not useless: on the contrary, those relationships deeply influenced his career as a superhero, because one of his main villains was Brenda’s aunt, and Paco became a villain too after some years… it’s so sad that a series that landed right in my comic reading sweet spot is gone for good.
    Yesterday I bumped into a preview of Young Avengers # 1 (http://ardatli.livejournal.com/31321.html),: it showed only one page, but I really liked what I saw. And you know why? Exactly because that page focused on a slice-of-life moment.
    Teen-drama-like comics usually are full of moments like that, and this is the main reason why I love them. Another reason is, they mitigate my nostalgia for some cancelled teen dramas like Beverly Hills 90210 and Dawson’s Creek. I know that Beverly Hills 90210 has been rebooted, but, apart from the pilot, I never watched 90210, because it doesn’t have a grain of the magic atmosphere the ’90s series had.
    I started posting comments on blogs about comics in March, mainly because I wanted to publicize some series whose sales were lower than their due. But then those series closed, so I almost stopped commenting. At present, your blog is the only one where I’m a regular commentor. Why am I telling you all this? Because this is my 800th comment, and I wanted to explain why posting it on your blog seemed the most logical choice to me.

    • I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m pumped for Young Avengers. I loved the sneak peak in Marvel NOW! Point One including the ending: http://www.bleedingcool.com/forums/front-page-comic-news/63509-young-avengers-ar-marvel-now-point-one.html which if it’s any example of what to expect in the series proper I’ll be along for the ride for a long time.

      “started posting comments on blogs about comics in March, mainly because I wanted to publicize some series whose sales were lower than their due. But then those series closed, so I almost stopped commenting. At present, your blog is the only one where I’m a regular commentor. Why am I telling you all this? Because this is my 800th comment, and I wanted to explain why posting it on your blog seemed the most logical choice to me.”
      Thanks so much for your continued comments and participation on this blog. 800? Wow. I’m happy to say that 96 of those 800 came from this blog alone. Always happy to hear what you say as I usually walk away either more informed or else it really gets me thinking. Here’s to 1000! Thanks again.

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