REVIEW: The Black Vortex Alpha

(Marvel Comics, 2015)

Written by Sam Humphries
Pencils by Ed McGuiness and Kris Anka
Inks by Kris Anka, Mark Farmer, Jay Leisten, and Mark Morales
Colors by Marte Garcia and Marcelo Malolo
Letters by Travis Lanham

Last year’s “The Trial of Jean Grey” marked the first time these two teams were paired up for a major crossover. In the time since that first event The Guardians of the Galaxy have become a bona fide part of the pop culture landscape, thanks mainly due to a huge blockbuster film that proved just how exciting and fun this group of cosmic misfits could be. Continue reading

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Review: Spider-Man and the X-men #1

(Marvel Comics, 2015)

Writer – Elliot Kalan
Artist – Marco Failla
Colors – Ian Herring

Spider-Man and the X-Men have been teaming up since before there was a series called Marvel Team-Up; so Spidey seems a logical choice to take over for the late Wolverine as benefactor of the eponymously titled series. However, that long and storied history is not evident in this first issue; in fact the X-Men of those early team-up days are downright hostile toward our friendly neighborhood web slinger when he shows up hand-picked for the job by Logan himself. The hostile attitudes of the older X-Men are just a warm up for the vehement animosity Spidey finds waiting for him with his inherited class of young mutant students.

Writer, Elliott Kalan gets the dynamic between Spider-Man and the X-Men all wrong from the very beginning; there is no chemistry here, the relationship seems to be devoid of the years of shared history. For this book to succeed that paradigm has to be corrected; the character interaction in this issue is just too antagonistic for Spidey’s one liners and generally humorous demeanor to work in any authentic sense. The unfriendly vibe makes much more sense with the students; here it works just fine calling to mind a John Hughes sort of quality as the group of misfit students face off against the new teacher. It’s a trope that works no matter who the characters are as long as the classroom is the setting. Continue reading

REVIEW: ‘Avengers and X-Men: AXIS’ #1

(Marvel Comics, 2014)

Written by Rick Remender
Artwork by Adam Kubert
Color Artwork by Laura Martin
Lettering by Chris Eliopoulos

Continuity geeks rejoice! We have finally been rewarded for all of our unyielding adherence to past events and the effects they have had collectively and individually on the Marvel Universe. Rick Remender’s big nine issue event spins directly out of the last issue of his Uncanny Avengers Continue reading

REVIEW: ‘Butterfly’ #1

(Archaia, 2014)

Story by Arash Amel
Written by Marguerite Bennett
Illustrated by Antonio Fuso
Colored by Adam Guzowski
Lettered by Steve Wands
Cover by Phil Noto

*Major Spoilage…you’ve been warned.

As I’ve gotten more involved with the comic industry, and more vigilant on the entertainment industry as well, I’ve found it easier to watch trends.  Most recently of course we saw Continue reading

REVIEW: ‘Alice Cooper’ #1

(Dynamite Comics, 2014)

Written by Joe Harris
Illustrated by Eman Casallos
Colored by Aikau Oliva
Lettered by Simon Bowland
Main Cover by David Mack

Comic book creators have a tough job.  Coming up with an original character isn’t always as easy as interviews with Uncle Stan would have you believe.  The creation of a new, believable character can be a painstaking process that doesn’t always pay off in the end.  Wouldn’t it be easier to take an existing person and bring them in? Continue reading

REVIEW: ‘Stray Bullets: Killers’ #2

(Image Comics / El Capitan, 2014)

Written, Drawn, & Lettered by David Lapham

David Lapham is one of the most versatile writers working in comicbooks today. His work runs the gamut from super hero stories to extremely poignant human drama but the one element that all of his writing has is common is great character development; perhaps best known for his Stray Bullets series or his substantial contribution to the Avatar schlock horror/porn series Crossed, Lapham has also brought his uniquely human narratives to some of the most iconic super heroes Continue reading

REVIEW: ‘All-New Doop’ #1

(Marvel Comics, 2014)

Written by Peter Milligan
Art by David Lafuente
Color Art by Laura Allred
Lettering by Clayton Cowles
Cover Art by Michael & Laura Allred
Variant Cover Art by Adi Granov

Throughout the midst of the entire Marvel Universe, there are some very peculiar characters that only surface every so often. One of those is none other than Doop. He is nothing more than a fun, little green floating orb that struggles with communicating and is best friends with Wolverine. The world should love Doop, but he is often misunderstood and unappreciated. Continue reading

REVIEW: ‘The Crow: Pestilence’ #1

(IDW Publishing, 2014)

Writer: Frank Bill
Artist: Drew Moss
Colorist: Oliver Lee Arce
Editor: Sarah Gaydos

In 1989 I was fully in the thrall of the X-Men and Spider-Man, but there were other books out there, something mysterious called “indie” comics, that would shape my later life. 1994 saw the release of The Crow, the Brandon Lee film, and I was enthralled. It was a superhero movie. We were on the heels of Batman Returns Continue reading

REVIEW: ‘Magneto’ #1

(Marvel Comics, 2014)

Written by Cullen Bunn
Artwork by Gabriel Hernandez Walta
Color Artwork by Jordie Bellaire

Usually the announcement of another X-Men related solo series generates little to no excitement in my sphere of existence.  I much prefer my X-Men in team form.  When I heard that Magneto was going to be the next X-Men team member to get the solo treatment, however, I was more than interested. Continue reading

REVIEW: ‘Fantastic Four’ #1

(Marvel Comics, 2014)

Written by James Robinson
Pencils by Leonard Kirk
Inked by Karl Kesel
Color Artwork by Jesus Aburtov

In the first issue of James Robinson’s Fantastic 4 there is a very obvious shift in tone to darker, somewhat more introspective terrain, particularly in contrast to Matt Fraction’s recently ended run which was much more action/ adventure oriented. The Fantastic Four has a very unique Continue reading

REVIEW: ‘All New Invaders’ #1

(Marvel Comics, 2014)

Written by James Robinson
Artwork by Steve Pugh
Color Artwork by GURU-eFX
Lettering by Cory Petit

When James Robinson left Earth 2 and effectively severed ties with DC, at least for the foreseeable future, I feared there would be an extended period of time without an on-going title being written by the outspoken and innovative Robinson. So when it was announced that the prolific writer was coming to Marvel I was ecstatic Continue reading

REVIEW: ‘Harbinger’ #20

(Valiant Entertainment, 2014)

Written by Joshua Dysart
Artwork by Clayton Henry
Color Artwork by Brian Reber

Welcome to “Resistance”.  Leave your secrets at the door.

Over the course of its current run, ‘Harbinger’ has had a very strong ‘Us vs. Them’ vibe.  What began as a simple tale of the possible-hero/maybe-saviour escaping the hard confines of Toyo Harada’a teachings at his Harbinger Foundation has, over time, become so much more.  The vibe remains but it has focused Continue reading

REVIEW: “Amazing X-Men” #2

(Marvel Comics, 2013)

Review by Shawn Warner

Written by Jason Aaron
Pencils by Ed McGuinness
Inks by Dexter Vines
Color Artwork by Marte Gracia

Jason Aaron is one of the few writers who could take on a story so inherently fraught with potential theological complications and esoteric mumbo-jumbo and turn it into one of the most fun-filled and exciting high adventure X-Men stories to be written in quite some time. Continue reading

REVIEW: “Inhumanity” #1

(Marvel Comics, 2013)

Review by Shawn Warner

Written by Matt Fraction
Artwork by Olivier Coipel
Inks by Mark Morales
Color Artwork by Laura Martin ‘DePuy’

With Infinity just wrapping up many of you may be reluctant to jump right back into another event but I caution you, please do not miss out on Inhumanity and the major repercussions that are sure to be felt throughout the Marvel Universe Continue reading

REVIEW: “Longshot Saves the Marvel Universe” #2

(Marvel Comics, 2013)

Review by Shawn Warner

Written by Christopher Hastings
Artwork by Jacopo Camagni
Cory Artwork by Matt Milla

I was so pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the first issue of this mini-series that I requested to review #2 and after reading it, boy am I sorry I did. It seems that everything I liked so much about the first issue has dissipated and what remains is an inconsistent story with awkward looking art that at times borders on amateurish try-out level pages. Continue reading