Tag Archives: SHIELD

Review: Deadpool #8

It’s so refreshing to see Deadpool with his own series again.  I have to admit, for all my love of Thor and the Cap being such amazing heroes, Marvel has some damn great anti-heroes, most certainly including Deadpool, who always sets off with the intention of selling to the highest bidder, and more often than not, tends to come home with no cash at all because much to his dismay, he did something stupid… like the ‘right thing.’

Lead up to the Story

Deadpool has been engaging in shenanigans as usual, been jumped by random b and c list villains, most recently Tiger Shark, out smarted friend and foe alike, and served up enemies to zombies.  Through all of this, he’s found out that both his friend Bob and Tiger Shark were hired to take him out.  The hit was put out by none other than Norman Osborn, or Oscorp.  Basically, if you weren’t paying attention, Norman Osborn is the new Tony Stark and runs the new SHIELD (called HAMMER).  He tricked the world into thinking he was a savior by killing the Scrull queen, using information that Deadpool got for Nick Fury.  All in all, Deadpool is pissed, and this is part 1 of what we can hope is a good old showdown at noon.

Plot Synopsis

Daniel Way has Deadpool begins his assault on Stark Tower.. Osborn Tower?  I don’t know.  He’s assaulting it anyway (this review is starting to sound more and more like a Deadpool comic).  As I said above, this is the first part of the story arc, called Magnum Opus, and is part 1 of 4.  It starts with just a little back story, and goes straight into action really.  Deadpool initially runs into some robotic traps, steals the Iron Man chest piece, throws some bad hair jokes Osborn’s direction, and begins his ascent.  We are then plunged into a classic Deadpool hallucination.  This one is a Jack and the Beanstalk parody, and although it is only a few pages in length, it falls sort of flat.  Not that it is bad, it just seems to be an unnessessary stopping point in the story, a storyline bottle neck of sorts.  As unfortunately for us that it does, things start going worse for Deadpool when he gets into a fight with his inner monologue, or readers.  I can never tell if the white boxes are supposed to be readers, a voice in his head, and if the yellow boxes are him thinking.  No matter what the case, they’re ignoring him, because when he reaches the top, it’s not Osborn who’s waiting for him, it’s the Thunderbolts.

Art Critique

The art is pretty well done, Paco Medina has the Deadpool look down to a T.  Explosions, guns, action scenes, he can do them with great skill.  Basically, everything that you are most likely to encounter in a standard issue of Deadpool.  Sometimes faces are an issue, and can come out disproportional (for example, see the recap page), but this is the exception rather than the rule.  The hallucination, which I mentioned was not my favourite part of the story, really gives Medina a chance to shine, and he takes it.  Everything is much more comic than usual, and I mean that in two ways.  First, it’s absolutely ridiculous, which is awesome, the adaptation of Jack and the Beanstalk is right on target.  Secondly, if you look behind the action, you’ll see that the background is actually made up of dots, as the old comics and newspapers were.  The only major criticism that I have is that when Deadpool takes the Iron Man chest piece, it’s not immediately apparent.  I had to look back and check a few times, and maybe this was intentional, but there could have been a larger colour and size difference.  That said however, the third page or so, the full page spread with Deadpool decked out to assault Stark/Osborn tower is pretty fantastic, it’s always great to see how each artist will render Deadpool fully equipped for action.

Is it Worth Buying?

I would say absolutely, this looks to be a good story arc.  We know that Daniel Way can write a good story, and he’s set it up perfectly for a high action comic in the next issue, with a great cliffhanger.  Even to non-deadpool fans, I would recommend picking up the next few issues of Deadpool.  The story is great, the art is great.  Daniel Way has come into his own with his ability to deliver one-liners befitting Deadpool, with just enough humor, and a few thrown in there that probably only make sense to Deadpool himself.  I will be looking forward to the next issue, to see how the merc with a mouth settles the score not only with the Thunderbolts, but also with the voices in his head.

EDIT: Magnum Opus is Deadpool 8-9 and Thunderbolts 130-131.

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Scrull Secret Invasion, who’s a liar?

With the secret invasion looming in the near future, I’ve been getting to thinking about who could be a Scrull.  Yeah, I know, me and everyone else who’s read a marvel comic in the last six months, right?  Specifically, conclusions I may have drawn in comic reviews, that may be viewed in a different way in the light of the secret invasion.  I said in my review yesterday that I love the writing that Brian Bendis has been doing, and he’s going to be writing the Secret Invasion series, according to Marvel.

Ares – in Incredible Hercules:
Here’s a  Scrull candidate if I ever saw one, and from there we can conclude that Hercules probably is not a Scrull; Ares is attempting to use SHIELD to eliminate a non-Scrull under the vise of sibling rivalry.  This is consistent with Ares’s attack on Wonder Man as well.

Namor – in The Sub-Mariner:
Namor, in hind sight is acting very strangely, evacuating Atlantis, teaming up with Dr. Doom, who may also be a Scrull, we can never know.  Although, these conclusions may not be as sound as they could be, because he did save the surface world from the secret sleeper cells, but if we consider that he has essentially positioned all of Atlantis to be a first wave in an invasion, we must always be cautious.

The Night Nurse – in New Avengers :
Very chummy with Jessica Jones, who made a Scrull baby, so we can be relatively sure that she is a scrull.  We’ve seen very little of her recently, other than being friendly with Mrs. Jones and sleeping with Dr. Strange.

More to come in the future, have your own theories?  Leave a comment!

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The Incredible Hercules, formerly known as the Incredible Hulk, #114

            Hercules continues in his own title, not the first time he has had his own comic, he appeared in his own right for the first time in 1982, in a series that ran for a total of four issues, and again in 1984, again for a stunning four issues.  The last time, we, as the collective comic book community saw the son of Zues (this one at least), was in 2005, after a fairly lengthy hiatus, he appeared in an unprecedented five part mini-series, entitled ‘The New Labors.’  If you don’t understand the title, go buy a book on Greek mythology, I’m not just being annoying about it, you’ll get more out of these comics if you do.  Given this somewhat lackluster series for Herc, I found it fitting to do a write up on his latest series that looks like it COULD reach a grand six episodes.

 

Lead-up to the Story

            Written by Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente, and penciled by Paul Neary, this has been an issue I’ve been excited to see in my box each month so far.  Partially because of my love for Greek myth, as well as math, which manifests itself in the form of Amadeus Cho.  I have declared my somewhat controversial adoration of Cho in the past, and I understand that he can be an unloved feature in the Marvel universe.  Bully to all of you I say, I like him, and his coyote.  In the previous issues, we have seen Cho become steadily darker and more bent on revenging his idol, the Hulk.  Hercules has also started questioning Cho’s decisions with increased regularity, although he has been forced to go along with him, generally to avoid capture by his Ares, the god of war.

 

Plot Synopsys

            The story begins with another mythological reference, but don’t worry, its explained in a few pages.  In short, Herc is kicking major SHIELD ass, and thinks he is being denied magical horses.  Most Greek myth was created while people were drunk, true story.  While this is entertaining, the more important parts off the issue have to do with Amadeus Cho, and with Ares.  While attempting to take over a SHIELD helicarrier, Cho is thwarted by Black Widow, but his pup is caught underneath him in his fall, and we’re left in the dark about the fate of his coyote, although, on the last page of the comic, we see requests for names for it, so I’m fairly sure we won’t be seeing the of it, and it’ll have a name, so I won’t have to keep on coming up with novel pronouns for the animal.  Wonder Man figures out that Ares is trying to use both him and SHIELD to take down his rival Hercules, and we should wait in eager anticipation to see how this plays out.  Wonder Man vs Ares anyone?

 

Art Critique

            Paul Neary does a good job of giving the action a sense of action and movement in almost every panel.  Also, he really tried to give Hercules a crazed expression during his hydra blood induced state, but it doesn’t seem to work all too well all of the time.  Drawing can be like writing, similar to how an author does not want to use the same adjective all the time, an artist will not want to use the same expression to depict a certain emotion, however, this results in Herc just having near perfectly circular, round, red eyes.   Also, sometimes Amadeus Cho looks either pudgy, not so much because he has an animal in his jacket, but more so in his face.  Overall however, I must say I am pleased with the artwork as it is provided.  Also, I wonder if Neary himself did the oldschool arts featured in the middle of the book, also, oldschool Ares reminds me of Mr. T.  Mention should be made of the cover art, provided by Arthur Adams, Herc’s arms have extra muscle mass, and this isn’t usually something that bugs me, when I draw I tend to add extra as well, but this is kind of ridiculous. 

 

Is it Worth Buying?

            If you have an interest in Greek mythology, I would say absolutely.  Also, it looks like this story arc with Herc vs Ares, and with Cho attempting to mess up SHIELD may prove important to the overall Marvel storyline, especially with Tony Stark having so many problems in his storyline.  So overall, it is well written, and entertaining to read, definitely earning its spot on my pull list.

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Review: Sub-Mariner: The Initiative

Prologue: my apologies for the recent radio silence from Your Comic Relief, I have been wrapped up in things relating to Christmas and New Years, I should be able to update frequently between now and New Years, and daily updates will officially resume on the 2nd of January. Just giving myself some room to breath if necessary during this hectic time of year. Now, on with the review!

 

Lead-up to the Story

This storyline takes place after Civil War has ended, and is a continuation of Wolverine’s Civil War tie in. His tie in was focused around finding Nitro, and the discovery of Atlantian sleeper cells in the United States, which were eventually recalled. Essentially, Namor had placed a number of these cells around the country to monitor the populace and government, and to act if necessary. The other important outcome of the story arc is that Nitro, the one responsible for the attacks in Stamford, Connecticut, is the custody of Atlantis.

 

Plot Synopsis and Evaluation

The story itself is a six part mini, written by Matt Cherniss and Peter Johnson. They have done an incredible job with this series, the characters are likeable, the story moves at a good pace without becoming too sporadic, and the ending is great. The full story is far too long and expansive to examine in the scope of this post, there are some main points. After Civil War, Namor was pressured to recall all of the sleeper cells back from the United States, and he did so. Suddenly however, attacks are being preformed by Atlantians on American soil, and SHIELD is brought in to investigate. Naturally, SHIELD believes that Namor had not recalled all of his sleeper cells. Sub-Mariner: The Initiative is the story of Namor’s quest to clear Atlantis’s name, and alone the way he has confrontations with Atlantians (isn’t there always political unrest in Atlantis?), Wolverine and Venom, among a few others. The story hooked me almost instantly, and while it dragged its feet a little during issues 4 and 5, issue #6 has the potential to chance the Marvel universe.

 

Art Critique

The pencils are done by Phil Briones, and while some of the characters are not drawn the way we may be used to them – Tony Stark looks somewhat Asian – everything looks commendable. While it does look commendable, nothing really looks exemplary. Like I said, everyone tends to look slightly more Asian than you would expect, this makes Namor resemble some poor bastard child of Spock and The Mandarin. While I was reading through the series however, I was actually too wrapped up in the story to notice it. Two possible conclusions can be drawn from this; the story is so amazing that anyone could have drawn it and I’d have been ok with it, or, that the art really isn’t poor enough to make an impact on my appreciation of the comic. Both are true, although perhaps I’m just oblivious, but I like to think that’s untrue. Perhaps I am being harsh; the art may feel a little rushed at times, and the characters may not be drawn the way we have come to expect them, but the art is not bad by any means. It’s just different.

 

Is it Worth Buying?

Absolutely. As poorly as many believe Marvel has handled many situations, and I agree with several of these accusations, I have been in love with this series, and I feel it exemplifies everything Marvel is capable of. Also, the end of issue #6 has, as I have said, the potential to chance the Marvel universe just as much as Civil War did, see the following spoilers section for more details.

 

SPOILERS:

At the end of Sub-Mariner: The Initiative, all of Atlantis evacuates using the previously thought mythological secret tunnels, and essentially diffuse into millions of sleeper cells throughout the world. Namor takes the Atlantian army to “[his] only ally in recent days,” in Latveria, Dr. Doom. Also, Namor has a son.

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