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YCR Presents: Thanksgiving Day Top 6 Marvel Titles to be Thankful For

Welcome one and all!  Welcome to the latest issue of Your Comic Relief presents.  This time?  Your top 6 comics to be thankful for this Thanksgiving!  Please take the time to comment and leave me some feedback!  It is much appreciated.

6. Incredible Hercules

A title that I am quite partial to, as I am a huge fan of Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Norse mythology, Incredible Hercules took over from the Incredible Hulk after World War Hulk ended.  This issue has been faily reliable in terms of quality.  Hercules, accompanied by Amadeus Cho, has set off destroying just about anything in their path, and while much of this has been Cho’s conniving, it has also been Herc’s unpredictability that serves as the catalyst for their antics.  In fact, watching their interactions is one of the many joys this title offers.

5. Uncanny X-Men

Uncanny X-Men had some problems with messiah Complex, it really was just OK.  Not as awesome as it should have been or really as we were promised it would be.  However, the last 6-8 issues of Uncanny have been absolutely fantastic.  Another product of Brubaker’s undeniable, and often simply unbelievable contributions to Marvel.  Now co-authored by Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker as of issue 502  My favourite part of the last 3 or so issues have been the (re)introductions of each of the characters in each issue, which the authors have taken as an opportunity to make some much appreciated jokes.  Of the jokes, I think the best one has to be calling Wolverine “ubiquitous,” meaning everywhere at once.  I have to assume this is a reference to Wolverine appearing in so many Marvel publications, I remember over the summer there was a week where he was in every single release, and I’m sure that can’t be the only time – just the time I noticed.  Another aspect of this that I have greatly appreciated is the expansion of Pixie as a character; previously a side character in the x-men B-team, but she is now turning into an actual relatable character.  This, mixed with the recent storyline, allows Uncanny X-Men to make the cut into the Your Comic Relief Thanksgiving Top 6.

4. Cable & Deadpool and Deadpool

I have included both titles in this, because in my mind, the star of C&D really was Deadpool, with Cable serving to create meaningful plot devices and serve as a rational figure by which we could appreciate how utterly absurd Deadpool is.  The last several issues of Cable & Deadpool, the “X and Deadpool” run, while we were supposed to believe Cable was dead.  Did anyone raelly think that?  The new Deadpool series features Deadpool still actively ambiguous about his allegiances, and whether this is a function of his dubious (at best) mental compas, or his ever blossoming psychosis, I don’t think even Marvel Knows.

3.  Wolverine Origins

Written by Daniel Way, and illustrated by Steve Dillon, Wolverine Origins has delivered unique story arcs to us all year.  With guest appearances from Deadpool, Captain America, and most recently Daken (Wolverine’s Son).  Probably one of the best arcs of the year in my opinion was the confrontation between Wolverine and Deadpool.  A matchup that people had been waiting for for years; while they did meet up in Cable & Deadpool, it was overhyped and anticlimactic at best.  This time, it went on for several issues, and really delivered.  This title has had the ability to run the gamut of emotional possibilities, from the more serious aspect of the Cap’s storyline to the sheer ridiculousness of Deadpool.  It didn’t stop there however, the story right now of Wolverine and Daken is a reminder to the seriousness of Wolverine’s past, the decisions he has had to make, and stands in stark juxtaposition to the humor of seeing the Wolverine-Deadpool confrontation through the warped mind and eyes of Deadpool.

2. Iron Man

This title has had its ups and downs as of late.  Back when it was Iron Man: Director of Shield, which was before 2008 if I’m not mistaken but bear with me, it was very hit or miss.  There was some subplot of “Iron Man might be Crazy!!!”  Very hit or miss unfortunately.  However, with the most recent story arc of nuclear threat (which as an aside, reminds me of the Ultimate Iron Man II series of 4), Tony Stark has had the opportunity to return to his self-sacrificing…. self.  If you get right down to it, I firmly believe that this is why the Director of Shield thing didn’t work out so well.  he had too much responsibility that he couldn’t afford to do something that everyone else saw as incredibly stupid.  More often than not, his decisions have been incredibly reckless, but he saw that it had to be done, and he was the only one who could do it, such as defusing a nuclear weapon about to go off.  As with Uncanny X-Men, the most recent story arc really makes this much more of a contender than it previously would have been, not to say that before this arc has been bad mind you!  Also, Warmachine is totally badass, and anyone who disagrees has to answer to giant space robot.  They should pay me to love Ironman and the Number One pick this much, am I right?  Now for the number one reason to thank marvel this Thanksgiving!

1. Captain America

Captain America has been Ed Brubaker’s work this year, and damn does he do good work.  In my opinion, this has been THE title to read this year.  Every issue has just been stellar.  I’m not even sure to begin, and am a little ashamed that this paragraph is so much shorter than the others, but honestly, it’s just all good.  It is always the first comic I read whenever I get it home, bar none.  Bucky is shaping up to be a fantastic new Cap, ant the interplay between Faustis and the Red Skull has been fantastic, with plots within plots.  Agent 13 and Falcon have been well developed, but really, the best part has been how in each issue a little more of the Skull’s plot has been revealed to us.

Well, that’s that.  Those of you that know me may have noticed something.  Where’s Thor? Thor this year has been rather lackluster this year, and much to my chagrin (I’m trying to use that word more often, as I always have to look it up).  And this makes Thor sad:

While there have been some cool Thor tie ins, the Secret Invasion was entertaining if nothing else, the bit that happened about Egypt was pretty cool too, and was a cool insight into how the Marvel universe allows for seperate sets of deities, especially if you read the Incredible Hercules as well, issues like 114-117 or something like that.  But I decided to limit myself to regular titles, and not consider limited series such as Logan by Marvel Knights (which is beyond fantastic by the way), or the numerous Thor extra releases recently.  Once again, let me know what you think of my list, and, if any comic bloggers who are big DC fans would like to do a DC version, I would be honored to publish it, and of course link to it.  Just in the spirit of fairness, I would like to have a DC version, but in the spirit of honesty I don’t know much about DC.  That’s it for YCR Presents, have a happy thanksgiving!

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Happy 2008 Everyone!

I hope everyone had a good new year’s party, I know I did. I’ve had a super lazy day, first in a while, and it has been pretty amazing. I finally managed to get my hands on a copy of X-Factor 26 to read, and I’m now fully up to date on Messiah Complex. Unfortunately I’m finding that while each individual issue of MC is absolutely amazing, there could be more transition between them. SPOILERS — Such as when Cable is revealed at the very end of episode 5, they don’t explain how the X-Men know of his existence at the start of episode 6. I’m at least 90% sure of this as well, because I re read the issues to try and piece together what is happening in between each one, and I’m afraid to say I’m coming up with nothing. Perhaps someone else could point me in the right direction, because right now it’s a little lost on me. However, every issue is just amazing, and I eagerly anticipate the next one. Another issue of Rapid Fire Reviews is coming up tomorrow, and will include another four comics, although, there are so many I want to do as full reviews that I might have to do as rapid fire ones because of time constraints.

One last reminder, tomorrow is NOT comic book day, it’s Friday again this week. One more thing, is anyone reading Ultimate X-Men and would recommend it?

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Rapid Fire Reviews: Moon Knight, Silver Surfer, Ultimate Iron Man, and Superman/Batman

Moon Knight 2007 Annual

            Marc Spector, aka Moon Knight, is back in this annual… sort of.  He doesn’t appear until page 16 (not counting advertisements), and even then, he disappears for a while, returning on page 25.  The Moon Knight annual is written by Duane Swierczynski (who will be writing Cable!), and illustrated by Jefte Palo (making his debut), and edited by Axel Alonso.  These men are the ones to blame for this, if you didn’t like it.  That’s a tad harsh; the story is good, I just would have preferred to see more Moon Knight in it.  The story is more about a sexual predator and how he preyed upon women, and was eventually found by Moon Knight, told from the perspective of an unlucky woman.  I have to say though, it is refreshing to see that Marc Spector is back to his usual line of work, his previous story arc was confusing and not really to my liking.  The art is good, not the super detailed art you may find elsewhere, but in a style very appropriate for a Moon Knight comic.  In short, if you are a fan of Moon Knight, or looking for a good place to have a look at him, I’d say go ahead and spend your four hard earned dollars, but if you’re apprehensive, you shouldn’t feel bad about skipping out on this issue.

Silver Surfer: In Thy Name #2

            In thy name is highly anticipated among Silver Surfer fans.  Written by Simon Spurrier, and Illustrated by Tan Eng Huat, issue #1 was well received, but issue #2 however, I feel will not be so much.  I’ll be honest, I found it confusing.  I could be the story, and it could be the art, I think it to be a combination of the two, however, I feel that it is more a function of the art.  The story picks up where the last left off, Norrin Radd is fighting a giant monster/demon on a distant planet.  After his victory, the previously utopian queen begins to show her true colours, and the façade of utopian society begins to crumble.  The story progresses, and he discovers that he lower society perceive him to be their savior who will lead them in battle against the ruling society.  This comic, while confusing does present very serious moral issues and metaphors, as is typical for Silver Surfer comics, and this one does not disappoint.  In terms of morality, this story looks like it will become exceptional, but it is still hard to follow.  I do not believe that in graphic novels, I should have to constantly refer back to previous issues to determine who is who, and what they are doing (exception being Astonishing X-Men, because that is released so infrequently).  If you don’t mind having to take breaks to figure out who the characters are, or if you have an overwhelming interest in the Silver Surfer, absolutely go out and purchase this without hesitation.  If, however, that doesn’t sound like you, go ahead and pass on this series.

Ultimate Iron Man II – #1

            It’s finally here: the continuation of Ultimate Iron Man.  Written by bestselling author Orson Scott Card, and art by Pasqual Ferry, with colours by Dean White.  I got into Ultimate Iron Man as a bit of a fluke really, I was ordering things off eBay in a bit of a frenzy, and I saw a cheap hardcover available, it turned out to be Ultimate Iron Man by mistake.  As luck would have it though, I loved it but alas, it was too short, why not continue it I asked?  Well, Marvel has delivered.  I want to say it’s amazing, and it almost is.  It’s good, but it’s nothing revolutionary, I was hoping, for a new series, it would have an all new plot; however it is a continuation of the plot from the first Ultimate Iron Man.  This being said, if you haven’t read the original, you’re going to need to.  While not much is happening in the first part of the issue (it’s all set up for the next one), the action is pretty interesting, and the last 2-3 pages really make you think about what is going on in the world today.  If you have not read the first volume of Ultimate Iron Man, go out and do so, but also, you will not be able to understand what’s happening in volume two.  If you’re willing to go out and buy the trade for the original Ultimate Iron Man, I highly recommend this new series.

Superman/Batman #43

            This month’s Superman/Batman is written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, and penciled by Mike McKone.  The issue opens with a bang; the Teen Titans are seemingly attacking the orbiter.  The orbiter is hoping to harness dark matter as a source of energy, and to help analyze massive amounts of incoming data, they’re using a Kryptonian processor.  Not only are the Teen Titans attacking, but as luck would have it, the Kryptonian processor seems to have gone absolutely haywire.  Soon the reader is made aware of two key facts: the processor and the Teen Titans are connected, and it’s not the real Titans.  It all seems to be a diversion for Dr. Light to infiltrate the fortress of solitude using the processor to transmit him self in photonic form.  Luckily though, Batman is guarding the fortress.  While this is all good and interesting, and the comic ends with a nice cliffhanger, nothing really happens from page to page, it’s more of the same each time.  Mike McKone has done a great job with the art however, entirely the style of art I expect from a comic book.  To expand on that idea, it is nice to have some really fine and detailed art, such as found in Marvels, or Silver Surfer: Requiem, but sometimes it’s nice to have art that feels like it really belongs in a comic book.  McKone delivers on this front.  I’d recommend this book, as hopefully the cliffhanger will have something to do with Countdown, and because it was nice to look at.  If you’re apprehensive, I’d wait to see if the story will end up effecting the DC universe as a whole, and if it does, Superman/Batman #43 isn’t entirely likely to sell out.

            As I am posting this, Santa is over Portugal according to the Norad Tracker.

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