Category Archives: Marvel

Avengers vs X-Men

This year’s Marvel summer event was Avengers vs X-Men, a series of missed opportunities and character derailment. Early interviews with those involved said that this event was supposed to finally lock the X-Men into the proper Marvel Universe instead of in their own bubble of experience. While that mission has certainly been accomplished, the execution certainly could have used some work. This series is probably the ultimate example of a plot driving the characters instead of the other way around. Read the rest of this entry

Avengers assemble a world

The opening weekend box office for Marvel’s The Avengers (yes, Marvel is a part of the title both for branding purposes and to differentiate it from poorly received The Avengers film of 1998, which was based on a popular British television series – which ultimately leads to the current film’s being titled Avengers Assemble in Europe…) pretty much means that a review is of absolutely no value to anyone. Everyone who wanted to see the film has already seen or plans to see it soon, and everyone who did not want to see the film really did not care. A review about the film is not beneficial because everyone’s mind was made up well in advance of the film’s actual release. Plus the film has so little in substance going for it aside from the action that there really isn’t much to mention.

Which is great because the circumstances of the film’s immediate success is incredibly interesting to me. None of the films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe come close to the gross profit of The Avengers‘ opening weekend in their opening weekends. Truth be told, aside from the spike in the almost miserable Iron Man 2‘s profits due to the popularity and accessibility of the first, each Marvel movie has done worse than the one preceding it. So it is clear that The Avengers is an amazing gestault film that truly is greater than all of the films before it. Read the rest of this entry

New Ultimate Spider-Man 4 – Great Power and Responsibility

To be honest, I really am into this All New Ultimate Spider-Man series. Right now there is a lack of action in order to establish this very much not Peter Parker character. This is extremely necessary because we do not need a complete retread of what we’re used to, lest we get what can be described as simply “the black Spider-Man.” No, this is Miles Morales. He has his own baggage. Read the rest of this entry

The New Ultimate Spider-Man! Someone’s listening!

Have you heard about the new Spider-Man featured in Marvel’s Ultimate line of comic books? If you haven’t yet, I’m impressed. It was reported by various news outlets before issue 4 of Ultimate Fallout hit the newsstands. In fact, that’s a bit unfair to readers who want to be surprised with each issue. It’s just continually interesting that the happenings of Marvel comics are regularly reported in the news. DC fanboys weep because Time Magazine will never report on the fact that Sinestro is now a member of the Green Lantern Corps. and Hal Jordan has been kicked-out for pushing his ring to attack and kill a rogue Guardian.

This isn’t about me bashing on DC, though. (I love their characters, I swear!) This is about my somehow continued coverage of the “Death of Spider-Man” and Ultimate Fallout storylines. I didn’t expect the new Spider-Man to be introduced so soon, although nothing has been revealed about him in the comics except for this: Read the rest of this entry

New Mutants – help is hard

New Mutants is quickly becoming my second favorite X-title, right behind X-Factor. It started a few issues back when Cyclops decided that the team should be used to tie up loose ends. Not only does this put the younger X team in a position for interesting stories that confront plot holes, but it also marked a stylistic shift toward more concise writing. You can’t have a book devoted to tightening things up that simultaneously makes such errors itself. I think the writing team knew that.

Issue 28 struck exactly the right chord with me. I’ve always wondered what a (somewhat) realistic therapist would make of characters in comics. In walks Gus Grim, a horribly named therapist described by Emma Frost as both a “cowboy and an Indian.” The narrative tone of the issue with definitely humorous, but that was stricken with some poignancy. Grim appears to use a variant form of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy.I always thought the most concise summation of the practice was, “Get over yourself.” Grim would agree. Read the rest of this entry

Ultimate Fallout

“The Death of Spider-Man” storyline clearly irked me. This Ultimate Fallout book subtitled “Spider-Man No More” seems to be a clearly indulgent cash grab. Six issues of mourning for the alternate version of Marvel’s most celebrated character. I don’t need to mention again that Spider-Man is my favorite superhero, nor do I need to mention that I absolutely loved the Ultimate version up until the ultimatum wave hit. (Yeah, it was a weird thing that happened. Magneto reversed the magnetic poles of the Earth.) I’m definitely going to read about the funeral for this character, especially as it seems that despite the crap he received as a superhero, almost all of New York seems to be attending his funeral. It’s touching. Read the rest of this entry

Ultimate Spider-Man 160: My god, it’s full of holes

At least it's not titled "Spider-Man No More", right?

I have to admit that I have been a fan of Ultimate Spider-Man for at least five years, maybe longer. For some reason, people complain about the writing of Brian Bendis. People used to complain about the decompressed storylines requiring three issues to tell one story – rather than one issue per story or the blended storylines that have become the Marvel vogue since the launch of the Ultimate line of comics. I love Ultimate Spider-Man. I even stuck with the story after the change of status quo in Ultimatum. It was interesting and seemingly going somewhere.

Then came the “Death of Spider-Man” storyline, which was tied into the ever interesting but hyper-compressed Ultimate Comics Avengers vs. New Ultimates books. This does not retroactively eliminate my love for this specific Spider-Man title, but the legacy of the book is lost. Not because killing Spider-Man is horrid. It isn’t at all when it is done poignantly. When you kill the heart of the Ultimate Marvel Universe, you better make sure to bring your A-game. Unfortunately, they did not. Read the rest of this entry

Thor: The Thunder God who Somehow Controls Lightning

Thor is by no means a great film in this day and age, but the circumstances of the movie make it a surprising one. One of my least favorite comic book characters is Thor. What fun is it to read about a god? There is little drama to be had there because even if he does there are many means for him to come back – more so than most comic book characters. I was not looking forward to Thor and have made it very clear, although I said that marketing would have problems with the movie. I’m silly. The Marvel movies are their own brand that people will give a watch at least once. Thor was an easy number one in the box office this weekend. Good for Marvel!

But the movie works, and that requires some exploration. Besides the fact that it was a movie that managed to balance its humor, action, and pseudo-drama, the movie seemed to speak to its primary audience of children born in the 80’s and 90’s. Thor and Loki were born into a generation of privilege. Their parents and the parents before them fought in wars and had to establish kingdoms or households, and the kids do not know how to be humble or ever want for anything. The results are arrogance and envy. Read the rest of this entry

The Race of Superheroes

Christian Bale is Batman. Andrew Garfield is the new Spider-Man. Now it has been announced that Henry Cavill is the new Superman. What do these three men have in common?

Henry Cavill, the new starry eyed youngster from the farms of Smallville

They’re all British and they’re all white. Read the rest of this entry