Monday, November 25, 2013

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Best Deadpool Story in Years

A handful of comic readers I know have told me that they don't like Deadpool and don't understand his appeal.  Depending on how the character is written, I can see their point.  Fortunately, for those of us who want Deadpool to be a good comic book, Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan are evolving him into more than the one note character he has been recently.

Posehn and Duggan began sowing the seeds for "The good, the bad and the ugly" story in the issues after their first arc.  The premise is that every so often mysterious people are drugging Deadpool and harvesting his organs without his knowledge. Starting in issue #15 Deadpool decides to enlist some help and track down the folks doing this to him.  I don't want to give anything else away because it was such a good read.  The fact that I almost cried during issue #19 should suffice.  Posehn and Duggan have brought a tragic comedian sensibility to Deadpool that is perfect for the character.  The Declan Shalvey artwork is superb.  Let's hope it continues.  "The good, the bad and the ugly" runs from Deadpool #15 through #19.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Key Issues - Firestar (Angelica Jones)

Cover by Barry Smith
Like many of you I picked up the first issue of Amazing X-Men this week.  And though it was nice to see Nightcrawler again, I was much more excited about Firestar finally joining the X-men.  Aaron introduced the character to X-readers superbly by reminding us that not all mutants are X-Men or evil mutants.  Her first reactions to the Jean Grey School were perfect.  Firestar has been around as a character for over 30 years debuting in the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends tv show in 1981.  She was introduced in comics as a member of the Hellions, later joining the New Warriors and the Avengers.  Also, thank you Jason Aaron for the nod to Firestar and Iceman's past history.

Cover by J. Scott Campbell
Key Issues:

Uncanny X-Men #193 - 1st appearance (in comics)
Firestar #1-4 - Origin, Joins the Massachusetts Academy under Emma Frost
Thor #411-412 - 1st appearance of the New Warriors
New Warriors #1 - Joins the New Warriors (takes place prior to Thor #411)
Marvel Comics Presents #82-87 - More of Firestar's backstory prior to New Warriors
Avengers Vol 3 #4 -Joins the Avengers
Marvel Divas #1 - Announces she has cancer as a result of her mutant ability
Marvel Divas #4 - Cancer in remission
Amazing X-Men #1 -Joins Wolverine's X-men

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The X-Men Title You Should've Been Reading All Along

If you had told me a year ago that X-Men Legacy would be on my pull list, I'd have told you to go pound sand.  Then you'd say, "But, it's really cerebral and it follows Legion."  Then I'd say, "Forget what I said about pounding sand, go eff yourself!"

Well, it's a year later and I can tell you that X-Men Legacy is one of the few books that I read the day I bring it home.  The others are Thor, Uncanny X-Men, and All New X-Men.  Though Bendis is creating a monumental run on the new big 2 X-books, this one is not to be missed.  Written by Simon Spurrier, Legacy has filled the vacuum left after Rick Remender's X-Force run ended (more on this later).

The premise of the book is that Legion is trying to get control of his powers.  The short, short version of Legion's history is that he's a bit crazy.  At the same time, he's making an attempt to fulfill as best he can the Professor X (his father) legacy.   But not as Legion describes it by "wearing spandex."  He's a loner and is the character that Quentin Quire wishes he could be.  Legion's way of fulfilling his father's dream is not to preach peace like the new Uncanny Avengers or kill all enemies like the old Uncanny X-Force.  Instead he uses the necessary technique for whatever threat he is facing whether it be subterfuge, violence, or diplomacy.  Fortunately, he has many powers at his disposal.

This title without announcing it takes us to some dark places.  In reality, Legion's proactive mission to neutralize threats to mutants is even scarier.  In Remender's X-Force, the villains were overtly evil.  Spurrier's villains though are more frightening because they are human and familiar.  Some of them look like your neighbors or uncles which is a credit to Tang Eng Huat's artwork.  The other common theme in both series deals with good intentions, Machiavellian methods, and unintended consequences.

I also love the fact that Spurrier apparently has his pick of the less seen mutants throughout the Marvel Universe.  There's not another book where you can see characters like Blindfold, Chamber, Pixie, and Pete Wisdom.  I am a little sad that Spurrier's run will end with issue #24, but apparently he'll be on a new title that's been teased with the word "Offensive." I have no idea what that means, but my dream is that Legion is somehow cajoled into working with a new group in MI-13 led by Pete Wisdom.  For other insights into X-Men Legacy and Spurrier's thoughts check out:  Even without the great writing and art, the Mike Del Mundo covers alone are worth more than the $2.99 cover price.