Tag Archive: new avengers

It’s kind of sad that a lot of the big events that are going on in Marvel really aren’t the best stories going on right now. DC on the other hand is starting to show some of the grit and interesting storytelling that the New 52 was supposed to signify. Meanwhile, in the Indies, there are a bevy of interesting stories going on with some monthlies, but I find myself still gravitating towards the game related ones. So here is this week’s Pullbox!

1) DC – Deathstroke #3: Deathstroke is ticked off. This isn’t news as this is his normal state of being. But as a bunch of hot shot up and coming assassins think they can make a name for themselves by offing the best in the business, they have another thing coming and the latest on this laundry list of newbies is a guy named Legacy. Deathstroke decides to amp up the difficulty though and see if he can take out this rookie and a new target all at the same time. Deathstroke is actually starting to work in a story behind all the glorious senseless violence that permeates nearly every page of this book so far through its first three issues. I was hesitant when I heard that Deathstroke was getting his own monthly, but if the book continues to evolve along this path, this could start to become something special. The only question now becomes just what exactly was in the briefcase in the first issue that is still rubbing him the wrong way.

2) DC – Green Lantern #3: Hal Jordan and Sinestro come to an agreement that will enlist Hal into helping Sinestro free his home planet from the clutches of his former Yellow Lanterns and in exchange Hal gets his Green Lantern ring back. But can Hal’s most nefarious enemy be trusted? Let’s just say Sinestro’s brilliantly laid out plan backfires when for once, it is Sinestro who lets his emotions get the best of him. This story takes an amazing twist at the end as the build up of the first two issues finally starts to come to a head. The relationship between Hal and Sinestro is still weird to watch unravel, but now that they both have a common goal in mind, it is interesting to watch them work together as Hal is still guided by his emotions and Sinestro just berates him at every turn for it. If you haven’t been getting this book, now would be the time to jump on board.

3) Marvel – New Avengers #18: Norman Osborn has been busted free and the heads of the largest terrorist organizations in the world look to instill him at the head. Hydra, AIM, and the remnant of HAMMER loyal to Osborn are all pooling their resources and the first thing Osborn wishes to do is reform a new group of Dark Avengers. Calling on the likes of Billy Bastion, Hawkeye’s brother with skill equal to him, Skaar, son of Hulk, and Toxic Doxie to serve as his Scarlet Witch, Osborn looks to bring the pain, and soon. The most interesting books Marvel has put out in recent memory all revolved around Osborn and his Dark Avengers so to see them going back to that and pulling together a hodgepodge of lesser known character to do so pleases me to no end. Now what will Osborn do though to get some body armor and become Iron Patriot again? If you haven’t been reading this book, get it NOW.

4) Marvel – X-Men Legacy #258: Even though the characters that the most recent Legacy story arc have revolved around are already back on Earth and interacting with the X-Men, the actual arc that got them back home doesn’t actually wrap up until this issue. You have to love Marvel’s lack of concerns for continuity. Besides this obvious time and release mismanagement by Marvel, this is a great issue as you see Magneto, Rogue, Havoc, Gambit, Polaris, and Marvel Girl really come together and pull a rabbit out of their hat that could only be done in comics to get back home and defeat a new enemy known as “Friendless”. As the space station the X-Men are trapped on begins to fall faster and faster towards a distant sun, they must overcome Friendless’s mental barrage one more time before trying to pull out of the decaying orbit that threatens to turn them all into cinders. Not the best Legacy arc I’ve ever read, but you should pick it up just to see where it goes from here as the next issue will intertwine with the Regenesis event.

5) Archie – Mega Man #7: Mega Man finally finds the hideout of Dr. Wily and where he is holding the kidnapped Roll, but with the original six robot masters back under Wily’s thumb, can Mega Man hope to overcome them along with the likes of Time Man and Oil Man? I’m really enjoying the dynamic that you are seeing with Mega Man and the other characters around him, reminding me almost a bit of the old cartoon show from the early-mid 90s. Add in these new robot masters teamed with the originals, to make it eight evil robot masters and keep with the theme you would see in the later video games, and I think anyone who is a fan of the Blue Bomber will be enamored with this monthly comic run and just where Archie comics had been going with it. I can’t wait not only to see how Mega Man overcomes these stacked odds against him, but also to see just who he will have to face in the issues beyond that as fan favorites like Snake Man or Air Man can’t be far behind.

This was a difficult Pullbox to put together this week, let me tell you! With X-Men: Regenesis starting it was hard for me to not put an X-Men title on this list, but I’ve been showing the Children of the Atom a lot of love lately and there were a couple of other worthy titles from Marvel that also deserved the limelight. I do recommend though that you read your other monthly X-books before reading the Regenesis one-shot. That’s my tip of the day there. DC did not have as strong a showing as Marvel, but the two I picked there I think more than pick up the slack. And we had a little competition for indie pick of the week, but as I always try to feature new and different books as time goes on, I went with one I’ve been enjoying for a while, but haven’t gotten around to featuring yet. So, without further ado, here is this week’s Pullbox!

1) Marvel – The New Avengers #17: Continuing with the story line started in this monthly’s annual a few weeks ago, we see Norman Osborn back in a position of power. But unlike last time where he was hiding in plain sight of the public, he has taken up arms with AIM, Hydra, and several others of the big bads of the Marvel universe. Setting an Ultimo robot after a Stark Industries laboratory, the New Avengers leap into action. Unbeknownst to them though, this is all just a test as Osborn and several AIM scientists are piloting the robot and collecting as much data, and a very special sample of Wolverine’s blood, from the skirmish. The issue ends with a bang as Osborn’s plan have clearly just begun. What is great about this comic is that along with his entire time as the head of HAMMER, these global threats that Osborn is producing has brought him to a new level of villainy. For a long time he wasn’t even Spider-Man’s greatest threat. Then he moved to the front of that line. Then he was on the bottom rung of the community threat. And now, he’s top dog there, too. Great action and the start of something that is going to be huge, my only complaint with this comic is that they put Daredevil prominently on the cover and he wasn’t in the issue at all. What’s up with that?

2) Marvel – Amazing Spider-Man #671 (Spider-Island Part 5): I’ve been really disappointed with Spider-Island thus far, but aside from a couple of pages early on with Mary Jane finally getting powers, this was a really great chapter in what has been a subpar event to this point. Spidey finally gets to the bottom of everything that’s been going on with the return of the Queen and gets his Spider-Sense back after having it turned off by the psychic bubble placed over Manhattan to keep the spider people locked on the island. We also see the Jackal hopefully meet his fate as I doubt any true Spidey fan has ever liked him as a villain, although I’m sure like Emperor Palpatine in Star Wars, he probably has a bevy of clones of himself waiting in the wings too. As things finally start to come to a head with Spider-Island you hope that it isn’t like many events that Marvel has done in recent history where there is a quick climax and fast let down after this unnecessarily long build-up. As a whole, I have not been impressed though and am still leaning towards returning to my boycott of Amazing Spider-Man once this whole arc is finally done. Maybe I’ll go re-read my Maximum Carnage graphic novel so I can remember when I really cared about Spider-Man as a character.

3) DC – Green Lantern #2: Hal Jordan is forced to make a “Monkey’s Paw” type deal with the newly reinstated into the Green Lantern core Sinestro and he might actually learn a thing or two from the dictator from Korugar. I’m still a bit on the fence about this comic as I still want Hal Jordan to have his ring back, but his dynamic with Sinestro is something to behold. And with what Sinestro plans in order to give Jordan his “ring” back could break Jordan as a character if done improperly. So far so very good though. Seeing what Sinestro could do with a Green Lantern ring makes you start to truly fathom the power they contain and makes you wonder what has held back the four-honor guard Lanterns of Earth that we’ve followed all these years. In one awesome page, Sinestro did more than Jordan has done with that ring in a year and it only looks to make this odd-couple relationship thrive even more in the pags of this book. Like I said, it could turn sour in the end, but right now this is a must read.

4) DC – Deathstroke #2: An explosive first-issue left me curious to see where things would go plot wise with this book, and the plot has led to a lot more explosions and a lot more action. As Deathstroke is on the path of trying to figure out who is setting him up for something much bigger than he realized he was getting into in the first issue, some hired assassins get in the way after an exchange goes bad. Nothing Deathstroke can’t handle though and before you know it you’ve got body parts, blood, bullets, and swords flying in every direction. It’s gory, it’s brutal, and it’s a heck of a lot of fun and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here. I would like to see Deathstroke with a bit more of a challenge though in future issues because in these first two issues he has just blown through his no name opponents like wet-tissue paper. Let’s see some heroes or something in there to mix it up!

5) Archie – Mega Man #6: If you’re like me, you can’t get enough of the Blue Bomber and this relatively new monthly series starring Mega Man is typically a bright spot for me. The first four issues basically followed Mega Man (or as he is affectionately called by Dr. Light, ‘Rock’) through the first game with Wily taking the six robot masters and sicking them on an unsuspecting public. Now, Wily is off to prison, but in every Mega Man game there has always been eight robot masters beyond that first one. So introducing Oil Man and Time Man, two brand new characters that were “held back” by Wily as they were still further in a prototype phase when he stole them from Dr. Light. Now, Mega Man and the reprogrammed original robot masters have split up into two teams. One to help fix the damage they caused initially and another to find Dr. Wily and put a stop to him once and for all. This comic is everything I would have hoped from it and more. New and old robot masters alike make this comic just as enjoyable as the games and to see Mega Man absorb and use their powers makes me wish Mega Man 11 would be announced. But this comic is fine in place of that and so my only real gripe with it is that I have to wait 30 days between issues. If you are a fan of Mega Man, do yourself a favor and start picking this up every month. It consistently finds a way to balance plot, character development and action and is worth it every time.

Although a lot may have come out this week, much of it wasn’t nearly as strong or enjoyable as I would have preferred. And surprisingly, an indie easily topped my list of everything that came out this week. But once you see what it is, I’m sure most of you will understand. So without further ado, here is this week’s Pullbox!

1) IDW – Ghostbusters #1: Being nearly 20 years since they’ve had their own monthly, Ghostbusters #1 is the response to the huge popularity of inconsistently published one-shots and mini-series featuring the boys in gray by IDW. And now that it is here, this first issue does not disappoint with plenty of references that die-hard fans of the movies, cartoons, or video games will likely understand while still having them face off against some pretty pesky poltergeists. Opening with a dream sequence in which Ray Stantz is having a nightmare about previous adventures, which features a humorous cameo by the ghost of John Belushi that may or may not be hinting at a third movie as well as what could have been as he was originally supposed to play Peter Venkman before his unfortunate passing, this first issue hints at old problems still lurking out there in the shadows, while the Ghostbusters must concentrate on the here and now of other paranormal threats in and around Manhattan. All I can say is that if bustin’ makes you feel good, then this is a clear must have this week.

2) Marvel – New Avengers #16.1: With Fear Itself, Spider-Island, and several other large events going on in the Marvel universe, the long-term fallout of previous events like Norman Osborn’s reign as the world’s top cop have yet to be fully explored. Until now. After rotting on Ryker’s for some time, the backed-up legal system finally has gotten around to Norman Osborn’s trial for his crimes against humanity. Due to the nature of this case and the fact that Osborn’s H.A.M.M.E.R. organization still has cells out there, the Avengers have been called into escort Osborn to his day in court. But even with all the planning the Avengers had set up in terms of a security detail, the crafty Osborn still finds a way to elude them and sets up the Avengers for a world of trouble in the future. With long term ramifications for this Avengers team and a chance for Brian Michael Bendis to really let Spider-Man shine as Osborn is traditionally one of his villains, this looks to be the only book in the “.1” series that is more than just a one-shot adventure as it looks to set up at least the next few issues of the regular monthly series. Punctuated by great art from Neal Adams and any fan of this monthly up this point should pick up this “.1” as we look ahead to the future of the New Avengers.

3) Marvel – X-Men Legacy #256: As Rogue, Gambit, Frenzy, and Magneto try to rescue their comrades, Havoc, Polaris, and Rachel Summers from a space station that is in a deteriorating orbit and ready to crash into a star, their problems are confounded when Rogue loses the teleportation abilities she had temporarily acquired to get her team there. Although the middle of an arc, this is still a decent jumping off point because it reveals a new enemy and establishes new problems for the small band of X-Men it affects. This is also a great issue to pick up because finally, after being trapped on the outskirts of the galaxy, this arc, when resolved, will hopefully bring Havoc, Polaris, and Rachel Summers back into the fold of the main X-Men and end their galaxy gallivanting ways as these powerhouses have been ignored for too long after their war with Vulcan, Havoc and Cyclops’ third and forgotten brother. X-Men Legacy is just another book in the long line of X-books to have been released in past months that has me saying that anything involving the X-Men right now is probably the best thing going in comics right now.

4) DC – Teen Titans #1: Yet another book in DC’s “New 52”, Teen Titans #1 has one of the more interesting dynamics we’ve seen in the new universe as it has characters who have been largely unaffected by the re-launch, like Tim Drake, a.k.a. Red Robin, now teaming up with some of his best friends like Wonder Girl, Superboy, and Kid Flash, that all act like they don’t know each other and have never worked together since they’ve all been re-imagined. It is moments like these that make me really question titles that revolve around teams when doing a re-launch because it loses a lot of the original flavor and changes the characters in ways that are not normally for the better. On the other hand, this book also brings back the men from N.O.W.H.E.R.E., a Grant Morrison original who only made several appearances on New Earth before being mostly forgotten about. Their purpose is to destroy all that is considered “unnatural” in the world, including many super-heroes and villains, and they have taken aim now at the team that will become the DCU’s new Teen Titans. Can the re-imagining of these once lesser villains as a bigger threat keep this new Teen Titans in my pullbox for long? Or will my disdain for the re-invented Wonder Girl, Kid Flash, Superboy, and others force me to give up on this comic? We’ll have to wait and see, but this first issue is worth picking up just incase.

5) DC – Green Lantern New Guardians #1: Unlike Teen Titans #1 and many of the other books in the DCU, Green Lantern New Guardians #1 spends a couple of pages re-telling Kyle Rayner’s story of how he became a Green Lantern, before throwing him right back into the action from where he left off when the re-launch happened. Patrolling Earth and the rest of Sector 2814, Kyle realizes something has gone terribly wrong when rings from other colors of the spectrum have left their original hosts and all flown to him. Now with the entire emotional spectrum looking to be represented by Kyle, other ringbearers from their respective spectrums are out for blood, as they don’t care why Kyle has those rings, only that they want them back. Although it takes place primarily on Earth, the comic still has that cosmos-exploring feel that makes the Green Lantern comics so exciting. With all the ringslinging that is due to take place in the coming months, I think this has been the most exciting Green Lantern comic so far in the “New 52” and is a must have for fans of the most junior member of Sector 2814’s Honor Lantern Guard.

New Avengers #12 Review

Originally Published: May 11, 2011, on Comicvine.com

Mockingbird continues to fight for her life in an operating room while a flashback of Nick Fury’s first Avengers in 1959 continues where they are in the process of hunting down the Red Skull.

The Good

The different art styles between Deodato and Chaykin really do a nice job of making a pointed difference between the two time periods this book takes place in, especially since this is the fourth issue in a row where they’ve been going back and forth with these flashbacks to Fury’s 1959 Avengers.

It was also great to see Hawkeye get mad again. When Hawkeye gets mad and he rushes headlong into a conflict, you tend to get some great action sequences and that has me looking forward to some issues down the road.

The Bad

The worst part about this issue is that we are now four issues in and we still haven’t the slightest idea what the point of these Nick Fury flashbacks are, especially since he doesn’t have anything to do right now with the current New Avengers.

On top of this, the flashbacks comprise most of the book, with only seven pages taking place in current times, two of those have Mockingbird on an emergency surgery table and Hawkeye vowing vengeance. At this point, if the Nick Fury flashbacks do not have some earth shattering reveal that saves Mockingbird when all is said and done, this could be the most drawn out waste of time way to kill a character and could be the most pointless story arc I’ve read in quite some time.

Then combine all this with the fact that we’ve seen this flashback story happen before a million times, just not with these characters. How many times has Captain America, Nick Fury, or some other patriot gone after the Red Skull for it simply to be a clone, a body double, or a robot? It’s not special now that Sabretooth has joined that crowd of not finding the real Skull.

The Verdict

I was really excited at first bouncing back and forth between flashbacks of Fury’s 1959 Avengers and the current New Avengers, especially when Mockingbird got shot. Lots of action coupled with a plot that was clearly laying the groundwork for something big for these characters. Four issues into this though and things have come to a grinding, mind-numbing halt and whatever originality we were hoping for seems to be getting thrown out the window.

At this point we’ve seen all the double crosses and triple crosses and the Red Skull Herrings and for it to drag on over four issues is becoming borderline tortuous and definitely tedious. If things don’t come to a head in the next issue with something unexpected, there is a good chance I’m kicking this from my pull box. Only pick up this issue of New Avengers if you have been reading it to this point, otherwise steer clear.

1.5/5 Stars