‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ Gives Us an Earth Ending First Look

FOX Studios must have had a brilliant plan up there sleeves all along for marketing X-Men: Apocalypse. At San Diego Comic Con, they released the first red band trailer to extremely excited audiences and the whole thing really amped up the buzz around the film. Alas, FOX says that footage will remain for SDCC audiences only, so unless you saw the pirated footage that was leaked on the internet (which you shouldn’t have, because that’s stealing, but if you did OH MY GOD THAT WAS AWESOME RIGHT?! Not that I’ve seen it or anything…) you may be out of luck.

However, FOX teamed up with Entertainment Weekly to give non-SDCC attending audiences a glimpse of the film to hopefully get them just as pumped. The new issue of EW will hit news stands on July 24, 2015 and will feature a full-length introduction to the film and several characters and their costumes. Psylocke (Olivia Munn), Apocalypse himself (Oscar Isaac) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) grace the cover, and on the inside spread we get glimpses of Quicksilver (Evan Peters), Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Professor X (James McAvoy), Moira McTaggert (Rose Byrne), Beast (Nick Hoult) as well as first looks at new comer mutants Jubilee (Lana Condor), Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee), amd Jean Grey (Sophie Turner).

You can look at the first photos here, and be sure to pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly when it comes out next week.

Still of Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) and Quicksilver (Evan Peters) in X-Men: Apocalypse. Photo courtesy of EW and property of Fox Studios
Still of Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) and Quicksilver (Evan Peters) in X-Men: Apocalypse. Photo courtesy of EW and property of Fox Studios
Still of Magneto (Michael Fassbender) in X-Men: Apocalypse. Photo courtesy of EW and property of Fox Studios
Still of Magneto (Michael Fassbender) in X-Men: Apocalypse. Photo courtesy of EW and property of Fox Studios
Still of Cyclops (Tye Sheridan) in X-Men Apocalypse. Photo courtesy of EW and property of Fox Studios
Still of Cyclops (Tye Sheridan) in X-Men Apocalypse. Photo courtesy of EW and property of Fox Studios
Photo of director Bryan Singer, Oscar Issac, Michael Fassbender and Alexandra Shipp on the set of X-Men: Apocalypse. Photo courtesy of EW and property of Fox Studios.
Photo of director Bryan Singer, Oscar Issac, Michael Fassbender and Alexandra Shipp on the set of X-Men: Apocalypse. Photo courtesy of EW and property of Fox Studios.
Still of Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) in X-Men" Apocalypse. Photo courtesy of EW and property of Fox Studios
Still of Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) in X-Men” Apocalypse. Photo courtesy of EW and property of Fox Studios
Still of Jubilee (Lana Condor) in X-Men: Apocalypse. Photo courtesy of EW and property of Fox Studios
Still of Jubilee (Lana Condor) in X-Men: Apocalypse. Photo courtesy of EW and property of Fox Studios
Still of Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Moira McTaggert (Rose Byrne), Professor Xavier (James McAvoy) and Beast (Nick Hoult) in X-Men: Apocalypse. Photo courtesy of EW and property of Fox Studios
Still of Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Moira McTaggert (Rose Byrne), Professor Xavier (James McAvoy) and Beast (Nick Hoult) in X-Men: Apocalypse. Photo courtesy of EW and property of Fox Studios
Still of Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee) in X-Men Apocalypse. Photo courtesy of EW and property of Fox Studios
Still of Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee) in X-Men Apocalypse.
Photo courtesy of EW and property of Fox Studios
Still of Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac), and Psylocke (Olivia Munn)  Photo courtesy of EW and property of Fox Studios
Still of Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac), and Psylocke (Olivia Munn)
Photo courtesy of EW and property of Fox Studios
Alexandra Shipp as Storm in X-Men: Apocalypse. Photo coutresy of EW and property of Fox Studios
Alexandra Shipp as Storm in X-Men: Apocalypse.
Photo coutresy of EW and property of Fox Studios
All images belong to FOX Studios and Entertainment Weekly. They are credited to Alan Markfield.
Source: EW and EW

 

An Interview with Artist Zak Kinsella

meet zak
Ink and watercolor #MeetTheArtist piece

Fresh from Denver Comic Con, we met up with Denver comic book artist Zak Kinsella about his work, what inspired him as a kid, his views on how Denver is changing, and what’s next for him. Artist and writer on books like Midspace,” King Maul, and Outré Veil,  Kinsella’s wit, expression and honesty is what draws readers to his work. He has also worked for the Westword and The New York Times and has some exciting news about where he might be headed next.

Hush Comics: What made you want to be an artist?

Zak Kinsella: I think it really popped into me in junior high. I was always drawing beforehand. My mom’s an artist… Mostly it was just getting back into comics when I was in junior high, like X-Men. That really popped for me. I thought, “I’m going to start drawing these things. These comic books.”

HC: Did you start with drawing those characters?

ZK: Yeah. I had been used to drawing before so drawing outside in the real world, like life drawing, [I thought] “well, let’s try drawing some muscly dudes.” And then I realized I love it.

HC: How did you get started doing that professionally?

ZK: I decided I wanted to. I started putting out my own books and before I was an illustrator— a pretty successful one, too— and I’m a pretty successful one right now, too, but you get to a point in the road where you think, “Man, illustration’s really cool and I’ve done cool work but it’s still not comic books.” They have this really weird grasp on you. They’re really the road less taken and they’re way more fun than drawing for Men’s Health or something like that or even New York Times, which I’ve done before. I mean, that’s big name stuff but it’s still not [as] fun [as] comics. I didn’t want to be one of those people that was stuck in what they hated doing.

HC: What about comics inspires you most? What about X-Men inspired you as a kid?

ZK: I moved around a lot as a kid, but we grew up in Texas and I don’t like football, I don’t play sports [except for] swim team… so that’s kind of like the outcast. If you’re not playing football, you’re not accepted. [Reading] the X-Men as a kid it was like, “These guys are always getting crapped on while they’re trying to do a good job at something.” And that was like, “I’m on the swim team!” “Oh, great job. You don’t play football. Let’s punch you…” A lot of those themes are repeated throughout the X-Men, plus, with those comics they’re exciting because they’re not like a lot of the other mainstream comics. They deal with a lot of progressive feminism and acceptance and love and stuff that’s just really cool while all at the same time [there’s] dudes in tights punching each other. It made progressive-ism accessible to a young man. It’s not your typical power struggle fantasy. It straddles those boundaries but if you look at their best character Storm. I mean, she was punk rock Storm.

HC: Is she your favorite character?

ZK: No, I was actually more of a Nightcrawler [fan] and more than anything else I was a Cyclops fan. Everyone’s like, “Okaaaay,” but I love that guy. He gets the job done. Everyone thinks he’s a tool but tools get the job done.

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Zak Kinsella at Denver Comic Con

HC: You seem to illustrate for a lot of projects in the science fiction vein. What do you like most about that genre that keeps you coming back for more?

ZK: It’s what I grew up on. X-Files was a big thing for me, but also growing up as a kid I used to read these things called, Time Life’s Mysteries of the Unknown. They were just these dumb books about the outer limits. Twilight Zone was a big thing [for me and so was] In Search Of with Leonard Nimoy. All those things and then, a healthy dose of British science fiction on PBS. I lot of these things came from my mom, honestly. We’d watch Doctor Who thirty years before anyone followed it. [We thought,] “Oh, Doctor Who sounds pretty cool.” [I also liked] the obvious stuff like Star Wars. A lot of that stuff is influential. Science Fiction does such a great job of critiquing humanity while being like, “Hey, this takes places with robots in outer space.” It’s just cool.

I feel like [in my own work] I feel like I have much more of a creative license. I can make stuff up. “I have no idea what this planet would look like. Let’s just make it up. What the hell.” I also find space to be a very romantic backdrop. Like in The Final Frontier, there is so much space unexplored. You can’t even believe what we’re going to run into out there and that leaves infinite possibilities for storytelling.

HC: What’s it like working with a comic book writer? Can you explain that collaborative dynamic?

ZK: I’ve had a couple of good experiences and a couple of bad experiences. Sometimes their excitement can bleed into anxiousness and then they’re always bugging you…

HC: Kind of feels like they’re nagging you?

ZK: Yeah. I mean, it’s exciting and it’s something we’re both stoked to work on together, but I have to balance the book I’m working on right now with freelance work… But it has to be a collaboration or that sort of thing just sort of starts to grow like a cancer in a friendship and kills it. I had a really trying experience with that last year. I had to walk off a book, and I have no regrets about that. It was just too much for me.

HC: It’s a lot to deal with. You both are sort of demanding on each other.

ZK: Well, yeah because you want it to be the best and put your best foot forward, otherwise what’s the point? But, you have to set boundaries. I’ve left a couple of books like that where I’ve said, “Look, this isn’t working unless we figure this stuff out. We gotta put our big boy pants on and deal with this.” I generally like working with writers, but I’ve also come to realize that I’m pretty good at writing myself, so that’s why I’ve started branching out. I wouldn’t not recommend [working with a writer.] “Never work with a writer,” that’s dumb!

HC: What’s your favorite type of collaboration? What dynamic do you prefer?

ZK: Last year when I worked on King Maul I worked with a guy who used to be an editor for Marvel and it was a great experience because he knew when to lay off and when to put the pressure on… Someone who knows what they want to do and is free to let me experiment a little and find my own voice in the mix [is what I prefer] because I find that if it starts off as collaboration and then ends up with me just getting told what to do then it’s like, “Well this kind of sucks. I don’t have control over how the story’s going to look. I’m not trying to change plot parts of it really, but I like to have some sort of input into where it’s going.” That’s really the best part of it. If you’re just going to be a gun for hire, then I don’t see the point. You need to have room to spread your wings. I’ve known a lot of guys who get in there and do big books for big companies and it just leaves them emotionally drained and they’re like, ‘I want time to do my own book but I can’t afford that,’ so they kind of paint themselves into a corner. But it’s changing, so that’s good.

HC: How do you feel like it’s changing?

ZK: I can kind of trace it to Image [Comics], really. All that Walking Dead money? They’re like, “Yeah, let’s put out some cool stuff and get some real big creators in to do it.”

HC: They do a lot of indie stuff.

ZK: [Laughing] But not like “sad-bastard-depressed indie.” To put it subtly. That kind of indie is good too, but… They’re like a television station that’s not like Syfy… You’ve got a variety of things.

HC: There’s an Image comic for everyone.

ZK: I’d say so.

HC: You say on your website that you sketch and ink by hand and color digitally. Why do you prefer that method?

ZK: I like to make a mess. No Wacom stylus is ever going to give me the same feeling that a brush does. Really with art, whatever tool works for you, good, you know? If you’re going to use Manga Studios to make your comics, cool. That’s awesome. It’s just not for me… I use a lead holder and that helps give me brush lines with my pencil. My pencils aren’t too tight anymore, either. The brushes do the heavy lifting. I would have to change my pencil style if I ever got an inker. I just love the feel of the brush. That’s honestly all it is. With coloring digitally, I’ve been using a lot of watercolor lately and ink wash and graphite. You can manipulate those in different ways to get different types of texture with your digital coloring as well… Digital also allows me a physical piece I can sell to someone afterwards and I do sell a pretty decent amount of work at conventions and online.

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HC: I love your “Disappearing Denver” piece. What struck you personally about Five Points that inspired you to draw that?

ZK: When I first moved there a couple of years ago it was still pretty grim and gritty, if I can relate it to comic book terminology. But the thing about that place is it had so much class. A lot of the buildings are just beautiful. It reminded me a living in the South.

HC: How so?

ZK: Just the architecture style and the fact that’s it’s not all white washed [but] now it’s becoming gentrified.

HC: I really hate a lot of modern architecture.

ZK: I do as well. I find it to be absolutely ugly, lego, Chipotle architecture with only mutual colors. I think a bigger part of it is people come in and they don’t respect the culture of the area. I chose that neighborhood because the rent wasn’t too expensive at the time and… I used to go to a lot of warehouse shows and Larimer Lounge shows. Monkey Mania was over there. That place was cool. I was so sick of being in Highlands Ranch or Littleton and the only person of color you’d see if mowing a lawn, you know? It’s like, “Dude this place f***ing sucks, man.”

Now…it’s just a breeding ground for violence with people coming out of the Rockies games drunk… My neighbor’s been there since 1942. His family has been in that house next door and some of the stories he has of the neighborhood changing over the last 60 years is just gonzo. So, you start to lose that sense of history and love and culture. That’s what brought it around for me. I just thought it was sad… And that’s the cool part about comics is that I can make a comic about that and have it speak as loud as anything else out there… Art should be a pipe bomb… A lot of people who complimented that strip said, “Wow, this is what’s going on. This is exactly what’s going on.”

HC: I read an article in Westword that mentioned your involvement with a comedy show called “Picture This.” Can you talk a little bit about that collaboration?

ZK: It was really cool. They’re a touring comedy troupe. They’ll do a set of standup comedians and have an artist pair up with each of them and they animate their set live. I did really quick sketches. I had the opportunity to work with Adam Cayton-Holland… I love standup. It’s awesome. I think comic book artists and comedians share some of the same— not saying great qualities but— we love this and it doesn’t pay a lot… but it’s what we’re going to do… A comedian has a totally different set of tools [than I do] and they have to be up in front of people doing it, which is…[ He shakes his head, his eyes wide with faux fear.] Nope, nope, nope…. Adam did like ten minutes of standup while I was drawing right behind him to kind of mimic that. We were rifting off each other. It was pretty cool. We have very similar senses of humor and tastes…

HC: Was that nerve-racking to be in front of people?

ZK: No, I was off in the corner. He would point out to me and he’d ask me [something] and I’d draw in response. It’s so cool because [Holland] has a TV show on True TV now… and he’s from here. It’s freaking awesome… That was a lot of fun. I can’t wait to do it again, actually. It was a little nerve-racking but at the same time it was pretty cool. I just worked at Rock Comic Con drawing live in front of crowds so that doesn’t bother me anymore. [It’s the] same thing with conventions. I’ll do commissions while talking to people. I have no problem drawing anywhere at any time anymore.

HC: Why do you think most of your audience is female?

ZK: I’m not afraid to talk to people without that judgmental tone, like “You haven’t read Superman #238 where he rides a robot?” Like, who cares?

HC: I feel like a lot of nerds try to play gatekeeper. Like, “shut up. There was a time when you didn’t know anything about this, that or the other thing.”

ZK: Right, and that’s the thing with gatekeepers… [There was] that kid who had [a] Doctor Strange thing who was saying, ‘Oh man! They’re making a Doctor Strange movie! Awesome!’ and the dealer kicked him out of his booth because he didn’t know anything. Like, what kind of a short sighted dipshit are you to say [that?] Instead, “Oh, you want to know more about him? I’ve got 40,000 books about Doctor Strange. Dip in on this, bro.” [He said something like,] “Ugh. Get out of my booth you unworthy maggot!”… If I was at that convention I would have gone and taken a dump in that guy’s booth. “F*** your elitism.” Right? I won’t deal with it.

Outre veil

HC: I’ve been told you have some exciting news. What’s next for you?

ZK: [He hesitates.]

HC: Are you not allowed to give away any big news yet?

ZK: I guess I can talk about my experiences with what I’m working on right now. I went to Emerald City Comic Con and Vertigo was giving out appointment times. They were like, “Hey, come pitch to us. We’re looking for new people,” basically. I got one by the end of the show and at the end of the show I went there and I pitched something that I’m working on right now called Outré Veil… and they liked it a lot so they gave me their card to follow up with them. For the last three months you can go through a workshop process with the pitch. Ends up Vertigo decided not to do Science Fiction. They were like, “We’re going to pass on this. However, we might want to use you as an artist here soon, and we’re open to more ideas from you.” So I’m working on another one with them right now. But I’ve got some buddies who want to do some books for me as well, too so I’m working on a pitch for another company right now and that one I definitely can’t talk about. That one’s pretty exciting. It’s going to be really cool.

I just want to get Outré Veil done and I’m working on a book about my uncle, too… I had never done comics [that are] autobiographical because I was like, “This is a bunch of sad sack of shit.” I respect it, but it’s not for me. And then I went through- it wasn’t a bad breakup but it was really tough because it kind of came out of nowhere. I was like, “This sucks.” So, I started going to Denver Drink and Draw and one of my buddies there was like, “Why don’t you make a comic out of this?” and it just came out of [that.] I love that group because we challenge each other. And it’s always an open environment. There’s no real shaming [or] judging… So I put out a short comic just trying to work out my feelings and it went over really well. If you think putting your artwork out there that’s about chimpanzees in space… it’s nothing compared to putting something out about someone you have a breakup with… It was a huge, huge thing to do. But when I put it out, I got a lot of, “Wow, this is awesome. What’s next?”

And then it just kind of hit me, “Man, I should make a book about [my uncle] Dan.” You’re just trying to suss out your feelings about things. Growing up, he had a lot of issues like ADHD and drug addiction, you know? And finally, as he was cleaning up his life- spoiler alert- he dies in a motorcycle accident. He died instantly, which was kind of nice. I always decided to do it in a sketchbook format. It’s tiny. I come here [to City ‘o City] and I work with Noah Van Sciver a lot. He’s been doing all his comics that size so I thought, ‘Why don’t I do them like that?’ It’s been really good.

HC: I feel like creative non-fiction affords a lot to both the author and the reader.

ZK: Yeah. I’ve been thinking of doing more personal ones not so much about death as well but dating right now is such a shit show with all the apps and being broken up with over text and stuff like that. Are you all just devolving? What’s going on? I’m trying to make it so it’s not whiney and awful.

HC: Honest but not “Woe is me!”

ZK: Right, because you read so many comics that are like that on the alternative press. It would be nice to have something that’s indicative of the times right now that someone can look at 50 or 40 years back and think “Alright. That’s how it was.” Separating the ego from the artist can be an uphill battle. It’s like reading a Hemingway novel. It can be like walking through mud, reading that guy’s prose. It’s just tough.

HC: A lot of literature romanticizes pain. A lot of authors don’t have a bullshit detector. That’s why I like stuff like The Fault in Our Stars or Juno. It talks about heavy stuff but it doesn’t romanticize it.

ZK: There’s nothing romantic about this. It just kind of sucks. How do you make this point of “this is hurting. This sucks,” but also to be optimistic? To be like, “Look, it’s not always like this,” and I’m having a lot of fun [drawing about pain] but holy shit, this can be draining. And that’s how comics are. This is tough, man.

You can find out more about Zak Kinsella and his work on his website, Facebook page, tumblr and DeviantArt page.

All art and photos belong to Zak Kinsella.

Top 10 Aspects of X-Men: The Animated Series We Love

In commemoration of the X-Men ’92 series hitting stands today, we’ve taken some time to share our Top 10 list of things we loved about the original animated series that inspired the book:

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1. Serious plot points and continuity among shows that had none.

X-Men: The Animated Series was one of the first shows to hold plot continutity for nearly the whole series. Due to production taking place in multiple studios, and some episodes being finished before others, in later seasons episodes were shown in the order they were finished instead of how they were written, but thankfully we have the power of DVD today, where everything fits together much better as one full story.

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2. The series is heavily inspired by the comics

This series covered almost every major X-Men event up to the time the series started, giving up 1/4 to almost half of a season to cover certain stories. This happened most heavily with The Phoenix Saga, but we also got to see Days of Future Past, The Phalanx Covenant, The Legacy Virus, and Episode 3 is an adaption of X-Men #1 where we first saw our heroes.

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3. The use of the most obscure characters of all X-Men and Marvel

This series had small camoes, from big names like Spider-Man and War Machine, and then a whole episode of Wolverine and Captain America, but Beast was seen wearing a Howard the Duck shirt in an episode. Even some of the most obscure X-Men show up, like: Longshot, Domino, Shadow King and Alpha Flight!

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4. Tackling heavy subjects while not shoving them into your face constantly

This series covered a lot of heavy topics – not just for kids, but adults, too. There was an episode focused on religion that showed viewers conflicting views of both belief and non-belief. There were multiple episodes based on duty, friendship, family, social, economic and even heavy political issues. Then there’s the one issue we are humans still haven’t gotten the hang of – equality.

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5. Plot points started from episode 1 end in episode 76

This stems from the character of Morph “dying” in the first few episodes, only to show up later, resurrected by Mr. Sinister as his evil henchman. He later rejoins the X-Men, but after realizing that he is affected by some crippling PSTD, leaves the team to be alone. His reappearance near the end of the whole series as a current student of Xavier’s School leaves Morph fans from episode one pleasantly pleased at his story by the end, despite seeing him seemingly die before we even got to a second episode.

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6. The complete Phoenix Saga is 9 episodes long – over 10% of the whole series!

The Phoenix Saga is a massive story within X-Men lore and quite possibly the most iconic. The amount of episodes definitely is smaller than the amount of comic issues, but this is the closet adaptation we will ever get of this story in any cinematic form… we all saw how they worked it into the movies; it didn’t end up well.

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7. Delving into Professor X and Magneto’s friendship.

Professor X and Magneto get some side stories together that really give you the impression that these two revolutionaries are friends, first and foremost; even the darkest forces could not split up the best of friends. That is not to say Magneto is not a antagonistic adversary for most of the series, but seeing how close these two are gave kids the first glimpse into that anyone can be a good person, even the maddest of men.

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8. Not afraid to make viewers dislike our heroes and give them faults.

The series made sure our heroes were not one-dimensional, exploring the wrong had done in the past. From delving into Wolverine killing Lady Deathstrike’s father, Gambit and his thief past, Rogue conflicting with curing herself, Angel’s fall to the dark side (thanks to Apocalypse) where he becomes Archangel; many others have their faults as well. It was great for kids to see that even with mistakes and wrong doings, anyone can be a hero.

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9. One could almost say X-Men: The Last Stand is loosely X-Men: The Animated Series, the movie.

The third film of the X-Men franchise heavily explores The Phoenix Saga, a sizable part of this series, but this series also was the first time we saw the mutant cure as a viable option. Despite being very different (Rogue wanting the cure? Really), we got to see Leech a lot, who was the catalyst for the cure in the film. So much of the important plots for X-Men: The Last Stand are what made this series great. Too bad those amazing stories didn’t keep the film from sucking.

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10. A kid’s show filled with diversity and meaning.

Science-Fiction and fantasy are usually well-known for diversity, but the X-Men are the team in comics and cinema that pioneered it. Storm, who is second in command after Cyclops in most incarnations, was one of the first main members of any team to be African-American, let alone a female African American. The X-Men saw people of all backgrounds across the entire United States; not only this, but with the addition of Colossus, Nightcrawler, Banshee, Shadow King, Silver Samurai, and many more, fans got to see all parts of the world represented in a mere 47 episodes. While some of these characters may be evil, this series never strayed from this fact: we are all equal no matter what our differences. If that isn’t the best message for an action cartoon, I don’t know what is.

Bonus: The X-Men Theme Song

Of all the classic TV show theme songs to make it out of the 90’s, there are few that have had the longevity of the X-Men series. If ringtone’s were a thing in 1992, this jam would have set the record. It’s probably stuck in your head right now, isn’t it? Diddly-diddly-DOO-do-do-do, Diddly-diddly-DOO-do-do-doon, DEE doon- Doot-DO. Or something like that… Anyway, you can thank Ron Wasserman for that. Wasserman is also responsible for the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers‘ theme, and a ton of other Power RangersDragon Ball Z, and VR Troopers stuff. If you had two ears connected to a brain in the 90’s, you know his work.

Graphic Novel Review – Old Man Logan

Original Release Date: 2008-2009
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Characters: Wolverine, Hawkeye, Hulk, Red Skull
Writer: Mark Millar (Kick-Ass, Civil War, Ultimate Fantastic Four, Marvel Knights: Spider-Man)
Art: Steve McNiven (Death of Wolverine, Civil War, Meridan)

Scorecard (Each category ranked on a 10-point scale)

Storyline – 9
Art – 9
Captivity and Length – 8
Identity – 8
Use of Medium – 9
Depth – 8
Fluidity – 9
Intrigue/Originality – 10
The Little Things – 9
Overall Awesomeness – 9

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With the multitude of Marvel and DC events that happen each year, I have found it is actually quite rare that a story comes along like Old Man Logan that completely encompasses nearly everything I love about superhero comics. This series was just one short story among the long-running Wolverine Volume 3 comics, but it was by far the most iconic arc of its run – so much so, it got a second volume for the recent Secret Wars event. Both volumes have very iconic writers helming the stories, with the original volume being written by Mark Millar of Kick-Ass fame. This story follows an old Wolverine who seemingly has not SNIKT’ed his claws in over 50 years, and now lives on a farm with a wife and kids. Lucky for us, the story does not follow a domesticated Logan. Despite Wolverine vowing to not fight for most of the novel, the action within is intense; it’s one of the more violent Marvel stories in recent years. It also happens to be one of my favorite graphic novels of all time – and definitely my favorite Wolverine story ever.

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Mark Millar’s story for Old Man Logan is a very heavy undertaking; it’s dark, violent, and extremely original with an outstanding identity that shines above a lot of Wolverine’s past, present, future – even his death, which we saw not long ago, was illustrated by the same artist as this series, Steve McNiven. This may have been why I enjoyed Death of Wolverine much more than most readers. For most of the book, McNiven’s art is easy on the eye and has such intense detail, it feels more like a film than a comic. So with the story and the art both being outstanding, the only thing to dislike about this series is how horrible the villains are in it, and there are a lot.

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This series sees Logan and Hawkeye traversing the United States with a mystery package and along the way they encounter almost every villain who has gained control of the United States. This is all thanks to one night where every villain teamed up and wiped out almost every hero, leaving the world hopeless and free for the taking, leading to villains killing villains for control. It’s not a future anyone wants to be in, let alone Logan, who has let his Wolverine lay dead in the past. Along this journey, we see Logan continually struggle with whether fighting is good or not, ultimately leading him to the realization of who he is and, despite being the best at something not very nice, it is needed and the world is a much better place with Wolverine around.

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When you learn exactly why Logan has not SNIKT’ed his claws in over fifty years, your hearts drops and gives you a very empty feeling inside. There’s a certain two-page spread that’s enough to make any Wolverine or X-Men fan have nightmares for years. This bombshell was one that instantly made you realize what was making Logan hesitate to pop those claws again, and why Logan seemingly killed off his Wolverine persona.

5

When you learn this, you almost don’t want to see Logan be the Wolverine again and hope they can avoid conflict at all costs, but along the way, you learn that Hawkeye’s daughter has been kidnapped by Kingpin. They take a detour from their trip to Washington D.C. to save his daughter, who has taken up the mantel of Spider-Girl. Logan reached a point where he must enter the fight during this interaction as when they arrive, and break in to save Spider-Girl.

ddd

After a very long trip, Some Moloids, a Venom T-Rex (Seriously, it is terrifying!), and a chance encounter with Emma Frost who has married Doctor Doom in an attempt to preserve some mutants. Hawkeye and Logan seem to reach their destination with their cargo. This cargo, which we are led to believe is drugs this whole time, is actually vials of super soldier serum. Things don’t go according to plan and Logan ends up being riddled with bullets.

6

The bodies are then delivered to the president who happen to be Red Skull, and before anyone with a brain realizes Logan can heal he shoots up out of his body bag and takes out the guards and is left there with Red Skull in his trophy room of hero relics. Logan get punched a couple times until he gets knocked into the trophy case and right by Captain America’s old shield. The battle doesn’t last very long, but Logan’s escape from the facility is amazing. With no exit in sight, he dons parts of Iron Man’s armor blows the place to shit, grabs a suitcase of money and swiftly flies home to deliver the rent to the hulks, only to find the Hulks got there first and killed his whole family… SNIKT!

7

Now we get to the grand bloody affair, and as Wolverine heads to confront his old frenemy, he takes out just about everything green along the way. After some quick montages of Hulks losing limbs and lives, Wolverine finally reaches the Hulk and as old curmudgeonly Bruce Banner comes out, he smacks Wolverine in the face. Wolverine returns that with a stab to the gut, but sadly Hulk shows up thanks to the stab and actually grabs and eats Wolverine in a couple huge bites. With Wolverine seemingly dead, the last remaining Hulk family member shows up just in time to make Hulk realize what everyone seems to forget in this series – Wolverine has a healing factor! This leads to Hulk having his spine explode and just as fast as Bullwinkle can pull a rabbit out of a hat, Wolverine shows up. After this Wolverine realizes there is a baby and the last thing one of the Hulk’s see is Logan grabbing this baby and taking off to burry his own family and raise this hulk as his own.

8

This mini-series reached into some dark places I never wanted to know about but am so glad I did;  it can make even the most die-hard Hulk fan kind of hate the green guy. The story is mind-blowing on every page and further cements Mark Millar’s validity in the comic book world. This novel is a must-read for everybody who calls themselves a comic book reader. The only downside I saw in the story is that reading it in collected form made the jumps in time from issue to issue seem much more noticeable than reading them in single-issue format. I am glad I got to also experience this series month to month off a fluke of buying a cheap comic at a gas station on a road trip. Thanks to that stop, I experienced one of the best stories Marvel has delivered in recent years and one that seems to be a major factor in the future of Marvel with recent reveals of the future and Old Man Logan #2 coming out this Wednesday. So dust off your walkers, color you hair if you don’t like the gray, and sharpen your claws and dig into this novel so you can make sure and be in the loop for events now and post Secret Wars.

Diggin’ Through the Crates: Lupe Fiasco “Mural”

Song: “Mural”

Artist: Lupe Fiasco

Album: Tetsuo & Youth

Lyric: “I run the Gambit like I’m throwing cards/From popular mechanics to overdosing hearts/Paint cold pictures like Nova Scotia landscapes/Nerd game make Mandelbrot sets when we handshake”

Character Reference/Meaning:

“Digging Through the Crates” is finally back! What better way to ring in the return of “DTC” with a track off Lupe Fiasco’s new album, Tetsuo & Youth. Through the years, Lupe Fiasco has earned a reputation as a complex wordsmith, a conscious rapper who isn’t afraid to speak what’s on his mind, and above all, a BIG FAT NERD. This is not Lupe’s first time getting covered in DTC (See “Lightwork” and “Lupe Back”), and it will definitely not be his last. From Tetsuo‘s Metal Gear Solid (“Adoration of the Magi”) and Breaking Bad (“Deliver”) lines to the numerous anime references throughout his career, Lupe is well-versed at all things geek. The quotable we are focusing on today is this gem from the album opener “Mural,” referring to Marvel’s Gambit.

Gifted with the ability to transfer kinetic energy to physical objects, Remy LaBeau was created by Chris Claremont and Jim Lee during their early 90’s run on X-Men. Gambit aligns himself with the good guys, but he isn’t necessarily referred to as a “good guy.” Remy’s past is a murky one; raised by a roaming band of thieves, he never knew any life but the streets, and robbing to survive was never a strange concept to him. He became notoriously good at thieving, fighting and cheating – I mean, it’s no coincidence that his arsenal of choice includes playing cards. However, Gambit’s “gift,” his mutant powers, kept him from fitting in with the group of criminals which were the closest thing to a family. If they were to find out, they would reject him – think he was a freak and would not understand his unique skill-set, or how it could benefit the Thieves’ Guild.

His eventual fall from grace in the group came in the form of a betrayal in the name of doing the right thing (Weapon X: First Class 2008), where he refused to give Nathaniel Essex (Mr. Sinister in disguise) old diaries and logs from the Weapon X program, he destroyed the documents to keep them out of dangerous hands. Gambit’s good will would continue to outweigh his past life of crime with altruistic acts like rescuing a young pre-Storm Ororo from The Shadow King (Uncanny X-Men, 1990). After joining the X-Men, his charm and hard work were enough to convince most of the team that he was on the right side, but hatin’ ass haters like Wolverine continued to ride him twice as hard as everyone else because he didn’t trust that Gambit was telling the truth about his past.

If that sounds familiar, that’s because it is. Every kid from the inner-city is threatened with the same treatment that Gambit got when joining the X-Men. In order for the kids in this environment to use their natural “gifts” to their full potential, whether they be intellectual or physical, there’s usually an inevitable separation from home that happens. For many, this could mean going to a better school or moving to a new city for a job; no matter the case, keeping true to yourself can become exponentially harder when those around you judge you for who you used to be. Even worse is trying to explain to those you called family that you don’t belong with them anymore. At the end of the day, joining the X-Men is a better life choice than the Thieves’ Guild, but that didn’t make it any easier for Remy to turn his back on them.

 

Comic Book Reviews 10-29-14

Review Scale:

The mythical A+: Classic comic book material. Belongs next to your copy of The Notebook and The Joy of Cooking.

A: Would definitely recommend to all comic book readers. Even more so to fans of the genre or characters

B: Enjoyable read. Fans of the genre or characters will especially like.

C: Non-essential read. Can be enjoyable for fans of the genre or characters, but likely for only one or two events in the books.

D: Unenjoyable book. Read at your own risk. Might find satisfaction if major flaws are overlooked.

F: Please don’t buy this book. Donate your money to a local comic book writer’s workshop instead to inspire future generations to write something better than this trash.

 

Pick of the Week:

black science 10 potw

Black Science #10 – A

What’s cooler than a laser beam spitting, flying hippo-dragon cruising into the horizon of multiple setting suns against the backdrop of the most geologically unfathomable mountain range you’ve ever seen?!  If you somehow have an answer for that, you sure as Hell better tell me in the comments section below, because I can’t think of anything!  Thanks again Matteo Scalera for making love to my eyes.  The events in Black Science are building up to something dimension shattering – literally.  Though it appears the formula is repeating itself, I’ve got a feeling that Remender is just leading us on.  I wouldn’t be surprised if in the Dimensionauts’ next jump this crazy adventure gets turned up another notch.  If nothing else, we’ll at least get to see the laser-ninja shaman in action again! – Taylor

Other Reviews: 

Dark Horse:

Alien: Fire & Stone #2 – B

I’m surprised.  The Fire & Stone storyline is already 6 issues deep and in each new release the plot deepens and new elements continue to pop up.  Each issue has left me on the edge of my seat and slack jawed.  I said it last time and I’ll say it this time:  The Fire & Stone story is possibly the best interwoven multi-titled comic arch I’ve ever read.  Each story element is solid in delivery.  The characters are engaging, the intrigue and creepy factor are out of this world, there are twists galore, and… just… everything is great!  There is plenty of this story left to tell and so many questions left to answer.  It makes me so happy to know that this thrill ride isn’t even halfway over. – Taylor

DC/Vertigo:

Earth 2: World’s End #4 – B-

This issue finally kind of settled down and focused on two groups of heroes, giving little time to what else is going on. I appreciated this, as this series was starting to get a bit jumbled. We’re introduced to a new character and get to see Apokolips and his crew. I still have no idea why we’re getting Dick Grayson’s story as nothing really seems to be happening there. One thing I have learned in the last week is that the World’s End story is going to have huge implications for the Futures End story happening on normal Earth. I know, I know, I probably should have known this, but, I didn’t…this also explains a lot about why it has been so spastic until now. That being said, this series is definitely more enjoyable than most Futures End stories and hopefully it will bring something fresh to what has become very stale. – Cody

Wonder Woman #35 – C-

The epic finale of Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang’s Wonder Woman 35-issue arc is the least epic finale that I could have hoped for. Over the past three years, Wonder Woman has rewrote Diana’s lore as a bastard child of Zeus himself. She has transformed into the Goddess of War, slugged it out with the other gods and faced off with Zeus’ First Born. So it’s extremely disappointed that such a well-told and carefully-crafted could come to such a screeching halt. It’s hastily wrapped up and the overall message is convoluted with just a few pages in this issue. It in no ways taints my memory of the 34 issues that preceded it, but I’m not heart-broken that we get an all new creative team starting next month. – Sherif

Sinestro #6 – D

On its own, this month’s issue of Sinestro is pretty good.  Sinestro and his fear mongering Corps. are still ruthless and very entertaining to watch in battle.  The pencil and ink-work is still on point.  Sinestro is still crazy powerful and super scary.  The thing that killed it for me this month is the thing I dislike most about comic books – abrupt and total change in plot.  I see this more often with the major publishers and with superhero characters.  Story lines from other comic books work their way into “related” titles and (for me) it only serves as a major buzz kill and disappointment.  What happened to Sinestro’s frozen brethren?  Who is this lamely named warrior Goddess and where did she come from?  Is Hal Jordan still pouting on that rock after getting his ass handed to him?  I was really feeling Sinestro thus far, but I have hard time forgiving such grandiose inconsistencies. – Taylor

IDW Comics:

Cartoon Network Super Secret Crisis War #5 – B+

This series has continued to amaze me every week in how well they mix these character together and have them work so well. This week we see things finally moving forward for the good guys as the bad guys are not getting along and it seems to be breaking them apart. They are about to blow up one of the characters worlds which isn’t revealed until the end, but will the heroes be able to save this earth and all the other universes earths? Will any bad guys actually help the heroes? Well, in great Saturday morning cartoon fashion, we wont find out until the exciting conclusion next month but we get an idea of what may happen. This series is filled with nostalgia and nerdy humor for those who watched any of these shows and offers us more material from franchises we loved which we felt we may never see again. – Jacob

Image Comics:

Saga #24 – A-

(A) In all my years, I don’t think I have ever heard the phrase “stick it in my spinneret.” Saga continues to push the boundaries and introduce new and fantastical elements to an already complex and multi-faceted story. There has not been one moment where I’ve said to myself, “This is just like…” Dream team Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples introduce several new characters in this issue, as well as reacquaint us with several more, reminding us just how deep this story can be. Saga is a one-of-a-kind adventure that will have you laughing, gasping and losing yourself in, issue after issue. – Sherif

(B) Flip to page 17 of this month’s issue of Saga… Got that image burned into your brain?  Good!  Let this now everlasting burn be your eternal reminder of how great this series is.  Contemporary media based entertainment nowadays much too frequently lacks originality and genuine creativity.  Stepping outside the realm of comic books for just a second, think of the last 3 movies you went to see.  I’m willing to bet my Saga collection that at least one of those movies was a sequel, remake, or a “based-on” work.  Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples are the antithesis to this notion.  The story these two creative geniuses have put together rival any story (comic book or otherwise) I’ve experienced in the last 3 years – maybe more.  I can’t urge strongly enough to those who haven’t been following this series the pure enjoyment and gratification waiting for you in Saga.  If you appreciate originality as much as I do, then I command you to read Saga! – Taylor

Rasputin #1 – B

The use of red wine though the first panels is captivating and manipulates the eye to only look at what it wants you to look at. Red, overall, is used through the book to highlight certain moments in different way. Always, in one way or another a life force, the imagery holds fast. The is stark dialogue ramps up the emotional weight of the story. The images are rather jarring and have an intense punch to the gut. Much of the dialogue in the bubbles are replaced with images, such as, a skull in the dialogue bubble instead of words. The effect is haunting. I have always been utterly fascinated by Rasputin and glad someone is taking a crack at his story. If you like the occult and Rasputin like me, you’ll enjoy this book. – Jené

Roche Limit #2 – B

I love how this story goes back and forth between the scientist who set up this new world and the development of the story. Its one part existential crises, one part murder mystery. Cosmic and myopic in the same breath. And yet, both stories are the same and play off one another a sort of cosmic tapestry where all actions and reaction interplay with one another. One person story affects the larger level of the reality. I dig. Also, it’s just pretty, I get lost in the artwork still sometimes forsaking the story. Little less annoyed with the logistics of the story compared to the last book. It’s rounding out and I’m pulled in such a way I wish I had several books to binge read instead of the slow serial reveal. – Jené

Cutter #4 – F

Well, the Cutter miniseries has come to end and may I just say, thank god for that – what a cliché, unoriginal and overall unwelcome storyline. The conclusion in issue #4 offered literally nothing of interest and I kind of hate myself for reading it. What I’m sure was intended to be a shocking ending is extremely played out and I can think of at least three things off the top of my head that offer the same twist of a family member out for revenge for their victimized loved one (Prom Night, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, basically every movie…) I feel bad being so harsh, but honestly the Cutter series felt way too drawn out (in only four issues, mind you), completely unoriginal and frankly boring. The characters were weak and easily forgettable and the writing felt phoned in. I’m not sure writers Robert Napton and Seamus Kevin Fahey even gave a shit what happened by the end of it. As a reader, I sure didn’t. Cutter felt lazy and like it was written by people that know nothing about horror and the conclusion of the story only confirmed that for me. Oh, and what I can only assume was supposed to be a “deep” final panel can kiss my ass. I get it, the cycle continues as long as there are people who are too weak to stand up for what’s right. Your social commentary isn’t scary and it only makes me hate you more. Overall, Cutter was worth avoiding, and a huge disappointment. – Keriann

Marvel:

Death of Wolverine: Deadpool & Captain America #1 – A-

Personally a Deadpool and Captain America team-up sounds wonderful, but then you add that it is the old Steve Rogers and it makes for the best thing to come out of the Death of Wolverine storyline and off shoots yet. In this we see Deadpool and Steve Rogers teaming up to collect any DNA of Logan/Wolverine so that nobody can clone him or use it for evil purposes. Although the underlying story is about this we actually get quite a good character study of both Deadpool and Captain America in this, showcasing sides of them only Wolverine had seen and helped them with. The ending of it had me a bit worried as to what will happen next, as I am sure any reader will understand and don’t want to give too much away, but I have a feeling it will all work itself out. Although the typical Deadpool humor is still there (seeing Steve Rogers respond to each joke Deadpool makes on whether he got the reference or not was quite funny) but we get a more drama heavy book here but with that we get a story that finally offers us something worthwhile in this never-ending Death of Wolverine saga. – Jacob

Death of Wolverine: The Logan Legacy #3 – C-

This week The Logan Legacy covers Sabretooth and his story about Wolverine, and oh, what a completely messed up story it is. Not much has come from the Death of Wolverine event that has been outstanding, even though I have enjoyed it all, but this does not change that as even though it is a entertaining story, it is one that ultimately seemed way off course and mostly just an avenue to show Sabretooth killing lots of people. This issue definitely gives you an idea in how fucked up Sabretooth really is as we see what he did right after Wolverines death and it was not very nice at all. The next issue is going to cover Lady Deathstrike and I have always felt she was one of Wolverine’s best villains, so hopefully we can get a worthwhile story from her and not be a rather unmeaningful story like the last two have been. – Jacob

Deathlok #1 – C-

As first issues goes, this book really isn’t all that impressive or captivating. Hays is living a double live as a secret operative and a single father. That was all that was really established in this book besides a lot of fighting bad guys that seem more like civilian casualties. Deathlok is being used to some nefarious ends he’s unaware of, or so it appears. Everyone needs some fluff in their life, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. Still, I am curious about how the story will play out and the relationship between him and his daughter. At the moment the story is more action plot than character development. – Jené

All-New X-Men #33 – D

Between DC and Marvel, there is just too much “alternate universe” crap going on. Here, some mysterious all-powerful mutant girl got flustered, sneezed, and sent everybody to a different universe. Okay, where are the hidden cameras? Joke’s over guys… While the prospect of these guys ending up in different universes is intriguing, and the humor is on-point as per usual, I just can’t see this storyline being unique enough to wade through the whole thing for. Each issue keeps getting shorter, but it doesn’t help me stay interested. Best to just wait for this arc to end before jumping on the bandwagon. – Sherif

Axis: Revolutions #1 – F

I’m sorry folks, but this book did absolutely nothing for me. The first half was just some morality story as told by Spider-Man (ugh…) and the rest featured Doctor Strange (UGH….); all of the magic talk made him sound ridiculous and reminded me of Ron Burgundy on more than one occasion. Save your time! – Cody

 

Oni Press:

Ciudad #1 – D

What do you get when you take Denzel Washington from Man On Fire and Russell Crowe from Proof Of Life, mix them together and throw the character into the chaos of the drug-infested streets of modern day Mexico? Ciudad is what you get! Just in case the previously listed movies draw an involuntary “WTF?” from your lips, Ciudad’s main character is an extractor. A man with James Bond-like skills paid to return the kidnapped to freedom from those wicked and evil enough to attempt to ransom them off. Are you salivating yet? I wasn’t but, different strokes for different folks, right?! The first thing that grabbed me when I opened Ciudad was the art, which is, sad to say, downright poor. From it’s quality to it’s color (Ciudad is completely black and white) it’s leaves you with that lackluster feeling that only bad CGI in a B movie can engender. This is an issue that could have really benefited from color, and that’s not to say that there aren’t some panels that are breath taking (cause a few are magnificent), but the art as a whole takes away from the book. There’s nearly no character development, and what little there is leaves you wanting. Like a twinkie without the cream you’re wondering, where’s the filling? I will say, the action is well done. The language used is very immersive and the action keeps you engaged with brutal yet instinctive violence. It’s just not enough. Ciudad reminds me of Steven Segal. There’s not a lot of substance, and it’s not much to look at, but it can kick some ass from time to time. So open an issue if you’re feeling froggy but like the crime congested streets in Ciudad, enter at your own risk. – Zach

 

Funniest Panel:

Death of Wolverine: Deadpool & Captain America #1 funny panel
Death of Wolverine: Deadpool & Captain America #1

 

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

Wonder Woman #35 Awesome panel
Wonder Woman #35

 

That about wraps it up for our reviews this week! Look for next week’s previews coming soon. Any comic books you didn’t see reviewed that you want reviewed? Any grades you didn’t agree on? Let us know in the comments!

All images taken from ComiXology app and the credit for them goes to the respective publishers; thanks to IDW Comics, image Comics, Dark Horse, Boom! Studios, Oni Press, Dynamite Entertainment, DC and Marvel for putting out great books.

Comic Book Reviews 09-17-14

Review Scale:

The mythical A+: Classic comic book material. Belongs next to your copy of The Notebook and The Joy of Cooking.

A: Would definitely recommend to all comic book readers. Even more so to fans of the genre or characters

B: Enjoyable read. Fans of the genre or characters will especially like.

C: Non-essential read. Can be enjoyable for fans of the genre or characters, but likely for only one or two events in the books.

D: Unenjoyable book. Read at your own risk. Might find satisfaction if major flaws are overlooked.

F: Please don’t buy this book. Donate your money to a local comic book writer’s workshop instead to inspire future generations to write something better than this trash.

 

Pick of the Week:

shutter POTW 9.17

Shutter #6 – A

As each issue of Shutter draws to a close, I find myself more and more attached to the title. While most books I’m reading have the tendency to flounder around, biding time until the next “mega-arc” or “crossover event,” this Image title has a succinct story to tell, and spoon-feeds the events out accordingly so that you always stay hungry. Shutter has been an instant classic since the first issue came out in April, and this issue is no exception. The grimm and ludicrous story could not be complemented any better than by the gorgeous artwork of Leila del Duca. This issue, marking end of the first arc, left me with my jaw wide open. We’ll have to wait until December to see what the heck is going on, but as long as Joe Keatinge and Leila del Duca are back on duty, it will be worth the wait. – Sherif

Other Reviews: 

DC/Vertigo:

Batman Eternal #24 – B+

I’m not sure if the conglomerate of writers are finally learning from their mistakes or if they just got lucky here, but this week’s Eternal is all about Stephanie Brown AKA The Spoiler and her mission to take down her father, The Cluemaster. Cluemaster is a scumbag, set out to kill his own daughter for overhearing something incriminating during his super-villain poker game that they were having in the freaking kitchen. What a novice! There are some more obscure villains to enter the picture, but everything is cohesive and the story actually comes to a logical conclusion. Great read this week! – Sherif

Batman and Robin: Futures End #1 – C+

In the midst of all that’s going on in Batman and Robin, this spin-off takes a whole new approach to the future of the Dark Knight and the Boy Wonder. Batman is look very grisly, not unlike Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, and Robin is a black man with pulled back dreads, only known by his codename: Master Duke. The only logical choice for Robin in my mind is Luke Fox, the current day Batwing (he was never seen in costume as Batwing in the Batwing: Futures End book). Whoever it was, he seems to break down Batman’s trust barriers with much more ease than in the past, and the story lacks the dynamics I wanted to see in a book with a brand new Robin, but it was still fun to see Batman and Robin beat the crap out of Heretic. – Sherif

Teen Titans: Futures End #1 – C

After just relaunching two issues ago, the Futures End one-shot for Teen Titans is an easy spot to pick up for new readers. However, that doesn’t mean that any of it will make sense, but if superhero teams are your thing, this could be enjoyable. Five years down the road, the Teen Titans we know know are dead – a recurring theme among the Futures End books. There’s really nothing special about the team as a whole since most members are some version of the current line-up, and the inclusion of Heretic (Damian’s clone who murdered Robin a couple years ago) is eyebrow-raising to say the least. – Sherif

The New 52 – Futures End #20 – C

The twisted time-traveling travesty yet continues. This series now marks the longest ongoing New 52 series I’ve ever read. It’s been interesting experiencing a story with so… much… content. That being said, this 20th installment seems to finally be pointing in some direction. The downfall thus far with the story has been the overwhelming cast of characters and their seemingly unrelated journeys. To an extent, I still can’t figure out how everything fits together, but it’s starting to come together. Having little experience in the DC realm, it’s been fun to get to know some characters better. I’ve pick favorites and I’m always anxious to see certain characters. I’m too committed to the story to quit on now. I just hope the puzzle pieces start fitting together soon. – Taylor

Green Lantern – New Guardians: Futures End #1 – C-

This was rather confusing as many of the Futures End can be. This one doesn’t deal with the issues we’ve seen in the Earth-bound Futures Ends, but it does take place during the same time. I was most impressed by Brazilian penciler Diogenes Neves’ art in this issue. I really enjoyed the aliens and how the events at the end looked. It’s unfortunate though, because I’ve been enjoying the Futures End stories a lot, but, this week I didn’t read any that were that great. However, it is a massive event, so of course there will be some weak moments. – Cody

Wonder Woman: Futures End #1 – C-

I know this is a lame review, but this book is not horrible and it’s not great. I just don’t know I feel about it. There is something garish about the art. Choppy and boring. The dialogue is a mess and hard to follow alongside the art. I can’t tell if Harvel’s has a unique grammatical style or if it’s some editor’s oversight. Whatever the case, it’s annoying and not necessary. Also, do we really need tear Diana’s clothing to shreds? I mean come on. There is a better way to tell she been through battle then exposing all sorts of fleshy bits. On the other end, Hessia, Boudicca, and Nemesis have my attention, and I’m curious as to how the characters will fit in and continue to develop in the story. I’ll keep reading this, but I’m not sure if I’m happy about it. – Jené

Justice League: Futures End #2 – D

I very much enjoyed last week’s issue, but, part 2 just didn’t do it for me. There was a lot of talk for little to no resolution. Things just really moved fast and it didn’t seem like they were able to get everything they needed into the story. I’m not sure if this little story plays into any other Future’s End stories and maybe I’m just missing something, but, I found myself counting the pages left more than once… – Cody

 

IDW Comics:

Super Secret Crisis War: Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends #1 – B

I honestly haven’t watched much of Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, but had to read this issue with its tie it to the Super Secret Crisis War. As with the past one-shot issues and the main series I am sure the similarities to the show are wonderful as I have found this and each issue from SSCW a blast to read as anyone 90’s kid is going to love this event. The story was a bit weak compared to the other one-shots of Johnny Bravo and The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, but mostly because there isn’t anyone who wants to fight in this universe. I would say pick it up if you are a completionist like myself, but it can be missed and it wouldn’t change anything in the main story. – Jacob

TMNT: Turtles in Time #4 – C+

The last Turtles in Time issue and this one sees us in the future where Shredder rules the world. Definitely not good place to be and to make matters worse the turtles have just met one of their future selves. How will the Turtles get back to their own time? Where is Renet and her time machine? Will the Turtles help the future they may create? Well, all that is covered, as this is the last issue. The art in this series has been great and has differed with each issue making for a real change of time feel. The story of the arc is overall wonderful but sadly I feel like this last issue was the weakest of them all, but that is not saying it is bad by any means. I would definitely finish the story if you have been reading or like stories like 1984 and V for Vendetta. – Jacob

 

Image Comics:

Oddly Normal #1 – B

(A) I don’t care if I gave this an A. I freaking loved this and it deserves it. If I just stick with Image Comics, I’ll never be disappointed. Whatever they are doing, they are doing it right. Within the first page, I was drawn into the story and the character of Oddly, whose got pointed ears and green hair and is the outcast of her school. It one of the first comic that I was drawn into right away and didn’t take a few issues to wanted to read the next book. The balance of the setting and the narration got a lot of information across quickly and the inner world that belongs to Oddly. Though in a few hints about a secret world where water melts you it proves to be an intriguing story. Go out and get this book pronto. – Jené

(C) Unless it was part of my youth or adolescence, I’m typically not drawn to what I call “cutesy-cartoony” stories; Dexter’s Lab, Powerpuff Girls, and Invader Zim all day, baby. But it’s harder for me to build a connection with similar motifs that have come out in the last 10 years… give or take 3 years (I LOVE CARTOONS). So naturally, I wasn’t immediately taken with Oddly Normal. Even so – I can see the potential in the story. It’s all about a young half-witch with no friends that ends up making a spellbound wish that spins her world upside-down; this series is set to be a moral-learning and silly adventure. Big props to Otis Frampton for writing and illustrating! Gotta respect a guy that puts his passion on the page. I’ll stick with this one until what I’m sure will be a heartwarming conclusion. – Taylor

Trees #5 – B

There continues to be a lot of esoteric/occult imagery in the comic book. Little snippits here and there that hint at something greater at play. This series is tuning into one of those comic books that you have to pay close attention to what is said and what seems to be hidden in the drawing, such as Clowly’s chamber of nightmares where odd depictions of what looks like alien people etched along the walls. It Aiwass somehow real and involved or rather more metaphorical in nature and these Trees which have been a part of Earth for the last decade? A lot of the symbols remind me of crop circles which, have been said to be messages from star people or left behind by starships. I hope they begin to figure out what this means. And the symbols at the end of the comic… Ugh, what are they?? Trees is a thinker that sure leaves you puzzling out the mystery. I continue to be enthralled by the poetic meanderings threads me in and out of the story and through the artwork the two seem to complement each other and the art is really important to the symbols and mysterious cropping up in the land of Trees. Hmmmm, what if the Trees somehow work on an energetic level slowly influencing the nature of Earth and those on it? – Jené

Marvel:

Edge of Spider-Verse #2 – A-

(A) I will start by saying that I am a sucker for alternate realities. But alternate realities where Gwen Stacy becomes Spider-Woman? That’s just too hard to pass up. Thanks to superb art by Robbi Rodriguez, the entire issue feels completely different from issue #1, and the colors by Ricco Renzi are quite reminiscent of Deadly Class‘ Lee Loughridge’s work. Gwen’s origin story, the focal point of the issue, is well done and all of the differences in the story are thoroughly intriguing, none more so than Matt Murdock’s role. Marvel’s plan for revealing different Spider-Man each issue could be one of the most genius ideas ever, and I cannot WAIT to see this idea develop. Finally, a mega-arc where every issue is worth investing in! – Sherif

(B) I realized something about myself after having read issue #2 of the Edge of the Spider-Verse this week; I’m a sucker for alternate storylines, endings, realities, universes, etc. I think there’s something incredibly imaginative to warp cornerstone characters and stories into something entirely new. It’s kinda like ordering vanilla ice cream but after taking your first bite you realize it’s actually cookie dough flavored. What’s even more appropriate about this analogy is that not everyone loves cookie dough ice cream. Some folks are bound to really like this intro to a new Spider-Hero while others may write it off. If you’re like me and you love cookie dough ice cream and straying from the beaten path, then you’ll certainly enjoy this second issue of Edge of the Spider-Verse. I can’t wait for all our Spidey’s to jump into action! – Taylor

Deadpool Bi-Annual #1 – B

(A) Let me level with you, folks. This was the first Deadpool comic I’ve ever read. I’ve always known about the Merc with the Mouth and his hilarious death-escapades (deathscapades?…), but this is my first true cover-to-cover experience. Man, have I been missing out. If you’re like me and are unfamiliar or have never read a Deadpool comic that shouldn’t deter you from snatching a copy of Deadpool Bi-Annual #1 off the shelves. I had a blast reading it. The story carries no significance to the greater Marvel universe, but it’s deeply rooted in its themes. Crammed full of fighting puns and hysterical character interactions there’s little to not enjoy about this issue. Our glorious Hush co-founder has always been a big fan and has always encouraged me to read Deadpool comics. I’m glad I started with this one and I certainly look forward to reading more. – Taylor

(C+) Brute Force is back!!! Wait…who? Well, if you know EVERYTHING about Marvel you mat be excited otherwise all you have to know is: cyborg-talking animals! Of course, the only platform fitting to reintroduce these characters to the world is Deadpool. This Bi-Annual (why the hell not)  issue is a very enjoyable read with a silly plot that really pushes Animal Conservation. The art is great, as with most Deadpool, but unfortunately like with about 70% of Deadpool’s stories lately, it is bleak and unnecessary to telling any kind of cohesive story. – Jacob

All-New X-Men #32 – D+

Throughout this two-year plus run of All-New X-Men, there has been almost as much filler as there has been storyline. The book hasn’t really had any momentum or “purpose” since we found out that the original X-Men are stuck in the current time. Each book, although filled with hilarity, has increasing lost my interest, and this new situation – each of the team strewn across places in the Verse(s) – doesn’t look like much more than a reason to flaunt the upcoming Spider-Verse mega-arc. I’m not breaking up with this All-New X-Men yet, but I’ve definitely started seeing other books. – Sherif

Funniest Panel:

deadpool funny 9.17

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

spidey cover 9.17


 

That about wraps it up for our reviews this week! Look for next week’s previews coming soon. Any comic books you didn’t see reviewed that you want reviewed? Any grades you didn’t agree on? Let us know in the comments!

All images taken from ComiXology app and the credit for them goes to the respective publishers; thanks to IDW Comics, image Comics, Dark Horse, Boom! Studios, Dynamite Entertainment, DC and Marvel for putting out great books.