LOW and Spider-Gwen #1 Double Review!!!

******Quick Note: If you haven’t already checked out my Kickstarter project, Proton #0, click HERE for more info!*****

If you didn’t already know, on Wednesdays (Aka New Comicbook Day) I work at Richmond Comix on Richmond’s South Side, where they are nice enough to give me a Pick of the Week! I post that pick on Instagram and Twitter, and then review that book/series here on Thursdays! Nick’s Pick this week was Low by Image Comics, but I decided to make it a double since I had some extra time and reviewed Spider-Gwen #1 from Marvel Comics too!

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So let me start with Low. This is a really interesting story written by Rick Remender (Uncanny X-Force, Uncanny Avengers, Axis, Black Science) and drawn by Greg Tocchini (Uncanny X-Force, Hinterkind). These two bring to life a world where the sun is dying, air is in rare supply, and everyone lives in a domed city under the ocean where everyone in power seems to know they’re all doomed. The book follows a family initially as they keep hopeful of finding a new planet that humankind can move to and gain a new lease on life. Their bloodline can pilot a rare artifact, a mech suit, that seems to be very powerful.

I could tell the story is for mature audiences almost immediately between the violence, cursing, and sexual content! That being said, I don’t think it hurts the book, let me be very clear about that.  You see the fall of some characters, some reaching absolute low points, and then some that never lose hope. This story has tragedy, corruption, redemption, battles, and just some breathtaking scenes! This issue was the sixth and the last before a brief break, so if you want to get into this book, now is the time to catch up! I recommend it to anyone who is a fan of Black Science, post apocalyptic worlds, or just great art!

 

 

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Now on to the bonus, and a real joy for me personally! (I’ll tell you why in a bit) Spider-Gwen #1 comes hot on the heels of the Spider-verse event that recently took place. If you haven’t checked that out at all, I HIGHLY recommend it! Some of Dan Slott’s best work to date! In the second of the Edge of  Spider-verse one-shot stories, we were introduced to a world where Gwen Stacey, not Peter Parker, had been bitten by a radioactive spider and acquired great power that needed great responsibility to control it.  That book is now in its FOURTH printing. The buzz around the character has reached levels not seen very often.

The character was taken in by the fans and became the subject of fan art and cosplay on a mania level BEFORE the book even came out!!! The costume design by Robbi Rodriguez was beautiful. It was Modern. It was vibrant. It was unique. Before anyone even read the story it was cemented as the best new thing in the Spider-Man bible. Then we read the story.

Gwen Stacey took on the Spider-Woman mantle after gaining her powers. She struggled with the death of Peter Parker who had taken the role of Kurt Conners and turned himself into the Lizard to be more like Gwen, and had then died in her arms. She was a drummer in the band ‘The Mary Janes’ led by the band’s name sake. Her father, Captain Stacey, was alive and leading the task force chasing Spider-Woman. She was deemed a menace and the murder of poor Peter Parker. Our minds were collectively blown by the awesomeness of what we read.

We craved more. We NEEDED more! And when the Marvel Fans call in such large numbers, they are most often answered. We got an ongoing series for her before we even saw her again in the pages of Spider-verse! Most of us were already combing every page of the Spider-verse titles trying to get our fix, and then they name the series Spider-Gwen!?! This book only got more awesome. Could they do it though? Could they recapture the great storytelling we expected after that first issue?

Having read Spider-Gwen #1 I can tell you with all certainty, they nailed it. Keeping the formula intact with writer Jason Latour and artist Robbi Rodriguez, they picked up right where they left off. We see Gwen with all the personal life drama Peter ever had, the Vulture and Jameson deeming her a menace just like any Spidey, and a need to do the right thing and be the best Spider she can be. This book has every opportunity to become historic in its run. The fans embrace it with open arms, and it’s added to the lore of Spiderdom as much, if not more, than other fan favorites like Spider-man 2099 and Manga Spider-Man. After checking this title out, which you better do, you’ll likely become a fan of Robbi Rodriguez, but you’re already five years behind me.

Five years ago, I went to my first Comic Convention in Charlotte North Carolina called Heroes Con. There I was wide-eyed and amazed at all the comics I’d never even seen, and all the artists in  Artist Alley that were so unique! One of which was Robbi Rodriguez. He had done a book called Maintance, which incidently was written by Stephen Colbert. What really caught my eye were his awesome prints though. There was one he had dubbed ‘Go Go Gaget Flow that particularly drew me in. He only had 1 print left, and my good buddy Billy got it. I’ve been a fan ever since, and was one of the first to pick up his Image book Collider. (Later re-named FBP) Do yourself a favor and check out some of his old stuff still on his Deviantart page Here! But below are some of my personal favorites.

Come back next week for more reviews, or check out some of the other stuff here at Blackhole-Comics.com!

The World is Ours to Make!

-Nick Flair!

Marvel’s Star Wars #1 Review

If you didn’t already know, on Wednesdays (Aka New Comicbook Day) I work at Richmond Comix on Richmond’s South Side, where they are nice enough to give me a Pick of the Week! I post that pick on Instagram and Twitter, and then review that book/series here on Thursdays! Nick’s Pick this week is Marvel’s Star Wars #1!!!

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I know I’ve been reviewing a lot of Marvel books recently, but its hard to pass over the relaunch of a brand as big as Star Wars! Especially when the titles relaunching are going to be considered the only official universe cannon moving forward! There is so much hype around the upcoming Episode 7: The Force Awakens, and this book is right at the fore front of it! It’s been since the late 70’s since Marvel had the rights to Star Wars, and they intend to make the most out of the title’s homecoming, but here’s the real question; is it worth picking up?

I read a handful of the old Dark Horse Star Wars comics, but it never really took with me. I think the reasons for that were that I didn’t know a lot of characters, I was never really sure when in the timeline they took place, and there were a lot of Star Wars books! One time I actually picked up the right number issue to a different book and was lost… That one is on me, but you get my point. What Marvel is doing is very different from Dark Horse.

First off, there are only three books; Star Wars, Princess Leia, and Darth Vader. I’m not going to confuse these books. In the first issue of Star Wars we see the entire cast from the first movie, and they reference events to let you know this takes place right after ‘A New Hope’ and before ‘The Empire Strikes Back’. That allows me to simply pick it up at a familiar and interesting point and enjoy the story!

Jason Aaron handles writing duties, and let me tell you, he nails it. The story has all the elements of the movies, the characters interact and talk like they’re portrayed in the movie. Its easy for me to tell that Han Solo is Han Solo and such, but I also get a little more of what makes them tick. Aaron does a great job giving me what I know, and letting me know there’s more to it.

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Complementary to that is John Cassady’s art. If you enjoyed his run on Astonishing X-Men (SO GOOD!!!) or the work he’s done on Lone Ranger then you know how great this guy is! If you don’t know him, then you’re in for a treat on this book. He brings such a great likeness of character, it makes the book feel as if its lost footage from the movies. The action, the facial expressions, the clean crisp feel of the book combined with the stellar writing make this an absolute must read for me, and I imagine any Star Wars fan!

This book gets me pumped up for the other two books; Darth Vader and Princess Leia. They nailed Star Wars and weren’t afraid to put two top talents on the book. Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larocca will tackle Darth Vader and Mark Waid and Terry Dodson (With inks/colors by Rachel Dodson of course) will handle Princess Leia. With an exciting new trilogy of Star Wars films set to start in 2016, Marvel is leading the way and waiving the flag high for the anticipation fans are already mustering in high levels!

IF YOU LIKE COMICS AND THE STAR WARS TRILOGY PICK THIS BOOK UP RIGHT NOW!!!!!

Here’s a small example of what I used to be confronted with when thinking about picking up a Star Wars book at the shop. (Sorry Dark Horse, but this is for the best.)

OVERLOAD!!! Haha

Come back next week for more reviews, or check out some of the other stuff here at Blackhole-Comics.com!

The World is Ours to Make!

-Nick Flair!

Spider-Woman Review

If you didn’t already know, on Wednesdays (Aka New Comicbook Day) I work at Richmond Comix on Richmond’s South Side, where they are nice enough to give me a Pick of the Week! I post that pick on Instagram and Twitter, and then review that book/series here on Thursdays! Nick’s Pick this week is Marvel’s Spider-Woman!

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Now the first question a lot of people might ask is “Isn’t this part of that Spiderverse thing? Ugh, do I need to pick up all of them to get what’s going on?” Yes, this is part of the Spiderverse event, but in my opinion you do  not need to keep up with the rest of the event to get this book. This follows Jessica Drew, aka Spider-Woman, on a solo adventure that is supplemental to Spiderverse, but can also be enjoyed on its own.

The series starts as Spider-Woman has been tasked with watching over Silk, a girl bitten by the same radioactive spider as Peter Parker! She has all the same abilities as Pete, but some are stronger and/or manifest in a different way. She is an important Spider Totem referred to as ‘The Bride’ and is heavily sought after by the Inheritors. (Psychic Vampires that feed on the Spider People of the multiverse). Spider-Woman and Silk jump around the multiverse trying to keep one step ahead of the Inheritors.

During the first issue, Spider-Man (616 mainstream Peter Parker) shows up with Spider-Girl and Spider-Gwen (New Character of the year in a lot of people’s opinion), and tell Jessica that she’s needed for another even more important mission that ONLY she can take on. Spider-Gwen and Spider-Girl are left to guard Silk, only to find she’s taken off to prove she can handle herself. It doesn’t take long for us to find out why only Jessica Jones is suited for her job and that Silk is obviously in over her head on her own.

This book is in a precarious spot at its release because the series is starting off as a spin-off from a major event. That being said, after the first issue establishes where things are at, this book takes on its own feel and tone very quickly. A few years ago, Spider-Woman had a limited series after Secret Invasion where she was an agent of S.W.O.R.D. and tracked down Skrulls to help clear her name. This book is picking up with the secret agent/spy vibe that series and recent Avengers books created for Spider-Woman. I’m actually really excited to see where this goes.

The main reason for that is Dennis Hopeless who writes the book. He’s coming off of two amazing runs on Avengers Arena and Avengers Undercover, where he did some really awesome and fresh things with some lesser known characters. If he puts even half as much into this book, which judging by the second issue he is, this is going to be a fun really cool story! On art duty is Greg Land. A lot of people like to dog him for re-using poses and referencing pictures of models like Pamela Anderson for his art, but the guy does draw some of the best looking women in comics. His art fits this book, and I for one, do not have a problem with it.

If you like strong female characters, are reading Spiderverse, or are a fan of Black Widow or Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers), I recommend this book. I think its got a lot of potential to give a great character with a rich history a great monthly title, but you know what? Judge for yourself! If you don’t feel like picking up issue one and two, I’d say you can probably jump in right at two and be fine. Here is some of my favorite Spider-Woman art from the last few years!

 

Come back next week for more reviews, or check out some of the other stuff here at Blackhole-Comics.com!

The World is Ours to Make!

-Nick Flair!

 

Amazing X-Men World War Wendigo Review

If you didn’t already know, on Wednesdays (Aka New Comicbook Day) I work at Richmond Comix on Richmond’s South Side, where they are nice enough to give me a Pick of the Week! I post that pick on Instagram and Twitter, and then review that book/series here on Thursdays! Nick’s Pick this week is Amazing X-Men #12, the conclusion of the World War Wendigo story arc!

IMG_20141022_111312First off, if you missed out on the first four parts of this story arc shame on you! With Amazing X-Men issues 8-12 what you get is a pocket full of awesome. It starts with the roster of X-Men. You get the classic line up of Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler, and Iceman joined by Northstar, Firestar, and (a personal favorite) Rockslide!  Not to mention Wolverine, Alpha Flight, a cameo by Cap and the Avengers and HORDES OF WENDIGOS!!!!!!! But wait… there is only one Wendigo…isn’t there?

The story arc begins with the legend of the Wendigo, that being that any human who eats human flesh on Canadian soil is cursed and turned into the mindless beast known as the Wendigo, so no, it’s not just a single person. So how is it there’s a horde of Wendigo? It doesn’t spoil the story to say that basically there is an “Accident” at a meat-packing plant in Canada. You can do the math from there.  It starts with a single town and the disappearance of a familiar name .

Alpha Flight’s leader, Guardian, goes missing after a getting in an argument with his wife and fellow Alpha Flight member, Vindicator. She calls Wolverine looking for help to track him down. They then track him to an empty city as Wolverine senses something is off. Then it happens. The moment he realizes how much trouble they’re really in. They’re attacked by dozens of Wendigos and Heather calls in Puck and the rest of Alpha flight!

 

At the same time Storm realizes Wolverine is missing, and Iceman snitches on Wolverine’s whereabouts. With Logan’s healing factor gone, Storm rounds up the troops to go save the day. They reach Canada only to find an entire country populated by Wendigos, and that Rockslide has stowed away on board. What ensues in some of the most fun, and action packed X-Men action you could ask for!!!

The series is written by one of my FAVORITE duo’s Chris Yost and Kyle Craig! These guys know how to pack alot of awesome in a few pages and really give you the most bang for your buck! The art is mostly handled by Carlo Barberi, mostly known for his awesome work on Deadpool, and later accompanied by Iban Coello. (see last week’s review on Thanos God Up There Listening for more on him!) These guys knock it out of the part! There are so many Holy Cow Moments in the action that you can’t even count! If you want a fun read that gives you alot of greatness for your cash, pick this up in single issues 8-12 or pick up the Trade when it comes out in a couple of months!

Come back next week for more reviews, or check out some of the other stuff here at Blackhole-Comics.com!

 

The World is Ours to Make!

-Nick Flair!

 

 

 

Thanos God Up There Listening Review

If you didn’t already know, on Wednesdays (Aka New Comicbook Day) I work at Richmond Comix on Richmond’s South Side, where they are nice enough to give me a Pick of the Week! I post that pick on Instagram and Twitter, and then review that book/series here on Thursdays! Nick’s Pick this week is Thanos God Up There Listening.

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If you read the last big Marvel Event; Infinity, you know about Thanos’ Inhuman born son, Thane.  This book picks up where Infinity left off in his story. Thane stands in the remains of the desolated Inhuman city where he lived his whole life. Now burdened with the violent results of his powers emerging thanks to the Terrigen Bomb unleashed by Black Bolt. Ebony Maw, one of Thanos’ Black Order seemingly haunts Thane as he denies his relation to Thanos, and seems confused on what direction his life will take. Ebony Maw offers him a chance to learn of Thanos’ history and Thane’s own future as the venture together into space at the end of issue #1.

In issue #2, Thane finds himself on an alien world where the inhabitants cringe at the mention of Thanos, and find a being who possesses the ability to share a psychically “recorded” memory with others. It seems Ebony Maw had commissioned him to be near Thanos and record events in the Mad Titan’s life. He now offers to share those memories with Thane, starting with Thanos’ quest to destroy Ego the Living Planet! The recorded memory is so real, Thane can feel the heat from flames, the cold of space, and even feels Thanos can sense him. Is he wrong, or can the memory representation actually sense/interact with him?

The series is only four issues, so we won’t have to wait long for answers! All in all, I really enjoyed the first two issues, and can’t wait for the third! Rob Williams does a great job with the narrative and really makes me interested not only in Thane, but the story of Thanos versus Ego as well. The only draw back to the book is that while issue one’s art is all Iban Coello (who kills it!), but the second issue jumps between Coello, Neil Edwards, and Paco Diaz, which makes it a bit choppy when reading. I definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoyed Infinity, Marvel Space stories in general, or fans of Thanos! Can’t wait to see all of this mini series and more work from Rob Williams and Iban Coello in the future! Come back next week for more reviews, or check out some of the other stuff here at Blackhole-Comics.com!

The World is Ours to Make!

Nick Flair!

Superior Spider-Man: The Controversy.

Let me start by saying that if you haven’t ready Spider-Man #700/Superior Spider-Man #1 by now, you deserve to have it spoiled in dirty spoiling shame. PETER PARKER IS DEAD! Well Dead-ish… There is so much to talk about here that I almost don’t know where to begin, so I’ll keep it as linear as I can. First of all, you have to understand this has been in the works for years. Dan Slott has had an incredible run on Spider-Man and it’s because of the trust Marvel has put in him. You don’t just hand over the keys to the Marvel version of a 1962 Shelby Cobra without having some talent, and Dan Slott has proven he has talent. He might not have used “I’m going to kill Peter Parker” in his initial pitch for writing the series, but don’t you think it was in the back of his mind?

I totally believe it was, and the reason why is Brian Michael Bendis. Not because he told me, but because he did something similar with Secret Invasion. He laid seeds for the event years prior to telling any of his editors he’d been doing so, and that’s were the genius of it started. When he went to them and said ‘Hey guess what! I made a bunch of people Skrulls when you weren’t looking to prepare for an epic event. What do you think?’ think about being in the editor’s shoes! How can you say no to that? Dan has written alot of great arcs, and he’s been rebuilding Spidey and Doc Ocks connection through almost all of it. He set us up.

The Recap:

I think back to when Spidey first encountered Doc Ock at the point where he had begun to physically digress, and learned that it was because of the years of physical punishment he took that would be his final ending. In my mind, that was when Dan was firmly set that he was going to do this. He made us all look away from it though, like a crafty magician. Look over here Aunt May and Jonah’s Dad gettin it on! Look Peter got his dream job! Aww look, Jonah’s wife died, no one else dies! Look, it’s Spider Island! Look over here at Spidey losing his Spider Sense! Give it up to Madam Web though, we all blew her off, but she knew what was up! All these things were distractions as he fiendishly plotted as if he were Doc Ock himself to gain his final victory over his arch nemesis. Crafty Dan, very crafty.

Then the final dance begun between the two, Dock Ock brought the Sinister Six back to glory. He hatched a masterful plan to hold the world ransom. Beaten in yet again by Spider-Man, Doctor Octopus seemed he would live his last desperate days in a hospital bed in the Raft. Then in the issues leading up to the Finale of the Amazing Spider-Man series, we saw that Doc had one last play. One final scheme, and most people didn’t even realize it had happened in issue #657! Otto had taken over Peter’s body, and put Peter in his decrepit, half-corpse of a body! THE AMAZING SPIDER-PUS?!?! It was a scary scenario, and as I often do, I tried to think what I would do in that situation, and I became worried for Pete.

He did something he’s had to do since the beginning though. He thought outside of the box. He used Doc Ock’s own plots against him, using the Sinister Six Protocols to free himself, and provide some muscle. He took control of the Doc’s assets, and used them to formulate his own plan to return his brain waves to his own body! He had everything in place to win the day again! But even though we all suspected it wouldn’t possibly end with Peter not getting his body back, Peter did not get his body back. Instead he appealed to his own body. Doc Ock didn’t physically switch their bodies, Peter’s brain was still essential the same ‘Hard Drive’ it had always been. Doctor Octopus just installed his ‘operating system’ on it, and was starting to see the effects of doing so.

He relived some of Peter’s memories as if he were Pete in those events! Nurture over nature now became the theme of what was happening as Otto began to develop a new outlook on things in issue #700. Not quite Peter, but most certainly something different from who he’d ever been before! And with Peter’s ‘dying’ breath in Ock’s body, he somehow found a way to appeal to this new-found side of his rival. Peter Parker for all intents and purposes was now dead. I also propose to you that at this point Doctor Octopus died at that time as well. We now had some new amalgamation of the two. Then Superior Spider-Man launched, riding this new wave of heated interest!

My Thoughts:

People reacted in so many ways to issue #700, I can only imagine what it was like for Dan Slott and everyone involved! Some loved it and were excited! Some were torn, not sure of how to feel. And then some were so distraught, they shamefully turned to ridicule and even death threats from what I understand! Regardless of personal feeling thought these books topped the charts and gained new readership and buzz far-spreading outside of the Comic Book Community’s usual circles. Mainstream media was invested in this story as much and more than when Death of Superman released. But would Marvel learn from DC’s mistakes in that event years ago? As great as it was, it was short-lived and degraded the character in my opinion. This though… this is something different.

In the first issue of Superior Spider-Man, and every one since, we see that Superior is not just the name of the book. This new Spider-Man finds more efficient ways of doing things. Thoughts and ideas on his powers and fighting crime that Peter had never thought of! With Superior comes new and exciting ways of using powers and tech to win the battle and save the day! With those things though, moral questions and character flaws come as well. Although he is still saving the day, as a reader, you find yourself rooting for everyone in Peter’s life to find out the big secret!!! And right there to egg them on with us…it Peter?

Peter has somehow manifested as a ghost-like entity, unable to interact with anyone, but still there right along side his former body. How? Keep in mind what I said earlier about his brain being like a hard drive, there is a very fundamental part of that brain that has Peter still backed up inside of it. I mean come on PHYSICALLY IT IS STILL HIS BRAIN! With this new phantom version of Peter, some readers believed it was only a matter of time before Peter is properly reinstated as owner of his body. I DOUBT IT. And thankfully so! This new avenue in story telling with the character has been incredible! you really don’t know what to expect or what will happen and that’s a great present in comics some days. What Superior Spider-Man is amazes us just as much as the old did, just in completely new ways! I don’t think Peter will come back anytime soon, if ever, because there is just so much road ahead of this new concept! Look for it to be thoroughly explored before there is even any THOUGHT about bringing him back in the traditional sense! And you should be like me in responding to that; Thank you Dan Slott, Ryan Stegman, and Giuseppe Camuncoli. This book is great top to bottom and cover to cover. They know how it is, the world is ours to make.

-Nick Flair!

Marvel to Announce New Movie Franchise at SDCC, but it’s Not What You Were Thinking it Would Be!

It’s reported that at San Diego Comic Con, Marvel will announce that following Iron Man 3, Thor 2, and Captain America 2, that the next big Marvel movie franchise would be Guardians of the Galaxy!?! Most were surprised by the choice with most of the underground buzz focusing on either a Black Panther or Dr. Strange movie. Now it’s possible those are still in the works, but if you think about it, this makes much more sense. Why you ask? Because of the fact they set up Thanos as the next big villain at the end of The Avengers. With a cosmic level baddie like that, who ya gonna call? The Ghostbusters wouldn’t stand much of a chance against Thanos, but give Drax the Destroyer a crack at it and you’re odds go up.

                                     

The assumption is he’ll be on the roster and they’ll be using the more recent incarnation of the team with Starlord, Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Gamora, and Drax with possibly some others mixed in. Could Nova be thrown in that line up as well? It’s possible, but nothing is confirmed yet. This is really exciting for me personally, as I loved the recent Guardians of the Galaxy series that came out! I even picked it up in the original run as a kid with Major Vance Astro, Starhawk, Nikki, Martinex, Yondu, Aleta, and Charlie 27!  This is going to work out well with their history not only with cosmic level threats and Thanos particularly, but with the Avengers. They made several appearances in Avengers comics before they had their own title, and their roots run deep with Avenger history. This movie should not only be great standing on its own, but tie in to The Avengers 2 nicely! CAN’T WAIT! But I have to….

DISCLAIMER: This article is based of information provided by Latino-Review.com and Cinema-blend.com, so it’s tough to say how accurate it is. It would certainly make sense though wouldn’t it?