BENT WOOKEE COMIX (..we have issues..)

BENT WOOKEE COMIX (..we have issues..)
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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Review of Uncanny X-Men #500


Story by: Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction
Art by: Greg Land, Terry Dodson, Jay Leisten, Rachel Dodson
Colors by: Justin Ponsor
Letters by: Joe Caramagna
Covers by: Various
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Brief Synopsis: The X-Men team, consisting of Cyclops, Emma Frost, Wolverine, Beast, and Angel are showing the mayor of San Francisco around their new base of operations. The city is really excited to have them based in their city, even to the point where out of nowhere, Angel is dating the mayor. Is there any woman Worthington won’t throw it to?

The merriment comes to an end however (if it didn’t, it wouldn’t be an “X” book) when the mayor reveals a juicy little nugget about an artist acquiring three decommissioned Sentinel robots to use in his art installation. Everyone acts outraged, except for Wolverine who I am assuming felt the same way I did. I mean, really, when was the last time Sentinels were a remotely dangerous threat? Hell, during M-Day, they were supposed to be protectors of the school (which I thought was always pretty stupid when you had all those mutants running around in the house.) Wolvie exits out the back while the rest of the team throws a hissy fit.

The X-Men go to the art exhibit where everyone is dressed up like classic X-Men for some reason. It’s kind of confusing because you don’t know which are real and which are costumes. Colossus shows up out of nowhere and it took me a minute to realize he was Colossus and not some guy in costume. Magneto attacks Colossus, seemingly with his powers restored, and he reactivates the Sentinels. He then proceeds to pretty much handle the entire team by himself.

Random X-Men start being introduced, like Nightcrawler and Storm, as if they were there the entire time. Even Cannonball pops in for a well timed hit on Magneto. Wolverine and Colossus take out one Sentinel and Angel, who at first needs a plan about the Sentinel in pursuit, takes it out single handedly off panel.

Magneto is defeated and it is revealed he does not in fact have his mutant powers. He was wearing a suit designed for him by the High Evolutionary of all people. Magneto gets to yell at the X-Men for a bit before he disappears . All of this fighting was the basis for a distraction so the High Evolutionary could acquire “a piece” from the Dreaming Celestial for a plan the reader is not yet privy to. I can only assume they are trying to restore all the lost mutant powers.

Epilogue one involves Cyclops broadcasting a message to all known mutants using just Emma’s powers, a message about San Francisco being a safe haven for mutants. Epilogue two sees Wolverine finding the corpse of the artist who put the Sentinels on display. Finally, epilogue three introduces Pixie being stalked by the Hellfire Cult.



Pros: After some initial apprehension, I’m digging the switch to San Francisco. Not because it’s San Francisco, but the fact the X-Men are no longer in the same place. Their mansion has been destroyed and rebuilt so many times that it was time for a change for scenery. I also like the fact that they are not feared or ridiculed in their new home.

I’m glad Storm is back in the X-Men universe. I don’t read ‘Black Panther’ so I have no idea what has been going on with Storm for a while now. She is one character that they need to bring back to prominence. I think her downfall started with the “X-Men” movie. Ever since then, Marvel has done some really stupid story lines with her. Remember “X-Treme X-Men” when she became some sort of gladiator warrior who killed for sport? Chris Claremont wrote it so you know it was shit. Here’s hoping they finally get around to fixing her character. Rogue would be due for a reboot as well. Claremont ruined her for years to come as well.

Multiple plots were started in this issue which hopefully bear fruit over the next couple of months. I have grown tired of self contained stories or arcs that are only necessary to fill out trade paperbacks. I want to see more of events being put into motion months before the payoff.



Cons: If the Dreaming Celestial is going to play a role in any of the plot threads, I think new readers should have been given a brief back story. What is the Dreaming Celestial? Why is it there? How did it get there? All of these points might be explained later, but if you’re a new reader it could be off putting. I read so many Marvel books that I vaguely remember how it got there so I would have liked a refresher.

I’ve personally never been a fan of the High Evolutionary so when he was introduced as being in league with Magneto you could say I was less than thrilled. I guess the only way this will work out is if he is in fact trying to jump start the mutant race again. I always thought Mr. Sinister would be the one and the X-Men would have to decide if they wanted his help or not. Time will tell on that one.

Marvel has a problem with continuity between books and it was evident here. Didn’t Angel just lose his wings and revert back to his Archangel persona in the pages of “X-Force”? I hate the storyline in “X-Force” so hopefully they sweep that under the rug, but it was still jarring to see Angel as two different people in two different books in two different weeks.

I did not like the epilogue where Cyclops broadcasted his thoughts to all known mutants. Charles Xavier had problems reaching far distances even when he used Cerebro. Now Emma can just touch every mind unassisted? That seemed unnecessary to me.

I did not like the splitting of art duties between Greg Land and Terry Dodson. They have two completely different styles that do not work together. And speaking of Land, I tend to like his art, but for some reason this issue really bothered me. Did anyone else notice how many people were smiling? I counted 51 smiling faces throughout the book. It was really distracting that everyone would be that happy all the time. He also doesn’t draw faces on far away characters. On the first page of the main story, the last panel, Storm and Emma don’t have faces. That bothers me.

I don’t know who wrote the line, but whoever made Cyclops say “Suck it” should be fired immediately.



Conclusion: Wow, a lot more cons than pros. I guess that would make one believe I didn’t like the book, which isn’t true. It has its flaws, but at least the X-Men have a defined direction, which is something they have sorely lacked the last few years. I’m a big fan of Brubacker and I’m hoping he can restore the X-Men to prominence.

Disagree with my review? Leave me a comment.

And remember, you can buy all your funny books at the greatest comic book store in town: Bent Wookee Comix.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Second post within 24 hours. A new Bent Wookie Comix blog record!!! And before you go count the fact that Brandon has pulled this feat off twice before, my blogs are longer than 6 sentences combined. Are you trying to hurt me, dear reader? Please don't.

Ok, so I attended the Steel City Con (a.k.a Pittsburgh Toy, Comic and Childhood Collectibles Show) this afternoon in Monroeville. Due to the Monroeville ExpoMart being sold, this unfortunately will be the last time the Steel City Con will be held there.

That is a real shame because pretty much all of my convention experiences have been at the ExpoMart. I've met a lot of celebrities over the years and had a lot of great times. Got all liquored up in the Radisson bar to the point where I threw a drink in the general direction of Ray Park. Got to run security for two TNA wrestling chicks, Gail Kim and Christy Hemme, while they did a bikini photo shoot. To this day, Gail is the hottest celebrity I've ever met in person (Danielle Harris is a very close second). I wanted to go all Quasimodo and take her to a nearby church tower. I could go on and on but I better get back to the post.

The main reason for me attending the show was to get autographs for my son. I got him a Chewbacca autograph when he was only a couple of months old and now I'm kind of addicted to it. I go places now specifically to get autographs. I used to be a toy collector but that has fallen by the waste side. I used to collect a ton of toys as a kid (Star Wars, He-Man, etc.), fell off for a while, and then picked up really heavy again when "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace" came out. Come to think of it, Brandon was the one that started me on the path again. While he was working at Comic Book Ink, I remember they had figures out before the movie and I saw a Watto figure in the display case. We talked about how cool the figures looked and then I was hooked again. Like any good dealer, the first taste was free, but then I had to buy the rest.

For the next few years I transferred a lot of cash into George Lucas' already large bank account. I slowed down a little when I started dating my future wife and then slowed down even more when we got married. When my son was born, it was either stop collecting toys or stop collecting comics. Toys lost. So now, the only figures I get are McFarlane figures of Pittsburgh sports teams. They only come out once a quarter so I don't spend a tremendous amount of cash on toys, unlike my comics. Thanks again, Brandon!

Anyway, back to the show. The TNA experience was last July, I missed the December show, and then I only went one day to the March show this year. I planned on doing the same for this show. Showing up on Sunday is the way to go because the crowd is dead and you don't have to wait in line to meet anybody. Unless of course you have a lesbian standing in the Wenches line trying to build up the courage to ask them if they like to 'scissor'.

I started off with a tour of the show room floor. There seemed to be less booths this year with high reaching displays. What I mean is, I could look around at any point and see to the other side of the convention center. Maybe vendors are just getting lazy or maybe the ones with high shelves were smart and positioned themselves against the walls this year. Without being in the market for any toys, I really didn't spend a lot of time at any one table, other than our friend Gary's. It was hard not to, considering he had pretty much an entire aisle strictly to himself. I did pick up the new Jack Lambert figures at his table so I actually did get toys at the Toy Show. Shocking.

Did my lap around the floor then headed to the celebrities area. Well, 'celebrities' is being a little kind. You will never find a more wretched...okay, that is too easy. First up, was Anthony Forrest, who you definitely will remember for his griping portrayal as Sandtrooper #2 with his one quotable line in "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope". Since I have other Star Wars autographs for my son, and the fact I find stupid shit like this amusing, I had to get his autograph.


He turned out to be a really nice guy. Probably because he is British. I don't know why, but British people are usually polite. That pains me to say because I'm Irish and I hate British people. I was rocking my Fighting Irish shirt at the Con so when he made a derogatory comment about my shirt I informed him that my fist was the fist he was looking for and I knocked his ass back to the Queen. I'm just kidding, he was really cool. He was all about his quote though. He had it posted at his table and asked me if I wanted it on the picture. I almost said "What else are you going to put on there?" but I was still in a good mood at this point.

Next, I moved on to Larry Thomas, better known to the world as the Soup Nazi from "Seinfeld". While Larry only appeared in two episodes of the nine year run of "Seinfeld", he is easily one of the most recognizable peripheral characters in the show's history. He actually went on to portray the character in another NBC sitcom when he made one appearance on "Scrubs". Before his Soup Nazi days, you might recognize him as the casino dealer from "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery".

This was the autograph I wanted for myself because I am a huge "Seinfeld" fan and the Soup Nazi episode is up there with the best. I was a tad apprehensive though because I had heard horror stories from the last time he was at the Steel City Con a couple of years ago. I had heard he was not friendly and was kind of a jerk. That could not have been further from the truth. He was really pleasant and was cool to talk to. Just for clarification, I did not buy the autographed ladle in the above picture. He picked that up for the picture. Take note of my money off to the side, that I threw at him like a cheap stripper.

Sitting next to the Soup Nazi was former WWE Diva Dawn Marie. Dawn Marie started out in wrestling back in 1998 as part of the old ECW, not the current bastardized version that WWE puts out every Thursday. She was the valet of Lance Storm and was part of the Impact Players for years. After ECW went bankrupt in 2001, she bounced around for a while until she landed in WWE in 2002. She had many memorable fueds, including one with Torrie Wilson where she tried to turn Torrie lesbian. Nice!! She was let go in 2005 after she got pregnant. She sued and the case was settled out of court a few years later. And now you know more about Dawn Marie than you did before you read this blog!

The years have not been kind to Dawn Marie. While still semi-attractive, she is nowhere near as good looking as she was just a few short years ago. Her, um, assets haven't suffered however and she had no problem displaying them for all the fans to see. Ok, fan because I was the only one there. She was nice and very personable, walking out from behind the table to sign the autographs. She even cut me a break on the price because I got two autographs. But when I asked to take her picture, the lady behind the table said that would be $10. I informed the woman that I didn't want to be in the picture, I just wanted a photo to put on this blog. She said they had a deal with the promoter and they had to charge me. They had to charge me, but I didn't have to pay, hence the reason for the scan above and not a picture from the show. Nooch.

I lastly stopped at the Wenches Booth where Vanessa Branch and Lauren Maher were located. They played the prostitutes in all three of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies. Vanessa is also known as the Orbits chewing gum spokeswoman. I got a dirty mouth she could clean up. *Cough, cough* They were also there promoting their web site together.

I actually had to come back to this booth a couple of times. The first time I walked past Vanessa wasn't there, and since she was really the one I wanted to meet, there was no point in going over there. The second time, this obvious lesbian was talking to them and she seemed really eager. I'm not one to get in between a lesbian and their fantasy women. The third time I walked over the lesbian was still there but I decided to bust up her cabbage patch and throw my testosterone around. She was obviously overpowered and scrambled off. Both women were really nice and they both signed a picture for my boy for only $20. I wanted to get one of Vanessa for myself (she is really cute in person) but she didn't have any good shots and it would have been awkward with the other chick just sitting there.

A little addendum to that story, while writing this blog, I checked out their web site and I'm now wondering if they aren't an item together. Not that there is anything wrong with that. In fact, I would highly encourage it. And if Vanessa would have had this photo...


...I definitely would have bought one, regardless of anyone else's feelings.

So there you have it. My review of the final Steel City Con at the Monroeville ExpoMart. The next show will be in October and will be held at the Pittsburgh Indoor Sports Arena, which is in Cheswick, about 15 miles from the ExpoMart. As it stands, I doubt I will be attending that show. The guests announced so far are Ice-T, Lou Ferrigno, and C.J. Graham (who played Jason in one of the Friday the 13th movies). No hot chicks, no Star Wars people, no Jay paying at the door.

With this post, I have officially used more words and pictures than the entire blog before I joined. See what you have done, Brandon? Hope you're proud of yourself. I know I am.

I'm out!


That's right bitches! (Hey, can I swear on this site?) Brandon went ahead and invited evil into his house. This is just the next step in my quest to take over the entire blogsphere. Gotta a blog? Invite me to post on it. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

I'm here to add some much needed content to the Bent Wookee Comix blog. With Brandon being extremely busy, and myself only having to work 8 hours five days a week, take care of a pregnant wife and 16 month old son, and rock my own blog, I've answered the call. I will be adding blog content on comics and comics related news. I will do some reviews, mostly Marvel comics, and will certainly add a little flavor to everything.

So get ready to rock out with your co...wait, I better get clearance before I start working blue on Mr. Wilt's site. Wouldn't want to drag his name in the mud. So look for my posts over the coming days and feel free to comment on them.

In the meantime, if you want to read my kick ass, non-spoiler review of "The Dark Knight", check out at my main blog by clicking on the Joker below:











Alright kids, I've bribed Jay of http://www.clarkandheptner.blogspot.com/ fame to contribute to this site. So now when anyone says, " I go to the store site all the time and leave there crying like a little girl with a skinned knee 'cause there's nothing new." I can cast the blame onto someone else.


You can applaud if you'd like, but no one can hear you.

Thursday, July 24, 2008





Thursday July 24Th we'll be closing at 7:30 for the evening. Yes, as sad as it is, DYLT (Destroy Your Liver Thursday) is being interrupted by a trip to see The Dark Knight. But really, who can blame us?


So tonight, pick up your funny books early!

Sunday, July 20, 2008


The STEEL CITY CON is Saturday and Sunday JULY 26th and 27th at the Pittsburgh Expomart! They just added Kane Hodder (JASON from Friday the 13th) as one of the guests. Go to http://www.steelcitycon.com/ for more info!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

NAME CHANGE SALE! To celebrate our new name,BENT WOOKEE COMIX, we're havin' a SALE from
WEDNESDAY JULY 9TH thru SATURDAY JULY 12TH!


50% OFF BACKSTOCK!
50% OFF ACTION FIGURES!
30% OFF VARIANTS!
30% OFF CURRENT BACKSTOCK!
20% OFF COMICS IN THE GLASS CASE!
50% OFF TRADEPAPERBACKS AND HARDCOVERS!
With that many exclamation points you can't pass up this SALE!!!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

And if Jay's once a week thursday night rants aren't enough for you all....go to http://www.clarkandheptner.blogspot.com/ where you can read all about his most deep and twisted thoughts.
The new issue of Vinson and Alisha's EMPATHY is now posted at http://www.drunkduck.com/Empathy/ . Check it out and let 'em know what you think!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

And it's official! The name of the funny book shop that you all know and love is now.....BENT WOOKEE COMIX! Yes, there's no "I" in team, nor in "wookee"! So start making your checks out now......or just use the credit card machine.
We'll be closed JULY 4TH for the holiday. Saturday the 5th will have normal store hours of 1 to 6.