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

BENT WOOKEE COMIX (..we have issues..)
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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Review of Runaways #1

Story by: Terry Moore

Art and Cover by: Humberto Ramos

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Brief Synopsis: The Runaways are back for yet another go around. This is the third iteration of the book which started way back in 2002 under the old Tsunami imprint. Remember that? It was a line of comics that was supposed to appeal to manga fans and had numerous titles from Mystique to Sentinel to Emma Frost. There were 9 books in total but 'Runaways' is still the only book being published today. Volume 1 of the series was a nice little gem, and told the story of the group being forced together by circumstance and finding out one of their own was a traitor. The second volume dealt with the kids on the run and probably had the strongest stories, including the death of Gert. When Joss Whedon took over for series creator Brian K. Vaughn, things started going downhill. The first arc was good but then there was a time travel arc that was almost too boring to read. The kids go back in time, pick up a new member, try not to change things, and go home. Now, volume 3 kicks off with a new #1 because Marvel is a fan of renumbering their properties to boost sales. Did it work?

Eh, not exactly. The issue starts out with members of Karolina's alien race hunting for her throughout the galaxy. She disappears from their radar, presumably because she was in the past, then pops back up again and they now know she is on Earth. The Runaways decided to return to their old stomping grounds of Los Angeles, but not back to their old base in the Tar Pits because that was compromised many issues ago. They find an old Pride safe house in Malibu and are attacked by security daemons(?) for a third of the issue. After they take over the house, it is decided someone has to get a job. Chase is elected because he is the oldest. He decides to try to work at a radio station that is in a mall or something. The head radio guy (obviously a rip off of Howard Stern) has a spat with his boss and possibly suggests the man have a heart attack. Chase begs for a job and the boss somehow ends up plummeting towards certain death before Klara, the newest Runaway member, saves him with her plant growing powers. The kids return home only to be found by Karolina's alien brethren, who are looking for revenge. They blame Karolina for the destruction of their home world.

Positives: Not too many actually. The storyline with Karolina's people has potential. The Runaways need a threat to well, run away from, and introducing a new villainous group makes sense. Their parents are all dead as are some of the other people who were trying to hurt them. New villain blood is always a good thing.

Always got to like when Kevin Smith gets a shout out in the book. Xavin, who is a Skrull, at one point turns into Mr. Smith and they have some fun with the concept. It does get a little tedious though because Moore couldn't let people get the subtle joke and eventually pounds it into the ground.

Negatives: Security daemons? Seriously? This just had dumb written all over it. The concept, the execution, the length of the fight. The fight is literally one third of the book and it just all feels like filler. It is almost like the writer went into the office with a way to start and end the issue, and filled the middle with a bunch of fluff. Not a good way to start off a 'new' series.

Want more filler? How about a Howard Stern knock off who perhaps has some sort of powers? Another third of the book is dedicated to Chase meeting this disc jockey and asking for a job. There is a mystery of how the boss got tossed off the top floor, but that resolution will have to wait. This too felt tacked on and pointless.

Klara, the new girl, saves the boss from falling to his death by growing a rain forest in a mall, and no one sees her do it? Come on! There is a difference between insulting a reader's intelligence and flat out thinking they are all morons.

Not sure I like the moving back to LA. It seems lately, especially in the X-Men line, that Marvel is trying to move their teams around so they aren't all based in New York, which I am perfectly fine with. They moved the Uncanny/Astonishing X-Men teams to San Francisco, X-Factor to Detroit, and even every state is supposed to have an Avengers Initiative team. Having the Runaways go back to LA takes away from why they left there in the first place. Couldn't they moved them to Florida or Texas or some place?

Marvel is afraid of lesbians. Karolina came out as a lesbian and has a girlfriend on the team, Xavin the Skrull. The problem is, Xavin is shown in a male form 97% of the time. I know they tried to explain this in volume two but it still seems like a cop out to me. Why can't the two girls be shown together? They don't have to beat the reader over the head with it but they can't stop inferring it's really not a gay relationship because Xavin looks male and Karolina looks female. Be like Wildstorm with the Authority and let the gayness fly. Especially for two lesbians. Who doesn't want to see that?

Conclusion: I have to say that I wasn't very impressed with the first issue of the new series. All the characters are the same and other than the location it appears that not much has changed. Something has though because I'm not as jazzed about this book as I used to be. Maybe things will pick up next issue. They better if they hope to gain more readers because this effort was lackluster at best.

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.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Thirty some "odd" years ago, Vinson was spat into this world!
Stop by the store today to wish him a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Happy Birthday Vinson!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Review of Secret Invasion #5

Story by: Brian Michael Bendis

Art by: Leinil Francis Yu

Cover by: Gabrielle Dell'Otto and Leinil Francis Yu

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Brief Synopsis: I'm a little behind on this review, seeing as how this book has been out for almost two weeks now. What can I say? I had to read a lot of Secret Invasion tie ins before I got to this book and frankly, I think those issues hurt my enjoyment. In one week I had to read Secret Invasion: Runaways/Young Avengers which basically followed the two teenage groups who each have a Skrull on their team as they fight at ground zero in New York; Secret Invasion: Thor which reintroduced Beta Ray Bill to the Marvel Universe as a hostage of the Skrulls who is beaten, tortured, and thrown towards Earth as a warning (isn't this invasion supposed to be secret?); and finally Secret Invasion: X-Men where the Skrulls attack San Fransisco for no apparent reason but run into the X-Men in their new adoptive home. This all leads into Secret Invasion #5. Truthfully, by the time I read this, I was ready for something new already.

Captain Marvel, who is in fact a Skrull sleeper agent, gets a pep talk from Norman Osborn of all people and gets sent out to protect Earth, like the real Captain Marvel would have done. The Skrulls take over the airwaves and deliver their message of peace disguised as the people the populace would trust. On board a Skrull war ship, Agent Brand (who looks too much like Polaris for my liking) takes out a bunch of Skrulls and frees Mr. Fantastic. Reed literally pulls himself together and formulates a plan to defeat the Skrulls. Maria Hill, who was captured by the Skrulls, turns out to be a Life Model Decoy and the real Maria Hill is free. Captain Marvel attacks Skrull ships in space which allows Reed and Brand time to make it back to Earth. The heroes in the Savage Land continue their pissing match to see who is in fact real and who is a Skrull. Mr. Fantastic shows up pretty pissed with a weapon that reveals the Skrulls true identities. Everyone on the ship that landed in issue #1, including Hawkeye, I mean, Ronin's wife Songbird are revealed to be Skrulls and they are promptly dispatched by the heroes. Clint Barton must listen to old school Metallica because he wants to kill 'em all.

Pros: I think this is the best Reed Richards has been written in a while. He was tortured beyond most men's limits and used to further the Skrull's cause. When he is finally freed all that frustration and anger he has built up is unleashed via his greatest weapon, his mind. He quickly comes up with a way to reveal the Skrulls for what they are. This is the guy who came up with a way to stop Galactus of all things. Now he is motivated by not only saving the planet, but extracting revenge? Yeah, the Skrulls have no chance.

The reveal that Songbird was in fact a Skrull was still surprising even though most everyone knew all of the 'heroes' that got off the ship in issue #1 were in fact Skrulls. Bendis did enough to cast just enough doubt about her that when it was revealed, it actually had weight to it. The fact that Clint had to kill her was even more gut wrenching.

I liked Clint Barton, a.k.a Hawkeye, a.k.a. Ronin, finally snapping and wanting Skrull blood. Here is a man that has had his entire life (and death) turned upside down by the Skrulls. Just when he thought they couldn't do anything more to him, they pose as his dead wife and in a round about way force him to kill her. Just like Reed, he is beyond his breaking point and there is revenge to be had.

Cons: I'm not sure what the whole Captain Marvel thing is supposed to be about. Are we supposed to think he is going to turn on the heroes? Or he is going to sacrifice himself like the real Captain Marvel did? I'm just not following his arc, which started back in his limited series.

It really is a by product of reading too many of the tie ins so I shouldn't count it against this particular book, but I'm just getting tired of the whole concept. That's not good considering there are three more issues of the main book and numerous issues of tie ins and limited series to go. I know Marvel likes to get everyone involved, but reading so many titles that basically say the same thing is tedious. Once again, like "World War Hulk", Marvel has watered down a great concept and stretched it out way too far.

Conclusion: I was a little let down by this issue, especially coming off the great ending of issue #4. I'm a big fan of gathering the team stories and stories where the big guns show up at the darkest hour to bring hope to the masses. That is how issue #4 ended, with Captain America and Thor showing up in New York to join the fray. I have to admit that I geeked out a little for the end of that issue. I was hoping for more of the same, but other than Reed Richards all of a sudden becoming a bad ass, most of this issue was kind of boring to me. I hope the last three issues tie everything together and are not used as a launching pad for something else.

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.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Comic book writers and artists! check out for this sweet deal on table spaces at the Steel City Con's new location!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Review of New Exiles #9

Story by: Chris Claremont

Art and Cover by: Tom Grummett

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Brief Synopsis: I guess it is about time I do a negative review after posting so many positive ones. I hate this book so bad that I can't even come up with a synopsis so I stole this from the Marvel site. The British and French empires are at each other’s throats, and the Exiles are barely able to catch their breath. Perhaps the help of certain wheelchair-bound mutant teacher’s student body would come in handy? Meanwhile in Chinese occupied Japan, Betsy struggles to deal with Lady Mandarin and Ogun.

God, this book is terrible. Chris Claremont hasn't been relevant in over two decades but they still let him crank out this drivel every single month. His whole writing existence is based on heroes being mind controlled and excessive talking during fighting scenes. And when I say excessive talking, I mean the characters describe everything that is going on in the scene out loud. For instance, at the beginning of the issue Rogue challenges a version of the X-Men to a fight. During the fight, Spider-Man attacks and Rogue says, out loud, "I've been grabbed--some kind of webbing!" Who the fuck says that?!? That irritates me to no end.

Other stuff happens in the book, including Claremont's pet characters Sage questioning herself for the umpteenth time and Psylocke being mind controlled for the gajillionth time. Sabertooth, who was leading the group before Claremont came on board but hasn't done anything since the relaunch, shows up at the end to talk to Kat in a meaningless scene about Kat doubting their mission.

Positives: None

Negatives: Everything

Conclusion: It was bad enough reading this the first time but even worse having to go through it a second time. Totally worthless book.

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.

You know I had to get in on this debate about the best and worst comic book movies. Surprisingly, I'm not as harsh as both Vinson and Rowdy Roddy are because I will dig a movie if I am entertained even though I know it's not the greatest thing in the world. Hence, you won't see me listing "Ghost Rider" or either of the Fantastic Four movies on my list. Those movies were far from great, but there were still elements of them that I enjoyed. My criteria is really based on whether I would recommend people spending almost $9 to see the movie in the theater or telling them not to even bother with a rental.

Without further adieu, here are my picks for 10 Best and 10 Worst, in no particular order:

Best: X-Men, X-Men 2 (I don't use that X-Men United shit), The Dark Knight, Batman Returns, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Sin City, 300, X-Men Origins: Wolverine (I know it's not out yet but it's Wolverine for crying out loud)

Worst: Catwoman, Electra, Superman Returns, Batman & Robin, The Crow: City of Angels, Nick Fury: Agent of Shield (even with the Hoff), Judge Dredd, Steel, Punisher (Dolph Lundgren version), Bulletproof Monk

That doesn't seem like many compared to all of the comic book movies I've seen but you really can't have half of the movies in the Top 10. I like a lot more (Hellboy, Constantine, Incredible Hulk, V For Vendetta, Road to Perdition, From Hell, etc) and tolerate some (X-Men 3, the Fantastic Four movies, Spider-Man 3) but I think my list speaks for itself.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

THURSDAY AUGUST 14th, The store will open at 3:00 instead of the usual 1:oo. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Because YOU demanded it! Well, it must have been you, cause I didn't. Hell, come to think of it I really don't care. But since The Dark Knight has sparked the "debate" as to whether it was the greatest thing EVER....or just merely good. I'm posting Vinson and Roddy's best and worst lists of "Comic Book" Movies. Then you can all fight amongst yourselves. Here goes:

Vinson's Best Comic Book Movie List (in no particular order).....The Dark Knight, Batman Returns, The Crow, X-Men, X-Men United, Iron Man, Batman Begins, Constantine, Conan The Barbarian, The Incredible Hulk.

Vinson's Worst List....Catwoman, Daredevil, Elektra, Spider-Man 3, Superman Returns, Batman and Robin, Batman Forever, Fantastic Four, X-Men 3, and last but not least Superman 3.

And now Roddy's Bestest Comic Book Movie List (again in no particular order)...Spider-Man 2, X-2, Batman Returns, Hellboy, X-Men, Batman Begins, Daredevil, and Hulk (Ang Lee's that is)

Roddy's Worst List...Catwoman, Punisher (Lundgren's), Spawn, Captain America, Superman 4, Batman and Robin, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Spider-Man 3, and Judge Dredd.

Agree, Disagree, totally indifferent? Post your replies!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Review of Wolverine #67

Story by: Mark Millar

Art and Cover by: Steve McNiven

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Brief Synopsis: This is Part 2 of the Old Man Logan story. In Part 1, Logan is shown as a old farmer struggling to provide for his family. It has been 50 years since the heroes fell and the United States was cut up between various villains. Logan has retired from the superhero business and has not popped his claws since that final battle. Now a pacifist, he gets beat up by his 'landlords', the Hulk Gang, and takes a beating for not having their rent money. A blind Hawkeye shows up and asks Logan to be his guide for a special quest. He is taking 'special cargo' to New Babylon and he wants Logan by his side. Logan agrees in order for a payday that will provide for his family.

Part 2 begins with Logan and Hawkeye driving around in the old Spidey Buggy. For reasons that are never explained, Hawkeye is the one driving. Then end up in San Francisco, where the population has been decimated by the Moloids. The rumor going around is the Moloids are the Earth's immune system and since the Earth had too many humans, the Moloids were released to thin out the herd.

While searching for survivors in San Francisco, they are ambushed by a motorcycle gang calling themselves the Ghost Riders. Logan receives another beatdown but still refuses to pop the claws. When the Ghost Riders attempt to see what the cargo is, Hawkeye uses the sound of their voices to locate his targets and rains down some vicious arrow shots. When Hawkeye asks what the villains did to him to make him a pacifist, Logan simply responds "They broke me, Bub".

Logan and Hawkeye eventually reach Hammer Falls, Nevada. It is the location where Magneto and the Absorbing Man finished off Thor. The town has become a haven for people who are waiting and praying for the heroes to return. They flock to worship at a makeshift shrine where Thor's hammer, Moljnir, now rests. An Ultron robot stops the heroes and tells Hawkeye he has to go see his ex-wife Tonya. Tonya is also the youngest daughter of Peter Parker (since she is black, does that mean he knocked someone up while wearing the black costume?). Tonya tells Hawkeye that their daughter Ashley has been kidnapped by the Kingpin. Ashley is seen in captivity, wearing a Spider-Girl costume. Do I foresee a "You're too short to be a Stormtrooper" comment in the future?

Pros: I know in my previous post I said that I do not like future stories because it shackles characters with outcomes that they eventually have to fulfill. I don't believe this story is like that. I'm taking it more like a "What If..." type story. I'm reading a lot of "Secret Invasion" stories right now, which frankly I'm growing tired of, so this story is a nice change of pace. None of the events in this book should have any ramifications on Wolverine going forward so it is nice to have a self contained story that is a fun read and nothing more.

Even though Logan has been getting his ass handed to him in each issue, you know he's eventually going to let the beserker rage loose and take out a lot of people. If he doesn't, this will definitely swing to the Con section.

I like how Hawkeye is being portrayed as a bad ass even though he is blind. He was an Avenger and one time leader of the Thunderbolts so he should definitely be able to handle himself, regardless of his handicap. Using the sound of the Ghost Riders voices to pinpoint his shots was a nice touch.

Another nice touch with Moljnir still resting in the place it fell, because obviously, only someone worthy can lift it.

I love Steve McNiven's art. He's probably my favorite Marvel artist working right now.

Cons: I know this is petty, but I think it is dumb to have a blind Hawkeye driving around while Logan sits in the passenger seat. Can Hawkeye hear the road bend or something? This is just a plot point that shouldn't be there because it just doesn't make any sense.

Is this 'Jurassic Park 2'? Did we really need a black daughter for a white character to show equality? How does whitey white boy Peter Parker, who has only ever had white girlfriends, now suddenly have a black daughter? If this was Iron Fist, yeah, that would have made sense. Or maybe even Logan because that man has hit every major race. But Spidey? Another useless little shock tactic that wasn't necessary.

Conclusion: I'm actually enjoying this story for what it is worth, a nice little "What If..." story with wonderful art and decent pacing. It's building nicely to Wolverine finally unleashing the beast and hopefully he unloads on some villains who truly need it. It's nice to have a different Wolverine story out right now because let's face it, he's been over saturated the last couple of years. Pick up 'Astonishing X-Men', 'Uncanny X-Men', 'New Avengers', 'Ultimate X-Men' or any other tie-in book and his stories are usually the same. At least this is different. As long as the story doesn't become 'in continuity' I'll be fine.

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.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Review of Thor #10

Story By: J. Michael Straczynski
Art and Cover By: Olivier Coipel
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Brief Synopsis: So far in the series, after Ragnarok happened (again), Thor has taken over for Odin and has awoken his fellow Asgardians who were trapped in their mortal forms. Most everyone has returned, but some have been radically changed, like Thor's half-brother Loki, who is now a woman. Talk about gender issues.

This issue begins with Loki coming to Balder the Brave to inform him that he is the bastard son of Odin, and thus not only Thor's half-brother, but a true prince of Asgard. Loki tells the tale of an amorous Odin, whom after many a chalice of ale, became interested in a woman named Frigga. Like any true world leader, he pretty much hit it and quit it, thus leaving a bastard child growing in the poor woman's stomach. Seems ol' Odin was a fan of spreading the royal seed around if you know what I mean.

After Balder was born, Odin had visions of a grown Balder dying and 'taking the fate of Asgard with' him. He sought out a prophetess to explain these visions. After giving her some of his blood (man, this guy cannot keep his bodily fluids to himself) she warned Odin that if Balder were killed before Ragnarok, Balder would not return and Odin's lineage would be broken. Since Balder would be a target he was never told who his father was.

Loki goads Balder into asking Thor if the story was true. When confronted, Thor acknowledges the truth and reveals he has known for some time. He also admits, since Ragnarok is no longer a threat to them, that he should have told Balder sooner. Loki continues to pushes buttons and asks for a celebration for the coronation of the new prince of Asgard. Balder informs Loki that while he still does not trust him (or is it her now?) he is willing to give Loki the benefit of the doubt. And thus the door is open...

Pros: The story is finally starting to go somewhere after almost a year of Thor wandering around finding his old friends. There hasn't been a real threat in the relaunched series yet, but the entrance of the Trickster god Loki will be sure to pay dividends over the comings months. I've always thought Thor only worked in the Avengers books and I've never read his solo series before this one, but I think I'm starting to change my mind a bit.

They finally got rid of Ragnarak. I'm not a big fan of having futures and destinies laid out that characters have to strive to reach. While "Days of Future Past" is a great X-Men story, I don't like the fact that sometimes stories are written to reach that story instead of taking a natural course of events. Thor and the Asgardians have always been tied to the eventual fallout from Ragnarok. It finally happened, it's over, and now apparently it can't happen again. Thank God. No pun intended.

I really like Oliver Copiel's art. That's it, nothing more. I like it.

Cons: So far, there has been no real threat to the Asgardians. No frost giants, no demons, no crazy ex-Odin hookups looking for revenge. Nothing. The only real confrontation Thor has had since the relaunch was with Tony Stark. Although it looks like they are going to reestablish Loki as a marquee villain, I still think Thor has to go out there and hit something or somebody.

The pacing of the series has been really slow. They are 10 issues in and other than waking a bunch of gods up from their mortal shells, nothing much has happened. Thor rebuilt Asgard, found his friends and loved ones, and now sits on the throne that his father once used. The pace needs to be picked up if they want people to stay on.

Conclusion: While slow, I'm digging the relaunch. Like I said, I've never read the Thor solo books before so this is all new to me. It might not be for die hards but I'm hoping this series is as satisfying to them as it is to me.

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.