Tagged: Captain Marvel

Chris’ Comics: Captain Marvel #6

Captain-Marvel-6Captain Marvel #6

Ruth Fletcher Gage, Christos Gage, Kris Anka, Mat Wilson

Marvel $3.99

Civil War II is upon us, which means the bulks of Marvel’s books are now tying into the event for that sweet tie-in sales bump. As I’ve stated in the past, I have zero interest in the event, and there’s a chance books that rely too heavy on CW2 are properly getting dropped for the time being. Luckily for both Marvel and myself, Captain Marvel, who’s a prominent figure in this crossover, manages to tie into the mega-event without ruining the excellent narrative set up during the first arc.

Joining regular series artists Kris Anka, and Matt Wilson is a dude who has plenty of experience writing tie-in titles, Christos Gage, and his writing partner/wife Ruth Fletcher Gage, who has experience writing Marvel character in the excellent Netflix Daredevil series. Even after doing some research, I couldn’t tell you if the Gages are replacing the team of Michele Fazekas & Tara Butters permanently, or just for this arc. But fear 626351feaa7a3459b3c7caa99cde2dd4not, if you’re a fan of what Fazekas and Butters have done with the character, expect more of the same with this issue (although there’s quite the drop in Abigail Brand snark, which I miss).

Captain Marvel #6 takes place sometime between Civil War II #1 and #0 (I think), and sees Carol getting some much needed alone time with her boyfriend Jim Rhodes (War Machine), and dealing with the fallout of the events of the first arc. I LOVE the Gages manage to tie two different stories together so well, to the point where it leads like they were writing the title all along. Christos and Ruth bring in several new and obscure characters to the title, while tying the book into a story arc Christos co-wrote with Dan Slott on Amazing Spider-Man a few years back. While that may sound like a lot of prerequisite reading, the writers manage to present the material in a way new readers can enjoy without having the read several comics before this one.

On the art side of things, this is the first issue Kris Anka draws without any assistance in a few months, and it’s pretty swell! You get everything you expect from Anka in this issues, abs, fantastic facial expressions, dynamic fight scenes, and a pretty horrific page that’s not too grotesque, but still manages to do an excellent job of raising the stakes. Matt Wilson’s colors are 1ucsyigorgeous, as he manages to handle the setting changing several times in this book without missing a beat. I really wish I had more to say about these creators, but it feels redundant. as I’ve been singing their praises for months now, and they’ve yet to fail to impress on this book.

Captain Marvel #6 is a tie-in title done right. I doubt the events on this book will have much effect on Civil War II proper, but also I don’t care. The comics tells a good story while tying into the events, which is all I care about. Captain Marvel #6 is another fantastic issue in a great run, and I can’t recall a time I’ve been this excited to read about the character.

 

 

 

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Chris’ Comics: All-New Hawkeye #6 & Captain Marvel #4

2016-04-21-allnewhawkeyeAll-New Hawkeye #6

Jeff Lemire, Ramon Perez, Ian Herring

Marvel $3.99

Hey it’s the finale issue of All-New Hawkeye! Again!

This ending is FOR REAL though, as it’s apparently the last installment in this series by the team of Jeff Lemire, Ramon Perez and Ian Herring. And while I’ve found this run a little uneven at times, issue #6 (which is the 12th issue for this team, but you know, COMICS!) offers the reader a lot, and actually changes things up for Team Hawkeye in a major way.

While I haven’t been the biggest fan of the flashback material Lemire and Perez have been doing throughout this run, this issue completely justifies the use of that narration device. Exploring Kate Bishop’s past was a good call, and the events in this issue does something real fascinating with Kate that I dare not spoil. It clarifies some things that date back to Kate’s earliest appearances in Young Avengers, and  hopefully retcons something extremely outdated & problematic from those stories as well. This carries over to the present day stuff, which I imagine will be used to launch whatever the next incarnation of Hawkeye will be in the coming months.

If there’s been on constant thing about this team throughout the last 12 issues, it’s been Ramon Perez and Ian Herring’s work. The two artists have been great time and time again, and this finale really sees them come into their own as story tellers, mixing some cool silver age aesthetics in the flashback material with some lush and vibrant pages for the modern day sections of the book. Perez and Herring really had their work cut out for them coming into this book, and it’s been super enjoyable watching them grow and experiment over the last year.

We don’t know what lies in store for Team Hawkeye in the coming months, but All-New Hawkeye was a interesting exploration of the lives of Clint Barton and Kate Bishop. Lemire, Perez and Herring didn’t exactly have the critically acclaimed run their predecessors had, but it was a fun story none the less. Hopefully it won’t be too long before we see the Hawkeyes in action again.

portrait_incredible (7)Captain Marvel #5

Michele Fazekas, Tara Butters, Kris Anka, Felipe Smith, Matthew Wilson

Marvel $3.99

It’s slightly ironic that we’re discussing Captain Marvel, and to a lesser extent Abigail Brand, on 4/26/16, aka Alien Day (#brands). Earlier issues of this arc definitely felt like a homage to the classic Sci-Fi property, and this issue has 2 female character very much getting their Elena Ripley on.

Captain Marvel #5 sees writers Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters make Carol Danvers current scenario go from bad to worse, as Alpha Flight’s attempts to deal with this “new” alien threat don’t go so well. Oh and that pesky traitor is still in their ranks, mucking things up. What’s bad for Carol and company is great for readers, and we’re treated to 20 pages of high stakes actions, beautifully depicted by Kris Anka, Felipe Smith and Matthew Wilson. I don’t think I’ve seen two artist who manage to blend their respected styles as well as Anka and Smith, and Wilson’s colors are a sight to behold. I love how Wilson sets such vibrant characters against dark backgrounds, giving the book a refreshingly modern and sharp look.

The Elena Ripley comparison feels spot on with Carol and Abigail never say die attitudes. Both character, despite their VERY comic book genealogy, feel so human, but never weak. It’s inspiring in several ways, and makes for a pair of characters that are easy to root for. I particularly like a very Shonen Manga influenced scene, where Carol’s staff let their leader know they’re with her in this high risk scenario. It’s a nice upbeat moment that gives the reader something to rally behind as the crisis at hand gets worse.

Captain Marvel #5 is the type of penultimate chapter you want from a 6 issue arc. The stakes of raised to the point where it genuinely feels no one is safe. It’s an impressive feet, given how predictable cape comics and can often be, and it’s just another reason why Captain Marvel is one of the best super hero titles coming out from Marvel currently.

 

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Chris’ Comics: Captain Marvel 3

portrait_incredible (6)Captain Marvel #3

Michele Fazeka, Tara Butters, Kris Anka, Felipe Smith, Matthew Wilson, Joe Caramagna

Marvel $3.99

This volume of Captain Marvel never ceases to impress me in different ways with every new issue. This month, Kris Anka is joined by Felipe Smith (Ghost Rider) on art duties, and it was something I didn’t notice until re-reading the credits. I’ve seen Smith’s art before, and it’s amazing how much he changes his style for this issue to look like Anka’s.  I have no clue which pages he drew and which ones Kris did, as there’s art in this comic that looks more like Jamie McKelvie‘s than it does either of them. Of course that may be due to the fact that McKelvie’s usual colorist Matthew Wilson gets a little experimental with the colors in this issue, which is giving me some The Wicked & The Divine flashbacks. And props to letter Joe Caramagna for doing the same with his fonts, really tying the whole package together.

f916ecd5d21b90a9a98f67f314e85417._SX640_QL80_TTD_Wilson, by the way, is the MVP of this issue. Anka and Smith are all sorts of great, but Wilson’s colors do a fantastic job of bringing their art and wonderful designs to life. His choices in background colors are choice, giving the book the proper space/science fiction vibe it deserves, and I really like what he does with the “Flasback” segments of the issue. How Matt Wilson manages to be so inventive when he’s coloring so many books so well is beyond me, but I appreciate his contributions, and will not question that.

If the Kelly Sue Deconnick era was Carol’s Star War phase, the Fazekas/Butters is her Mass Effect era: Large supporting cast, light political intrigue, and some hardcore science fiction. It’s a change that really hasn’t explored Carol’s psyche or drive, but it’s something we don’t necessarily need. Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters have done an excellent job developing Carol’s supporting cast, stripping Carol down to her core self. Which is fine, because I don’t need to know why Carol is a hot headed badass who’s set out to do the right thing. We all know why by now, so just seeing her do it is all I need and want.

In addition to ramping up the mystery surrounding the weird alien ship and dealing with a possible traitor on Alpha Flight, the writers Screen-Shot-2016-03-17-at-1.44.41-PMfocus a little more on Abigail Brand in issue 3. You’ll hear no complaints from me, as these two handle the character as well as such creators like Joss Whedon and Kieron Gillen have in the past. I’m a fan of Brand, and having her be the straight woman to Carol is a genius idea.

Captain Marvel #3 is another exceptional issue from this creative team, one that manages to excel even with some help from a guest creator. From an intriguing plot, to some fun character designs, engaging dialogue and cool action set pieces, Captain Marvel has never been better. It’s definitely worth your time, and a great recommendation for anyone jonesing for the Agent Peggy Carter fix. We’ve entered a new Golden Age for comics featuring Carol Danvers, and Captain Marvel is leading the way by being constantly excellent.

 

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Chris’ Comics: Captain Marvel #2 & Paper Girls #5

portrait_incredible (5)Captain Marvel #2

Michele Fazekas, Tara Butters, Kris Anka, Matt Wilson, Joe Caramagna

Marvel $3.99

Come for the Captain Marvel meets Aliens premise! Stick around for Sasquatch-related romance drama!

Captain Marvel #2 sees the good Captain and her Alpha Flight pals investigate a seemingly abandon spaceship that bears an all too familiar emblem on it. Meanwhile, Abigal Brand finds herself back in a familiar role of dealing with alien tomfoolery. If you’re a fan of space politics and gross alien stuff, this is a comic for you.

As noted several times in the past,  Kris Anka is really good at drawing pretty people with huge muscles. While that is certainly a thing he does in issue 2, he also tosses some stuff at the reader that can be best described as  “fairly disgusting” and “slimy”. He does it quite well, which is a testament to his skills, but some of the imagery that Anaka and Matthew Wilson manage to create I could have gone without seeing in life. Also props to Wilson, who’s colors help give the early pages of the book a sense of Claustrophobia, really selling the how unnerving the alien ship is.

Michele Fazekas & Tara Butters do a great job of fleshing out some of the supporting cast this issue. Shifting the focus on Alpha Flight as Carol narrates shows just show strong of story tellers these writers are, letting the dialogue explain the character’s motives. They also excel in the Brand related subplot, which sees a few new twists and forces the readers to question some character’s motives. Captain Marvel’s new supporting cast grows on you real fast, and helps the book establish it’s own voice.

Captain Marvel #2 is an immensely enjoyable sci-fi super hero comic. Carol Danvers as a leader is an extremely fun reading experience, especially when the creative team is as good as this. It sits nicely next to Ms Marvel, The Ultimates, Spider-Woman and A-Force, letting readers know the character is in good hands without the guidance of Kelly Sue Deconnick.

PaperGirls_05-1Paper Girls #5

Brian K Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson, Jared K. Fletcher

Image $2.99

Paper Girl #5 is a lot like Captain Marvel #2 in a lot of ways: Great art. Matthew Wilson on coloring and some grossness that I could have lived without seeing. That being said, this issue didn’t work for me as CM #2 did.

Paper Girls certainly get points for getting a lot of stuff done in a single issue. The creators dump a lot of info and potential new plot beats in this issue, not giving the readers much time to breathe. I applaud the decision by writer Brian K Vaughan and artist Cliff Chiang to make the book a dense read, but it’s definitely a little more than I was ready to handle in a single sitting.

Paper Girls art though, that never fails to please.. Cliff Chiang and Matthew Wilson both come through on the visuals, supplying the book with gorgeous art and fantastic colors. Chiang is an inventive story teller, so watching him tell this story with his illustrations choices is super fascinating, He’s so good at blending the period accurate material with the sci-fi stuff, giving the reader a lot to marvel at. And I love Wilson’s choices of colors, which feel retro in a way, but also perfect for the tone of this book.

A good, but not great issue of Paper Girls is still an solid read none the less. The visuals are the selling point this month, and hopefully the break will do the book some wonders.

 

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Chris’ Comics: Captain Marvel #1

Captain_Marvel_Vol_9_1_TextlessCaptain Marvel #1

Michele Fazekas, Tara Butters, Kris Anka, Matthew Wilson

Marvel $3.99

The record (aka this blog shows that I am a fan of the following things: Carol Danvers, Kris Anka, Matthew Wilson, and the Agent Peggy Carter TV series. Prior to the announcement of this creative team on Cap Marvel, these 4 things did not overlap, but thanks to Marvel editor Sana Amanat, they do now, and the results are good and great.

Captain Marvel #1 is arguably the BEST Captain Marvel debut issue we’ve gotten since Carol got her sweet new costume. Not to speak ill of the previous runs by the wonderful Carol Corps Queen Kelly Sue Deconnick and her artist pals, but pairing Kris Anka with colorist Matthew Wilson makes for some gorgeous visuals that are hard to compete with. This is the first time Anka has been put on book from the beginning, and he does his damnedest to make one hell of a first impression. Kris goes all out all, tweaking Carol’s costume, gives her a dope new air cut, and gives several fan favorite characters some overdue make overs, results in a fantastic looking debut issue. I love how toned and tumblr_o19bwo2f2j1sqep2mo2_1280muscular his Carol is, as she now looks like a powerhouse who’s really into punching things and/or people. I’ve been a fan of Anka’s style for awhile but pairing him with Matthew Wilson’s colors is brilliant move, giving Kris’ art a Mike Allerd-esque style that I really dig. I love how Wilson colors space, and gives the tech in the Alpha Flight Space Station a cool glow, giving the book a cool science fiction vibe. Together, the issue looks very bright, colorful and expressive, giving Captain Marvel a visually style the character’s never had before!

Writers Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters do a wonderful job on their debut issue. Their experience show-running Peggy Carter definitely carries over here, as their Carol is also a no-nonsense bad ass that enjoys her work. Those afraid it would be a different beast from what Kelly Sue established have nothing to fear, as their characterization is very much in that style. That being said, they definitely have a different direction for the tumblr_o19bb0C6tg1sqep2mo1_500narrative, giving her a new supporting cast from the get go (with some cameos from a few old pals), a new M.O. and a new gig. All of it is pretty refreshing, as it attempts to do a lot of new things with the character without alienating readers who’ve stuck with Carol for awhile. And I love Fazekas and Butter dialogue, which is quirky, and gets to the point quick. Which is fine, as less is sometimes more, and frees up more space for the gorgeous artwork.

Captain Marvel #1 was a superb debut issue for this creative team, and I’m eager to read more from them. Everything was on point from the visuals to the pacing, and I’m glad too see Carol in such capable hands. With any luck, this creative team will be free to tell the type of stories they want to, and I’m really digging the new heavy on the sci-fi  status quo. Also more Brand please and thank you.

 

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Chris Comics: Ms Marvel #17

Last-Days-of-Ms.-MarvelMs Marvel #17

G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona & Ian Herring

Marvel $2.99

On the left we have cover artist Kris Anka , who cover may qualify as the best thing. But while this gives us everything we ever wanted from Ms Marvel, it worth noting the content are not as happy.

Given who’s on the cover, and that this book is tied into Secret Wars, Ms. Marvel #17 can be best described as an issue that’s a bit of an emotional roller coaster. Captain Marvel’s presence is something the fans have been demanding since the book dropped, and Wilson, Alphona and Herring deliver when it comes to this team in spades. But it’s not exactly  the feel good issue I was hoping for, given the whole end of the world thing, but it is an incredibly smart comics that has some really good emotional moments as well.

3577e735844c9f972469b12814ecd674What  I like about this issue is that we get to see that Kamala has come a long way since issue once, but a lot of key characteristics are still intact for the character. Writer G Willow Wilson has Ms Marvel freak out when she meets Carol Danvers, which as a super fan, is something that makes a ton of sense, not to mention completely adorable. I enjoyed watching the two Marvels bounce off of each other, and I REALLY dug the brief mention of Kamala’s faith when Captain Marvel gives her a pep talk early in the book,( as well as Carol’s advice for our you lead when faced with a difficult kitten-related matter). I also dug Wilson’s take on Carol Danvers, who’s a lovable & playful badass who manages to also be a solid mentor to Ms. Khan when she’s not busting her chops. There’s also several moments that will tug at your heart, giving the book a sense of sadness and desperation. There’s plenty of high, lows and even a few laughs, which says a lot given the fact that this is only 20 pages of content.

On the art side of things, gosh I love Adrian Alphona and Ian Herring. Jersey City may be facing the apocalypse, but Alphona crazy detailed  panels manage to maintain this book’s excellent sense of humor. His backgrounds are chock full of MAD magazine-esque hidden jokes, and not to mention some bizarre and hilarious looking characters. His Kamala will have her facial expression exaggerated for humor’s sake, and he’s capable of drawing some extremely derpy looking animals, ramping up the book’s cute factor. That being said, he also manages to capture the more serious and emotional moments with the gravitas needed to sell the scene, and his Captain Marvel has just the right amount of swagger worthy of Carol Danvers. Colorists Ian Herring’s colors are perfect for every scene, giving the day scenes the proper sense of end of the world times, and using some interesting colors choices for the scene heavy on the super hero-type effects.

As someone who gave up on reading Secret Wars proper and already has a sense on how this will end thanks to upcoming solicits, it’s worth noting how good this creative teams on making this Incursion feel like a real threat. The sense of danger and emotional strain of Last Days is there and feels real, even though we’re due for a new Ms Marvel #1 come this fall. Ms Marvel continues to be the best thing coming out of Marvel these days, even when it’s tied into a massive crossover. This book is definitely worth your time if you’re a regular reader scared who’s not reading Secret Wars, or a Secret Wars fan looking for an amazing tie in.

 

 

 

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Troy’s Toy, but with Comics: So much Marvel (Belated edition)

Without going into details, life happened. Here’s some reviews:

300px-Secret_Avengers_Vol_3_1Secret Avengers #1

Ales Kot/Michael Walsh/Matt Wilson

Marvel, $3.99

Real talk, I had trouble choosing between covers. Tradd Moore’s was awesome, but Katie Cook’s Avengers Ducks was the cutest thing to ever cute, and it had a M.O.D.O.Duck! I would gladly spend $4 a month reading about Secret Avenger Ducks, please take note Marvel.

I picked this book up for 2 reasons. The first one being my wife REALLY like Spider-Woman, and this appears to be the book to read about J-Drew  with Avengers Assemble wrapping up this month. The 2nd being when the preview pages dropped, this incarnation of the book looked VERY much influenced by the Fraction/Aja Hawkeye book, a title we all know I love.

In the letters section, writer Ales Clot says this is “Michael Bay directs an episode of Breaking Bad as it meets Arrested Development. and it’s full of spies and super heroes.”. And it literally is, (I guess makes it Agents of SHIELD meet Archer), as 4 different stories are interwoven into one narrative. And it works. It’s a fun, slighty-violent read illustrated wonderfully by Michael Walsh. Walsh reminds me a lot of David Aja & Michael Lark (Daredevil, Gotham Central), and is a perfect fit for this title.

I was really excited for this book to drop, and after reading it, I’m happy to say it surpassed my expectations. Fans of Agents of SHIELD, Hawkeye, Avengers Assemble and the new Black Widow series need to get on this title sooner rather than later.

hawkeye17cvrHawkeye #17

Matt Fraction, Chris Eliopoulous, David Aja, Jordie Bellaire

Marvel $2.99

After the crazy cliffhanger dropped in issue 15, the belated issue 17 (let’s not forget 16 shipped before 15!) is an holiday issue. In March. I’d complain, but  Chris Eliopoulous, the series letter, steps up on art duties to tell the tale (OR SHOULD I SAY..TAIL? HM HM HMMM!) of the Winter Friends. And you know what? Like every issue it’s fantastic. Eliopoulous is a amazing artist, and this fun little story has get twist to it, so who cares if it’s Christmas in March right? Also holy crap, look at that cover, it is sweet, also tight. Again, you should be reading this book, and if you’re not, it’s your lose. Also I’m judging you. More so than usual.

Captain_Marvel_Vol_8_1_TextlessCaptain Marvel #1

Kelly Sue DeConnick, David Lopez, Lee Loughridge

Marvel, $3.99

Don’t call it a comeback. No seriously, we’ve only been Captain Marvel less since November, and she’s been in a number of Avenger titles since then. It wasn’t that painful y’all.

But the 2nd volume of Captain Marvel makes an impressive debut. By now, no one’s questioning Kelly Sue DeConnick’s ability to craft a great story with Carol Danvers. She’s arguably the best thing to happen to the character since Chris Claremont brushed her off from some questionable decisions back in the 80s.

David Lopez however, is the Captain Marvel artist we deserve. While there was some serious talent involved in volume 1, the final page of this issue is some next level stuff It’s a great looking book, and sets up the new status quo for Cap Marvel quite nicely. It’s a good jumping on point for new readers, and it justifies a new #1 for returning readers. Between this and the newly launched Ms. Marvel , it’s refreshing to see some great female writers produce fantastic comics, and that Marvel is recognizing that there’s an audience for these stories.

portrait_incredibleSuperior Foes of Spider-Man #9

Nick Spencer/Steve Lieber/ Rachelle Rosenberg

Marvel $2.99

This is the issues where Boomerang and the Shocker both scheme and attempt to improve their lives. But these guys are super villains, so things do not go according to plan If that’s not worth  your $3, I have no idea what to tell you. Marvel’s best book you’re probably not reading continues to be the best book you’re probably not reading, and I really wish you were. There’s some genuine moments of badassery never seen before in this book, as well as some really strong comedy stuff with amazing timing. This team is so in synch it’s not even funny, only okay, the book is hilarious, never mind that.  The first volume is out in trade, so get on it, get caught up, and buy this comic. Unless you hate good comics. If so, let me tell you what’s going on in “Forever Evil“….

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I have bought some comics and read one that isn’t even out yet.

I cannot even begin to tell you how HYPE I am that Warren Ellis will be signing at FPNYC in a few short weeks. That’s an insane GET, and something NYCC hasn’t even managed to do yet. I am excited to meet the man who’s written some of the most important comics ever (NEXTWAVE NEXTWAVE), and have him acknowledge my existence, something he’s yet to do on Twitter. #ThanksObama

CaptainMarvel17_FinalCaptain Marvel #17

Kelly Sue DeConnick/ Filipe Andrade

Marvel, $3.99, 30 pages

Confession time: When this issue was originally solicited, I thought it was going to be super cheesy and pandering, given it’s the #CarlCorp issue. I am glad to be so wrong, because this is EASILY the best issue of the run. Shame on me for doubting that which is KSD.

The final issue of the first volume of this series (don’t worry, Carol’s back in March with a brand new #1, pre-order that when you can!) deals with the fall out from the Enemy Within crossover in a very nice done is one. The focus on this issue is Kit, Carol’s “kid sidekick” and Kelly Sue has done a bang-up job of developing her relationship with the good Captain, which serves as the A-plot of this issue. Aside from that, Cap gets a new enemy, a new apartment,  and a new Ms. Marvel, whom you’ve may have heard about by now, makes her official debut. The reason why it’s the Carol Corp issue makes sense once it wraps up, and it’s a very cute and cool shout-out to the awesome fanbase KSD and co. has acquired over the last year and a half. Filipe Andrade is firing on all cylinders with this final issue, as the art is fantastic. It’s clean, kinetic very Eric Canete-esque, which fits the type of book Captain Marvel should be. Jordie Bellaire‘s colors are a little too dark for my liking at some times, but overall she does a great job with em. And Kelly Sue bounces back after 2 less than impressive tie-in issues, ending this volume of Captain Marvel on an impressive.

The hiatus for this title certainly sucks, but it’s needed. KSD is obviously focusing on Pretty Deadly moment, and as great as Andrade is, David Lopez is a great upgrade for this title. Hoping the All-New Marvel Now relaunch will help with the sales with the next volume of Captain Marvel, because this has been a fun ride so far, and I’m excited for more in 2014.

longshot-saves-the-marvel-universe-600x900Longshot Saves the Marvel Universe #1

Christopher Hastings/Jacopo Camangi

Marvel, $2.99, 20 pages

The mini-series you never know you wanted is here and man, I am thrilled.

Longshot is one of those character I’ve always had a soft spot for, and I’m really glad he’s been written well under Peter David in X-Factor. But that story is over, and Christopher Hastings is here to give us the first solo Longshot story in years.

Hastings has written a few Deadpool stories for Marvel over the last couple of years, but is mostly known for his excellent Web-comic Doctor McNinja. Which makes him a PERFECT fit for ol’ Longshot, as he’s put in a very zany, almost Doctor Who-esque scenario. And Jacopo is the perfect fit for this book. His work is very animated and clean, the perfect fit for Hastings’ story. It’s nothing ground breaking so fat, but it’s very fun. Which is pretty much all I want from a Longshot story.

 

UNITY_001_COVER_BRAITHWAITE1ADVANCE REVIEW: UNITY #1

Matt Kindt/ Doug Braithwaite

Valiant, $3.99, 40 pages

Reviewer’s Note: The version of this comic being reviewed is not the print version, but a 40 page PDF supplied by Valiant.

Confession time 2: Up until now, I’ve yet to read a single book published by the new Valiant comics. Sorry gang, but my comics-allowance is limited, and I REALLY like the X-men. It’s a shame, because the company employees a lot of creators I do like, and I’m glad to see it doing well in the market.

Unity, according to the press release supplied by Valiant, is the company’s answer to the Avengers or the Justice League, and is brought about by the actions of X-O Manowar. Not being familiar with Valiant all too much, I really didn’t recognize a lot of the book’s cast, and  Matt Kindt doesn’t exactly bring the reader up to date on all of the characters. That being said, after a slow, kind of confusing start, the book picks up and delivers right until the ending.

Doug Braithwaite is brillant from cover to cover. A great artist, this book really showcases his talents, and Valiant was wise to bring him aboard for this new series/mini-event.  He’s really on the same pages as Kindt when it comes to telling this story, and visually this book couldn’t be better.

Unity is sure to please fans of the current Valiant universe, but people planning to jump into the book/universe for the first time may want to do a bit of research first. I’d go with X-O Manowar volume 1, which is all of $10. But Unity is off to a good start, and things can only get better with Matt and Doug involved.

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I went to Europe, but then I came home to read some comics

The European comic shop scene is weird to me you guys. Between London, Halifax and Paris, I saw no less than a dozen comics shops, some of them named Forbidden Planet even, but man, it’s weird seeing the books I pull be considered imports. It’s also worth noting those shops were kinda fantastic, as there were things in them I was wiling to drop insane amounts of cash on. Also man the dollar sucks in the global sense, which is why I didn’t drop crazyyyyyy money. But if you’re ever in Europe, I encourage y’all to take some times to look at some of the local shops, ESPECIALLY in Paris.

X-Men005portrait_incredible (1)So yeah remember when I said I was going to take a break from the X-books and wait for the oversized hardcover  that was dropping in December? J/K, I BOUGHT CHAPTERS 3 AND 4 BECAUSE I AM WEAK! Zero regrets about that mind you (YOLO), because this event is crazy fun and serves as testament on how strong the X-line is these days. Brian Wood and David Lopez absolutely kill on their chapter (X-men #5, Marvel, $3.99, 20 pages) which should be a suprise to no one. The two had a great run on the X-men last year, and it’s great to see them work their magic once again on Marvel’s mutants. Lopez especially, who’s John Cassadyesque, only with better faces. And Woods, not unlike Bendis, is fantastic at injecting humor throughout the soap opera that is the X-men. As for Uncanny X-men #12 (Chapter 12, also $3.99 and 20 pages), Chris Bachalo and like 4 inkers (Really?!?) rejoin Bendis for a tale that had me drop at least 5 very  audible profanities as I read it. The last 6 pages of this book are insane, and are setting some some great stuff for Chapter 5. Despite my intial concerns about this book, Battle of Atom has pleased me on every level, and I cannot stress how awesome this X-event has been so far. THIS is how events should be done.

Daredevil_Vol_3_31_TextlessMark Waid and Chris Samnee are really doing their best to trying to get me to come up with new ways to praise Daredevil. This current arc, a take on the Trayvon Martin case, covers a LOT in 20 pages, making it a stral for $3. Also everytime Mark Waid writes Hank Pym is a treat, and adding him to DD’s supporting cast was a genius move. And Chris Samnee remains one of the best artists working in the industry today. Don’t let the cover fool you, there’s a lot more going in the pages of Daredevil 31 then it implies (the promised deathtraps are missed though) and you’re a fool if you’re not reading this book. Yes I’ll resort to name calling to get people to buy this title, I am not above doing as such.

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Captain Marvel #16 ($2.99, 20 pages, Marvel) had a very fun cover, but it’s an uneven read. Which is unfortunate, as the book has been very hit or miss as of late. I’m not reading Infinity,and this book is VERY much tied into the event of this mini, so there’s a lot that I just didn’t get. A shame, because there’s some great talent giving KSD a hand with this issue in the form of  Jen Van Meter and Patrick Olliffe. And there’s a lot of strong bits spread through out the issue, as the writers have a great handle on the Avengers featured in this book. But again, if you’re not reading Infinity you’re gonna be lost. At least the 5 months of crossovers comes to an end next issue..before the book takes a small break before the rumor relaunched during ALL NEW MARVEL NOW, or whatever it’s call. Either way, this was probably the worst issue to drop in an otherwise fun run, and hopefully the break will do KSD and Captain Marvel some good.

And with that I’m caught up with my single issues. However, I did read some trades, some manga and there’s a bunch of great books coming out this upcoming week. So I’ll be back real quick (maybe).

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I bought some comics, let me tell you about them.

Toy-talk next time I swear, but for now I want to talk comics and y’all got to suffer through that first. I’ve bought a few books that warrant discussion, at FPNYC and now I’m going to spend 500 words trying to explain how great they are.

First off, there’s Marvel’s mini-event “The Enemy Within“. One would assume if I were to talk about a Marvel event it would “Age of Ultron”, but I really have very few positive things to say about that. And “Infinity” is something I can wait to be collected before touching, sorry Hickman.

“The Enemy Within”  is a crossover between Kelly Sue Deconnick’s 2 books “Captain Marvel” and “Avengers Assembled“. Both of those titles are books I’m already buying as is, so it really wasn’t a hard sell. The event spins out of recent happenings going down in Carol Danvers’ book, where an old enemy is giving the good Captain hell, and forcing her to fight a ton of her old foes. So Carol calls in some of her mightiest pals to help deal with that.

And it’s such a fun read! You really don’t need to know much going into it, although being caught up on at least “Captain Marvel” helps. It feels like a lost Jim Starlin Avengers story from the 70s at times, and I mean that in a good way. The BIG difference is how KSD writes the cast. The Avengers come off as actual friends, so there’s a nice degree of warmth in the script, as well as some solid humor. The art by Scott Hepburn and Matteo Buffangi gives the story a very fluid and animated look, which I dig a lot. It’s a 5 issue arc, and if you want to read a FUN Avengers book with cast similar to that of the movies, it’s the way to go.

Dark Horse Presents #25 also dropped this past week, and for $8 , you definitely get your money’s worth. There’s 11 stories contained in 80 pages of comics, by some big name talent. Matt Fraction, a writer I’m obviously found of, makes his Dark Horse debut with Christian Ward and gives a nice done in one story focusing on  lost romance and time travel. There’s a GREAT 1 page strip by Emma T Capps, who’s all of 15 year old, a Buffy The Vampire story begins  by series regulars Jane Espenson and Karl Moline, and stories by A-list creators like Fred Van Lente, Freddie Williams III, Phil Winslade, Mike Baron, Steve Rude, Dan Jolley and Leonard Kirk, amongst others. My only complaint with this book is that some of the content is  already in the 2nd and 3rd chapters of their stories, so some of the tales may come across as confusing. Regardless of that, I remain pleased with my purchase.

And because the buzz around it is great, I also picked up the Legend of Luthor Strode, by creators Justin Jordan, Tradd Moore and Felipe Sobreiro. Published by Image Comics’, this book is as awesome as it is violent, which is to say A LOT. It’s “Kick-Ass” meets “Charlies Atlas”, which I know, does not say much about the story, but I’m trying to keep this relatively light on the spoilers. In fact, I’ll go on the record for saying that I liked it a ton better than “Kick-Ass”. For a $15 trade, you could do a lot worst, and this book definitely deserves a spot on your book shelf.

So there you go, a bunch of great books worth your time! Hope you check at some of them, and let me know what you think here, or on twitter. @theanarchris is my handle, and I’m fairly active on there, so all feedback is appreciated.

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TRY SOMETHING NEW CHAPTER 7: Against The Evil Galactic Empire.

(note: This weeks column will be structured like a Choose Your Own Adventure. If you do not understand what a Choose Your Own Adventure story is you should call your parents and ask them why they didn’t give you a better childhood.)

So here we are again. Me at my computer, drinking chocolate milk like an adult. It’s 3 AM. I had a really long day and I don’t want to get into the details. On the bright side I had dinner at a Chinese restaurant next to Peter Scolari. I also thought I recognized the guy sitting on the other side of the room but I realized after dinner that I thought it was Walter Cronkite and I am pretty sure he’s dead. So that was either not him or the craziest celebrity sighting ever. Peter Scolari isn’t dead, right? If he is, you all should check out this Chinese spot on 74th and Amsterdam. It’s like Dawn Of The Dead but with soup dumplings. Anyway, enough about me. What’s going on with you? If you are reading the newsletter in Forbidden Planet please proceed to PARAGRAPH 1. If you are reading the blog on FPNYC.com skip ahead to PARAGRAPH 2. If you are reading the newsletter somewhere outside the store please jump to PARAGRAPH 3.

1. I see. Well, it’s good to see you in Forbidden Planet again. It feels like it’s been a while. Did you see Forbidden Planet’s own technical wizard/artistic muse Tyler yet? He’s here somewhere. He is always in the store. If you find him you should give him a hug. He will act like he doesn’t want you to, but he does. Maybe he’s downstairs. Duck under the rope and look for him in “The Dungeon”. (editor’s note: customers are not allowed to duck under the rope or touch Tyler.) Go on. It’s fine. Never listen to editors, cops, or your parents. The Dungeon is cool. It is full of Abominations and staff members eating halal food. Anyway, thanks for reading this before you do your shopping. You seem like a real savvy customer who wants to TRY SOMETHING NEW. Would you be offended if I made a suggestion? If you want to hear Matthew’s recommendation for you hurl onward to PARAGRAPH 4. If you want to act like a weirdo jerk and not hear his recommendation then slither ahead to PARAGRAPH 9.

2. Oh that’s cool. And hey, thanks for coming to FPNYC.com. There’s so much stuff on the internet. Some folks would have you believe there is too much stuff, but those folks are sociopaths. Either way, it really means a lot to me that you came all the way out here to the middle on internet nowhere to read this of all things. You can’t tell right now, but your dedication to our little blog just made technical wizard/evil henchmen Tyler tear up just now. He is acting like he has something in his eye but he doesn’t. He is an emotional dude. Don’t judge. Anyway, I think it’s really cool that you came here. I know you could be watching that video of the guy teaching the baby wolf how to howl or trying to figure out what Hawkeye from the Avengers would look like if he were a sexy lady. But you have a dedication to seeking out some of the worst comics journalism of all time and I think that is swell. That reminds me, do you know what book you might like? If you don’t know what book you might like and want to find out hop along to PARAGRAPH 6. If you are some freak who somehow already knows all of the books he/she will ever like crawl forward to PARAGRAPH 9.

3. Hey. Sorry to cut you off but I got something to say. I don’t want to be a jerk here but I am a little annoyed. Why would you come into Forbidden Planet, pick up a newsletter, and then wait to read it until you left? How are my book recommendations going to help you now? You can come back in a few days and hope that all the books I’ve recommended aren’t sold out, but I make no guarantees. A lot of people read this newsletter in the store and I am very persuasive. Anyway, I am not mad or anything, just disappointed. Our technical wizard/ jackbooted thug Tyler is really mad though. Next time you come into the store you better hope he isn’t in. Lucky for you, Tyler is almost never in the store. Anyway, I want to prove to you that I’m not mad. I want to recommend a book. Cool? If you want to be cool with Matthew launch yourself over to PARAGRAPH 8. If you don’t want to be cool with Matthew or anyone else creep on to PARAGRAPH 9.

4. I think you might like DARK HORSE PRESENTS #20. It’s one of the great comic anthologies of all time, showcasing amazing legends and exciting up and comers in all genres. Two cool new stories begin in this issue; Michael Avon Oeming‘s dark superhero story THE VICTORIES, and Geoffrey Thorne and Todd Harris‘ intriguing JOURNEYMEN! Josh Williamson‘s great take on the old pulp hero CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT is a great read for anyone who appreciates fun action, which you seem like you do. And this issue also has another installment of one of my favorite new series of 2012- THE WHITE SUITS. Crime and conspiracy stuff done in a fresh and stylized way, THE WHITE SUITS short story makes DARK HORSE PRESENTS worth the cover price alone. Anyway, pick this one up. It’s right over there on the shelf. I’m sure you’ll like it. If you pick up DARK HORSE PRESENTS #20 walk over to the register where one of the register jockeys will ring you up and say “do you want a bag and board for this?” even though it won’t fit in a bag because it is prestige format. THE END. If you choose not to buy DARK HORSE PRESENTS #20 lurk on over to PARAGRAPH 9.

5. The ground you are standing on momentarily groans like an old man before it gives way. You fall for what feels like a lifetime but is only a moment. Mercifully, you stop with a violent splash. You have landed in what seems to be water… maybe. As you look up you can just barely make out the fading sunlight. It’s beautiful, shades of red and orange blend together like a Gauguin. You barely hear tires kick up dirt as your only “friends” drive away. Are they laughing? The water is violently cold, a cold you could have never imagined. It fights its way deep into your muscles, into your bones even. They burn against the cold but it is a losing battle. The pain begins to give way to an almost peacefulness as treading water becomes harder and harder. Hypothermia begins to set in and you find that you now think of yourself in the past tense, “I was so young.” The universe doesn’t care though. THE END.

6. This is what I wanted to show you. It’s DAN THE UNHARMABLE. Have you read the single issues? No? Well that’s fine because this is the first volume of the collection. It’s by David Lapham. You may know him from such disturbing and ultraviolent books as CROSSED, CALIGULA, or FERALS. Or you might know him from a personal favorite of mine, STRAY BULLETS. STRAY BULLETS is one of the smartest and best slice of life/crime/I don’t know what books ever written. It’s LOVE & ROCKETS but with more murder. Lapham has an extraordinary ability to blur lines between the disturbing, the tragic, and the hilarious. DAN THE UNHARMABLE tells the story of an immortal private eye who gets caught up in a very personal case. It is violent, crass, low brow, funny, and exciting. Lapham can pull off this kind of schizophrenic storytelling in ways no one else would think of trying. If any of that interests you grab this and proceed to check out. If you order a copy of DAN THE UNHARMABLE vol 1 sit by your mailbox for a few days until the postman puts it in your hand. Thank your postman. It’s a thankless job. THE END. If you choose not to buy DAN THE UNHARMABLE Vol. 1. scurry on over to PARAGRAPH 9.

7. Her lips graze your neck and you can feel your pulse quicken. Her warm breath on your skin makes your toes tingle. She whispers something you can’t quite make out and your whole body starts to go numb. “Did she just say my real name?!” you think to yourself. Startled, you go to push her away but your legs give out before your hands can respond to your mental commands. You fall to the ground like a hostage dropped out the front door during a botched bank robbery. You hit the ground head first and your neck twists violently but painlessly to the right. The acrid taste of bile creeps up the back of your throat and fills your mouth. You can see part of your body you have never seen before; your back. Sticking straight out like a flag, the syringe she used is clearly visible. She leans down over you and sensually whispers one last sentence to you, “The universe wanted you dead.” No it doesn’t, you wanted to be able to tell her. It just doesn’t care. THE END.

8. So these Marvel Now books have been really great. Strong and smart editorial leadership has managed to put together a lot of really smart and interesting books without abandoning what came before them. THOR, ALL NEW X-MEN, NEW AVENGERS, CAPTAIN MARVEL, SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN, there are almost too many good Marvel books to name right now. Well two more enter the fold this week with #1 issues. Ron Garney and indie hotshot Sam Humphries launch an all new UNCANNY X-FORCE this week. Mohawk Storm is all you really need to know. Mr. Humphries likes to take his stories down unusual paths and that is just what an X-Force book should do, go where you least expect it. This may not be high on a lot of folks lists, but neither was Rick Remender‘s run on UNCANNY X-FORCE, and that ended up being one of the best Marvel books in 10 years.

In addition to UNCANNY X-FORCE #1, this week sees YOUNG AVENGERS #1. Most people don’t know this because most people didn’t read it but Allan Heinberg‘s YOUNG AVENGERS series was absolutely brilliant. It was a great idea grounded in very smart, very human characters. If Marvel played their cards right that book should have been the hit that Brian K. Vaughan‘s RUNAWAYS was, but they didn’t and it wasn’t. Well now Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie, known separately for doing all sorts of really good stuff but known together as the team behind the brilliant and shamefully underloved PHONOGRAM are reuniting to make the Young Avengers count. There are a ton of great characters to fall in love with here and both of these guys excel at really good down to earth storytelling. And both Gillen and McKelvie are British indie rock dudes so hopefully they will throw in some references to The Arctic Monkeys or Caves or Chvrches or chip butty or stab vests or 56 Up or something else Americans don’t understand. I am excited to see a new young Marvel team act like a bunch of chavs. I hope someone calls Captain America a geezer. $5 says they throw in a reference to Ziggy Stardust before issue 6. That stuff is like their bible. If you want to go back to the store and buy copies of UNCANNY X-FORCE #1 & YOUNG AVENGERS #1 do so soon. Forbidden Planet are keeping some copies warm, but it’s cold out there. Hurry, hurry, super scurry! THE END. If you choose not to buy either of these books mosey on over to PARAGRAPH 9.

9. “Well it doesn’t seem like I have anything I can offer you. I tried to be nice. I tried to be helpful. I recommended cool new books. You seem uninterested. You seem like something is bothering you. Oh well. I hope you have a great life though.” With that your time with TRY SOMETHING NEW comes to an end. You can read on and find out if Unkie Dev still likes Hellboy a lot. You can go even further still and find out if that other guy still likes incomprehensible Japanese robot toys. But you won’t. Your ennui pushes you out the door. You need to walk. You wander for hours only to find yourself in a deserted part of town. Nearly deserted. You think you are being followed now but you can’t be sure. You duck into an alley to get away or maybe it’s just to clear your head. Why would someone be after you? You decide to stay in the alley just to catch your breath. You are safe. No one wants to hurt you. A misguided feeling of relief washes over. You decide to make the most of the alley and look into some people’s windows because, well, because you’re not a good person. As you look into a dingy studio apartment you catch a reflection in the window of a crazed, half starved man looming behind you. All at once three things enter your head. The first is “Was that tech wizard/escaped mental patient Tyler?” The second is “Was that a brick in his hand?” And the last thing to enter your head is the aforementioned brick. As you bleed to death in the backstreets of Anytown USA you finally understand that neither Tyler nor the universe ever cared about you. You realize that you wasted a great opportunity. You realize you should have TRIED SOMETHING NEW. THE END.

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Chris Troy and the uneventful convention. Also toys!

So Baltimore Comic Con was this weekend, and truth be told, it was pretty uneventful, especially when compared to Heroescon or any of the bigger shows (SDCC, NYCC). To be fair though, BCC was an excuse for  the Hyatt bar to be “hopping” (that’s still acceptable slang right?) on Saturday night, as I got to talk to the likes of John Romita Jr (AvX, Kick-Ass, Amazing Spider-Man), Mark Waid (Daredevil), Reilly Brown (Cable/Deadpool, Amazing Spider-Man), Pablo Rivera (Daredevil as well), and Phil LaMar (Futurama, Justice League) among others. I also may have accidentally call Savage Dragon creator Erik Larson “David Finch”, and gotten Mark Waid to take a photo of him flipping the bird so that I could send it to a friend, because I’m five. Good times! And here, have a photo of my wife as Black Widow hanging out with awesome Carol Danvers cosplayer Bettie Bloodshed. This is literally the most exciting photo I currently have of the convention. Oh well, NYCC is next month, we have tickets available for sale. You should go because they literally have Elmo as a guest. Also because it’s a pretty great show.

(( All joking aside, BCC is a pretty great con, but coming off of C2E2 & Heroescon, I am le spoiled!)

Alright less con talk, more toy talk. I mentioned that the new wave of Marvel Universe figures are out in a previous article , so it’s probably about time  to take a closer look at the line so as to recommend what figures to look out for. This wave is a bit of a mix, as there’s some REALLY good stuff, and some… not so much. Starting off we have the Beast, which man, is so close to being the best Universe figure to date if it wasn’t for one major flaw. Beast’s arms are flimsy as hell which is a shame, considering the fact that  he has a great paintjob, amazing sculpt, and 29 points of articulation. Yeah 29, meaning he’s more poseable than most Legends/DC Classic figures. Considering Hank clocks in at 4″, that says a lot. I bought him to complete my OG X-Men set, which you should too if you have any interest in the Marvel Universe line. Continue reading

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Review: Marvel Universe Doctor Doom

By Loran

I’m really starting to think I need to put more “rhythm” into my comic character collecting…

I got Deadpool before any of the other X-Men, Ms. Marvel before Captain Marvel; I own Iron Patriot and no Captain America (which I need to fix), I don’t have a good Hulk figure, I own Black Widow and Namor for… some reason and I have more Iron Men than I really need. And of course, I continued this by getting Doctor Doom before anyone in the Fantastic Four! At least there’s a boxset to help fix that now. Besides, he’s Doctor Doom. Who needs reason to own him?

I always thought Doctor Doom was kind of cool, probably because I like Destro from G.I. Joe so much. He’s kind of like the prototype for Destro, even if was a bit cooler, at least in my opinion. This mold was previously used in one of the Secret Wars comic packs with Wasp and Absorbing Man, sporting a much more “animated” color scheme. Whether you like the animated look or the “realistic” look is really a matter of opinion, but either way, this one gives you the option of just getting Doom by himself. Continue reading

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Marvel Universe Series 3 Wave 1 line review

By Chris Troy

This is a very unique February for Marvel fans across the US. Comic wise, Marvel’s launching it’s .01 initiative, special $2.99 priced 1-shots that help new readers get caught up to date on Marvel’s big heroes ( like Spidey, Wolverine, Iron Man…..Deadpool?!). Tonight’s the Super Bowl, which as a Jets’ fan, I’m once again super-bitter than Gang Green couldn’t get it done once again in the division finals (go Packers!), but we’ll be seeing trailers for both Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger. Also, in about 2 weeks, Marvel vs. Capcom 3 drops for the PS3 and Xbox 360, which as a Marvel AND a fighting game fan,  I am 50 exciteds for. So, to complete this theme, today’s article will be on the latest wave of Marvel Universe figures.

Fair warning, my digital camera’s battery is shot and my wife’s not home with her’s at the time, and I dare not use cellphone photos for blog use, so it’s going to be Goggle-found image day! I found some pretty reliable images though,so everything should be okay. Anywho while this is technically the 13th wave, Hasbro is calling this Wave 3 series 1 as the difference is that Steve Rogers (aka Captain America) is now features on the box, replacing Norman Osborn, Series’2 representative, who originally replace Nick Fury. Back in the day, you got S.H.I.E.L.D or H.A.M.M.E.R file cards, which offered brief descriptions of the character you bought.  Now you get a stand with the character’s  name on it, which is extremely helpful, as these some of these figures aren’t exactly that great at standing to begin with. Why they are even bothering  with slapping  Steve on the box now is beyond me, but hey, it’s current with the current Marvel Universe in terms of who’s top cop, so I guess that’s cool. Anyway, this wave consists of World War Hulk, Doc Samson, Spider-Man 2099, Spider-Woman, Captain Marvel and Heroic Age Iron Man. Continue reading

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