Tagged: Nick Bradshaw

Review: Wolverine & The X-Men Volume 8

300px-Wolverine_and_the_X-Men_Vol_1_38Wolverine and the X-Men vol 8
Jason Aaron w/ Nick Bradshaw, Pepe Larraz, Todd Nauck and more
Marvel $14.99

Ever since Days of Future Past dropped a few weeks back, I’ve been reading a lot of older X-Men comics these days. The Chris Claremont era is considered by many as  the golden age of X-Men, and up until this summer, I had only read the Dark Phoenix Saga, Days of Future Past, and a bunch of stuff involving Arcade, because I’m the type of dude who likes Arcade. So I fired up the ol’ Marvel Digital App and decided to do some summer reading.

I’m definitely digging what Claremont, David Cockrum, John Byrne and Paul Smith have done with the X-Men and all the drama and high stake action that ensued. But there’s a lot fun and light hearted characters moments in those issues as well, which I really like. Which is why I think is one of the reasons I’ve really dug what Jason Aaron’s done on Wolverine and the X-Men.  Aaron’s chose to channel the more fun and insane of Claremont’s X-Men run, and it makes for a much more different and off beat type of X-Men that what I’m used to.

xmenDon’t get me wrong. The Grant Morrison run of New X-Men is still my favorite era of X-books, but that book was pretty dark most of the time. Unless your idea of fun is psychic affairs, which is only excusable if your name is Emma Frost. Which if it is, please contact me, I have about a dozen or so questions.  Aaron’s WaTXM was a book that wasn’t afraid to take chances, be it bring back and semi-redeem some terrible villains (terrible in the sense of both morality and quality!) or turn Wolverine into a clown in Frankenstein’s monster’s MURDER CIRCUS!

Also if you’re not down with a monster owning a Murder Circus, we can never be friends.

wolverine_3The  final volume of Aaron’s run tells 2 tales: the A plot involving the students of the Jean Grey Academy befriending two new students who are secretly spies reporting to Mystique. The B plot involves Wolverine investing the idea of SHIELD producing mutant hunting Sentinels, which brings him face to face with Cyclops, whom he hasn’t been on the best of terms with in forever, despite the fact that CYCLOPS WAS RIGHT! #biased. In addition to those stories, Aaron wraps up a few other lingering plot lines of the junior X-Men graduate into full fledge X-Men, in a cute story that MORE IMPORTANTLY involves Doop vs Nazi Bees. Or and there’s an Infinity tie in annual starring Kid Gladiator drawn by Nick Bradshaw that a fun done in one that really showcases how in sync theses 2 creators are with each other. Plus Kid Glad has run ins with Bruce Banner and Thor, which goes as exactly as you would hope it would.

Aaron’s scripts are also blessed by some fantastic artists in this final volume. The aforementioned Nick Bradshaw and Chris Bachalo swing by to draw a few pages, as do other returning artists like Ramon Perez and Tim Townsend, but the bulk of this trade is drawn by Pepe Larraz. Larraz’s art reminds me a lot of Alan Davis, only a little more looser and raw. I’m excited to see what he’s capable of in the future with more experience.

wolverine_xmen_1Since Aaron’s departure, Wolverine and the X-men was relaunched under Jason Latour, who’s working with Aaron on “Southern Bastards” for Image. Aside from writing that book, Aaron is still working on Thor: God of Thunder, the Original Sin maxi-event, and recently wrapped up his time with the X-men with the first arc of Amazing X-Men. I haven’t read the new series yeah, but Aaron’s going to be a hard act to follow up on. His run on Wolverine and the X-men was strange and wonderful, and Volume 8 is really a celebration of that. I’m hoping we get to see this side of Jason Aaron again sometime down the road.

 

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Yet again, comics I have bought

Happy belated 4th of July FPNYC  Faithful, it is disgusting outside, let’s blow up the sun.

Saying I’m a mark for Matt Fraction stuff is like saying that…that’s it’s too hot outside to make comparisons. Any-who, Satellite Sam from Image Comics dropped this past week. Fraction is on word duty obviously, and the art-stuff is provided by legendary creator Howard Chaykin. Chaykin OWNS this book, doing some really impressive panel work and layouts. The fact that it’s black and white also helps the book maintain it’s 1950s vibe, and credit goes to Fraction for dialogue that fits as well. It’s a surprisingly dense read as well, with the debut issue clocking in at 40 pages. For all of you not in the know, “Sam” is a fictional murder-mystery case not unlike the George Reeves story, but with much darker and erotic overtones. Anyone familiar with Chaykin’s past works should not be surprised by this, but if you only know Fraction from his Marvel work, prepare to see a different side of the creator. A overall solid issue, the only down side to it is that it tends to drag in some areas, especially when you compare it to last week’s excellent and shorter issue of Hawkeye. Still for $3.50, it’s hard to dislike this book.

Switching gears, let’s take a look at the other single issue I bought this week. Adventure Time: Fionna & Cake‘s final issue has shipped, and both the wife and I are going to miss this mini-series. Natasha Allegri, the creator of the gender (and species!) swapped Fionna and Cake has created arguably my favorite mini-series of the year, let alone one of the best looking comics to come out in 2013. Allegri’s storyboard background  is evident in this book, which comes across more as a children’s storybook at time more-so than a comic book in terms of layout, and I mean that in a positive way. And props to guest artist Betty Liang for some amazing art in the early pages in the book. Script wise, this book is flawless, characters sound like their animated counterparts, and the story has a lot of depth and warmth to it as well. Fionna and Cake definitely give Carol Danvers a run for her money as the best female leads in a comic as of late, and I’m sure this will not be the last time we’ll see this 2 in the pages of a kaBOOM book. I imagine this thing will look amazing when collected, but this charming mini series deserves to be read immediately, especially if there any young fans of the show in your house. GET ON IT.

The final book I’ll be looking at is the 5th volume of Wolverine and the X-men. Fellow OCD  collectors, as of the 5th trade, the book is now published as a trade paper back, not as a hardcover, which means the prices drops a few bucks and the page count grows. I am okay with this.

After 2 volumes of AvX tie-ins. WaTXM volume 5 is the first collection in the Marvel NOW era…which ultimately means nothing come to think of it. Oh sure there’s a few new mutants and a new instructor, but plot wise it feels more like a 2nd season than a do over, thanks to creators Jason Aaron and Nick Bradshaw sticking around. Bradshaw gets some assist on the art department by Steve Sanders and David Lopez, two great artist themselves. The 6 issues collected deal with the school expanding, new mutants emerging, FRANKENSTEIN’S MONSTER’S MURDER CIRCUS, and DATE NIGHT! This book is super fun, and it’s great to get back to the original premise now that the AvX business is dealt with. This book read and looks great collected in trade, and considering you’re saving $6 by buying it in trade, it’s well worth the money if you like X-books that are fun and in the same vein of the early Claremont/Morrison stuff.

That’s all for this week, I only have a few more days to prepare to get excited for Hawkeye again!



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