Geeks of the Square Table Episode 32

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Check out the latest episode of our weekly geek round table.

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Top o’ the Lot: Spider-Man’s Villains

Top o' the Lot Image Updated

We continue with our series of Spider-Man lists and posts leading up to the Amazing Spider-Man 2 film, and this time we tackle the villains that loved to tackle Spidey. And, boy, are there a ton of villains to choose from! There’s two obvious way to approach this list: The easy way, and the hard way. From my very first entry in this Lot, you can tell I’m going the hard way. So, without further ado, we shake a sinister fist, have heard just about enough wisecracks, and start to think about committing crimes in Cleveland instead of New York, as we run down our slanted and biased list in Top o’ the Lot: Spider-Man’s Villains.

Honorable Mention: The Sinister Six

Yeah, this list becomes a bit tougher to get through when you immediately take the Top Six off the board Sinister Sixfrom the start. But it had to be done! There are far too many really cool Spidey villains to leave any of these guys off the list, and, thankfully, Marvel wrapped them all up in a nice little package in 1964′s Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1. If they could do it with the good guys, why not the bad guys? And the Sinister Six was the Marvel’s villainous version of the Avengers. The team was led by Doc Ock, and with Electro, Kraven, Mysterio, Sandman, and Vulture all teaming up against the Web-slinger, but Spider-Man ended up winning at the end…again. There may have been other versions of the team, but nothing beats the original, and the lineup is about as classic Spidey villain as you can get.Sinister Six2

5. Scorpion

Scorpion Former Private Investigator turned guinea pig, Mac Gargan was hired by J. Jonah Jameson to discover how Peter Parker gets such good picture of Spider-Man, but was later entered into an experimental procedure where he gets the characteristics of some kind of animal. And in Mac’s case, it was a scorpion. Scorpion had amazing strength, could stick to stuff, and that suit gave him some great perks, but Mac was a moron and Spidey was always able to outsmart the lummox. That’s a shade of green that cannot be ignored, and the direct ripoff of Spidey’s powers makes Scorpion a villain that I always enjoyed seeing get his ass handed to him.

4. Mister Negative

Mister NegativeThis is a relatively new villain to the Spidey-verse is kind of a ripoff of Kingpin Wilson Fisk, but there’s enough of a twist that it gives the character a standalone quality all his own. Martin Li may seem like a good intentioned philanthropist, but he’s secretly the head of Chinatown organized crime syndicate. Yeah, that old bag. He didn’t hang around very long, but he was an integral part in a lot Peter’s renewed family struggles of late, but his Superior replacements hasn’t had to deal with good old Negative. And with a name like that, I couldn’t help but give him a spot on this Lot.

 

3. Rhino

RhinoThe Russian muscle with the super strong polymer suit, Aleksei Sytsevich was just a poor immigrant trying to make his way. Rhino may have been just a lumbering hulk of a beast in the early days of Spider-Man, but later in the series Rhino became an emotional torn character with a ton of heart that readers could really relate with. Forgiveness aside, Rhino remains one of the greatest Spidey villains of all time. Yes, he only really had one move – run straight ahead – but he did it so well. Spidey saw it coming just about every time, though, and Rhino always ended up serving time behind bars…and then escaping…repeat…

2. Venom

Venom2Arguably the most recognizable of all of Spidey’s foes, the alien symbiote known as Venom famously began his life in Marvel Comics as a really big help to Spider-Man. Spidey first acquired the symbiote in the Secret Wars, and he loved it! Great fit, sleek color, and great enhancements, including an endless supply of webbing, what wasn’t to love? Little did Mr. Parker know that the alien was making him *pinky to cheek* eeeevvviill! He eventually rid himself of the black goo, but all kind of folks have donned the symbiote since to varying degrees of strangeness. Eddie Brock is, of course, the most famous of the human half of the beast known as Venom, but one time Scorpion Mac Gargan also wore the black monster suit, before Venom got nerfed with Flash Thompson waring the thing. It’s not the the new Flash/Venom is bad, but I like my Venom a whole lot more villainous, and Flash is anything but. Still, Venom represents in this list, and he’s earned the next to the Top spot o’ this Lot. Leaving the one, the only…

1. The Green Goblin

Was there ever really any doubt? No other Spidey villain could have possibly filled out this Green Goblin2list, and that includes every single member of the team in the Honorable Mention slot. Norman Osbourne takes super-hero potion, becomes insane, tries to take over New York as a criminal warlord. But, as always, Spider-Man foils Gob’s plot, and this sets into motion one of the most exciting and recognized superhero rivalries in all of popular culture. He was the first to figure out Spidey’s true identify, he was the mastermind of the Clone Saga, and he killed Gwen Stacy, Peter first and one true love (Ouch! It still hurts). Good old Gob’s continues to do his work in other parts of the Marvel U throughout his storied history, but nothing will ever top being Spider-Man’s number 1 nemesis. Green Goblin makes the top, because that’s exactly wear he belongs.Green Goblin1

 

See a mistake? Disagree with the choices? Tell us what you think about this installment of Top o’ Lot, join in the discussion and share your opinion.

 

Review: Ultimate FF #1

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Ultimate FF #1

Writer: Joshua Hale Fialkov

Artist: Mario Guevara & Tom Grummett

The Ultimate Universe has experienced a crack in the fabric of reality. One that let the 616 Galactus to enter the Ultimate Universe and wreck it. The world left in chaos, what heroes the Ultimate Universe had did their best to stop Galactus. However New Jersey was lost, and the world blamed S.H.I.E.L.D. for being unable to deal with the event. Former members of the now defunct original Ultiamtes Iron Man and Falcon have joined forces with Invisible Woman to start the Ultimate Future Foundation. A team not only capable of helping the world with disasters but a think tank comprised of geniuses coming up with solutions to the world’s problems. In their first outing they look to stop one of the many anomalies created after Galactus entered their universe. For those who didn’t read Cataclysm: Ultimates they introduce Ultimate Machineman(Danny Ketch with the power of the Gal Lak Tus swarm) and Phil Coulson(Ultimate Phil Coulson has a better hairline).

The Good

The art that Guevara and Grummett deliver in this issue is a certain cut above the standard superhero title. It has a sketchy flow to it that allows the story to really feel like its moving. The look to the Ultimate FF is serious a solid design to them that the Ultimate Universe as always sorta been known for. I’ve really enjoyed Fialkov’s work so far on the various titles he’s grabbed onto in the Ultimate Universe. I feel since this is his first he gets to start he can really open up and bring new things to the Ultimate Universe. This issue just breathes potential. I would def say this is one of those first issues that just grabbed me and made me excited about the places it could go.

The Bad

I would say for some the slight inconsistencies in the way the main characters are drawn page to page might upset some. I didn’t really mind, things like that come with the art style used in the title. However it can be a bit of a pain if you expect more out of the artist. I’m gonna be honest when I say I’m a little sick of the Phil Coulson gimmick. I get that he’s a character that people who don’t read the comics everyday can identify with. But do we really need Phil Coulson in the Ultimate Universe?

The Verdict

I loved this issue. I’m one of the few Ultimate Universe fans here at Outright Geekery and feel its my job to let you know that this is def worth picking up. Even if you’ve never really jumped on an Ultimate Universe title before this is a great jumping on point. They’ve started over and this is probably the best thing so far the Ultimate Universe has brought yet. The characters are wonderfully put together. Fialkov really has made a statement with this issue that he’s gonna take the Ultimate Universe in a whole new direction. Not only that taking small bits from easily one of my favorite titles from 616, but making it very different from what the original FF was like. I’m sold and ready for the next one.

A solid 4 not Hickman’s FF but still good out of 5

Geeks’ Picks for New Comics: April 23rd, 2014

outright-geekery profile-largeNew Comics Wednesday is upon us again, and some of us here at Outright Geekery are running down the top pick on our comic stacks for this week.

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Jules: Uncanny Avengers #19

This title has really been the Avengers title of a lifetime. A somewhat sequel to Rick Remender’s Uncanny X-Force, I am absolutely loving this title. With Daniel Acuna back with the art I’m more than happy to pick this one up! The mutants now on their own planet, Earth now lost. How will Havoc fix everything? With the help of Kang the Conqueror and his lost in time misfits! I am beyond stoked to see what’s slotted next for this incredibly Avengers story, this extension of one of the best X-Men sagas. Rick Remender has yet to let me down on this one!

Uncanny Avengers 19

UNCANNY AVENGERS #19
RICK REMENDER (WRITER) • DANIEL ACUñA (ART)
VARIANT COVER BY AGUSTIN ALESSIO
• AVENGE THE EARTH Continues!
• Kang’s Chronos Corps arrives on Planet X with a terrible offer!
• The former members of the Uncanny Avengers must reunite to save the Earth!
• Magneto’s all-new X-Force are out for the blood of a Summers!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

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Taylor: Original Sin #0

Another year, another event, and Marvel is kicking off their Original Sin book this week. Events tend to be very hit and miss, but I have a lot of faith in the creative teams here, both in Mark Waid for this prequel issue and Jason Aaron on the main book. And really, Jim Cheung’s art alone should probably make Issue #0 worth a look.

Original Sin 0

ORIGINAL SIN #0
MARK WAID (WRITER) • JIM CHEUNG (ARTIST)
ARTIST VARIANT COVER BY PAOLO RIVERA
IT’S THE PROLOGUE TO THE BIGGEST MARVEL SERIES OF THE SUMMER!
WHO IS THE WATCHER? That’s what Nova is wondering after his latest brush with the moon-dwelling enigma he’s encountered before! But what he discovers will have a profound effect on the young hero, as well as priming the pump for the most cataclysmic event in Marvel history! WHAT DID HE SEE?
40 PGS./ONE SHOT/Rated T+ …3.99

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Christian: Justice League United #0

I’ve been waiting on this one since DC first solicited the book last year, and it’s finally here! Jeff Lemire moves on from Animal Man and throws the character onto a new team…in Canada? New team, new characters, new dynamic, new creative team. This should be fun, and it’s on the top of my stack this weeks.

Justice League United 0

JUSTICE LEAGUE UNITED #0
Written by JEFF LEMIRE
Art and cover by MIKE McKONE
1:50 Variant cover by MIKE McKONE
Blank variant cover available
On sale APRIL 23 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Combo pack edition: $4.99 US
Top comics writer Jeff Lemire teams with superstar artist Mike McKone for the all-new monthly series JUSTICE LEAGUE UNITED, starring the new team of powerful heroes Earth calls Justice League Canada!
In the aftermath of FOREVER EVIL, Adam Strange is caught up in an adventure across the far reaches of the cosmos that will unite an unexpected team of heroes including Supergirl, Hawkman, Green Arrow, Stargirl, Martian Manhunter and Animal Man – but if they’re on the team, who exactly is Canadian? Plus: Don’t miss the debut of a new Canadian hero who will have a huge effect on the group!

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Gaumer: Guardians of the Galaxy #14

The Trial of Jean Grey is over, and good riddance, I say. I like my X-Men and I like my Guardians, but they are not peanut butter and chocolate, and they should not be combined. We get a double-sized anniversary of something or other ish, but the real pull is Captain Marvel and Venom (Yes! Venom!) are joining the team. Knowing Marvel, they’ll be last page reveals, but I’m still excited.

Guardians of the Galaxy 14

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #14
Brian Michael Bendis (WRITER) • Nick Bradshaw (ARTIST)
100th issue ANIVERSARY CELEBRATION!
• 45 years in the making! It’s finally here!!! The 100th issue of Guardians of the Galaxy! (Okay it’s actually the 101st, but we had an X-Men crossover to get through! Sheesh!)
• It’s an all-star celebration of the most popular super team of 2014 as cosmic captain Brian Michael Bendis welcomes Nick Bradshaw (WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN) to the team!
• As the GOTG gets ready for new members VENOM and CAPTAIN MARVEL, there are unexpected dangers that promise to tear the team to its core.
• Plus in this special double sized anniversary issue…two special back up stories by former GOTG writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning!
48 PGS./Rated T …4.99

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Jesse: 7th Sword #1

It’s not often I look forward to an IDW issue one but this one caught my eye in a preview sometime ago. The story of a mercenary Samurai taking out robots for the sake of village in the dessert? Science Fiction Samurai are just some of my favorite kind. Written by a newcomer John Ruffalo a former screen writer, with the talented Nelson Blake II, an artist I’ve known to bounce around the top cow titles! It may not look like the most gripping book but I’m a sucker for Sci-Fi Samurai fighting the good fight! I’m gonna give it a try at at least.

7th Sword

7th Sword #1|
John Raffo (writer) • Nelson Blake II (artist) • Andrew C. Robinson (colorist)
Daniel Cray—a samurai mercenary—stumbles upon the legendary city of ZenZion, a mysterious desert outpost under siege from a vicious warlord. The peace-loving citizenry beg Cray to defend them… forcing Cray to reluctantly draw his deadly “Malathane” sword one last time to battle a relentless army of robots and their savage masters. Science Fiction meets Samurai in an epic new adventure from John Raffo (Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story).

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

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Those are our picks, what’s on the top of your stack this Wednesday?

Comix City Too!This post brought to you by Comix City Too! in Madison Tennessee, Outright Geekery’s local comic shop of choice. Check out everything coming out this week in stores here, and be sure to get out to your local comic shop.

Review: Hulk #1

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Hulk #1

Writer: Mark Waid

Artist: Mark Bagley

Mark Waid continues his run of the Hulk with a different title and one of my favorite artist of all time Mark Bagley! So the Indestructible Hulk series ends on a very poetic note in Bruce Banner being shot in the back of the Hulk while being completely complacent. Meaning he did not Hulk out as he usually does. The issue begins with a surgeon getting ready to perform brain surgery on the injured Bruce Banner. The surgeon a man who knew Bruce Banner in college. The surgeon a man who was not good and friendly to Bruce Banner. We see his life unfold around the events of Bruce becoming the Hulk as the Hulk first hits the scene. As the surgery get’s underway a lot things start to not feel right. S.H.I.E.L.D. nowhere to be seen. Things take a very quick turn!

The Good

I’m sorry but I will always gush about how wonderful Mark Bagley’s art. I’m an orginal New Warriors fan so I’ve always dug his art. Mark Waid’s Indestructible Hulk was a ton of fun for being a Hulk story where Banner was on top for once, this story looks to be quite the opposite and I really like that Waid went in that direction immediately with this issue. The tension was really built with the surgeon being a Joe Schmo who didn’t really have much to do with Banner just that he was a jerk to him in college. I like the way it makes you think does everyone who was unfortunate to Banner when he was younger blame themselves for what he’s become? I just think that was a great plot device. The end, made my jaw drop. I won’t spoil it because you should read this issue.

The Bad

As a long time Hulk reader I felt a little short changed by a brief history of the Hulk in this issue. I mean who doesn’t know the basics about Bruce Banner and the Hulk? I understand this was probably a device to attract new readers to a jumping on point in the title. However, I’m not a new reader and didn’t need it intermingled into my next chapter of Mark Waid’s run. This may all sound like nit picks, and honestly they are. This is a solid start to what looks like to be a very different Hulk title, which is exactly what I said long ago when Indestructible Hulk started probably on a very old low-fi Weekly Recs video.

The Verdict

I think this is gonna be a brilliant title. With a pairing like Waid and Bagley I expect good things out of this title. Mark Bagley’s art was beautiful  in this issue as it usually is. I’m a big fan of Mark Waid, his work on the previous Hulk title and with Daredevil have been nothing short of brilliant. This is a great jumping on point for anyone interested into picking up a Hulk title. Its def one of those anyone who is simply a fan and is looking to starrt collecting a title, this is the Hulk you can grab.

This one get’s 3 bullets in Banner’s head out of 5

Review: Uncanny X-Men #20

Uncanny_X-Uncanny X-Men 20UNCANNY X-MEN #20
Brian Michael Bendis (WRITER) • Chris Bachalo (ARTIST)
Artist Variant by Adi Granov
• Cyclops and his revolutionary X-Men take on SHIELD!
• They get closer to finding those at SHIELD responsible for the Sentinels that nearly killed them, but find themselves in even greater danger!
32 PGS.
Rated T+
$3.99

Since Brian Michael Bendis left his long run on the Avengers and took over writing duties on Uncanny X-Men, his presence has certainly been felt on the book. He’s taken an edgier, Dark Avengers sort of approach with this team, and it really works in the context of the whole mutant fallout between Cyclops and Wolverine. Cyclops and his team being portrayed as a group of terrorists has opened up a lot of opportunities for interesting interactions, new mutant introductions, and tactics no X-Team has the nerve to use in the past. While this all makes for a pretty fun single comic book issue, Bendis’ overall story just isn’t going anywhere, and it’s starting to become a problem.

The Good

Bachalo’s art, first and foremost, is spectacular. He just gets everything about these characters, and he especially shines with his work on colors with background washes doing an amazing job of setting the mood. Bendis, as always, shines on his character representations and interactions, and there’s some great stuff in here. Cyclops using his psychic hive mind students to get over on Maria Hill in more ways than one in a singularly creative piece of writing was brilliant to behold, Mystique’s shenanigans in Madripoor and her doppelganger stylings ad some great intrigue to the whole thing, and Cyclops and Beast having a showdown on the grounds of the Jean Grey School were all just so well done and so greatly entertaining that it made this book a highly enjoyable read. The fact remains that the book hasn’t really gone anywhere, and I’m getting tired of going in circles.

The Bad

Bendis has his own special style of writing, and it definitely involves a lot of the same stuff, presented in a different way, over and over again. We saw it throughout his run on New Avengers, and we’re beginning to see that here in Uncanny X-Men. Oh there’s certainly stuff going on, but it’s the same stuff that’s been going on for the last few issues or so. I’m thoroughly enjoying seeing Mystique do her thing, S.H.I.E.L.D. hunt Cyclops and his gang, the drama of expelled students, and even the constant interaction between two teams of mutants who claim to utterly detest each other, but it’s pretty much the only damned thing that has happened, and I want to see a payoff to the story that isn’t just more of the same.

The Verdict

I’m sincerely torn. Although Bendis has given us a really entertaining comic in this Uncanny X-Men run, I’m ready for it to move on with the story it is telling. I’ve had enough build-up, and, like a game of Jenga that goes on too long, if a story builds too much it can topple. So, I’m going to base my score on those feelings, hope beyond hope that the story gets to where it’s going really soon, but continue to judge Bendis exactly how he comes.

Story: 3.0 Out of 5
Art: 4 Out 5
Overall: 3.5 Out of 5

Review: Superior Spider-Man #31

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Superior Spider-Man #31

Writer: Dan Slot & Christos Gage

Artist:Giuseppe Camuncoli Will Sliney

Dan Slott may still be a terrible person but for a totally different reason this time around. Like many I hated the idea of Otto Octavius being Spider-Man at first. But honestly as the title went on it really grew on me. In fact I feel a little let down I don’t have another year without Peter. I’m sure you’re reading this and yelling “Blasphemy!” but it’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it. Not only is this the final issue but the finale of the Goblin Nation story arc.Otto became overwhelmed and out matched by the Green Goblin and gave Peter his body back. Peter Parker once again Spider-Man gets into his classic costume and quickly realizes he has no idea what the hell has been going on. After some quick updates as to where his love ones are he’s off to take out the Goblins. A lil team-up with 2099 Spider-Man who pissed at first realizes he’s now in the company of the Real Spider-Man, and quickly makes himself ready. The Spider-Men now take to the streets ready to take on the Goblin’s Nation and win back New York.

The Good

I really dug the way Dan Slott decided to wrap up the series. In tandem with Christos Gage’s epilogue in the back the story really feels at an end. Camuncoli was the perfect person to bring Peter Parker back to life in the pages. Camuncoli’s facial expressions nail just how emotional this issue gets for everyone as Peter tries to understand just what Otto had been doing while using his body. Never been a huge 2099 Spider-Man fan but I’ve really gotta say Dan Slott has sold me on him in this series. I really enjoy his reasoning for being in the standard 616 and I like his relationships with both Peter and Otto. 2099 Spider-Man with Spider-Man kicking Spiderslayer and Goblin tail was just nothing but everything I ever wanted in a big Spider-Man issue. Of course like all of the Superior Spider-Man series not everyone is gonna enjoy it. But I have(and you can here me rant about it in a soon follow article Superior Spider-Man: The Spider-Man we needed but not the Spider-Man we deserved.)

The Bad

I stand by what I say in that the series ended before it should have. Dan Slott of course always intended to bring Peter Parker back, whether he admitted it or not. But I can’t help but feel cheated by the fact that the Amazing Spider-Man 2 is about to hit theaters and now we are getting a relaunch of the Amazing Spider-Man. Feels a little close doesn’t it? I mean there was at least another good year of stories out of Otto being Spider-Man and can’t help but feel hoodwinked by the ending of another chapter in Dan Slott’s Spider-Man Saga. Still not as bad as Brand New Day. I’m selfish when I say I wanted to see Humberto Ramos doing the art at some point in this issue. Not Will Sliney, no offense who does the art in the epilogue.

The Verdict

I was quite the fan of the Superior Spider-Man and I’m sad to see it come to an end. It was a wild ride that I simply was always left guessing till the very end and I really loved that about this title. So few superhero on-goings are willing to be weird and unpredictable the way Superior-Spider-Man was. Now that Peter is back maybe the masses who hated the title for no reason can give it a read and see the missed out on some really fun story. The art was amazing. The story was spectacular. The series was superior. See what I did there. I picked it up and you should too. If you haven’t been reading the story please go to your nearest local comic store and grab the trades. Dan Slott will surprise you.

this gets 4 Dan Slott’s killing a Spider-Man out of 5