Tag Archives: Brian Michael Bendis

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #9


Guardians of the Galaxy #9

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Art: Francesco Francavilla

Well, to think I was late with my Infinity Reviews, this issue was a whole week late, which doesn’t honestly surprise me since this title has had problems with being late before. We pick up where we last left Rocket and Star Lord in the company of Abigail Brand being rescued by Angela. I almost can’t believe I typed that sentence. Breaking in to Thanos’ ship was one thing, getting out seems to be a whole other monster. Just when things seem grim, Rocket and StarLord seem out of whitty, Drax, Groot, and Gamora come through in true Guardians fashion.They make strides to get Thanos’ forces the hell of Earth and meet up some familiar Avengers to help end the invasion.

The Bad: This was just late to the party, I aldeady knew the pay off by the time I read this, I had already seen Star Lord and Rocket in Infinity. I just felt a little underwhelmed as I read it knowing for the part exactly how it was gonna play out.

The Good: If there is one reason to pick up this issue its def the art! It’s really a beautiful issue, the double page panels are gorgeous, it took everything in me not to rip this issue up, frame it and put it on my wall, Francesco Francavilla really delivers a tour de force of beautiful art, that feels just right in a space noir story. And of course Bendis just feels like the right guy when it comes to writing the banter between Star Lord and Rocket Raccoon.

The Verdict:  While I really enjoyed this issue, in terms of pushing the book forward it didn’t give me much, and far as tie-ins go, it comes out after their appearance in the main event, but damn is that art gorgeous. Overall it was a wait for the trade, unless you’re admire of beautiful art, it’s def the one to pick up!


Review: Uncanny X-Men Issue #14

Uncanny X-Men 14

32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

The aftermath of Battle of the Atom is upon us and the event’s repercussions are being felt throughout Marvel’s X-Title, but I guess someone forgot tell Bendis that. Uncanny X-Men issue 14 had absolutely nothing to do with the event it just tied-in to for the last two issues, and it looks like, yet again, an event will have no impact on the titles that made it up. Oh well, I digress. But there were bigger problems with this issue than not addressing current events. This book doesn’t even address the promises made in its own solicit! Despite those failings, this issue was a fun look at the New Xavier School’s unique training methods.

The Good

The story begins with Cyclops’ team of young mutants in the middle of an X-Men training session, chugging through the mud and rain. The primary focus, however, is on Benjamin Deeds, college student and new mutant who has the seemingly useless power of morphing into someone he is in close proximity to. Just as Cyclops ponders kicking the hopeless X-wannabe out of the team, Professor Frost takes the young student on an unconventional field trip to Atlantic City in an attempt to reveal the youngsters hidden talents. Without spoiling the ish, Emma is quite successful with her lessons, but the entire process does a great job of showing readers just how different the teaching tactics of the New Xavier School’s staff are from its Wolverine Headmastered counterpart, which was truly fun to see. The art is beautiful and unmistakeably Chris Bachalo and all his stylized wonder. There are some unique character changes that come with a morph like the new Morph, and it’s pulled off brilliantly.

The Bad

Besides there being nothing going on in this ish that had anything to do with the latest tie-in event story that encompassed all of the X-Universe for a month or two, there was a huge problem with this book’s solicit. I was promised two things:

• The effects of X-MEN: BATTLE OF THE ATOM are felt!

• Magneto goes off on personal mission that sets him at odds with much of the X-Men and Marvel Universe.

Not only was there no Battle of the Atom effects whatsoever, there was literally a single panel showing Magneto, and it was at a distance. Maybe there will be a flashback to this, but why must they lie to me to sell the book? This was a good freaking book! Hey, if there was an announcement made and I missed it, pass it along, but there’s just no reason to solicit something to me that simply isn’t there. Besides the misleading market line, there just isn’t any other bad.

The Verdict

Buy this issue, but be on the lookout for preview pitches full of lies and deceit! There’s just no excuse for that sort of thing, and if you want to boycott just for that reason, I wouldn’t blame you…but you shouldn’t. Even if you haven’t picked up Uncanny in a while this is a good point to get onboard. There’s fun dialogue, amazing art and a great introspective into the teaching methods of the New Xavier School, without requiring much recent required reading to be enjoyable. Next month we may get some Magneto drama, but issue 14 of Uncanny X-Men is fun in its own way.

Review: All-New X-Men Issue #18

All-New X-Men #18 Cover

32 PGS
Rated T
Cover Price: $3.99

The smoke is beginning to clear after the events of Battle of the Atom, and the various Marvel X-Teams are dealing with the aftermath. With the original X-Men transferring from Wolverine’s Jean Grey School to Cyclops’ New Xavier School I expected the first five X-Men to need a bit of acclimation and a quick meet-and-greet before getting into a new adventure, and issue 18 was very much “Orientation Day” for the new students, but that’s all it was. While the lack of any action whatsoever was a bit surprising, following the copious number of fights in the Battle of the Atom, All-New X-Men #18 was a refreshing and wholly Brian Michael Bendis issue full of witty and entertaining character interactions.

The Good

The issue begins right after, and I mean directly after, the events of Battle of the Atom, as we see the original X-Men teleport to the snowy grounds of The New Xavier School along with Scott Summers and the rest of the Uncanny X-Men, and the original five become the original six again as Angel is reunited with his teammates. As boring as it may sound, the rest of the issue is filled with some fairly unremarkable chitchat; unremarkable, that is, if it wasn’t so damned entertaining! There are just way too many great character moments in this book to mention them all, but Beast taking Magneto to school (so to speak) on the Master of Magnetism’s skill with electronics, Jean dealing with the Stepford’s bad attitudes, and Illyana and Kitty heart-to-hearting over the mutually estranged Colossus were brilliant and amazingly fun for X-Fans. The accusations flung at Bendis about needing to write from a fresh start as he did with his New Avengers team and Ultimate Spider-Man must have gotten to the writer because this title is all about mixing the current history with the longstanding antiquity of the X-Men, and this issue is the epitome of that legacy. Immonen’s pencils are solid, consistent, and outright beautiful in many places and, while I had one nitpick about the new costumes for a couple of team members, the new threads are pretty awesome and add an aspect of X-Nostalgia (newly coined term; copyright pending) all their own.

The Bad

I’ll get the nitpick out of the way and just say it: Iceman and Cyclops’ costumes are too damn similar. I know! Iceman will be wearing a sheet of ice most of the time, so it won’t really matter, but it needed to be stated. There are plenty of other basic colors in the spectrum, and I just didn’t get it. Beyond that slight slight the only problem with this ish is that it’s just way too X-Men for its own good. Now, I read all the X-Titles so it’s more of a reward than a problem for me, but this whole series, and this issue especially, has a whole lot of required reading associated with it, and it’s damn near impossible for new readers to come onboard. While this results in a huge treat of a payoff for longtime readers, the book is just too good to not have a larger appeal. More people should be reading this book, and that’s just not going to happen, and issue 18 is a great example of this title’s inaccessibility.

The Verdict

This is yet another fantastic issue of the breakout X-Title of the decade! If you’ve been reading it you don’t need this review to persuade you at all to buy it, love it, and read it multiple times. But if you aren’t reading All-New X-Men already you really can’t get this issue, or any of the series really, and fully enjoy, or even understand, what is going on. It’s almost a shame, really, and I’d feel worse about if I didn’t love the book so much. I’d go on, but I’m going to read the issue again.

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Issue #8

Issue 8

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Francesco Francavilla
32 Pages
Rated: T
Price: $3.99

Since its return eight months or so ago Bendis’ Guardians has been a shot in the arm for Marvel Comics’ galactic offerings. Despite the overarching story having been put on the back burner because of the epic scale of Marvel’s current ongoing event Infinity, everything up until now feels like it could, in fact, have been part of Infinity from the event’s inception, but it’s unclear. This uncertainty, however, takes nothing away from the outright bash GoG is every time it hits the shelves.

The Good

Issue #8 sees our ragtag group of intergalactic adventurers neck deep in Thanos’ blockade of Earth, which doesn’t sit very well with Earthling and Guardians leader Peter Quill AKA Star-Lord. What happens next is a pages long series of dialogue among the members of the Guardians that excellently depicts the complex nature of their relationships with the subtlety that very few writers besides Brian Michael Bendis could pull off. It’s rare to see the dynamic of an entire team laid out and made apparent for readers in so few pages, and, despite being a long-time reader of the Guardians, it was a brilliant way to paint a picture for new readers who may be grabbing the book just because of the Infinity moniker across its top. The fight at The Peak, S.W.O.R.D.’s orbital HQ, was exciting and felt a lot like the typical space rescue mission seen over and over again in everything from Star Wars to Battlestar Gallactica, but was oh so nice to see in the pages of a comic. A character not seen, well, since the last issue of GoG makes for a bit of confusion, but was quite predictable and didn’t reduce the quality of the rest of the issue. Francavilla’s art is brilliant to behold, and his use of color puts the characters in low-lit space ships without seeming cheap or forced, adding a great balance to book.

The Bad

I’m not sure this issue will make a lot of sense to some readers. Anyone who has been reading only Infinity is going to miss out on many of the particulars of one of the most meaningful character interactions in the book, while anyone reading only Guardians of the Galaxy may have no clue as to what the hell Thanos is doing on Earth, making that entire plot-point all but irrelevant to the reader. The issue doesn’t do a lot to keep current readers holding on, but it makes the book very appealing for anyone jumping on through Infinity. The character reveal at the end was almost too predictable for Guardians readers, but newbies may find it more confusing than anything else. Although the art was amazing it felt uncharacteristically rushed in many places.

The Verdict

If you are enjoying Infinity and have been pondering the idea of adding Guardians to your monthly pull-list you may want to give issue 8 a shot. It’s got enough Infinity to stay interesting and does a great job of explaining the gist to new readers. This ish is by no means required reading for Infinity, and actually does very little to push the overall story forward, but acts as a good doorway for any would-be new readers. Fans of the Guardians themselves may want to skip issue 8 altogether. It’s more of a primer than anything that matters, and long-time fans may be bored with simply more of the same. But for readers with no knowledge of either the team or the event GoG issue 8 just doesn’t have a hook large enough to win them over. This is one of those tie-in issues that ties-in in hopes of attracting fans of the event who aren’t reading the title, and it works quite well in that capacity. Any other capacity, however, is left lacking.

Review: Uncanny X-Men Issue #13

detail (8)

32 Pages
Rated T+
Cover Price $3.99

While the Avengers and just about every other Marvel character deal with the epic breadth of the events of Infinity, its almost incredible for me to say that the time-traveling/multiple X-Teams/alternative universe storyline presently unfolding within the pages of Marvel’s other current event, Battle of the Atom, is pretty basic. The Original X-Men from the past, as seen in the pages of All-New X-Men, time-travel to the present day and take up residence at the Jean Grey School, as seen in the pages of Wolverine and the X-Men, who are then visited by future X-Men warning of future mutant suffering should the Original X-Men remain in the present, while Uncanny X-Men’s resident time-traveler Magik discovered a different team of X-Men in a future unlike the horrors described by the other future X-Team who, by the way, is actually a future version of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, with an agenda all their own. So, with five different X-Teams; two from the future, one from the past, and two from the present; and enough time-travel to make the Doctor double-take, Uncanny X-Men issue 13, chapter 8 of the overall event, hoped to be chockfull of exciting exhibition with exceedingly exaggerated X-gene experiencing extras, but it was much more flash than bang.

The Good

There were some great reveals on this chapter of BotA, and a couple of really fun and rewarding moments for X-fans. The reveal of Wiccan as the future Sorcerer Supreme and Quentin Quire’s antics as the future vessel for the Phoenix Force just feels natural for these characters in terms of their current standings in the overall X-Universe. Seeing a future Colossus fighting besides his little sister Illyana made for a warm and fuzzy feeling that’s been missing since the siblings have been on the outs (to say the very least) post-Avengers vs. X-Men. While these small morsels of recent nostalgia kept me reading, Chris Bachalo’s art, and just as striking panel placement and overall design is simply wonderful. Although this isn’t Bachalo’s best offering he does an amazing job of setting the pace and tone in each of the several concurrently running scenes. I’ll admit, it’s probably a combination of the writer and artist that leads to this great flow, but Bendis does some things in this issue I simply didn’t care for, and this chapter of Battle of the Atom wasn’t really essential.

The Bad

It’s almost an epidemic problem. Comic book events just take way too many individual issues to do their thing. BotA is not immune to this disease. Firstly, the book crosses over into four different X-Titles, but it really only needs three to get the job done. The Adjective-less X-Men tie-ins were not even close to necessary except in the places they forced the story or revealed tiny tidbit of random X-revelations, and seemed more like an easy way to get the title’s sales numbers up for a month or two. Despite there already being way too many pages of comic to tell this story in a way that doesn’t depend on gimmicky revelations of an alternative future created by an alternate timeline, and despite Uncanny X-Men supposedly being the flagship X-Book, this chapter of Battle of the Atom is ultimately dependent on those gimmicks. Sure it’s cool to see the new Phoenix do his thing and the Rasputin family’s reconciliation, but it still feels gimmicky, and reveals like Illyana’s presumed future suicide and the deaths of both Molly Hayes and future Xavier seemed cheap and forced; over-the-top for the sake of being over-the-top. All this would be okay if it wasn’t for the overall slow process of the main plot, which has been quite interesting. There’s so much going on, but nothing is happening. The ultimate end of the issue is more of the same, as “time itself” seems to want to keep the Original X-Men from being sent back to their own time. It’s typical Bendis, however, and I hope I’m not eventually pushed away from X-Books the way I was Avenger’s titles some years ago…but I’m worried.

The Verdict

If you’re already reading Battle of the Atom you should probably go pick this up. If you’re only reading Uncanny X-Men, congratulations, you can save yourself a few bucks by skipping it for a few issues while the event finishes. Yeah, Marvel claims there will be fallout of BotA in the various books making up the thing but that’s just marketing mumbo-jumbo, and trends tell the opposite to be the case most often. This book and the event overall are full of tiny morsels of rewarding minutia for the current diehard X-fan, and there’s a decent story in there somewhere in those panels, but there’s nothing here that feels like it is going to stick in any significant way. We may get a book starring these future X-Men at some point, adding some importance to this title, but it certainly wouldn’t be necessary to enjoy (yet another) alternative version of some future X-Team. The event isn’t over yet, I know, but this issue of Battle of the Atom was nothing but filler; stuffing for, what is seemingly, a turkey of an event in the making.


Marvel Steamrolls Another Week of Goodness

Well folks its that time again and I’m here to unpack my bag of adjectives and once again let my fellow Marvel Faithful what’s good, oh and its so good this week. Sorry for being Late with the Reviews!

detail (7)

Oh you knew it was coming, New Avengers #11 was a serious tour de force of holy s#*% can they do that? Well just when I thought I knew where this event was taking me Hickman throws yet another wrench into the cogs. I mean seriously, this issue was bad@$$! Not only did I get the incursion at the end of the last issue, I get…SPOLIER ALERT… Other Universe Builders, ExNihli, Thanos in Necropolis, Wakanda getting owned, and the “Illuminati” made to look like they don’t have a handle on anything. Ah, can we just be thankfull for how wonderful Mike Deodato’s art is in this book, because its seriously beautiful. You may have thought you knew where Infinity was going… You were wrond, DEAD WRONG, its going in a direction that scares and excites me, this is def an event for Marvel readers. It was most certainly a buy in the singles!

detail (5)

This title has been flat out nothing short of brilliance. I know what you’re thinking, another Hawkeye book, how many times are they gonna try this? Well the answer is no more, because they got this one right. Hawkeye #13 fills you in on the Hawkguy side of everything has been happening in the book. We finally get to make some progress as to what the hell is Clint gonna do. Matt Fraction and David Aja deliver a book you want in your hands, because believe me its not the same digitally. It has a classic comic feel, with the honest character telling that Fraction usually brings to the table. Hawkeye bumming around getting into nothing but trouble, along side Kate Bishop( Young Avengers Hawkeye), Pizza Dog( A dog he finds at the beginning of this run), and as of an issue ago, Barney Barton (Trickshot, oh if you forgot he’s Hawkeye’s brother). Seriously pick this book up. This issue was a sort of catch up issue which gives you time to pick up the singles/trades!

detail (6)

This ain’t your parents Guardians of the Galaxy, um actually this barely mine. Brian Michael Bendis has turn this title into something completely different, and I am thoroughly enjoying it. Guardians of the Galaxy issue #7 brings a lot to the table on where they are gonna go with this book. Angela’s new origin to the Marvel is a nice touch to see the places they wanna take her in this book. The banter is top notch Bendis at his best, seriously IronMan and StarLord going at it with 80’s references had me on the floor. Sara Pichelli’s art is seriously too pretty for this title! Change everyone’s costume around, add Iron Man, Angela( You know that angel lady from Spawn who killed all the hellspawns? You know the one you had a poster of that Greg Capullo drew, yeah that one), and a timey whimey moment where Star Lord experiences the ripple effect from Age Of Ultron, and yeah Bendis has def made it his book.  I can’t wait to see what they do! This issue was a good filler between plots, nothing extravagant a wait for the trade kinda issue.

detail (8)

Oh you knew it was coming. RAZE. Who I assume is Wolverine and Mystique’s kid, or maybe a Sinister experiment, or maybe just mystique’s kid. Being a X-men fan you come to just deal with every possibility and nine times out of ten its whatever you didn’t think of. THIS EVENT IS THE ONE FOR X-READERS!!!! Uncanny X-men #13 you will find the not so Future X-men clashing with the Future X-men with the help of the Current X-men/Scott’s X-men and if you’re following this I’m impressed because I’m lost. SO much betrayal, and you though Game of Thrones was convoluted, Battle of the Atom so much more. With simply brilliant art by the ever talent Chris Bachalo. Everything at once and I love everything about it. I’m gonna say this event has been the most amazing X-Event in years, I will say it has been the most fun in years. As a long time X-reader I know how the series tends to take itself a bit too seriously sometimes, and this is one of those you can sit back and laugh a little about. Plus its just done right, Three writers and it flows like nobody’s business, this was hands down a buy in the singles!

detail (9)

I started with Infinity, and this week I get to end with Infinity. Holy s#!% this was a turn me on my side slap me and call me Gunther issue. This is the dawn of victories and losses. The battle between the Builders and the Avengers continues to heat up as we now see the Accusers and Kree army have left the Kree to join up with Thor. This issue is easily one of the most tense issues of the series. I was biting my fingernails the entire time, and I hate doing that! Lenil Fracis Yu’s art is easily one of the best things about being a Marvel reader right now, he could seriously do covers for the rest of his life and I would go broke buying them all. Jonathan Hickman continues his rollercoaster and is going through some serious loops and maybe has shown us a card in his hand that scares the living crap out of me. We shall wait to find out…Buy it in the singles seriously.

That’s all for now folks, Check out Weekly Rec on YouTube, and get a more well rounded set of review, meaning not just Marvel. Thank ya for your spare time and change- JulesTrue