Tag Archives: Steve McNiven

First Look: Marvel’s Civil War #1

The Battle Rages On in Your New Look at CIVIL WAR #1! Continue reading First Look: Marvel’s Civil War #1

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Wolverine Lives! Your New Look at the WARZONES! of OLD MAN LOGAN #1

Your eyes do not deceive you! Secret Wars has made the impossible possible and the battle-weary hero returns to the fray in OLD MAN LOGAN #1! From superstar writer Brian Michael Bendis and rising star artist Andrea Sorrentino comes a brand-new Secret Wars series returning fans to one of the most revered and iconic X-Men stories of all time! Continue reading Wolverine Lives! Your New Look at the WARZONES! of OLD MAN LOGAN #1

Preview: Uncanny Inhumans #0

The Return of the King – Your First Look at UNCANNY INHUMANS #0!
The Chart-Topping ‘Death of Wolverine’ Creative Team Re-Unite For an All-New Series!

This April, the silent Inhuman king rises from the ashes. Thought you knew Black Bolt? Think again! Prepare for UNCANNY INHUMANS #0 – the epic prelude to a brand new ongoing series from the chart-topping Death of Wolverine creative team of Charles Soule (Inhuman, She-Hulk) and Steve McNiven (Civil War, Old Man Logan)!

Continue reading Preview: Uncanny Inhumans #0

‘Old Man Logan’ Brings Wolverine to Secret Wars

Wolverine LIVES! In the WARZONES! of OLD MAN LOGAN #1!

Your eyes do not deceive you! Secret Wars has made the impossible possible and the battle-weary hero returns to the fight once more in OLD MAN LOGAN #1! From New York Times Bestselling writer Brian Michael Bendis (All-New X-Men, Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man) and rising star artist Andrea Sorrentino (All-New X-Men Annual, Uncanny X-Men Annual) comes a brand-new series returning fans to the world of one of the most revered and iconic X-Men stories of all time! Continue reading ‘Old Man Logan’ Brings Wolverine to Secret Wars

Marvel Announces ‘Uncanny Inhumans’

Black Bolt Cuts Loose in UNCANNY INHUMANS #0 This April!
New Ongoing Series Beginning This April!

Uncanny_Inhumans_0_CoverThis April, the silent Inhuman king rises from the ashes. And everything you thought you knew about Black Bolt is about to change. Prepare for UNCANNY INHUMANS #0 – the epic prelude to a brand new ongoing series from the chart-topping Death of Wolverine creative team of Charles Soule (Inhuman, She-Hulk) and Steve McNiven (Civil War, Old Man Logan)!

UNCANNY INHUMANS #0
Written by CHARLES SOULE
Art & Cover by STEVE MCNIVEN
Variant Cover by SIMONE BIANCHI
On Sale April 2015! Continue reading Marvel Announces ‘Uncanny Inhumans’

Geeks’ Picks for New Comics: October 15th, 2014

outright-geekery Logo NewNew 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. What are you looking forward to reading this week? Continue reading Geeks’ Picks for New Comics: October 15th, 2014

Review: Death of Wolverine #1

Review: Death of Wolverine #1

Written by Charles Soule

Art by Steve McNiven, Jay Leisten, and Justin Ponsor

For all of you complaining about Wolverine being everywhere at once, well here you go. We have finally gotten to the Death of Wolverine. The angry canuck has lost his healing factor and someone has put a bounty on his head. Surprisingly enough, this was a really good read. Continue reading Review: Death of Wolverine #1

Geeks’ Picks for New Comics: September 3rd, 2014

outright-geekery Logo NewNew 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. What are you looking forward to reading this week? Continue reading Geeks’ Picks for New Comics: September 3rd, 2014

Opinion: The Death of Wolverine

The other day I was fooling around on Facebook when I came across a question posted to a comic book fan group asking why we thought Marvel was killing off Wolverine in an upcoming series. Although there were many comic fans in the group that saw the story-telling potential of offing one of Marvel’s premiere characters, most of the comments leaned towards the illogically obvious, and, of course, made the point again and again that it didn’t matter anyways because death is never final when it comes to comic book characters. Not only does this completely miss the point of the unique long-form fiction that comic books represent, but it also disregards the capitalist goals of the comic book publisher, while ignoring the very real problem this incessant attitude of comic book “fans” towards character deaths has on how these deaths are promoted.

Death Has Always Been Marvel’s Bread and Butter

Comic book character deaths are nothing new. Since before Captain America and Bucky climbed on-board a Nazi bomber rigged to explode, leading to both characters’ demises, comic book readers Cap and Bucky Deathhave been dealing with death. Now, this wouldn’t be nearly the issue it is today if those dead characters actually stayed dead, but, as I’ve said a hundred times before, comic book readers are a finicky, hard to please bunch. So, while character death remains a decent way of giving potential to new and intriguing stories, the classic comic book trope of characters making that predictable return from death is what really seems to bother comic book fans. And I call those people short-sighted gluttons for punishment.

Comic books from the Big 2 publishers are a very unique form of literature due to the fact that these stories all take place within the same universe, and are ongoing in their nature. There isn’t really another form of literature that incorporates so many characters, places, and events into its history, with that history growing and changing like a living organism. Every issue of every title that is released each and every Wednesday adds to decades worth of story-telling. While this lends itself very nicely to character death simply because death is such a big part of life and leads to great stories, there isn’t anything lasting about these types of stories. Once the impact of a character death is examined fully, there’s really Professor X Deathno more mileage a publisher can get from that character. So, they bring him back. And what’s so bad about that? Captain America and Bucky “died” on that Nazi bomber, and I don’t think there are many fans who would say Cap’s return to the Avengers was something that should not have been done, and I dare you to read Ed Brubaker’s Winter Soldier story and say Bucky should still be dead. Looking at more recent Marvel events, I think we all know that Professor Xavier will be back from the dead someday, but the current status quo of the X-Men that was established by the death of Professor X has led to riveting stories. So suggesting that the Death of Wolverine doesn’t matter because he’ll eventually be back from the dead is obtuse, illogical, and ignores the potential such a death has on story-telling.  Of course, there is no guarantee that those stories will be good, but at least we know that they will be different. But Marvel isn’t purposely going to give readers crap.

Marvel Comics is a Business First!

One of the main reasons I read for Marvel Comics killing off one of it’s most popular character was in order to make money. Well, no shit, Sherlock! Marvel Comics has NEVER published a comic book that wasn’t meant to be traded for money or meant to promote something being traded for money. It’s a business, people! Of course Marvel Logothey want to make money. However, Marvel makes more money when they sell more books, and books that contain great stories sell better than those that do not. Yeah, the #1 issues tend to sell better – which is more of a testament to readers willingness to try new things – but if the follow-ups to those first issues is not fun to read it’s not going to sell. Wolverine comic books haven’t been dragging in the sales department, either, and it’s logical that Marvel wouldn’t hurt those steady sales numbers if they weren’t certain they would be boosted by killing off the mutant, which is only more evidence that good stories are on the way.

But comic books fans will continue to be the short-sighted, illogical ilk that they always have been; mostly because of human nature, but also due to the passion of comic books clouding minds; and this trend leads to the only problem ANYONE should have with this event.

Surprise! There’s No Surprise!

While comic books may have started the trend of killing off fan-favorite characters, this practice has been adopted by current popular media of all kinds. Novels, movies, and TV dramas alike have all used the sudden and unexpected character deaths to secure audiences. The Walking Dead, Sons of Anarchy, Game of Thrones (both versions), and the list goes on. But the difference between Ned Stark Deaththese pieces and the upcoming Death of Wolverine is that there isn’t going to be any shock when Wolvie finally eats it. The title of the event is the very thing that makes the event worth reading, but totally ruins any surprise that may come from the event. Sure, the journey is always better then the destination, but why would Marvel let the cat out of the bag before we even see the cat or the bag? Considering the amount of press the death of Captain America brought Marvel; with spreads in USA Today and other mainstrean, non-comic book news outlets; you’d think Marvel would do the same thing with Logan. The problem is the fanbase, and Marvel’s solution is awkward promotion. Let me explain.

Instead of keeping the secret and letting readers find out about Wolvie’s death when it happens, Marvel is hoping that by letting the secret out early, fans will buy the book in droves as it begins, instead of hoping that fans go back and by the books after the news and the Captain America Deathbook hits. I simply do not understand this strategy. Fans of Wolvie are already getting the book would have an awesome moment, and all of the those fair-weather readers that miss out will think twice before dropping the book next time. There’s always room for soliciting the aftermath of the death after the death, but there’s no more room for the current “surprise death” trend that began in comics and has been done and redone by so many things. Again, there’s still opportunity for the Death of Wolverine story to have some surprising details, but Logan not living through the thing is definitely not one of them. Unless, of course, this is a huge lie, and Wolverine is NOT going to die, but, if that is the case, just ignore all of this and do a search for “Nerd Rage” on this site, because I guarantee you it will be there!

One Last Thing

There’s also another theory going around that Marvel is manipulating its comic book stories in a direct maneuver against movie production companies that Marvel Studios is currently competing with, and the Death of Wolverine is simply another example of this. There’s plenty of evidence – the rumored cancellation of the Fantastic Four titles, reboot theories that involve the eradication of ALL the mutants and replacing them with the currently hip Inhumans to bridge the gap found in the Avengers movies, etc. – with none of these hypotheses holding much water at all. Again, it doesn’t make sense to me for Marvel Comics to do Marvel Studios Logoanything that doesn’t take advantage of the success of their movie-making competition, and, if this IS the case, Peter Parker returning to supplant his Superior counterpart just in time for the Spider-Man 2 movie release goes against this theorized trend. But there’s another reason I don’t think Marvel Comics is killing Wolverine – or doing anything on the comic side for that matter – in order to spit in the face of Sony and Fox studios, and that reason is that Marvel Studios is in no way in danger of losing market share at the Box Office to any franchise Fox or Sony holds. Additionally, the franchises those studios hold are still making them money, and Marvel Comics simply taking the character out of comic book continuity is in no way going to impact that success. I mean, come on: We’re all going to go see the Apocalypse movie when it comes out if Wolverine is dead in the comics or not.

Can’t Publishers Just Be Publishers?

I guess my problem with all the speculation, theorizing and hating on the upcoming Death of Wolverine event is the fact that it ignores commonsense in lieu of demonizing a corporate brand just for the sake of demonizing it. It’s a whole lot easier to think that a comic book maker just wants to make good comics, but many fans would rather mull over the entire idea to find something more sinister, or use no thinking at all to assume that cheap promotions meant to boost profit margins are the only motivations at work. Those motives are indeed at work, but it’s certainly not the only thing.

Because of the long-form aspect of comics from the Big 2, it’s just not fair for readers to apply these negative connotations to the All-New-Marvel-Now-logotrend. The death may be temporary, and that’s a good thing, but the stories we get out of the death can be great. But there is one fact that keeps escaping comic fans, and I’ve already alluded to it earlier in this article, but comic book character resurrections are engrained into the very heart and soul of Marvel Comics via Captain America. We don’t get a resurrection without first having a death, and this is the crux of my entire point. Contriving the obvious – like “he’ll be back eventually” and “they just want to make money” – not only makes self-proclaimed comic book fans look like ignorant dumbasses, but it completely misses the entire point of being a fan of comic books, and that is to read great comic book stories.

Like I said, we’re a finicky bunch. We know what we want, but many of is just can’t see past how the publishers get to the point of actually giving us what we want. A good story, however, is a good story no matter how a publisher got to the point of being able to tell that story. I for one cannot wait until Wolverine dies; I can’t wait to read the stories that spin out of that death; and I can’t wait until Wolverine comes back from the dead. Logan is dead; long live Logan!

 

Review: Uncanny Avengers Issue #17

Uncanny Avengers 17

UNCANNY AVENGERS #17
RICK REMENDER (W) • STEVE MCNIVEN (A/C)
The conclusion of Ragnarök Now!
• The Avengers Assemble! But are they too late?
• The Twins’ revenge on Kang is complete, but at what cost?
• Planet X is born!
32 PGS./Rated T …$3.99

If you’re a regular reader of my comic book reviews you know that I’m not a big fan of putting too many spoilers in them. My goal is to get people excited about the comic book so they will go out and buy a copy of their own, and if I’m just giving panel for panel plot details, it sort of defeats the purpose. This, however, will NOT be the case for this review. Rick Remender is simply doing too terrific of a job on this title for me to be so allusive with the details.

The Background

Yes, Uncanny Avengers may only be up to issue #17, but this is in no way where the story being told within the pages of this comic begins. Rick Remender has been telling an ongoing story of Apocalypse since his days on X-Force, and he’s continued that through this title. Apocalypse may have been a lot of things in the past – a megalomaniac, a baby, a child, even good old Archangel – but Remender has flipped the script in Uncanny Avengers. Apocalypse is now a set of evil twins, Uriel and Eimin, born of the Horseman of Pestilence Ichisumi from the Dark Angel Saga from, that’s right, Remender’s run on X-Force. It’s quite brilliant. Sure the overall tone of the book came out of the whole Avengers vs. X-Men event with “Unity Team” of Avengers starring in Uncanny, but it’s all been part of an amazing epic. But the whole thing is still enjoyable from issue to issue and from arc to arc, and issue #17, the end of an arc, is testament to this great title.

The Good

Uncanny Avengers has been building up for quite some time, but, besides the character interactions, subtle nuances, and a even a bit of politics, all you really need to know to get the gist of this particular issue is that Kang raised some kidnapped Apocalypse-spawn, trained them to be the best damn Apocalypse they could be, tricked Thor into creating a Celestial busting super-sword, and twisted time to his own gains to bring about the complete domination of the planet Earth. But these twins had other things in mind, got over on their would-be father-figure and the members of the Uncanny Avengers themselves, evacuating every mutant from Earth and tricking a Celestial to bring down his godly wrath upon the puny planet. Along the way we saw Scarlet Witch, Rogue, Wonder Man, and several other character die in spectacularly shocking fashion. Yes, I know it’s a comic and they’ll be back eventually, but this time-warping tale of the Twins gives the whole idea of character death some extra clout. Last issue we ended with a giant Celestial bearing down on Earth, with a determined Thor laying some smack down on the Twins. Ish 17 picked it right up from there, Ragnorak Now ends here.

The action in this issue is nail-biting. Thor is fighting the remaining Twin as he attempts to regain the magical axe Jarnborn and bring down the Celestial now on top of Earth. The Avengers on Earth move to intercept the behemoth with a shoe the size of South America, as Tony Stark and others work on a giant shield to protect the planet long enough for Thor to get the job done. The addition of Dr. Doom to the team of scientist working on the shield stressed just how dire things were, and was a great touch of subtlety. The book builds with another fight between Wasp and a resurrected Grim Reaper, but seeing Captain America enter the fray, and then quickly leaving it, was yet another great moment in this amazing comic book arc. Thor finally wins the struggle for Jarnborn, heads toward the giant Celestial, and, of course, he’s going to kill it and the Avengers win, right? Right?! Hell no! Earth is destroyed, Thor is teleported to Asgard, and Ragnorak in complete. The Twins have taken away what Kang wanted most in this life, and there is now no Earth to conquer. It was an amazing, edge-of-your-seat ride of a comic book, and, as always, was wonderfully depicted by Steve McNiven’s work on art.

The Bad

There’s so much going on in this single issue that a lot of it seems rushed. That’s an odd thing to say in an industry that tends to stretch stories out as far as they can (often snapping them in the process), but this story is such a great one that it demands more attention; more panels; more pages. This arc could have easily been stretched out another 3 or even 4 issues, giving us more fights, more insights, and just more everything, and I would have been quite happy. McNiven’s art is too good to be contained in this book, and the single page spreads should have been double-paged landscapes. I just wanted more!

The Verdict

Uncanny Avengers is a joy to read, and issue #17 is by far the best of the series so far. It was an amazing cap to an epic story arc, and continues to be the little dog with big fight in an arena full of Avengers titles written by Hickman and Spencer. The best part: You don’t need to get any other titles besides Uncanny Avengers to get the full joy of Uncanny Avengers. Everything is self-contained, and everything is epic. Sure, Remender may have started his love affair with Apocalypse in another book years ago, but he’s really showing how deep that love is in this book. Next issue is a Point.1 and promises a great jumping on point, but do yourself a favor and pick these books up in trade or issues. You will not be disappointed. As for this single issue have to give Uncanny Avengers #17 an as close to perfect score as I give ANY comic

Writing: 5 out 5
Art: 5 out 5

Overall: 4.5 out of 5

I don’t like giving perfect scores (yeah, I’m one of THOSE guys) but this ish gets close.