X-23 Innocence Lost

X-23: Innocence Lost


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Like X-23?  Then try out this collected edition by Marvel… X-23: Innocence Lost Collects X-23 (2005) #1-6 Now the full story can be told – witness the machinations behind the origin of X-23 – who she is, where she came from, and the exact nature of her relationship to Wolverine.UrlPreviewBox   


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Iceman #2 with Kitty Pryde

Iceman Team-Up with Kitty Pryde in ICEMAN #2-On Sale June 21

ICEMAN (2017) #2 Published: June 21, 2017 Rating: Rated T+ Writer: Sina Grace Penciler: Alessandro Vitti Cover Artist: Kevin P. Wada When a newly manifested mutant signals the X-Men for help, Iceman teams up with Kitty Pryde to stage a rescue mission! And surely nothing can go wrong when you ask your former girlfriend for advice on meeting guys while you’re in the middle of a firefight, right? UrlPreviewBox


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Saturn Girl Posts

Posted by Hot Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and Comics Women on Friday, November 4, 2016

Marvel’s Contest of Champions Comics and Games -A History

    Marvel’s  Contest of Champions  Comics and Games -A History   In Marvel comics lore, the term “Contest of Champions” is a significant title and is also an example of how Marvel returns to the well of creativity by tapping into an old idea to create new stories and adventures for their fans.  As of this writing, Marvel has produced three separate Contest of Champions comic book limited series, and one very popular game, called, rather unsurprisingly, Marvel’s Contest of Champions.   The first Contest of Champions series, published in 1982, is unquestionably the most important of them all, as this was the first time Marvel published a limited series (also known as a mini-series) of comics with a unique title and a limited and pre-determined number of issues.  This Contest of Champions ran for three issues and featured multiple Marvel heroes and characters from across the Marvel Universe.   Contest of Champions #1 (1982) The plot of this story-line was an excuse to bring together various Marvel characters together to fight each other.  The set-up involved two powerful beings, the Grandmaster and Death, placing a bet with each other for the life of another Elder of the Universe, the Collector.  They each selected a team of heroes and set them to fight each other, and the winner won the life of the Collector. So basically, we had two bad guys gambling for the life another bad guy, using good guys as pawns in their vicious little Marvel gambling game.   The Grandmaster’s team was made up of Captain America, Talisman, Darkstar, Captain Britain, Wolverine, Defensor, Sasquatch, Daredevil, Peregrine, She-Hulk, the Thing, and Blitzkrieg. Death’s team line-up included Iron Man, Vanguard, Iron Fist, Shamrock, Storm, Arabian Knight, Sabra, Invisible Girl, Angel, Black Panther, Sunfire, and the Collective Man.   As mentioned before, this was the first of Marvel ‘s limited series, a concept that has turned out to be very popular.  The most recent examples of these limited series includes the Secret Wars titles (1984-1985, 2004, and 2015), and Original Sin (2014).   In 1999, Marvel also published a Contest of Champions II mini-series, but this was not an actual sequel to the original, since it did not continue the Grandmaster/Death wager.    Contest of Champions #1 (2015) A new Contest of Champions began in 2015, and did feature the Grandmaster and the Collector pitting Marvel heroes against each other again as part of a wager.  This series places the captured heroes on a portion of Dr. Doom’s Secret Wars Battleworld they now called Battlerealm.  The prize for the winning bad guy this time is an item called the Iso-Sphere.   In 2014, Marvel and Kabam games released a massive multiplayer online role-playing game online (and for Android and Apple IOS) called Marvel: Contest of Champions.  Marvel Contest of Champions Game Logo What began in 1982 as an experiment in publishing for Marvel has developed into a popular heroes vs. heroes fighting contest and game, and to think it all started with a little wager between a couple of powerful super-villains.  By the way, the first Contest of Champions comic series is pretty good reading!

Tinkerer in Amazing Spider-Man #2

Villain Bio: The Terrible Tinkerer

Villain Bio: The Terrible Tinkerer The Terrible Tinkerer, art by Ditko. Pre-Retconned version. The Tinkerer is a perfect example of how a villain (or any other character) can be retconned into something very different from the original intent of the writer who created him. In this case, Stan Lee, the Tinkerer’s creator, used a common trope (aliens hidden among us), to introduce Spider-Man’s first (and, at the time, only) alien foe.  As first presented, the Tinkerer was an alien disguised as a human repairman who was spearheading an alien invasion.  He only had one Silver Age appearance, in Spidey #2.  However, he was later retconned to be, in fact, a real human who had tricked Spider-Man and others into believing he was an alien in order to stay hidden and unknown.  As the retcon goes, the Tinkerer is actually the tech guy/armorer for many supervillains.       As retcons go, this one was actually worthwhile, and helps explain how so many bad guys have their hands on such good technology.    Silver Age Appearance(s) of the Terrible Tinkerer (plus his first post-Silver Age Appearance)   1. Amazing Spider-Man #2 -vs. Spider-Man (Note: 1st Appearance is in first of two stories in this issue)     2. Amazing Spider-Man  #160-(1976-After Silver Age)   While Tinkerer only had one appearance in the Silver Age, he was retconned later to have been human (in ASM #2, he was portrayed by Lee and Ditko as an alien disguised as a human), who had disguised himself as an alien to escape detection.  The retcon, however, also turned him into a significant part of the underground supervillain society in the Marvel Universe.  As it turned out, Tinkerer was the “tech guy” for many supervillains, including Mysterio (he made Mysterio’s suit), Scorpion (made Scorp’s tail), among many others. Other villains the retconned Tinkerer has worked with/for include Hammerhead, Jack O’Lantern, Black Cat, the Beetle, the Owl, the Jester, Diamondback, Whirlwind, Grizzly, and the Latverian government of Countess Luciana Von Bardas, among many others. Sources on the Tinkerer:  

Detective Comics #934-Batman Family

James Tynion IV Comicography of the Batman Books

James Tynion IV Comicography of the Batman Books     Batman and Batman-Family related comic books and comic book runs written by James Tynion IV. Tynion (born December 14, 1987 in New York City) is a writer for DC Comics and is best known for his work writing various Batman titles.  Though he was born in New York, he grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he attended Marquette University High School. Tynion studied Creative Writing at Sarah Lawrence College, where he met comic book writer Scott Snyder, who encourage Tynion to write for DC Comics. Tynion began writing back-up stories for the New 52 Batman series, beginning with Batman #8 in 2012. His best-known story arc to date was the Batman Eternal series, which began in 2014. His most recent (2016) work is the re-launch of Detective Comics #934 (with the series returning to the original numbering which had been stopped with the advent of the New 52 in 2011).  This issue is a part of the DC Comics “Rebirth” reboot.   Detective Comics #934-Bat Signal Batman Books by James Tynion IV Detective Comics #934- (2016-Ongoing Series) Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1-6 (2015-2016) Batman and Robin Eternal #1-26 (2015-2016) –written along with Scott Snyder, Tim Seeley, Steve Orlando, Genevieve Valentine, Ed Brisson, Jackson Lanzing, and Collin Kelly Batman Annual #4 (2015) Batman Eternal #1-52 (2014-2015) NOTE: This was a weekly series written with Scott Snyder, Ray Fawkes, Tim Seeley, John Layman, and Kyle Higgins, 2014-2015) Batman #0, 8-16, 18-25, 28, 35-39 (2012-2015) Batman Annual #3 (2014) Red Hood and the Outlaws #19-28, Annual #1 (2013-2014) Talon #0-14 (2012-2013) Batman and Robin #23.2 “Court Of Owls (2013) Batman and Robin #23.3 “Ra’s al Ghul” (2013) Detective Comics #0, 12, 19 (2012-2013) Batman Annual #1 (2012) -Co-written with Scott Snyder

Secret Wars #1 Cover

Marvel’s Secret Wars Review: Reviews, Tracking Lists, and Analysis

Marvel’s Secret Wars Review Reviews, Tracking Lists, and Analysis   Marvel launched perhaps the biggest crossover event in company history in 2014 with the advent of the new Secret Wars event.  The lead-up to this huge occurrence was, frankly, also huge, and spanned literally years of Marvel continuity. The lead in to Secret Wars began with New Avengers #1 (March, 2013), the Black Panther discovers an “incursion,” which is basically an alternate universe Earth proceeding to collide with another version of Earth (in this case, Earth-616, the one that our Black Panther is from).  An alien calling herself the Black Swan  destroyed this incursion Earth, and is captured by the Panther.  He calls a meeting of the Illuminati (Reed Richards, Iron Man, Black Bolt, Dr. Strange, Namor, Captain America, a group that first appeared in canon in New Avengers Volume 1 #7) and explains to them what he saw. Black Panther Sees the 1st Incursion in New Avengers #1 (2013) After further investigations, Reed Richards declares: Everything dies. You, me. Everyone on this planet. Our sun. Our galaxy. And, eventually, the universe itself. This is simply how things are. It’s inevitable. And I accept it. What is happening, is that all the uncountable universes in the Marvel Multiverse were colliding at the point where the Earth is located.  If one Earth is destroyed first, before they collide, both universes are saved, though, obviously, that one Earth is now gone, but the other is saved.  If both Earths actually collide, both universes are destroyed. The Illuminati decide they have to work on a plan to protect their Earth from colliding and being destroyed by these other Earths.  This brings up the moral quandary of what to do if they have to destroy an populated alternate Earth to save their own.  The Illuminati (by this point also including Hank McCoy of the X-Men), all vote to do whatever they have to do to save their world.  Except for Captain America, who sees this as an evil choice.  They kick him out of the group and Dr. Strange wipes out that part of Cap’s memory that relates to their plans to destroy other planets and his opposition to that concept. Fast forward now to Secret Wars #1, published in May, 2015,  (yes, we are leaving a lot out here, but bear with us for a bit), and we are now down to only two Earth left: Earth-616, and Earth-1610, which is the Marvel Ultimate Universe (the one where Nick Fury is a black man who looks like Samuel L. Jackson, and Reed Richards is a villain called the Maker).  In this issue, the two worlds literally fight, with the heroes of each world (plus SHIELD of Earth 1610 fighting it out as the worlds collide.  The worlds do end (as we clearly see in Deadpool #250), and when Secret Wars #2 (May, 2015) opens, we find that a new world has been created out of the remnants of many of the destroyed multiversal Earths.  Also, this new world is ruled by Victor Von Doom, who styles himself as God Doom. God Doom, From Secret Wars #2 Weirder yet, his “consort” is Susan Richards, and his children are Franklin and Valeria Richards.  God Doom’s chancellor or prime minister, as it were, is Stephen Strange, who is called the Sheriff of Agamotto.  Doom’s authority is enforced by an army of Thors (basically every version of Thor from any multiverse or alternate Thor story).  This world is divided into separate sections, called kingdoms or baronies, ruled by Barons who rule at Doom’s whim.  For example, the kingdom of Bar Sinister is ruled by Mr. Sinister (an old and powerful X-Men villain), while the kingdom of Higher Avalon is ruled by Captain Britain and his family.  Disputes between the kingdoms are settled by Doom, and his word is law. For an interactive map of Battleworld, visit Battleworld Map We could go on and on, but this article is just an introduction to what plans on doing.  Marvel published nine Secret Wars books, plus dozens of other titles based around the concept of showing us, the readers, what each of the many weird little areas of Battleworld (which is what the peons of Doom’s world call their home), are like. Marvel created some truly good stories here, (along with a few duds, we are sorry to say), and our goal is to track them all, write tight little summaries and analysis of each one, and try to connect them all together.  So, you may wonder, why are we doing this NOW, when all these books started coming out last spring?  Simple, to actually purchase all of those Secret Wars titles would have cost a small fortune, but, using the magic of Marvel Unlimited, (sort of like Netflix for comics), we can read them all for an easy $9.95 per month. Working as a Comic Book Reviewer is not a path to riches, shall we say. So sit back and enjoy the ride.  As we post new or updated articles on these various Secret Wars titles, we will update the bottom of this page with links and info. By the way, if you are interested in writing for, let us know here.   Old Man Logan–Based on the classic “Old Man Logan” alt storyline that takes place on Earth-807128 (as seen in Wolverine Vol 3 #66-72 and Giant-Size Wolverine #1 (2008-2009) X-Men ’92–Based on the great X-Men Animated TV show that began in 1992. This reality is derived from Marvel’s Earth-92131. Squadron Sinister–An evil version of the Squadron Supreme (of Earth-712, AKA Earth-S), this group is an evil Marvelized version of the Justice League of DC Comics. This Secret Wars version of the Squadron is from an unknown, or unnamed version of Earth. X-Men: Inferno–Based on the X-Men storyline that introduced a baby Cable, the Goblin Queen, and much more.  The original Inferno storyline crossed over many X-Men titles (and Spider-Man!) in 1988 and 1989.

Uncanny X-Men #600 Cover

Uncanny X-Men #600 Video Review

Uncanny X-Men #600 Cyclops Uncanny X-Men #600 Video Review The end of the Bendis Era with the X-Men Uncanny X-Men #600 is the capstone to the Brian Michael Bendis era with the X-Men.  Check out our video review of this, the “last” X-Men story before the final incursion that set off Marvel’s Secret Wars event. In this issue, we see some drama involving many of the relationships among our merry band of Mutants, including an “Iceman Cometh” moment where young Bobby and older Bobby deal with the fact that young Bobby has come out of the closet.  We also see a sibling reunion, and a romantic triangle that bodes ill for the team.  Oh, and we see what old Cyclops is up to with his “Mutant Revolution.”   This issue brings together many different strings and sub-plots that the writer, Brian Michael Bendis, has beeen developing for some time now.  Bendis, in his run, has killed off Professor X, made Cyclops and his followers into Mutant terrists, ala the old Magneto, and he has made Beast (who plays a central part of this storyline), into a less-than responsible hero when he brought back the young X-Men from the past. Oh, and he made the Iceman (Bobby Drake), gay.  Which brings to mind many prior storylines that involved conversations between Bobby and Warren (The Angel), as well as brings into question Bobby’s romantic interests of the past, who include Polaris and Kitty Pryde.  Controverys seems to have surrounded the Bendis era, which, considering the long history of the X-Men, is not necessarily anything new. Overall, this is an interesting issue to read, particularly if the reader is a fan of the our band of  dysfunctional Mutants, and/or has followed the trials and tribulations inherent in the Bendis era. The artwork in this issue is by several different artists, which creates some discordance, but overall, this book works.  Buy it and read it.  Note, the video review contains different content than this textual review.

Fantastic Four Movie Poster of the FF

The Fantastic Four Movie is BAD. Here is Why it is Not Worth Seeing…

The Fantastic Four Movie is BAD.  Here is Why it is Not Worth Seeing…   The following commentary on the new Fantastic Four movie should be taken in with the understanding that I, the reviewer, am a long-time fan of the Fantastic Four comic books.  Rather than run through a formal summary of the movie, and pointing out all of the problems, this review will just list  out the major plot points and character issues.  By the nature of this process, each point made here will contain major spoilers.  As you should NOT go see this movie (unless you are some weird super-hero hating masochist), then the spoilers will not matter, since at best, if you MUST see this film, wait until it is on cable or Netflix so that you do not spend any specific money on this film failure.  If you want a look at why I consider the Fantastic Four comics (i.e. what should be the source material for any FF movie) so darn good/great, check out the post on my love affair with the Fantastic Four comics.   Fantastic Four Movie Poster The Plot of this Un-Fantastic Four Movie:   The plot and dialogue of the Fantastic Four movie are unoriginal, pedantic, and predictable.  As I sat in the near-empty theater on a Friday afternoon in a popular suburban multiplex (maybe seven or eight others besides myself were present), I actually was able to predict various lines spoken by the on-screen characters.  The screenwriters should be ashamed of themselves. The fact that three people receive writing credits for this movie (Simon Kinberg, Jeremy Slater, and Josh Trank), may be a clue as to why it seems so disjointed and predictable. The old saying about ‘too many cooks’ comes to mind.   Also, and this was a problem with the first two FF movies from 2005 and 2007, the writers just cannot seem to get Doctor Doom right.  In a sign that this movie truly has taken the Fantastic Four to the sub-basement of super-hero movies, I can now say that the Doctor Doom in the first two (mediocre) movies was the better extrapolation of the character.  The Doom in the new Fantastic Four movie is not done right in either a comic book sense, nor a decent movie sense.  With that, let’s look at the specific problems with the major characters and the actors.   Problems with the Characters and Actors:   Doctor Doom: Since we mentioned him already, let’s go ahead and talk about how Josh Trank and his fellow writers (he was also the director, by the way), in malfeasance with the poor actor (Tony Kebbell) totally got Doc Doom wrong. By the way, as we go through this list, constant comparisons will be made with the characters and other points from the actual Fantastic Four comics.   In the comics, Victor Von Doom is a complex, arrogant, and interesting character.  His primary motivations are a hatred/competition for Reed Richards, who he feels wronged him in a personal and in a scientific sense.  Many of the best villains in the FF comics were motivated by a jealousy of some type with Richards and with his scientific genius. In addition to the points mentioned above, Doom is also the absolute monarch of a small, secluded Eastern European nation called Latveria.  Despite all of his other character issues, Doom truly cares for his people and his nation.  That is part of what makes him a complicated, multi-dimensional character.   In this movie, they get his motivation all wrong, (he has the hots for Susan) and while we see his arrogant side, his dislike for Reed is not based primarily on an intellectual competition with Reed.  The ‘hot for Sue’ theme more properly belongs to the Sub-Mariner in the comics, and never really was a Doom thing.  Fail.   Also, he is from Latveria (which the movie does touch on). But where is the accent?  A couple of times, it sounds like Kebbell is trying to speak with a slight accent, but not enough to convince me he is an actual European.  Fail.   After Doom gets his powers (and it should be pointed out that his origin is more-or-less taken from the Ultimate version of the Fantastic Four, as is most of the origin story for the FF.  More on that later…), he is gone for over a year, and when he does appear, any motivation he has for fighting the FF based on his prior relationship to Susan and Reed is suddenly gone and not referenced again. His powers are now a generic ‘end-the-world’ variety, with no connection at all to his comic-book origins.  Also, while he is disfigured by the accident that turned him into a villain, in the comics his disfigurement is a major part of his character and motivation (think Darth Vader), here it is not touched on at all. Fail. Dr. Doom in the Fantastic Four Movie   Reed Richards: As mentioned before, this movie takes the basic origin story from the Ultimate line of Marvel books, (which actually makes more sense in the modern world, IMHO), with a dash of the criminal ‘let’s steal the ride and go to space/other dimensions’ that we see in the original FF comics). In this sense, I cannot complain about this film’s origin story, starting out with Reed and Ben as kids growing up as friends.  The actor playing Reed (Miles Teller) does an okay job in the role, but the character is written all wrong.  His dialogue should constantly be peppered with multi-syllabic scientific jargon, which we did see a bit of in the childhood scenes, and he should be a bit more open and bold in his affection for Sue.  While a nerd, the Reed in the comics (both mainstream and Ultimate) has him openly in love/lust for Sue.  How his powers are shown in the movie is also not bad, but we do not see enough.  Also, one major aspect of this character should be how he comes up with scientific explanations for how they all have their powers. And, the biggest fail (and again, the writers take the blame) is how in this movie, Reed escapes the military base and hides for a year.  No attempt to sneak back in, no attempt to contact the […]

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Why the Fantastic Four COMICS Were Great

The Fantastic Four have been among my favorite comic books and the members of this superhero family are some of my favorite characters.  While I gird my loins for watching the new Fantastic Four movie (of which precious little positive news or reviews have graced the media), I decided to look back on why I love the Fantastic Four comics. Fantastic Four Marvel Treasury Edition As a kid growing up in the 1970s, before the internet, before the growth of the retail comic book store, indeed before the current slew of great superhero films made being a superhero geek cool, there was the weekly trip to the neighborhood drug store and the experience of the spinner rack. The top Marvel comics then included several Spider-Man titles, the Avengers, and, of course, the Fantastic Four.  The X-Men were in reprints (a fact I don’t recall grasping at the time, as again, no internet).  Along with the original titles being put out each week, Marvel also printed a lot of “reprint” titles, in effect recycling old stories from the 1960s for the new generation to buy and read. These titles included such greats as Marvel Adventure, Marvel Double Feature, Marvel Spectacular, Marvel Super Action, Marvel Triple Action, Marvel’s Greatest Comics, among others.  This ensured  that the great continuity that was a hallmark of early Marvel comics got exposure among the younger set. The Fantastic Four was among my favorite in those days.  Part of it was the dynamic between the members of the FF, with Johnny and Ben horsing around, the brother-sister team of Johnny and Sue, the marriage of Sue and Reed, and the all-powerful kid they produced, Franklin.  And, of course, one of the best parts was the relationship between Reed and Ben, along with the ongoing quest for a “cure” for Ben’s rocky condition.  And, they had great adventures, with their forays into the Negative Zone among my favorites.  While the Negative Zone was a pretty creative place, the Marvel writers of the 1970s, sent the FF to many unique and exciting places, from the underground empire of the Mole Man to the streets of Attilan, home of the Inhumans.  Some of the great storylines I recall from my FF-reading youth (circa 1973), includes the uprising of the Alpha-Primitives of Attilan, and the discovery by Johnny that his girlfriend Crystal (of the Inhumans), was really in love with Quicksilver of the Avengers.  This is real-world social justice stuff (the slavery of the Alpha-Primitives by the Inhumans) and real-world emotional relationship stuff with the Johnny-Crystal-Pietro triangle. Any hope of success that Fox Studios may have for their new Fantastic Four movie would hinge on making the relationships among the characters real and deep.  Somehow, I doubt they will get it right.  And, if they did manage to do it right, Pietro and Johnny are both in the same Fox-controlled universe, right? Fantastic Four #131-Johnny discovers Crystal and Pietro Fast-forward to the modern day, and the last issues of the Fantastic Four prior to the new movie coming out.  This latest run of the FF was, to use a phrase…Fantastic!  As I have mentioned in other reviews of Fantastic Four comics, this run of the Fantastic Four paid homage to nearly the whole of FF history while also telling a whale of a tale!  A lot was made of the fact that Marvel was ending the long run of FF comics, supposedly in response to Marvel (and Disney’s) concerns about the damage the Fox Studios movie would do to the Fantastic Four franchise.  After seeing lead-in and the first part of the huge Secret Wars event, and the fact that most Marvel titles ended or went into hiatus, provides hope that the FF will arise again after the Secret Wars fallout has settled. Check out our review of the new Fantastic Four movie, of course, from the perspective of a long-time FF fan.