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.” https://youtu.be/bu2mPOGayBc   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.

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Jubilee in X-Men '92

Secret Wars: X-Men ’92 Review-X-Men of the 1990s Animated Show

Secret Wars: X-Men ’92 Review-X-Men of the 1990s Animated Show    Secret Wars comes to Marvel’s Infinite imprint with the release of the new X-Men ’92 digital only comic book.  As with the other recent Secret Wars tie-ins in which different time periods or events are given their own domain in the Secret Wars’ Battleworld, (See Old Man Logan and X-Men Inferno reviews), here we see the X-Men of the 1992-1997 X-Men Animated Series inhabit their own domain. Jean Grey and Cyclops in X-Men ’92 Without going into major spoilers, we can say right now, that this was a fun read!  As a fan of the old 1990s cartoon show (hey, let’s call it what it is!) this digital comic captures the goofy, innocent, and slightly sanitized (“No civilian casualties, sir!) of that old X-Men television show. If you want to revisit the X-Men Animated Show, check out these reviews of each episode. Yes, Wolverine and Cyclops are still not buddies, Jean Grey is alive and radiant, Rogue sounds southern, Gambit sounds like a fake Frenchman, and, yes, Jubilee is still the cute, yet slightly irritating little sister-type character I remember her being. All is right with the world. But for the “free-range Sentinels,” and the too-good-to-be-true appearance of “Baron (Senator) Kelly” to congratulate the X-Men on defeating those pesky Sentinels. Cyclops and a Free-Range Sentinel in X-Men ’92 The art by Scott Koblish perfectly captures the feel of the 1990s X-Men show and 1990s comic art in general.  This comic looks and feels like the 90s, bad hair and all. We have some dramatic moments between Scott and Professor Xavier, and the requisite surprise ending showing a potential villain. As mentioned above, this digital-only X-Men comic is under Marvel’s Infinite imprint.  Started in 2012, the Infinite digital format which can: “take advantage of the digital format with techniques that would not be possible in a print comic, like dynamic panel transitions and captions or dialogue boxes that appear sequentially on an image at the prompting of the reader,” according to Marvel.   This fairly new interactive format is really fun to use when reading a comic book.  If digital comics were ever to actually eclipse the old print version, this is how it would happen.  Plus, with this particular comic title, based on an animated show, the whole feel of X-Men ’92 #1still retains some of that cartoonish demeanor that fits in so perfectly with these now-classic version of some of our favorite X-Men. I hope Morph shows up in future issues! Who should read this X-Men ’92 comic? Fans of old X-Men Animated Show Fans of the X-Men Fans of the old Pink and Purple-colored Sentinels (who designed them, anyway, the Wizard?) Anyone wanting to check out the Infinite Digital format. Oh yeah, if are following Secret Wars. HINT: You do not have to be following Secret Wars too closely to really enjoy this X-Men ’92 comic. But the whole “Baron Kelly” thing will make more sense if you do.   Rogue and a Sentinel in X-Men ’92 I really liked X-Men ’92, and will update this website with more reviews as the issues keep on coming.   Roger Lee, who by night reviews comic books, confesses that when he first fell in love with X-Men: The Animated Show, he was already an adult with a wife, mortgage, and two dogs.  His mantra in the 1990s was, “Why couldn’t we have cartoons like this when I was a kid?” is matched only by the pathos he now feels wishing that the X-Men and Avengers movies had been available to him as a kid as well.

Secret Wars: Inferno #1-The X-Men Go To Hell

Secret Wars: Inferno #1-The X-Men Go To Hell   The new Inferno X-Men series, being a part of the huge Secret Wars (2015) mega-crossover, takes us back to a significant past X-Men crossover event (dating back to 1989 and 1989) in which, basically, a couple of demons mess around and try to take over the world. In the “real” Marvel continuity, the X-Men and other heroes saved the day (naturally!), and the demons were defeated.  In this new, altered version of the story, the bad guys won. Uh-Oh! Secret Wars-Inferno #1 Cover In the new Inferno #1, Manhattan is has merged with the demonic Limbo, and is controlled by the evil demons that pestered the X-Men in the original 1980s storyline.  The remaining X-Men, assisted by a few other non-Mutant heroes (was that Dr. Strange we saw floating around?). The basic storyline (sans major spoilers), is that the demons won, and captured Illyana Rasputina, AKA Magik. Her brother, Peter Rasputin, is determined to rescue her at all cost.  But, he is not in charge of the X-Men, and Cyclops is the mutant leader.  In this reality, the X-Men and their allies patrol the outer, non-Hellish parts of New York, and Peter has had to compromise with Cyclops (who, yes, is still a jerk), who refuses to authorize an all-out assault on Limbo-Manhattan to rescue Magik. Thus, they struck a deal:  Colossus agrees to work for Cyclops for 364 days a year, but on the anniversary of Magik’s capture, Peter gets to lead a team of volunteers to try a rescue attempt. This story picks up at the fifth anniversary/fifth rescue attempt, as Colossus leads a team including Domino, Boom-Boom, and Nightcrawler into battle against the nasty and numerous demons. Without giving away any major spoilers, we can safely say that not all goes well, and we are left at the end of issue #1 with an interesting cliffhanger. So, what are the good points about this comic? It has the X-Men. Like many of the new Secret Wars tie-ins, it picks up on a fairly popular and important story arc from Marvel’s X-Men past. This tale allows readers to see into how Colossus thinks and acts. He has always been one of my favorite “new” X-Men, and his relationships with other X-Men, including, obviously, his sister, are a big part of what makes him an interesting character. Demons. They are just cool, especially when drawn well, as they are here by Javier Garrón.   What are the drawbacks of this issue? Cyclops is still a jerk, though how he is presented in this comic book is an interesting alternate take on his character. Read it to see what I mean. The whole rescue plot device where Peter only gets to lead a (small) team of volunteers only once each year seems to be pretty contrived. And, jerk or not, Cyclops is usually pretty stubborn about protecting “his” people and is typically not one to shrink from a fight. The above-mentioned change to his character may explain it, but I don’t buy it that he would change all that much.  An all-out assault once a year?  That would be more believable.   Other points of interest: The Goblin Queen’s costume. Madelyne Pryor’s Goblin Queen outfit was always, shall we say, a bit underdeveloped? While, ahem, interesting to view, her costume definitely lacked practicality, and was more of an undersexed fanboy-baiting artistic marketing ploy than a real superhero/villain combat uniform.  In Marvel’s original previews and solicitations for this issue (see Goblin Queen image below), she wears her usual revealing top, but the cover of the actual Inferno #1 comic book shows her wearing a complete top, which effectively covers her up.  One can only assume that Marvel is intentionally trying to not insult the many female readers that have flocked to Marvel’s comics over the past couple of years.  Smart.  We, and other reviewers, approve. Secret Wars-Inferno #1 Original Cover -Goblin Queen Underboob Who should read Inferno #1? Any fans of the X-Men in general, and of the original 1980s Demon takeover/Goblin Queen storyline in particular. Just as with Old Man Logan #1, the actual tie-in with the greater Secret Wars series and storyline is minimal and this comic can be read without really having to know a lot about what is happening in the rest of Marvel’s Secret Wars arc. Inferno #1 is a good read with good art, and an intriguing cliffhanger at the end to entice the reader back for Inferno #2.          

All-New X-Men #40 Cover

An X-Man is Gay- A Review of All New X-Men #40

An X-Man is Gay- A Review of All New X-Men #40   Brian Michael Bendis has written X-Men stories for a long time now, and one of his hallmarks has been an uncanny ability to capture the personalities and relationships among the various mutant X-Men.  In a recent issue of All-New X-Men #40, Bendis takes on a hot topic that reflects current identity questions and conflicts of the real world and puts them squarely into the comic book world.  You see, Bendis has revealed that one of the X-Men is gay. Spoilers Below…………. All-New X-Men #40 Cover   Before we get to the who, what, and how of this revelation, a little background is in order first.  In the current Marvel Universe (as of 2014-2015), there are multiple X-Men teams, some of whom are not very friendly with each other (long story…), but one particular X-Team is quite similar, yet very different, from the others.  You  see, a while back, the blue-furred and genius-level Dr. Hank McCoy (AKA The Beast), had the idea to go back in time (being a genius, he just happened to have a time machine stashed in the corner of his lab), to bring back the much-younger versions of the original X-Men to the present time.  Yes, he snatched the still teen-aged Cyclops, Marvel Girl (Jean Grey), Angel, Iceman, and Beast (sans blue fur) out of time and introduced them to the current Marvel Universe where Professor Xavier is dead (killed by the adult Cyclops), Jean Grey has died a few times, Angel has had all sorts of weird and horrible things happen to him, and Iceman is dating Kitty Pryde and now hates Cyclops for killing Xavier. For those fans who love the original X-Men (this review included), this particular time-travelling X-Men storyline has been a lot of fun.  Part of the wonder of the original X-Men was seeing them grow up from naive kids still learning how to use their mutant powers to adult superheroes to had to navigate adult relationships and anti-mutant hysteria while also recruiting newer mutants to their cause. All-New X-Men #40-Jean Grey So, what is this about a gay X-Men member?  In the All-New X-Men comic book title, which is where the younger, time-displaced original X-Men are featured, they have gone through a lot of drama, not the least of which involves the revelations that they find out that their adult versions are so totally messed up.  One of the more interesting story lines has been seeing Jean Grey discover and use her mind-reading ability without the guidance of Professor X (as happened in the original storyline of the X-Men).  She is constantly “hearing” other people’s thoughts, and cannot shut them out.  She also tends to blurt out things based on what she is hearing in people’s  minds.  Her friends tend to find this an irritating habit of hers. Which brings us to this whole gay thing.  Keep in mind that where/when they are from, publicly disclosing that you may be homosexual is not as accepted as it is in the current day.  So, when Bobby comments that Magik is “Hot,” in a physical, sexual sense, Jean asks Bobby why he is doing that (calling girls “hot” that is…).  Bobby’s response is confused and then Jean reveals that with her mental powers, she knows that Bobby is really gay. The dialogue between them in the following panels is interesting, including the question of why the adult Iceman appears to be completely heterosexual, while young, time-displaced (i.e. alternate universe version) Iceman is gay. All-New X-Men #40-Bobby and Jean–Who is Gay All-New X-Men #40-Bobby and Jean-You Are Gay All-New X-Men #40-Iceman and Jean Grey All in all, Bendis continues to make the X-Men, and how they deal with each other on a personal level, very interesting.  What do YOU, the X-reader, think of all this?  Comment below.

Spider-Man and the X-Men #2-Variant Cover

Spider-Man and the X-Men: Villains, Enemies, Rogues, and Antagonists

Spider-Man and the X-Men: Villains,  Enemies, Rogues, and Antagonists   Spider-Man X-Men #1-Meet Mr. Spider-Man   With the recent death of Wolverine, Marvel had a self-imposed hole to fill in their monthly slew of Wolverine titles.  One of the more interesting (though different), Wolvie-related comics was the Wolverine and the X-Men title.  In this series, Professor Wolverine led a group of young mutants on various adventures and school field trips to teach them the ropes of how to be X-Men.  Now that Professor Logan is gone, Marvel had to find a substitute teacher, as it were. Along comes Spider-Man, who is (or has been, depending on your continuity), an actual high school science teacher in his real identity as Peter Parker.  Logan had left a message for Spidey, asking him to take his place at the Jean Grey School and try to find a student who Logan suspected of  being a mole for the bad guys. Spider-Man and the X-Men in Class Spider-Man shows up in issue #1 of Spider-Man and the X-Men, and is assigned by Storm to teach a class in ethics.  Hoo-boy. This series is rather light-hearted and is a fun read.  But, what is a superhero comic book without some bad guys to liven things up?  As we read in the first few issues, it seems that the formula for the villains in Spider-Man and the X-Men takes the form of one Spidey villain teamed up with one X-Men villain.  Makes sense, if a bit contrived and formulaic. This page is devoted to the goal of keeping track of all of the antagonists (to use a literary term) that our new team of Mr. Spider-Man and his X-Men protégés encounter.  That means that if they fight someone, or someone’s henchmen, lackeys, monsters, or other proxy, that antagonistic character will also be listed.  On occasion, heroes fight each other, either out of stupidity, being possessed, being tricked, and so on.  In those cases, the good guy or gal will also be listed as an antagonist. Stegron Attacks Spider-Man and the X-Men The system we use to keep track of Spider-Man and the X-Men villains and antagonists will be fairly simple.  The character’s name, the comic book issues in which the conflict occurred, and any notes needed for clarification.  Next to the bad guys name will be a designator as to whether they are a Spider-Man villain, or an X-Men Villain. Chameleon (Spidey Villain)- Spider-Man and the X-Men #2, #3 (teamed up with Mojo) Mojo (X-Villain)- Spider-Man and the X-Men #2, #3 (teamed up with Chameleon) Sauron (X-Villain)- Spider-Man and the X-Men#1, #2 (teamed up with Stegron) Stegron (Spidey Villain)- Spider-Man and the X-Men#1, #2 (teamed up with Sauron)     Notes Related to Spider-Man and the X-Men Villains: At the end of Spider-Man and the X-Men #2, as our heroes leave Staten Island after turning over the defeated Stegron and Sauron to the Avengers, they are kidnapped by Chameleon, who is working for Mojo.  Chameleon and Mojo only appear at the very end of issue #2.    

Fantastic Four Family Thanksgiving

Superhero Thanksgiving

As millions of Americans sit down to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner and lots of football, we should all take a moment to be thankful for…SUPERHEROES! Comics and superheroes make our lives so much better.  We sometimes want to BE them, we sometimes want to live in their world.  Most often, they provide a means of temporary escape from the rigors of real-world life.  But sometimes, we also want to believe that our favorite Marvel and DC comics characters can be normal like us .  Perhaps that is why we usually see various holiday-themed images and memes of our heroes.   Here a few Thanksgiving Day images involving Marvel Comics characters, such as the X-Men nd the Fantastic Four. Who can name all of the X-Men in this Thanksgiving dinner panel? An Uncanny Thanksgiving from Uncanny X-Men #308 And here is a heartwarming, Norman Rockwell-style Fantastic Four Thanksgiving. Fantastic Four Family Thanksgiving

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Deadpool to be part of X-Men Universe

In an interview with Comicbook.com, X-Men: Days of Future Past creator Simon Kinberg confirmed the new, much talked-about Deadpool movie, will be housed inside a shared universe with the X-Men movie franchise. According to Kinberg:  “There’s definitely a sort of overall plan that we’ve all been talking about for the X-Men universe now,” Kinberg explained, “and Deadpool obviously fits into that. So yeah, I guess I would say it’s part of certainly an overall timeline and thought process that goes into these films, some of which is inspired by the comics and some which is inspired by seeing what Marvel’s done with telling a larger tapestry and linking all those movies together, even as they stand independently as well. The same kind of thought is going to go into these X-Men movies at Fox.” Deadpool made his first appearance in New Mutants #98 way back in the early 1990s.  He was created by artist Rob Liefeld and writer Fabian Nicieza. Deadpool is a mutant with a Wolverine-level healing factor, but his healing factor also gives his cancer the ability to re-grow.  Thus, he is always in pain, and his visage is scarred and pocked. Oh, and Deadpool (real name: Wade Wilson), is certifiably insane. Deadpool Ryan Reynolds played Wade Wilson/Deadpool in the Wolverine: Origins film, but word is that the events of the last X-Men movie (which altered X-Men history), have wiped out that particular storyline.  Many Deadpool fans were horrified at the way ‘Pool was portrayed in that film, though they liked the aspect that Ryan Reynolds (who also played Green Lantern in that DC Entertainment movie), brought to the character. Deadpool and his Katana Fans of Deadpool have been very vocal that their favorite Merc with a Mouth should get his own film. Deadpool has a release date of February 12, 2016.


Comic Book Art of Raffaele Marinetti

Raffaele Marinetti Comic and Fantasy Art [xyz-ihs snippet=”imageandtextbanner”] Raffaele Marinetti is an Italian artist who does freelance and commission art work with comic book and fantasy themes.  Below are some examples of his comic book art.  Check out his website, where you can commission some of his work. Kitty Pryde Harley Quinn Spider-Woman Green Arrow and Green Lantern

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Storm, by Boris Vallejo

Storm, the mutant “weather witch,” and member of the X-Men. Storm, by Boris Vallejo Art by Boris Vallejo. [xyz-ihs snippet=”contentboxtextandimages”]