Sunday, November 30, 2008

Legacy Commentary: Batman RIP: Aftermath

With the final issue of "Batman RIP" already out this past Wednesday it seems that a lot of fans have been split on if they loved or hated the ending to such a big event. I already gave my thoughts on the issue (here). But however you felt about the issue and the whole storyline it is clear that Morrison did his job in changing the status quo for all those in the Bat-Family. So I decided before the next issue of Batman, which is a two-part epilogue called "Last Rites," that I wanted to talk about were I think "Batman RIP" leaves many of the major characters in the Bat-Family. Also I will not talk about Bruce since it looks like that he won't be appearing for a while, at least physically, so I won't be talking about him in this post.

Who Will be the New Batman?
The biggest question that "Batman RIP" gave readers is that with Bruce seemingly dead who will take the mantle of Batman. This question will not be answered until "The Battle for the Cowl" event that Tony Daniel is writing and drawing which will not be released until March, barring any delays. It is pretty obvious that their are only three real candidates for the mantle of Batman: Dick Grayson, Tim Drake, and Jason Todd. So I am going to talk about each of these candidates and make the cases for and against them being the new Batman as well as what role I think they will take.

Dick Grayson (Nightwing)
Case for being Batman:
-Martial arts and detective skills are only second to that of Bruce himself.
-Has the most experience in the superhero business.
-Is most familiar with and defeated Batman's Rogue alone in the past.
-Is an accomplished strategist and leader with his time leading the Titans, JLA, and Outsiders.
-Already has a good relationships with most of those within the DC Universe especially with the JLA.
Case against being Batman:
-Uses witty banter instead of intimidation to get inside his enemies head.
-Does not share the same drive as Bruce since his parents deaths were quickly avenged before even starting out as Robin
-He already had his chance of being Batman only to give it up to Bruce upon his return.
-Has worked hard to distance himself from Batman and create his own identity.

Verdict: The new Batman
The splash page at the end of "Batman RIP" with Dick physically alone on the roof with Bruce's cape and cowl point to him taking over as Batman. I know a lot of people will say that Dick already had his chance of being Batman back in "The Prodigal Son" arc only to give it up to Bruce once he recovered but to be fair Dick I don't think that Dick was ready to be Batman at the time. When he took over the role of Batman at the time Dick was probably only 21 or 22 years old while Bruce was about 26 or 27 years old when he started being Batman. At the time he was not in the proper mind set with his failed wedding to Starfire and all the problems with just trying to keep the Titans together. And really what 22 year old is ready to take over his father's legacy, especially the one Bruce had built up. Now I think Dick is in his late twenties and doesn't have as much drama in his life as he did when he was younger

But for those that read Tomasi's recent two arcs on Nightwing it showed that Dick is able to pull of the dark and brooding part to Batman's job as well as taking on two of Batman's biggest rogues. And I get the feeling that Tomasi was brought onto Nightwing to build up Dick into being more like Bruce for what was happening post-RIP.

Also with the re-introduction of the Kryptonian Nightwing there is no way that DC would allow two Nightwings to run around in the same universe. And I think that Dick is the only one of the three candidates that will be accepted by everyone in the DCU. Also with what has been announced of DC plans of putting Superman in space the JLA will need a leader and Dick can fit that role since he has already lead the team before as well as teams like the Titans and Outsiders. Plus I think he could present as an interesting dynamic with the DCU characters and all of Batman's Rogue Gallery that is different to that Bruce had.

Tim Drake (Robin)
Case for being Batman:
-Bruce has admitted in the past that Tim has the potential of being an even greater detective than him.
-Has started using intimidation a lot more against his enemies with all the recent deaths in his life.
-Has shown that he already is able to defeat many of Batman's Rogue Gallery.
-Shown to a very good strategist and leader as part with being the leader of Young Justice and Teen Titans.
Case against being Batman:
-Is still to young.
-Allows his emotions to get the better of him due to the recent deaths of those close to him.
-While he has shown to be intimidating at times he is still more similar to Dick than Bruce in terms of personality.
-Is still developing his martial art skills.
-Will be hard to sell as being a believable JLA member to the JLA and the fans.

Verdict: Will be the new Red Robin.
To be honest I have always thought that Tim was much closer to being The Question than Batman. Even now with Renee Montoya as the new Question I believe that Tim would be a much better fit as The Question than Renee. No offense to Renee and her fanbase but Tim has always shown to be a much better detective than martial artist. Plus I think that with all the recent things that have happened since Damian showed up I think Tim may try and distance himself from Batman similar to what Dick did at his age even if Dick turns out to be Batman.

Also I think that Tim is about 18 years old already and should be graduating high school soon and going to college. And with the rumored "Red Robin" series starting up soon it would make sense that Tim would be Red Robin since he has made the Robin character his own but is to old to continue running around as Robin. This way Tim gets a cape and cowl just like many of his fans want while still maintaining Robin as part of his name. And the Teen Titans always need a Robin in their group. The Teen Titans have already had enough of a rotating cast as it is and it won't help the sales of that comic if they are missing Tim in their group, who is one of the only interesting characters in that book.

Plus I don't think we have seen a comic book character attend college while still being a superhero since Peter Parker. There is a lot of possibilities with Tim going to college and trying to juggle his college work, superhero life, and being the leader of the Teen Titans. This would give a logical reason for Tim leaving Gotham City without it feeling like he is being forced out due to the new Robin (cough*Damian*cough) and put him in a new setting, hopefully in the West Coast since there aren't many superheroes on the West Coast as it is.

Jason Todd (Red Hood)
Case for being Batman:
-Fighting abilities are on par with both Bruce and Dick.
-Has similar anger that Bruce has (had) as Batman.
-Does not hold back in his fights like Bruce, Dick, and Tim.
-Is more familiar with the underground than even Bruce due to being Red Hood.
Case against being Batman:
-Hasn't shown to be as good of a detective as Bruce, Dick, or Tim.
-Let's his anger cloud his judgment.
-Willing to kill.
-Has a non-existent relationship with all the DCU superheroes.
-Anger does not correlate to being able to intimidate enemies.

Verdict: Stay as Red Hood.
While Jason might have been a major player in Countdown it has been a while since he played a major role in any Batman storylines, outside of the recent short fight he had with Tim in Robin. If DC really wanted Jason as Batman he would have appeared in some of the more recent Batman storylines as a major player and they could have drawn more parallels to him being just like Bruce. But since Jason has been almost non-existent in all the Batman titles for the past few years him winning and turning out to be Batman would be to forced and less believable than Tim being Batman since Tim has at least some build up with recent portrayals that he can be Batman in the future.

We have already seen that both Dick and Jason just don't plain like each other and with the disappearance of the Joker along with Bruce this is a great opportunity to have Jason play the same role Joker played against Bruce with Dick since it has been shown that they are on par with one another in terms of fighting skills. If anything who ever is writing Batman should play up the jealousy that Jason feels for not being the new Batman and than after a long over arching story have Jason quietly accept Dick as the new Batman while still posing a threat to Dick.

What about the Supporting Cast?
Even though the biggest question coming out of "Batman RIP" is who will take over the mantle of Batman, this storyline also brought change to everyone that is related to Bruce. It has already been announced that 'Nightwing,' 'Robin,' and 'Birds of Prey' are going to be canceled along with the already canceled 'Catwoman.' So with only 'Detective Comics' and 'Batman' books being the lone "survivors" in the aftermath of "Batman RIP" it brings to question what happens now to all the other major characters in the Batuniverse?

Alfred Pennyworth
Future:
Alfred has been through a lot in his time as Bruce loyal butler but with what has recently happend with this Black Glove event Alfred looks like he needs time to himself to figure stuff out. Even though I may have not like how alof Alfred acted when Damian crashed into the ambulance, after going back and reading all of "Batman RIP" it seems that when that happened Alfred just look done with everything going on in his life. Just looking at his facial reaction he looks like he can't take seeing Bruce and everyone else around him getting hurt while he stands on the sidelines. So now with Bruce's "death" it would be as good of time as any for this loyal butler to take some time away from everything to do with Batman and try and see what life is like with no Batman in his life. But I still seeing him come back to help Dick, or whoever is Batman, since he knows that he is needed by all those in the Bat-Family and that he is the emotional center for everyone but after taking a short vacation.

Barbara Gordon (Oracle)
Future:
With 'Birds of Prey' canceled I think that DC should bring Barbara back to Gotham. With a new Batman to be introduced I think they can have Barbara play a similar role that Bruce played in the "Batman Beyond" cartoon and be the informant to the new Batman. Also since I think that Dick is going to be the new Batman that it is the right time to finally deal with their relationship that was put on hold in Nightwing Annual #3. There has been little communication between Dick and Barbara since then and it is about time they dealt with and not left on hold for much longer.

Also Barbara can still gather a new team of Birds of Prey in Gotham since it doesn't feel right that the Birds of Prey operate outside of Gotham. And since Dick will not always need Barbara to work with him she could use her free time to run a new Birds of Prey in a new watchtower.

Damian Wayne
Future:
With a new Batman it is obvious that there is going to be a new Robin as well. Damian will most likely be the new Robin since he is Bruce son. Also we will finally see Dick train a new Robin himself and provide an interesting dynamic between the two brothers. Knowing how challenging Damian is it provides Dick with a personal challenge as the new Batman since he has never really trained a protege before, and no that Nite-Wing punk does not count. And it would be fun to see how Damian interacts with Dick and if he thinks Dick is the same as Tim or actually accepts him as a big brother.

Commissioner James Gordon
Future:
With Gordon revealing that he has known that Bruce is Batman all this time this should provide an interesting new dynamic between him and the Bat-Family. Gordon has always shown hints that he may have known that Bruce is Batman but now that he officially knows the relationship between him and everyone will change. Since he knows about Bruce than he will probably be quick to realize that Dick is the new Batman and the interaction between them will see a change from that of the normal Gordon/Batman interactions. Also this new development can change his role as a Commissioner is affected by this knowledge and if he will feel that he may have to distance himself from all things Batman.

Talia al Ghul
Future:
With Damian being the new Robin this puts Talia into more prominence as a Batman supporting character since she will probably be keeping a close eye on how Dick is training Damian. Plus in a recent arc in 'Nightwing' it has been shown that Dick and Talia don't quite on friendly terms. And knowing Dick he will probably try and get Damian to forgot a lot he learned from Talia and make think like him and Tim and not like a League of Assassins member. And she may not be a big fan that anyone but Bruce is Batman much less that she is leaving her son's training to one of Bruce adoptive son's. All of this could lead to a big storyline involving her father Ra's al Ghul were after that story she finally accepts Dick as both Batman and the right person to train Damian.

Selina Kyle (Catwoman)
Future:
With her title canceled and Bruce gone it seems that Catwoman is left in comic book purgatory. A lot of her appearances relied on her relationship with Bruce but now he is gone and she hasn't shown to share a close relationship with Dick, Tim, or Jason. Also you can't just have her return to being a villain with all the character work that was done with her in her title. So right now unless DC relaunches a new Catwoman title it seems that Catwoman is the odd person out due to "Batman RIP." My idea for Catwoman would be put her in The Outsiders and make her out to be the leader of that team since here skills would probably fit in with the underground team feel of The Outsider.

Stephanie Brown (Spoiler)
Future:
With Tim going off into his own adventures outside of Gotham as Red Robin it is most likely that Stephanie will follow him. With all that has happend in Tim's life with the recent deaths of those close to him and the whole Damian thing Tim needs someone to help him through these events and Stephanie can serve that purpose. Plus, there is still a lot about her and her return that can be explored. And we have seen that Tim trying to distance himself from Stephanie since she returned and it is time they had a talk about one another.

Lucius Fox
Future:

With Bruce gone Lucius is left to run all of Wayne Corps as the CEO since Dick and Tim don't have the business experience to run Wayne Corp anyways. Also I would like to see Lucius bring play a bigger part in the Bat-titles and this is a great opportunity to have him train Bruce's successor in how to run Wayne Corps since the company still needs that face to the company that Bruce served.

Kate Kane (Batwoman)
Future:

Even though Kate has gone around calling herself Batwoman she has yet to interact with anyone in the Bat-Family outside of Oracle. So it is about time they introduce Kate as part of the Bat-Family. Also their is suppose to be a 'Batwoman' title that is suppose to be released in the future and it could serve as a way to help bring her into the Bat-Family by having her fight some of Batman's villains while also interacting with all of the characters in the Batuniverse outside of Oracle and Renee.

Now whether you like the ending of "Batman RIP" or not the aftermath should give us some entertaining stories, especially with legendary creators Dennis O'Neil and Neil Gaiman each writing their own arc before "Battle for the Cowl" event. And while I have my questions on the decision of Tony Daniel being both the writer and artist for "Battle of the Cowl" I will hold my opinion on that decision until I actually read the first issue of the event.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Ultimate Spider-Man #128 Review

Creative Team
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Stuart Immonen
Inker: Wade von Grawbadger
Colorist: Justin Ponsor

Story - War of the Symbiotes: Part 6

Review
After the last issue placed more of a focus on Peter Parker than Spider-Man it was inevitable that this issue would be an action pack conclusion for "War of the Symbiotes" arc. For as much as hate Venom and Carnage in the regular 616-Universe but I have to admit that I've enjoyed the Ultimate version of the symbiotes. The thing that seperates the 616 version of the symbiotes to those from their Ultimate Universe counterpart is that there is a much deeper connection with Peter in the Ultimate Universe.

Bendis does a nice job showing that even though Peter considers Eddie one of his more dangerous enemies he still wants to help him out due to their previous brotherly bond they shared before the whole symbiote thing between them. It is gret seeing Peter playing mediator between both Gwenage and Venom during the big fight sequence since he shares a deep bond in with both characters. I was actually kind of upset that the fight between Spider-Man and the new monstorous version of Venom was cut so short.

I was happy to see that Gwen is back on this book, even if it was spoiled in Ultimatum, and it will be interesting to see various character reactions to Gwen being back especially those at Midtown High School. But with Ultimatum tie-in dominating the next few issue of USM I don't think that we will see Bendis pick up on this until after the tie-in issues.

One of the stand out moments in this issue were the ones with Aunt May. Ever since learning Peter is Spider-Man we have gotten to see much more of May than before and it is a good thing. It looks like May is a lot more paronoid about keeping Peter safe now since I have never seen May ever pull out a gun out on anyone before. Even without seeing Eddie for a long time, since they did not meet in the "Venom" arc, she new Eddie was dangerous and her willingness to pull a gun out on him shows how much learning Peter secret has affected her. I also enjoyed it that Peter, as Spider-Man, had to take Eddie to another location because of how scared she was from what Peter was doing. It looks like Peter and Aunt May may need to have another talk about his duties as Spider-Man have affected her.

As with much of USM Bendis used the ending of this story to set up future storylines with Beetle capturing Eddie/Venom and taking him back to Latveria. Hopefully Bendis picks up on this ending after Ultimatum and has Peter team-up with the Fantastic Four to fight Beetle and his boss as well as having to fight Dr. Doom since it might take place in Latveria and we have yet to see Spider-Man fight Dr. Doom in the Ultimate Universe yet.

Unlike most of Bendis work this issue was mostly a big brawlfest between Venom, Gwenage, and Spider-Man which plays to Immonen strengths as an artists. The fight scenes had a lot of energy to them, and I got to say that I love the splash page of the new monstorous form of Venom and I hope we see him in the future. Still this was probably Immonen strongest issue of USM to date.

Issue Rating
Story: 9/10 - Bendis did a nice with the conclusion of this arc while also laying the foundation for future USM arcs after the Ultimatum tie-in issues.
Art: 8/10 - This issue played to Immonen strength as an artist though I still don't like how he draws character faces outside of costume.
Overall: 8.5/10 - As with the previous issues Bendis and Immonen have started to work a lot better as a creative team and it seems Bendis is starting to write to Immonen talents a lot more.

Captain America #44 Review

Creative Team
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Luke Ross
Inkers: Pablo Laguna and Rick Magyar
Colorist: Frank D'Armata

Story - Time's Arrow: Part 2 of 3

Review
Even with "The Death of Captain America" epic over Brubaker has shown with this issue and the previous issue that there are still plenty of stories to be told with Bucky as the new Captain America. With most, if not all, writers would use the following few issues after an epic story to slow the pace down for their characters and give them room to breathe. Thankfully Brubaker shows that "The Death of Captain America" was only the start of things to come.

With this and the previous issue proves that there are still mant parts of Bucky's life left to explore. One of the things that Brubaker has been able to due throughout his run is utilize the flashback scenes of Bucky's time as Steve's patner back in WWII and his time as Winter Soldier very well with what Bucky is currently doing as Captain America. It is this mystery of a lot of Bucky's past that makes him so much more interesting as Captain America and allows for the storylines to feel new and refreshing.

And even though Bucky regrets his time as Winter Soldier it is great to see that he still has that edge he had during that time. It is clear that no matter how much Bucky may want to distance himself from his Winter Soldier life the more it he will fall back on that training to get him through when he is pushed into a corner. Also I like that even though most of the US government and heroes have accepted Bucky as the new Captain America that the UN still does not trust him and the information they are withholding from Bucky is probably something about his time as Winter Soldier.

On a side note, it looks like Brubaker has introduced Oliver Queen (aka Green Arrow) from the DC Universe into the Marvel Universe since that government official not only looks like Green Arrow, though a bit older, but is also named Ollie. It would be interesting if Brubaker introduced some other characters from the DCU characters into the Marvel Universe as just a short cameo like in this issue.

For those who love action this issue also does not lack on the action department since we see Bucky kicking some serious ass in this issue. And his rematch with Batroc was nicely choreographed.

I also got to give Brubaker even more credit for making Batroc the Jumper into a credible threat. Because really when there is a villain named "Batroc the Jumper" who has such a bright and colorful costume it is hard to take him seriously. But unlike in the last issue here he showed to be not only a match for Bucky physically but also be really smart with the trap he layed out for Bucky for their rematch. I am interested to see the who the guy in the trench coat is and how he is connected to Bucky since he was also seen in the flashback scene at the end of the issue.

It is interesting that every artist that has been on this title have been able to duplicate Eptings work and Luke Ross is no different. Ross artwork does a good job at continuing the consistent feel to this book that helps the reader not be distracted by the difference between artist. Though I will say the difference between Eptings and Ross artwork is notcible during the close up scenes of characters faces since Ross employs a much more detailed painted style similar to Alex Ross's work.

Issue Rating
Story: 8.8/10 - Brubaker continues to develop Bucky and shows that Bucky as Captain America is just as interesting, if not more, as when Steve was in the role.
Art: 8.3/10 - Luke Ross artwork is able to replicate that of Eptings work on this title to help maintain a consistent feel that most other comic book aren't able to do.
Overall: 8.55/10 - This issue is a nice change of pace from the previous "The Death of Captain America" epic which went on a slow and methodical pace while this issue is an action pact story similar to the Bourne movies.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Batman #681 Review

Creative Team
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Tony Daniel
Inker: Sandu Florea
Colorist: Guy Major

Story - Batman RIP Conclusion: Hearts in Darkness

Review
Wow! Just wow! I'll give Morrison credit that he delivered in his promise of giving a "shocking" ending to Batman RIP. When it comes to Morrison's storytelling abilities fans will usually fall under one of two categories. On one end fans will berate Morrison for telling stories that are so complex that his stories end up becoming very convoluted. On the other end fans will praise Morrison for his ability to go against the norm and tell a story that is both smart and compelling. But while most fans will probably fall under one of these categories, from what I have already read on message boards, blogs, and comic book websites this is the case, I find myself right in the middle when it comes to "Batman RIP."

I'll admit that the first time I read this issue I probably had the same reaction many fans had and was pissed off with the ending. But to be fair to Morrison I read this issue about 20 minutes before I went to my last class of the day since I went to my comic shop right when it opened because I was to impatient to wait until I the end of the day to read the conclusion. But like most of Morrison's work I had to give a second and third read through since I probably missed something during the first read. So instead I decided to read this issue when I would have my mind most clear and read it after I finished filling my stomach with all my mom's Thanksgiving food. Now with my stomach filled I can say that while I still have some of the same complaints that I had in my first read through I found that I actual found this issue to be a compelling read and conclusion to such a big storyline.

One of the things I have enjoyed through Morrison's run on Batman is how he has been writing Bruce Wayne/Batman. Morrison clearly understands what makes Bruce tick. I love that Bruce was playing Jezebel since she said "I want you to know I understand." As with most fans I never really accepted the whole Bruce/Jezebel relationship and thought the whole relationship was rushed and not at all well developed. It is great that the only reason Bruce fell for Jezebel is that he wanted to get closer to Black Glove and you could tell that while Jezebel tried not to accept this as the truth the revelation clearly affected her.

I love that Morrison plays up the fact that Bruce has, and will, always be one step ahead of everyone else. Even when you think you have outsmarted Bruce it is at that moment were you realize that Bruce was one step ahead the whole time, as seen in the flashback scene in Thogal. The final scene were Bruce finally takes of the Batman cape and cowl, as well as what looks to be his death, made it feel like Batman was truly dead. While in the past Bruce has taken of his cowl and cape before, and has even had it remove or torn by his enemies, this time it feels a lot more symbolic to Bruce finally accepting that he does not need to be Batman anymore. This puts Bruce in an interesting position not if but when he comes back since it feels like Bruce has given up being Batman both physically and mentally.

For such a dark and somewhat depressing issue I will say that their was a moment in this issue that put a smile on my face. That moment was when Dick came to Batman's aid and help to defeat all of the Black Glove's men while Bruce went to take care of Dr. Hurt. Even though it was shown that Tim, Talia, Damien, and Jim Gordon were all heading to help Bruce out it was great that Dick was the first and only person their to help Bruce out it his battle. While it is true that Bruce is much more of a father to Tim in Bruce's eyes Dick will always be his succesor and one of his greatest accomplishments. While in the future we may get a new Batman and Robin their is no greater team than the original Batman and Robin. And the scene were Dick, who is all alone seperated from the rest of Batman's allies, with Bruce's cape and cowl may foreshadow his victory and taking up of the Batman mantle. I will have a post up on Sunday, if all goes well, talking about who I think will be Batman and what role each major Bat-character will have post-Batman RIP.

Now I have to also praise Morrison's portrayel of Joker. Morrison's Joker is one that is not only insane but one that is probably just as smart and may be even more vicious than Batman. I love how Joker mocks Dr. Hurt and all of the Black Glove members in their arrogance in defeating Batman. More than any other Batvillain Joker knows that their probably is no way in defeating Batman. The way he kills one of the Black Glove members before he leaves was great because it just shows how crazy he is and how he could care less about anyone, even himself. And throughout the Joker scene, especially after killing that guy, you can see how scared a lot of the Black Glove's members are of him.

With all that said there was this issue also shows the glaring weakness of this whole story: the villains Black Glove. While it is questionable who Dr. Hurt actually is: Thomas Wayne, Mangrove Pierce, or the Devil himself. The whole Black Glove turning out to be five people, who are extremely board with their rich lives, instead of one is a lack of plot development. Outside of Dr. Hurt and Jezebel we know practically nothing about these characters, and even Dr. Hurt and Jezebel weren't all that well developed.

A lot of Dr. Hurt's dialogue feels very forced. Throughout Batman RIP I felt Morrison was building up Dr. Hurt to be the final boss for Batman and that we would at least see him go one on one with Batman. But Dr. Hurt proves to be all talk and unlike his followers, who we at least see fight a little, he does nothing but stand around the whole time. He is even punked out by the Joker during Jokers big scene in this issue. I get that Dr. Hurt is suppose to be a psychological threat to Bruce but that is no excuse to for the main bad guy of such a huge storyline to look like a coward. Throughout this storyline and until the end Dr. Hurt never felt like a credible villain and it might have been better that their was a one true Black Glove and that he turned out either Joker, Tim, or Alfred (my pick) instead of someone that is still a mystery to the reader and probably even Morrison himself.

The other character that lacked any development in not only this storyline but also throughout Morrison's run is Jezebel Jet. While I loved that Morrison revealed that Bruce was using Jezebel this whole time that is no excuse for Morrison and the editor of the Batbooks to the lack of build up of the Jezebel character. And this reveal that she was just being used by Bruce to get closer to Black Glove feels like a cop out by Morrison. In my list of women that Bruce has ever loved their are three of them: Catwoman, Talia, and Zatanna. At no point in his run did I feel that Jezebel would be added to that list. This is much do to Morrison rushing from point A to point B with her character.

Now outside of the villains there was another moment in this issue that I question. This moment is when Damien at the wheel of the Batcar drives right into Jokers ambulance truck. It is hard for me to believe that not only would Alfred allow Damien to drive the Batcar but also that he is non-shalunt about what Damien just did. This scene just left me scratching my head and it feels that I missed something. I think that it would have been better that Morrison had a short scene at the beggining of the issue to show Talia, Damien, and Jim finding a beaten Alfred in the Batcave. But again this is just another example were Morrison leaves out a huge chunk of the story and expects the reader to accept that all these characters just show up in the moment they with no explanation, no matter how short, of their actions.

Much credit has to go to Tony Daniel and Sandu Florea artwork. Without Daniel's art, and Florea inking, this story might have proven to be much more worse since at times it is Daniel's artwork that distracts frpm some of Morrison's weak dialogue. I loved the flashback scene and the use of black, red, and grey that gives this scene a demonic feel to it. Also the scene were Dick is all alone with Bruce's cape and cowl really felt like an iconic moment similar to the ones given to Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman in the past.

Issue Rating
Story: 7.3/10 - This issue shows off both the strengths and weakness of Morrison's writing which keeps it from being as good as it should be.
Art: 9/10 - Daniel and Florea combine for some great artwork that helps distract from some of the weaker moments of this issue
Overall: 8.15/10 - No matter what you think of either Morrison's or Daniel's work this creative team combine to deliver a great story that leaves all the Batcharacters in an interesting position for future storylines.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Anime Review: Bleach 89, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 3, and Naruto 204

Bleach 89: "Rematch?! Ishida vs. Nemu"

Review
There isn't much to say about this episode of Bleach since much of this episode is a set for Ichigo and Renji's battle against Ugaki and his Doll Gesell. The set up very much felt like that of an RPG game were the hero(es), in this case Ichigo and Renji, are help by their allies to reach and defeat the bad guy, Ugaki. Though I am interested to see what Ugaki does now that the weakness of his Doll was figured out.

In the other part of the episode, I am glad that Uryu finally is getting his powers back with the accessory that Nemu gives him. Though I wonder if this will be a perminent solution to Uryu's problem? Still it is going to be good to see Uryu back in action with the rest of the crew and not just standing around watching everyone else fight.

Episode Rating - 7/10

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 3: "Imprisoned in Campus"

Review
With each episode of R2 it has become clear that the war between the Black Knights and Britannia is going to be much more of a global war than just a war fought in Japan. The involvement of the Chinese Federation and Suzaku fighting of some rebel group from Euro Nations show the war fought in R2 could be considered WWIII.

With that said Lelouch seems to ready for this event to happen though it is interesting to see how he will be able to evade being seen switching from Lelouch to Zero, and vice versa, without being caught by the Britannia force that is watching his every move. Even though he was able to execute his plan at the mall effectively Lelouch will have to start thinking through his plan out a lot more with Rolo, whose Geass has the ability to stop time, is a major rode block. I am interested to see how Lelouch is able to stop Rolo from shooting his brains out. My money is him playing up the big brother card since it seems Rolo has some serious attachment to his "brother" as shown in the scene were Lelouch tries to take Rolo's locket and Rolo's protest it not being taken away from him.

In the other part of the episode I enjoyed the short scenes with Kallen and CC. The writers of this show have definetely given enough fan service with these past few episodes with Kallen. It seems that over the past year Kallen and CC have build up a sister-type bond with how CC playfully teases Kallen about her complaining that they are being keeped out of Lelouch's plans when as CC points Kallen mean 'she' not 'they.' With this and the mall scene this episode was yet another homerun in what looks to be an intense season to come, and we are only three episodes in.

Episode Rating - 8.7/10

Naruto 204: "Yakumo's Sealed Ability"

Review
In this episode of Naruto we got something that we haven't seen since the Itachi arc: the use of genjutsu. While genjutsu has been shown to be very powerful it seems that not many characters known any genjutsu and only focus on ninjutsu and taijutsu. So it was nice to see Kurunai have a little genjutsu battle with the ninjas that are after Yakumo's power. While it was a short battle it was something different and refreshing from the typical "Naruto" battles.

It was nice that Sakura, who has almost been non-existent in these filler arcs aside from the recent "Konoha 11" arc, and Gai, who as always has his lame moments, are a part of this arc instead of it being just Naruto teaming up with Team 8 again. The addition of Sakura and Gai should give a little variety to this story. And I will be interested to see what Yakumo's plan is since she is obviously planning something.

Episode Rating - 7.2/10

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pull List for 11/26/08

Unlike the previous three weeks this week is a big week in comics since both DC and Marvel decided to release almost all of my favorite titles all in the same week.

Batman #681 -
After a long delay this is still the most anticipated title of the week and I am purposely staying away from any spoilers before I read this issue. Hopefully Morrison is able to deliver an ending that actually makes sense.

Captain America #44 - I continue to enjoy Bucky as Cap much more than I did Steve in the role and I can't wait to see what Brubaker has in store for Bucky.

Daredevil #111 - While the last issue was a bit underwhelming there is still a lot of potential with this "Lady Bullseye" storyline.

Nova #19 - Nova has quickly become one of my favorite titles and I love that DnA have been able to recreate Marvel's Cosmic Universe and make it an integral part to the Marvel Universe again. I can't wait to see the new Nova Corps members and this will affect Richard Rider.

Teen Titans #65 - I am starting to lose my patience with this title and unless McKeever blows me away with this issue I may drop this title.

Ultimate Spider-Man #128 - There is not much I can say about USM that I haven't said before except I expect another quality read, even if part of the ending was spoiled by Ultimatum #1.

Hope everyone enjoys their comics this week and have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Legen--wait for it---dary Comic Book Highlight for 11/12/08 and 11/19/08

I wasn't able to post the "Legen-wait for it-dary! Comic Book Highlights of the Week" for last week since these past few weeks I've been busy with some business projects. But thankfully I have finished and turned in all my projects and have already done 2 of my 3 presentations this week. So everything should return to normal for now and I only need to focus on my finals in a couple weeks.

But enough of that, since I didn't post the highlights for last week and I only got one new comic this past week I have just combined the past two weeks of comic book highlights into one post.

Cover of the Week(s): Nightwing #150
This was definitely one of the best Nightwing covers since the start of this title. It just sucks that just as Tomasi was creating some great stories in Nightwing this title is going to be cancelled due to the fallout of "Batman RIP." But oh well at least Nightwing is going to go out with a bang.

Avengers/Invaders #6 Highlights
For someone that is suppose to have Superman-level powers Sentry is always defeated easily by the villains. I can't really remember if Setry has ever really had a credible victory against a hero or villain.

It has to suck to find out that while some of your friends are alive in the future that you are not only dead but also the exact time when you are going to die.

Green Lantern Corps #30 Highlights
It looks like the this Guardian, who is working for the Black Lanterns, is preparing Ion to come to her side once she betrays the Green Lanterns.

The truth hurts but for the Guardians they hate to hear the any criticism to how they want to govern things, as shown here.

With "The Blackest Night" looming I get the feeling that most if not all the Guardians are going to die during the event. And with this new law I think there is going to be even more decention between the Guardians and the Green Lanterns.

Nightwing #150 Highlights
After years of being in the hero business Dick body looks messed up.

With this and the first story it seems that Tomasi was brought on to Nightwing to get him closer to being Batman. Also I enjoyed this little scene between Dick and Barbara and I hope that after "Batman RIP" is over the Batfamily start interacting a lot more since they have all been spread out across the country and not as tight of nit group they should be.

Who knew Two-Face was a Star-Trek fan? I guess even the greatest villains are geeks on the inside too.

A great scene to remind the reader that Dick is the greatest acrobat in the DC Universe.

A nice entrance that leads into a brutal fight between Nightwing and Two-Face.

Wolverine #69 Highlights
These mole men redefine the meaning of "don't let the bed bugs bite."

This, and the dead body of Loki, scene show how much time has past in this world.

This is just some beautiful artwork by McNiven that gives Millar's story the grandure it deserves.

Finally after only seeing short scenes of what happend in the past we are going to finally see what happend to Logan to be the way he is. Hopefully the next issue is not delayed.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Avengers/Invaders #6 Review

Creative Team
Plot: Alex Ross and Jim Kruger
Writer: Jim Kruger
Artists: Steve Sadowski and Patrick Berkenkotter
Colorist: inLight Studios

Issue Rating
Story: 7.5/10
Art: 7.8/10
Overall: 7.65/10

Review: Finally reaching the midway point of this series Krueger and Ross have done a nice job building this story. It is great development seeing how Krueger and Ross were able to build the original Human Torch, Jim Hammond, into a credible threat early in this issue when he was able to defeat the Sentry. By defeating Sentry, whose power levels are said to be similar to Superman, the original Human Torch shows how powerful he really is and that the (Mighty) Avengers may not be enough to defeat him.

The revelation that the Cosmic Cube is involved in the Invaders being transported to the current Marvel Universe was not surprising but it still brings to question who is behind this event and what they want. The obvious choice would be the Red Skull but since this story takes place after Bucky becomes Captain America I doubt Krueger and Ross will use Red Skull in a robot suit.

Also the other star of this issue was Toro and I will be interest were Krueger and Ross take his character in the second half of this story.

The only problem I have with this issue is that it felt like a very quick read and the flashback scene at the end felt very disjointed with the story. In truth most of the flashbacks in Avengers/Invaders have felt a little to forced and take up space. Hopefully Krueger and Ross will find a much better way to utilize these flashback scenes in future issues.

Sadowski and Patrick provide some nice, if not inconsistent artwork. Though Sadowski and Patrick action scenes are very well choreographed.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Anime Review: Bleach 88, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 2, and Naruto 203

Bleach 88: "Annihilation of the Lieutenants!? Trap in the Underground Cave"

Review
Continuing from the last episode this episode does a nice job in building on what is going on in both the real world and in the Soul Society. With the Soul Society finally doing something other than sitting around arguing with one another this filler arc has finally shown some signs of life that hasn't been seen for a while. While the "battle" Rangiku, Hisagi, Kira and Yumichika have against the Bount Ugaki wasn't all to exciting. But really this has been the pattern with most of the fight Ichigo and crew have been with against the Bounts outside of the Ichigo and Yoshino each had against Kariya. Still the fight did a nice job of building up one of the Bounts that has yet to fight and hopefully once Ichigo and his gang enter the Bounts hideout the fight with Ugaki and his Doll.

The meat of this episode, at least for me, that made this episode another good episode is what is going on in the Soul Society. It is nice to see that unlike some other animes, or shows in general, that the leader of a group or world isn't blind to what is going on around him. We did not need to wait for 10 to 20 episodes for Captain-Commander Yamamoto to figure out their is a traitor in his mix, the traitor being Mayuri. Also I am interested to see what Byakuya finds in his family's archives.

I didn't mention it last week about Uryu's part of the story due to it being such a small part of the last episode. In this episode it seems their is much more build up to Uryu's importance with the plot with Nemu finally arriving in the real world to deliver whatever Mayuri gave her to Uryu. It is going to be interesting to see if whatever Nemu gives Uryu is something that can help him get his Quincy powers back.

Overall this was another show that the Bount filler arc is moving foward in a positive way. And it looks like the battle with the Bounts will be moving to the Soul Society soon which will be great for the show since all the Soul Reapers will be able to fight at full power and not with the limiters.

Episode Rating - 7.7/10

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2: "Plan For Independent Japan"

Review
What a difference one man makes in a war. The first two episodes of R2 have shown how important Lelouch is to the Black Knights victory against Britannia. Even with only a few members of the Black Knights Lelouch was able to lead them to victory in Babel Tower and able to confiscate their new place of business at the same time. Also, it looks like Kallen will be taking a much bigger role in R2 than she did last season. I will be interested to see how long she will try to look at Lelouch and Zero as two different people and how it changes her relationship with Lelouch.

While in the first episode we did not get any answer to what happened at the end of of the first season with Lelouch and Suzaku and how all the characters ended up were they were at the beginning of R2. This episode answer all of those questions, at least on the Lelouch and Suzaku side. While it was obvious that the Emperor had something to do with Lelouch's memories being re-written but it was surprising to see that the Emperor also has Geass. I guess like father like son. Also it looks like Lelouch is not happy with being just Emperor but has higher aspirations by killing God with the Sword of Akasha. While this plotpoint will not be revisited until later on it is a nice building block for things to come.

Also the characterization of Suzaku in this flashback was spot on and him using the capture of his best friend to rise into a higher rank goes along with his mind set of changing the world from within the system. Also the rest Knights of the Round look like some interesting characters and I hope that we see more of them in the future.

The last thing I want to mention is the reveal of Lelouch's fake brother not only working for the Emperor but also that he has a Geass makes me wonder who the hell is giving everyone the power of Geass. And while I knew that Rolo wasn't piloting a Knightmare frame that could teleport it makes me wonder what Rolo's Geass does. All these mysteries give hope that R2 will be just as good or better than the first season.

Episode Rating - 9.3/10

Naruto 203: "Kurenai's Decision, Squad 8 Left Behind"

Review
After almost 70 episodes it feels like these filler arcs are never going to end. While two or three of these filler arcs were pretty good for the most part they have all been a real miss. Sure we have gotten to see many more of the Naruto characters getting more exposure and seeing how they all interact it just feels that we need to get to Shippuden already.

With that said this new filler arc dealing with Kurenai's past looks to have some promise. And this episode did nice job setting the ground work for some more revelations about Kurenai and her former student Yakumo. Also the reaction of Team 8 to their teacher resigning her post was understandable and it looks like Naruto will be teaming up with them again to follow Kurenai. It also would do this arc well if they add Sakura to the team since we really haven't seen much of her outside of some cameos in these filler arc.

Episode Rating - 6.1/10

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pull List for 11/19/08

Avengers/Invaders #6 - Kruger and Ross Avengers/Invaders has really been flying under the radar with Final Crisis and Secret Invasion currently still running. I have been enjoying this story and Kruger and Ross have been showing that Marvel does have a rich history before the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man came around by showcasing heroes that were true heroes of their time in the Invaders.

As you can see I am only getting one title this week, which may be a sign that there is comic book God, which is a good thing for me since for the past two weeks I have been busy with different business projects I have due at the end of the semester. Ah, the things I do to graduate early. Thankfully I have all my presentations on Monday so that I have a small break till finals in three weeks. And also I did not get a chance to post the "Legen-wait for it-dary Comic Book Highlights of the Week" for this past week in comics but since I am only getting one title this week I will combine this week and last weeks highlights together into one. Hope everyone enjoys their comics this week. Later!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Weekly Comic Book Reviews for November 13, 2008

Green Lantern Corps #30
Creative Team
Writer:
Peter Tomasi
Artist: Patrick Gleason
Inker: Rebecca Buchman
Colorist: Randy Mayor

Issue Rating
Story: 8/10
Art: 7.3/10
Overall: 7.65/10

Review: Green Lantern Corps #30 was a great improvement from the previous installment to "Sin of the Sapphire" arc. The last issue suffered from not seeming to accomplish much even for an intro to a new arc. But this issue, while mostly talking heads issue, gives the reader some insight on two sides of the upcoming war with each side (The Guardians and Zamaronians) arguing which side is right and which side is doomed to failure. With each appearance the Guardians are showing how dictatorial they are becoming with the Green Lanterns. First it was creating a new version of the Manhunters with the Alpha Lanterns and now declaring that no Green Lantern can have a relationship as long as they serve the Green Lantern Corps.

The scarred Guardian, who is working two sides, continues to be the most interesting of the Guardians. It seems that this one Guardian has a lot more pull within the Guardians and she is leading the Guardians to their current mind set. Also it seems she is trying, and from the looks of it succeeding in corruption Ion. It will be interesting to see were Tomasi takes this development especially once she betrays the other Guardians and were that takes Ion.

The Sinestro Corp member that is abducting babies and that is being Kyle and crew gives a nice little side track that adds some action to all the "talking" that is done in this issue. And hopefully in the next issue we will see more action than these past two issues have provided. This being a Green Lantern title at times it doesn't feel right that we go two issue with little action happening.

Patrick Gleason's was average in this issue and his biggest problem is drawing character faces. The faces of all the chracters, outside the Guardians and Zamaronians, are just to squarred and inconsistent at times. Still Gleason's background especially the Zamorian homeworld are some impressive designs.

Nightwing #150
Creative Team
Writer:
Peter Tomasi
Artist: Don Kramer
Inkers: Jay Leisten and Rodney Ramos
Colorist: Hi-Fi

Issue Rating
Story: 9.8/10
Art: 8.8/10
Overall: 9.25/10

Review: Even with the knowledge that Nightwing, along with Robin and Birds of Prey, is being canceled that did not stop me from enjoying the end of this Nightwing vs Two-Face story. Again the strength of Tomasi's run on this Nightwing continues to be his characterization of Dick Grayson. While some may hate the fact that Tomasi has floded his run on Nightwing with guest stars I think it is a smart move showing how Dick has connections with almost the whole DCU from the JLA to the JSA to the Bat-family. And the latest guest star to show up in this issue is Barbara. It was nice to see Barbara show up in Nightwing since she and Dick haven't really interacted since the failed engagement (read Nightwing Annual #2). While I have never really choosen a side in the Dick-Starfire and Dick-Barbara pairing I do enjoy seeing Dick joking around with one someone in the Bat-family especially with Barbara since it shows that while the Titans may be his closest friends, and peer group, in the DCU his true family will always be Bruce, Alfred, Tim, and Barbara.

Also the opening pages were we are shown all the scars on Dick's body and Barbara pointing out his change of voice when talking about his Two-Face case it is obvious that Tomasi may have been brought on to this title to give all the Batman fans a reason why Dick is the rightful heir to the Batman mantle. And if Bruce ever retired and chose someone to take up his mantle it would be Dick. While many Batfans can make a good cases for Tim or Jason to pick up the mantle but I think when it comes to choosing one of these three characters it is only the logical thing that Dick pick up the mantle and not just as a placeholder (ala "Prodigal Son" arc), but as a permanent replacement. I could continue to write about this topic but I am actually waiting to see for the conclusion of "Batman RIP" to write a post talking about a proper replacement for Batman.

A story is only as good as the villain that the hero has to face and I like how Tomasi wrote Two-Face and his split personality. With this story Tomasi presented the idea that Two-Face is to Nightwing what Joker is to Batman. It seems that many writers forget that out of all of Batman's rogues Two-Face is probably the one with the most history with Nightwing. Two-Face represents Dick's first true loss as a superhero. And I like that Tomasi wrote Two-Face as having two distinct personalities and this is the first time that I can remember that the Harvey Dent and Two-Face personas have an arguement with one another. The fight that Nightwing and Two-Face have at the end of the issue was a great bloody battle that was a good way to end this story.

Don Kramer provided some great art and I love how Kramer draws Two-Face. The fight scene that ended this story was nicely choregraphed and Kramer added to Tomasi's Nightwing vs Two-Face story.

Wolverine #69
Creative Team
Writer: Mark Millar
Artist: Steve McNiven
Inker: Dexter Vines
Colorist: Morry Hollowell

Issue Rating
Story: 7.4/10
Art: 9/10
Overall: 8.2/10

Review: After a delay we finally get the next part and it hurts this issue and the flow of this story. Wolverine #69 acts as the end of act II of "Old Man Logan" and transitions into act III were we are going to learn about what happened to Logan during and after the great war. In these last four parts of "Old Man Logan" we have been shown short flashback scenes of what happened that caused Logan to be the way he was and we are finally going to get the whole story. Also from what Logan and Hawkeye were talking about during there drive through the mid-west their may be hope two other fallen heroes may help Logan and Hawkeye and give hope this world can become better.

I continue to enjoy how Millar is writing Logan. As Logan says he is at a point in his life were he has finally found some happiness with the life he has build with his wife and kids even though the world isn't the bright and happy world he would like to live. I like that one of Logan's greatest fears is turning back into his Wolverine persona and as seen in the short flashback scene were Logan stands over the bodies of Lady Deathstrike, Omega Red, and Mr. Sinister it seems that Logan did something that even he thought hewould never do. While some might find these short flashback scenes I have actually enjoyed these brief glimpses into the past and can't wait to finally hear the whole story.

I also have been enjoying how Millar has been writing Hawkeye and I hope that Bendis and the other Marvel writers take a cue from Millar in that Hawkeye caan and should be one of the most badass characters in the Marvel Universe. I like that even after taking so many lives Hawkeye says that his greatest joy was seeing Ashley's birth and how said he is seeing how she turned out. "Old Man Logan" is as much as a redemption story for Logan as it has become for Hawkeye and I hope that Millar doesn't go the obvious route and kill Hawkeye at the end of the story in order for Logan to turn into Wolverine again.

Steve McNiven's artwork really helps out Millar story a lot and keeps this issue from being an average read. McNiven's artwork gives this story the big event feel with all the scenery and the little things like Loki's dead body laying over the Baxter Building and the Venom Symbiote hanging on a hill in South Dakota shows how much time has passed in this world and history there is. The Mount Rushmore spread is really a well drawn scene giving the issue a grand scope of things to come.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Anime Review: Bleach 87

There was no new Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 since Adult Swim aired the first episode of R2 that was already posted on their website the week before. Still we did get Bleach and also starting next week I may start reviewing Naruto as well, if Cartoon Network decides to start airing new episodes of Naruto on a consistent bases.

Bleach 87: "Byakuya is summoned! The Gotei 13 start to move!"

Review
With the last episode showing some promise this episode continued from the last episode and delivered a nice end to the Chad, Nova, and Rangiku vs. Sawatari fight. The strategy the group came up was a very smart way to end the fight by having Rangiku combine her Kido with Nova's dimension teleporting/sensing abilites to allow Chad to be the hero of the episode. It was good the writers allowed Chad to show much more emotion in these past two episodes since, while he has an interesting backstory and power, Chad's stoic personality can get boring at times. Also another good thing that has come out of these two episodes is that Nova really shows that he may be the best character introduced in this "Bount" filler-arc.

I was glad that the fight with the Bounts did not take up the whole episode and we got some interesting developments within the Soul Society. First there is that someone has invade the Soul Society which is probably Ichinose. But still I wonder how Ichinose or who ever invade the Soul Society was able to stay invinsible and take out Ikkaku. Then there is Mayuri discovering finding data and instructing Nemu to find Uryu. I wonder what Mayuri may want with Uryu and what Mayuri is going to do with the information he has since he is a mad scientist-type character. And finally th last plot development in the Soul Society, I wonder what Captain Yamamoto wants with Byakuya. With their already some Soul Reapers it looks like the war with the Bounts will reach a new level the next episode.

Episode Rating - 8.15/10

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pull List for 11/12/08

Green Lantern Corps #30 - Even though the last issue was an average read I am interested in seeing what role the Sapphire Corps plays in the upcoming "The Blackest Night."

Nightwing #150 - With the news last week that Nightwing, Birds of Prey, and Robin are being canceled after there February issues I got to what the hell. Just when Tomasi was building such a great run it Nightwing is getting canceled. Though this is probably due to the aftermath of Batman RIP, in any case I plan on enjoying these last few issues of Nightwing vs Two Face story.

Wolverine #69 - After such a long wait it I still can't wait for the next chapter in the "Old Man Wolverine" and if Logan will go back to being Wolverine in order to save Hawkeye from being killed by his daughter.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Legen--wait for it---dary Comic Book Highlight for 11/5/08

Cover of the Week: JSA #20
While I am not a big fan of Alex Ross interior artwork but their is no denying that Ross is one of the best cover artist in the business and this cover for JSA #20 proves it.

Final Crisis: Resist Highlights
Even with Darkseid taking over the world and the heores forced to go into hiding at least Snapper Carr was able to find one bright moment by banging Cheetah.

Finally after being stuck in a cave the whole issue Mr. Terrific and what remains of Checkmate and the OMACs finally decide to do something other than talk

Iron Man: The End Highlights
See this is why Batman has three different Robins to make choosing his successor a much simpler task.

Even though it took a while Tony was finally able to pass down the Iron Man mantle and he can move on to the rest of his life outside of Iron Man, at least in this alternate world.

Terror Titans #2 Highlights
Right now Ravager is the most interesting Titan out of all the three Titan books being published right now. And this spread only shows why McKeever needs to put Ravager back in the main Teen Titans book.

At least DC remembers that these characters exist but the appearance of all the these teen heroes was just space filler. The issue might have been a better read if McKeever choose to give some time to develop these underutilized characters. Oh well!

Ultimatum #1 Highlights
The Day After Tomorrow meets the Ultimate Universe.

Out of Hanks three different hero costumes/identities his Yellow Jacket identity is still the best and hopefully, if he survives this event, he keeps wearing this costume instead of the Ant-Man one.

At least we don't have to wait two or three issues for the heroes to team up and Loeb quickly got all the heroes fighting on the same side.

Shouldn't we all have a throne to sit on, and Thor's hammer, when we get home.

X-Men/Spider-Man #1
Ah, the memories of the original X-Men.

There was no love triangle better than this one, seriously what guy wouldn't want a hot blond and redhead as your love interest.

We must all beware Kraven's nipples of doom.
I was not expecting this ending and I wonder what devious plot Mr. Sinister has planned involving Kraven in the next issue.