Author Archives: mcknight57

Grail Knight: Iron Man #2 Review

The wonderful thing about Iron Man is his odd sense of purpose. Here is man who has always been intellectual, a tinkerer, a weapons designer and most notably, an adventurer. He really is the living embodiment of an Arthurian knight. He has, especially in recent years, been a man on a quest to rid the world of evil in many forms. With Extremis back on the black market, one of Tony’s worst fears is coming true, that his inventions will fall into the hands of those who wish ill of and would seek to harm the world at large. There’s no doubt that he’s a hero and his heart’s in the right place, but then there’s always been the question of where his ego is at any given moment. He’s become a hell of a tactician in the decades since his debut, but then there are moments when little things slip past him. He may well become the Galahad of S.H.I.E.L.D., or at least their Lancelot. That being said, Maria Hill really needs to hide the (other) women and booze and let the man do his thing, which would be saving the world.

This is what Kieron Gillen has brought to Iron Man. The writer of the last volume of Uncanny X-Men is starting out Iron Man as though he were a classic knight-in-shining-armor hero. There’s a bit of history shown in this one that long-time fans would recall and that gives us insight into what Tony thinks of other inventors. The dialogue and narration are pretty freaking good and there’s really not much to pick apart as far as pacing or characterization. All of the characters we see in this issue have the potential to really mess with Tony’s life, both in and out of the Iron Man persona. It will be very interesting to see where Gillen goes from here. There is a lot of promise for future arcs and the possibility of new Iron Man villains.
Greg Land’s pencils are fantastic in this, just as they were in the first issue of the new volume. There doesn’t seem to be too much wrong with this at all. Then there’s Jay Leisten’s inks, which aren’t really required in this issue, except for backgrounds and bits of the new armor. The base art by these two is really good, despite some fans complaining that it doesn’t match the cover. The colors on this issue were just phenomenal. There’s no panel in this issue without great colors and art in general. This is one of the most beautifully illustrated Marvel comics in a long time.

Iron Man #2 gets a 5. It leaves a lot open for more issues in the story arc and the potential for more stories of its kind in the Iron Man series. Hyper Geeky definitely recommends this issue for any and all Iron Man fans.

Iron Man #2 (2012)
Marvel
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Pencils: Greg Land
Inks: Jay Leisten
Colors: Guru Efx

Website Promo 3000

This is mcknight57 and Jeff is allowing me to do some promotion for my new site (we launched yesterday) called Hyper Geeky.  We do all things geek, though right now it’s movie and comic news and reviews. We’re expanding soon. Even if you’d like to stay here, please pass the link on to your friends. Thanks.

Marvel NOW! On-Going Titles

From the "desk" of mcknight57

We would like to present a list of the new Marvel titles under their Marvel NOW! campaign.
All New X-Men: Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen   Out Now (11/14/12)
The original five X-Men join the current team in the present day after the events of Avengers vs X-Men.

Avengers: Jonathan Hickman and Jerome Opena  (12/ /12)
A relaunch of the Avengers with a new creative team and faces from recent iterations of the team.

Avengers Arena: Dennis Hopeless and Kev Walker (12/ /12)
Many young Avengers will be plucked from their lives and dropped into a Murder World one-on-one death match. 

Cable and X-Force: Dennis Hopeless and Salvador Larroca  (12/ /12)
Cable returns to lead Domino, Colossus, Forge and Dr. Nemesis. They will be branded as terrorists and chased by the Uncanny Avengers.


Captain America:
 Rick Remender and John Romita Jr. (11/21/12)
This will be a new direction for Captain America. It will  include a trip to Dimension Z, which we can only hope means “zombies.”

Deadpool: Brian Posehn, Gerry Duggan and Tony Moore Out Now (11/7/12)
Deadpool has been “recruited” by S.H.I.E.L.D. in order to combat the reanimated, ghostly versions of all of the former Presidents of the United States.

Fantastic Four: Matt Fraction and Mark Bagley   Out Now (11/14/2012)
The most awesome family in Marvel takes a trip through time and space, with a whole lot of “are we there yet?” Okay, probably not that much.

Fearless Defenders:
 Cullen Bunn and Will Sliney  (2/ /13)
This will be an all-female title from Marvel, with such characters as Valkyrie, Misty Knight and more to be recruited after the first issue.

FF: Matt Fraction and Mike Allred (TBD)
While the Fantastic Four and company are traveling, this hand-picked team will be their stand-ins on Earth.

Guardians of The Galaxy: Brian Michael Bendis and Steve McNiven (2/ /13)
The team will now be defending the galaxy and getting S.W.O.R.D. involved. The team will consist of Star Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Iron Man, Drax, Groot and Gamora.

Indestructible Hulk: Mark Waid and Leinil Yu  (11/21/12)
Bruce Banner teams with S.H.I.E.L.D. to make Hulk truly the ultimate weapon, hopefully for good.

Iron Man: Kieron Gillen and Greg Land  Out Now (11/7/12)
The series continues from the last installment of Iron Man and finds Tony dealing with the repercussions of the Extremis storyline.

Morbius: The Living Vampire: Joe Keatinge and Rich Elson (1/ /13)
All that is currently known is that it will not be a strictly horror title as has been the case in the past.

New Avengers: Jonathan Hickman and Steve Epting (12/ /12)
This will be a darer, more realistic book than the optimistic original Avengers that Captain America and Tony Stark have built.

Nova: Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuiness (2/ /13)
We will be seeing a new Nova and a very compelling origin story, according to Jeph Loeb.

Thor: God of Thunder: Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic  Out Now (11/14/12)
We will be seeing a very different Thor, in a condition he’s never really known before. For the first time, he will be afraid for himself and the gods of Asgard.

Thunderbolts: Daniel Way and Steve Dillon (12/ /12)
This will be the Thunderbolts that nobody ever expected. None of the new team have ever really been team players before.

Savage Wolverine: Frank Cho (1/ /13)
The story will be primarily in the Savage Land, and include a team-up with Shanna the She-Devil. From what has been mentioned, we probably won’t see Ka-Zar, her husband.

Secret Avengers: Nick Spencer and Luke Ross (3/ / 13)
This will be a truly top secret team, with cool black-ops style story arcs and classic spy stuff through out. There’s even a few extra awesome team members like a new Iron Patriot and Taskmaster.
 

Superior Spider-Man: Dan Slott and Ryan Stegman (1/ / 13)
There will be a darker, more aggressive Spider-Man. There has been speculation to his identity, since it’s NOT Peter Parker, but nothing confirmed.

Uncanny Avengers: Rick Remender and John Cassaday  Out Now (10/31/12)
The X-Men and Avengers have come together as one team, with Cyclops’ brother Alex (Havok) as their leader, with very good reason.

Uncanny X-Force: Sam Humphries and Ron Garney  (1/ /13)
There will be a new cast and new looks for Marvel NOW!’s Uncanny X-Force. Writer Sam Humphries is going for big and bold on this title.

Uncanny X-Men: Brian Michael Bendis and Chris Bachalo (2/ /13)
We’ll be getting a new look at the Scott Summers as he tries more than ever to live up to the legacy of Professor Xavier. He will be joined by Magik, Magneto and Emma Frost.

Wolverine: Paul Cornell and Alan Davis (3/ /13)
This series is more about Wolverine trying to be a normal guy and just run a school. The action comes when he is trying to save those he cares for … and Quentin Quire.

Young Avengers: Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie and Mike Norton (1/ /13)
This is a teen superhero book, which replaces Avengers Academy. They’re not nearly trained enough, but they have the youthful optimism to still fight the good fight.

X-Men: Legacy: Simon Spurrier and Tan Eng Huat   Out Now (11/14/12)
This book focuses on Legion, the omega-level son of Charles Xavier, who is learning how to control his multiple personalities and the powers that accompany them.

Goblin Wars

When last we saw our hapless hero, his Spider Sense was doing a lot more than just tingling. He was captured by the third iteration of the Hobgoblin and taken to the Kingpin and given the once over with brass knuckles. Then there’s the fact that he was guarded by the Hand, which is excessive since they didn’t think he was Spider-Man. I mean, sure, he’s been outed as “Spider-Man’s tech guy” but that’s different. So far, he’s managed to survive possibly the largest set of super-villain waves he’s seen in quite a while. His boss even came to his rescue in the last issue, which brings us to the here and now.

Dan Slott and Christos Gage have been doing an exceptional job writing what is probably Marvel’s premier title. Slott already has nearly 2 years worth of experience writing the original Spidey book, and the assistance from Gage has certainly not hurt the book. The dialogue they’ve put in here is just classic wall crawler. The pacing is good and there are a few references to characters we haven’t seen in a while. The full plot of the last few issues comes to a beautiful close here. There’s definitely some great things coming from the look of it. There’s no shortage of awesome to this script.

The art is still really good in this one. Giuseppe Camuncoli has brought his “A game” to the end of the story arc. There’s certainly plenty of action, things going boom and just plain great  things to illustrate. Dan Green and Dell’s inks have helped cement the artwork thus far. The inks and Antonio Fabela’s colors have given some extra dimension and nice shading to Camuncoli’s colors. The colors, especially the somewhat muted bits on Spider-man’s costume are pretty good. I lust like the art in this one all around. Every bit is wonderful and consistent, which really makes a difference.

The issue earns a 5, because  there’s nothing missing and above all, there are some added bonuses that really make it work as a story arc finale. If you’re a Spider-Man fan, this issue is simply spectacular. I hear the next few will be as well, so this is certainly one to read.

Amazing Spider-Man #697

Marvel

Writers: Dan Slott & Christos Gage

Pencils: Giuseppe Camuncoli

Inks: Dan Green and Dell

Colors: Antonio Fabela

Holy Déjà Vu, Batman!!

Holy Déjà Vu, Batman!!

By: Andrew Hines

This has been one of the most amazing titles I’ve ever come across in almost 20 years of reading comics. I honestly don’t think there’s been another title I’ve loved so much in so many ways. For the last year and change, I’ve been on the edge of my seat reading this title and I dare say that doesn’t look to be changing any time soon. It feels like watching a horror movie as you spend the night as a “guest” at Arkham. The only predictable thing is that you know you can be sickened, giddy, mortified and appalled at any moment and even experience two of these emotions at the same time. Honestly, I can never really wait for the next issue.

Scott Snyder has done something absolutely astonishing in this series. He’s made us feel afraid for Batman again. I don’t think I’ve actually feared for Batman’s safety since the Knightfall story arc from 1993 that spanned 6 long months of publication. Snyder has also dug deeper into Joker’s insane mind and given us all new levels of creepy wickedness. Let’s get to the meat of the writing now. The issue picks up essentially where the last leaves off and the pacing leaves nothing to be desired except the next month’s issue. The dialogue is also amazing, especially in the interaction between Bruce and Dick. It’s possibly the most psychological issue of Batman since the start of the new 52. Every time I hear the names “Batman” and “Scott Snyder,” I think I know how Pavlov’s dog must have felt.

The pencils from Greg Capullo are as good as the script. He hasn’t yet illustrated a bad issue of the current Batman run. The wonderful thing is that it has a feel similar to the 90’s animated Batman cartoon, but slightly darker and grittier. Jonathan Glapion’s inks are pretty awesome and help with the darker feel of the issue. he manages to fill half of the page with the deep shadows that Gotham is known for. Then there are the glimpses of brightness that are brought out in FCO Plascencia’s colors. All of this together makes for a hell of an issue. The Joker’s new look, above all else has had me quite intrigued. He seems to dress more to his mindset, thinking that he’s actually fixing a problem. From the first page to the last, the art team here is pretty awesome.

I have to give this issue a 5/5 for sheer excellence. The way that the writer and artists work together on this book is rarely seen in such quality. I doubt there’s anything they could have done differently that would have made it better. If you’re a fan of batman or any of the Batman Family, this arc is one that you really shouldn’t miss.

Writer: Scott Snyder — Pencils: Greg Capullo — Inks: Jonathan Glapion — Colors: FCO Plascencia

Charlie’s Fundamentals

Charlie’s Fundamentals

By: Andrew Hines

Its hard not to be a fan of the X-Men, as the group (in it’s many guises) has been saturated in the media for almost 50 years. I love the original team, though they’ve had some interesting additions over the years. That’s not even considering the giant SNAFU that is the Summers-Grey(Pryor) family tree that stretches through different realities and alternate futures. The original five are the prime example of what the X-Men stand for and Charles Xavier’s vision for what his former colleague called Homo superior. The kids that became a family are as iconic as their fearless leader’s visor.

Brian Michael Bendis has done a great job with the first issue. We get the full story here as to what is going on. We even see a different side of the current Iceman at the start of the issue. The dialogue and pacing are pretty good, especially the pacing. It’s interesting to see how different the characters are from their younger selves. I’m not just talking about the looks of the characters, but also their personalities and how they’re handling the Avengers vs X-Men fallout and the loss of Professor Xavier. Bendis has managed to set an amazing tone in this issue, which I’m really hoping will continue long after he’s gone.

The art by Stuart Immonen and Wade Von Grawbadger is pretty damned good. This stuff is fantastic and blends the two worlds together pretty well. The original team looks better than ever and the current characters look pretty badass. The colors by Marte Garcia are great too, especially the last panel in the image at right. It brings in an almost horror movie effect and really matches the tone of what a lot of readers are thinking and feeling after AvX. The entire issue is filled with page like this that are more emotionally charged. The art team is fantastic in every way. You just don’t see this kind of quality artwork anymore. It’s a beautiful and refreshing change from the cartoony vibe that we’ve been getting from a few of the X books in the last year, not including the AvX tie-ins.

I give this issue an “A” partly because it doesn’t start with the Back to the Future moment. It presents a story, rather than giving us an instant shock and relying on sensationalism. It gives us a reason to read the entire issue, which I implore you to do.

Enter the Multitude / Death of Krypton

Enter the Multitude / Death of Krypton

By: Andrew Hines

There’s not much DC hasn’t done in it’s nearly 75-year history, except maybe for what you’ll see in this issue. With two parts of equal importance in this issue, with the first being these Weeping Angel-like beings, collectively called the Multitude. The second is a cameo by a renowned astronomer and astrophysicist. We may not all be fans of the Last Son of Krypton, but there’s been no denying that the new direction has been…interesting. Not inherently good or bad, but definitely different. This is one of the few New 52 titles I’ve been interested in from square one.

Grant Morrison may not have been at his best in the last year but this is a nice turn around on that. The dialogue is good and the pacing is better than it has been for several issues. The same can be said of Superman as a character. Morrison has been going out of his way to explain exactly what’s going on with the abrupt power shift that occurred between issues 7, 8 and 10. Now that he seems to finally be beyond that, he actually written a good story that stands on its own.

The pencils by Rags Morales are pretty damned good. I’m not always a fan, but these pages have made me one. Then there’s Mark Probst’s inks, which are pretty good. This page at right (sorry for the Maxim label at the top) should be a great example of that and Brad Anderson’s colors. Really, this is the best example of the artwork in this issue. It all comes together quite well. Those colors are astounding, to say the least. Given that the main story takes place on Mars, I’m pretty sure that the reds in the background are fitting.

Sholly Fisch is the writer for the backup story in this issue. The story is actually really cool and gives us a look at the hero’s perspective on his home(s). The dialogue and exposition are good, as is the sciencey stuff in here. It’s an awesome backup story and maybe should have been it’s own issue.

The pencils from Chris Sprouse and inks from Karl Story are good. It seems like a mix of the old Superman cartoons from the 90s and an astronomy-themed episode of Bill Nye. The colors from Jordie Bellaire are pretty good too. They are part of what helps give it the cartoon feel, that I love.

The issue is actually great, both parts of it. I give it an “A”. There’s something awesome in both parts of the issue. There’s great art and good writing. What else do you need?

Attack of the Dead Presidents

Attack of the Dead Presidents

By: Andrew Hines

Who doesn’t love Deadpool? I mean, aside from Wolverine, Thor, the X-Men and basically anyone who’s ever met him? This is a pretty cool dude we’re dealing with here. And no, I’m not just saying that because he’s got a gun to my head. (Help me. He’s got a gun to my head!) The baddest Merc With a Mouth just got a restart to his own series. Basically, he’s about to be more popular than ever and there’s not much we can do about it. From the looks of the cover, there may not even be much monsterzilla can do about it. (We can’t say the “G” word for legal reasons…probably). Is it just me, or does this version look more like Reptar from Rugrats?

The writing by comedians Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan is hilarious and very fitting for Mr. Wilson aka Deadpool. The pacing is good and we’ll surely see a few familiar faces from the (American) history books in this series, starting with this issue. It’s a good start to a really cool and funny story arc that could last a while. Then there’s the team-ups which according to those he’s teaming with aren’t team-ups at all. The dialogue is fantastic and i know I throw that word around, but it’s really just witty, stupid, childish fun. At the end of the day, that’s what Deadpool is. He’s a kid with a bunch of weapons a smart mouth and a bad case of road rash.

Here’s some off the awesome (cartoony) artwork from Tony Moore. Yes, I said “artwork”, as in pencils and inks. Pretty cool, if you ask me, which I guess you did since you’re reading this. Anywho, the colors from Val Staples (who is apparently a dude, sort of like Val Kilmer was in Top Gun) are just epic. They make everything pop, even Mr. Polio, or is that Former presider Polio? (He died in the 40s. It’s not too soon.) Also, sorry for lack of word balloons on the page. It was all I could find at short notice. The art works for a Deadpool story, I think. As does the ghostly FDR in the photo. That’s President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to our non-US friends. It’s an uncultured thing, you wouldn’t want to understand.

This gets an “A” grade from me. I love the humor and teen the cartoony artwork. Given what we see in these pages, I think we’ll be in for a treat in the months to come. That’s if our comedy writers keep the same pace and quality of laughs. Please, go out and buy this before Wade runs you through with a katana, or Bea Arthur as he calls her.

Trial By Fire

Trial By Fire

By: Andrew Hines

The Rise of the Third Army marches on in issue 14 of Green Lantern, still written by Geoff Johns. Here we see a few interesting moments dealing with the team dynamic, Baz’s preconceived notions of the Justice League (close to those of the other human Corps members) and his demeanor in general. In GL #0 and #13, we saw what Baz had gone through to get to this point and now we see what the Justice League will do to get Hal Jordan back and even a little of what they think of Gardner. You’ll be surprised by this issue.

Geoff Johns has given me reason to like Baz. Like most readers being introduced to a new member of a team they’ve come to love, I was hesitant to say the least. The writing on this one, both in regard to Baz and the League and even the spots with the Guardians is pretty good. I thoroughly enjoyed it. He reacted pretty much the way any normal person would if they were thrown headfirst into a meeting with Superman, Batman and the rest. The jumps back and forth between that group and the Guardians made the book seem, for lack of a better word “complete.” It really is a great intro to Baz as the newest GL of Earth.

I haven’t always been the biggest fan of Doug Mahnke’s pencils, but here I can finally say he did his job well. From start to finish, I think the illustrations are great. That’s mostly because they’re entirely consistent. The inking team (still have no clue why it’s a team effort) of Christian Alamy, Mark Irwin, Keith Champagne and Tom Nguyen are good as well. Then there’s the colors from Alex Sinclair and Tony Avina which are wonderful. All the little glowing parts are especially awesome and there’s more than a few of those parts in a GL book. The page at right is probably the best rendered of Baz in the entire issue. The art in general is amazing here. The look of Wonder Woman on the cover could be better but then you’ve got images in the interior like the one at right. The “holy crap” look by itself is just priceless and leads me to believe that me may have just hit a deer (if you know what I mean).

Yeah, this is a great issue and I enjoyed it far more than I ever thought I would. It gets an “A” grade. Go out and buy this is you’re a Green Lantern fan, or even for the anti-Guy Gardner jab.

The Next Chapter

The Next Chapter

By: Andrew Hines

I was hesitant to pick this up because I love Iron Man so much. I didn’t want there to be any huge changes, especially to the suit. The thing is, that once I started reading it, it was really fun. I actually really like the new suit. It’s a mix of Iron Man and War Machine armors, which is awesome. They’re really making Tony more like he was during the Extremis story, very aware of what his armor could be used for, rather than making him the arrogant douche, though somehow lovable douche we’ve seen in the movies. This is a switch that needed to happen lot sooner. When I first heard about the Marvel NOW! titles, I didn’t have a whole lot of faith in them, but that may change in the next month, starting with this title.

The writer we have here is no stranger to the Marvel Universe. Kieron Gillen is a wonderful writer and while he doesn’t shine quite as brightly as he did on last year’s Uncanny X-Men, he’s still starting off pretty well. He gives us a new look and fairly classic insight into the mind of Tony Stark. The greatest part of the writing is that we see all of the reasons we love and hate Tony Stark and the reasons that the Marvel Universe can’t live with or without Iron Man. As many things as he’s made to aide the world, he’s got an equal number that may destroy it. Gillen reminds us of that from the start. He pulls no punches, though he may have started swinging a bit before the bell.

Artist Greg Land has contributed to the pencils on this first issue. There are a lot of great moments, but one of the first pages, with Pepper Potts in the club, just doesn’t feel right. It’s mostly the facial expressions and Pepper in a dress. Then there’s the inks from Jay Leisten that work well. The inks are good, though the issue doesn’t require a lot of it, unless you count the black parts of the armor. The colors from Guru Efx are just fabulous. I mean, look at the metal forming the suit like that. That’s just freakin’ awesome. Really, the only bad thing about the art is the weird facial expressions I mentioned earlier.

This is a surprisingly good issue, considering. I give it a “B+”. The writing is great and most of the art is awesome. Having whole pages that look off, however takes a bit away from the grading of the whole issue. I recommend it if you’re not too weirded out by the change in armor.