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X-Men #16 [Review]

Full review posted to cxPulp.com.

Rating: 3.5/5

X-Men #7 [cxPulp Mini-Review]


Review posted to cxPulp.com
.

 

Overall: 4/5

The To-Be-Read Challenge of 2011

To Be Read Challenge 2011 – from readerchallenges.wordpress.com

My List:

  1. The Last Days of Krypton by Kevin J. Anderson
  2. The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
  3. The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
  4. Dragons of the Highlord Skies by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman
  5. Dragons of the Hourglass Mage by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman
  6. The Wastelands by Stephen King
  7. Wizard and Glass by Stephen King
  8. The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
  9. Ancestor by Scott Sigler
  10. Vampire a Go-Go by Victor Gischler
  11. Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse by Victor Gischler
  12. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

Alternates:

  1. Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King
  2. Song of Susannah by Stephen King
  3. The Dark Tower by Stephen King
  4. The Street Lawyer by John Grisham
  5. The Innocent Man by John Grisham
  6. Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer by John Grisham
  7. Under the Dome by Stephen King
  8. The Brethren by John Grisham
  9. The Summons by John Grisham
  10. World Without End by Ken Follett
  11. The Ultimate Cat Lover
  12. Expiration Date

 

This challenge will be tracked on the 2011 Reading Challenge Page in the navigation of this blog, rather than on this post itself.

The rules:

  • the challenge is to read 12 TBR books in 12 months — you can read those all in one month if you want, or one a month, or however you wanna do it.
  • you should have a list posted somewhere for others to see
  • you CANNOT change your list after January 1st, of the current year!!!
  • you can create an Alternates list of MAXIMUM 12 books, if you want, in order to have options to choose from (you can read these in place of books on your original list).
  • audiobooks and e-books ARE allowed
  • re-reads are NOT allowed, as they aren’t TRUE “TBRs”
  • you CAN overlap with other challenges
  • OPTIONAL: you can join the Yahoo! Group created for participants of the TBR Challenge, if you want to have a place to
  • keep your list, or just to share with others about how you’re doing!

X-Men #2 [Review]

Full review posted to cxPulp.com.

Story: 4/5
Art: 3.5/5
Overall: 3.5/5

Deadpool: Merc With a Mouth #13 [Review]

Full review posted to cxPulp.com.

Story: 3.5/5
Art: 4/5
Overall: 3.5/5

X-Men #1 [Review]

Full review posted to cxPulp.com.

Story: 4/5
Art: 3.5/5
Overall: 3.5/5

Deadpool: Merc With a Mouth #12 [Review]

Writer: Victor Gischler
Pencils: Bong Dazo
Inks: Jose Pimentel
Colors: Matt Mills
Letters: Jeff Eckleberry
Cover: Arthur Suydam
Production: Taylor Esposito
Asst. Editor: Sebastian Girner
Editor: Axel Alonso
Published by: Marvel Comics

Deadpool and the gang find themselves in a bit of a race–both literal and figurative–to get back to the chopper and get to the portal so they can go home. While Deadpool’s group deals with their immeediate threat of Zombie Prof. Veronica, the surviving AIM agents plot how to get home, since they need Deadpool as well. When the groups converge, negotiations are had, a deal struck, and things still don’t really go according to plan…but then, Deadpool’s involved. What plan can really be had for things to go according to?

The art has a cartooney yet modern flair to it. The characters are pretty distinct, and it’s not hard to follow the action. Nothing much really stands out, as even the gorier parts fit within the atmosphere of the story. As with any character interpreted by multiple artists across different books, Deadpool’s got a mildly different appearance here than in other books–it in no way takes away from the character, but the style may not entirely fit one’s personal tastes. I do prefer other takes on the character slightly more, but this is not a bad look for the character. The zombies look properly creepy and messaged up…and as a whole, the art does fit itself with the story.

While I referenced above the idea of things not going according to plan where Deadpool’s involved, the writing does show a plan that stretches beyond just a single arc. While there was a distinct split-point, this arc specifically builds on elements from the opening arc. I’m not sure I’d read anything by Gischler a year ago, but he has quickly become my favorite Deadpool writer, capturing the chaotic, whimsical nature of the character (and the multiple voices) while building a relatively long-term story within a couple of smaller arcs.

Though this was begun as an ongoing series and has since been retroactively deemed a 13-issue limited series (something I’m not thrilled with)…this issue actually feels like a penultimate chapter of something big…and taking prior issues along with this, I would hope there’d be an oversized single-volume hardcover for this series.

If you’ve been following the series so far, this is certainly worth picking up. However, at issue 12 of 13, if you’ve not been following along, I’d recommend holding out for a collected volume.

Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10
Overall: 7.5/10

Prelude to Deadpool Corps #1 [Review]

Killer Queen

Writer: Victor Gischler
Art: Rob Liefeld
Colors: Matt Yackey
Letters: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover: Liefeld & Yackey
Asst. Editor: Sebastian Girner
Editor: Axel Alonso
Published by: Marvel Comics

I’ve waffled over whether or not to pick this issue–this series–up as singles. This is sure to be a single-volume graphic novel in short order, as a singular companion to the debut of the actual Deadpool Corps series. And of course, this is a $3.99 issue…which I’ve just paged through and determined has a mere 22 pages of story…and an overly-lengthy “extra” section regarding the creation of the covers for this series…including full-page color images OF those covers…basically “filler” material to get extra pages TECHNICALLY relevant to the series to add to the issue’s thickness and APPARENT quasi-validity at the price point (aside from special issues, virtually every Deadpool comic of the last couple years has kept to the $2.99 price).

This issue focuses on Lady Deadpool, picking up on one of her adventures some time after Merc With a Mouth #7’s dimension-hopping adventure. Having joined up with the “rebels,” Lady Deadpool comes into conflict with General America (armed with a cybernetic…well…arm) and finds him quite the opponent. Before things go too far in favor of either combatant, “our” Deadpool makes an entrance, officially on a recruitment drive…and a rematch is to be had.

The story here starts off well. We get mostly a full issue focusing on Lady Deadpool–delving into a bit of motivation for the character, and setup for who/what she is overall. We get Deadpool himself, of course, and the beginnings of groundwork being put out as to how this Deadpool Corps is going to be assembled (I can’t help but think of something like Exiles, though I never read more than the occasional issue of that book).

The art by Liefeld is decent, but not my favorite by any means. I’ve tended to enjoy his depiction of Deadpool, but there is a certain anatomical consistency that seems to be lacking in various panels throughout this issue. As it gets the story across with no real hassle, I don’t take too much issue with it.

Overall, a solid first issue to a mini-series that itself as a whole sets up the first issue of another series. I don’t recall if every issue carries the $3.99 price point–but I’m going to have a real problem if it does, as the “extra” material is incidental at best and is not material I’d pay for (wouldn’t object to its inclusion in a $2.99 issue as TRUE “bonus” material, mind you).

This is a weekly mini, which means a big story told in a single month…but combined with the other 3 already ongoing titles for Deadpool, this may put a strain on fans’ wallets should one be the sort to try to snag the entirety of Deadpool’s current titles. It’s interesting to find myself in the midst of a true “family” of titles around one main character, when just a few months ago there were only two Deadpool titles, and 3 seemed to push it…but this fourth adds a whole new “dimension” to things.

I recommend this for those who are a definite fan of Deadpool, don’t mind the $3.99 or Liefeld art, enjoy Gischler‘s writing in particular, and mostly anyone who want a regular dose of Deadpool-related action.

On the whole, this seems unnecessary in relation to the main Deadpool title, so one’s probably equally safe to ignore this without missing out on anything deeply impacting ongoing continuity. Similarly, one can enjoy this while ignoring and not missing out on anything from the other books.

Story: 8/10
Art: 5/10
Overall: 6.5/10

Deadpool: Merc With a Mouth #8 [Review]

Writer: Victor Gischler
Pencils: Bong Dazo
Art: Jose Pimentel
Colors: Matt Milla
Letters: Jeff Eckleberry
Cover: Arthur Suydam
Production: Damien Lucchese
Asst. Editor: Sebastian Girner
Editor: Axel Alonso
Published by: Marvel Comics

After last issue’s walkabout through several alternate realities (introducing us to Lady Deadpool, the Deadpool Kid, and Major Deadpool), our Deadpool is back on his own Earth, still with Headpool…and facing Dr. Voodoo, the Sorceror Supreme. (And Dr. Betty, and the AIM guys). Voodoo fixes the dimensional portal, and Deadpool takes Headpool through to his home dimension…though the two are followed by Dr. Betty and the AIM guys, who figure it’s safer than in the swamp. Once on the other side and with the portal closed, everyone finds out just how dangerous Headpool’s home dimension really is–having been overrun by super-powered beings who are all now zombies, desperately searching for any non-zombie flesh to be found for consumption. Of course, Deadpool’s prime for that–he won’t die, so they figure they could feast off him long-term. Deadpool does his usual bloody thing, while the others also fight for survival…and some new guests arrive rather unexpectedly on the scene.

This issue’s art is good as usual. No real problem here…things seem as they should for comic art, and nothing’s particularly offensive that isn’t likely intended to be (such as a zombie cut in half, guts ‘n bits spilling around as Deadpool’s sword does its business).

The writing’s not bad, either. The story’s progressing quite well, and keeps in-character with Deadpool as I’d expect. The only real drawback to this issue is that it’s not really connected to the Marvel Universe…sure, it’s set there…but this title doesn’t seem to really be “participating” in the main continuity. In and of itself, though…if you want an ongoing Deadpool story that doesn’t require any real knowledge of that main continuity, isn’t held to whatever boundaries of the continuity, and is still a great read…this is the title for you.

While there’s far more to appreciate having read the prior arc, this is–I believe–the start of a new arc, and not a horrible place to jump in and check things out a bit.

Recommended.

Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10
Overall: 7.5/10

Deadpool: Merc With a Mouth #4 [Review]

Writer: Victor Gischler
Pencils: Bong Dazo
Inks: Jose Pimentel
Colors: Matt Milla
Letters: Jeff Eckleberry
Production: Rev. Paul Acerios
Asst Editor: Sebastian Girner
Editor: Axel Alonso
Cover: Arthur Suydam
Publisher: Marvel Comcis

Though not what I’d typical consider my usual fare for comics…there’s something about the over-the-top situation and visuals the character winds up in that just makes this a fun read. Though the story takes place pretty much in context of a current Marvel Universe, it sits on an edge just slightly off from most of the other books.

Whether it’s something outrageous like a zombie Tyrannosaur, to the cheesecake Dr. Betty, to the wisecracking Deadpool himself, this story takes established characters and concepts (AIM, Hydra, etc.) and sets them just on the other side of “fantastic” from “comic book realistic.”

The cover scheme for this book has also been fun–rather than just another logo or standard cover design, the title’s been presented in different fonts, as the covers have been “Deadpool-ization” of other classic images in our popular culture (much the same way Suydam’s original Marvel Zombies covers were “zombified” takes on classic Marvel covers. Even the intro/recap page for this title has been fun, changing things up a bit.

We continue following Deadpool, Dr. Betty, and zombie-Deadpool’s head as AIM and Hydra vie for the “bioweapon” the head represents by way of the zombie virus. One needn’t even be all that familiar with these fictional organizations…just that both involve loads of generic footsoldiers, goofy costumes, and all that…with the smarter folks at the head of the organization. Deadpool deals with the zombified Tyrannosaur, and has what I consider a classic slapstick sorta response in one panel that put me immediately in mind of old cartoons I used to watch as a kid. It was predictable, I totally saw it coming…and while predictable isn’t always good, it felt just right as it was used here.

The issue’s art has a nice balance wherein it’s not terribly realistic (too much realism would totally spoil the feel of the story) and yet it avoids feeling too “cartooney.” The art seems a great fit for the story…and the way Deadpool saw the Tyrannosaur was quite amusing.

The cover is labeled with a “parental advisory,” for good reason. The violence and gore, and PG-13 clothing on Dr. Betty, and a bit of coarse language certainly make this something to avoid providing to the younger crowd.

I have near-zero interest in any of the rest of the Marvel Universe these days…but this little “family” of titles focusing on Deadpool have been reminding me that it’s not the characters or the universe that disinterests me as much as a lack of genuinely enjoyable and amusing stories.

While the main Deadpool title has been very good, this just carries a different level of fun and adventure that makes it my favorite of the two titles…at least for now. (And it remains to be seen how Deadpool Team-Up will hold against the main title and this one).

You don’t need to be reading any other titles to follow what’s going on here–you don’t even have to be following the main Deadpool title. That has its story rooted within current Marvel Event Continuity, while this title has its own self-contained story set in the Marvel Universe but not hampered by the ongoing Event Continuity.

Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10
Whole: 8/10

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