Battles, Magneto Battles, Nanny 2 Battles

Nanny 2 vs Magneto

This is a bit of a no brainer. Nanny 2 is made of metal so Magneto could crush her with a gesture. It’s no exaggeration to say that this wouldn’t even be a fight. It would be over as soon as it has begun. While that may sound pretty sad for Nanny, you can’t win every fight right? Even without the fact that Nanny is a robot, Magneto is just supremely powerful. He’s definitely an omega level mutant and there are very few fighters who can stop him 1 on 1. Magneto wins.

8 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

X-Men Dark Phoenix Review

It’s time to look at the newest X-Men film. The trailers for this one were looking pretty sharp from the start so it had the potential to be the best X film. Of course, the films haven’t had the best track record. X-Men The Last Stand was really solid, First Class and X2 were also pretty good, but the original X-Men and Apocalypse were not so good. Still, the Fox universe has basically been buried so they’d want to go out on a good note and I’d say that they did. Not only is this the best X-Men film of them all, but it can hold its head up high against the other big comic book movies out there.

The film starts off with a flashback as Jean gets into an accident with her parents and we see Xavier bring her to his school. We then cut to the present where the X-Men head into space to save some astronauts and Jean Grey absorbs part of the Phoenix Force. Her abilities start to go out of control and once she starts causing a lot of damage the team is forced to decide if they can still save her or if she’s still too far gone. At this point, is she really still Jean Grey or just the malicious Phoenix?

Dark Phoenix doesn’t waste any time in ramping up the tension. (It is called Dark Phoenix for a reason after all) The film’s pacing is quick from the start and builds a very good atmosphere. The soundtrack is stellar here (Jean Grey’s main theme is definitely the best one) and that’s always important. It’s easily a contender for one of the best soundtracks in a CBM. Certainly top 5. Dark Phoenix is a very serious comic film, it’s got the same vibe as the amazing DC titles Batman V Superman, Man of Steel or even the older ones like The Dark Knight. There are a lot of traumatic events for all the characters so there is rarely a time for them to catch their breath.

My favorite scene in the film is the fight between the “Save Jean” and “Destroy Jean” factions. It’s a pretty local level fight as it’s a 4 v 4, but team battles like that are always the best. I also am glad that the fights weren’t ties and there were no cop outs here. One side was clearly beating the other and it was the correct team. One side was simply way more stacked than the other. That was the main fight of the film, but in the climax we also get to see the heroes take on the villain zombies. Those guys can’t really fight back quite as much so it’s more one sided, but I do think the film did a good job of making them more of a threat than the average expendables.

The villains don’t get to appear much in the trailers so I’ll stay vague on who they are and what the goals are. I do think that they were nerfed a bit by the end though. They seem to be able to move your organs and crush your body with a light grasp or even with mental abilities. They seem to forget about this ability by the end of the film, but it would have been a handy way to destroy at least some of the X-Men. Most of the members could be defeated by the villains if you ask me.

Most of the characters look really solid here. Mystique has really grown into her role as the X-Men leader. While I was on Xavier’s side with the rocket decision over hers, I am glad that Mystique is always looking after the team. She sees the big picture more than the others do. Cyclops is definitely really good here as well. He’s still a teenager as opposed to being the X-Men leader like in the old films, but he never doubts Jean for a second. He’s on her side from start to finish and that kind of devotion is definitely accurate to his character. His optical blasts are also given a lot of respect here and he doesn’t hold back at all when attacking.

Unfortunately Storm doesn’t look very good here. I do think they did her personality justice here as she is a lot more aggressive and eager to fight. The problem is that she is portrayed as being pretty weak to be honest. She loses most of her fights and seems to let her guard down. I’d like her to look stronger in future appearances. Nightcrawler is a reasonable character, I just never liked him much. He doesn’t seem very proactive compared to the others although he does finally get a homage to his knife combo scene from the old films.

Beast has a pretty big role here. He definitely takes the early events hard and makes a controversial move to make things right. I don’t think anyone would claim that he’s making the heroic move here and even he knows that. Still, considering what happened you can definitely see why he’s making the choice. I find him to be pretty weak though and he rarely does a whole lot of damage. Quicksilver only appears for a few minutes tops here as the writers were probably scared that he would end the whole film in a minute. Unfortunately even then there is at least one time where he could have saved the team but didn’t. This is the problem with making a character so overwhelmingly powerful.

Jean Grey is the lead so lets talk about her for a second. Naturally she’s fighting with the Phoenix the whole time so she’s not always in her right state of mind. She tends to be a little oversensitive to everything so everybody triggers her. She can go into murder mode at the drop of a hat. It helps add more nuance to which side you’ll end up choosing. All in all, I thought she looked pretty good though. She may have been a bit gullible during some of the scenes and trusting villain groups is rarely a good choice. Still, I think the film did a good job with handling her as a villain here.

The star of the movie as always is Magneto. He’s been a really great character during the trilogy and he steals all of the scenes here. While he is not as powerful as the Phoenix I dare say that he is the second strongest mutant at this point. He’s the only one who can actually fight back compared to the others. He’s had a very complete character arc by this point and while he is drawn back into the battle, it’s nice that he had finally found peace. The fact that this is the third movie does help quite a bit since by now all of the characters are established so it’s easy for us to understand all of the character motivations.

Xavier is another big character of course. He definitely makes some key mistakes in the film. Xavier is definitely still one of the good guys from start to finish, but his problem is that he just doesn’t see any of his mistakes. He seems to think that he’s always on the right side. It’s a good quality to have as a leader since you have to believe that your cause is just, but part of the blame here can definitely be thrown over to him. Still, at the end of the day he does what he can to remedy the situation. He does feel a lot weaker here though as other telepaths can hold their own against him. He’s definitely not the Omega level mutant you might have thought he was.

I think some characters who may be overlooked, but shouldn’t be are Magneto’s teammates. I actually really liked both of them even though we never even get to know their names. One of them can fight with his hair and from how he was wrecking one of the X-Men members he is a considerable threat. The guy’s super loyal and was always quick to get into battle. The other is a telepath who was holding her own against Xavier and even causing him to back up. Their back and forth battle of wits was really solid and she was one of the best characters in the film. I’d put her second only to Magneto. I don’t have many qualms with the film, but one of them is that these characters get the shaft. I don’t think their endings were deserved and they should have done more. They were loyal followers to Magneto and the fact that he has given mutants a place to live really makes it a powerful moment. These guys are ready to put their lives on the line for Magneto because he has finally helped the mutants out once and for all. I’d argue that he’s made a safer existence for mutants than Xavier ever did.

The ending of the film is incredibly forced though and doesn’t really make any sense. There’s not a whole lot I can say about it since I don’t even want to spoil any part of it, but it really only happens for drama. It’s the kind of ending that you’d expect and so the film delivers on it, but there’s no narrative reason why it had to happen. The character could have chosen any other option and it would have worked rather than this desperate move. The other paths would have also made for a more entertaining ending. An ending is important, but it’s not like it’s horrible either. The final part of the final scene at least salvages what it can.

Part of why the film is good is naturally the writing. A dynamite soundtrack and excellent special effects go a long way, but at the end of the day you need solid writing to keep the film operating at a high level. This film probably has the best script that I’ve seen since Batman V Superman. (Infinity War also deserves a nod although it’s a very different kind of script) You’ll be engaged right away. They do squeeze in the Fox trope of adding one F word of course which is annoying as always. The film mirrors the X-Men comics to the extent that there is a lot going on at all times. There are many plots and characters in the mix and they’re all being affected by the events in the movie. You’ve got some symbolic imagery like Magneto putting his helmet back on to return to the darkness and Xavier taking his off as he decides to go back to acting as a friend to the others rather than as a commander. The characters are all acting on pure emotion by the end so it’s easy to pick any individual character and root for him/her. It’s a very thought provoking film that also includes a lot of action so you don’t have to worry about choosing one or the other.

It’s always hard to do a very serious film without getting super dark and gritty so I’m always impressed when it happens. It’s part of why I’m going to miss Fox, they really did add a nice element to the mix. For a while we had a solid balance with DC giving us supreme movies with the best action scenes and scripts, Marvel with the most comic book accurate movies and a light hearted tone like the days of ole, and then Fox which was a very realistic take on how humans would interact with super powered fighters. DC has gone away from their approach to follow Marvel and Fox is all but over after this one. Now the only company who will still be doing their own thing is Sony which does carry part of that Fox feel within, but I can’t say that I trust them as much as I would the others. Granted, Fox churns out a lot of misses too so you just gotta keep swinging til you connect. At least now we can finally have the Avengers vs X-Men film someday although I don’t imagine something like that would happen til 2025 or later.

All in all, this is the big finale that fans of the X-Men series have been waiting for. It’s the definitive X-Men film and it’s going to be really hard to top this one. The only thing that would have made it feel even more like a finale would have been for Wolverine to have shown up for the final fights. We probably won’t be seeing any X-Men films for a very long time as I doubt anyone would even want to try and follow up on this so soon. All series have to end at some point and the goal is to end on a high note. Dark Phoenix does that and then some. It basically excels in all areas and has a lot of replay value. If you haven’t seen the film yet then I’d recommend heading out to the theaters and checking it out. You probably won’t be seeing another one like this for quite some time.

Overall 8/10

Battles, Magneto Battles, Yugi Battles

Yugi vs Magneto

Suggested by iKnowledge Yugi has a lot of monsters at his disposal. For the most part the majority of them aren’t all that impressive, but obtaining the God Cards definitely changes that considerably. His Dark Magician also has some powered up forms which helps a bit. Magneto could likely handle most of Yugi’s monsters one on one, but he would be up against a full army and would eventually be overwhelmed. Yugi wins.

Battles, Graviton Battles, Magneto Battles

Magneto vs Graviton


Suggested by vaderthedominator Both of these villains are some of Marvel’s strongest fighters. Graviton was able to combat the likes of Hulk and Thor at once during the Avengers EMH debut episodes which was incredibly impressive. Honestly, I’d easily take him over Magneto when they’re both in base mode. However, Magneto does have the Phoenix Force which upgrades his powers to crazy levels. It will suddenly be a simple matter for him to incinerate Graviton’s barrier and hit him directly. Graviton can take a lot of punishment, but the difference in their strength levels will be too great. Magneto wins.

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

X-Men Mutant Genesis 2.0 Review

This X-Men review may have come out before a certain other one that I am reviewing soon, but I read it afterwards. I only mention this because I was really impressed with this comic for feeling like an X-Men title while the other did not. You’ll see that review soon, but this is exactly how I’d picture an X-Men comic to be. It definitely has a very 90’s feel to it and all of the characters are in their iconic designs. It’s the perfect jumping on point for new readers and it is also a very fun comic for experienced fans. It’s the beginning of a new chapter for the X-Men, but filled with a lot of familiar faces and action scenes.

The first arc deals with the return of Magneto. He had tried to retire from being a participant between mutants and humans, but trouble never seems to leave him alone. A group of mutants ask him for sanctuary and then they also want him to protect other mutants. Magneto decides to build an asteroid where mutants can live in peace. The rebels continue to cause mischief on the Earth and even though Magneto stops them, it puts him in a bad position. He’s seen as harboring criminals now and Magneto also has a nuclear deterrent, which worries people. The X-Men are sent in to put a stop to this before the government is forced to play their hand. Cyclops and Wolverine are among the members who are thrilled to take Magneto down. While Magneto had previously been a part of their team, you can tell that things had always been strained between them. Meanwhile, Rogue believes that there’s still a chance for Magneto to be a good guy.

It’s a fun story and I definitely remember Asteroid M quite well after watching the animated episode so many times. You do feel bad for Magneto to an extent as he is right that Wolverine went for the kill shot right away. You’d think that being comrades would mean something to him, but Wolverine was clearly quick to put Magneto on the side of evil once again. He does have to be stopped and the X-Men are in the right here, but they certainly weren’t very negotiable. Magneto being used by the people he was supposed to be protecting certainly did not help either. He was a little gullible here, but I’m sure that this will help him be more distant in the future.

Another issue is that Moira decided to mess around with Magneto’s DNA while he was a baby. It was an unfortunate move that also got the X-Men into even more trouble as it made Magneto very upset. He did trust the heroes as he was defenseless and had no choice. It was quite the betrayal and this plot will likely continue on in the future. It was a very long and tough week for Magneto so he wasn’t completely in his right mind by the end.

The other arc deals with Omega Red. He has been sent to eliminate Wolverine because Weapon X is never done with the poor guy. It’s personal for Wolverine so he wants to deal with this on his own, but the X-Men never back away from helping out a friend. The problem is that Omega Red is incredibly powerful and the only members who can really hurt him are typically taken down before they can do anything. This is going to require a team effort. There’s also a flashback which unfolds during the issue where we see Wolverine from back in his Weapon X days alongside Sabretooth and Maverick. It shows that Sabretooth is as corrupt as ever as he destroys the hostage to save himself. The whole mission was to save her, but Sabretooth blew it in an instant. Wolverine always wanted revenge for that, but he never got the chance. Well, Sabretooth’s here now so we’ll see if Wolverine does better in the rematch.

It’s a fun adventure and Wolverine has always been able to hold his own issue pretty well. He definitely spent most of the saga getting beaten up left and right though. He could probably beat Sabretooth in a one on one fight, but he was in a weakened state for most of it and Omega Red’s energy drain would cancel out the healing factor. If the full X-Men team hadn’t come along, it definitely would have been curtains for him. Still, I can see why the older members would be skeptical about Jubilee coming along. She nearly died quite a few times and I don’t thinks he’s quite ready for missions like this. Of course, having Psylocke as her guardian helps quite a bit with that since there are few warriors who are as skilled as she is.

Maverick was actually a highlight of this story and I liked him a lot more than I had expected. He was full of confidence and bravado the whole time. Even right before he is knocked out, Maverick has cool one liners like “Fine, this ought to take all of 2 seconds.” when asked to help out against Omega Red. The fight was over that quickly, but it was because he lost the fight. You have to admire the confidence though, not many “heroes” could pull that off convincingly. He’s no hero though as he is basically the Punisher and murders a bunch of people, but he’s a useful ally to have around.

Omega Red was a solid villain and he certainly was portrayed as a powerful opponent here. The Wolverine anime made him crazy strong while this one feels a little more accurate. He’s a deadly hunter who has been amped up with a lot of tech and energy draining equipment. It makes sense that he could give the whole team a run for their money. He’s an X-Men villain who is under explored and I’d like to see him appear more and get some more fights. He’s got a cool design and a nice power set to boot.

Sabretooth makes for a good opponent, but he’s not really my kind of villain. He is written better here than in a lot of his other appearances though, but it also reminds you why nobody should take him seriously when he tries to be a hero. Seriously, he’s way too far gone. As for the heroes, Jubilee and Storm are all right. They don’t get much of a role, but they are around the whole time. For most of the graphic novel, the X-Men team is split up into 3 mini groups. It just so happens that Storm’s gets a rather small role.

Cyclops is the solid leader that you would expect. He’s enthusiastic and a solid commander. I remember these days, when he was treated like Captain America. Now, he’s always either evil or extreme. I do like the modern take on the character, but I can also see why some people root for the reboots. It feels like we’ll never get back to these classic depictions otherwise. Wolverine is also great as always. He’s still my 2nd favorite X-Men member behind Cyclops. His eagerness to fight and solid overall skills make him a great fighter.

Gambit gets a lot of hype, but is still a very annoying character. His flirting will grate on you after a while and I feel like his hype never actually goes anywhere. Sure, he can beat the grunts, but he’s a little full of himself considering that he doesn’t do nearly as well against the big shots. You can tell that the writer does like him though as it is always hinted that Gambit has a shot. Psylocke is a cool member to have on the team and she’s always been like Elektra, but cooler. Her psychic abilities mixed in with her hand to hand mastery makes Psylocke a doubly threatening individual. Her illusions come in handy quite a few times.

If there’s any negative that I have with the comic, it’s the fact that the villains always go for the surprise kiss. It’s a rather annoying trope that luckily died out back in the day, but this comic was old enough to still have it. It’s when a villain shows up by kissing one of the heroines and then attacking. It happens twice here and was enough for me to dock a star off the score. Let’s face it, it’s a little annoying for fans of Jean Grey and Psylocke as they don’t even get to lose in a dignified way as a result. Psylocke gets her revenge, but it’s still a rather wince worthy moment.

Back to the positives. The art is very good and it makes for some crisp fight scenes. Even the generic ninjas look cool this time around. You’re not liable to forget much of the comic after reading because of how nice it looks visually and you can tell that a lot of effort went into this. I have to say that it looks far superior to any of the Marvel comics going on right now. It’s sad how art has dipped for the most part over there although there still are some nice looking comics. They just aren’t as widespread as they were in the 90’s.

Overall, This was a fun comic. Both of the sagas were good although the second one definitely wins. It was just more exciting and kept you at the edge of your seat. I speak comparatively though as both were quite engaging. This is a really fun start to the X-Men run and I can see why it is held with such acclaim. It just needs to watch the shock kisses and should also consider giving Gambit a smaller role. If it can do that, then I can only see this comic going up from here. I definitely recommend checking this out if you’re an X-Men fan and have not yet. If you simply like action comics, then this will certainly work for you as well.

Overall 7/10

5 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

X-Men Apocalypse Review

Given the track record of this series, I was not surprised to see it fall below expectations once again. Granted, I even tried to limit my hopes despite the trailers being rather great, but it wasn’t to be. Singer simply needs to retire from this series so we can get someone else in charge. All the pieces were in place for a solid movie experience, but the film really ends up falling flat on just about every angle. What should have been a fun action packed movie ends up being a rather lackluster experience.

Apocalypse has revived himself after a long slumber and he intends to destroy the majority of the humans so that the rest can worship him and his mutant empire. To do this, he recruits Psylocke, Angel, Storm, and Magneto as his four horsemen. Finally he kidnaps Professor Xavier and intends to use him as his final vessel so his telepathic abilities will allow him to rule for a very long time. Can the X-Men, led by Mystique, stop this villain? That’s essentially the premise of this film although it takes a very long time for this plot to actually start up.

There are numerous negatives with this film so it’s hard to know where to even start with the review. I just got back from seeing it as of the first half of this review so it may seem a little “all over the place” but I trust that you will be able to keep up. For starters, this film is very light on action. That was a complaint that I had with Days of Future Past and unfortunately it has reared its head once more. The first real fight scene isn’t until near the end of the film as the Horsemen fight the X-Men. Before that we have a brief scuffle with Angel and Nightcrawler although it isn’t really a fight as they spend the entire segment running around a lot. The guest star (Who’s in the trailer, but in case you haven’t seen it yet I’ll keep the individual unidentified) destroys a bunch of guys, but it can’t be called a fight.
Once we do get to the fights, they barely even count. Psylocke vs Beast is very short at around a minute or less and while it could have been good, it is over too fast. Not to mention that Beast shouldn’t have stood a chance at winning that round. Storm vs Cyclops was also disappointing as it was incredibly short as well and Cyclops just did a lot of running as well. Apocalypse vs Everyone wasn’t much of a fight either although at least it wasn’t over in the blink of an eye. Quicksilver’s speed barrage against him was cool and the visuals around Apocalypse’s energy blast were solid. Unfortunately, the visuals were really all there was too it since Apocalypse just kept on walking, but not actually fighting back which was rather odd.

For the entire film, the X-Men fought as a bunch of individuals rather than as a team. When Apocalypse was breaking Quicksilver’s bones or choking Mystique, nobody came to their aid. I had expected Magneto to jump in by that point, but he waits way too long for it to be effective. It was rather similar to Vegeta in Resurrection F. Some X-Men members talked about going over to help, but didn’t reach a decision for quite some time. Professor Xavier finally had an idea at one point, but it took him a while and even then it only bought him a little time. It was another cool scene, but one that also didn’t help him all that much in the camaraderie department. Storm’s big moment happened too late as well.

See, there’s definitely a trend there as well as a half dozen missed opportunities. Every time that a cool scene should have occurred, it didn’t. 5 minutes later the scene would happen, but by then it simply didn’t make sense anymore. That’s the big problem with this film. Every time something cool is supposed to happen, it simply doesn’t. Granted, there was a lot of applause and laughter from the audience throughout, but every time I would simply be groaning on the inside.

All of the humor scenes that were supposed to be funny simply weren’t. Professor Xavier flirting with Moira? Those scenes were terrible. Beast and Mystique scenes? Equally terrible. Also, while we’re on the subject, Xavier erasing Moira’s memories without her consent and basically doing it for himself was also rather bad. The whole point of being a telepath is that you’re supposed to respect boundaries. Xavier showed none of that. Plus, what’s the point of being such a famed telepath when everyone can mentally overpower you? Jean Grey surpasses him very early on in the film and Apocalypse easily defeats him mentally as well. Xavier looks horrible in this adventure and his fans certainly won’t be thrilled.

All right, let’s take a break from the negatives for a second. The soundtrack was very good. The theme that plays during Quicksilver’s speed montage is quite great and the rest of the themes are rather epic as well. The visuals can be fun as well like when Apocalypse’s tomb starts to light up. It was handled well and had an epic flair to it. They definitely should have kept Apocalypse’s original robotic voice though, it was a lot more intimidating. I know that his appearance got a lot of controversy at first, but it’s fine for the most part. Due to the fact that he has to appear blue, there was no way to keep him from looking like a Power Rangers villain. They certainly could have done a better job with his armor though. It looks rather low budget and making it more metallic and epic would have done him wonders. The 90’s animated show did a great job on that front. His followers mostly all have generic metal suits although Psylocke’s is straight from the comics so hers stands out. It’s definitely not a practical combat costume compared to the rest, but it’s good to have some more comic accurate costumes out there. Once again, the X-Men don’t get any of that.

Another annoying thing about the film is its insistence on using the f word once for each film. It’s very forced and something that really has no point being in the film. There is language in other scenes as well so it’s not even just for that one moment. It simply decides to jump to the next level in that scene. It’s supposed to be funny and the whole audience roared which is just a sign of how our culture has deteriorated so rapidly. It’s come to the point where you often hear the f word in daily life and some people use it casually in conversation, often quite frequently. I feel like it’s only a matter of time before it starts popping up in films more regularly, but hopefully this isn’t the case. It can really take the energy out of a scene.

As briefly mentioned before, Quicksilver’s original speed scene is great and it’s easily the best part of the film. Unfortunately, it also highlights some big plot holes for the rest of it. Specifically, Quicksilver was made to be way too fast in that scene. Considering how many actions he undertakes in the span of 1-3 seconds, there’s no way that he couldn’t react to someone pointing a gun at him from several feet away. It’s the problem that all speedsters have, but this film didn’t even have the decency to wait 10 minutes. I hope that everyone in the audience noticed how implausible the whole thing was. There’s just no way that Quicksilver is fast enough to pull the earlier scene off.

The after credits scene is also rather laughable. I felt like chuckling when it ended because nothing really happened. Lately, the after credit scenes haven’t been all that good so maybe I got spoiled from the earlier ones like Iron Man 2 and the Avengers. Since then, they’ve mostly been rather lackluster. A proper after credits scene should show a villain making threats, a fight scene, or a big plot twist. It should be something that actually matters and not something that is only a little tribute to the fans who stayed to watch it. That really defeats the whole purpose if you ask me.

The fact that this film is supposed to take place 10 years after Days of Future Past and 10 more years after First Class is another big plot hole that makes no sense when you consider everyone’s ages. The film doesn’t even try to explain this either and just tells you to roll with it. I suppose that this is the only thing that you really can’t do. I don’t really care about plot holes, but it does come across as rather lazy.
X-Men Apocalypse also reuses old plot lines once again, which makes them rather redundant. Once again, Magneto’s family is murdered so he turns evil. You can probably guess how his character arc will end from there as well. At first I was leaning towards a 4-5 for this film and after going through all of the negatives and the positives, it’s clear that the former wins out. This film’s just incredibly irritating and spends way too much time on build up with no actual climax to save it. It definitely doesn’t deserve a positive score in the end. I mean, the soundtrack is really the only thing that I can praise in this film along with some good visuals and a fun Quicksilver scene. Beyond that, it feels like nothing happened and we didn’t get the action that I had been waiting for the entire time. That being said, it did manage to avoid some issues like animal violence and there is a decent amount of replay value to be found here. It’s not quite Avengers and I probably wouldn’t rewatch it anytime soon, but at least it’s not over the top grim.

One thing that hurts the film quite a bit is the fact that it is never fun. The film tries to be humorous at times, but it never quite works. Professor Xavier claims that he believes in the humans and that they can all coexist for peace, but it comes across as a crazy thought in this film. There is never even a shred of evidence or potential for Xavier to see and reaffirm his beliefs on that. I’m glad that he is finally training the team a little, but he sure took his time. It’s heavily implied that he knew about how mutants were still being persecuted, hunted, and used for sport around the world, but he decided to do nothing about it. When good people do nothing in the face of evil, evil wins. That’s a common saying that it used and it certainly fits this mentality that Xavier has. He has done nothing to help the mutants and is content to simply stay at his school. He makes threats about what will happen if humans attack him, but he needs to see the bigger picture.

I was glad to see that the film kept in Nightcrawler’s Christianity. I was worried that they would cut that out, but it is emphasized in a scene or two which was great. I also like how Havok pointed out that the Apocalypse myths stole the 4 Horsemen angle from the Bible. Moira tries to deny this, but it’s easy to see that she was grasping at straws from that point. Considering that Apocalypse’s whole angle is that he wants to be the god of the world, it’s good to see the film acknowledging the true God and putting Apocalypse down as a false one.

Naturally, Cyclops has been changed to make him more of a rebellious character this time. Gone are the days when he was the responsible member like in the 90’s show or Evolution. He’s the one who decides to break the rules and head to the mall even when he knows that he could be putting them all in a lot of danger. Nightcrawler stands out quite a bit after all and Cyclops can’t control his powers at all. Seems like a recipe for disaster if you ask me. Mystique is the heroic leader this time, but I guess she may not be a main character in the next film. It’s time to see if the next generation can hold their own title. She did well here though and is one of the more likable characters. She may actually be the best X-Men member. After all, Mystique is actually going around the world and helping out the other mutants. That’s something that none of the others are doing.

Jean Grey’s a decently good character. The accent is a little odd and overall she doesn’t feel as much like Jean Grey as the older version, but give it time and we’ll get used to her I suppose. It is a little sad that her powers were so easily blocked by an EMP barrier though. Given that she is finally starting to realize her true powers, this luckily shouldn’t be a problem in the next film. Nightcrawler was all right, but did they really have to make him look so bad in his true form? It can still look solid while still showing that he grew up in a tough situation. Beast is rather terrible and spends all his time flirting instead of doing anything productive with himself.

Quicksilver’s a solid character and as mentioned before, he did have some of the best scenes. At least he was ready to fight. Havok was also a great member and was the only one to stand up to Apocalypse. It’s a shame that we knew he would lose from the start, but he had guts. Magneto makes for a good antagonist although the cheering during one of his first scenes was rather unsettling. He massacres a group of cops after they murder his wife and child, but let’s look at the context for this. As far as these guys know, Magneto is a wanted criminal who tried to assassinate the President of the United States before going into hiding. Sure, Magneto has been working for the country for a while undercover, but he is still a fugitive who escaped justice. Are the cops supposed to simply turn a blind eye to this?

Furthermore, it looked like the cop in question who fired the arrow simply slipped due to being distracted by the birds. That was inexcusable and it’s understandable that Magneto exacted revenge, but to cheer as the other cops are killed is also very bad. They really hadn’t done anything and they were fully prepared to just arrest Magneto. Knowing how the films work, I’m sure that they would have turned out to be corrupt or something because films always like to make the government evil. That being said, it was still a rather sad scene and it’s too bad that these things always happen to Magneto’s family. Either way, he is a sympathetic villain and easily the most interesting one in this film. I have enjoyed his character quite a lot in this trilogy and more so than in the original films. That being said, this character arc does seem as if it has been repeated so it’s not very original this time around.

Angel’s your average drunk fighter. Granted, he was forced into the arena, but it certainly hardened him. Considering that Apocalypse has no mind control over his followers, you do have to question how Angel follows him so obediently after his rather painful transformation. I guess that’s how much he likes the feeling of being strong. There’s nothing particularly cool about him and he’s just there to have another villain around. Storm is cool and has more personality than the other two horsemen. (So, not counting Magneto) In the end, she didn’t have the guts to make her move before the classic 5 minute delay which lost some points with me, but she made for a decent villain. Her powers seemed very weak though and that’s considering that Apocalypse had augmented them. Hopefully she will look more impressive next time.

Psylocke’s always been one of my favorite X-Men characters, but unfortunately she has gotten the shaft in every one of her appearances. In the 90’s show she appeared briefly to fight Magneto, Wolverine, Sabertooth, and some of the other fighters only to vanish after that multiparter was over. In Wolverine and the X-Men she only appeared very briefly. Considering that she is a great hand to hand fighter and that she has telepathic abilities, I always thought that she was underrated. I’m glad that she finally got to be a main villain in this film, but her role here was rather small. The series seems like it has big plans for her, but she didn’t look quite as impressive as she should have. She is brave and isn’t afraid to fight so those are always good qualities. Hopefully she’ll get more action scenes next time to give us some more feats for the character.

As for Apocalypse, he’s not a cool villain. I like him a lot in the 90’s show and most of his comic iterations are solid as well although it’s been a while since he has done anything of importance in the comics. That being said, I like Apocalypse because he is a fighter. He is above mutants and can typically handle a dozen or more heroes at once. This version only seems to have transmutation abilities and maybe some TK abilities. That’s not enough to make him look impressive and he can barely fight. He completely relies on his barriers and followers all the time. The film really messed up with him. At the very least, I did like the chants that he got during the beginning of the film. I thought that the chanting song was surprisingly good.

There really wasn’t much of a point to Moira being around though. Unfortunately, she doesn’t add anything to the film and didn’t really need to be there. Meanwhile, I didn’t care for how the government reacted after all of the nukes were fired. They looked mildly surprised and then they never appeared again until the very end. Considering the tensions in the 80’s, you’d think that there would be more alarm and distress after having lost all of their nukes. I would have liked to have seen the government do something rather than simply have a shadow cabinet kidnap the gullible X-Men. (“We’re here to help…we’re just carrying guns for fun” The X-Men should have instantly known that something was up instead of just standing around with a confused expression on their faces)

If the next film wants to succeed, it’s going to have to start with more super powered fights. 90% of the “battles” in this film were just mutants slaughtering humans who can’t fight back. Magneto against construction workers and cops, _________ against various armed soldiers, etc. I don’t go watch an X-Men film to see uneven battles. I want mutants against mutants just like I go to a Man of Steel film to watch Superman do battle with other super powered beings. It just makes sense.

To an extent, I’ve also got to blame the trailers for why the film was so disappointing. First, let me state what I believe the point of a trailer to be. A good trailer should get you as hyped about a film as possible through any means necessary. It can be misleading and it can show spoilers. None of that matters so long as the trailer is awesome and hype. The trailers succeeded on that front as they did a good job of making the film look awesome. These were definitely the best X-Men trailers ever. Unfortunately, the problem is that by comparison, the film is rather bad as you are watching it. Most of the best scenes that showed promise in the trailers either don’t happen until the final 5 minutes of the film as set up for the next one or they are so out of context that the real context isn’t as good. (Similar to the “Do you bleed” line from Batman V Superman. The context in the trailer was so much better) This was going to be the film where the heroes finally got their costumes, but it happens after all of the fights have finished so it barely matters. It was hard not to chuckle when Beast opened the containers to take out the combat costumes for everyone because they were….black leather costumes once again. Sure, there were some cosmetic changes, but essentially it was back to the same things as in the original trilogy. So much for progress. There’s probably more things that I could mention in regards to the film, but I can’t think of any more at the moment so this is a good time to start wrapping up the review. If anything, just hit me up in the comments for more details or to explain why you liked the film. For every naysayer there is a fan and vice versa after all.
Overall, whenever an X-Men film ends, you’re left with a sign of hope that the next one will finally be good. This one ends with that note as well, but I have a feeling that the film will manage to mess this up somehow. The visions of the future look promising and Apocalypse also seems thrilled at the prospect of what is going to occur, but I simply don’t think the film can handle it. The franchise has simply failed one too many times with this film. Despite its flaws, the original X-Men trilogy certainly felt more like X-Men films than this latest trilogy. Hopefully the series goes up from here, but what it needs is a complete reboot. The film needs to improve on every level so giving it some time away from the big screen may be in its best interest. If you were tempted to watch this film, I recommend skipping it and checking out Batman V Superman instead. It’s certainly more worth your money. Fox has a ways to go if it wants to catch up to Warner Bros, Disney, or even Sony at this point.

Overall 5/10

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

X-Men The Road to Onslaught Volume 3 Review

The Onslaught event was definitely a big deal in the Marvel Universe and it’s one of the few big events that I have not read yet. It sounds like fun, but for some reason all of the X-Men trade paperbacks from the 80’s to early 2000’s are huge so I’m fine with slowly going through them all. This one was certainly very big, but it was a lot of fun so I really cruised through the stories. There was really just one that was a big miss for me as the rest of the adventures were enjoyable. This was definitely the classic X-Men group and they looked good as you would expect!

Sometimes it’s nice to get the negative out of the way first so let’s talk about why the Angel story was just no good. For starters, the comic was in black and white for effect. Now, I’m a big manga fan so I’m not opposed to that style, but the art has to be clear for it to work and this was the crazy 90’s…it was anything but clear. You essentially miss out on most of what’s happening on screen and while that’s not a bad thing for some aspects of it, this doesn’t do the comic any favors. This story also had some animal violence as birds were attacking the main heroine of the story. Why…why….whyyyyyyyyyy!

The story was also just randomly dark as it was all metaphysical as the lady had actually been involved with some domestic violence issues and her way of coping was by making these illusions. She helped Angel to accept his wings and he helped her move on. The whole story was just iffy and I also felt bad for Psylocke since Angel had been shutting her out, but opened up to a complete stranger. Yeah, that’s Angel for you right? The comic could not end soon enough!

All right, iffy story aside, let’s talk about one of the more enjoyable ones. Wolverine and Angel decided to find a mystic to help heal Psylocke since she was already far beyond the reaches of conventional medicine. Dr. Strange decided to come along as well since fighting mystical battles is really what he does best. He’s not at the height of his strength due to constant circumstances likely occurring in his own series, but he’s still more than a match for the relative lightweights that he has to deal with here. The heroes basically head into another version of hell and have to…negotiate with the master there.

That was a fun story. It was quick, had good fights, and the dialogue was good. It was a popcorn fun X-Men comic that just felt like a good superhero story through and through. The heroes fought the villain and found the cure. No cliffhangers or loose plot lines, but a complete story from start to finish. Dr. Strange also looked good and got the respect that he deserves. Of course, the best story was yet to come.

My favorite story arc was the two part Brood event. I hadn’t expected great things as the Brood can be cool creatures to look at, but at the same time, their brutal style of fighting could have been a little dicey for the comic. Luckily, it was handled well. A pastor and his wife had gotten a lot of publicity within their town as the wife appeared to be able to heal someone with a touch. While the pastor was thrilled about this, he did not know that his wife had actually been contaminated by the brood and was turning everyone else into her minions by “healing” them. The X-Men arrive to deal with the threat, but find out that she is fighting against her destiny. Can the X-Men help to save her or will they be forced to put her down before she loses control?

The X-Men naturally make the right move although Wolverine does want to destroy the lady the entire time they are talking. He’s definitely not feeling generous at the moment, that’s for sure. It’s part of his subplot on how he’s losing his humanity thanks to some experiments that had been occurring, but it’s also in character. The lady tries very hard to keep control and decides that maybe it would be best for her to die so that everyone else can live. That being said, it’s sad for her followers since the brood warriors destroy all of them with ease.

At least they were all Christians so they’ve gone to a better place. I was impressed with how openly the comics talked about God and the Bible and the characters were portrayed well. The Pastor did a lot of praying and his wife’s faith in God is what helped her be the first human to ever resist the Brood. That was really cool and it even has a good ending as the Priest gives a good sermon. God was certainly given his due credit here and this is the kind of adventure that you wouldn’t expect to see nowadays. Certainly the highlight of the collection and the fights with the Brood creatures were pretty epic as well. The X-Men held their own even if it was a losing battle.

Another really good story involved the return of the Onslaught plot. This is the Road to Onslaught right so we need at least relevant comic there. His weakest sentry decided to test the X-Men as he warped their members to the middle of nowhere to conduct his battle experiment. Wolverine and Storm quickly coped as they are used to this kind of test. The rest of the team quickly followed suit and Cyclops reminded them that he has never failed a test like this during his whole tenure as an X-Man. The Sentry fights with them and the fight is certainly a lot of fun as this guy is no lightweight.

The fight takes up most of the issue and each of the X-Men members gets a chance to shine. They’re certainly a powerful team even if they don’t have many heavy weights like the Avengers. A power hitter would have certainly come in handy here. They do manage to make a statement though and the Onslaught Sentry gets a little salty and reminds them that he was the weakest before leaving. That may have been a blow to their confidence, but they won and that’s what counts right?

After that, there was a short issue where Iceman went to Emma Frost’s place to ask her how he can be healed since he had a hole in his chest and wasn’t sure what would happen if he tried to go back to human form. He was definitely a little out of character there as he basically cracked, but part of his ongoing character arc is that he’s being forced to become a serious figure for the younger members and that’s likely not doing him any favors. She basically tells him that it won’t have any effect on his human form and she’s right. Not the greatest of issues, but it wasn’t bad either.

The collection ends with the Wolverine plot continuing as he fully gives way to the beast within him to save someone. The actual events occurred in another comic, but this deals with the aftermath. Stick sends Elecktra to stop Wolverine and likewise, the X-Men are on his trail. Considering that she’s a guest star, Elecktra doesn’t really do anything and only steps in for a very small role. The villain is a guy who commands stone and summons up a lot of minions to defend himself. They’re basically rock versions of various Marvel characters, which was fairly interesting, but the villain wasn’t much of a threat.

It was a decent comic, but not very notable. It’s sad for Wolverine to see how much he had changed with this though. It’s good to see that he retained most of his mind though as he still saved Cyclops when he was in danger. Wolverine was missing his Adamantium for most of the collection, which really hurt his fighting strength. Without it, a lot of the events in these comics would have been much easier for him. He was still a good figure though and the team always needs a devil’s advocate to help them consider all of the options even if you naturally root against just about all of Wolverine’s ideas.

Cyclops and Jean Grey look good as they still lead the team into battle and act like the experienced veterans should. Cyclops is always a confident leader from start to finish and Jean Grey is the reason why they ended up helping the Pastor and his wife against the Brood. Iceman was a good character for the most part even if he did get ultra serious and blew up at Emma without a whole lot of provocation. The Beast has never been very likable for me and this didn’t change that. Likewise, Dark Beast isn’t my kind of villain.

Storm may be the team’s power hitter at the moment and her weather abilities always come in handy. Bishop got a decently large role here, which was cool since I rarely see him in the comics. I can certainly say that I liked his portrayal here as he was the military kind of character who followed orders right away while still having the presence of mind to question some orders. He really helped the team out with his energy absorption abilities. I still prefer Cable as a character, but Bishop is good as well.

Going back to the Beast part, I almost forgot to mention his story arc. He had been trying to find a cure for the Legacy virus for some time now, but he was not getting any closer to solving the riddle. Unfortunately for him, he would not get the chance as Dark Beast arrived and kidnapped him. So, for most of the comics in this collection, it is really Dark Beast who is on the team and not the normal version. The comic is a little sad though as we basically watch Dark Beast go on a killing spree as he murders just about everyone from Beast’s past except for his parents who he couldn’t bring himself to destroy. This was definitely not my favorite character and I’m looking forward to seeing someone stop him. Bishop did arrive at the X-Men’s base to stop a traitor, maybe the traitor was “Beast.”

As you would expect, the art is very bold and large as the 90’s style is famous for this. Still, it works quite well this time and I’d say that it’s some of the clearest 90’s art that I’ve seen. The fight scenes are certainly intense and one thing that I’ve always liked about this style is that everyone looks tough. If you thought that every villain and hero did not have a 6 pack, you were clearly not reading the 90’s comics.

Overall, This was a fun collection. I can safely say that the Onslaught arc had a good amount of build up that occurred before it. As you would expect from the X-Men series, there were certainly a lot of plotlines running around beneath the surface and Rogue got a cameo as well. I’m sure that she’ll be more important to the plot at a later point and politics are not going well for the heroes either so they may have to go below ground at some point. Yes, things are definitely reaching a boiling point and I’m sure that the next volume will be solid as well. With all star comics like the Brood 2 Part Adventure as well as the Onslaught prequel, this is a must read for all X-Men fans. The roster for the team is quite good and Dr Strange even makes a guest star appearance. There’s also a guide to the mansion at the end of the comic, which really goes in depth so if you’ve ever wondered how the team operated or what went on beneath the surface, this will help!

Overall 8/10

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

Uncanny X Men Volume 4: Vs S.H.I.E.I.D.

When I saw that the name “Bendis” was on the cover, I knew that things were about to get a little dicey. Little did I know that I would be so right so fast. The original Uncanny X Men series was a lot of fun and probably one of the best X Men series of all time. This one? Well, this is the first volume that I’ve read in the series, but I can certainly say that I was not impressed. The writing is weak and the story is not very engaging. Let’s launch into the summary!

The Uncanny X Men have been hunted by Shield (Let’s forget the periods for a while) for too long. Sentinels keep attacking them at every turn so Cyclops decides to pay Maria Hill a visit. He declares that if Shield is attacking the mutants, it is war. If it is not Shield, but they continue to allow the attacks, then it is war as well. With his ultimatum at the ready, Cyclops storms off. Maria Hill has no idea who is doing this, but she’ll arrest the mutants to at least stop one problem!

There is a Vs in the title so that means that we get a lot of action here right? Wrong! There aren’t any real action scenes to speak of here. The big scene at the end simply involves taking over someone’s tech and using it to stop the crisis. There were no big battles and that was a little sad. I like dialogue based comics as much as the next guy, but when Bendis is the writer…that’s simply not going to work. The issues aren’t very interesting. You can tell that the series is building up to something of course, but it’s not going fast enough.

I’ve been taking my shots at Bendis for a while so let’s elaborate on why his writing isn’t good here. First off, we have a mutant who can project energy balls around himself. Naturally, this means that the kid only talks about the balls and constantly says it in a way that can be taken in other directions. It’s obvious to everyone that he is talking about his ability, but naturally a character has to actually point this out and put him on the spot.

Next up, the telepaths decide to invade more minds to dredge up some dark secrets like Maria Hill having a crush one on of the main characters. The scene is rather unnecessary and just goes to show that Bendis doesn’t have a strong script at the ready so he has to distract us with filler. I could go on all day, but the point is that the comic is all about dialogue and yet, the dialogue is not that good.

Adding insult to injury is the fact that the art isn’t very good. It’s certainly subdued, which hurts its cause in the brightness angle, but the main problem is how similar some of the characters look. Why do Magik and Emma Frost look the same? That shouldn’t be possible and Magik’s costumes from the past were all rather iconic and epic. They were fitting for such a demonic princess. Wearing the same costume as Emma Frost is just taxing on the eyes as you can never tell who is who giving the pages an extra minute each time. The energy blast scenes have the potential to be good and we get some nice visuals in the first comic, but a lot of them are too big for the comic to keep up. You know what is happening, but only because it was a quick action. In a real fight, I have a feeling that the art would crumble.

The other X Men group gets to appear, but all of the members are extremely unlikable. Seriously, they just come to pick fights and then get mad when Cyclops puts them in their place. Iceman decides to pick a fight by insulting Cyclops and trying to make him look bad in front of the others. Cyclops naturally responds with an optic blast and Iceman immediately escalates into near death threats. Iceman used to be a good character, but his current personality coupled with his terrible design didn’t do wonders for him as a character. Storm also looks very unreasonable and let’s not even get started with the Beast. The Beast just seems to have finally cracked and he certainly can’t be trusted.

Although it is easy to lose sight of this, the main plot is about someone who is framing Shield. We eventually find out who it is and I have to suspend a lot of disbelief because it’s a very big stretch of the imagination. Someone popped in from an alternate universe and managed to hack into Shield’s tech? Hacking into Shield is apparently easy, but this is really pushing the envelope. This character is also pretty unlikable so it was a twist that didn’t help the comic at all.

Meanwhile, we have a subplot where Mystique is essentially ruling an island as a drug lord and getting people hooked on it at the expense of Dazzler. Magneto frees Dazzler and wants vengeance on Mystique and her posse. I’m sure that the group will fight soon, but it’s another subplot that I didn’t care for. On the contrary, removing the subplot would have probably helped the comic as we could have had more issues for better plots.

One issue was all about Professor Xavier’s will, which apparently leads into the next volume as it is the big cliffhanger. If you wanted Prof X’s reputation as a hero to remain, you may want to skip that issue. He admits that while he was telling the X Men that all mutants should live in peace with humans and to protect them, he was actually brainwashing one. You see, there lived a mutant so powerful that he could apparently destroy the Avengers with ease. Prof X had a vision of this guy taking Thor down with a single blow among others. So, he decided to remove the boy’s powers with his telepathy and trick him for eternity. The boy caught on though and in the present, his powers are starting to run rampant.

When he powers up, everyone who is around him is instantly turned to dust. As his last command, Professor X wants the X Men to go and brainwash the kid once more and steal his memories/powers. Cyclops is disgusted with this mission while the others are mostly ho hum about it all. Cyclops is fighting to protect mutants so I hope that he ends up trying to lead this kid down the heroic path. It’s certainly going to be tricky though and I imagine that a lot of fights are about to begin.

The bright side is that this plot seems to be a lot more interesting and engaging than the rest of the issues that we got. I didn’t think that a comic with as many big characters as this one could be boring, but that’s essentially what happened. I found the big “Vs Shield” graphic novel to be a little dull. Things moved at a snail’s pace and Sentinels stopped being a threat decades ago. Cyclops typically got all of the interesting scenes so hopefully he will get some interesting fights next time.

Overall, It feels like it has been a while since I’ve given a main stream DC or Marvel title under a 6, but this one just couldn’t make it for me. The negatives were simply too much and it reminded me of the Amazing Spider Man series. Cyclops is still a good character and he has some epic moments, but the comic is really just missing a golden opportunity where it could have had some epic team battles and good plot developments. I can only hope that this series gets better soon as the premise behind Cyclop’s group is still rock solid. Where are the Avengers? Having another scuffle with them would have been interesting. On a side note, Magneto really let himself go. You’ll probably cringe when you see his new design.

Overall 5/10

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

Marvel Epic Collection The Amazing Spider Man Cosmic Adventures Review

The Amazing Spider Man is considered by many to be one of the greatest comic book series to ever hit the shelves. I have always thought that it was pretty good as well. The sheer size of the series as well as the large continuity contained within is one of the reasons why it was so great. This collection deals with some of the later issues and it’s still as good as you may have expected. I can safely say that this was the best comic collection that I have read in a while.

One of the reasons why it is so good is the plot. The whole Cosmic Spider Man arc is pretty great. I was on the edge of my seat for each issue which is why I read the whole saga in one shot as well as a few of the after comics. Each issue had a great cliffhanger and all of the subplots were interesting as well. The Acts of Vengeance is a pretty great supervillain group and it makes me wonder how they fared in the other comic books at the time. We’ve got an angered Black Cat out to wreck Spider Man’s life and an obsessed stalker who is messing with Mary Jane. These are two of the subplots that are in the collection and they have yet to be resolved. Another interesting plot is the one with Puma and Jameson. Puma took over the newspaper to help Spiderman’s reputation, but the hero doesn’t want that since it’s really affecting some of his friends. Meanwhile, Jameson is trying to start his own newspaper to defeat Puma!

The final part of the collection is definitely not as interesting since it’s from the spinoff series. We have an adventure with Ant Man and a few others about Spider Man while he’s still shrunk down to size. It definitely doesn’t grab your attention the same way that the others did. Why would I want to see a few comics where Spider Man has to deal with being small? I can’t even say that there is a lot of potential to be found there. Aside from those two big arcs, there are also a few stand alone adventures. Spiderman has a two part team up with the Punisher and he has a two issue battle against Venom as well. Let’s take a look at some of the characters involved in this collection.

Spiderman (Spelling his name like this is so much better) is the main lead of course and he looks pretty good. This isn’t the modern Spiderman that you see in the new comics. This is from his classic days where he was a tough fighter. He isn’t used for comic relief all of the time and Spiderman is actually taken seriously. As Peter Parker he can definitely be a little too interested in the romance segment though. At least he’s only interested in Mary Jane compared to how he goes after everyone in the newer comics.

The important thing to remember is that Spiderman’s a pretty top tier opponent here. His cosmic abilities allow him to punch guys like the Hulk into space. That’s some pretty serious power at his beck and call. It’s part of why I liked the saga. Spiderman usually has to rely on his spider sense and wits to win fights, but now he can just go for some good ole strength tactics. Watching Spiderman crush everyone in his path is a nice change of pace and he’s an endearing main character. He just tends to overthink everything.

Mary Jane has gotten used to the fact that Peter is not usually around because of his heroic duties. She does a good job of just going with the flow and her acting career is back on track. There is one comic where she’s very out of character. She’s a little too dramatic and panicky after Spiderman is shrunk. Surely that is not such a shock where she should be talking about heart attacks and such. Naturally, this was in the spinoff so it’s to be expected. Overall, Mary Jane is a pretty decent main heroine. It would be good if she could fight a little more though since several threats are targeted at her. Spiderman better stay close since everything seems to be heading towards a climax.

Venom’s role isn’t very large, but he gets his own two part story. He breaks out of jail rather easily and resumes his attack on Spiderman. Knowing Peter’s secret identity is definitely a big advantage for Venom. Luckily for Peter, Venom has a strict set of morals that he abides by. One of them is the fact that he refuses to harm any innocents. So, Mary Jane and Aunt May are safe from him. He really just wants to destroy Spiderman. His big battle gets interrupted unfortunately, but he easily crushed Spiderman in their first encounter. His return was brief, but it was good to see him return.

Dr Doom is actually one of the main villains of the Cosmic Spiderman arc. He’s the one who goads on a lot of the other villains and he makes a lot of preparations behind the scenes. He’s the only one of the big villains who has his own plans at the ready and he’s pretty rebellious. It’s one of the reasons why Dr Doom is one of the more intense villains. His plot likely resumes in the Fantastic Four series, but it was good to see him match wits with Spiderman.

Magneto’s battle against Spiderman is pretty fun. I definitely did not expect the Master of Magnetism to challenge Spiderman. Magneto is always confident and that’s one of the reasons why he is a good villain. He decides to just relax at the park until Spiderman appears. He’s also a more sympathetic villain than the others since he always wants to help the mutants. Recruiting Spiderman to the cause definitely would have tipped the scales a lot. He was a fun guest star to have.

Graviton gets a minor role in this collection, but it’s a pretty good one. He arrives just before the Cosmic Spiderman arc and he also gets to appear during it. He crushes Spiderman during their first battle, which is very accurate. He doesn’t do quite so well against Cosmic Spiderman, but who could really hope to stop such a powerful threat? It’s just impressive that he was able to go up against him at all. Graviton even admits that Spiderman’s power surpassed that of Galactus’ at that point. Graviton is definitely a cool villain and his design is pretty solid as well. It was good to see him make an appearance!

Paste Pot Pete is not a very notable villain, but he was the final guy to fight Spiderman before the hero’s big transformation. He humiliated him in front of a large crowd and even Spiderman was surprised at how easily he was taken out. This is Paste Pot Pete after all! It’s pretty inexcusable that Spiderman would lose to him at all. It never should have happened, but I guess even heroes have their off days. Spiderman got to return the favor after his big power up. Paste Pot Pete also overrates himself as he actually thought that he could defeat Sandman!

Flash Thompson’s character arc continues in this collection. He really wants to be a better person now and to use his strength for good. He has turned his attention to boxing and he seems to be decently good. It’s hard to tell whether he really is very good or if his friends are just trying to cheer him up. Unfortunately, he has fallen into the trap of romance and that is hurting his character. It’s definitely good that he’s not a bully anymore and Flash has definitely come a long way. His character development has survived to this day as he’s a full fledged hero in the modern comics. It’s good to see the beginning of his journey and hopefully he can realize that Black Cat is just using him.

Black Cat barely appears in this collection, but her plot is just getting started. Evidently, she wants revenge on Spider Man for some reason and she wants to get back at him by messing with Mary Jane and Flash Thompson. Unfortunately, it’s quite easy for her to do this thanks to her super strength and the fact that Flash is oblivious to her true identity. Naturally, I can’t say that I cared for her in this comic. I can’t really think of a time where I actually did like Black Cat anyway! She’s definitely not one of the better Spiderman villains/sometimes allies.

Aunt May is always around for support and that doesn’t change here. She looks after Nathan for most of the collection and she has to stay strong for Peter. She does get a bonus story where she helps the Punisher stop a bunch of terrorists. That was definitely impressive for her, but her narration could have been a little better. She’s still a good character though and Aunt May’s personality is pretty consistent through the years.

Antman only appears for a quick issue and it isn’t very flattering. Well, he appeared in a mini comic, but he looked even worse there. He ignored the call of the ants and he was forced into a battle with a pretty large creature. He’s basically beaten up and they bring him back to his bed. Antman actually figures that the whole thing was a dream until he notices the holes in his clothes. In the main story, he basically just deserts Spiderman when the hero shrinks down to size. You would hope that he would take a little responsibility for that mess. Antman still needs to work on his heroics!

Sandman gets his own mini comic where he is forced to choose between his ex friends and the law. He makes the right choice and it’s good to see how Sandman has turned over a new leaf. Hanging out with the Thing at the ballpark is probably a lot of fun and it’s one of the perks of being a hero. With his abilities, the Sandman can definitely be a powerful force for good. Unfortunately, it will likely take a while for the rest of the world to get on board and some new writers will likely turn him back into a villain soon. It’s the unfortunate, but inevitable fate for most big villains who turn good.

Jameson is pretty good as expected. It’s definitely been rough for him since his newspaper was forcibly taken. He’s handled it pretty well though and he hasn’t used any underhanded methods to try and regain control of it. Far from it! He’s just going to build another newspaper and he even welcomed Peter Parker into the crew. Jameson also invests in a good lawyer to help his friend out of a tough court case. It’ll still be tough, but Jameson’s done his part. He’s definitely one of the better Spiderman characters.

Styx and Stone team up to take on Spiderman in one adventure. Styx is definitely powerful since one touch can destroy the average opponent. Stone is less impressive since he’s basically your average joe. Together, they definitely represent a decent threat to the wallcrawler. I just can’t get over the fact that they’re really generic villains. At least Venom was in the issue so it was still good. It’s a little hard to buy just how well they did though. Venom is usually more careful than how he was portrayed in the issue.

The Punisher’s role is what you would expect from him. He takes out a few more drug dealers and Spiderman crosses paths with him for the biggest mission of them all. Finding out who is supplying all of the drugs was tricky, but now they have their source. At the very least, Punisher only turns his guns towards those who are evil. He does his best not to seriously injure any of the army guards or kids that he comes into contact with. You definitely can’t call him a hero as he strolls in and destroys everyone, but at least he has his morals. He’s always prepared as well and having a bullet proof vest is always a good thing.

This collection took place during the phase where the Hulk only came out at night and Bruce had control during the day. Bruce Banner looks really bad in this comic though since he has no clue on what is going on. The Hulk is only interested in money and he’s hired to take Spiderman down for the count. Little did he know that Spiderman was currently out of his league thanks to his cosmic abilities. I definitely didn’t like the Hulk in this appearance and he doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy who would be very interested in money anyway. I guess I overestimated him.

Aside from the main comics, we also got a few backup stories. The Sandman’s story was pretty good and I liked the Godzilla one, but the others were pretty lack luster. The one where a baby became Captain Universe was so interesting because of the Godzilla references. One of the characters mentions the infamous Godzilla meets The Brady Bunch TV special and the baby creates homages of King Kong and Godzilla to deal with the enemy monsters. It’s always good to see Godzilla get involved! The Sandman’s comic also had some decent action and it showed how much he has changed since the old days. He definitely made the right call. The other stories were pretty lackluster though. A superhero who rides a flying skateboard? I don’t think that this will hook the readers…

The art is pretty good as expected. There were a few issues from a spinoff series that didn’t look as good. Web of Spider Man I believe. The art really took a dip in those and everyone looked very out of proportion. The mini stories at the end of those also suffered from these issues, but they’re just mini stories. The main series continues to look pretty solid and that’s what counts.

As you can see, the collection had a bunch of major players involved. Who would have thought that guys like Magneto, Dr Doom, and the Red Skull would be in a Spiderman collection? It was definitely cool to see them test their might against Spiderman’s. (Although Magneto is the only one who directly confronted him) This Spiderman collection was very compelling and it really pushes all of the right buttons. I now have a greater understanding of why Spiderman became such a legend. His comics are a step ahead of most other solo series.

The one negative in this comic would probably be the romance. It has quite a lot of it between Peter Parker and Mary Jane. The rest of the characters are pretty safe, but those two get too many scenes together. It’s fine when they’re hosting party and hanging out with their friends, but we don’t really need the romance. In a Spiderman comic, you really just want to see the battles and all of the interesting storylines. Romance is unnecessary. I’m wondering if Mary Jane’s acting career is going to affect their relationship soon. This could get dicey and it’s not a plot point that I’d really be interested in reading.

Overall, This was a great comic collection! It was close to getting a 9 after the Cosmic saga, but it had to get bumped down a little from the Antman saga. It’s still a riveting read and I would recommend it to any comic book fan. You’re definitely missing out if you have not checked out this collection. This is the portrayal of Spiderman that you need to see to prove to yourself that he actually was a pretty great character. He’s also a lot more powerful than the new writers give him credit for. Either way, who can pass up on a collection where Magneto gets to fight Spiderman!? There’s also the fact that Venom makes his big return here. With over 500 pages of comics to read, you definitely get your money’s worth here. This collection is definitely full of victory!

Overall 8/10

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

X Men Days of Future Past Review

How many of you clicked on this one thinking that it was a review for the film? No worries, I already reviewed that one. This is the comic version where it originally took place. I’m sure that there are many tie ins and stories to flesh out the event, but this is the meat of the Arc. It’s only about 2-3 comics long so it’s fairly short, but you can definitely see some of the similarities. It’s good to finally read the famous event and we’ve also got a few stand alone issues here as well.

The first issue is a very large recap told from Cyclops’ point of view. He explains how Professor X has merely been using the X Men this entire time and he never saw it until now. The Professor was unreasonable and now Cyclops has taken a leave of absence. The Professor doesn’t seem to notice how upset Cyclops is, but Cyclops is keeping to himself. Will Cyclops ever join the team again? Only time will tell. This is all after Phoenix died in the Phoenix saga so he is definitely under the weather.

The next comic is the first big mission for the X Men without Cyclops. It’s Nightcrawler’s birthday and it should have been a happy one, but one of his presents blows up and destroys him. Professor X calls in Doctor Strange to see if any magic was involved. (I guess he suspected magic for some reason…) Strange announced that Nightcrawler’s soul is gone and they follow him into the depths of Hell. Doctor Strange believes that there is something wrong with the place since it has changed a whole lot, but he can’t quite put his finger on it. Ah well, it’s time to go save their friend!

The Days of Future Past arc starts off in the future. We see that the resistance isn’t doing so well and the Sentinels are just too powerful. Franklin Richards, Wolverine, Shadow Cat, and Storm are some of the last fighters still alive. They decide to use Rachel’s abilities to send Shadow Cat back in time to stop the madness before it ever begins. Rachel Summers is able to transport Shadow Cat’s mind into the past and she must stop Senator Kelly from being assassinated. Will the Xmen believe her and can time really be changed!? Meanwhile, the future X Men may be doomed on their end since changes in the past don’t always affect the future…but create new futures.

There’s also a comic involving the Alpha Flight. Wolverine never officially left them so he has to go and clear things up. Unsure if this will end up being a peaceful venture, Professor X tells Nightcrawler to go with him. This turns out to be a good move since the Wendigo is in the area and he’s not going to be satisfied with anything short of a win.

Finally, we have a Christmas issue. The X Men all head to their respective homes to enjoy their Christmas break while Shadow Cat has to stay at the mansion since she has nowhere to go. She takes her mind off of this by working in the danger room, but she hears a crash. A dangerous creature that looks like a Xenomorph has broken into the mansion and it’s headed for her. This monster is as smart as they come and it’s very powerful as well. This could be Shadow Cat’s final Christmas!

That was definitely a decently good batch of comics. It wasn’t quite as action packed as usual and I did miss Cyclops, but we still got our share of fights. The best issues were definitely the Days of Future Past ones even if it did feel like there was a lot of plot hax. The saving Nightcrawler comic would probably be last despite the guest star as that one didn’t even have much of a physical enemy to defeat. You always need someone to punch!

The art is pretty good and you will be reminded of the 90’s Xmen TV show. The Uncanny roster is pretty good although I would have liked to see Cyclops a little more. It’s easy to discern what’s happening and things never get too chaotic. This collection is fairly short and it doesn’t crack 200 pages, but it’s still a decent amount of value. 5-6 comics is the norm for most of the shorter comic collections anyway. Just take a look at any New 52 collection or recent Marvel book and this is the size.

Shadow Cat may as well be the main character of the collection since she plays a big part in the Days of Future Past arc while getting her own Christmas comic. She’s a decent character, but I can’t say that she really does anything to set herself apart from the crowd. She’s mostly just trying to fit in during this stage and she hasn’t really mastered her powers yet. We do know that she will be a lot tougher in the future though and there’s no reason to dislike her right now. She just needs a little more personality and she’ll be set.

Dr Strange doesn’t look that good this time. He’s the Sorcerer Supreme, but he’s really getting pulverized in the magic battle by this new entity. He puts on a brave face and he does get some good magical blasts off, but it’s heavily implied that he is being toyed with. Professor X called him into protect the X Men, but it appears that this is not what really happened. It was surprising to see him on the losing edge since Dr Strange is all but invincible in the older comics. Not even he can beat cosmic entities I suppose.

Wolverine is as good as always. He still launches right at the opponents and he was critical in the mission to save Nightcrawler. It’s easy to see why he became a fan favorite and he was definitely the best character in the collection. Protecting his friends is his first priority even if he won’t admit it and he’s probably the most experienced fighter on the team. His healing factor isn’t as good as it is in today’s comics, but it’s good enough for him to be a threat. I really had no complaints with him.

Storm is faced with the pressures of being team leader so she’s pretty stressed out for most of the comics. She’s also wary of a new dance instructor who is helping Shadow Cat and I’m sure that there is a reason behind this. Hopefully she remembers to keep her guard up. Storm is a pretty powerful fighter, but her abilities completely depend on her location. She’s not very good at fighting in closed placed since her powers need space in order to work properly. As a last resort, she is very good at hand to hand combat. She has one of the toughest ordeals in the collection since she is forcibly turned into a snake and changing back is pretty painful. She’s doing a decent job at being team leader, but there are times when we can all admit that Cyclops is missed. Hopefully she can keep the members together until then.

Colossus serves as the nice member who has a rage out moment every comic for shock value. He definitely talks a good game, but Colossus is typically outmatched. It would be good to see him use his super strength a little more effectively, but it never works. Either he’s paired up with someone that can absorb physical attacks like the Blob or he’s fighting a Sentinel who can just blast him away. Colossus is still a good character, but he needs to fight more and talk less when the going gets tough. He has potential to be one of the X Men’s all time heavy hitters after all.

Nightcrawler doesn’t look very good. His sob story is pretty dicey. He murdered someone by mistake since he had meant to spare the person, but he then says that he would do it again if need be. He’s also a little…petty in some issues. He tells the team to their faces that he was almost disappointed since he thought they had forgotten his Birthday. Not really the best thing to say aloud. He’s also the weak link of the team, which means that he is beaten up in just about every comic. The Wendigo takes him out in one shot and the team is forced to go into a fake hell to save him. He definitely gets the team into a lot of trouble and he’s just not very likable here. At least he is trying to make friends with everyone and he’s a nice guy; Nightcrawler just needs to work on his abilities and get his priorities straight.

Cyclops has finally learned to make his own decisions and the character development is good for him. He’s in a pretty sad mood the entire time, but it’s excusable due to the previous circumstances. He seems to be performing odd jobs as he walks across the world and I’m sure that he’ll be back to pwning as the X Men leader in no time. The Wendigo made for a decent villain in one of the stand alone comics. He’s definitely as tough as always and he defeated Nightcrawler pretty easily. I’ve never really considered him to be a match for someone like the Hulk, but he’s definitely played off to be that strong. If his strength were to increase like the Hulk’s, then it would be more of a fight. Still, he may be the toughest villain in this collection.

Professor X doesn’t get a huge role this time. He tries to help out when chaos breaks lose in Days of Future Past and he’s quickly caught up on the events thanks to a quick mind scan, but he forgot to actually use his abilities and Mystique quickly took him out. That was definitely a poor showing by the Professor and we can only hope that he will keep his guard up from now on. He still seems like a pretty good leader, but the X Men definitely trust him a lot less than they used too. I guess it is hard to trust someone who can read your mind so it’s always going to be tough for the Professor. Let’s hope that he can prove his loyalty to them when the time comes.

It’s really good to see the classic Sentinels back in the spotlight. As cool as it is to see the newer variations, nothing beats the classics. It’s really nostalgic to see them tossing the X Men around and they definitely get a lot of props in this collection. One blast is able to completely overwhelm Wolverine’s healing factor and take him out for the count and Colossus was similarly defeated in quick succession. I don’t really believe that these guys would end up taking out the Avengers and Fantastic Four, but they’re still fun villains to have around. There are thousands of them after all so they can’t lose right!?

N’Garai is the name of the demon that attacked Shadow Cat. It’s just one of the N’Garai of course as the name only refers to the species as a whole. That guy was definitely pretty brutal and it was a lot more durable than I would have guessed. Aside from plot convenience, Shadow Cat really had no chance against him. Thanks to his soul damaging abilities, the N’Garai can actually damage the opponent through their intangibility. That’s a pretty nifty ability to have. I would say that this creature is instantly cooler than the Brood and it’s probably in the top 3 best random Marvel aliens that has no mind. So, only counting the beasts that can’t talk and are basically like monsters.

After reading Days of Future Past, I am surprised at how well known it is. I guess the plot was definitely very unique at the time, but it’s just so short. I was expecting it to be at least 5 issues. We still had the President Assassination plot at least and it’s essentially a condensed version of the film with different characters. It was a good two parter to be sure, but not quite legendary. At least we got a classic team fight between the Brotherhood and the X Men. Those are always pretty fun.

I can’t say that I cared for the hell comic all that much. It’s always interesting to see how it is portrayed of course, but it’s mostly lacking in action. Colossus mentions that hell is one of the reasons why he doesn’t believe in God, since it would mean accepting such a place as real. It’s an intriguing point since it almost sounds like he does think there is a God, but he doesn’t believe it because of hell. Meaning…that he does accept that God exists, but doesn’t accept Hell. Can’t really go halfway though since not believing in it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. It was a little sad to see that Nightcrawler had no comeback during their debates and he was quickly silenced each time. He needs to prep his answers ahead of time I suppose. The other comics were pretty standard, but fun adventures.

Overall, This is a pretty solid batch of comics. They definitely aren’t quite as action packed as usual, but they’re pretty good. I think they could have been a little more engaging at times since the Days of Future Past arc was pretty interesting while the others were really just there. I enjoyed them of course, but you weren’t very intrigued by what was happening. The fights were fun and that’s just about it. The Alpha Flight don’t really make you think about anything deep and the Christmas comic was just a fun chase. I still say that a little more action would have helped. I recommend this collection to all X Men fans and especially if you haven’t read Days of Future Past before. If you have, then it’s time to check out X Sanction for more future conspiracies!

Overall 6/10