Thursday, May 21, 2015

Not So New Comic Review: Universe X #0

                When last we left this alternate reality (Earth X #X for those keeping score at home), the planet had been saved not once, but twice, first from the Red Skull (thanks to Cap’s handiwork with his shield) and from the Celestials (thanks to Galactus’ handiwork with…well, being Galactus, I guess).  Not only that, but Reed Richards designed devices to remove the Terrigen mists from the air, thereby “curing” people of their mutation.  What do the heroes get for putting their lives on the line like this?  Uprising and revolt by the individuals that want to keep their powers.  So grateful.  Wait, a revolt against those sworn to protect you?  Where have I seen that before?

                Anyway, we have new narrators for this series!  While X-51 is busy being the new Watcher and Uatu, the old Watcher is busy being blind, we get Nighthawk, who has been gifted the power to be able to see the future by Mephisto because of some fancy eyes, and Gargoyle, who is writing all these future predictions down so that future generations can read them, kind of like writing a history book before the history happens.  After a brief introduction to our new narrators, we go to Latveria, and Reed is still heartbroken over Sue’s untimely death (many, many years ago at this point).  We also get the explanation from Reed that the elimination of the Celestial host in the center of the Earth has thrown off the polarity of the planet, basically making it opposite day everywhere.  The poles are warm and the equator is cold, and it will get worse, according to Reed.  We are also introduced to Him, also known as Adam Warlock, who has had a child with Her, the woman created to be his wife.  This is the first new child since the mutations, and people are a little freaked out by it, so much so that they have split up Him and Her in order to prevent them from doing it again.

                We now take a trip to the Savage Land, where the X-Men and the Hulk stumble across Sentinel City (which is exactly what it sounds like).  We then travel from the South Pole to the North Pole and see that the kingdom that Iceman created is melting.  We then fly over Africa and see that it is completely frozen over, save for a man-made biosphere that surrounds Wakanda.  We then head to the moon to see Thor trying to come to grips with what Loki told her in Earth X, that they are not technically gods at all.  We then travel to New York, where Steve Rogers is swearing in Marshall Muldoon as the President (after Norman Osborn’s untimely demise at the hands of the Red Skull in Earth X).  We peek in on Immortus, who is watching the whole thing unfold and get a glimpse at the big role he will play as well. 

                In Egypt, Moon Knight is fighting the Sons of Set in a never ending battle, while in England, the Black Knight (Black Bolt and Medusa’s Inhuman son) is becoming king.  In Japan, Xen, the ninja clan fights the Tong of Creel (which will come into play pretty huge in the coming issues), while in Russia, Colossus is coming to grips with the fact that his job as the world’s grocery store will soon be coming to an end with the changing weather patterns. 

                Back in New York, Angel visits Gargoyle and Nighthawk, bringing them food and supplies.  Angel has become a good Samaritan as his namesake suggests, helping others in their time of need.  He does do everything he can to avoid hearing the future from Nighthawk though.  He states that what killed the majority of the X-Men was the fact that they knew the future, and working to prevent it just brought it about at a quicker pace, which makes a lot of sense in an overall sense, not just related to the mutants. 

                After Angel leaves, we get an ancient history lesson, about the Skrull and the Kree.  The Skrull were apparently already an advanced race when they met the Kree, and actually were prepared to offer science and knowledge to whoever was able to create the greatest advancement on the Earth’s moon, between the Kree and the Cotati, a race of plant looking people.  The Cotati won, because, while the Kree were able to build a huge, technologically advanced city, the Cotati were able to cultivate part of the moon to sustain life (this is how Marvel’s fabled blue area of the moon came into being).  The Kree, being such sore losers, massacred the Cotati and took that technology for themselves, while also seeding a hatred for the Skrulls deep within themselves, one that would carry over into multiple conflicts for generations to come. 

                We are then treated to the life and eventual death of Captain Marvel, the Kree warrior, as a lead-up to the fact that the new baby that was born of Him and Her, is actually Captain Marvel come back to life.  He has all of the knowledge of his past life, but he is just a child.  We end on an image of Captain Marvel, as a child, and Captain America, his nanny of sorts traversing the frozen wasteland (my guess is it’s somewhere in New Jersey.

Next Issue: What are Cap and Cap doing in New Jersey?  And what is this whole story even about?    

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Music Review: Lynch Mob – Sun Red Sun

                Lynch Mob is one of the 80’s metal bands that were good at the time, but kind of on the fringe of the genre, not popular enough to really withstand the grunge onslaught of the 90’s fully intact, but good enough to come back when they all started to re-form in the late 2000’s.  George Lynch, former guitarist for Dokken, stayed with the band (it’s named after him after all) and continued to be one of the best guitarists you forgot existed, while vocalist Oni Logan left the band but returned for 2009’s Smoke and Mirrors, a nice little bit of nostalgia for those of us that still enjoy that kind of music. 

Sun Red Sun is similar in flavor to the previous Lynch Mob offerings, with a little more of a mature feel than the early 90’s work.  It’s a definitely a showcase for Lynch’s guitarwork, but with a little more balance than the first two albums in their catalog (the only early Lynch Mob recordings that I own).  The best track might be the cover of Bad Company’s “Burnin’ Sky” which the band covers faithfully without any additional flair.  There is a ballad (of course there’s a ballad) in the title track, but most of the other tracks are solid, heavy songs that hold up well against not only the rest of their discography, but also the other music of that generation.  Lynch Mob didn’t really change their style in their extended time off, and are therefore a lot more of a niche musical choice than they would have been twenty-five years ago (holy shit, I’m old) but they are still a band that puts out good music (when they are not broken up, that is).   

Monday, May 18, 2015

Giving Thanks

Week Thirteen-


Assorted Freaks:

The Masked Shrimp
The Slugomatic
The Wormy Guy
The Masked Shrimpette
Mr. Happee

The Masked Shrimp v. Fred
The Slugomatic v. The Masked Shrimpette
The Wormy Guy v. Mr. Happee

Thanksgiving was a bleak day for my fantasy football team as well.
Stupid Megatron riding the stupid bench...

Friday, May 15, 2015

Future Projection

There were a lot of games last year where the Jets failed to show up, so I would understand if you were confused.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Not so New Comic Review: Earth X #X

                This is it!  Being that this might just be the end of the world, there are no pleasantries like an origin story, or anything like that.  We jump right into the action.  First things first, we find that Iron Man was killed in his attack on the Celestials.  It took a little longer than expected, but he succumbed to his injuries.  We then see an awesome double page spread (and there are a lot of double page spreads in this issue) that shows Galactus facing off with the Celestials.  Overlaying that image is text of X-51 basically recapping the series so far. 

                As Galactus begins drilling into the Earth’s core, aware but oblivious to the presence of the Celestials around him, Namor rockets out of the ocean, free of the influence of the Skull, and as pissed off as Namor ever is, he calls upon the creatures of the ocean to attack a nearby Celestial, damaging it, but not really doing much harm. 

                On the moon, John Jameson has turned into a werewolf and is attacking everyone else on the moon (including his wife and child).  X-51 uses his teleportation door to send John to Earth, the part of it that is lit by the sun so John changes back to a human.  Of course, at this point, John’s wife gets angry with X-51 for sending John to a planet that is about to be destroyed.  Women, am I right?  Back on Earth, Silver Surfer’s lady friend, Shalla-Bal (the whole reason he became the herald of Galactus in the first place) is killed by the Celestials.  We are then shown the true power of Galactus, the Celestial-beating majesty.  We are also treated to a conversation between X-51 and Reed where we learn that Galactus really was turned into a star and the Galactus that is now on Earth is not the Galactus we all know. 

                The Celestials strike back and attack Galactus, wounding him.  However, through the conversation of Reed and X-51, we learn that the higher form of mutation that everyone is heading toward, after they all become shapeshifters, is a metaphysical one.  A mutation where the individual is basically what anyone thinks that they are.  This is a great way to reintroduce the Asgardians (the dead ones anyway) led by Loki.  He has made them all believe that they are not dead (because they aren’t) and they ride in to fight the Celestials…who promptly cause them to think they are dead again, so they all just drop into the ocean. 

                As the fight rages, we follow Reed as he teleports to the side of the Inhumans in order to not only tell Medusa that her husband is dead, but to also show her that her son, the one they have been looking for this whole time, was the black knight in Captain Britain’s care.  Black Bolt made Captain Britain promise to raise him and keep him safe until the return of the Inhumans. 

                Back in New York, Galactus rises and keeps killing Celestials, to the point that they retreat.  We then find out that Galactus, this Galactus is actually Franklin Richards in a higher form of his mutation.  Reed can’t talk to Franklin as his son though as that would shatter the illusion that Galactus is Galactus, thus throwing the balance of the universe in jeopardy.  Reed bites the bullet and speaks to Galactus as the world devourer, asking him to spare Earth.  Galactus agrees, does something, then leaves, vowing never to return.  I am not sure if he killed the Celestial embryo or not, as that’s never explained, but I would assume so, or else Earth is doomed anyway. 

                We travel to the moon, where X-51 has unraveled the mystery of the Watchers.  Apparently, as penance for not stopping the birth of Galactus, the Watchers are forced to be nursemaids to the Celestial embryos for all time.  This is why Uatu gave Reed the Ultimate Nullifier in the first place, to do away with Galactus once and for all.  X-51 then removes all of the monitoring devices from Uatu, he can no longer even hear what is going on on Earth.  He is completely blind and alone.

                Back on Earth, Reed has come up with a way to remove the Terrigen mists from the air.  Each country is to build a giant torch that basically burns the mists away, making the population of the Earth human again.  There is nothing said as to whether this will only work on those that received their powers through the mists or not, as all the mists did was apparently activate a dormant seed inside humanity, that was activated by other means in other heroes.  Not everyone is building a torch though, as Black Panther would rather have weird animal people because of his religious beliefs.

                Towards the end, we see Captain Mar-Vell come to Reed in a dream, telling him that he is coming back from the dead, very Jesus-y, and to prepare for his return.  We end the series with Luna, Quicksilver and Crystal’s daughter gaining her final form, just in time for Cap to light the torch and remove the Terrigen mists from the atmosphere.

                While this entire series was very well conceived, it got a little long-winded in places and dragged on at times before getting to the good stuff.  The art was great, both in terms of the character designs as well as the actual narrative art.  The colors were dark, muddy and did little to help the book though.  Of everything, the coloring was the worst part of the book, but everything else was pretty well done, with the highlight being Cap’s monologue in issue twelve.

Next: We check out the return of Mar-Vell in Universe X!