Superman #37, Uncanny X-men #29, Daredevil #11 – Short Comic Review

While I’m on vacation for Christmas and New Year, I’ve put together a short round up of comics published this week. I’ll return to full reviews on January 10, 2015.

Superman #37

Ulysses visited Earth from another dimension several months ago, and has since teamed up with Superman to protect Metropolis. Recently, he broadcast a message: anyone on Earth is welcome to leave behind their problems and return with him to his home dimension. The price of a new start in a this Utopia is revealed here. Superman may not be able to save everyone.

The light blue energy that acts as Ulysses power source crackles accross the page: a bright lightening. There are themes here of over-population here, and the limited resources of both Earth and Ulysses home planet are discussed. There are large, light-filled scenes of “The Great World”, however the comic book presents a darker, violence fuelled storyline.

Uncanny X-men #29

Time travel is playing an increasingly larger role in Uncanny X-men. The issue begins with Time Travel, and ends with it. Considering that the current story arc concerns a powerful mutant with the ability to bend time, space, and matter at will, it makes sense that characters with the ability to time travel, namely Illyana Rasputin and Eva Bell, would use all abilities to stop the problems escalating.

Matthew Malloy’s abilities are the greatest of any mutant the X-men have encountered. Public opinion and SHIELD policy has grown increasinly anti-mutant, and pressure is placed on the X-men to contain Malloy. The other option is overwhelming military attack on the Uncanny X-men.

The scenes where Magneto weighs into the conversation between Cyclops and Malloy have detailed artwork, with great contrast in colour and ink. Later, when Eva Bell persuades the other Uncanny X-men that time travel is the only solution to the escalating problem.

Daredevil #11

Kirsten McDuffie and Daredevil take on a new case, and continue to write Matt Murdock’s memoir. Stunt Master was a character who sold his image and costume to a corporation. A new corporate-sponsored Stunt-Master uses everything at his disposal to create new and exciting publicity. Media strategies include borrowing Daredevil‘s tag-line “The Man Without Fear”, and even challenging Daredevil to an acrobatic challenge.

The first stunt-master, however, is unsatisfied with how his image was taken and used beyond the original contract he signed. The artwork for scenes where McDuffie, Murdock, and Smith discuss the case highlights Daredevil‘s sensory abilities to build character. George Smith has had a rough time. Sounds from the pins remaining after rehabilitative surgery to support his bones are audible to Daredevil. There are themes of dignity and resilience in this comic. A two page artwork where Daredevil stands his ground against Stunt-Master rushing at him on his bike stand out as excellent artwork.

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Gold Coast Supanova 2014 Cosplay Part 1

Supanova is like a multiverse – characters from different stories crossover in one place, brought to life be cosplayers.

Below is part 1 of 2 of cosplay photo collections featuring skilful costumes from the Gold Coast Supanova festival.

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Easter update – Uncanny Avengers.

Easter preparations – namely making chocolate eggs –  has taken time away from my regular comic reading. I thought I would make at least a few Easter eggs inspired by characters from comics. I chose Marvel’s Uncanny Avengers.

Tomorrow, as another Easter Special, I have an a special review planned – Saga Volume 1, which collects Saga #1-6, and I have been looking forward to reading Saga for a while now.

Uncanny Avengers Easter Eggs

To be honest, I had considered dropping Uncanny Avengers  from my weekly list of comics. I plan to go into more detail in a future post, however, I decided to pick up Uncanny Avengers #5 this week. I was happy to see the return of The Wasp. Like many superheroes, the Wasp was presumed deceased fighting off a villain, but later turned out to have survived.

I’m a fan of her character’s approach to being a super hero:  Wasp changes her costume design often, and does not shy away from meeting people while she does regular super hero work of saving lives and preventing disasters.

I made three different flavoured eggs for my three favorite Uncanny Avengers members: Scarlet Witch and Rogue, and The Wasp.

Wasp‘s egg is honeycomb flavoured. Scarlet Witch‘s egg has red, Cherry Ripe centre. Rogue‘s egg has a green and white peppermint fondant filling.

Uncanny Avengers Easter Eggs

The Honeycomb Eggs is inspired by the Wasp, while the Cherry Ripe egg and green and white peppermint egg are inspired by the Scarlet Witch and Rogue respectively.

Marvel Comic’s website has more information and full character profiles on the Uncanny Avengers, Rogue, Scarlet Witch, and The Wasp.

Comics Review – Five Weapons #1 and Uncanny X-men #2

I read through the second issue of the new Uncanny X-men, and the first issue of a new, limited series: Five Weapons. Uncanny X-men ramps up the stakes after laying down a solid introduction in issue one.

Five Weapons gets off to a good start, despite its smug protagonist – a new student at a school for young assassins pledges to use only his mind to defeat his opponents. I’ll begin with Five Weapons.

Five Weapons #1 of 5

After reading this issue multiple times, I decided that The hero of the story, Tyler Shainline, walks a fine line between intelligent and smug.

He makes some excellent deductions about several characters psychology, including their weaknesses.

Weather it is wise to use this knowledge to relentlessly taunt his dangerous opponents remains to be seen. At times, he almost resembles a bully.

The compelling and mysterious Nurse, however, comments on Shainline: “I like him, He’s a funny one”. She sums up the core of his character, and the comic’s tone effectively – it is packed with humor and lighthearted jabs

What becomes clear after re-reading is that this comic cleverly points out the power of observation. Seeing Tyler Shainline making deductions and seeing through displays of power and intimidation is interesting, and a good idea for a story told in the visual, comic medium.

With the visuals in mid, The art is sharp, and fun details are worked into the story – such as the easter egg of Cloud Strife’s buster sword from Final Fantasy 7 appearing in the background, and the details of the students school uniforms: a big, red target is printed on their white shirts. If you can stand a smug winner, Five weapons has great ideas for readers from writer and illustrator Jimmie Robinson.

Five Weapons #1 (of 5) is published by Image Comics.

Uncanny X-Men #2

A key event took place at the conclusion of issue one, which would be a spoiler to discuss further, plays out in a small way in issue #2. The small act leads to a cliffhanger for the issue, which is also a spoiler, but shows that this series is building up a serious momentum, and keeping a good pace.

Brian Michal Bendis‘ assigns one particular character a viewpoint for this issue, and deeply examines their thoughts and emotions. Emma Frost acts as the viewpoint character for this issue. Both the writing, lettering, and art work together seamlessly as the issue opens.

Emma Frost is reeling from sheer silence. She was one of five mutants who received additional power from a mythical creature called the Phoenix Force. After she returned to normal, Emma, just like Scott Summers (Cyclops), found that her mutant powers where severely reduced.

After hearing the random thoughts and secrets of everyone around her with telepathy, Emma is now angry and brooding about being forced out of the ongoing train of thought around her. All she hears is silence.

Chris Baccalo’s art is stunning for these scenes. The frozen mountaintop that acts as a backdrop takes advantage of the vast, negative spaces and blank, white snow to convey a feeling of deep emptiness, and above all, of silence.

Emma’s predicament is played out through the art. In a rage, she slams her fists into the snow – it’s potentially a representation of her self directed anger. She says “I have no one to blame but myself”, and with a name like “Frost”, it makes sense she would strike the snow.

And then Scott Summers appears. We have been informed by another character that he is weakened, and unstable. We see him as well dressed, and confident, however, in a white shirt and tie. The characters development is thorough Uncanny X-men, and it’s likely that Scott is better at hiding his weaknesses than others, being the team leader.

Further, while the new students talk about what it means to be different from the mainstream, and what it means to be a mutant, it becomes clear, that Summers is talking about something completely different. He uses the word “Revolution” often.

It’s still somewhat unclear where he is going with this. Surely, with his stuttering and unreliable powers, and a group of new students to teach, there will not be time to carry out a revolution against the status quo – a world where ordinary people attack mutants, and mutants have no choice but to run and hide.

Summers wants to move toward clashes with other figures and groups in the Marvel universe, and that might be the result if he continues on this path.

Uncanny X-men #2 is published by Marvel Comics