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Post-Thanksgiving Hardcovers

avxhardcoverfrontI got a text from Amazon over the weekend that my book was on the vehicle to be delivered. Unfortunately, they decided to leave it at the apartment office, so I had to wait until Monday morning to pick it up.

This is the second copy of this AvX hardcover Amazon‘s sent me–the first arrived with the bottom corners dented in (damaged) presumably during shipping. Given the pricing of this book, I wasn’t about to accept damaged product for something new.

This copy has some minor stuff to it, but frankly, I’m not gonna worry about it. Where the prior instance was more than I’d accept, this one’s no worse than grabbing a copy off the shelf at a comic shop–I don’t need some “9.8” grade book…I just don’t want something obviously damaged (at least not new when I didn’t administer the damage through my own use).

spacemanfront

I wasn’t expecting Spaceman for another week or two at least–just got an email a little over a week ago about this and it said 4-6 weeks, so I figured 2-3 weeks more likely.

But here it is–it was also left at the apartment office with my AvX book.

I don’t remember truly “noticing” Spaceman when it was being put out in single-issue format from Vertigo.

But it was one of the books being offered as a “giveaway” or whatever at Goodreads, and I’ve been trying to put my name in the hat for all the DC giveaways, figuring what the heck…not losing anything but a few moments of my time doing so, and with stuff like the New 52 hardcovers and whatnot, “any win” would be a bonus.

spacemanpriceSo one book that I honestly didn’t even have any interest in, and I wound up “winning” it–but looking at the back cover, reading the basic premise and flipping through it (and realizing it’s Vertigo!) I’m looking forward to actually reading this. And as said…didn’t cost ME anything but a few moments to put my name in.

Cost THEM almost $10 to ship it to me…sorta wonder why they didn’t use a media mail option, but I won’t complain.

avxhardcoversideJust over a year ago, I posted a comparison of three 18/19-issue collected volumes with questionable pricing.

This AvX volume can join that set with the same question: why not price stuff on a standard? If a standard-trim paperback with 18-19 issues has a cover price of $40, why is one hardback with 18-19 issues $65 and another with 19-20 issues $75?

AvX is practically an “omnibus” itself–it has the entire 12-issue event series, the #0-issue/prologue, the “Versus” all-fight issues and even the previously digital-only “infinity” comics that were interspersed…then again, I guess this would have to contain AvX Consequences to be an Omnibus.

AvX: Consequences #4 [Review]


Full review posted to cxPulp.com
.

Story: 3.5/5
Art: 4.5/5
Overall: 4/5

AvX: Consequences #3 [Review]


Full review posted to cxPulp.com
.

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

Avengers: X-Sanction [Review]

Writer: Jeph Loeb
Penciler: Ed McGuinness
Inker: Dexter Vines
Colorist: Morry Hollowell
Lettering: Comicraft’s Albert Deschesne
Cover Art: Ed McGuiness, Dexter Vines & Morry Hollowell
Published by: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $24.99

I found this volume at a Half-Price Books last weekend, and wound up buying it. Not the best deal I’ve ever found–especially for something as skinny as this volume–but not the worst.

As single issues, this story came out I believe December 2011 to March 2012, essentially leading into AvX.

Last year, I was both put off yet intrigued at a new story focusing on Cable. Though the character had supposedly died at the end of 2010’s Second Coming, here he was, back after less than 2 years; barely a year and a half (in other measure: less than 3 6-issue arcs’ time). From what I recall, despite some mild interest in Cable’s return and dealing with the Avengers…it was this being a mini-series priced at $3.99 that really put me off. And then learning it wasn’t even to be a self-contained story, but lead into a major 2012 event. So I passed on it as singles.

Though this only contains 4 issues, it’s priced at $24.99–essentially $6.25 per issue of content (makes $3.99 per issue seem like a steal). Granted, this is an oversized hardcover, and a 4-issue premiere hardcover might be $19.99 (basically $5 per issue of content), so the oversized format could “justify” a higher price. But this sort of pricing is absolutely NOT worthwhile for only four issues, and this story in particular.

I’m actually somewhat regretting paying half of that $24.99 for this as-is.

The Ed McGuiness art is not bad–I liked his work on some of the Superman and then Superman/Batman stuff, and while I wouldn’t consider it exactly “ideal” for this story, it works.

The story itself seems overly simple and “decompressed” to a large degree and really comes out of nowhere. Cable draws Falcon off from a fight and incapacitates him, knowing Captain America would follow. The two fight, and Cap is incapacitated. Next, Iron Man shows up and he, too, is incapacitated. Then Red Hulk shows up, followed by Cyclops, Wolverine, and Hope herself. We learn amidst all this that Cable apparently did not actually die, but reunited with Blaquesmith, and learns that the destroyed world they’re in could be prevented if Hope had lived–having apparently died due to the Avengers. So with just hours to live until the techno-organic ravaging his body kills him, Cable travels to the past to take out the Avengers so that Hope can live and save the world.

While it’s long since become a moot point…I continue to find myself curious about Cable’s techno-organic virus; recalling that in #100 of his series back in the early 2000s, the character made a concerted effort and managed to excise the virus, removing it as a factor in his life. Seeing it back here and playing such a pivotal role seems rather contradictory.

I’m also not convinced that this needed to be its own separate series…if it was really so important, it might have been worth an issue or two of an Avengers title or even one of the X-books. At the least, it could probably have been “compressed” to fit a double-sized one-shot rather than be stretched into 4 issues.

Ultimately, this is a fairly mediocre series/story/volume, and way too quick a read for $25. If you can find it for half (preferably more)-off, the art at least is worth looking at, and while I don’t recall what material is contained in the It’s Coming tpb preceding AvX, this seems like it would have been much better served being billed as a specific prequel to AvXrather than some stand-alone thing.

AvX: Consequences #2 [Review]


Full review posted to cxPulp.com
.

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

AvX: Consequences #1 [Review]


Full review posted to cxPulp.com
.

Story: 3.5/5
Art: 3/5
Overall: 2.5/5

Avengers vs. X-Men #12 [Review]


Full review posted to cxPulp.com
.

Story: 3/5
Art: 4/5
Overall: 3.5/5

Avengers vs. X-Men #11 [Review]


Full review posted to cxPulp.com
.

Story: 2.5/5
Art: 4/5
Overall: 3/5

The Rest of the Stack Catch-Up: TMNT and AvX

The Rest of the Stack logo

The Rest of the Stack is my general mini-review coverage of new comics for any given week. It’s in addition to (or in place of) full-size individual reviews. It’s far less formal, and more off-the-top-of-my head thoughts on the given comics than it is detailed reviews.

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted much, so this is part of my “catching up” on the past month and a half or so.

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES COLOR CLASSICS #3

I’d forgotten this issue’s story. I guess it had to be somewhere, but my memories of these early issues jump from the turtles meeting April and dealing with Stockman and the Mousers right into what is probably going to be in #4. Yet, we get some pretty important stuff going on here as the turtles find Splinter missing (possibly killed by the Mousers), and actually turn to April for help. We also get the obvious inspiration for “the Turtle Van” (but less commercial). And the issue ends with the introduction of characters that inspired one of the primary characters in the classic cartoon series. The story itself is pretty basic…nothing all that deep, but still enjoyable enough in itself. I really like the art here as it’s just “classic” for me (biased though I must admit I am). The color added blends very well with the original black and white, such that it’s hard to believe this wasn’t a color series to begin with. (7/10)

RAPHAEL #1

Beyond the first issue of the TMNT Color Classics, I wasn’t sure how IDW was going to go about reprinting these issues, and sorta feared the Micro-Series issues would be merged in with the numbering, resulting in TMNT Color Classics being its own numbering that wouldn’t correspond with the issue being reprinted. However, this issue simply reprints the Raphael issue as itself, and I love that. The issue’s story is pretty basic and cliche, lacking much of the depth that we eventually get with the characters. Casey’s introduction here doesn’t work so well for me, but every character has to start somewhere. There’s also some clunky dialogue with Raph that just doesn’t seem to fit ANY version of the character I think of. The art’s classic Eastman & Laird (duh) and looks quite good in this new colored format. (7/10)

AVX #8

This issue is largely focused on Namor, as he lays waste to Wakanda, and the Avengers dogpile him, ultimately learning some useful information about the Phoenix Force and its interaction with multiple hosts. Storywise, this was one of my least-favorite issues–but then, that’s largely because Namor’s one of my least-favorite of the Phoenix Five (coming in just behind Illyana). It’s also increasingly difficult to take the scope of this story serious in the face of ongoing stories in other books seeming to have nothing to do with what’s unfolding in AvX, and that even some of the actual tie-in books are barely pulling a “red skies” level of involvement. The art’s a mixed bag for me, with some of the pages looking good and others just looking horrendous to me. (4/10)

AVX #9

Nine issues in and there’s just enough of a “completist” in me to grin ‘n bear it: I started following this series, and now I want to finish it, just on principle of finishing it–though I dropped all the tie-ins cold-turkey due to frustration at Marvel continuing its cycle of not even letting one event finish before announcing the next, and the spoiling of the end of this series, and Marvel Now… This issue’s another beat-down issue, with the Avengers piling on Colossonaut and Magik, with Spider-Man taking the worst beating of the bunch this time. The art continues to be mixed, with some panels looking excellent while others look generic and a bit rushed by comparison. This is the three-quarters mark of the series, and I’m quite ready to get to the end. (5/10)

AVX #10

Cyclops has shown up to take Hope away from the Avengers, though she makes it clear she does not wish to go with him. Fighting breaks out, and Hope even gets to ride a dragon, before turning her powers on Cyclops with an unintended effect. After the previous issue, the Phoenix Force is all the more concentrated in Cyclops, which makes Hope’s effect all the more meaningful. With the ending of this issue actually pulling me back into stuff and looking forward with interest to seeing how this story’s going to conclude. (6.5/10)

The Rest of the Stack: Week of July 4, 2012

The Rest of the Stack is my general mini-review coverage of new comics for any given week. It’s in addition to (or in place of) full-size individual reviews. It’s far less formal, and more off-the-top-of-my head thoughts on the given comics than it is detailed reviews.


X-MEN: LEGACY #269

avxxmenlegacy269Taking on Iceman’s powers. Rogue does her part to help the Phoenix Five fix the world. Unfortunately, she walks into an ambush by Ms. Marvel, and the two have a slugfest and a bit of a heart to heart amidst the punching and such. By issue’s end, Ms. Marvel’s planted a seed of doubt in Rogue that might just cause some issues with the Phoenix Five. Now, it’s been a couple weeks since this came out (oops…slacking a bit in my reviewing) but this didn’t seem like a bad issue, though it didn’t really do much for me. I’ve yet to read the original stuff of Rogue vs. Ms. Marvel, and I can appreciate (and like) the fact of it being brought up again, but I’m growing tired of the fights, and I’ve never much cared for Ms. Marvel, nor am I quite sure what’s up with the character given the pending Captain Marvel series coming up. Still, I’m liking the focus on Rogue, and this continues to pique my interest toward the original Rogue stories as well as stuff from the last few years. I’ll be curious to see if this title (or its numbering) exists with the Marvel Now stuff coming up post-AvX…but for now I’m on board if only for the fact of this being an AvX tie-in. (7/10)

WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN #12

avxwolverineandthexmen012I’m really beginning to lose track of what’s happened where in what tie-in or official chapter of AvX. This issue gets into the detail of the Avengers invading to “capture” Hope for her own good, as we see how much of that unfolded, and Rachel Grey’s part in it all. We also have more on the Gladiator/Kid Gladiator stuff. I continue to not really care for Bachalo‘s art…there’s just something to the style that I don’t like, and I really think that’s my #1 turn-off to this title at this point (other than the $3.99 price). Otherwise this is a decent issue with conflict for a goal rather than just the characters beating on each other. But another issue snagged for the AvX banner rather than the title or content itself. Nearly two weeks after reading and it’s virtually forgettable. (7/10)

G.I.JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO #180

gijoearealamericanhero180While this issue has the usual volley of variant covers such that there’s actually a “checklist” of all the covers (this is one of my primary gripes with IDW and their $3.99 pricing)…the main “gimmick” of this issue is that the Joes go to Comic Con. As in…their mission actually sends them to the San Diego Comic Con, where they spray-paint the tip of Snake Eyes’ uzi orange and the group then fits in perfectly with all the other cosplayers. Overall, the story is fairly forgettable in a general sense…but it’s rather amusing and makes for quite a fun issue just seeing the Joes in a comic convention. There’s even a page where Snake Eyes is separated from the group, and you can actually do a “Where’s Waldo?” searching out the missing ninja on the page (yeah, he’s in there!). It’s been quite awhile since I’ve checked in with this title, and I’m not sure I’m going on to the next issue…but for a single-issue purchase, I quite enjoyed this, and found it surprisingly accessible on the whole. The story worked and the art’s good…and the issue on the whole is fun, and met expectations. (8.5/10)

AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #7

avx007The X-Men do their best to make good on Cyclops’ deadly three words: “No More Avengers.” Of course, the way they go about accomplishing this isn’t the best, and is met with varying degrees of commitment. The Avengers learn what–or who–the Phoenix Five fear and make use of that, though ultimately, things continue to spiral quickly outta control. We’re into the second half of things, and the story remains fairly solid, though my overall interest is waning. I really like Coipel‘s art in this issue, though it looks better in some parts than others. All in all, not a bad issue, but having followed all the tie-ins so far, I find myself wondering how well this will read when all is said and done, and without the tie-ins as things unfold. At this point, I doubt anything I say about this core series or any of the tie-ins will bring you into the story…though this issue would not send me into dropping the series at this point, either. (7.5/10)

UNCANNY X-MEN #15

avxuncannyxmen015The Phoenix Five decide it’s time to deal with Sinister, so they begin to seek the villain. Of course, Sinister has his own plans in the matter–such as making things difficult–but the X-Men prevail and the battle is assured. While this is officially a tie-in to AvX, this is really more of an “in the midst of AvX while we have this particular status quo to play with…” story. This isn’t the X-Men (or even the Phoenix Five) dealing with stuff with the Avengers…this is them dealing with a classic X-Men villain with a new status quo, but under their own new status quo AS the Phoenix Five. So this isn’t a bad issue if you want to jump into a story during AvX without it having much tie to the crossover–just that the characters are presently in their Phoenix Five mode rather than standard. I still loathe (as always) the $3.99 price point, and the renumbering of this series…yet if it continues beyond Marvel Now, given my investment and the series’ “age” I may track down back issues or at least collected volumes, and possibly even continue beyond AvX. (8/10)

LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #5

legendsofthedarkknight0052012 has really been the year that “sold” me on digital–for books as well as comics. I have no idea if LotDK is going to get print editions (the way the Batman Beyond, and Smallville Season 11 do). But I’m quite enjoying this weekly digital comic. The way the panels are all separated out for the “Guided View” in Comixology on my iPhone, I don’t even know the approximate pagecount I’m getting for my $.99…but the price is right, at $.99 I don’t mind buying the next chapter each week (for now). The first three “issues” were standalone stories, but this is part 2 of a 3-parter. I’m not sure if this is set in any particular continuity, but given recent hype over stuff with the Batman titles in the New 52, this seems closer to the “old” DCU or at least to be outside the New 52…which makes it that much more enjoyable for me. I’m not a huge fan of the art for this story, and would surely balk at it in a print edition. But given the nature of this series, I’m accepting it with this story and just enjoying a weekly Batman comic again. I keep forgetting to look for the new issue, but wind up thinking to over the weekend, which also adds to this series’ appeal: I’ve already bought my “regular” weekly comics and generally have already read those–so this is something new to get at the midpoint before the next Wednesday’s new releases. If not the 3-parter, I’d highly recommend checking out the first “issue” at least! (9/10)

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