Thursday, April 29, 2010

Marvel Needs to Offer Free Plastic Trinkets With It's Books Sometimes!

Seriously, I rarely by singular issues of DC stuff. But when the dude at the comic shop said, "Hey, get an issue of Green Lantern and get a Power Ring. Get the new issue of The Flash and get his ring!"

I shelled out a decent portion of what little cash I had to get those damn rings. If only DC will do the same for Legion of Superheroes. I'd totally love a Legion Flight Ring. I'd be able to go as Booster Gold for Halloween this year instead of my, admittedly shitty, Jamie Madrox getup. Not like anyone would know who I was supposed to be still. Point is, I want a Legion Ring and I want people to read more. 

I think I'm "gonna" give myself a little roundup of Jeph Loeb's latest stuff. In particular, Ultimate Comics: X and Ultimate Comics: New Ultimates. I'll start with the former. There will totally be spoilers for these two if anyone's wondering. 

Ultimate X is very much the newer iteration of Ultimate X-Men. Y'know, since the poorly-recieved Ultimatum killed off much of the cast of both X-Men and every other Ultimate book (Save Ultimate Spider-Man characters. Marvel knew it didn't want to cancel and kill off most of the cast of it's only strong-selling Ultimate title.) Ultimatum, and it's predecessor Ultimates 3, weren't well-recieved. I've said that already, I just wanted to make it obvious that I didn't like those two entries. The casts were terribly out of character, the look of the characters was all wrong and it just seemed like an excuse for a bunch of gruesome deaths. A snuff comic, if there is such a thing.

Ultimate X however, is surprisingly good. Aside from one awful page in issue 1 (I can see where James got his claws and all, but the metal? Really? C'mon, you can do better.), this has been a good read. It's got great art courtesy of Arthur Adams and it seems that Loeb has actually decided to acknowledge some of the history of the comic series he's writing for. Which, is what he should have done in the first place, but still. 

The basic premise is this: The late Wolverine's son, Jimmy Hudson, starts to notice he's different. He's a mutant who inherited his father's healing factor, bone claws and animal senses. The metal on his claws may be some kind of trait he inherited from his unknown mother. He's informed of his lineage by Kitty Pride, as per Logan's request. 

Later on, Jean Grey changes her name to Karen Grant. She dies her hair black and brainwashes the people around her into thinking she's lived in this town for three years instead of three days. Just as her boyfriend is about to propose to her, Sabertooth and Mystique show up and kill him and attempt to take her away. She fights back, they flee and she mindwipes everyone around her... again. She returns to her apartment, distraught, and finds Jimmy in there. 

As I said, it's not bad. Not much has happened so far. I'm honestly more excited about this because it looks like (judging from the teaser image) that Bruce Banner's gonna appear in it at some point. Or some kind of Hulk will at least. I'm kinda curious as to what ol' Doc Banner's been up to since, you know, a bunch of his colleagues died. 

The art for this series is good too. I don't think Art Adams can do bad work, you know? It's got a nice kind of sketchy, messy look to it. In a good way.

As for his New Ultimates? Aside from making Iron Man's armor look exactly like his normal 616 version, I have no complaints visually. Frank Cho makes everyone look great. And as per usual, he puts more work into the women than he does the men. But he also made sure everyone in this looked evocative of their looks in the previous Ultimates series. Ultimate Cap looks like Ultimate Cap, Ultimate Thor looks like Ultimate Thor and so on. Point is, Cho knows how the damn characters are supposed to act.

He even addresses the one thing I thought was weird when I read the initial preview: Why is Son of Satan acting agains S.H.I.E.L.D. when he himself is an agent? Because of Loki, that's why. I have no idea who the Hell Zarda is though. Seriously. So far, she seems to be there just to add to the busty women quota that this book seems to have. 

It's nice to see the Ultimate Defenders get some powers though. I'm gonna miss Luke Cage's vaguely Village People-style look. And I do look forward to the explanation for all of the Defenders' powers, Valkyrie included. I know Loki factors in here somewhere, but still. It's only one issue in right now, so once again, I'm reserving judgement until something actually happens. 

All in all, Loeb's not doing bad. I'd still like to know who the Hell Red Hulk is, but I can forgive him on the grounds that I don't much care for anything Hulk-related at this point. Once Deadpool became a Hulk, I stopped caring. But I don't think he was responsible for that one. 

Stay tuned next week for my ass-punching review of Iron Man 2!


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