Monthly Archives: June 2012

Wolverine #310 Preview

Story by:Jeph Loeb
Art by:Simone Bianchi
Colors by:Simone Peruzzi
Letters by:Comicraft – Albert Deschense
Cover by:Simone Bianchi, Ed McGuinness, Jason Keith
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date:Wed, July 4th, 2012

The long-awaited sequel to EVOLUTION

How did Sabretooth survive his beheading all those years ago? Cloak and Dagger guest star!


U.S. War Machine (Max Comics) #1 Review

Summary

Industrialist/Inventor Tony Stark has called a press conference to announce that his company, Stark Industries, will cease manufacturing weapons, which includes the MP1-2000- the War Machine armor. He also introduces his new personal defense system, the S11-211- the Iron Man. Across town, a prototype of the War Machine armor is seen in pursuit of an 18 wheeler with M.O.D.O.K. strapped on the back and A.I.M. agents along with a hostage. War Machine engages the men from A.I.M., who reveal themselves to be black, which causes him to hesitate, and whom brutally murder the hostage, as well as innocent bystanders. The remaining A.I.M. agent surrenders after killing the hostage, but War Machine takes the unarmed agent out. Afterward War Machine comes to the realization that he may be in trouble with Stark. Chuck Austen writer- Captain America, Uncanny X-Men, The Avengers (marvel), Action Comics (DC); illustrator- Elektra; creator of Independent title Worldwatch brings a tale of espionage and high-tech action in this action thriller starring War Machine.

 

The Good

Story- the story originally was set to be published in the fall of 2001, but due to the events of 9-11 the release was delayed.  The story offers something that one never considers; the use of minorities in an terrorist organization! It is a rare thing to see the A.I.M. agents without their “bee keeper” mask, but the ethnicity of the guys under the mask is never an issue. Coincidence? Maybe; maybe not. The decision to stop manufacturing weapons; specifically the MP1-2000 has a lot of people irritated. As the story goes forward, we will see what effects this has.

 

Art- the format of the book is black and white, so each page has a bold, crisp look.  The inanimate objects are quite detailed, and even though the book is black and white, there are no noticeable shadows. The major complaint is in how the artist draws his faces. Everyone looks alike and there is no clear delineation of expressions from one character to another.

Hardcore- this book is from the MAX comics line, which is intended for Mature Readers! (it even has the parental advisory on the front!) As stated, the book is in black and white, but that doesn’t exactly mean the graphics don’t look real.

Cover- War Machine striking a classic pose with the flag flying behind; pretty fitting for the solider we know inside the armor.

Tony Stark/Jim Rhodes relationship- From the onset these two seemed unlikely friends. Their relationship is sometimes confusing, but Jim Rhodes has been the loyalest friend Tony Stark has ever had, and the trust that Tony has in Jim is evident in the fact that Jim operates the other suit of armor that he developed. Their relationship has seen it’s good times and bad times, but has endured and developed into one of the most solid in the marvel universe.

 

The Bad

Art- The art may throw off readers who are used to color comics; the artist’s rendering of faces could be a lot better.

 

The Ugly

High-tech action thriller! 3.5/5

 

Review submitted by Black Heroes member Marcus .H. Roberts


Avengers Vs X-men #2, #3 and #4 Review

Many have been asking where the reviews are so, Ive decided to do the reviews in capsule form so we can get up to date fast and in addition bring those who have not been following things up to speed and whether they should invest hard earned dollars in Marvel’s latest big “event”.

Read our reviews of

Avengers vs X-men #0

Avengers Vs X-men #1

Before digging in below!

Avengers Vs X-men #2


This issue has a great looking cover where Iron Man and Magneto take center stage while the other members battle in the background. Other highlights of this issue where all out action and the revelation that Storm and Black Panther have a marriage counselor (seriously we didn’t expect this?). The teased fight between Magik and Dr Strange also seemed promising until you realize it’s never actually going to happen in any detail. Wolverine tries to kill hope but gets flash fried as she flees. This leads to the “search for hope”. An average issue really, all the fights left very little time for any type of character development of any kind, though John Romita Jr’s art was excellent- 2.5/5

Black Superheroes present- Luke Cage, Black Panther and Storm.

Avengers Vs X-men #3


Awesome looking cover as Wolverine and Captain America square off in what appears to be an intense battle. Hated the alternates with Rogue vs Ms. Marvel that’s such a played out pairing I couldn’t help but roll my eyes+ it’s not even in this damn issue! This issue finds the X-men fleeing from the Avengers as they search for Hope. Our would be Phoenix avatar has used a device to scatter her signal to five distinct location and both the X-men and Avengers scatter to find her first.  Wolverine gets dropped by the Avengers literally after acting on his own and a brutal face off with Captain America. This issue is a step up from last as Wolverine and Captain America take center stage, the clash of personalities leads to friction very reminiscent of Wolverine and Cyclops all these years. This leads to wolverine going solo after Hope. 3/5 for a step in the right direction

Black Superheroes present- Luke Cage, Black Panther and Storm.

Avengers Vs X-men #4


Cool cover with Hope with Phoenix flames running from the Avengers and the X-men, the only alternate worth owning has Thor facing off with an immense Phoenix force, the rest are tacky. Hope rescues Wolverine from certain death in the arctic. She wants him to take her to the moon so she can get the phoenix before it hits earth and if things go bad he can kill her, he agrees. In Space some of the avengers try to hold off the Phoenix. Just as Hope and Wolverine land on the moon both the X-men and the Avengers do the same. Before they can fight the Phoenix arrives in its orbit as Thor crash lands on the surface.

Art was good, everything else was average- 2.5/5  

Black Superheroes present- Luke Cage, Black Panther, Storm and Sunspot.


Sanaa Lathan

Sanaa McCoy Lathan (born September 19, 1971) is an American actress and voice actress. She has starred in numerous movies, including the box-office hits Love & Basketball, Alien vs. Predator, Something New, and The Family That Preys. Lathan was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance on Broadway in A Raisin in the Sun.


Captain Marvel Giant Size Special #1 Review

Summary

After the events of Avengers #293 Monica Rambeau finds herself at home recuperating from the loss of her powers and restarting a “normal” life. Monica returns to life on the sea; this time as a Captain aboard the cargo ship, “Tea Cake”. The ship is attacked by the super villain “PowderKeg”, along with a group of mercenaries, in search of the special cargo. During the battle, Monica dons her Captain Marvel/Photon uniform, in hopes of scaring the mercenaries, which works, but gets her attacked by PowderKeg. During the fight Captain Marvel regains her powers, albeit in an altered form, and defeats the villain. After being checked out by Reed Richards, Captain Marvel confronts the Cargo ship owner and finds out the part belongs to Stark International, and has been taken away from him. Kristina Ramos, a ruthless crime lord from Brazil, wanted the part for herself in order to complete the suit of Guardsman armor she had acquired, and sent Moonstone (Karla Sofen) to retrieve it. Captain Marvel defeats Moonstone and Ramos, who dons the Guardsman armor, and disables the armor with the help of James Rhodes.

 

The Good

Art- Very detailed; facial expressions are very clear, and the colors compliment the story.

Origin- The events in Avengers 293 left Monica a shell of a woman. Her parents, especially her mother, worried very deeply for her, and the loss of her powers and subsequent return back home was exactly what her mother wanted. As the years go on, we find that Monica’s mother did more to undermine her career, and even went as far as hiding her Avengers card so she could not receive calls from them.

*note* the story was written by Dwayne McDuffie

Cover- At long last! They have done something with her hair! That fact alone makes the cover a hit!

Story Significance- Monica Rambeau is one of the few black female characters in the Marvel U; she has been lost in the new landscape, but at one point during the 80’s served as leader of the Avengers, this story returned her to some  prominence during the 90’s, before settling in with a new group. Plus, it was good to see Moonstone (who knew she would blow up the way she has!)

 

The Bad

No real complaints, the story’s villains could have been more mainstream, but served their purpose.

 

The Ugly

Nice story about how Captain Marvel regained her powers 3.5/5

 

Review submitted by Black Heroes member Marcus .H. Roberts


Soul Shaped Herb

The Soul Shaped Herb

First Appearance: Defender #7, 2012

Location

This special plant grows only in Wakanda on west ward facing trees on the edge of the country.

What it does

The Soul shaped  one to access the psyche scape of ancestral memory. All past black panthers are said to reside in this psyche scape allowing the current mantle holder to commune with their ancestors. Interestingly it wasn’t until after  Bast the Panther god was killed during the Chaos War that this herb was first seen and used. Before it can be used it must first be made into an elixir.

Those known to have successfully used the Heart shaped herb

T’challa- The Most Dangerous Man Alive

Shuri- The Deadliest of the Species


Faida

Faida

Created by:  Christopher Priest

1st appearance: Black Panther vol.2 #36, 2001

Nationality: Wakandan

Team Affiliations: None

Legal Status: Unknown

Height: 5’5              Weight: 112 lbs

Eyes: Brown              Hair: Black

Relatives: T’Challa/Black Panther (Adopted Father), Azzari the Wise (Adopted Great grandfather), S’yan (Adopted Uncle), T’chaka (Adopted Grandfather), Shuri (Adopted Aunt), White Wolf (adopted Uncle), Jakara (Adopted Uncle),  T’shan (Adopted Cousin).

Queen Divine Justice (Adopted Mother), Monica Lynne (Mother), Achebe (Biological Father), T’charra (Adopted Brother)

Alternate reality siblings: T’chana (Brother), Sky Panther (sister), Becka Munroe (sister), Sh’ri (sister), Panther/T’chaka (Sister),

Skills and abilities: Trained in Wakandan martial arts by her adopted uncle Hunter and adopted mother.

Powers: None.

Daughter of Monica and grown by Queen divine justice. Apparently “disavowed” by her adopted father and not accepted as part of the royal house of Wakanda. When  Everette Ross is captured she breaks into Achebe’s to find out if he was involved and later joined with adopted Uncle Hunter to find him in hopes of to locate Killmonger and save Ross. She was killed by brother T’charra.

Unknown to her “brother” and herself she was biologically the child of Monica Lynne and Achebe. This apparently lead to the dissolution of her mother’s marriage to the king. It was never clear how Monica was impregnated by Achebe though torture was stated and rape was implied.

In death she finally reconciled with T’challa who finally admitted he loved her as a daughter and was sorry for holding the nature of her conception against her.


T’charra

T’charra

Created by:  Christopher Priest

1st appearance: Black Panther vol.2 #36, 2001

Nationality: Wakandan

Team Affiliations: None

Legal Status: Unknown

Height: 5’11              Weight: 190 lbs

Eyes: Brown              Hair: Black worn bald

Relatives: T’Challa/Black Panther (Father), Azzari the Wise (Great grandfather), S’yan (Uncle), T’chaka (Grandfather), Shuri (Aunt), White Wolf (adopted Uncle), Jakara (Uncle),  T’shan (Cousin), Bashenga (Ancestor).

Queen Divine Justice (Adopted Mother), Faida (Adopted Sister), Unknown Mother (deceased)

Alternate reality siblings: T’chana (Brother), Sky Panther (sister), Becka Munroe (sister), Sh’ri (sister), Panther/T’chaka (Sister),

Skills and abilities: Trained in Wakandan martial arts since birth by the finest teachers and his father.

Powers: None. Since he never ingested the heart shaped herb.

Biography

Dutiful, though seen as weak willed, son of T’challa and an unnamed female. Groomed as the crown prince of wakanda since birth, he was sent to America to learn just a his father had. Unknown to all he hatched a plan involving freeing Killmonger from stasis and setting him loose in America to gather old panther foes and capture Everette Ross. When adopted sister Faida and uncle hunter got involved he moved up his plans and murdered Killmonger, Hunter and even Faida. He left her body for his father to find and eventually battled him over ruling Wakanda. He lost and was taken back to wakanda where his fate remains unknown.


Monica Lynne

Monica Lynne

Created by: Roy Thomas and Frank Giacoia

1st appearance: The Avengers #73, 1970

Nationality:  American

Legal Status: U.S citizen with no criminal record

Height: 5’8                     Weight: 120 lbs

Eyes: Brown                    Hair: Black

Relatives: Lloyd (Father), Angella (Sister, deceased), Jessica (Mother), T’charra (Son),  Faida (Daughter)

Skills and abilities: Accomplished singer and basic combat training.

Biography

Monica is a struggling jazz singer and social worker from America who fell in love with Wakanda‘s king T’challa and was his girlfriend for years.

Monica came into T’challa’s life after he saved her from a racist plot set up by the sons of the serpent [Avengers #73]. Sometime later the two began a relationship and she accompanied the prince to Wakanda. While in Wakanda many of T’challa’s friends W’kabi, Taku and even the natives opposed T’challa’s relationship with this outsider. Tanzika was made her attendant [Jungle Action #7] and she voiced her opposition by becoming the vicious Malice allied with Killmonger and trying to kill her then framed her for murder [Jungle Action #9]. Luckily T’challa caught the real killer and she was spared execution. After this she and T’challa enjoyed swimming together and riding giant turtles [Jungle Action #16]. Monica herself took out Malice in a later battle [Jungle Action #17]. Once back in America she was almost killed while visiting her sisters grave. Thanks to T’challa and the skills he taught her she was able to survive. They stayed with her parents on this visit [Jungle Action #19]. She nursed T’challa back to health after he fought the KKK [Jungle Action #21].

Monica got engaged to T’challa after a brief separation around the time he fought Solomon Prey and his friend W’Kabi had suggested he needed heirs to carry on his name and line if the worst was to happen [Black Panther: Panther’s Prey 1-4]. T’challa traveled to America, Georgia with Monica to ask her father’s permission to marry her. After getting her father’s blessings he traveled back to Wakanda where he broadcast the news of his engagement to all of Wakanda [Panther’s Prey #4].

Used by Achebe in a scheme to hurt T’challa  and assassinate the Avengers she came back into his life [Black Panther v2. #8]. Taken by Hunter she survived an assassination attempt and T’challa left her in the care of Nakia [Black Panther v2. #10]. Nakia jealous of Monica tried to kill her while they were on a plane by ejecting her. [Black Panther v2 #11]. She survived ejection and was found by Killmonger who planned to use her as a pawn against T’challa [Back Panther v2. #18]. Monica was in Wakanda when Killmonger defeated T’challa, became the Black Panther and fell into a coma from ingesting the heart-shaped herb [Black Panther v2. 24-26]. Monica grew tired of her life being put on hold and in danger because of T’challa and the fact that their engagement had not led to a marriage before it ended completely. Right as she was moving out of his quarters the X-men’s Storm showed up and instead of trying to convince her of why she should stay he ended up sharing a passionate kiss with Storm which Monica saw unknown to both. This prompted her to leave secretly [Back Panther v2. #27].

T’challa tracked her down and proposed to her again, instead of accepting she kissed him goodbye [Black Panther v2. #30]. Monica was again saved from an assassination attempt this time by Nakia now going by Malice  thanks to T’challa [Black Panther v2. 33]

Ramonda, T’Challa’s mother disproved of the engagement and disliked her immensely.

After this other breakup Monica was drawn back into heroics when an alternate reality Black Panther with Esp powers approached her alongside Nightshade [Black Panther v2. #44]. She was taken into the past alongside Back Panther, Nightshade, Queen Divine Justice, Everette Ross and Peter Gyrich [Black Panther v2. 46 & 47]. Monica shared a kiss and mutual romantic feelings with the alternate Black Panther since in his world they had never actually broken up and were still engaged. His willingness to express his feelings also helped [Black Panther v2. 48]. After he was put in stasis she told T’challa she had seen his kiss with Storm the day she had come to tell him goodbye.  T’challa confessed that he had called off their engagement because his alternate future self was dying of a brain aneurysm and knowing this was his future decided not to tie her down with a man who had no future. She also consoled Nightshade when Alternate Black Panther finally died [Black Panther v2. 48].

Years later she reappears singing at a sold out concert on the eve of T’challa’s wedding to Storm, crying. [Black Panther v3. #16]


Cage (Max Comics) #1 Review

Summary

Brian Azzarello and Richard Corben unlock Cage! Life on the streets is a high stakes game. There are winners and losers. Those that play by the rules, do so at their own risk, and often pay a price. Who’s got their back? There’s a man who can set things straight. A specialist. He doesn’t come cheap, but if you’ve got the bank, he’s got game. And plenty of it. Some know him as a “Hero for Hire.” Some as a “Power Man.” For others, he’s an urban legend. He’s all, and none, of the above. His name is Cage. It’s time you got to know him. Dory Dickens wants justice for her daughter, cut down in her prime in the crossfire of a rapidly escalating gang war. In a sea of corrupt cops and rival gangbangers, there’s only one man with the juice to dispense the kind of street justice Dory craves, and his services don’t come cheap. Lucky for Dory, the man called Cage has plenty of reason to play hero in a world where there are none. The team behind BANNER, writer Brian Azzarello (100 Bullets) and artist Richard Corben (House on the Borderland), unite once again to knock fandom on its collective butt!

 

The Good

Cliches- Surely a sign of the times. I loved how this single issue took me back to the 80′s and 90′s. I have not seen a “gold tooth” in far too long! Big saggy jeans on someone’s waist instead of their knees? Sweet Christmas take me back in time baby!  Perhaps even my social circles have changed but gangsta slang has changed dramatically since the 90′s. Here are men actually being manly and burly, not a single well groomed metro sexual or tight/skinny jeans in sight? Oh sweet blissful nostalgia! Sue me I loved it!

Art- Richard Corbin’s art is very animated as it relates to faces and body language. The colors are the rel star of the show though with a style highly reminiscent of a coloring book but the small details on each characters skin is impressive.

Hardcore- Listen up closely all Luke Cage fans you need to hunt down this series Luke without wife or kid and stripped of mainstream appeal in a real urban ghetto= the baddest thing since Wesley Snipes Blade. I honestly can’t describe the intensity of this rendition of Cage. This is the essence of the character Ex-con, muscle for hire with a heart of gold. 

Cover- Bling Bling! Cage’s gold tooth and gold stylized brass knuckle illuminate the cover of his debut issue. Very artful and distinct though the Knuckle design later gets recycled for use on Tyrone Cash the black Hulk.

Parent perception- The mother’s plight really drew me in and pointed out the flaws with how a parent views their child. From experience (I smoked pot through out highs school and my mom never knew, despite being able to tell when her own students were indulging). This mom make’s statements throughout her plea to Luke that echo the cracked mirror of reality. The mother states her daughter was not into gangs but as a teen she’s into boys, f boys in the area are all in gangs and she likes are guys ergo she is connected to a gang willingly or otherwise. She later states her daughter never cut class and stayed out of trouble. Parents lets not delude ourselves you have no idea what really happens in school with your kids. The politics of school, the cutting of class even twenty years later you still won’t discover. Delusions I tell you! What this also points out is how death makes everyone a saint…….Once you die people will strive to only speak “well of the dead” even if their complete fabrications.

Emotion- The art worked well with the story to convey the pain and anguish of the mother reached not just Cage but me. That’s where the story really sank it’s hooks into me and never let go.

 

The Bad

Pg- Keep your kids away from this one, really. Strong language and nudity galore. In marvels defense though there is a big old warning slapped on the front of this book.

 

The Ugly

Emotional, gripping, violent, sexual and utterly fun! 4/5


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