Wolverine (Chris Claremont & Frank Miller)
Wolverine, one of the most exploited characters in Marvel Comics and comic books in general. A short angry Canadian that people go gaga over. Member of about twelve different teams in the current comics and about three solo titles (these numbers might be slightly skewed) he is everywhere. He is one of those characters that fits in neatly with most stories, his gruff attitude and violent streak make him popular with fans and creators a like. Through him we can cut loose and see raw rage play out before us on the page. Well that used to be the case these days however Wolverine ranges from being a teacher and leader of the mutants (he’s basically the new Xavier) to man with a haunted past and Avengers team member. He has become incredibly diluted as a character and the opportunity to see what he was like before he became Marvel’s go to action man was an interesting proposition.
Wolverine collects Chris Claremont and Frank Miller’s four issue mini-series that really got the ball rolling on the character’s path to superstardom. The volume sees Logan head to Japan to track down his love, Mariko and when he finds her it turns out she is married to someone else! Chaos and violence ensue as Wolverine cuts his way to the bottom of the mystery and the Tokyo underworld.
20th Century Fox are getting started on the promo campaign for The Wolverine and surprisingly for 20th Century Fox they have started off on the right foot with this awesome poster. Not only is it nice to look at it also fits with actual setting and hopefully tone of the film.
You can also see a four and half hour live chat with Hugh Jackman and the film’s director James Mangold if you really want to. I’ve been skimming through it and it has some interesting tidbits.
The film still faces a very uphill battle however because X-Men Origins: Wolverine still happened no matter how hard everyone involved tries to ignore it.
This week has been full of top quality comics! Sadly though I only have time to highlight a few of them. The pervading feeling this week has been on of things coming to and end. Marvel is dominating this area as all their writers finish their lengthy runs on key titles before the big reshuffle that is Marvel NOW! DC on the other hand as certain aspects of that happening with the impending departure of Grant Morrison but because of the current setup at DC there is a sense of new beginnings too as new story arcs and a few writer/artist movements kick off in the wake of #0 Month.
So despite saying last week that I would be covering less in future there is so much to talk about it would be criminal to skip over it. So advance notice, this is a long post!
A WARNING though, there will be SPOILERS!
Over on the DC Comics App and on the Read DC Entertainment website they are having a big 99¢/59p sale on various comics and series to do with super villains. There are some great modern classics such as Paul Cornell’s Action Comics starring Lex Luthor and Gotham City Sirens. Then you have the New 52 miniseries Penguin: Pain & Prejudice which is really worth checking out because it is just about the best Penguin story I have ever read! Also in the sale are older titles featuring The Legion of Super-Villains, the JLA and their various enemies and The Flash and his rogues among other equally appealing comics.
I personally grabbed the whole of the Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps War storyline because it one of my favourite events and it is part of the start of the current Green Lantern craziness that has been going on the past few years. It is a must read for any GL fan or anyone interested in what Green Lantern and the Corps are all about.
Once again I find myself dismayed by the overall quality of the covers for the comics I bought this week. I usually end up with a good spread of interesting things to look at but the past few weeks have been full of bog standard offerings that fail to excite and entice.Thankfully though I managed to find a couple of diamonds in the rough.
(Kenneth Rocafort & Sunny Gho)
There are a few reasons I adore this cover the main one being that I find myself falling in love with Rocafort’s art more and more with each comic he works on. The other key reason is that this is an image of Superman mid action. Mid kicking ass and taking names. His body is strained yet his face is a picture of calm and determination. The image has a nice flow to it and gives you a good idea as to what Scott Lobdell’s take on the Man of Steel will be like; one of action and power (and if this issue is anything to go by it looks like we are in for a lot of action and displays of power).
Captain America #19
(By Steve Epting)
This is a bitter sweet cover that brilliantly captures the entirety of Brubaker’s lengthly run on Captain America. You have Cap in a classic patriotic action pose because only Cap can get away with running around with the American flag like it is a fashionable accessory. Then in the background you have all of the key characters and villains that have made Brubaker’s time on Captain America such thrilling and compulsive reading. While I can see many finding this quite a plain cover it meant a lot to me because Ed Brubaker’s Cap has been near perfect for his entire run. This cover brought back memories of all the gripping stories and twists. I also think it made me appreciate the interior offerings of the issue a lot more too.
Spider-Man doesn’t approve of Wolverine’s teaching methods
From Avengers #32
Coming your way via Bleeding Cool.
I am a really big Booster Gold fan. He is one of my favourite superheroes because he is an amazing character. This Booster cosplay has me all kinds of amazed, excited, happy and jealous!
I wish I could make something like that!
The Incredible Hulk: Silent Screams (Perter David & Dale Keown)
I have a weird relationship with Hulk comics. I neither love or hate them. I have occasionally bought them monthly but have quickly dropped them when things have got…well to put it nicely: really dumb. Planet Hulk and World War Hulk are among my favourite comics but at the end of the day the Hulk has an incredibly small place in my heart and collection. I have heard and read a lot about Peter David’s run on the character and how it is required reading, so Silent Screams was setup as a way to introduce me to David’s style. The results of it are a very mixed but entertaining bag.
Comic Book Resources has a rather interesting preview for the upcoming second volume of J. Michael Straczynski and Shane Davis’ Superman: Earth One. From the looks of things they are still exploring that immensely fertile Superman learning to be Superman ground of ideas while throwing Parasite into the mix. It also looks like Straczynski is going to start imposing more of his own ideas as to the philosophy behind Superman which is cool to see. He will be testing his version Clark Kent on multiple fronts and see how that shapes him.
I’m a big fan of the first volume so this will be a day one purchase for me next month when it hits stores.
Captain America: Winter Soldier (Ed Brubaker & Steve Epting)
I had been looking forward to reading this since it arrived in the post many months ago. I jumped onto Brubaker’s Cap run with the Death of Captain America so finally getting to see were Bucky’s return and rise started was a thrilling proposition.
The story itself did not disappoint. It is in keeping with the rest of Ed Brukaker’s high-stakes take on Captain America with the hunt for the Winter Soldier and attempting to take on the conniving Ex-Soviet General, Aleksander Lukin being the centre pieces of the book. It delves into Cap’s origins and tweaks them to make both Bucky slightly older than he was previously and to obviously allow him to survive the fateful explosion that initially killed him. Thankfully the revelation that he is an ultimate assassin for the Soviets still carries weight after the fact and you can see why they are turning this tense and gripping story into the next Captain America movie. It is primed to be an amazing film. It has World War II aspects and flashbacks, spies and those pesky commies! It will help differentiate Captain America from the other Marvel movies and bring in elements of the greatest spy stories and films that the Cap comics constantly draw from.
The book is also peppered with moments that carry huge weight such as Cap using the Cosmic Cube to restore Bucky’s memory. It is Cap showing that he will do everything he possibly can to redeem Bucky, even if it means re-shaping reality to his wishes. Which when you think about it is a pretty big deal because it is a selfish move on the part of the usually unselfish to the point of annoyance Steve Rogers. A move that is oddly very much in keeping with the core of the character even though it breaks one of the fundamental virtues of him in the process.
Winter Soldier was a great read and if you still have to read it, do yourself a favour and pick it up. Even if it just so you can sit smugly in the movie theatre when Captain America: The Winter Soldier comes out and proclaim you knew about it before it was cool.