Monday, November 21, 2016


Story by James Robinson
Art by Kei Zama

This issue was a beautifully rendered issue. Kei Zama's artwork is gorgeous throughout, as Wanda is pulled to Kyoto, Japan to investigate the murder of a Japanese sorcerer.

Wanda talks to a variety of people who knew him, including his ex-wife, a retired police officer, and one of the sorcerer's few remaining foes (called the Black Bullet, a minor sorcerer). As she does this, she is stalked by a fox that is the reincarnation of the dead well as the evil entity that killed him when he was human. Eventually, we learn that the killer is a man named Benchley...the sorcerer's butler, who killed him in order to get his powers. He made a deal with a Japanese demon to accomplish this, but things didn't quite go the way he planned. And, of course, Wanda is here. The thing is that Benchley absorbed every person that Wanda talked to, turning his demonic body into a mass, so Wanda can't destroy him without destroying his innocent prisoners. But Wanda uses a spell to purify the water underneath the bridge upon which they stand, thus freeing the captives and enabling Wanda to get rid of the villain.

At the end, Wanda mentions she was called to Japan by some unexplained instinct, which interrupted her journey back to Serbia, her homeland, so this gives us an explanation why she wasn't already there. I liked that.

Robinson does so well with this book, doing stories that take place in a variety of cultures. We've had Greece, France, Spain, China, Ireland, and now Japan. Next issue will be Serbia. And each artist chosen for the book seem to really work it with their respective cultures. Kei Zama's art in this is lovely, making the Japanese landscape lush and snowy. I hope Marvel will use his art again, and use it soon!

The issue ends with the fox losing what remains of his human intelligence, as his murder has been solved, and then the fox runs off into the snowy forest to start its new life. Nice.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Thoughts About Current Marvel Happenings

Just thought I'd mention some thoughts about how I feel about what's going on in Marvel these days...

I hate Captain America. Never thought it would ever happen, but I hate the damn Nazi scum.

Riri Williams is so super generic and boring. Calling the book INVINCIBLE IRON MAN is stupid. It should be called INVINCIBLE IRONHEART, but then no one would buy it if if had the title otherwise, would they? It's good that Bendis is doing her backstory, but then it doesn't really matter since she's dull as dishwater, and I don't want to read what will likely be a 6-10 issue origin story.

NIGHTHAWK is extremely well-done, but POWER MAN & IRON FIST is horrible. OCCUPY AVENGERS, I hope, will be good, as I like the idea of Hawkeye and Red Wolf as a team. A sort of modern day Power Man and Iron Fist.

Looks like Gwen Stacy is back among the living in THE CLONE CONSPIRACY. Haven't started it yet, but I am excited to see Gwendy again. And with Peter and MJ no longer married, she and Peter could hook up again, with plenty of conflict for them, as she blames Spider-Man for the death of her father. And maybe she's a bit miffed about Peter's role in her demise as well?

Magneto may not be the father of Wanda and Pietro anymore, but he still has two kids out there somewhere. Cullen Bunn says he wants to do a story about it eventually, but we'll see.

It sucks that MOCKINGBIRD has been cancelled. It's such a well-written book. Very quirky and filled with history. However, with the character's TV pilot not being picked up, and with her not a part of AGENTS OF SHIELD, it's little wonder it's gone.

WORLD OF WAKANDA. (shakes head)

Hopefully MOSAIC will be good. I need another Inhuman book now that ALL-NEW INHUMANS is gone. But we'll see.

Can't wait to start PROWLER and SOLO. Two underdog books for me, although I heard SOLO has already been cancelled with #5. Pretty foolish to cancel something when only two issues have come out so far. Each new book should get at least 8 issues before cancellation to give books a chance to find their audience. But then, a lot of readers write books off after one issue because they don't wait to see how things go. Some books take more than one issue to decide on.

Monday, November 7, 2016


Story by Chelsea Cain
Art by Kate Niemczyk

Well, there are only three issues left of this title at this point. And it sucks. This is a well-written, well-drawn title that is a lot of fun, with great stories and a writer who really shows how much she researches a character such as this. Various parts of Bobbi Morse's character have been hit upon throughout this wonderful book: The fact that Bobbi has both the Infinity Formula and the Super-Soldier Serum running through her veins, her past relationship with Dr. Wilma Calvin in the old ASTONISHING TALES series from the 70s, her relationship with Hawkeye, and more.

This issue is no exception. The story opens with Bobbi boarding a cruise ship. She has received a ticket from a mysterious source that promises information that could tip the scales in favor of Clint Barton during his trial for killing Bruce Banner. What needs to be noted here is that the ticket is made out to "Mrs. Bobbi Barton." Bobbi hasn't gone by that name in years, since her divorce, so this is a clue that the sender is someone who thinks she is still married to Clint, that he or she is someone from Bobbi's past.

And so, it begins. Bobbi settles in and waits to meet whomever sent her the ticket. In the meantime, she tries to avoid thinking about Clint and his trial, but there are reminders of it everywhere she looks. From tickets to a Corgi show where Clint was supposed to be the key speaker (but now is not because of his incarceration) to news broadcasts she hears on the television set in her room. There is a moment where she sits and listens to the news and has a momentary lapse in tears that is presented quite effectively. She still loves Clint, even if she can't be married to him anymore.

I love the setting for this storyline. A cruise ship that is sailing for the Bermuda Triangle, which in itself will be likely very troublesome. There is a cosplay thing going on all around Bobbi as she waits for the mysterious ticket sender to meet with her, as he promises to do via telegrams he keeps sending to her. We see Bobbi relax in the pool, play Dungeons & Dragons with various cosplayers, and have a dozen Corgis racing by her in the hallways. Even her other ex, Lance Hunter, is aboard (for the Corgi convention). When she finally encounters the ticket sender, he's a guy wearing a horse head who refuses to give her the information outright. He wants to do it at his own pace. But she already knows who he is: Some guy she's never heard of. And when she later goes with Lance to the guy's room, thing suddenly take a serious turn:

As silly as that image looks, and as quirky as the book is with its art, it's still a very engaging title. One worth reading compared to some other more poorly written titles out there (such as the atrocious Captain America titles). We now have a murderer on board this cruise ship of cosplayers and Corgi lovers. One that is tied to Bobbi's past somehow. An old adversary of some sort, obviously. There is a part in this issue where the horse head guy talks to Bobbi about Clint's murderous act and mentions some things that have led me to believe that the Phantom Rider is involved in this somehow. The Phantom Rider, just for some information, was the guy who raped Mockingbird back during Steve Englehart's run on WEST COAST AVENGERS. She was trapped in the past, during the Wild West era, and the Rider used drugs to make her love him. Eventually, their final encounter ended with the Phantom Rider falling to his death off a cliff, with Mockingbird allowing it to happen. He has since plagued her via his ghost. The last instance was during HAWKEYE & MOCKINGBIRD #1-5 where he possessed the body of his descendant, Jaime Slade.

So, I think it's the Phantom Rider orchestrating things in this storyline. There are still two more issues to go, so we'll see how things progress. In any case, this is a great start to Bobbi's final three-issue story of Corgis, cosplayers, murder, and ultimately the Bermuda Triangle, where we know Weirdworld awaits.