An Event in 4 Parts: Part 4, the Background

Terribly sorry.  This post should have happened last week, but what are you going to do?

Now we are almost done our dive into the latest Marvel event, Original Sin.  The others are here and here.  The last bit to be discussed is the tie-in series titled Original Sins.  Note the ‘s’ at the end of Sins.  That’s what makes it different.  I was a little mixed up at first, but it makes sense now.  This series of five comics had a common story going through, but also had smaller stories that focused on other characters.  I do like humorous comics (which this was) and comics that are very self-contained (which this also was, for the most part).  I am going to do this article going issue by issue, as I did before, but it doesn’t really work the same, as there are lots of little stories.  Instead, I will just talk about them all in a semi-random order.

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Each issue has part of a story that involves the Young Avengers.  I used to read that series, but never tried the most recent one.  Unfortunately, this only really deals with Hulking, Marvel Boy, and Prodigy (who wasn’t a Young Avenger last time I checked).  It turns out that Exterminatrix is Marvel Boy’s ex, and so Hulking and Prodigy go to talk to him about it.  I am a bit hazy about how it happens, but they come back to Earth and find that the Hood is being a bad guy.  He is using his powers to hide some druggies from SHIELD.  Apparently the secrets released really messed up these addicts, and the Hood wants to care for them, but also get the secrets out of their head.  He says it is to save lives, but we all know he has other motives as well.  I do like how this explained the Hood’s powers a bit more.  I had seen him used a lot in the New Avengers, but this told me things I either had not known or just forgotten.  For example, he doesn’t fly, but rather walks on air, which can be very slow.  Also, he is only invisible if he holds his breath, which just seems annoying.

But I digress (to steal a catchphrase).  The story is kind of predictable, but still enjoyable.  More humor comes from questions that Marvel Boy asks Hulking, such as, “Why don’t you shape shift your butt into a chair?”  These are the questions that keep me up at night.  Anyways, the Hood thinks he’s won at the end and that the “cerebro jr.” has given him what he wants, but it turns out Prodigy tricked him.  Of course.  That ends the big story that went through all five issues.  Then there were some other tales.

So Deathlok is just some guy who gets his memory wiped out after every mission.  That is kinda cool, and makes me think that it was influenced by the SHIELD tv show.  Some other agent learns this secret though (not Deathlok)and is killed for knowing too much.  What fits nicely is that Deathlok is the one who kills him, and doesn’t even know it.

The Black Knight (a fan favorite of one SJ) is now addicted to the ebony blade.  A reporter/historian learns this secret and tries to talk to Dane, who wants nothing to do with her.  He has become a bit of a crazy vigilante, so that could result in another Punisher-like character, but with addiction problems.  I’d give that a shot.

Lineage is an Inhuman whose power lets certain family members live on as faces (and brains, I suppose) on his skin.  They can all talk to him and have all the memories of when they were alive.  The explosion (from Original Sin #3) kills someone who learned a secret.  That person became a face on Lineage, and told the secret that he learned.  Black Bolt started the war with the Kree, after seeing them experiment on humans.  I guess that’s a big deal?  Anyways, cool Inhuman, but not sure about the actual story behind it.

Some guy learns a secret about Dr. Doom.  This guy is all business, and looks like some sort of broker or another.  Doesn’t really matter I guess.  Anyways, he is going to try and blackmail Doom, but makes sure that he tells people close to him so that the information stays safe.  He actually makes an appointment to see Doom (I think at an embassy).  It’s during the wait to see the dictator that the man starts getting calls about people close to him dying.  By the time he actually sees Doom, everyone who knew the secret is dead, and we are left with the impression that the man will die too.

Dugan (Dum Dum to you) finds out a terrible secret.  He isn’t really Dugan.  The real Dum Dum is on life support, and has been for quite some time.  Every Dugan that we’ve seen has been a LMD.  In my opinion, there are too many Fury stories about false deaths and LMDs.  I will probably still read them, but they are getting a bit old.

Those five were about half an issue each.  The next ones were much shorter, and only ran a page or so.

Lockjaw (a recent muse of mine) goes through a tired gag where he tries to get people to help him dig up a bone.  Just plain lazy.

Howard the Duck (!) has a secret too.  It turns out he was born to be a genius, on a level with Reed Richards, but let it go to waste.  Thank goodness for that.  Otherwise, we wouldn’t have the Howard that I have grown to love.

J. Jonah Jameson tries to hide an old article he read.  An article about Spider-Man.  But this wasn’t the normal hate piece.  It was a glowing review for Spider-Man on television.

The last of these small bits had lots of panels, and lots of people.  Just talking head panels, but it worked well for this.  Each person said a secret they had.  Some were funny, others kind of dumb, but it ended the series nicely.

Overall, this was my favorite tie-in.  I didn’t like every part of each issue, but it was generally entertaining.  I think that this tie-in might be added to the collection, while the other 2 move to the boxes of comics to sell/get rid of.

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An Event in 4 Parts: Part 3, the Family Secret

By now, you may have seen two articles talking about the Marvel event, Original Sin.  This would be the third, and refers to the tie-in series, Original Sin 5.1-5 Thor and Loki: the Tenth Realm, which is even more of a mouthful than the last one was.  Like the Hulk vs Iron Man story, this story spins out of the events of Original Sin #3, where secrets are leaked to many people because of a Watcher eye exploding.  You would think, from the numbering of this, that it would start after issue 3, but that is not really the case.  Like the other series, this is an independent story, and it not closely tied to the main event book.

I’m not going to bother with any spoiler-free reviews, so read at your own risk.

#1 So I will start off by telling you that I had already heard what the big news was.  I think that a lot of people did too, especially those people who go to comic book websites, like yourself.  It was way back, at the end of Age of Ultron, that Angela first was seen in a Marvel comic.  Even then, I learned that she was meant to be a character who had been around the whole time.  I also heard that she was going to be grouped with Asgardians and even that she would be Thor’s sister.  I didn’t know much at all about Angela, besides the fact that Neil Gaiman had worked on her, and that she was in Spawn for a while.  Luckily, none of that matters, as Thor just sees that he has a sister, and so goes to his mom (where is Odin?) to ask about it.  She tells him the story of how long ago, Odin cast the tenth realm, the realm of angels, off of Yggdrasil.  Thor decides to investigate this and so finds Loki, a young form of him and the two set off.  It turns out that there is also a future version of Loki who is watching everything, just to add a layer of confusion in.

#2 Okay, so now I think that Angela has been in the MU for a while, as part of the Guardians of the Galaxy.  I don’t read that, so I don’t really know, but that is how it looks.  Issue 2 goes by quickly.  Loki and Thor make it to the tenth realm.  Thor hits on the angels they meet.  The angels attack Thor and Loki sneaks inside to make peace.  Angela appears at the end, ready to fight.  That’s it.  The whole issue comes down to nothing else.

#3 This one makes up for #2 a bit.  We learn Angela knows Stark (maybe from GotG?).  Loki is just talking as Thor is getting beaten up.  We get to see the back story of the angels.  Long ago, they helped protect early humans from the Asgardians, who loved to bully them.  It turns out that Odin had hired the angels to protect his people.  We later see Odin and the angelic leader arguing.  It appears that the angels betrayed them.  Odin mentions honor to the angel, who doesn’t care about that at all.  She says that it is nothing, and it is shown that the angels care more about riches.  Thor is almost killed by Angela, who stops at the request of Loki, (now a woman) who has joined the side of angels.

#4 Loki is known for his betrayals, and so it comes as no surprise that he was really on Thor’s side all along.  He helps Thor get free, and then runs off to the prison of the gods, where he frees Odin.  Odin was trapped there?  Apparently.  Thor, being free, calls down a storm upon the angels, which does some serious damage.  But then the story ends.

I don’t have #5.  I think it comes out next month, which is long after the main series has ended.  Again, it is not too important, as this does not directly tie into the event, but it is a bit of an odd schedule.  Will I get number 5?  Maybe.  I didn’t really get too into this story, so I could probably do without it.  We will see.

Overall: meh.  Maybe if I had not already heard the news about Angela, I would have found this to be more interesting.

An Event in 4 Parts: Part 2, the big fight

I’ve already talked about the main series, Original Sin.  However, spinning out of that came a few other comics, which I will talk about as well.  The first up to review is Original Sin 3.1-3.4 Hulk vs Iron Man.  What a mouthful of a title.  Anyways, this starts off in Original Sin #3, in which the Watcher’s eye explodes and gives people some secrets.  Hulk and Iron Man are two people who get such secrets.  Let’s change the format a bit though.  Here, I will put my spoiler-free review up first for those of you who want to see it.

The art in this series is decent.  Nothing that makes me too excited, but is consistently good nonetheless.  The writing is fine, but I do get a little tired of reading how different characters interacted with each other.  It just doesn’t make sense that every big event has to be connected to everyone else.  That being said, this one was done in a way that seemed close to being natural, which is always appreciated.  This series is not needed to understand the main event, and is only tied to it briefly by the fact that the secrets came out because of Uatu’s death.

#1 Tony and Bruce each get each others’ memories of a certain event.  A certain, gamma-bomb-test event.  You know the one.  Anyways, it turns out that way back then, Tony and Bruce were kind of buddies and scienced together on occasion.  But then came the day when Banner was presenting to the military about the bomb and Tony burst in.  Stark was drunk, of course, and ran his mouth off about how to make the bomb even more destructive, which was not Banner’s goal at all.  Not a big secret there, but the memory Banner got was a bit more alarming.  Stark had sneaked onto the site the night before the test and, drunk as can be, fiddled around with the bomb.  Does that mean that he is responsible for the Hulk?  Why not?  Marvel loves to tie character’s histories together.

#2  Both parties are now trying to investigate what really happened.  Bruce wants to know what Tony did, and Tony wants to know what he was doing, so drunk, so long ago.  Stark looks for clues at the motel where they had stayed before the test and we get a flashback of an argument.  Again, Tony is drunk, and this time, acts even more like an ass.  Banner realizes that the army probably paid Stark to do it, so he checks Pentagon files and sees that Stark was paid, half a million dollars and 2 bottles of scotch.  Now, here is where I realized that I don’t know enough about what is happening in Iron Man’s life theses days.  So there’s an Arno Stark?  And he runs Troy, which is a city Iron Man built off the coast of China?  Huh?  In any case, Banner tricks Arno into giving him an Extremis upgrade and now he is Smart Hulk (or, as he is commonly known, Professor Hulk).

#3 The real fight is itching to get underway.  Hulk is angry and does some smashing.  Stark sees this (from very far away) and runs like a coward.  He does manage to find an old phone (his first cell phone) which he had back then and is able to extract more data that helps his memories come back.  Hulk attacks him in Troy, smashing through the city.  Luckily, there is an evacuation plan for the people, who are encased in some sort of metallic shell which flies away.  I’m sure that’s not at all alarming to anyone.  I hope that people aren’t trapped without air or anything.  Where do the shells go?  Who knows.  Now that the city is empty, Iron Man brings out the hidden weapons, but they can’t stop the Hulk.  Instead, Hulk plays dumb and lures Iron Man in, just to get hit hard.  Iron Man does escape into the undercity, but we are left hanging, waiting for one more secret to come to light.

#4 Well here we start off seeing Iron Man captured and in a broken shell of armor, at the mercy of the Hulk.  They are both now at the test site, back in New Mexico.  Hulk is not Banner, but instead kind of seems like a big weirdo.  Iron Man manages to project something, a 3D schematic of some sort, which calms the Hulk down and Banner comes back out.  We get another flashback that shows that the change Stark had made to the bomb.  It turns out that the heat shields, the ones that Banner had wanted to make sure that it wasn’t too big of a blast, were actually going to make the explosion much bigger.  So instead of being the reason the bomb changed Banner to the Hulk, it ended up saving his life.  BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE! Tony had one more secret.  That night, so many years ago, he had sent Banner an email, telling him that the bomb could actually result in changing or mutating bio-matter.  Banner was too proud to look at the email though, and just deleted it.

Pride: it is a sin.  I found it interesting that they used one of the seven deadly sins in here.

An event in 4 parts: Part 1, the main event

So I just recently got a stack of comics from my local dealer that he had been saving up for me for the past half-year or so.  This weekend, I went down to see him and to pick up this hefty stack before it grew much larger.  As I went through the stack, I noticed that there were lots of Original Sin issues.  Not only was there the main series, but also 3 tie-in series, at least 1 of which I don’t recall ever ordering.  But that’s ok.

So, here I will present to you all four of the story lines, full of my opinions and also, spoilers.  I’m not that best at doing reviews that don’t have spoilers so I will experiment with the layout.  I will post this as four articles, over 4 (or so) days.  For those of you who don’t like spoilers, skip to the bottom of this post and you will see a general, overall review, without any spoilers.

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But here we start (SPOILERS included), with Original Sin (the main series, written by Jason Aaron with Mike Deodato doing art).  I was pretty excited for this one, as it was solicited to be an interesting murder mystery, and like my cohort, the Slim James, I do enjoy Uatu.  One thing I noticed in reading this very recent story is that I am a bit out of date with what is happening in the Marvel Universe.

There was actually an issue #0, which can add to the general story, but are often unnecessary.  This is one of those cases.  This story focuses on Sam Alexander, a young boy who is apparently the new Nova (where is the old one?) and his interactions with the MU.  We see him eager to show off to the Avengers and then ask the question, “Why does the Watcher watch?”  With Iron Man and Captain America unable to answer this, Sam actually visits Uatu at his home on the moon.  This is great because it does give us, the readers, a nice look inside Uatu’s home, which is full of interesting and dangerous things.  We are also given the back story of Uatu, and what happened when his father did interfere with a planet.  All around cool stuff.  Needed for the rest of the book?  Not really, but it does add some information that is at least interesting.

Now we actually will kick it off with #1.  Gotta say, I am a big fan of Deodato art, and I keep loving it here.  Uatu gets himself blown up pretty quickly here and the big idea of this issue seems to be introducing us to the teams that will be investigating the murder.  Nick Fury, Cap, Iron Man, Black Widow, and Wolverine are the crew that first finds the body.  Black Panther, Ant-Man (the Scott Lang one) and Emma Frost make another team, which is on their way to the center of the Earth.  Dr. Strange and the Punisher are together, going somewhere.  Moon Knight, (who is acting very out of character, IMO) and the Winter Soldier are out in space and meet up with Gamora.  Some glowing green bullet fragments are found in the Watcher (gamma? Banner?) and we also get an odd scene of a Mindless One going a little crazy and killing itself with the Ultimate Nullifier, a weapon stolen from the Watcher’s home.  It claimed to have “seen sin.”  At the end we see the villains in the shadows.  One woman looks familiar, and the guy holding the eye looks like it might be Nitro?

#2. Well it turns out I was wrong.  Not Nitro at all.  The white hair I thought I saw was really a cowl covering up the face of… The ORB!  “Who?” said everyone.  Well, this guy.

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Yeah, the guy with a giant eye for a head stole the eye of the Watcher.  We see him with some guy who looks like a mutated Thing.  No clue on that guy.  Meanwhile, Panther, Ant-Man, and Emma are in the earth and find a monster graveyard (cool).  Dr. Strange and Punisher, in some other dimension, find a dead monster with the green bullets embedded in it.  Fury finds another Mindless One going nuts.  And, in probably the best scene, we see Bruce Banner and Tony Stark doing some sciencing together, and Stark doesn’t even bother wearing pants for it.  Classic science bros.  Also, the bad girl is named Exterminatrix.  Because of course she is.

#3  So I had no information on the Orb, but in this issue, we do get to learn a bit about him.  Apparently he has the power to see things that others can’t.  Kind of vague, but an interesting power to explore further.  He also says that he steals peoples’ eyeballs and rolls around naked on them.  So… there’s that.  Have fun with that mental image.   The underground team finds that those monsters were all killed by the same green bullets.  The team out in space finds some floating bullet casings, and also an entire planet that has been killed. I don’t know which living planet it was, but I don’t think it was Ego or Id.  Back on Earth, there is an actual fight, in which the Watcher’s eye that the Orb has released all the secrets it was holding, which were only shown to people they affected.  We don’t get to see those secrets in this comic, but it is obvious that they play a big role in the tie-ins and other series.  The eye ends up with Fury.  We also got to find out that the Exterminatrix is Dr. Midas’s daughter.  (oh right, of course).  The end of this issue is the biggest shock.  The Winter Soldier abandons the rest of his team and blows up the space ship.  Moon Knight suspects him, but I thought he couldn’t be the killer.  Too obvious.  Then there is a page showing him finding Fury, and literally ripping Fury’s head off and taking the eye.

#4 The big thing to take away from this issue is that it appears no one liked Bucky.  It was four or five different characters who had that same reaction to learning what the Winter Soldier did last issue.  Kind of weird that everyone would say that, but it does make sense as to what happens much later.  Anyways, this issue seemed like filler to me, with nothing really happening until it’s found out that the dead Fury was really a LMD (well duh.  How many times does Fury die, only for it to be a LMD?)  It turns out that the real (?) Fury is actually an old man, and he ends up fighting the teams that have all come together.

#5 More flashbacks.  This time to 1938, where we get a look at Fury, and Howard Stark.  Fury comes across a man who controlled a secret base that protected the Earth from a wide array of threats.  That man dies, and Howard tries to get Fury to take his place.  It turns out that for years, Fury has had this second, secret job.  (How could he possible have fit everything in that he has done?)  We see him create the gamma bomb bullets and snipe aliens from space.  Did he kill the Watcher?  Not sure.  He did almost kill Spider-Man when he first started web slinging, but held off due to a “gut feeling.”  Still never quite figured out why he’s old.  Maybe an LMD had gotten the Infinity formula?

#6 No, I was wrong again.  Boy that’s happened a lot this series, which I like, because it does make it seem more like a mystery.  So the Infinity Formula in Fury is getting old and no longer works on him.  Instead he is aging very rapidly.  It turns out that he recruited all the team members as potential replacements to be “the man on the wall” and protect the Earth.  (which is very close to being part of The Wall in Game of Thrones)  Everything (the monster graveyard, bullet casings in space) was Fury.  (As an aside, Rocket Raccoon suddenly turns up with the teams in this issue, but I don’t understand how he got there, as I don’t recall him being in any previous issue)  The Orb gets tortured by Fury s the LMDs fight the other good guys.  The guy who looked like the Thing turned out to Dr. Midas (an interesting villain).  Cap, Iron Man, Wolverine, and Black Widow finally find out Fury was a LMD and, pissed off, they armor up and come to attack Fury, who has both Watcher eyes, and no need for a eye patch.

#7 This issue is split between a big fight and flashbacks.  We actually see the Orb and Exterminatrix breaking into Uatu’s place.  The Orb does shoot the Watcher, and steals one eye on his own.  We later see that Fury had the other eye all along.  The fight is okay, and we do see Fury use some trump cards.  He has an override code for Iron Man, that sends him far out of the fight.  He also whispers something to Thor, which causes him to be unable to lift his hammer.  Hulk manages to get taken down and out by the Orb.  Now, this right here seems very wrong.  This is the third time in the series that Hulk has gotten knocked out by a character that has no place doing so.  The end of the issue sees a ring of Watchers looking down at what is happening, doing what they do best.

#8 The final issue of this tale, where things get a little weirder.  Fury admits now to actually killing the Watcher.  He saw too much obviously, and Fury didn’t want him knowing the secrets.  I don’t buy it.  It seems forced and dumb.  I am not satisfied with the reasoning behind Fury killing Uatu.  I like the Watcher, and wish he had gotten a better death.  But anyways, this is the wrap-up issue, where we see the outcomes of things that have happened.  There is a big fight leading up to an explosion.  Exterminatrix steals a hand of Midas and goes back to Earth.  The Orb now has an eye of the Watcher embedded in his torso and is back on Earth watching a murder take place.  Bucky has taken Fury’s job as the man on the wall (probably due to the fact that no one liked him). Yes, Fury is dead, or is he really?  Apparently not, as we also see him taking on the role of the new Watcher?  Doesn’t that mean that Bucky will just end up killing him?  I don’t know.  I’m not sure I want to.

Overall thoughts (SPOILER-free zone):  I thought that the idea driving the story was a lot more interesting than it actually turned out to be.  I was impressed with the artwork, but beyond that, found little to really enjoy.  Some of the dialogue seemed forced and fake (see Moon Knight and the discussion about steaks).  Characters acted in ways that made no sense when compared to their history.  I was expecting more bad guys being a part of this story, in some way or another.  I don’t mind using a Z-List villain to be the overall bad guy, but I did think that Dr. Doom might be involved in some way when a Watcher is killed.  After all, he has killed one of his own.  Also, there were some inconsistencies.  Lastly, I was a bit disappointed that the fact that we didn’t actually learn any of the secrets that the Watcher was holding onto.  I know that those would be discussed in other series (including some to come on here), but some sort of explanation for Thor being unable to pick up his hammer would be appreciated.  The artwork was stellar though, so nothing negative to say about that.  It was dark and heavily shadowed, which made the settings seem to fit the murder mystery story that was struggling to be told.

Stop by next time when I look at the first mini-series that went along with it, Hulk vs Iron Man.

Some artwork to share out

So, it’s been a while since I did any real drawing.  I say “real drawing” because I have, of course, done some doodles over the years, but I have not just sat down with the idea of drawing in far too long.

So, last week, I forced myself to.  I made myself draw for about an hour a day.  I actually did more than that, but that had been my goal.  I did pencils and then inked them, as I love doing black and white art.  As the drawings were definitely comic book related, I present them to you, internet.

Punisher

Here is the Punisher, which was the first one I did.  I used an old Punisher video game ad as a guide.  Not that great, but okay for a warm up.

MODOK

Here was the next one.  M.O.D.O.K. (as if you didn’t know).  I don’t know why he has Norman Osborn hair, but I think it works alright.

Lockjaw

And the weirdest Inhuman, Lockjaw.  I am still mystified and confused by this character.  Was he a human who became a dog, or did the Inhumans put a pet through the Terrigen Mists?  Either way, here he is lifting a leg to pee all over something or other.

GLA

Finally, I did a team picture.  And of course, I did the most famous superhero team of all time, the GLA.  In case you didn’t know, I love the GLA.

Well, I hope you enjoyed taking a small look at some artwork.  Comments?  Criticisms?  Requests?  Let me know in the comments.

 

 

The Monday Morning Quarter-Bin: Monday Morning Master Mold (Pt 2)

Last time on the MMQB, I reviewed Uncanny X-Men 246, detailing how the previously anti-hero-inclined Nimrod touched a piece of the Master Mold and became a big giant amalgamated robot, facing off against the Ms. Marvel-uniform-clad Rogue, with Robert Kelly’s wife, Sharon, injured in the initial blast.

From Marvel.Wikia

First off, I love the magenta-hued cover, which plays off of what is to come in the issue, as well as Nimrod/Master Mold’s fuchsia-face. We open with a big ol’ splash page of Havok, Dazzler, and Storm blasting Master Mold. Excellent, this is comics. We get a POV from Master Mold, all digitized, telling us he is having trouble identifying the X-Men. Of note, we get forgettable X-Man Gateway telling Robert Kelly she can’t save his injured wife. I’m sure that’ll go over well with his anti-mutant agenda.

More battling with the giant Master Mold ensues, including a nice panel “looking through dust” at the encroaching robot. The X-Men think they have it beat with some good ol’ fashioned butt-whooping, but it couldn’t be that easy, right?

Cut to Jubilee (pre-90s Jubilee, so no April O’Neil jacket) in Dazzler’s Australian bungalow? I’m not sure, and I don’t feel like researching this plot thread.

The Master Mold reassembles! Drawing from the construction site where Nimrod touched to the piece of Master Mold, the big giant robot reconstitutes itself, bigger, stronger, and better able to adapt to the mutant powers of the X-Men. This cause Dazzler to be knocked into a hole, prompting the ever caring Rogue to remark “Can’t worry about her now, Spunky. Got probs of our own.”

Soon Colossus rips off one of Master Mold’s legs, but it does little, and he knocks Colossus out. Knowing a death knell is needed, Rogue absorbs Colussus’ power (just a bit) and we get this amazing image:

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A tri-amalgamation of Colossus, Rogue, and Ms. Marvel?! Absolutely!! Ms. Roguelossus flies up to space for an orbital fastball special, crashing down into Master Mold from on high (how she didn’t create such a shock as to collapse at least the surrounding city block is another of those comic physics mysteries).

Its severed head now down in the hole containing Dazzler, Dazz attempts to use the Siege Perilous on Moldy, but it takes Rogue with him! Somewhere in this, the anti-hero side of Nimrod takes over again, telling the Master Mold to destroy itself because it’s “mutated” by amalgamating with ‘Rod (Master Mold’s “Prime Directive”, kill all mutants, itself mutates to a Futurama-like “kill all humans” after it realizes humans are the progenitors of mutants, and because Mold itself has mutated, it must destroy itself as well).

Is Rogue still alive somewhere? How will Robert Kelly be affected by the death of his wife in a mutant-related skirmish? Who is this egg-person on the last page? Alas, I’ll probably dip out of the late 80s X-Men timestream for now, so those will have to wait for some other time.

Much like the last issue, this is a “buy it if you can find it cheap” recommend on my part. Big giant robots, stealing powers, and more big giant robots make this a fun issue to read, and the team of Claremont and Silvestri add a sense of credibility to what are ostensibly utterly ridiculous premises.

Giant Size Comic Things Nominated For Liebster Award!

Huge thanks to the crew at Bag and Bored for nominating us for the Liebster Award, an honor given to smaller sites/blogs with around 200 followers or less to help spread the awareness of sites that might be dipping too far under fan radar. We are humbled and excited about this, and we wish all the best of luck to the final winner of this community based award.

As part of this nomination I am to nominate 5 sites that I feel are more than worth a look, and they are to follow suit by not only nominating 5 of their own (separate from the one who nominated you) but also by answering the 11 questions given. I would like to nominate The Nerd Nebula, Kevin Reviews Uncanny X-Men, Geekritique, LFBR LLC, and GeekedOutMovies, all of which I consider friends of the site. Now, on to the questions!

(Answers provided by theslimjames)

Why did you decide to blog in the first place?
My friend, the admin of the site, Turner, was living in Abu Dhabi at the time and we figured this would be a way for us to stay connected over our shared love of geekery, especially Marvel related geekery. I already had theslimjames.com, but I was happy to do something more communal with my friends about a shared passion.

Name three of your pastimes or hobbies.
Collecting comics, especially older comics. I keep my head in the game in regards to new developments, etc, but with decades of back issues for me to swim in (Scrooge McDuck style), I end up pursuing older books over keeping up with newer ones. I recently finished a complete run of every Marvel What If? ever made, and I’m closing in on a complete set of Marvel Two-In-One, as well as the odd Silver Age pickup. Other hobbies include the What If Podcast I started with the crew of Giant Size Comic Things, and cooking/watching too many episodes of Food Network’s “Chopped”.

If you could interview anyone (dead or alive), who would it be and why?
George W. Bush, and I’d only have one question: “Really?”

Do you have any pets? If not, what would you consider getting?
I have a Husky/Corgi mix named Hermione, with a big fluffy neck, googly eyes, and stubby legs. She’s great.

What is your favorite movie and why?
It’s hard to decide, but with honorable mentions going to Monty Python’s Holy Grail and Spinal Tap, I think it has to be Wayne’s World. Even though it’s obviously dated, I can’t help going back and watching it, and continue to quote it forever.

What is your favorite video game and why?
I’m going to shatter my geek cred, but honestly, I’m not huge into video games. I checked out at the PS2, and honestly, my gut reaction is to say Sonic 2 because I can beat it with my eyes closed. However, the Konami X-Men arcade game (the “purple game”, in my mind) is like concentrated nostalgia for throwing in 3 bucks worth of quarters on a Friday night in dream machine.

What is your favorite comic book and why?
Spider-Man will always be my favorite hero, because some reprint of Amazing Spider-Man 45 is what got me into comics, and I’ve always kind of looked like Peter Parker. I have a bizarre fascination with Marvel’s What If series, with short, often ridiculous, stories crammed into one issue. It’s just pure comic fun, and they’re still technically releasing them (annually-ish), so it counts.

What is your favorite Youtube channel?
OSW Review HD, hands down the best wrestling video series on the web today (sorry Botchamania, but IC champ is still good, right?)

If you could cosplay as any character, who would it be and why?
Sticking with my fascination with Marvel’s What If, I’ll say “Venom-possessed Punisher”.

What is your favorite topic to write about?
Deconstruction of the superhero, and, oddly, Arthurian style fantasy.

What’s your favourite fandom?
Comic books, man. Always and forever.

The Monday Morning Quarter-Bin: Monday Morning Master Mold (Pt 1)

For some reason, I’ve always been a fan of the Sentinel overlord, Master Mold. Maybe it’s because he looks like a cross between Galactus and a Sentinel, or maybe it’s because he’s a walking factory that somehow produces raw materials to make Sentinels within his person, but the bigger, more menacing look of the monolithic Master Mold has always made me take pause and go, “Cool.” That being said, his first appearance is wrapped up with early Sentinel tales and in the early days of the silver age X-Men, so that’s out of my price range for the time being. However, I did track down a two issue story with him recently at the Boston Comic Con for a scant buck apiece.

From Marvel.Wikia

Uncanny X-Men #246 has a bold (inaccurate) color scheme for the Master Mold, looking something like a leftover redesign of Megatron or Iron Man. Written by Chris Claremont and drawn by Mark Silvestri, it opens with the Dazzler looking into the Siege Perilous  (ironic because the Boston Comic Con already introduced plenty of Dazzler into my life) and seeing her own death. We also see Nimrod acting as a sort of anti-hero(?) taking out some crack dealers (remember guys, this is the 80s), as well as Wolverine talking about going to do his own thing because that’s what Wolverine does about half of the time in team books.

Another key subplot to this is Rouge dealing with the inner struggle of the absorbed memories of Carol Danvers taking over her body from time to time, including a seemingly out of nowhere salute to veterans plopped into the middle of the book. Meanwhile, Senator Robert Kelly is making deals with Sebastian Shaw (the cad!) while his trampy wife plays provocateur.

To get back to the Master Mold portion of the story, Nicholas Hunter, the anti-hero Nimrod’s alter ego (something I never knew existed until this point in my life), is working at a construction site and accidentally touches a buried piece of the Master Mold, which is enough to cause him to revert to being full Sentinel and become some sort of Master Mold/Nimrod amalgamation, a super-Sentinel, if you would. We close with Master Mold looking giant size, Rogue rocking Carol Danvers’ Ms. Marvel outfit (the lightning bolt one), and Robert Kelly’s wife (Mitzy? Wait, Sharon, it’s Sharon) getting squashed in a limo.

This issue’s a nice setup to what’s to come. We get some characters moving forward (Wolverine), as well as some characters struggling (Dazzler, Longshot having a crisis of confidence, and Rouge wrestling with the specter of Carol Danvers). Throw in some big giant robot, and the character mash-ups of Master Mold/Nimrod and Rogue/Ms. Marvel (mash-ups are something I always like) and you get a solid issue. One last note, Mark Silvestri’s art in this is amazing. Not for any huge splash pages or “redefining the genre” or any somesuch, but for drawing realistic looking characters with realistic hair, in my opinion. With so much hair going on (remember guys, this is the 80s, so the volume’s turned up to 11), it helps you get invested in the characters when it seems like they could actually be real people (right down a quick reference to Wolverine starting to use hair gel). If you can find this one cheap, give it a read.

This is the first part of my multi-part look at Master Mold, in the same vein as my fascination with Venom 2099.