The Fantastic Four · TPB

The New Fantastic Four: Monsters Unleashed


Continuing my list of 90’s books, here’s The New Fantastic Four: Monsters Unleashed from 1991. Ironic that this book showed up in the mail for me the same week as the new Monsters Unleashed started at Marvel.

This one was actually quite good. A Skrull named DeLila comes to Earth and makes it look like the Fantastic Four are dead. She takes the form of Sue and recruits Spider-Man, The Hulk, Wolverine and Ghost Rider to find the FF’s killer. Of course she’s got ulterior motives.

This books spans three issues and in it we get to see more of the Skrull, the Mole Man and some mighty big monsters. Adams’ artwork is really great. And the writing is… mostly good. Some of the jokey writing falls a bit flat. But the story works out well.

I liked this one quite a bit. I didn’t read it as a kid, but it’s one that I would have loved back then I’m sure.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Universe #6


Hmm. Wasn’t really crazy about this issue. I guess I’m kind of confused about what’s going on with this series at all now. The first four issues were a cohesive story, and then it just stopped. Issue #5 was about Hobbe and Leatherhead and didn’t even feature the Turtles at all. So I figured it was just a weird one-off. Now this issue was just about Mikey battling Wyrm (a giant thing made out of a bunch of little worms…) with the help of a police officer he met in the sewer.

So is this a new series or not? I guess it’s just whatever it wants to be for now. Which is alright. But I didn’t love this issue. And I didn’t love the last one. It’s also always jarring to me when a series suddenly switches to a new artist. So there’s that here as well.

So I don’t know… I’d normally recommend this series. But not lately.

The Avengers

The Avengers #3.1


Man, I really feel like this is one of the best Marvel comics currently being put out. Maybe because I’m in my mid-30’s and this is a total nostalgia-bomb. But I totally love this series.

In this issue The Avengers go from being Cap’s new team of hated ex-criminals to being totally beloved by taking down The Thinker in a big city attack. But something’s not right. Suddenly patients in hospitals and retirement homes just start dying all at once. Something’s sucking the life right out of them.

This story is getting badass, and ends with one Avenger pretty seriously hurt. And if the preview cover for next month’s issue is any indication, this series is just going to keep getting more awesome and revisiting old faces.

#1 · Monsters Unleashed

Monsters Unleashed #1


I really wasn’t expecting much from this first issue, but y’know what? It’s fun!

I can’t say I disliked the first couple issues of Civil War II, but knowing most of what happens across the eight mainline issues, it started to feel like a prospective slog. And then Monsters Unleashed hit this week. And it’s the antithesis of Civil War II. It’s getting to see all these Marvel heroes TEAMING UP to fight some outsider monsters. Heck, it even feels like a lighter alternative to Inhumans Vs. X-Men (which I am enjoying!).

The story in this first issue is… well, somewhat goofy. But it’s monsters. What do you expect. I won’t ruin the ‘surprise’ of where they come from. But I will recommend it if you want some lighter fare versus of Marvel’s usual overly grand events.


Batman: The Man Who Laughs


My wife has actually been urging me to read this for months now. And since she finally started reading The Long Halloween, I figured it was only fair that I knock this one off of my backlog.

The Man Who Laughs was short, but damn good. It tells the story of Batman’s first run-in with The Joker, and does so quite well. In some ways it feels like a ret-conned prequel to The Killing Joke with the Red Hood talk and some other small details.

The artwork was great. The details were superb – especially of The Joker’s victims, such as the many corpses found in the beginning of the book.

Story-wise, I felt like it was a nice brisk intro to The Joker’s story. And I liked how at the end Batman had a chance to kill him, but didn’t. Of course part of the allure of The Joker is never really knowing which origin is really the real one. But no matter, this is an excellent story either way.

UPDATE: Actually, it turns out it was Lovers And Madmen that she really wanted me to read. So I read the wrong book. Haha.


Extraordinary X-Men #16


Man, I was getting so bored with all the Sapna stuff and limbo and everything. But I have to admit, this was a cool issue that tied up a lot of that stuff. And it (mostly) ended in a pretty definitive way which would maybe allude to the fact that upcoming issues should probably just be Inhumans Vs. X-Men tie-ins.

The art in this series has been consistent. And there was some very nice moments here – Magik finally confronting the possessed Sapna; Nightcrawler taking on Apocalypse.

So now I’m kind of torn. I was thinking I’d just read the Annual and then call it quits on this series for now, but I don’t know. Maybe I will stick with it after all. Maybe.

Civil War II

Civil War II #2


I’m still catching up on Civil War II, which I guess is kind of weird since I’m already reading Inhumans Vs. X-Men and many other series which are dealing with the outcome of this series. But oh well.

I also keep expecting this to get bad. I know it’s supposed to not be good. Maybe it’s not great. But it’s been interesting for these first two issues. That giant two page spread of The Hulk killing everyone… that’s good stuff. I could frame that.

I mean, I don’t love this. But I totally don’t hate it. Then again, I’ve still got six more issues to go for the main story. We’ll see how that goes.

#1 · G.I. Joe

G.I. Joe #1


I don’t know what’s gotten into me, but I’ve been really fascinated by this IDW Hasbro-verse stuff. I know I’ve only read two-fifths of the main Revolution story, so I probably shouldn’t be reading a  post-Revolution book already but I just couldn’t resist this new G.I. Joe series when I saw that #1 on it.

I loved G.I. Joe as a kid. Basically until Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles came out and I had a new obsession anyway. Considering the main series has been running in SOME way for on-and-off for like thirty years, it seemed a lot easier for me to jump on to this new series as part of IDW’s “Reconstruction” initiative which is basically a reboot of all of their series in this shared universe.

And I had a good time with this book. I sometimes felt the slightly anime-inspired art to be a little bit weird, but all in all I thought it looked pretty nice. I don’t fully understand everything happening (again, since I haven’t finished Revolution), but it seems like a nice start to a new series. Surprisingly, I think I’m gonna dig this one.


The Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #3


Issue #3 is another great example of why this series is so beloved already. In issue #1 we saw a story start to unfold from the perspective of Spider-Man; in issue #2 it was MJ’s take. Now we’re seeing how it happened to their daughter, Annie and then it all culminates in bringing the three together and leaving us with a “to be continued…” with the family as a team.

In giving us an issue each for all three characters, the series has started by making each feel personal and human to the reader. I love that. Instead of juggling all three in one book, we get to feel for each member of the family. This is truly great writing.

The art is also fantastic. And I love that they’re up against The Moleman of all foes. This is easily one of my favorite on-going series right now.