Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Nemesis Issues 1 & 2

Written by Mark Millar
Art by Steve McNiven
review by Dan Tres Omi

Some of you might be familiar with Mark Millar and Steve McNiven's work on Old Man Logan and Marvel's Civil War. Together these two bring classic material to the masses. You have seen Millar's work come to life in the already cult classic “Kick Ass.” Just when you thought Millar couldn't top his work, Millar along with McNiven give us Nemesis.

Nemesis is one of the illest supervillains since the Preacher's The Saint of Killers. He is filthy rich, ruthless, and calculating as they come. He doesn't bore his opponents with ill tales about his past or how he plans on destroying the world. If you are on his hit list, consider it a done deal. Nemesis travels the world killing off all of the top cops in a flamboyant fashion. As a matter of fact, he sends his enemies a postcard with the exact date of their assassination and Nemesis is never late.

When Nemesis finally touches down in the United States, he raises the stakes by kidnapping the president after sending Blake Morrow, Washington DC's super cop, his dread postcard. It seems as if Nemesis has bitten off more than he can chew when Morrow thwarts his plans and captures him.

Unlike Millar's “Wanted,” where Millar slowly put the story of the villain together and then began to build everything up to the climax, Nemesis comes crashing down on the reader. It is not until Issue 2 where we get a glimpse of Nemesis' origin. Millar works this well into the story line. Although, there are more explosions and bullets then a hollywood blockbuster movie, McNiven's art doesn't go overboard with the panels. McNiven's style does justice to Millar's work. In Issue #2, Millar slows it down and this is where McNiven shines. You can see the flaws on the faces of his subjects.

Nemesis is published by the Marvel imprint Icon. Instead of putting out Issue #3, Icon has reprinted a variant cover for Issue One. This really bought much head scratching to the fans of Millar and McNiven. Hopefully, Icon will publish the upcoming issues soon. In the meantime, copping Issues #1 and #2 is a must.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

DoomWar Issues 2 thru 6

Written by Jonathan Maberry
Penciled by Scott Eaton
Inks by Andy Lanning & Robert Campanella

Book Review by Dan Tres OMi

And the plot thickened. In Issue #2, the X-Men jump in to save Ororo. By Issue #3, the Desturi are defeated as Shuri kills off their leaders. Despite their efforts, Doom steals all of the Vibranium from Wakanda. One would ask, how? Well, the Panther God deems the good doctor worthy. While we may all think that Doom just wants to destroy the world, we find that this is not the case. Instead, Doom wants to make the world stronger to prevent it from collapsing due to conflicts between several nations. The Panther God as well as Doom, see him as the only one to pull it off. This part of the story alone makes for interesting debate.

Although Shuri and T'Challa regain control over Wakanda, they have no army but must wage a war against Doom and his Doombots. Doom is supported by none other than Walter Declun who was once CEO of Damage Control. Together they build huge armies of robots to safeguard the several deposits of vibranium throughout the world.

T'Challa enlists the Fantastic Four and later the War Machine to accompany the Dora Milaje to take out those Doombots. Doom, the ultimate chess master, outwits T'Challa everytime. That is when T'Challa realizes that the only way he can beat Doom is by unconventional means. He sends Deadpool to assassinate Doom. He also gets his tech geeks to hack into Declun's network and deplete Doom's funds. Then he creates a new mixture of Dark Alchemy and Quantum Physics called Shadow Physics (very interesting indeed).

By Issue #4, the reader will see so much happen very quickly. Issue #5 continues more of a build up. The long awaited issue #6 leaves much to be desired. Marvel should have added another issue since Maberry doesn't tie it all up. For example, the X Men are there and then they aren't. War Machine shows up and no explanation is given as to why. Shadow Physics, while it's the trump card, is only discussed in one issue. It sounds like I am nitpicking but many loose ends don't get resolved. In Issue #4, the artwork gets very sloppy. Very sloppy. One starts to wonder if Marvel changed the penciler and inker without telling us.

Overall, the story was very good. The resolution could have been better. We don't see Doom and T'Challa debate about the future of the world as foreseen by the Panther God. What I love the most is that this series ushers in a new age for Wakanda. Hopefully it is the beginning of a new golden age for the African nation. I also hope that Shuri remains the Black Panther and Marvel brings back Hudlin. This skinny Afro Latino kid can dream right?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The New Avengers: Luke Cage

Written by John Arcudi
Art by Pepe Larraz & Eric Canete
review by Dan Tres OMi

To be honest, I am really open with what Marvel has been doing with Luke Cage. Let's be honest, he was a fourth rate superhero based off of a stereotype (lawd, the yellow shirt and metal head band with black tights, wtf!). Making him a prominent member of The New Avengers was a dope idea. I really dug the Noir series done on Luke Cage. Cage was given greater roles to play in the Civil War and Dark Reign. If you haven't heard, Cage is now heading the New Avengers.

This three issue limited series finds Cage heading out to Philadelphia to help out a friend who has followed in his footsteps. He even encounters an old foe, Lionfang. While Cage has been spending his time fighting world class super villains and saving the earth from a Skrull invasion, he has neglected his roots. Although, his teammates urge him to stick around Cage heads to the city of Brotherly Love to help an old comrade.

Cage quickly realizes that he can easily just smash heads and beat up super powered bad guys all day. Yet as soon as he lives Philadelphia, his enemies would just come right back out. So he decides to use his brain over brawn. This makes for a great story as Cage demonstrates a great leadership ability to plan ahead. It works beautifully.

Larraz & Canete's artwork is superb. The devil is in the details. You will cringe during the painful parts and duck when Cage throws his opponents around. What I dig the most is the writing. As I have stated before, there was a time when I dislike Cage. From his costume to his speech, Marvel just bought a stereotype to life. You won't see Cage speaking in out dated slang.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Dark Avengers #16

Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Mike Deodato

Marvel had a great run with the Dark Avengers. With Norman Osborn/Iron Patriot at the head of the official Avengers as well as the Shield like H.A.M.M.E.R., one found several psychopaths and former villains as heads of management. Things seem to work well until Osborn began to make more enemies and slowly fall back to his old ways. Not to mention the fact that several members of the Dark Avengers such as Bullseye (acting as Hawkeye) and Daken (acting as his father Wolverine) began to make trouble of their own.

During the Siege of Asgard, many of the founding members of the Avengers, the New Avengers, and their affiliates banded together with the Asgardians to defeat Osborn, the Dark Avengers, and H.A.M.M.E.R. While the Siege event crossed over into several issues, Dark Avengers #16 focuses on the end of this super-villains acting as heroes team.

Although the final issue of Dark Avengers is short and should have been longer. The end is sweet as Osborn gets what's coming to him. Some of the Dark Avengers escape but most are imprisoned. Deodato's artwork is crisp and it is great to see him continue on the Secret Avengers series.

What's interesting is to see Steve Rogers admitting that Osborn made some sensible decisions. It's one of the reasons I enjoyed the Dark Avengers run. Osborn, who despite his shortcomings, really tries to fight against his Green Goblin persona. Osborn also believes that what he is doing is right for the country. Osborn succeeds in containing national security threats and keeping certain super-villains in check. However, Osborn's paranoia is difficult to overcome.