Marvel Comic Reviews

Future Foundation #1 -“The Club”

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And here it is… the debut of the Future Foundation. (and Spidey’s new suit) Although a good issue, there wasn’t much action, just a whole lot of setup. It takes place after the death of the Human Torch and the renaming of the Fantastic Four.

You get to see Spiderman suiting up with the Future Foundation and going on his first mission with them, which is quite brief and involves what seems like rogue AIM operatives attempting to free…. wait for it… the Wizard. Maybe we’ll get to see M.O.D.O.K in action in a future FF issue. But seriously, I’m all for jobber villains like the Wizard being used in comics now, because sometimes the writer can make them a legitimate threat.

The rest of the comics shows how everyone is dealing with Johnny Storm (aka The Human Torch) being dead and gone. Franklin Richards doesn’t want Spiderman sitting in Johnny’s chair at dinner, and Thing is blaming himself for the “matchstick’s” death, his brooding presence being felt throughout.

It was rather inspiring to see the family vibe throughout the Baxter Building in this issue since I haven’t read a Fantastic Four comic since Mark Waid was writing. Nathaniel Richards brings a lot to this family dynamic being a father to the father of the FF. He disagrees with Reed after everyone else agrees with him and shows that Mr. Fantastic isn’t infallible. The big surprise and probably the best part of the issue occurs at the end and the next issue’s title says it all.

Highlight between the asterisk’s to reveal the spoiler and who may very well play a part in the Future Foundation. –  *Doom Nation!*

Uncanny X-Force #5.1

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I was a huge fan of the concept for X-Force when it first hit the shelves. A covert team of the most dangerous X-mutants tasked with taking on the missions that deal with threats against homo superior, with no compunctions about killing. And by the way they are led by Wolverine, the most kill-tacular character in the Marvel universe. Nothing to not like about that if you’re an X-men fan.

Sadly I missed the first volume with the team consisting of Wolverine, X-23, Warpath and Wolfsbane along with Domino and Elixir joining later. It is now renamed Uncanny X-Force after the team was disbanded by Cyclops. But Wolverine and Archangel feel there is still unfinished business with the threats against mutantkind so they formed a new team consisting of themselves along with Fantomex, Psylocke and Deadpool.

With issue 5.1, a reader like me who missed all of the previous X-Force titles can jump right in with this issue and it didn’t disappoint. You are given a cut and dry plot and plenty of action. The issue takes place in Australia and involves Lady Deathstrike leading the cyborg Reavers on a mission against the X-men. Their plan is to use Gateway to gain access to Utopia, the X-men’s current residence, and cause mass bombing casualties.

The Reavers are morons who simply hate mutants and want to kill as many as they can with the attack, but Deathstrike only has plans of revenge against Wolverine. It was very interesting to see how Deathstrike is almost certain that Logan cannot be killed by her or the Reavers, but reasons that his honor can be wounded. With the destruction of Utopia, Wolverine would be dealt a very serious personal blow by one of his worst enemies. Unfortunately her use of the Reavers brings back unhappy memories of a past run in for Wolverine and Psylocke.

Long story short, chaos ensues with plenty of dead Reavers.

Age of X Alpha: (X-Men Legacy #245/New Mutants #22)

I bought this issue expecting another attempt at an Age of Apocalypse storyline, like the Return to Age of Apocalypse storyline that never even came close to being a fraction as good as it’s predecessor.

This is actually the opposite of the AoA though, where in this reality the mutants have been hunted nearly to extinction by the human race because there are no X-Men around to stop them or promote peace. The remaining mutants of course join together to survive under the leadership of Magneto.

The first issue is a prologue of sorts, titled Age of X: Alpha, where the mutants are shown at their base talking of how the humans came together after several events including one involving the Phoenix eating Albany. After it was signed into law that having the mutant gene was illegal, the Sapien League began rounding up mutants for execution, imprisonment and sterilization. Even people without the gene who gave birth to mutants are sterilized. AoX Alpha introduces us to several characters we know and love, but who now have a whole different background and even different X-names. You’ll find out why in Age of X chapter one that Wolverine can no longer use his claws or healing factor, and how Cyclops (who is now called Basilisk) escaped from Alcatraz prison.

In Age of X Chapter One (X-men Legacy #245) we are introduced to how the mutants under Magneto’s leadership survive against the humans in their stronghold called Fortress X. Throughout the issue we are introduced to many familiar faces that we have not seen in sometime in the current series and some of the more familiar are already dead at this point. It’s definitely different seeing some of the relationships in this alternate reality. Scott Summers is shacked up with the Acolyte Joanna Cargill, and Storm wearing very little clothing is with Namor. After the action at the beginning and a little dragging in the middle the story begins to get a little interesting again when Kitty Pryde shows up unannounced and Magneto imprisons her until they can figure out why she sneaked into their fortress. Rogue, now called Legacy, finds a camera that Kitty tried to hide before being detained and mysteriously attempts to find out what is on it on her own without telling anyone.

Chapter 2 of the Age of X (New Mutants #22) follows this mystery without revealing anything and actually raising more questions as Rogue is now on the run from her comrades for breaking protocol. What has seized her to make her want to figure the Kitty Pryde situation out on her own and what part does (highlight between asterisks to read spoiler) *Charles Xavier* have to play in all of this?

I hope to find out in the next two parts of Age of X arriving in X-men Legacy #246 and New Mutants #23.

Fear Itself Prologue: Book of the Skull

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Book of the Skull sets things up nicely for the upcoming Marvel event: Fear Itself. It starts off with the daughter of the Red Skull, Sin (who is uglier than her dad.) and Baron Zemo making their way to an old base of the Red Skull where Sin seeks a book containing spells and the cover made from dead Atlantean flesh. Upon finding it, she describes it to Zemo as “the Red Skull’s greatest failure.”

Flash back to Germay in 1942, The Red Skull oversees his minions performing a sacrifice of several Atlanteans to an unidentified god or gods. Something is seen riding a bolt of lightning across the landscape and the Skull and his cronies follow it, with Captain America, Bucky and Namor hot on his trail.

The Red Skull and his men end their search in Antarctica, standing over what fell from the skies but never saying exactly what it is. That’s when Cap and company show up to give ’em a fight. Not only do they fight some Nazi scum, but what appears to be a frost giant as well. (You’ll never guess who puts the giant out of commission.) In the end the Red Skull gets away and orders his men to build a fortress around the “thing” that fell to Earth since no one can lift it. This thing is revealed to be a hammer in the end. A very Thor-like hammer indeed…

This hammer is only one of many that will fall to Earth to be recovered by what Fear Itself writer Matt Fraction calls “The Worthy”. According to Fraction the God of Fear might also be called the Serpent and the Worthy are the Serpents avatars of rage and destruction on Earth. Certain characters will be drawn to these hammers and from the looks of the preview in one comic I read today Juggernaut and Hulk may be among them. Not good for the heroes! Can’t wait until Fear Itself kicks off! Overall a fun comic to read and great lead up to the big arc.

Venom #1

This comic kicked some ass. It’s refreshing to see the Venom symbiote get used differently than another supervillain bonding with it. The U.S. government using it on a covert agent during special missions is just plain brilliant. And the suit looked real spiffy. I definitely haven’t seen Flash Thompson in a comic book in a long time and had no idea about his legs being lost while serving in the military. As Venom he is given a second chance to serve his country because the symbiote can create legs for while he is bonded to it.

There is a catch though, Flash can only be in the suit for a total of 48 hours before the symbiote bonds to him permanently. In that situation the overseers of the mission have a kill switch standing by to terminate Flash if that occurs. Since the suit feeds on anger and aggression also, if Flash loses control at any time the suit could take over in which case the overseers of the mission will use the kill switch. Very cool in my opinion.

The storyline of this issue in a nut shell is as follows; there is a scientist selling weaponized Antarctic Vibranium to the highest bidders. The U.S. believes that will destabilize the whole world, so they send Flash/Venom in to apprehend the doctor, while the Jack O’ Lantern is also working for someone to capture the scientist for their own ends. Even though it was a great issue, the Jack O’ Lantern was ridiculous looking, using a rocket broomstick to fly around. Let those words sink in… Rocket. Broomstick. Regardless, I will be picking up the next issue to see where they take the concept.

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