Sunday, November 9, 2014

Current Events in Marvel

Greetings, citizens! The other day I reached a milestone: 500 views on my blog! I was so pleased, I wanted to do something special. So, I figured why not talk about something that's not at least a year old? There are 3 events that have recently happened/are currently happening in the Marvel Universe that I feel compelled to talk about.

Death of Wolverine
As with a lot of comic book news, I first heard about this from Gutters. In May of 2013, it was announced that there was going to be a storyline about Wolverine called "Killable." This is the first inkling I’d heard about them exploring the idea of killing Wolverine. What actually came out of that storyline was Wolverine losing his healing factor, and everyone in the Marvel Universe treating him like he was made of really cheap glass. About a year after Killable was announced, another story was announced: “Wolverine: 3 Months to Die.” This pretty much confirmed what a lot of people had been suspecting. And then they announced ANOTHER story called “Death of Wolverine.” Death of Wolverine has recently finished… sort of. They’re doing a lot of follow-up stuff, like people dealing with his death and stuff, all of which has the Death of Wolverine logo plastered onto the front. So roughly a year and a half of buildup to this event, that’s an awful lot of time to build tension and anticipation towards the climax.

All of which I feel was squandered. I don’t really want to do an in-depth analysis of the issues themselves, because I really didn’t think too much of them. They’re not bad, but they don’t really stand out either. The ending scenes were just sort of there. I’ll admit, I hadn’t been following Wolverine very closely up until this point, so I wasn’t as emotionally invested in this as I could have been. However, it’s something that they could’ve done better. One of my big problems is that everyone knew Wolverine was going to die. The series was called “Death of Wolverine,” the only way they could’ve actually surprised anyone is by not killing him, and then people would’ve felt cheated. Death only has weight if there’s drama to it, and nothing kills drama like spoilers.

Likewise, death doesn’t have any sort of weight if it’s something that doesn’t stick. It’s become a joke how cheap death in comics is these days. Pretty much every major hero and many supervillains have shuffled off the mortal coil, and then shuffled right on back. Sure, sometimes it takes a few years, but most still return. In one of the most recent issues of Nightcrawler, Nightcrawler is mourning the death of Logan because they were close friends. It was a really well written and touching memorial. Ruined by the fact that Nightcrawler recently came back from the dead! He damn well knows that it’s possible for Logan to come back, he has other friends who have come back! And even if he doesn’t, he knows Logan is in a better place because he was in freaking heaven himself like 3 months ago! Did the higher ups at Marvel really think people would care about this?

Axis… what to say about Axis? Well, in contrast to Death of Wolverine, I hadn’t heard of Axis before it started. I saw it before I heard anything about it. It looked kinda interesting at first, partly because Red Skull was involved, and I hadn’t seen him doing anything in awhile. Last I had heard, he’d stolen Professor X’s brain and was trying to gain his telepathic powers from it, which I thought was incredibly stupid. Turns out I was right, and should’ve avoided the series, because Red Skull gaining telepathy was just the tip of the iceberg.

There was a lot of stuff that was building up before Axis started, and the first issue does give a helpful recap. So, okay, two years ago in our time, the Phoenix Force returned, possessed 5 mutants including Cyclops, who blew Professor X’s head off, allowing Red Skull to get his brain. One would think that Cyclops’ eye beams would’ve destroyed the brain, but I guess the plot convenience fairy shielded it. Anyway, Red Skull gets psychic powers and decides to do some of that genocide stuff Nazis are famous for, attempting to wipe out all mutants. He creates camps to keep the mutants in, and some of the high-profile mutants of the world get captured, including Havok, Rogue and Scarlet Witch. They manage to free themselves, and also Magneto. Magneto attempts to kill Red Skull, but… something happens? I don’t know what exactly. I tried reading about it, but my brain refused to process the stupidity of it. The end result is that Red Skull becomes Onslaught! Except he’s also Red Skull still, so he’s called Red Onslaught. If you’re not familiar with Onslaught, I suggest looking him up, because I can’t explain it. It’s contrived and stupid. Much like this, though this seems moreso.

So, the premise is that Red Skull has become a re-incarnation of a moronic and contrived character, in an idiotic way. After doing so, he starts sending out hateful thoughts to the entire planet, causing havoc. Don’t laugh, I’m being serious. I really wish I wasn’t though. This sounds like something from either the Care Bears, or a Silver Age story. Oh, and in addition to being an ultra-powerful being in his own right, he’s got some Sentinels that were designed by Tony Stark back during the Civil War thing to contain any superheroes. While the various heroes get their asses kicked, Magneto decided to go out and get some villains to help deal with this. Because of course, Tony was stupid enough to not include info for dealing with villains in the Sentinel’s databanks. Yeah, that sounds like an oversight that a super genius who routinely deals with super villains would make. Totally.

Oh, and let’s circle back to the villains that were involved in the fight for a moment. Dr. Doom I can understand throwing down with the others, it’s his planet to conquer, no one else’s. Sabretooth and Mystique are also there, which I can see given their past history with Magneto. Plus their asses are on the line, since Skull was trying to wipe out all mutants. Hobgoblin, Deadpool and Jack O’Lantern are all there too, which I can see since they’re mercenary types. But then we have Loki and Enchantress. First, how did Magneto get a hold of them? Does he have a little black book with a bunch of villain’s numbers in it, so he can call them up for villain luncheons? Second, why do either one of them agree to help? I may be mistaken, but don’t they not give a damn about Midgard? Seriously, what’s in it for them, what is their motivation for helping? Finally, we have Carnage. Carnage. Why is Carnage there!? He cares about one thing: causing carnage! His name is not some sort of ironic moniker! Even during the fight, all he talks about is wanting to murder people! Why is he here!? And again, how did Magneto get a hold of him? He wouldn’t even want to go to the luncheons!

I really, really wanted to stop reading this after issue three, because of how incredibly stupid that one ended. But because I am apparently a masochist, I also read issue four. Issue four mitigated some of the utter stupidity of issue three, but then it introduced all kinds of new idiocy. So, Red Skull was defeated by a spell that theoretically brought the remaining vestiges of Charles Xavier from within the Red Skull to the forefront, putting Xavier in control. I say in theory, because he’s been unconscious. The X-Men were insisting that they take the unconscious Skull back to the school in order to recuperate. Captain America (the former Falcon, for those who don’t know) insisted the Avengers take him, because they wanted to be cautious. It ended up in a big argument between the Avengers and X-Men, and I was groaning about how dumb it is that we were back to the whole AvX thing from two years ago. But no, it wasn’t just an incredibly stupid argument that made no damn sense. Given how all of the characters in issue four were acting, there is clearly something causing everyone to act like a goddamn selfish idiot. Oh, and also made Tony Stark have some booze for the first time in decades. So, yeah, stupidity is a plot point, instead of a plot hole. It’s actually not a terrible idea, if executed well. However, issue four also introduces a “new character.” At one point, Thor and Luke Cage attack Hulk, because Hulk was the only one not being an idiot. This makes Hulk really sad. So sad, he transforms and becomes Kluh, “the Hulk’s Hulk.” And then I just stopped caring entirely about this series. This was the last stupid contrivance I could take. I am very glad a friend of mine loaned me these comics, instead of having to spend any money on them.

Finally, we come to the Edge of the Spider-verse/The Spider-verse. This one is kinda difficult to talk about, partly because much of what we’ve seen so far of it is non-linear, and partly because it touches on things from Superior Spider-Man I haven’t gotten to yet. So, if you care, SPOILER WARNING.

Extradimensional vampires are trying to kill all the Spider-Peeps, because Peter’s a moron.

Oh, you probably want more explanation than that huh? Fine…

The extradimensional vampires are a family called the Inheritors. Among them is Morlun, a villain that Spidey has faced before. They feed on the life energy of others, meaning they’re White Court vampires. They get more power from feeding from totems though, which I guess means people with powers based on an animal’s (they don’t really make it clear). They’ve decided it’s time to start hunting down and devouring all the spider totems, meaning all the different reality versions of Spider-Man. Why? Well, like I said, Peter’s a moron. In a tie in with this year’s big crossover event, Original Sin, Peter found out that someone else was bitten by the spider that gave him his powers, a woman named Cindy Moon. He rushes off to see her, since she’s been locked in a bunker more or less since she was bitten, and Peter wants to free her. He gets there, and starts talking to Cindy before he opens the bunker, but she says she wants to stay inside. Cindy tells Peter that if she leaves the bunker, Morlun will come. Pete tells her that Morlun’s dead, and so she agrees to come out. Once she’s out, Pete tells her that Morlun’s actually died twice. This is what I meant about Pete being an idiot. If you have to kill someone more than once, you should be wary about them coming back in the future. But nope, Pete just bungles along, not giving any forethought to the consequences of his actions. So yeah, that’s what kicks off this whole shebang.

But this isn’t just about Peter and Cindy, oh no. We’ve got other Spiders involved in all of this, starting with my favorite, the Superior Spider-Man! They went ahead and actually did two new issues of Superior after the final issue, which served as the true start to the Edge of the Spider-verse. These issues were set during Ock’s seemingly brief jaunt to the year 2099 in issue #19. Ock manages to gather the necessary materials to build a time portal, but when he tries it out, he finds he is sent to a parallel universe instead. Though he’s only in the alternate universe for a moment, he finds that universe’s Spider-Man dead. So, he goes back to the portal and tries again. This happens several more times, each time finding a Spider-Corpse in each universe. Finally, he manages to make a jump and catch the killer of Spider-Men before he kills another one. He takes this Spider-Man back to 2099, where we see that he’s not the first Spider-Man that Ock saved. Ock’s decided to start building a Spider army, which makes a certain amount of sense, since there’s safety in numbers and all, and it’s also just really cool.

Ock’s not the only one aware of all that’s going on though. Spider-UK, member of the Captain Britain Corps and Spider-Man of Earth-833 is also aware, thanks to the resources of the Corps. He was tasked by Magda to try and solve this problem. This is especially cool to me, because he’s a combination of two of my favorite Marvel superheroes. Really, the best thing about the arc are the Spiders. We get to see some Spiders that we’ve seen before, in addition to some neat new ones. I don’t want to get too into them, but I’ll list the most noteworthy ones below.

Spider-Man Noir: A returning Spider, this is an alternate version of Peter from the 1930’s. His powers are similar to regular Pete’s, but he has natural webbing, and also uses a gun.

Spider-Gwen: The breakout new character of the series, she’s Gwen Stacy from another universe where she was bitten by the spider. Peter instead became the Lizard, but she wasn’t able to save him and was blamed for his death. She’s a wanted criminal in her world, but still fights the good fight.

Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham!: Another Spider that’s been featured before. He’s a cartoon pig with spider powers. There’s not much else to say about him.

SP//dr: SP//dr is sort of difficult to explain. SP//dr itself seems to be an actual spider that forms a bond with a host. The host then uses a mech suit to battle supervillains. The current host for SP//dr is a young girl named Peni, who’s the daughter of the previous host. The issue featuring SP//dr was actually written by the musician Gerard Way, who I’m a minor fan of, so it’s neat to read something written by him.

Mayday Parker, Spider-Girl: Mayday is the daughter of Peter and Mary Jane from a universe where One More Day never happened. I’m not super familiar with her, but I know she’s been seen before. Also, One More Day was dumb.

So, that’s some of what’s been going on in the Marvel Universe over the past couple months! Some of it good, some of it bad, but hey, that’s how things go. Of these, the only one I really recommend checking out is Spider-verse. The first issue of the event itself comes out this Wednesday, so it’s an ideal opportunity to check it out!

Thank you all so much for checking out my little comic blog! Check back on Thursday for the regular update for more about Superior Spider-Man!


  1. Out of curiosity, what you think of Spier-Verse now it is over? Also, yes. AXIS is utter garbage. And if they wanted to do a Hulk's Hulk, why not use Devil Hulk? That would have been awesome.

    1. I enjoyed the Spider-Verse. It was a lot of fun seeing all the different Spider-Men and Spider-Women. My only real complaint is that it felt like a third of each Amazing Spider-Man issue was devoted to plugging the books tied to the event.

    2. I agree, especially when a major plot point is taken care of in a tie-in with no explanation of it in the main book. Especially since it is a pretty important part of the story. I don't want to spoil anything in case either there are readers who haven't checked Spider-Verse yet.

      Also, the last part kind of just rushed things and is just one big action sequence. Still good, but I would have liked more stuff dealing with the Spider-Characters. Wonder what the announced Spider-Verse series that ties into Secret Wars will be about. Sounds interesting. Oh, and do you take inspirations from Linkara, because every time I read your reviews, I hear his voice.

    3. I agree, I thought that the end of Spider-Verse could have been better. I would've preferred seeing something where they had to figure out a plan using what all the various different Spiders could bring to the table.

      Linkara is indeed who inspired me to start doing this. That and a strong urge to talk about comics and a lack of friends who want to join in on the discussion.

    4. Huh, I have the same problem with the last part. Also, how do you manage to scan the comics so they can be put into your reviews. They don't seem to be images taken off the internet. Or are you just that good at finding the right page and right panel?

    5. The Spider-Man comics are all screenshots taken from the digital versions, which I received from buying the physical ones.

      It's a neat thing that Marvel decided to do with some of their books. Though I'm pretty sure they used that as the justification for raising the price on the books by $1.