Showing posts with label Wolverine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wolverine. Show all posts

Old Man Logan #2 review

Old Man Logan #2

By now it should come as no surprise that any comic with visuals by artist Andrea Sorrentino and colorist Marcelo Maiolo is going to amaze your eyes. So, you can bet the duo once again delivers some gorgeous and stunning work in the second issue of writer Brian Michael Bendis' Old Man Logan. The page layouts and angles in the panels capture each moment brilliantly, making these feel delightfully cinematic and the pages breathe so much life into the various heroes and villains. Whether it's a lush jungle or a vivid bolt of lightning, these two make all of the characters, locations, and effects look terrific. Seeing their take on some of my favorite alternate universe characters is a real treat and the visual ride never fails to impress, but it's the last page that'll really drop your jaw.

The first issue was paced well and it did a nice job catching up new readers while also offering something original, but this second chapter feels a little too fast-paced. Before we really have time to appreciate all that's going on or let it sink in just how emotional this must be for Logan, we're quickly thrown into more and more chaos, and a bit of the buildup felt like unnecessary exposition since much of it is covered in the recap. I also have some small criticisms/questions about the wall (how is climbing it impossible with so many powered people?) and why AoA Sabretooth is now evil (I guess I missed/forgot about him becoming a villain?), but those are minor and don't change the score. Despite that, Bendis' script is still thoroughly entertaining and one or two lines gave me a good laugh. The idea of seeing Old Man Logan interact with other alternate Marvel heroes and villains is promising and has plenty of potential, but I hope the book never loses sight of making sure it remains character-driven and keeps us emotionally connected to this older, grumpier version of Wolverine. Millar and McNiven's Old Man Logan isn't just great because of the interesting alternate universe it creates; it's also great because of Wolverine's emotionally compelling journey

So far, Bendis is doing a pretty good job making sure we continue to get a nice amount of insight into Logan and there hasn't been a dull moment yet; I just hope things slow down a wee bit so we can get a better handle on the bigger picture as well. Whether the story gets better, stays the same, or takes a downward spiral, at least we know the artwork is going to continue to be awesome. Thankfully for us, it looks like Old Man Logan's second adventure is in good hands.

4/5

Old Man Logan #1 review

There are many great Wolverine stories and writer Mark Millar and artist Steve McNiven's Old Man Logan is absolutely one of them. Despite this new follow-up having the brilliant art team of Andrea Sorrentino and Marcelo Maiolo, it's easy to go into this one with a bit of skepticism. While McNiven's artwork in the original arc was nothing short of stunning, it just wouldn't be as good without Millar's compelling, emotional, and interesting story. Now, Brian Michael Bendis has the difficult task of writing the next chapter in Old Man Logan's life. No pressure, right? Thankfully, he's off to a terrific start and, as totally expected, artist Sorrentino and colorist Maiolo's pages are absolutely breathtaking.
First and foremost, there's no reason to worry if you're not caught up with all that's going on in the Marvel Universe or if you haven't read Millar and McNiven's story. The very first page has an adequate recap of what Secret Wars is all about, as well as a brief and efficient summary of Old Man Logan's tale. Because of the intro page, Bendis is thankfully able to limit the amount of exposition we encounter in this debut issue, and that's a huge plus because Old Man Logan's world is so vast. In the wrong hands, a writer runs this risk of feeling the need to explain everything the reader witnesses in this striking world. But in this case, Bendis does a solid job throwing us into this setting and makes sure the way we learn about this world feels natural and not like it's just infodump after infodump. Whether you're a new reader or a fan of the previous story arc, you're going to get a proper understanding of just how twisted this place has become. He doesn't explore too much of it, but it's just enough to leave us wanting more. And the cliffhanger? It has a ton of potential. Now we just have to wait and see where the writer goes with it. That said, I really, really hope we're not going to spend a majority of time away from this world Millar and McNiven crafted. I can understand the desire not to do "more of the same," but there's still so much to explore and reveal. This is his chance to be creative and add so much more to this place. Here's hoping he does that instead of mostly focusing on crossing over with another Battleworld location.

In addition to this being a story anyone can jump into and enjoy, the handling of Wolverine is great. You can tell the man he once was is still present - the good guy who will fight against all odds to do the right thing - but you can also see just how much this bleak alternate universe has molded him. He's much more violent, harsh, and at times, appropriately coldhearted. It's clear this is a legitimately good and kind person who has been enduring in a vicious and evil place. You'll still root for him, but you can tell this Logan has become far more inclined to let loose and take down any obstacle with some fatal stabs.

Sorrentino's art and Maiolo's colors are incredible. These pages do an amazing job capturing both the beauty and savagery of Old Man Logan's world. One landscape was legitimately gorgeous and it made me drop my jaw. This may be a bloody and dark book, but these two do exceptional work making sure it's also full of beautiful settings and the characters are full of emotion. As for the action, it's phenomenal stuff. Sorrentino's able to put so much intensity into these pages and there's one panel of a truly engaged Wolverine that left me speechless. I simply had to just stare at it and take in just how insanely well this chaotic moment was brought to life. The several close-ups pull you right into the frenzy and allow you to appreciate the brutal and fast-paced nature of the fight. Also, I won't spoil who the scene involves, but there's an entire page from one character's perspective, and the way they reveal who it is and handle how it plays out is especially creative. 

Once again, Maiolo does tremendous work enhancing Sorrentino's artwork with his colors. His tactic of going heavy with white and shades of red during more dramatic scenes still amazes and it brings the moments to a whole other level. No matter what Bendis puts in the script, these two do an exceptional job giving the scene so much depth and they always find new ways to impress our eyes. My only minor criticism of the artwork is that Wolverine's claws occasionally appear to be a little too long. I've always been under the impression they're a foot, but when he's stabbing some people, they appear to go beyond that length. Still, it's a really minor criticism and that didn't take away from just how excellent these panels were.

Old Man Logan #1 is $4.99 and it's worth every single penny. Sorrentino and Maiolo's work is truly phenomenal - any fan of theirs would expect no less from them at this point - and Bendis made sure this issue is exciting yet also informative. It tells us everything we need to know about what makes this version of Wolverine different, reveals just how twisted the world around him has become, and takes some simple yet promising steps towards building a bigger story. A new Old Man Logan comic has finally arrived and it was most definitely worth the wait. Do the smart thing and add this to your pull list.

4.5/5

Captain America: Civil War - The Best Crossbones Battles

Captain America: The Winter Soldier marked the debut of Brock Rumlow, a.k.a. Crossbones, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Actor Frank Grillo said the sequel was an origin story for his evil character, and recent photos taken from the set of the third Captain America movie, Captain America: Civil War, show the dude is back with a brand new look and he's ready to punch Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America, square in the face. The villain's new design puts an emphasis on armor and gives him gauntlets, a decision that makes perfect sense since the MCU's Captain America is a physical beast and it would be tough for any regular human to challenge him without sporting some extra gear. Still, the 616 version of Crossbones, a.k.a. the one existing in the regular Marvel Universe (well, pre-Secret Wars), is just a human who happened to train quite a lot and has an especially high level of pain tolerance. All you really need to know about his back story is that he's a total scumbag who eventually began to follow Red Skull and he even taught people how to fight at Taskmaster's school.

At one point Crossbones inhaled some Terrigan Mist and that temporarily gave him the ability to fire deadly blasts from his face, but aside from that short peroid of time, he's simply a deadly human who happens to be quite tough and very, very good at fighting. It really is a shame he and Punisher never had a big conflict. They did encounter in Punisher's recent run, but Brock was just a small part of a much, much bigger story. Anyway, you're here to see some of Crossbones' best fights, so let's get to it!

vs. Bullseye in Captain America #377
Who would win in a fight between Red Skull's right-hand man and Kingpin's top assassin? Both are badass villains with a love for shooting, punching, and stabbing things, but what happens when the two clash? The Daredevil villain is more accurate, but he has quite an ego. Crossbones is the more brutal one, but he's not as inventive with projectiles. Well, the two finally met in Captain America #377 and it didn't go too well for Bullseye.

Thanks to overestimating his own abilities and underestimating Crossbones' capabilities (Lester figured Brock was slow and unintelligent), the Cap fiend was able to close the gap between the two and put a serious hurting on the accurate assassin. Crossbones' own arrogance plays a bit of a role as well, because when he does get his hands around Lester's throat, Crossbones states it would be easy for him to end things right there. But instead of eliminating Bullseye swiftly, he wants to make his target suffer a slow and painful demise. You know, because he's kind like that. This delay gives Bullseye the chance he needs to spit a fake tooth in Brock's eye, stab him in the bicep, and the make a run for it.

Maybe a second encounter between the two would be more balanced, but thanks to Bullseye's arrogance, Crossbones was able to temporarily humiliate the Man Without Fear's lethal and incredibly dangerous villain.

vs. Captain America (Bucky) in Captain America #36
First and foremost, you need to understand there's some important context here. This match begins with Brock shooting Bucky in the back (he's wearing bulletproof armor, but it still hurts), so the fight starts with Brock having an unfair advantage. From there, we see Bucky give it everything he's got in the harsh melee fight, but unlike their previous encounters, Brock is able to take the hits and send some very painful ones back at the good guy.

In the end, Crossbones winds up throwing the new Captain America out of a window, but thanks to Black Widow and her flying car, Bucky doesn't fall to his death. He actually ends up shoots Crossbones in the chest several times when the enemy takes a look out the widow to see what happened. Crossbones of course lives to see another day, but that defeat has got to hurt his ego.

Even though Brock has given Steve Rogers rough fights, he's had some pretty unlucky encounters against Bucky. From hitting his head against a hard corner to getting knocked out with one hell of a blow, Bucky appears to be Crossbones' kryptonite. This is the one time it wasn't a pretty embarrassing display for him.

vs. Daredevil in Captain America #376
In Captain America's Streets of Poison story, Matt Murdock, a.k.a. Daredevil, is having a really terrible time. Firstly, his radar sense isn't even at 100%, so that alone is throwing off his game. Secondly, he's beaten up by a pissed off Captain America. Thirdly, he's forced to fight Crossbones shortly after getting wrecked by Steve -so that means he isn't in top form - and to make matters even worse, Daredevil leaps into action to save his archenemy, Wilson Fisk, a.k.a. Kingpin, from Crossbones.

Wilson Fisk is able to casually stroll away from the scene, but the encounter doesn't go well for the agile hero. It isn't long before Murdock finds himself on the floor and in even more pain. Luckily for him, he's able to escape the situation as Brock attempts to see if he can find Fisk. Brock has no such luck and returns to the room only to find out that Daredevil has fled the scene, too. Crossbones may have not killed either of the people he wanted to, but he certainly gets an A for effort.

vs. Prison facility guards in Captain America #600
Even a terribly despicable man can fall in love and have that passion totally overwhelm his heart. While Crossbones is being held in a H.A.M.M.E.R. facility, the inamtes are allowed to watch television. It just so happens to be the anniversary of the "death" of Captain America, and Brock laughs at just how little the media knows about what truly happened on that day. One especially patriotic guard doesn't take Brock's laughter over the loss of Cap very lightly and proceeds to taser the villain in the back. The guard then threatens to put the bad guy in an infirmary bed "near his girlfriend." Telling Brock that the women he loves is being held in the same facility he's in? Probably not the best idea.

Many of us would do anything for love, and for Brock, that means obliterate every single guard in his way until he finds his lover, Sin, in the infirmary. From snapping necks to simply plowing through enemies, the mercenary is eventually able to find the woman he loves. The two share a kiss before they're both taken out with gas. How romantic, right?

vs. Wolverine in Fear Itself: The Fearless #7
Let's get one thing out of the way: Yes, Brock's violent encounter with Wolverine is downplaying the X-Man's pain tolerance. Logan's known for being able to take a staggering amount of punishment, so having him temporarily out of commission after suffering several shots to the stomach is selling him short. That said, as a Crossbones fan, this is an awesome albeit brief display of Crossbones' own impressive level of pain tolerance and his refusal to throw in the towel, even if he's facing a major uphill struggle.

Wolverine does have the Captain America villain outclassed in terms of skill and physicals. It's a match Crossbones is going to lose unless he has some major prep time on his side, but this short and bloody encounter is memorable because, even after having his stomach sliced open, Crossbones was still able to trash talk and keep attacking. He may only be a human in a world full of super-powered beings, but he has the drive, determination, and skill to give a fair amount of them some trouble or even take them down. Wolverine isn't someone Crossbones is going to drop, but this shows he isn't going to make a run for it, either. Rogers previously referred to Brock as "as rough a customer as any I've ever tangled with!" This showing certainly proves the fiend's no pushover.

vs. Deadpool in Deadpool #25
Brock's big encounter with Wade Wilson, a.k.a. Deadpool, is every bit as savage and hilarious as you'd want it to be. When there was a price on Wade's head, Crossbones attempted to collect the huge sum of money. Unfortunately for the villain, he didn't succeed and the anti-hero left him standard for a little while. While the two are able to have a heart-to-heart in a bar right before fists begin to fly, Crossbones says he just isn't able to forgive Wade for what happened. After the two enjoy a drink, the ridiculously fun slugfest begin!

Wade's heart isn't really in it at first, but as the fight progresses, the two begin to really lash out. Some silly elements are thrown into the mix - this is a Deadpool story, after all - but after a ferocious fight, Wade's able to take the edge and he begins to pummel Captain America's nemesis. Crossbones is turned into a bloody mess, but it's without question an entertaining fight that gives both combatants plenty of love. As for why Brock is in his undies, well, I won't spoil that for you.


vs. Captain America in Captain America #363-364
Last and definitely not least, this is the very first fight between Captain America and Crossbones. The super-soldier's able to restrain Brock after a pretty amusing skirmish, but Crossbones isn't just a villain who relies on direct fights for a victory. The guy had several traps set up - in fact, the battle begins with Cap stepping on a bear trap - and thanks to his tactical mind and dirty tactics, Crossbones is able to escape as Captain America is left to deal with a pressure sensitive explosive trap.

It's not the most intense encounter around, but it sure is a memorable one and it showed us that Crossbones isn't just another generic mercenary who can only throw a decent punch or spam some projectiles. He's not as skilled or as physically powerful as Cap, but his heartless approach to combat makes up for that and allows him to give the Avenger a challenge. Additionally, Brock's vocabulary may not make him seem all that intelligent, but he sure is a cunning foe and that's on display in this classic brawl.


Honorable Mentions:
vs. Captain America (Sam Wilson) in All-New Captain America #2
vs. Young heroes in Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt #2
vs. Werewolves in Captain America and Crossbones #1
vs. Gambit in Gambit #18
vs. Captain America in Thunderbolts #150

Oh, and how could this article be complete without the most brutal, earthshaking blow Crossbones has ever dealt to Captain America? Behold! Crossbones vs. Captain America's foot! Let's hope they have this exact choreography and dialogue in Captain America: Civil War!
Go get 'em, Cappo!

Wolverine's Best Battles

He's the best there is at what he does, and what he does is very, very bloody. James Howlett/Logan/Wolverine has appeared in thousands of comics, and in the pages of those books, we've been treated to countless impressive fights involving the X-Man. Wolverine's decades of dedicated training under some of the best combatants has turned him into one of the most dangerous street level characters in the Marvel 616 universe. Having claws that can cut through almost everything and a virtually unbreakable skeleton doesn't hurt his odds, either. His rogues gallery (Sabretooth, Cyber, Lady Deathstrike, etc.) consists of plenty of characters that can give ole' James a fight worth watching, but Logan's A-list status means the Canadian also gets to go toe-to-toe with dozens of familiar faces in the Marvel Universe. Wolverine has been in hundreds of throw downs, but here's a collection of my favorite one-on-one battles with him.  Did your favorite not make the list? If so, please be sure to share the issue and why it's your favorite.


VS Crossbones, Fear Itself: The Fearless #7

It doesn't matter if you're one of Captain's greatest villains or just a random thug, bullets will never cut it against the runt. The heartless mercenary Crossbones (Brock Rumlow) took on Wolverine and the outcome left a major mess for the janitor to clean up. Crossbones is known for being a tough guy, so the villain pumps plenty of rounds into Wolverine before even recognizing that his tummy has been sliced open by Wolverine's foot-long claws. Instead of making a run for it, Crossbones arrogantly blasts a few more bullets into Logan, but Wolverine's healing factor and adamantium is too much for the thug to overcome. James slices Crossbones's gun apart and then, without any remorse for his human enemy, thrusts all six claws through the baddie's chest. Luckily for Brock, Hellstorm conveniently shows up and burns Wolverine. A small dose of magic later and Crossbones is back to full health, but the emotional scar of getting his ass handed to him by Logan has to hurt. 

VS Silver Samurai, Uncanny X-Men #273
Wolverine and Kenuichio Harada (Silver Samurai) go way back. Despite slashing and stabbing each other apart, they hold a mutual level of respect for one another. Harada's power lets his blade cut through virtually anything, but luckily for Wolverine, that weapon isn't putting a dent on his adamantium. Even when Harada lands a killing blow or two, Logan's healing factor gives him quite the unfair advantage. This 3 page fight in Uncanny simply rocks. Both land plenty of brutal strikes before Wolverine breaks Harada's arm and has him at his mercy.

VS Omega Red, X-Men #5
There's no shame in losing to Omega Red (Arkady Rossovich). The guy's death spores can kill a person in mere moments and his carbonadium armor and coils make him an absolute pain to deal with. But Wolverine? He spits in the face of impossible odds. Despite being outclassed by Arkady, Logan makes it a fight worth remembering. The Canadian dukes it out nonstop with the Russian super soldier for nearly 18 hours before finally going down for the count. James eventually gets his revenge, though. A few years ago the runt baseball tossed the m-blade (a sword that negates healing factors) right into Omega Red's heart, allegedly killing the '90s villain.

VS Hulk, The Incredible Hulk #340
Hulk and Wolverine have a long and blood-soaked history, but one battle stands out from the rest. Believe it or not, Wolverine actually tried to avoid this legendary battle at first. Hulk kept egging him on, and one thunderclap later, it was time for the warrior's waltz. Todd McFarlane's work makes this classic battle in the woods a gritty visual delight. Wolverine draws first blood on the grey brute and even takes him down with a horrific stab clean into Hulk's chest. But Logan's not the only one with a healing factor, and the two rush back into their dance of death. Wolverine's internal thoughts in the captions add a nice layer of depth (dealing with man vs. beast; the pain in his body and all that jazz) to this must read Hulk vs Wolverine battle.

VS Sabretooth,  Uncanny X-Men #213
If I could only read one Sabretooth (Victor Creed) and Wolverine fight, this brutal mesh of claws and stabs at the X-Mansion would be my pick. Victor humiliates Rogue and Psylocke before making his way to the main event: Wolverine. What happens next is one of the most epic stalemates in comic history. The two go blow for blow as they duke it out across the rooftops, plummet into the pool, and continue their absurdly violent bout towards the edge of a cliff. Both bruised and bloodied, Sabretooth tries to escape the X-Men by diving off of the ledge, but Wolverine quickly follows and grapples him before the two crash into the waves below.  In true villain fashion, Sabretooth manages to escape.

VS Deadpool, Cable & Deadpool #44
The merc with a mouth has a handful of solid encounters with Logan, but their swords vs. claws round at a HYDRA base is my pick. This 3 page fight is fairly short, but it's so very sweet. It gives both characters proper credit as they display just how skilled they are with their respective weapons, but ultimately, those two blades can't compete with Wolverine's six adamantium claws and the pointy things end up pinning Wade to a wall. The comedic banter from a Fabian Nicieza written Deadpool (Wade Wilson) is always a joy, too. Oh, and then there's Bob, Agent of HYDRA and Weasel in the issue.

VS Captain America, Wolverine: Origins #4
Seeing the American super-soldier and Weapon X project duke it out is a fanboy overload for many. Despite their popularity, these two fan favorites have only had a handful of fairly short fights, but their battle in Daniel Way's comic overshadows the other fights these two have had. Lasting multiple pages, the two A-listers inflict seriously damaging injuries on each other and Cap even slashes Wolverine across the chest with the m-blade. A legless Nuke (courtesy of Wolverine's claws) and the X-Men eventually interfere, but this melee is terrific. 

VS Spider-Man, Spider-Man versus Wolverine #1
The wall crawler is faster and stronger than Wolverine, but that didn't matter very much in this comic. Wolverine's confidence and flurry of claws made Spider-Man question his own abilities and even his own speed. However, the reason this throw down happens is the true gem of the comic. Wolverine is going to kill Charlie, a woman he cares deeply for. She's on the run from just about every government on Earth, and Logan was going to give her a painless end instead of torture from the KGB. But Spider-Man and his heart of gold step in and stops Wolverine before he can end Charlie's suffering. Spider-Man bashes Wolverine's face over and over against a tombstone, but he says the only thing the brutal strikes did was make Logan smile. They end in a draw, with Spider-Man's hands gripped around Logan's throat, ready to snap his neck, and Wolverine's fist under Spidey's chin, prepared to pop his claws. A helicopter shines a light on them, and in the confusion of the chaos, Spider-Man throws a blind strike when he thinks Wolverine is behind him and ready for more. Yet it wasn't Wolverine standing behind him; it was Charlie. Spider-Man ends up killing the very woman he just fought to save. Ouch.

VS Sabretooth, Wolverine #301
It looks like Sabretooth has returned from the dead just so he can get his ass kicked all over again... and I must say this is a jaw-droppingly good ass kicking. Seriously, it doesn't get much better than this. I'll let the page speak for itself. Stare at that image and enjoy just how awesome this victory truly is.