Threat Level: WEDNESDAY!! - By the Power of Grayskull! I Have Comicsss! ~ What'cha Reading?

Threat Level: WEDNESDAY!! – By the Power of Grayskull! I Have Comicsss!

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Marvel:

 3666546-uncanny_avengers_18.now_coverUncanny Avengers #18
$3.99
w. Rick Remender
a. Daniel Alcuna

4 out of 5 Space monkeys

Why?:

Because the only thing better than a comic book reality is an altered comic book reality! Recent events in Uncanny Avengers have led to a startling changes in the Marvel U. The Apocalype Twins’ plan has reached fruition and the Earth is gone…. welcome to  Planet X!

Eimin and Uriel tricked the Celestials into believing Thor was responsible for killing one of their brethren, so they in turn sent Exitar the Celestial Executioner to exact revenge,… by destroying the Earth and everyone on it. The Twins manipulated the Scarlet Witch’s power and Wonder Man’s ionic energy to transport all of Earth’s mutants to a giant ark moments before the planet’s destruction, and then took off for the far reaches of space, nestled in a Tachyon Dam that prevents time travel to or from Planet X.
That was years ago.

Wasp and Havok, now married and raising their human daughter in secret as the sole remaining Avengers on an ark full of mutants. Mutants who vilify the very idea of the Avengers, and consider Havok a race traitor and the Wasp and his daughter as genetically inferior criminals. The Wasp and Havok, hunted by Planet X’s very own X-Force (who look a lot like the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants!), make a last-ditch effort to destroy the Tachyon Dam and allow much need help to enter from the timestream, a promise made to Havok by Immortus.
But who shows up at the end to help? None other than Kang the Conqueror, the man responsible for the Apocalypse Twins Ascension! Why does he suddenly oppose them? And who the hell is that awesome team of various alternate reality characters, lined up behind him ready to kick some time-tossed tail? Read it and find out folks!
Remender had taken all the cool concepts from my early days of comic reading and mashed them all up into a fan-pleasing cosmic blockbuster that will have you saying Damnnnnn at least twice an issue.

DC

Threat Level: WEDNESDAY!! - By the Power of Grayskull! I Have Comicsss!DC Universe vs Master of the Universe #6
$2.99
w. Keith Giffen & Tony Bedard
a. Pop Mahn

4 out of 5 Space Monkeys

Why?:

Because I loved this mini. I was big He-Man fan as a kid, and went bananas the first time I saw DC Comics Presents #47 :

DC-Comics-Presents-47-He-Man-Superman

So thirty years later, I was treated to a pretty cool take on that old Superman/He-Man mash-up by none other than Keith Giffen (the man who made me like the Legion of Superheroes) and the energetic Pop Mahn.

Coincidentally a John Byrne quote caught my interest, told to me by my friend Hagan, with the writer/artist stating ” Best New Gods Movie Ever “, regarding the 1987 Masters of the Universe live action movie.

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This put a nugget in my brain,  and I ended up watching the Masters of the Universe Movie, starring Dolp Lungdren, Frank Langella, Billy Barty and a very young Courtney Cox, not to mention a teenage Robert Duncan McNeill….. for you Star Trek Voyager fans out there. And it actually pains me to say this, but I agree with Byrne. Check it out yourselves, if you squint slightly it’s a New Gods movie, complete with Boom Tubes, Mother Boxes and a Hard Boiled Detective. So suffice to say I’m riding a He-Man high since Saturday and it all comes crashing down this issue.
Okay so practically everyone is in this from both Eternia and DC’s Earth, and I do mean everyone. Dark Orko’s massive power is spreading across the Earth, with most of the world’s heroes under his thrall. A handful of Leaguers and Eternians who’ve been freed from the spell are fighting him off… with a little help from Skeletor and Evil-Lyn (lesser of two evils, I guess lol ).

As the group splits up to hunt down the twelve Mystical Syphons Skeletor hid around the Earth for Orko while in his service, He-Man is on a hunt of his own, to save the Soul of Superman, which now resides as a prisoner in Orko’s realm (that’s the least he could do, since he’s the one who killed the Man Of Steel!).
We get to see cool team-ups like Constantine & Evil-Lyn, Deadman possessing Battle Cat and hanging out with Stratos, taking out the Syphons empowering Orko. Meanwhile Skeletor takes on most of the DC universe single-handed, and we get to see the ultimate team up nerd-gasm, as Superman wields He-Man’s sword and the Power of Grayskull is given new meaning, in an action that is familiar to those of you who are big Shazam fans.
This was a quintessential crossover miniseries that is just pure, good, comics. Highly recommended for anyone looking for a fast paced flashy story with tons of cool characters mixing it up, or anyone over the age of thirty who remembers playing with Castle Grayskull and Snake mountain!

aquaman29Aquaman #29
$2.99
w. Jeff Parker
a. Paul Pelletier

4 out of 5 Space Monkeys

Why?:

Well, I get this book regularly and have always been an Aquaman fan. Even before he was cool. I imagine it had something to do with being dragged to Rockaway Beach as a child, weekend after weekend by parents who couldn’t afford a vacation, but lived within driving range of the beach and had to do something with their kids.

And there is only one super-hero you can pretend to be at the beach, and that’s Aquaman, ’cause let’s face it… Namor’s a bit of a dick!

So I’ve loved the cool factor Aquaman leveled up to after the New 52 relaunch, thanks to Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis re-invigorating the character, without drastically altering him. Then the book fell safely into the hands of Jeff Parker and Paul Pelletier and has maintained that top-notch story production since issue one.

This issue starts with an Archeologist named Dr. Evans, who plans to use Aquaman trident (which he stole!) to open what he believes will be a trans-temporal portal to ancient Atlantis. And as mad scientists with stolen magic artifacts are wont to do, he accidentally opens a portal to a prison dimension filled with the Giant-Born, a horrific race of Lovecraftian like creatures from ancient earth, forced into this hellish dimension by decree of an Atlantean king. As Aquaman races to the dig site in the Azores to deal with this menace, Mera finds out some interesting information from the Science counsel of Atlantis, information that foreshadows a team-up (or battle) with a certain plant elemental avatar in future issues.
Now I threw this book in my TLW pile because of the cover, Aquaman facing a giant, bare-chested hooded giant of a man holding a boulder over his head with the blurb: “From the depths… A God rises! “.

So I thought it was this guy all New 52’d up:

Firstissuespec01-01And I am always down for a Kirby Concept being used!
It turns out I was wrong!
You see, the ancient Atlanteans didn’t have the power necessary to entomb the Giant-Born themselves, so they outsourced the work to a demi-god who had a thing for taking on great feats of labor! Turns out the only way to lock the Giant-Born in was to do it from the inside, so he’s been stuck with the monsters he imprisoned for along time… so needless to say he’s a little pissed at anything Atlantean, especially it’s King! Parker and Pelletier are taking this book places you don’t want to miss

 

Independent

Eternal Warrior #73708445-ew_007_variant_larosa
Valiant
$3.99
w. Greg Pak
a. Robert Gill

4 out of 5 Space Monkeys

Why?:

For God’s Sake there is no reason not to get this book. Pak has taken the Eternal Warrior into the far future of the Valiant Universe, where he now reigns over a small pocket of surviving humans.

After a robotic beast attacked his small settlement, and it’s radioactive power source poisoned his people, Gilad Anni-Padda is angry… and on the move. With his tough as nails 8 year old grand-daughter Caroline in tow, the Immortal warrior heads to the source of the robot attack to exact revenge.

EW_007_COVER_BERNARD Finding a small manufacturing city in charge of making the robotic beasts, Gilad frees the people working there, but the shielding over the nuclear power cores in the city were old and faulty and now most of the population are stricken with radiation poisoning, radiation that in the short time they were there has already taken it’s toll on the enhanced biology of his granddaughter, with Caroline showing sign of ill-health for the first time.
So Gilad, with an army of the sick and dying at his back heads out to find “The King”, the man responsible for the factory town in the first place.

After braving the wild wastelands of the future, the group arrives at the King’s headquarters, only to find things aren’t what they seem. With medication in short supply, the Eternal Warrior strikes a deal with King, to save both their people. Gilad will lead them to the facility containing the medication, currently surround by a Death Cult, wasteland maniacs killing every living thing they come across (people, animal, trees, fish, doesn’t matter). Good thing the King has a stockpile of archaic weaponry… now if only there was someone around who had years of experience using weapons and plotting attack strategies…hmmmm…oh yeahhh
If you haven’t been reading this, grab the first trade, Sword of the Wild… just to get a taste for the character… and then jump 2000 years in the future and buckle you seat bets for a wild ride! You won’t regret it.

sandmanSandman: Overture #2
DC/Vertigo
$3.99
w. Neil Gaiman
a. J.H. Williams III

5 out of 5 Space Monkeys

Why?:

Because who would be silly enough not to read this classic in the making. Gaiman has redeemed himself twice over in my eyes, after the whole Age of Ultron/Guardians of the Galaxy/Angela/Consulting fiasco over at Marvel, by returning to the character who made him a household name and spinning a wonderful tale. A Convocation of Dreams (hey, everyone dreams, cats, dogs, humans, even Kryptonians! ) has gathered in the far reaches of space. Hundreds of interpretations of Dream only gather for a dire purpose,…. in this case the death of one of their own.

Dream consults a member of the First Circle for information and is told a tale of a mad star, spreading it’s evil across countless galaxies, threatening to end all life in the universe. This horrible event was set in motion by a secret from Dream’s past, a secret he thought he covered up completely, and now feels compelled to correct. Dream leaves the Convocation (with the Dream of Cats in tow) to seek advice from the one person the Endless swore to never contact. Who is the Father of Dreams????

sandman-overture-2Gaiman is at his literary best, with the dialogue between the multiple versions (yet all the same Being) of Dream are shear philosophical poetry. The concepts are high, with a slightly sci-fi slant that you wouldn’t expect in the Sandman realm. Williams III is amazing as well, from the on-key designs of the Dreams (seriously, there’s a Kryptonian Dream and he looks as cool as that sounds!), to his stunning spread taking place in Ruby of Destiny, J.H. shows us his complete mastery of page layouts and color palettes. This comic is the essence of smart writing and dazzling art, true examples of paradigms in the field.

 

Last Week’s Surprise Pick

ww29Wonder Woman #29
DC
$2.99
w. Brian Azzarello
a. Cliff Chiang

4 out of 5 Space Monkeys

Why?:

I almost picked this book to review for last week’s Threat Level Wednesday, but felt like I almost always review and comment on it, pretty much on a monthly basis. So I took it off my TLW read pile, deciding to give me and the readers of this column a break from the soon to be repetitive rants about the work being done on this title.

So as usual, with the rest of my weekly haul that I don’t read for TLW, I read Wonder Woman the next day. Now my method Post TLW, is to read everything else in company order, starting with Marvel, then DC, then anything Independent. After ruminating over the days perusing, I pick the title that stands out most in my head, for whatever reason, and make a note of it for next week’s article.

I can’t help that it was Wonder Woman, in all her Mythological Glory, that held a sword to my mind’s throat and with a smile on her face said ” Pick Me, Mortal…”

In all seriousness, Azzarello and Chiang’s run has been phenomenal. Azzarello has perfected the trifecta of writing a great monthly issue, in a great story arc that easily fits in a trade, in a great run that will be a masterpiece upon it’s completion and his exit from the title.

With the Firstborn finally successful in usurping the Throne of Olympus from his half-brother Apollo and has become King of the Gods. And by usurp I mean murder, cuz that’s how Greek Gods roll! Like chess pieces in play from issue #1, Wonder Woman and all her supporting cast are moved into position for the final gambit. Diana has no choice, but to fully acknowledge her role as the God of War (yeah… you missed alottttt) and bring battle to the gates of Olympus to prevent the devastating prophecies the FirstBorn’s ascension will bring about. And with Apollo’s dying act, he unknowingly gives Wonder Woman the army she needs to War with the Gods. The Greek Mythos has evolved in the DC universe, giving us fresh new stories, laced with familiar back-stabbing, side-taking family drama of Gods acting as they always do, and mortals suffering for it.

Read These Books!

619ZRJBVVPL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ wonder-woman-volume3-iron-dccomics-new52-azzarello-chiang-atkins 9781401238100_p0_v2_s260x420

See ya soon folks!

 

 

About Author

Trained by the Four-Color wizard, Hagan, in all things comic-booky, young Robert took to the streets of New York, dragging his large bespectacled head from comic shop to comic shop, absorbing, learning… knowing…. Until a very delayed pubescent spurt in his early thirties when the tumescent lump of comic knowledge burst forth, rupturing into nonsensical rants about Jack Kirby, superhero related tattoos, questionable cosplay activities, worshiping Jim Starlin as a prophet, and courting the young lady working in his local comic shop. Now he is just mad…roaming the streets late at night while walking his dog, plotting and preparing to unleash more comic-booky goodness on an unsuspecting world. He likes bread. The food. He thinks the band is crap. *Hey wanna freak Bob out? Come follow him on twitter (@dyrewolf1218), he's totally new to it and suspects it may be black magic...* - Chuck the editor monkey

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