Marvel Comics

Darth Maul #1

It is always great to see a character like Darth Maul return to the Star Wars universe. I’ve always felt that he was built up to be something huge and scary, only to die in his first dual with Jedi. He should have been the Darth Vader of the prequels. His design is so scary and could have been timeless.

fortunately with Clone Wars, Rebels, SW Novels and now his own comic, we get to see more of his badassdom we should have seen in the movies.

(Spoilers Ahead)

The story starts out with Maul hunting rathtars. If you remember from The Force Awakens, Han Solo was transporting a few of these squid like killing machines. After Maul is able to kill a rathtar, we get a scene reminiscent off the “Clever Girl” scene from Jurassic Park where Muldoon is hunting raptors. Rathtars apparently hunt in packs, which is pretty terrifying.  Unlike Muldoon, Maul is able to make quick work of this pack of needle teethed squid monsters.

We skip to Coruscant, where Maul is stalking a few Jedi. The Jedi sense something, and are distraught when they aren’t able to find the disturbance they felt. Palpatine knows what Maul has been up to, and is not happy with his apprentice. Maul has been becoming more and more impatient over the time it is taking Palpatine to get all of plans together. But Palpatine has a mission for Maul to at least appease his bloodlust for a bit. He sends him to Kellux where the Trade Federation needs assistance with some pirates.

While dispersing the space pirates, one gives him some information on a Jedi padawan that is to be auctioned off soon.  Maul kills everyone on the space station to keep this secret his secret. He gets in his ship and heads off to the padawan himself.

(End Spoilers)

I really enjoy Ross’ art in this issue. Maul always seems vicious. Everything seems very much like it is in the Star Wars universe. The story seems to take on the charactaristics of most Star Wars movies, where they like to take places in 3 different settings. We get the almost swampish planet of Twon Ketee at the beginning, Coruscant at the middle, then the space station at Kellux at the end. Overall it all seemed to work out pretty good. The story by Bunn is setting Maul up to be the vicious Sith we know him to be.

We get a second little droid story after this by Chris Eliopoulos and Jordie Bellaire. Set during the events of Phantom Menace when Darth Maul sends out the surveillance droids. A delightful, completely self contained, little droid story where two droids become friends. The art and writing are perfect for this, and it adds a little fun to a comic that could just be violent.

I can’t wait to see where this story goes. I always enjoy a little bit more Darth Maul. It does have the makings to be a re-hashing of the story line to Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, but I hope that doesn’t happen.
If you are a Star Wars fan, and a Darth Maul fan, I’d recommend giving this one a shot.
7 out of 10 Jalapenos

Civil War II (1-8)

I’m maybe one of the few people who didn’t really love Marvel’s 2006 Civil War event.  The idea of the event is actually an excellent idea. Without reading it, the plot points and over idea sound excellent. Unfortunately, it wasn’t.
So, when I heard that one of the new Marvel events was going to be Civil War II I had mixed emotions. For one, I wish we would get more original ideas, instead of rehashing old ones. I really enjoy Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel. Her being the other major player opposite of Iron Man in this series.

(Spoilers ahead)

So, here is how everything basically sets up. A new Inhuman named Ulysses now has the power to see the future. Civil War II opens with the heroes beating back an alien invasion. An invasion that Ulysses warned them about. No big deal. They had it completely covered, because they had a heads up from Ulysses. Several of the heroes (Captain Marvel included) are really excited to have Ulysses on their side. They can stop world shattering events before they even begin. This is great!
But stick-in-the-mud Tony Stark thinks it’s a bad idea. The future isn’t written and all that.
Ulysses gets a new vision, and Captain Marvel decides to get a group together and take care of business. The only problem is the business is Thanos. During this operation She Hulk is put in the hospital and Rhodey (War Machine) ends up being killed.

Tony gives his “I told you so” speech, but that isn’t good enough for Carol.

It seems like almost every time the characters are talking with each other and about to maybe make some valid points and work it out, this Ulysses kid has another vision and 1/2 the heroes run off to prevent whatever is about to happen from happening.

Several heroes die, Carol tries to arrest Tony, Spider-Man (Miles not Peter) switches sides, Carol tries to arrest Spider-Man, Captain America steps forward to stop the conflict… blah blah blah

I didn’t hate the story, the first 4 issues of Civil War II were actually pretty good. The last 4 issues just seemed like there was no real reason for anyone to be fighting. There was no real urgency to it. It also felt like it was really leading up to… well… something, and it just never got there. In the end it makes Carol kind of look like a jerk, and Tony looks like he was faking that he cared at all. There was no real reason for any of the heroes to pick a side other than “because.”

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again… I don’t hate Bendis’ writing. I think he can be a pretty good writer. But I felt like Civil War II had no heart. It wanted to take us on a journey, but then decided to just get high and hang out on the couch eating cheesy poofs instead.

I can’t say that I don’t recommend reading it at all. I’m sure that some of the things that happened in the books will “change the Marvel Universe forever” for the next 6 months. I just don’t see any of it being much of a lasting effect, other than the characters that they killed off. Which felt like an empty attempt to make a not very good event have some weight.
I did actually like the first 4 issues. So I’m going to rate this series 4 jalapeños

Jessica Jones #1

I’m not one of those people who hates Michael Brian Bendis. I think he can be a bit hit or miss at times, but I don’t hate the guy or think his work stinks. I’m also not a person that worships his work. I do really enjoy some of it. Alias was one of the works that I really enjoyed.
Jessica Jones is obviously much more popular after her hit Netflix series (seriously, if you haven’t seen it, go watch it now!) Which I would imagine is part of the reason we are getting this new series.

It is great to have the original creative team back on this book. Michael Gaydos’ art feels familiar like a good friend. Having David Mack back to do the covers is a wonderful treat as well. I loved the cover artwork from Alias, so when I saw this issue on the comic shop wall, I instantly gravitated towards it.

Like Alias, which was on Marvel’s Max imprint, this comic is a little more gritty and as the cover says this is “Not for Kids.”

(Spoilers ahead)

Since it is the original creative team, it almost feels like this story is just another chapter to Alias.
Jessica has just been released from prison, and she has no idea why she is being released, but she heads back home. She has a few messages on her phone, one asking from her friend Carol Danvers (you may know her as Captain Marvel) asking “where’s the baby.” This becomes a theme throughout the issue. Fortunately, for Jessica, there is a message for her about a case. She meets with a woman whose husband woke up 8 months ago, and did not recognize her as his wife. Jessica assumes that her husband is just crazy, but the woman insist that she take the case. Well, we all know what happened 8 months ago in Marvel Comics. It was the end of Secret Wars. Remember that?

If you want a beat-em-up comic book, that isn’t what this is. Jessica Jones and a lot of Bendis books are very dialogue heavy. You get a lot of the very characteristic Jessica Jones snark in this issue, which is something Bendis does very well, especially with characters he created.

I’m very much looking forward to seeing what else we get from this series. It is one that will absolutely be added to my pull list!

With that being said, Jessica Jones #1 gets 8 out of 10 jalapeño

Inhumans Vs X-Men #1

Hot off the heels of Civil War II, we have the Inhumans Vs X-Men event. If you have been reading comics for any amount of time, you should know that this title and idea at least slightly hints back to the 2012 event Avengers Vs X-Men.
With Civil War II just ending, I have to admit that I was a bit wary of IVX. It almost seems like comic companies will come up with any reason for heroes to beat on each other.
What Civil War II seemed to lack in actual causality for heroes to be fighting, IVX seems to have in droves.

After Secret Wars, we are thrown into the Marvel Universe 8 Months in. The Terrigen mist is poisoning the mutant population, Cyclops is dead and the Inhumans and Mutants currently have a truce.
This event is literally a matter of life and death. The mutants will die if the Terrigen cloud is not destroyed, or the Inhuman children will not get to go through Terrigenesis. Basically destroying their birthright and having the inhumans slowly go extinct.

(Spoilers ahead)

There is a weight of brevity in this story and emotions are already high. Charles Soule and Jeff Lemire do a wonderful job bringing it all together. This is what we have been waiting for since the close of Secret War.
Issue #1 is very X-men heavy. Beast has been living in Attilan, working on a cure or solution to the Terrigen poisoning problem. He has come to let the X-Men know that he has failed. Mutants only have two weeks to live. His only suggestion is they leave the planet.
Emma Frost and Magneto have another plan. It involves destroying the second Terrigen cloud, which the Inhumans will not be happy about. The last 8 months they have been devising a plan in case Beast is unable to come up with a solution. They know that this will lead to a war between the mutants and the Inhumans, so they have to strike first and strike hard.

I know I’m a little bit later to the game on this issue since it came out in December. I’ll hopefully be catching up with episode 2 and 3 soon.
I highly recommend you pick up issue 1, and I hope that it continues to be as good as that issue was.

In conclusion, I would give this comic a solid 7 out of 10 jalapeños