Sunday, September 18, 2016

BLACK PANTHER #6 - A Nation Under Our Feet Pt. 6

Black Panther #6 September 2016

 Published September 14, 2016 by Marvel Comics. Written by Ta-Nehisi Coates and drawn by Chris Sprouse.

The drama continues in Wakanda after Ramonda is injured by a suicide bomber’s attack and Shuri continues her quest through Djalia with the Griot imagined as Ramonda. T’Challa captures several of Tetu’s rebels that have bio bombs implanted in their chests and strikes a deal with one. Ezekiel Stane and Tetu release a video made of a meeting between T’Challa and a counter-terrorism council in which they recommended a most cruel way to deal with the uprisings plaguing Wakanda.

T’Challa and Hodari differ on their own interpretation of the meaning of Changamire’s message. While Akili feels T’Challa’s views are sympathetic to the anarchy of the rebel’s aims. But T’Challa reassures him he still has a few cards to play and orders an attack on the Jabari-lands.

During the attack the Dora Milaje seem to have the upper hand till the magic of Zenzi causes them to break down and be easily captured. While T’Challa and Tony Stark discuss the origins of the bio-bombs and the arrogance behind the bomb maker’s purpose.

Shuri’s travels through the Djalia bring her to the story of the slave girl bride and learns that a woman can never be made fully into a slave. The Griot then leaves Shuri in the Djalia to ponder this lesson.

In another attack on the Base of the People T’Challa is captured and bound in chains by Stane. Afterwards Stane contacts Hodari and Akili to let them know he has the Black Panther and that the Fenris Twins are involved as well. But Hodari has a plan to show Wakandans who is really behind the revolution and they call in some help to assist with the saving Wakanda.

In part six of “A Nation Under Our Feet” the big reveal has to be the Stane connection to the revolution. But will showing the video of Stane to the Wakandans really change their feelings towards the throne? Or will it just add more confusion to a brewing chaos that seems to benefit only Tetu and Zenti. It’ll be interesting to see if Shuri makes her return in the next issue. I think we might see her come back soon and take the thrown from her brother.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

DOCTOR STRANGE #11 - The New Face of Magic

Doctor Strange #11 – The New Face of Magic


Published September 7, 2016 by Marvel Comics. Written by Jason Aaron and illustrated by Kevin Nowlan/ Leonardo Romero.
Old enemies and new problems abound in the aftermath of the destruction of magic by the Imperator and Empirikuls.
Setting up the next chapter in the ongoing saga of Doctor Strange we witness a flashback to one of Strange’s attempts to cure his hands and ultimately leads him to the Ancient One. Back Alley drug deals never end good. But luckily the Ancient One is watching. Back in the now Stephen struggles with the state of magic in the world and the loss of all the ancient spells. Chondu offers some words of encouragement about rewriting the spells to control the newly regenerated magic.
In another flashback we learn about an important choice Strange made while training with the Ancient One. Offered to have his hands completely restored and leave his training or continue on with the Ancient One Doctor Strange’s decision to stay only made him one powerful enemy but humanities warrior against evil magic.
With the new face of magic and its threats against humanity Stephen must use different methods to combat the transgressors. Simple methods until new spells can be written. And an old enemy is back to confront Doctor Strange.   
The odyssey that has become Doctor Strange is really developing into a great series. I’m intrigued to see where the story will go next. While this take on Doctor Strange from Marvel doesn’t seem to follow what has been revealed by Marvel regarding the new movie out in November it is still enough to excite interest in the character and the mythos surrounding Strange. I think this has been so far a great analogy that science isn’t an end all solution and that it loses when it’s used for evil. Magic was threatened but like all living things will rebound after the threat is over. You could also draw the conclusion that while magic may have appeared the weaker against the Imperator and his science magic’s survival only illustrates that it was the stronger of the two.  

DETECTIVE COMICS #939 - Rise of the Batmen Pt. 6

Detective Comics #939 – Rise Of The Batmen Pt. 6

Published August 24, 2016 by DC Comics. Written by  James Tynion IV and illustrated by Eddy Barrows/Eber Ferreira.
In this new Batman comic the saga continues. And I spoke too soon thinking last issue ended the “Rise of the Batmen” story arc. In this next installment to the aforementioned story arc the Wayne/Kane family history is expounded on a little more. Which illustrates that everyone has family problems. The interesting twist here is the feelings and anger Jacob has towards Thomas Wayne about the night him and Martha were killed. The corollary being that in the present day Colonel Kane once again is at odds with both his daughter and his nephew.  
After clearing out the Colony from the Belfry there’s a lot of clean up to do but thankfully Tim had planned ahead for such a monumental task. Where does he find the time to fight crime and develop sophisticated Dirt Devil-like gadgets!?
The deepening rift between Kate and her father is only being made by the complexity of her teaming up with Batman. She learns Bruce had a strong suspicion her father was involved before he recruited her. Bruce kept this from her and Kate now feels disrespected by the lie and demands no more lies from Bruce. He agrees, however, I think there’s more that Bruce isn’t telling Kate so his agreement is another lie cause to not lie to Kate would me Kate would have charge over Bruce and we all know that isn’t going to happen. But only time will tell to exactly what else Bruce is lying about.
In the climax to this issue Tim has learned something disturbing about the clones the Colonel unleashes on Gotham to eradicate the mythical League of Shadows. Batman and the group know better and think the ones targeted are innocent of any wrong doing. Tim, in a self-less act, devises a plan to lure the coming drones away from their intended target. But at a high cost to the team and Batman.  


Monday, August 22, 2016

DETECTIVE COMICS #938 - Rise of the Batmen Pt. 5

Detective Comics #938 – Rise Of The Batmen Pt. 5











Published August 10, 2016 by DC Comics. Written by  James Tynion IV and illustrated by Alvaro Martinez/Raul Fernandez.

In part five of the Rise of the Batmen we learn a little more about past events that have had a hand in shaping the current relationship between Kate and her father. There was a time when she wanted to fight alongside him but now as an adult she questions his motives and ideology.

And inside the Colony lair it’s an all-out brawl between the newly rescued Batman and his group against the super soldiers of the Colony led by Colonel Kane and Ulysses Armstrong. The Colony learns that underestimating Orphan can be costly while Tim and Ulysses wage a blackhat war against each other.

Kate and her father continue butting heads as the Colonel attempts to lure her to his side but she refuses and stands by Batman. As the Colony closes in Tim unleashes another blackhat attack that gives the group just enough time to escape. However, the game has now changed as Ulysses unleashes his bat-eyes.

With the conclusion of “Rise of the Batmen” I’m interested to see how this story continues into the next arc. Batman’s comment to Colonel Kane as he escapes has me curious as to what he was referring to. Was he referring to the idea that the League of Shadows is real? Or was it a reference to something else? I’ll have to stay tuned to find out…

Sunday, August 14, 2016

DETECTIVE COMICS #937 - Rise of the Batmen Pt. 4

Detective Comics #937 – Rise Of The Batmen Pt. 4













Published July 27, 2016 by DC Comics. Written by  James Tynion IV and illustrated by Alvaro Martinez/Raul Fernandez.

Things are heating up as the conclusion to Rise of the Batmen is near. The utility belt is being analyzed as Batman is able to escape but doesn’t know where he is or what the Colony is really about.

Batman’s group manage to make it to some abandoned subway tunnels beneath Gotham where Tim’s been working on a way to beat Gotham’s rush hour traffic.

Back at the Colony Batman starts to learn what is really going on and how he’s been a part of this new organizations training and purpose. But the shocking surprise is yet to come as his uncle reveals more to the cause of the Batmen and the supposed coming threats to America and Gotham. But Bruce pushes back in a heated confrontation with the cornel.  Just as Batwoman and the group arrive Batwoman choses her side to begin the ending to “Rise of the Batmen”.

I’ve enjoyed the premise to this whole story arc. I like the clash of ideologies expressed between Bruce and his uncle. His uncle sees a future where one man can’t fight the good fight alone and thinks the US military with clones of Batman are the answer to protecting her shores. Batman sees the video of the Colony in action at hot spots around the world but still thinks the real threat is the League of Assassins and not the conspiracy group his uncle believes is. I’m anxious to see what comes of the Colony after all this is resolved. Do they remain a covert force in the military or does Batwoman somehow take command?   

BLACK PANTHER #5 - A Nation Under Our Feet Pt. 5


Black Panther #5 Brian Hildebrandt variant cover

Published August 10, 2016 by Marvel Comics. Written by Ta-Nehisi Coates and drawn by Chris Sprouse.

What are the depth to which T’Challa will go to curb the rebellion in Wakanda? The Black Panther enlists the help of the mutant Manifold in a raid on the People’s hideout in the Alkama Fields. In a bid to learn more about the People and the rebellion he has taken prisoners, who have bombs attached to their hearts, for questioning.

In a move that seems desperate T’Challa organizes a meeting of the security for ruthless, despotic nations in an attempt to learn how to best handle the rebellion destroying Wakanda. But the council of the wicked may prove more costly than the capital he is willing to pay.

Shuri continues her quest through the DJalia led by the Griot spirit resembling the Queen Mother. She learns of the parable of the Adowan people who would not be strong armed by strangers seeking the Adowan’s wealth. The strangers viewed the Adowans as weak but rich and when the strangers attempted to rob them they found the Adowans united against the usurpers. While Shuri scoffs at the Griot spirit’s story she is finally made aware that even though a nation may appear weak its true strength comes when it is united as one.

After his meeting with the council of the wicked, T’Challa turns his attention to one of the People he had captured. And eventually makes a pact with him. But what does T’Challa have in mind? And Tetu, Zenzi and Stane meet with Jorick Kroawl, Intelligence Directorate of Genosha, who offered T’Challa some very bad advice which was rejected. But the fires of rebellion are further stoked as a video of Kroawl’s advice is spread through Wakanda.

I still think the return of Shuri will be the key to Wakanda’s salvation and I’m starting to think it’ll cost T’Challa his spot on the throne. The pact T’Challa makes with Kwabena is still a mystery but I suspect he is to act as a spy for T’Challa and bring the rebellion under control.    

Friday, August 5, 2016

DOCTOR STRANGE #10 - Last Days of Magic Pt. 5



Published August 3, 2016 by Marvel Comics. Written by Jason Aaron and illustrated by Chris Bachalo.

The thrilling conclusion to the “Last Days of Magic” has begun. But will magic come back after the threat of the Empirikul’s and Imperator are gone?

The Sorcerer Supreme isn’t feeling too supreme in the opener as he must battle the Imperator to stop the Imperator's quest to destroy magic with science. It may not be Strange’s magic that ultimately wins but his pain. The pain that was trapped by Wong and Doctor Strange is unleashed on the Imperator and the world feels his pain too.

But as the Imperator takes the place of Strange’s pain the Eye of Agamotto doesn’t flicker and the starch in his cloak just doesn’t seem to be holding its form. So all magic users are left to wonder where is the magic and how to bring it back?

Visually this Doctor Strange has been a real treat to look at and the writing of Aaron is very entertaining. Plots and dialog are great while still keeping with Doctor Strange’s lingo. There’s a bit of wit and humor in the dialog that really makes it fun to read. Throughout the whole story arc of “Last Days of Magic” it’s been intriguing to read the suspense and see the action as the Imperator and Empirikul’s seem to have bested magic with science. In this last issue we also get to see what’s really motivating the Imperator and his crusade to end magic. The ending leaves it on a low note as the state of magic is unknown.