It’s been too long since I last wrote a review for this blog. I have actually been working more lately as well as being busier than usual and that’s why things on the blog have been a bit sparse. I am going to try my damnedest to remedy that fact in the next couple of days. I will be doing more of these capsule reviews in the future and until I can come up with a definite CCW style rating system this will have to do for now:

Rating System:
**** : Excellent
*** : Good
** : Fair
* : Poor
Zero : Horseshit

Title: Invincible Iron Man #24
By: Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca

Though this was yet another solid issue of IIM, I do have to say that this issue kinda felt like the story was just going through the motions and that’s because we all know pretty much know how the story ends already. We learned of Ghost’s fate in last week’s Thunderbolts and we also know that Tony Stark will indeed become Iron Man again so he can join the Avengers for a new #1 issue in May. None the less Fraction’s story still managed to hold my interest up until the final “twist” reveal at the end.

The first 24 issue of Matt Fraction’s Invincible Iron have been all about “fixing” Tony Stark after Brian Bendis and Mark Millar did a great job a breaking the character. The story of Stark’s redemption, while still not entirely finished, has taken over 2 years to tell (If that is not a sign of the amount of damage the other writer’s inflicted on him I don’t know what is). Fraction took his time to tell the story he wanted without taking any shortcuts all the while raising the profiles and fleshing out the characters of Maria Hill and Pepper Potts making them, in my opinion, two of the best female heroes that Marvel has to offer.

As for that “twist” ending: It seems that when Stark rebooted himself with the information on the flash drive he was missing some memories. Turns out that Tony had last backed up his brain just before the time of the Marvel Civil War. You know, write about the same time that those aforementioned writers began to ruin him. Very well played Mr. Fraction. Well played indeed.

Rating: ***½

Title: New Ultimates #1
By: Jeph Loeb and Frank Cho

Blerg…I would like to start off by saying that most people may find this book “entertaining”. As you all know, I am not most people. The one question you are all wanting to know the answer to is “After the critically acclaimed Ultimate X #1 can lighting strike twice in as many months for Jeph Loeb?” Well, I am here to tell you that the answer is a resounding “No“. For the record I thought (with the exception of Art Adams’ art) that Mutant X #1 was a tired, clichéd, boring ass comic. I actually liked it better when it was known as “Superman’s Origin Story”…but I digress.

Though not as painful to read as Ultimates 3 this issue seems to be every bit as useless. My first of two major complaints is that there is an inner monologue (which belongs to Tony Stark) that runs through the WHOLE issue. Loeb did this same thing for a few issues in Hulk recently. The monologue is painfully boring (it’s all about how Stark feels sorry for himself) and at times interrupts what little flow this issue has. The Ultimates version of Tony Stark has always been a self centered prick. Why would I start feeling sorry for him now?

The second major problem I have is that no less than 3 female characters in this comic are treated as sexual objects. And when you want to drive home the point that these women are to ONLY be seen as sexual objects you get Frank Cho to draw them, right? I know Jeph Loeb likes to play to his artists strength’s but this is a bit much. The three female characters I am referring to are:

1. Hela, who will let Thor leave Vahalla only if he impregnates her. There is even a sweet panel where they show her getting almost completely undressed for the fanboys Thor.

2. Zarda, whose only dialogue in this issue consists of her telling Stave Rogers that she wants to fuck him.

3. Carol Danvers, who is the head of S.H.I.E.L.D and is portrayed at the beginning of the book as the only person who will stand up to Tony Stark’s bullshit…which is all apparently all a ruse since we see her half naked in Stark’s bed at the end of the issue.

Ya, I know, this shit is getting really fucking old but you know what? I’ll stop talking about it when Marvel stops pulling this shit. But I’m sure we should just overlook this kinda stuff now that they have a book coming out called Girls Comics. Hypocrites.


Title: Ultimate Avengers #5
By: Mark Millar and Carlos Pacheco

Marvel: Mark, I don’t think your version of the Red Skull is evil enough.
M.M.: Really? Him not being a complete psychopath and killing everyone he sees isn’t enough?
Marvel: Nah, seems a bit bland. Can you, you know, take it up a notch?
M.M.: Well, I guess I could throw in a story from his past where he makes a woman choose between her having to kill her husband with a pair of scissors or the Red Skull shooting her infant child.
Marvel: Ummm..that sounds alright. Could you include a panel where you SHOW the Red Skull pressing the gun against the baby’s head?
M.M.: Errr…sure. I’ll go one even better. I’ll have the woman kill her husband with the scissors and then I’ll just have the Skull throw her baby out of an open window to add insult to injury. Hell, I’ll even add a panel of an exterior shot of the building that shows a small red splotch on the ground where the baby landed.
Marvel: I like where this is going. I mean…I REALLY, REALLY like it…but it’s still not enough. Does he have any henchmen with him?
M.M.: I guess he could. Why?
Marvel: Well, we need to drive home the point that he is a nasty fuck.
M.M.: Even more so? Huh…well, I guess I could allude to him and his henchmen gang raping the woman all night.
Marvel: Brilliant. That’s why we pay you the big bucks.
M.M.: Ah, stop. You’re making me blush.

Rating: *

Title: Prelude to Deadpool Corps #1
By: Victor Gishler and Rob Liefeld

Holy shit. The awful writing combined with the Rob Liefeld art make this issue comparable to Onslaught Reborn. I am dead serious, it‘s that sad. You would think with Deadpool being in this comic you may get a laugh of two, right? Nope. Not even close. I will say though that people should read this comic because it is a textbook example of how not to do a comic.

Trees died in order for this comic to see print and that is the fucking saddest thing of all.

Rating: Zero


  1. Mitiators says:

    Oh some more gems from the ‘The House that Kills and Rapes Women.” I’m telling you, give up on Marvel. Except FrankenCastle. It’s pretty sweet.
    By the way, I’m kind of kidding. Kind of.

    • You know, Frankencastle has definitely become a GUILTY pleasure for me. I know it is completely ridiculous and is ruining the character of Frank Castle…but I still can not turn it away. It does have a certain charm to it.


      • Mitiators says:

        I initially felt the same way. Its this weird fun train wreck that I can’t look away from. Its nice though, I can have the weird horror movie Frank Castle and the normal Frank Castle with the new MAX series which is pretty good too.

        • Pobra says:

          I’ve been really digging Frankencastle. It’s just a fun book, I don’t really give a shit about the Punisher anyway. Remender is the only reason I started reading it in the first place, so I’ll go along for the ride.

    • Deemar says:

      Mark Millar must have had a conference call with Brad Meltzer

      • SMARTASS8 says:

        …or, after reading Justice League:Cry For Justice #7, James Robinson?


        …Is March 3rd Kill A Kid Day? Do I celebrate by watching Sophie’s Choice & Schindler’s List and reading about Aquaman & Mera’s son? Or I could just make sure I stay away from books by Millar & Robinson.

      • generaldark says:

        do we have to continue our argument about meltzer??? 😦 *sigh*

  2. Mike F says:

    Holy damn, the Mark Millar overview for ultimate sounded beyond evil. My gosh, like, I really feel uncomfortable now after hearing what he did in that :\

    • It needs to be seen to get the full effect. It is not pretty.


      • Mike F says:

        I won’t lie. I kinda do admire Millar’s bravery to actually have the balls to say what a lot of people are too scared to say/show. But, yeah this is going too far.

        However, in the bigger picture. I can picture the Red Skull becoming so much more deranged now. Going completely insane which feels realistic to me for a villain to become like that. But, damn it Millar, what the fuck happened to you? at least class it up… Infer that the kid was shot don’t show it :\

        • Oh, he didn’t shoot the baby. He just threw it out an open window…from the top floor of the building. Not that that is any better.


          • SMARTASS8 says:

            At least the Red Skull doesn’t smoke, right? Violence that would be too extreme for HBO and sexuality & near nudity that would make any movie at least R-Rated is Ok, but thank God “our children” are safe from the vile sight of cigarettes.

      • Morlock50 says:

        It may be hypocritical for me to criticize because I did like Kick-Ass (where a 10 year old was snorting cocaine). But I see your point, Jose. This doesn’t sound like anything I’d be interested in reading. Comic book rape as a plot device is not my cup of tea.

  3. generaldark says:


  4. Huh. I miss when the Ultimate Universe was actually good. So fuck you Marvel, Loeb, and Millar for shiting all over my once favorite series of comics. I wish Millar would stop trying to shock people with his over-the-top “writing”. The Unfunnies was one of the most, if not the most, despicable comic books I’ve ever read. It was disgusting.

    Marvel must really want me to stop buying their books. I am really close to doing that but lucky for them they actually have a few awesome books.

  5. Ironmuskrat says:

    Great reviews Jose!

  6. tomstewdevine says:

    Ironman just isnt able to bring it to the levels it did previously, but still a good read. I don’t read much Ultimate U stuff i did read Ultimate X and thought it was ok. but by these reviews at least I dont think I’m missing much.

  7. Deemar says:

    I expected Ironman to have a low point, but I’m no less impressed with Fraction.

  8. Pobra says:

    Agree 100% with your Iron Man review. Fraction has done a more than commendable job redeeming Tony after Bendis and Millar effectively ruined him.
    The Ultimate U should have just ended after Ultimatum. It just keeps getting worse…

  9. Rob F says:

    What I would just really like is for someone to at least call Marvel on their whole “we’d like to get women interested in comics” line. If I were a woman and picked up Loeb’s book I’d be insulted. It’s just bad writing.

    And on the Millar front, what’s the deal with every villain having to be more badass than the last? I really don’t understand where comics are supposed to go if writers keep trying to one up each other. I know Millar’s a big offender in this department but I just know someone out there is going to try to out Millar Millar and some company will think that it’s some uber realistic portrayal of a super villain and print a million copies of it. Whatever happened to supervillains who were like superheroes except they got screwed somehow and were slightly resentful?

    • SMARTASS8 says:

      Millar is from the school of Garth Ennis where every book and villain has to be more deviant and “offensive” than the last. I gave up reading Garth Ennis awhile ago, but has even he gone to the story well of murdering little kids?

      • MicahSkin says:

        My fav marvel villian? The Shocker. Does he try to go out and kill people? Does he rape his way through Spiderman’s female cast? Does he call Aunt May a “Whore” and rip her head off? No, he just wants to rob banks. THAT’S an interesting character, esp how he interacts with the other villians…

        • SMARTASS8 says:

          I’ve never read many stories with The Shocker in them, but I’ve always loved his costume for some reason.

  10. SMARTASS8 says:

    Between my steering away from all Marvel books(although I still pop in occasionally to see if they’ve gotten any better; imho, they haven’t), never having been much of a Tony Stark fan, and finding Fraction’s Casanova to be too Grant Morrison-like in style(and not in a good way), I never read any of his Iron Man. After hearing such acclaim for it from even anti-Marvel Zombies, I bought the first TPB. While it wasn’t awful, I don’t get all the good word on this book. I really hated that, so soon after the death of her husband, Pepper Potts is back to having sexual tension with Stark(I’m sure the successful movie’s interpretation of that relationship had nothing to do with it).

    Having said that, Fraction’s reason for why Stark has been written as such a traitor & all around bad guy since Civil War is pretty inspired. I figured any continuity clean-up would only be done by Busiek or Slott.

    • ...djsweet.. says:

      I read the first story arc and I also wasn’t too impressed. It was good, but not to the level of The Knauf’s/ De la Torre run that was snuffed for this to take it’s place. I was also VERY put off by the Tony Stark playing Reed Richards in 5 games of chess and winning characterization.

    • I completely agree that Fraction’s IIM is not everyone’s cup of yea. I have talked to other people who had the same type of reaction to the first trade as you did. Overall his Iron Man has worked for me (even though it really is just an extension of the movie). I believe a lot of it has to do with how consistent the book is every month.

      His Casanova book was verrry Morrison-ish but I really dug the art. And as for his Uncanny X-Men book, well, the less said the better. If you didn’t enjoy IIM and do think that you would HATE is Uncanny run.

      Do you think that after hearing so much acclaim for IIM that it couldn;t possibly live up to the hype?

      • SMARTASS8 says:

        That’s possible, but even with great reviews, I don’t expect much from Marvel these days(if they keep putting James Robinson on so many “major” books, I’ll be saying the same for DC soon). Another thing that I wasn’t that fond of was the art. It was very well done, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I’m not usually a fan of the more realistic art that seems to be featured in a lot of the more popular books.

        As for Uncanny, except for liking the occasional mutant(Kitty Pride, Beast, Nightcrawler, and, years ago, Wolverine), I’ve never been an X-Man fan. The only teams I grew really liking were New Warriors, Alpha Flight, Justice League International, and *blush* Atari Force. If I didn’t have so many other books I enjoyed more and didn’t already have a hard time staying up to date with the books I do buy, I might give him a second chance.

        • I am also not a fan of Larocca’s art. Back in our early reviews for this book that was the one thing I did complain about. I now am at the point where I just accept his art for what it is. Would I rather see someone else on art? Definitely. BUT Larocca has done every issue without any real delay so that kinda falls in with the “consistency” of the book I guess.


  11. Dan Griffin says:

    Pretty Frank Cho art……..wait a gosh darn minute….dem words Dese characters are saying are….pretty damn funny. Dese here Loeb is a comics Genius.

    After reading said issue, that is what you’re intelligence is down graded too.

    At lease we have the pretty Cho art.

  12. Stamps says:

    I can’t believe you made it all the way through Deadpool corp prelude #1 Jose.
    I flipped through it in my LCS and my god it SUCKED! I put it back on the shelf and walked away. It’s giving Deadpool Team-up a run for its money on worst Deadpool book.
    You Sir deserve an award.

  13. megamanx4ever says:

    even though I do like ultimate avengers I did think that whole scene with red skull killing that baby was to much and I didnt like that scene.

  14. Mike McNulty, a.k.a. "stillanerd" says:

    With regards to the whole backstory to the Red Wasp in Ultimate Comics Avengers #5, take a look at what two particular creators have said about the issue of female comic book characters as the victim rape when they commented about the “Women in Refrigerators” website.

    Mark Millar: “As regards the female characters thing, I’m afraid I think it’s giving male creators a bum deal. The list does read pretty shocking at first until you think of everything the male heroes have gone through, too, in terms of deaths/mutilations/etc. Granted, the female stuff has more of a sexual violence theme and this is something people should probably watch out for, but rape is a rare thing in comics and is seldom done in an exploitative way.”

    Joe Quesada: “I think it’s sad and terrible. I think that too many creators got on the “Bad Girl” bandwagon and did nothing but pander and exploit their own creations. To be honest, many creators that I’ve talked to solely created those characters to be exploited and exploitative. Now mind you I don’t see this as a gender thing as much as I see it as a genre thing. Everybody is out for the quick buck and too many are too lazy to try to come up with something original. I know it’s scary but if tomorrow’s hot comics are about one-legged Mongolian dwarfs, than you can be sure that more than one respected creator will be jumping all over the concept but will claim to be giving it “their spin.” (…) The worst news is that it’s a million times worse in other parts of the entertainment field, mainly because there is more money involved and fewer morals.”

    • Thank you for your comment but I am interested to hear your opinion on this matter. Are you saying that these quotes absolve Millar and Quesada or help make my point? I surely think that it makes them look more like hypocrites than anything else.


      • Mike McNulty, a.k.a. "stillanerd" says:

        That’s exactly why I put those quotes up. Because in the context of what they said about female characters in comics with regard to the depiction of rape in comics, and then to have a scene in which Mark Millar has as part of the Red Wasp’s backstory, being gang-raped by the Red Skull’s hencemen (not to mention forced to kill her husband and watch her baby get tossed out the window) AND the fact that, as EIC, Quesada had to approve of this issue, it certainly does make them look pretty hypocritical. So yes, I think it helps support your argument.

    • Hey Millar y’know why rape in comics is a rare thing in comics? BECAUSE IT SHOULDN’T BE THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE!!! You think its sad and horrible Mr. Quesada? You fucking let it slide every time in every comic you hypocrit!

      Sigh… I’m done.

  15. Smallmaniac says:

    I applaud Fraction for all the work he’s done. He walked into a pile of feces and started cleaning it up, and the mess is pretty much gone. After the movie introducing me to the IM world, the book made me a lifetime fan of Pepper Potts. She was the main reason why I bought this book every week. From getting blown up and having the repulsor tech implanted in her chest, becoming the non-violent hero R.E.S.C.U.E, and even being the only one to question whether or not they should bring Stark back because it wasn’t fair, I have never been a such a fan of a Marvel character as I have Ms. Potts. Also, his work on Tony Stark has been nothing short of miraculous after Civil War.

  16. david says:

    have never even touched an Ultimate comic.

    shame on all of you.

  17. […] folks, Elliott here.  After Jose’s brilliant capsule review of Ultimate Comics Avengers #5, someone posted it on the boards.  I always get a chuckle out of hearing what folks […]

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