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    ‘Astonishing X-Men’ Gifted is character driven superheroics at its finest

    Astonishing X-Men “Gifted” is one of those storylines that will make long term X-Men fans purr with delight beginning the Claremont era flashbacks in issue one. (Cassaday mimics Byrne’s art quite well.) It also can turn fans (like me five years ago) of the films and cartoons into mutie and comics junkies. Whedon pays homage to older X-Men stories without getting mired in continuity and quickly places his own stamp on the franchise by creating a new alien foe for them (Ord of the Breakworld), exploring the mutant as outsider metaphor with the cure of the X-gene, giving SHIELD a new branch (SWORD), and also bringing a beloved character back from the dead (Colossus) in a touching, visceral way that serves the long term storyline. However, the best part of Astonishing X-Men “Gifted” other than John Cassaday’s detailed, cinematically composed art and Whedon’s insanely quotable dialogue is the character arcs for each X-Man nestled in the bigger plot. More

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    ‘Star Wars’ takes a breath with issue #4

    Following the series’ initial, action-packed story arc, Jason Aaron and John Cassaday settle in for a relatively quiet fourth issue. This is a breath-taking issue, a chance for the creators to focus on characterization and set some plots in motion. To wit, there’s Luke Skywalker, dealing with the reality of his (non)status as a Jedi following his confrontation with Darth Vader in the first arc More

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    Star Wars #3 Brings The Story To An Action Packed, But Abrupt End

    With this issue, Jason Aaron and John Cassaday wrap up the inaugural story of Marvel’s new Star Wars series, an action-orientated finale finds the Rebels fleeing from the surging fury of Darth Vader aboard their purloined AT-AT walker, desperate to reach the Millennium Falcon, as Luke does his best to ensure their mission wasn’t for naught. As a single issue, it’s all a bit rushed (particularly in the subplot with Threepio losing control of the Falcon to a group of scavengers, which added a nice bit of tension to last issue but doesn’t really payoff much here), but it’s to the larger story’s benefit that it only runs three issues. Overall, there’s not much plot here (Rebel mission goes south in part 1, they try to escape in issue 2, they escape in issue #3), but thankfully it doesn’t get stretched out any further than three issues. More

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    ‘Star Wars’ #2 Continues the Series’ Strong Sense of Fun

    For obvious reasons, both the original Marvel series and Dark Horse’s various Star Wars titles generally tended to shy away from direct confrontations between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. Such encounters were the province of the films, and even after the cinematic saga had (seemingly) ended, there was, presumably, a desire to not water down their existing interactions too much by writing in a ton of off screen battles. Both characters were staples of the Expanded Universe, but rarely interacted with one another directly. More

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    Marvel’s Star Wars #1 Hits Just The Right Notes

    Star Wars #1 marks the return of the Star Wars license to Marvel Comics following parent-company Disney’s acquisiton of the Star Wars brand and the expiration of Dark Horse Comics’ license to the property (Dark Horse had been publishing Star Wars comics since 1991, while the first Star Wars comics launched at Marvel in 1977 with an adaptation of the first film which led to an ongoing series that ran for 110 issues; both sets of stories have since been rebranded as non-canonical “Legends”), the first of four new series (for now) to which Marvel intends to apply their not-unimpressive skills at comic book making to the Star Wars brand. More

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    Roundtable Review of ‘Star Wars’ #1

    Star Wars #1 Written by Jason Aaron Art by John Cassaday Colored by Laura Martin Published by Marvel Comics The biggest new release of 2015 (so far) is Marvel’s first endeavor into Star Wars comics for the first time since the 1980s. There are loads of variant covers, quite a few release parties, and rumored […] More

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    ‘Batman/Planetary: Night on Earth’ Celebrates the Batmen of Many Eras

    In the pantheon of unarguably great comics, Warren Ellis’ Planetary holds a permanent seat, being both devilishly clever in its premise and magnificent in its execution. For some 27 issues Ellis, along with artist John Cassaday (with occasional help) opened the chest cavity of 20th century genre fiction, performing the most reverent, respectful and gleeful autopsy known in either fiction or reality. Pulp adventure crimebusters, comic book superheroes, kung-fu cinema, Kaiju Eiga, and more came under Ellis’ knife, both tied together in one beautiful circulatory system and carefully extracted and brought gleaming like new into the light of day. There was also one issue with Batman in it, and it kicked a lot of arse. More

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    Marvel announces three new ‘Star Wars’ comics

    It was bound to happen after Disney acquired Lucasfilms several years after purchasing Marvel. Today at San Diego Comic-Con, as reported by IGN, USA Today, and The Hollywood Reporter, Marvel announced three new Star Wars titles. Each title will be set after the events of the original 1977 film and will be written and drawn […] More

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    The Ten Best Captain America Artists Part 2

    Drawing Captain America either in his own title or Avengers has been a right of passage for superhero artists since the 1960s. Even artists who have gone on to do very different things, like write and draw Superman’s modern origin (John Byrne) or create Blade the vampire hunter (Gene Colan) have had memorable takes on Cap’s adventures. […] More

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    The Ten Best Wolverine Artists (Part 2)

    When these artists started working, Wolverine was one of Marvel’s biggest stars. He got his own solo book in 1988 and was prominently featured in Fox’s long-running X-Men cartoon. Wolverine also appeared in his first solo video games Wolverine and Wolverine: Adamantium Rage in 1991 and 1994. In comics, this was a time of experimentation and changes for the character. He […] More