Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Issue 1-3: Black Widow Strikes 

What I love about Black Widow Strikes is that it delves more deeply into a character which story has just been teased in the Avengers. I wish they would do some books like this for Hawkeye! 

First off Natasha Romanoff aka the Black Widow is on an under cover job to find some stolen Starktech where she meets Sofia, a rival spy determined to prove her superiority. After killing several agents and nearly killing Natasha herself, Natasha stops Sofia from seemingly selling the Starktech to the Ten Rings. 

Seriously this book is really good. Some thought it made the character sappy or something but I would say it made her more interesting. No one wants a character who is perfect or who doesn't have doubts. Well, maybe some do... 

But at any rate this book teases how great a Black Widow film could be. While some may not like it due to it's simplicity, it's an enjoyable book to look more into Natasha's character. 

Besides that, it gives a teaser of the Ten Rings! I think some of the things talked about in here seem to be linked with Iron Man 3. It seems Sofia was hired to steal the code of the targeting software for Hammer's bootleg version of the Jericho missile for the Ten Rings. To me this is beyond cool. 

Not without it's faults but having several redeeming qualities, I give it: 


Issue 1-2: The Amazing Spider-man 

I have to admit I was skeptical of this one but I've got to say it won me over completely. The drama, artwork, and story are all top notch. Which gives me much more hope in this reboot. 

I have get one thing clear. I personally dislike hate the suit in the Amazing Spider-man. But I have to say, it does look very good in this comic. 


But it's not just that. The story is were things begin to get interesting, Peter's thoughts of just wanting to help and prove to Captain Stacy Spider-man is not a dangerous vigilante. 

The story with Gwen is interesting too, I'm wondering if she knows he's Spider-man at this point... 

What's bad about it? Nothing really. A minor complaint is that I doubt thugs could have beat him around so easily. But then he's very much a novice so it's honestly not against what happened in the comics. So the complaint doesn't have much if any bearing. 

Another complaint is it doesn't have enough actual action. He never gets to fight a real threat in the series, it's mainly just a teaser for you to see the movie. Not that that's bad in any way. 

I give it: 


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Episode 21: Winter Soldier 

After seemingly being wished alive by Steve Rogers last season (though the use of the Cosmic Cube) Bucky has made appearances in the past few episodes. While this episode has some minor flaws it makes up for them in passionate performances of the characters. 

The show starts with the Avengers Red Skull in prison with Cap questioning him. Red Skull escapes using a sleeper (a big robot) as a distraction. The Avengers try to find other sleepers but have no luck. Cap with the help of Nick Fury goes off on his own to find Bucky aka the Winter Soldier. When the find Bucky he is battling a sleeper, they help destroy it. Cap gives Tony a heads up that there are more sleepers headed their way. After having little effect on the sleeper (which I'll address further below) the Avengers let Cap and Bucky break in to stop the Red Skull from destroying the White House. Bucky and Cap over come the Red Skull and destroy the sleeper. Bucky parts ways with Cap saying he has to figure out some of his past. 

Okay I loved every single thing in this episode except one thing. The sleepers. Well I actually liked the sleepers, I just wanted more of them and for it to be easier to defeat. I mean seriously the Avengers now have Thor, Ms Marvel, and Iron Man, as heavy hitters not even counting Vision who could have phased though and destroyed the sleeper from the inside. While this makes the show a little silly once you realize they didn't do this just because they wanted Bucky and Cap to save the day, it still doesn't take down the quality of the show. This show has more heart than great action in it, having the moments between Bucky, Cap, and the Red Skull quite memorable. 

Great show, can't wait to see more of Winter Soldier! 


Finally! Hulk is back and angrier than ever! I honestly wouldn't mind Hulk thrashing the Avengers a bit, I mean honestly it's been 13 episodes since he has been in custody. And they din't lift a finger to get him out! 

At any rate the show starts out with Cap and Iron Man going to the Hulkbuster base demanding Ross to let him out. Ross refuses but is out ranked as the President orders him to release the Hulk. Upon being released Banner turns into the Hulk and angrily fights Cap and Iron Man. He runs off only to be found again by the Avengers. Cap tries to reason with him but to no avail, the Avengers attack only to fail. Red Hulk steps in and takes Hulk down. After the Red Hulk receives good press for days, Red Hulk becomes the newest Avenger, Cap disapproves. To prove Banner is being manipulated, Cap secretly breaks into the Hulkbuster base and awakens Banner. With the help of Wasp, Cap breaks off the mind a mind control chip from Hulk's brain. Red Hulk shows up with the Avengers to take down Cap because of his illegal actions of breaking into the Hulkbuster base. Cap explains Red Hulk has been mind controlling Hulk to the Avengers. Iron Man executes nanobots to contain Red Hulk from his Avengers ID card. Red Hulk turns back into Ross and is taken into custody. 

A lot of fun battles in this one including: Iron Man (Hulkbuster armor) vs Hulk, Red Hulk vs Hulk and Thor vs Hulk. 

Glad to see the Jade Giant back on the team, and can't wait till the next episode! 


Monday, June 18, 2012

Episode 19: Emperor Stark 

Okay, I have to admit it. I'm a HUGE Vision fan. It's just his whole personallity, look, story, powers, that all like totally define cool. Lets hope he gets his appearance in the MCU soon! 

At any rate I was slightly sad to see after his amazing appearance in EMH, he was absent in the next episode. Still it's not too much I guess to wait another episode? Anyway this was a great episode that shows just how important Vision is to the team. The story is that after Ultron Unlimited Stark has Vision repaired by his computers which takes 30 days. After Vision's 30 days of being offline, he awakens into a world of the Purple Man, a villain who can mind control anyone with in a certain range. Vision finds that after being humiliated by Stark, he mind controls Stark into launching a Satellite which permits the Purple Man increase his telepathic power to all humans on earth. The Purple Man has all artificial life shut down, including Jarvis. Vision luckily escapes being shut down, as Tony seemingly had been resisting him all the time, wanting Vision to escape and help stop the Purple Man. 

Okay, you guessed it I liked best when the team was fighting each other due to the influence of the Purple Man. Mainly because it shows how much emotion is put into this series and how good the creators are at portraying these characters. 

There are several vs highlights to this episode. I'll mention my favorite. 

Vision vs Captain America 
Making Cap face himself telling Vision his beliefs in a previous episode Ultron Unlimited was pure genius of the creators. 

Captain America vs Hawkeye 
Hawkeye is basically a gunslinger. Well... arrow shooter? At any rate, he's not taking orders if he doesn't want to. He's very much a hired gun arrow. He only follows someone IF he WANTS to! When Cap tells him this to break the Purple Man's mind control I was mentally jumping up and down with joy. 

Captain America vs Iron Man 
This almost reminded me of, you guessed it, Civil War. It's sad there isn't another season of this series since they've hinted to Civil War coming for a while now. It's a pity we will never see it happen in this series. But remorse for later. This fight really shows how good friends Tony and Steve are, they really compliment each other as friends building on strengths of the other one. Oh and I loved the whole, "I can do a lot by wiggling my finger." to the Purple Man. 

I did feel sad that we didn't see the team vs several big Iron Man robots but oh well... also is it just me or does anyone else wonder where is Yellowjacket during this time? Chronologically I think this episode actually came before the Yellowjacket episode. 

But in the end another great episode. 


Episode 20: Code Red 

Naturally it's always good to see Rulk Red Hulk again but I wondered in this episode was he under mind control of the Red Skull? Or was he doing this for his own private vendetta? They weren't too clear on that. But perhaps it'll come to light in future episodes? 

At any rate I enjoyed the episode, mainly because it has one of my favorite characters of all time: Winter Solider! But I'll get to him in a bit. 

One of the favorite scenes in this episode is when Tony tells Steve he want's him to be the official leader of the team. Chronologically this makes perfect sense as Stark could be feeling self doubt as he was mind controlled by the Purple Man in the last episode, passing down the leadership to the one who had the most resistance to the Purple Man. While it wouldn't have worked for The Avengers, I was very happy to see the leadership being first on Iron Man, then passed down to Captain America. 

I keep wondering where Yellow Jacket and the Hulk are though? I'm thinking chronologically the Yellowjacketepisode may be after this episode too? But what of the Hulk? The Hulk was taken into custody, with Red Hulk knowing about it, so could it be that Ross was working with Red Skull to get the Hulk? Things to think about at any rate lets move on. 

I actually was a little surprised at myself I didn't realize who was doing this to them until Cap was in that room. Yeah, I know I couldn't believe I didn't figure it out before then either, I mean it had Red Skull MMO all of it: secretly taking over control of the government, making everyone's face look like his, his hate for Captain America, employment of Winter Solider, etc. But I was very happy to see his return, hopefully we can see a little bit more of him in the next few episodes. 

Okay now, Winter Solider! I loved his portrayal in this, he looks fantastic and I loved how after defeating Cap with his own fighting moves ultimately saves Cap. The one thing I didn't like was how Samson and Falcon were portrayed in this episode. I know they said they were being mind controlled by the Red Skull I would have liked it if they introduced Falcon a different way and had Samson redeem himself by breaking out of the mind control. This way they both seem a little bit too much like accidental bad guys. 

But these minor flaws even out when you realize all the amazing moments in this show. Bring on the next episodes! 


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Episode 15: Powerless

An interesting episode, showing something I like most about Marvel characters (don't get mad DC, I like you too) is that the story is not about their powers, it's about the person with the power. Even without their power these characters are still the same people, which this episode delves deep into. Since this episode has only four characters in it, with each one having interesting points to touch on lets visit each character's story in this review.

Hawkeye: Interesting enough I guess having super marksmanship isn't a superpower. I thought this was slightly funny since Tony's technological side of his brain didn't work, plus got his prototype suit back. Yet Hawkeye still has great marksmanship and doesn't go back to shooting regular arrows. I slightly wonder how this worked out but who knows, I guess it was just because the spell was shot at the others instead of Hawkeye. Still it's fun to see Hawkeye for once defending the others...

Iron Man: Getting back to Tony's smart side of his brain shutting down, I think this was a funny twist to this because evidently Marvel actually thinks he is superhuman in his brain. I also thought it was too funny when Hawkeye hot wired Tony's repulsor. I also loved the banter between Hawkeye and Stark in this episode, this line especially when Tony's explaining to Hawkeye the smart part of his brain seems to be shut down. Hawkeye: "Amazing none of the brain power but all of the attitude. Magic stinks."

Captain America: As usual Cap inspires everyone to continue to fight despite he has the least of strength. I loved that even in his skinny Steve state he still fought the Destroyer a bit. It was in a lot of ways quite amazing. That line I loved in the Avengers from Stark, is a great line but untrue about Steve, "Everything that makes you special came out of a bottle." Steve's superpower is not in his super solider serum, it's in his heart.

Thor: It's funny at how much this episode takes from the film Thor. Thor has to learn humility to break the spell a Surtur controlled Enchantress put on them. I always thought it was interesting when Thor became human because with him being used to such strength, being in a human form must seem like your flesh was made out of paper. Ultimately he learns no mater how much power you hold it doesn't make you any less, it's only the spirit which makes you a good warrior.

Story: It's interesting that the Surtur story line seems to be heating up. Hopefully we can see him in more EMH episodes to come and see him in Thor 2.

Verdict: As always EMH delivers on action, story and humor. Great episode.


Episode 16: Assault on 42

I had been wondering if they would introduce Annihilus in EMH and evidently they did. This episode has a very feeling of doom, very Alamoish type of story. In fact they actually mention this is their Alamo several times in the episode. Another interesting highlight in this episode is Ms Marvel. Carol is quickly becoming one of my favorite (if not my favorite) super heroin. She is interesting and powerful, I loved it when Carol and Thor fought back to back seemingly and defeated hundreds of Negative Zone bugs (that's honestly the best description I could come up with). I also think it's interesting that it's not Captain America, but Ms Marvel who thinks of letting the prisoners out to help defend the prison.

I love how EMH even while it's sort of a "one shot" episode it continues an over all story, such as Thor mentions to Executioner that Enchantress is being mind controlled by Surtur. This seems to pay off as Executioner helps Thor fight some bugs off of him thus saving him from being injured/dying. Seems that humility is working out for you Thor.

Verdict: Great episode. I hope that in the MCU that the Thanos minion (who was talking to Loki) isn't Annihilus, hopefully they can someday introduce Annihilus something more like this version in the MCU.


Episode 17: Ultron Unlimited

How could anyone not like this episode? Seriously, it has Vision in it! Okay, yes I'm a Vision fan. You can really see the geekdom in this episode, if you've read the comics. Amazingly enough this episode actually has two or three story lines fused together yet it comes off great. I also love when the robotic Hawkeye and Cap come in the line that Hawkeye says: "Oh, and by the way, it's really me." (Or something like that.) But I really loved that line as it related to one of the most recently closed story lines in EMH Secret Invasion. On Secret Invasion, I wish they had of done a bit more of Kree/Skrull War story line but oh well. It is sad we will probably never see that story line adapted for EMH.

At any rate I also loved that they introduced Jocasta. While it's only a cameo, it was nice to see that the female robotic Avenger is in this universe, although it's doubtful she'll ever be explored in this series as it is due to be cancelled.

Okay I'm sorry, I keep bringing up the sad stuff about it being canceled. But honestly that's probably the only bad thing about EMH.

I thought the Vision story was done really well, although I would have liked it if they spent a bit more time on it. Still at the same time they needed to move on so I'm not holding that against them.

Verdict: EMH continues to be one of the best cartoons ever and it makes me hope that Vision can be introduced in the MCU soon. Avengers 2 perhaps?


Episode 18: Yellowjacket

First off, I know what story in the comics they were trying to adapted and believe me it's a hard story to adapted. In fact if it's not the hardest it's easily one of the hardest stories to adapt in the Marvel Universe. I do like it that they did adapted it though and despite that it's a very hard story to adapt they did a fair job.

I've never connected great with Hank Pym, I like his character and all that but it always seemed the other characters around him where just much cooler than he was. But when you actually do understand him, this is actually his problem. He actually realizes all the other characters are better than he is, this is why the Yellowjacket personality was born. He's Hank Pym trying to be cool. (Well yes, it is even though he has amnesia and thinks he killed Hank Pym.)

The one thing that kept bothering me during this episode is it wasn't as explained as it was in the comics. Jan's realization Yellowjacket is Hank isn't because he kissed her? Also Hank and Jan don't get married? But oh well. It would be hard to fit all of that story line in one episode. And as I've said before they did a fair job. I felt for those who didn't read the story it was a bit unfair though. How are they supposed to know that Hank spilled some chemicals that made him have amnesia and think he was Yellowjacket (the perfect mate for a Wasp) and that he killed Hank Pym. Yes, I was slightly confused even after I read the comic. Still it's a good story.

Verdict: I hope I'm not being too harsh on EMH creators because I did like the episode, I just thought they could have explained it a bit more and stuck to the story a bit more.