Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe by Cullen Bunn – A Review

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Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe by Cullen Bunn
Art by Dalibor Talajic
Superheroes | Comic Book
Published by Marvel
Released November 14th, 2011
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_3_and_a_half_stars

Over the years, Marvel has done a lot of interesting comic book series that take place outside of their normal Earth-616 universe, which is the primary universe for Marvel Comics. Setting their stories outside of the main universe allows them to get away with things that they otherwise wouldn’t, such as killing off big-name characters or destroying the entire world.

Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe is one of those stories. Containing four issues, the series focuses on Deadpool as he tries to wipe out all of the world’s superheroes and villains while breaking the fourth wall. Like many Deadpool comics, this one is fairly meta, and it was an enjoyable story to read.

While many comic books are appropriate for all ages, I would say that this one might not be okay for children or people squeamish about blood and violence – there’s a lot of gore. It’s also rather silly though… so I guess just use your discretion.

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Dalibor Talajic did a great job with the art. The style fits well with the story, and it’s the kind of colorful, simple yet detailed art style I prefer in comics.

There are other books in the Deadpool Killogy series, as well as three other Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe volumes. I enjoyed my time with volume one, but I’m not sure if I’m going to read on. The novelty of it was enjoyable, but I have a feeling it’ll get a bit repetitive after a while.

Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe will never be considered one of Marvel’s great series. It’s a fun tale set in the non-dominate Marvel universe that’s enjoyable to read once but probably not over and over again. I definitely recommend it if you like Deadpool, as it’s a decent representation of his character. However, I would not recommend this short series if you’re new to Marvel’s universe or to Deadpool.




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Is Wolverine Gay?

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When I was browsing my newsfeed this morning, I came across an article that I was pretty sure was clickbait: “The Internet’s Freaking Out Over Marvel Making Wolverine Gay.” Another article that came up was from Vice: “Wolverine Might Be a Sexually Fluid Mutant in a Throuple – Deal with It.

I did more research, and yeah, Marvel definitely has made some insinuations that Wolverine is gay or bisexual and is possibly in a relationship with Jean Grey and Scott Summers. Also, apparently in an alternate universe Wolverine and Hercules had a thing? I don’t think I read that one, but that happened.

While some people are welcoming this change, there’s also a large group of people who are very opposed to it. A lot of the articles I’ve found are in favor of making Wolverine gay or are applauding Marvel for being “woke”, and I wanted to share a different opinion to voice some of the problems that die-hard comic book fans experience with Marvel’s changes like this one.

First, and most importantly, it’s incredibly unfair for these news sources (or for anyone, for that matter) to call anyone that is unhappy with this new change “homophobes and bigots” (quoted from the first article I linked to). It’s okay to have discussions about sensitive topics without resorting to calling anyone that disagrees with you a bigot.

A quick note: Both Marvel and DC have focused a lot on diversity over the past several years. This article, however, will focus entirely on Marvel. First, because it was prompted by the Wolverine controversy; and second, because 90% of the comic books I read are published by Marvel.

I love and support diversity. America is full of so many people with different religions, races, and sexuality, and it’s amazing! As a die-hard comic book fan, I want more diversity in comic books. 

Yes, traditionally, a high percentage of comic book characters are white, straight men. However, over time that has changed. In 1966 Marvel created Black Panther; in 1979 Northstar, the first openly gay mutant, made his debut. Marvel is not new to diversity: we have disability rep with Daredevil and Xavier; religious diversity with Kitty Pryde and Magneto; superheroes from all over the world, like Sunfire, Storm (one of my personal favorites), Brother Voodoo, Warpath, Thunderbird, and Nightcrawler. Is there room for more diversity? Absolutely, and I welcome it!

There are a lot of problems that I have with Marvel’s recent decision making, however. I understand that they want to attract more people to their comic books, this just isn’t how to do it. And here are the reasons why not:

It’s lazy.

Instead of retconning existing characters, and making an established heterosexual character (like Wolverine) gay, make awesome new characters! I’ve read Marvel comics that have been published from the 60s to recent times, and 90% of the time, the story is made up of essentially all the same characters. Marvel needs fresh, exciting characters to breathe some new life into their stories, which might help them boost sales.

It alienates existing fans.

As I mentioned in the introduction to this article, I got upset at the articles I was reading that labeled anyone upset at Wolverine’s very sudden change a homophobe or bigot. That’s not what is going on here.

Here’s an example of this kind of controversy that happened a few years ago concerning the MCU. Iron Fist. Iron Fist was created in 1974. His origin story is as follows: Danny Rand, a white, rich kid from NYC, is in a plane crash with his parents over the Himalayas. Both of his parents die, and Danny is raised by a group of monks who rescue him. After becoming the Iron Fist, having completed a series of challenges, he goes back to New York and fights crime and such.

He’s a character completely out of place in the Himalayas, but the monks take him on and train him as one of their own. He’s a great character, with a lot of growth. For people who are life-long Iron Fist fans, it’s difficult when people attack the character for not being Asian and doing martial arts. When the series was released on Netflix, there was a lot of yelling about Danny Rand’s race. Here’s one quote that always sticks out to me, from Keith Chow:

Instead of a white man appropriating the qualities of Asian mysticism, it could have been a story of an Asian-American going back to his parents’ homeland as a way of reconnecting with them — a feeling that many second-generation Asian-Americans can relate to.

It does change the character and the story. I’m not going to broach the topic of cultural appropriation in the article. Comic book fans take canon seriously, just like other fandoms do. These backstories are important to a lot of fans, and they define who the character is and where they come from, why they are the way they are.

One of the reasons that people are upset that Marvel is insinuating that Wolverine is gay or bisexual is that his character, from his first introduction in 1974, has been that he is a heterosexual, cigar-smoking, tough guy with a lot of snark and the hots for Jean Grey. And Mariko Yashida. And Rogue. And Storm. And Domino. And Lady Deathstrike. And Maureen Logan. The list continues on and on.

It’s insulting.

This ties in a bit with my first point that Marvel is just being lazy and not making the effort to create new characters. I can’t speak for everyone, obviously, but do we really want diversity in the form of slapping a new sexuality, religion, or skin color onto an old character? That’s not how diversity works. This is another reason why Marvel and DC should focus on creating new characters instead of just changing existing ones.

The personalities and storylines are taking a back seat to labels.

As I’ve mentioned several times in this article, I love diversity and want more of it in comic books. I’d especially love to see more fat and disabled characters. However, many newer stories and plotlines that Marvel has come out with seem to equate race or sexuality with a personality trait. A personality trait is being short-tempered or giddy. It’s not the same thing, and focusing so much of their storylines on the diversity of their characters makes them feel one dimensional. We are all so much more than a label, and that should apply to well-rounded fictional characters as well.


I’m aware that not everyone is going to agree with me. My goal here is to make people aware that different viewpoints exist, and that jumping to calling people that disagree with you bigots just fuels the anger and divisions that are springing up everywhere. Diversity in literature (including comic books) is important and we need to have these discussions. We just need to look at how we’re getting that diversity and what can be done to best represent the cultures that have been in the background.



What are your opinions on all this? Let me know in the comments.




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Shuri, Vol. 1: The Search for Black Panther by Nnedi Okorafor – A Review

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Shuri, Vol. 1: The Search for Black Panther by Nnedi Okorafor
Illustrated by Leonardo Romero
Coloring by Jordie Bellaire
Comic Book | Science Fiction | Superheroes
Published by Marvel
Released May 7th, 2019
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_2_stars

I wanted to like this collection so badly, but it just… wasn’t good.

When I saw that Marvel’s Shuri series was going to be written by science-fiction writer Nnedi Okorafor, I added it to my TBR immediately. I’ve read Okorafor’s Binti, and although I didn’t love that novella, I was intrigued enough by her writing to want to give some of her other work a shot.

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Nnedi Okorafor

In the Marvel comics world, Shuri was never a prominent character until quite recently. While she at one point took over the role of Black Panther from her brother and played parts in several storylines, she wasn’t ever the center of the story.

With the success of Marvel’s Black Panther film, that’s changed. Which is great! I loved the Black Panther movie and Shuri’s character was delightful. I’m always going to root for a fun, brilliant, female scientist. I wasn’t surprised to see Marvel releasing a Shuri-centric comic book series in the film’s wake.

It didn’t take long into the story to start to realize that Shuri, Vol. 1: The Search for Black Panther wasn’t going to live up to my expectations.

The very first thing I noticed was the atrocious artwork, which you can see below. The art itself was done by Leonardo Romero with the coloring being done by Jordie Bellaire. I don’t know whether to fault the artist or the colorist for this or perhaps both of them:

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It’s just bad. There’s no shading or defining of the character’s faces. It’s blocky and made up mainly of primary colors. There’s no depth to it. The artwork turned me off of this collection before the story even started. Comic books are a medium that depends on the art just as much as the story, and I was surprised to see such a lack of quality in a comic book series that has the potential of attracting new fans.

As a quick side note, the covers for this series were done by a different (and better) artist named Sam Spratt. The covers of all of these issues are gorgeous.

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One of Sam Spratt’s covers

The story takes place after T’Challa, aka Black Panther, takes off into space for an unknown mission. He’s essentially disappeared, and no one is sure how to bring him back. In the meantime, Shuri is approached by her mother and by a secret organization of African leaders and is asked to take on the role of Black Panther until her brother returns.

That’s only one part of this story. The other part is Shuri and friends trying to defeat a giant space insect who eats music and excretes black holes.

The story did absolutely nothing for me. Like the artwork, it was simplistic and one-dimensional. It also required previous knowledge of the characters, especially since Shuri is followed around by multi-dimensional beings and/or ghosts called the ancestors that sprang from a previous series. As I mentioned before, the creation of this series, at least on Marvel’s end, had to have been to attract some movie fans into the comics world, and it can be intimidating to readers when there’s so much of the backstory not explained.

Another issue I had is that there was so much nonsense going on that Shuri’s personality faded into the background. She can be a more interesting character than this series presents her as.

I’m going to give Nnedi Okorafor’s writing one more chance, mainly because I own a copy of her novel Akata Witch. However, I’m starting to think her writing just doesn’t mesh with me. Aside from that, the art in this collection is just terrible. I can’t recommend this series, but I guess if you’re a huge Shuri fan you might still want to read it. I won’t be continuing with this series.


Have you read Shuri, Vol 1? What did you think? Let me know in the comments.


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Dead Man Logan, Vol. 1: Sins of the Father by Ed Brisson – A Review

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Dead Man Logan, Vol. 1: Sins of the Father
Written by Ed Brisson
Art by Mike Henderson
Comic Book | Superheroes
Published by Marvel Comics
Released June 25th, 2019
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_3_stars

Dead Man Logan is a follow-up series to the much more popular Old Man Logan series. When we encounter Logan (Wolverine) for the first time in this collection, we learn that he’s dying due to the adamantium in his body slowly poisoning him. Before he dies, however, he’s out on a mission to kill the supervillains responsible for taking over the world in his own universe.

Let’s back up a little, in case you haven’t read or aren’t familiar with the Old Man Logan series. In that series, we follow Logan (Wolverine/James Howlett) in one of Marvel’s alternate universes, this one called Earth-807128. (Marvel’s normal timeline is Earth-616.) In all the ways that count, Earth-807128’s Logan is identical to the Wolverine that we’re all familiar with: the adamantium skeleton, the claws (snikt!), and the incredible healing factor.

For a review and more information about Old Man Logan, read my review of the first collection of issues. Essentially, however, Logan lives in a post-apocalyptic wasteland where the supervillains of the world have united and won. The United States has been divided up between the Hulk Clan, Kingpin, Doom, and Red Skull. Logan and his family live on a small farm in Hulkland, where he tries to lead a normal life while blaming himself for the death of the X-Men.

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That’s essentially all you need to know to go into Dead Man Logan. 

One of the biggest things that bugged me about Dead Man Logan is that the art, which is done well by artist Mike Henderson, isn’t dark enough for the story. It’s too colorful and cartoony for a story about Logan’s illness and his mission to prevent a terrible war before it has a chance to occur.

While the plot itself was an interesting concept, the execution of it was a bit lacking of substance. For one thing, it was incredibly predictable. There were only one or two moments in the entire collection that I wasn’t expecting, and that made it rather boring to read. Also, why did writer Ed Brisson turn Hawkeye into a huge douchebag? I hate the direction they’ve taken with Hawkeye’s character over the past few years, and the insults to him in this series is obnoxious. There are a ton of jokes along the lines of no one knowing who Hawkeye is, his not having any superpowers, being useless, etc. However, this isn’t exactly true, as Hawkeye was one of the earliest members of the Avengers and has done a lot of amazing and heroic things throughout Marvel’s history.

(Side note: Hawkeye is one of my boyfriend’s favorite Marvel characters, so I’ve learned a lot about his history and personality over the past two years.) 

As always, I’m not going to give away spoilers, but at the end of the collection, Logan meets someone he’s only heard about, and that was probably my favorite part of the entire story.

In the end, there was too much that I didn’t enjoy in this collection for me to give it more than three stars. As I said before, the plot of the story was interesting but it’s execution was not well-down. Logan’s revenge could have taken a much more interesting track than it did in Dead Man Logan. 


Have you read Dead Man Logan, Vol. 1? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!




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Old Man Logan by Mark Millar – A Review

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Wolverine: Old Man Logan by Mark Millar
Art by Steve McNiven
Comic Book | Superheroes
Published by Marvel Comics
Released November 11th, 2009
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_5_stars

I could easily sum this review up in one sentence: This collection was perfect.

I’ve been hearing about Mark Millar’s Old Man Logan for years, but never actually picked it up. However, I was at the library a couple of weeks ago and while there, decided to take a look at the graphic novels shelves. This collection immediately caught my eye, so I took it home.

And gosh darn, this series is amazing.

Old Man Logan is set in an alternate universe, Earth-807128, rather than Marvel’s normal Earth-616 universe. In this reality, the supervillains have won, and taken over the world. The United States has been split up between the Hulk Gang, Kingpin, Doctor Doom, and Red Skull.

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The supervillains were able to win after the “night the heroes fell,” although no one really knows the details of that night. What happened to Wolverine is just as mysterious, as he disappeared and no one has seen or heard from him in fifty years.

When we meet Logan in this series, he’s living on a farm with his wife and two children in Hulkland, just trying to survive. He’s retired as Wolverine and has made a vow to no longer fight.

One day Hawkeye approaches Logan and asks for his help transporting something across the country, a mission that will pay well enough for Logan to pay the rent on his farm for a long time. By this time, Hawkeye is nearly blind, and Logan tells him that he will not do any fighting. Together, they make the trip and encounter a lot of horrors along the way.

This story was incredible and kept me engaged the entire time. I’ve read some of Mark Millar’s other stuff and it’s all been good, but this collection really blew my mind. This version of Logan is the same as the one who eventually travels to Marvel’s Earth-616 universe, so anyone who reads the normal Marvel timeline comics needs to read this collection to get a better understanding of Old Man Logan’s backstory.

When we find out the truth about what happened the night Wolverine disappeared, it’s truly tragic and heartbreaking. It also explains why he’s decided to no longer fight. Even though this all takes place in an alternate reality, it carries over to Marvel’s “real world” and has a number of implications that affect those storylines.

The art, done by Steve McNiven, was also wonderful, and dark enough for this sort of story.

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If you’re a fan of Marvel or Wolverine, this tragic story is a must-read. The story combines the depth of one of Marvel’s best characters with a Mad Max-setting to create something truly unique where the heroes fail and the villains have won.


Have you read Old Man Logan? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!




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Storm by Eric Jerome Dickey – A Review

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Storm by Eric Jerome Dickey
Collects Storm #1-6
Art by David Yardin & Lan Medina
Comic Book | Superheroes
Published by Marvel Comics
Released on January 16th, 2008
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_2_stars

The X-Men’s Storm is one of my favorite Marvel characters; probably in my top five. So, when I saw this collection at my local library, I definitely wanted to read it.

I had never heard of this series before, which isn’t that weird considering how many X-Men comics Marvel has come out with in the last fifty years. Storm is the story of Ororo Munroe growing up in Africa as a member of a band of thieves and orphans. She’s a master lockpick and is learning how to control her burgeoning powers.

One day, Storm steals a camera from a tourist at the prompting of her peers. In the process, her powers manifest as she gets away. However, the man she steals the camera from isn’t just any tourist; he’s on the lookout for a “Windwalker” such as Storm, and from then on tries to capture her at any cost.

At first glance, it’s a decent premise. However, that part of the story seems to be secondary to the main plot, which is Storm (Ororo) wanting to become a woman and losing her virginity to Black Panther (T’Challa). That’s one of the reasons I rated this collection two stars – we don’t need a comic book series focusing on that topic. Also, I found it very off-putting that Storm’s character was written in such a way that the only way she can truly feel like a woman is through sex.

Another issue I took with this series is that it isn’t canon. This collection proposes that the first time Ororo and T’Challa meet is when she’s a teenager and he rescues her from her would-be captors. In reality, however, (well, in Marvel’s Earth-616 reality), it’s actually Ororo that aids in rescuing T’Challa after he’s kidnapped. Their romance is canon, but it didn’t happen as written in Storm and, again, is it really necessary to make one of the main plots in this series about her losing her virginity just so that she can feel like more of a woman? No. The answer to that is no.

The art is fine, not a favorite of mine or anything spectacular. The cover art was a bit off-putting, but that’s a personal preference.

Storm is a wonderful and very complex character in Marvel’s universe, but this collection reduces her to being nothing more than a boy-obsessed normal teenager. Skip it and just read some classic X-Men.


What is your favorite Storm or X-Men comic series? Let me know in the comments!




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Deadpool vs. Carnage by Cullen Bunn – A Review

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Deadpool vs. Carnage by Cullen Bunn
Art by Salvador Espin, Mike Henderson, & Kim Jacinto
Comic Book | Superhero
Published by Marvel
Released September 9, 2014
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_2_and_a_half_stars

I want to like Deadpool, but what I’ve read of his character so far I’m just not feeling. My boyfriend keeps telling me that Deadpool’s character when he was first created – when he was a very NSFW, brutal, insane, and very much not silly mercenary – is considerably better than story arcs that have been published in the last decade, especially since the movie was released.

This collection is exactly what you’d expect, which is Deadpool fighting Carnage. That sounded awesome to me, as I’d never seen those two characters go after one another before, but the execution of it was poor.

Basically, Carnage breaks out of prison and goes on a random murder spree, which is nothing new for him. After all, Carnage is an insane mass murderer. Deadpool learns of Carnage’s rampage while watching television and decides that he can find Carnage, so he sets out, following a pattern that only he can discern, and tries to find Carnage.

As far as the plot goes, this one is fine. The execution of it, however, left a lot to be desired.

Let’s start out with some positives. The pacing of the story is good, and it’s easy to read. I feel that people who like modern Deadpool – the silly, meme-y version, might enjoy this story arc more than I did. Also, Cullen Bunn’s writing is fine. While I didn’t enjoy many of the jokes, the story was easy to understand and it was wrapped up nicely.

Also, the art, which was done by Kim Jacinto, Mike Henderson, and Salva Espin, was good. Not the best I’ve ever seen, but good.

Okay, now for the rest. My biggest complaint with this collection was that Deadpool and Carnage were essentially the same characters – they were both telling the same jokes, and seemed to have exactly the same personality. While Carnage and Deadpool do have some similarities, such as murdering for fun and being insane, they are far from being the same. I feel like if you were to switch their dialogue with one another, the story wouldn’t really change.

I didn’t enjoy reading this story arc. The only reason I finished it is because it’s very short – 120 pages – meaning I could finish the whole thing in roughly half an hour. I want to like Deadpool, but I think I’m going to have to go back and read some pre-2000s Deadpool to get to know his character a little better.

In the end, I’d recommend skipping this story arc. It doesn’t have much to do with any other story, so it’s not essential reading, and there are much better comic book collections that you can pick up with both characters.


Have you read Deadpool vs. Carnage? What were your thoughts? Do you have any Deadpool comics you’d recommend? Let me know in the comments!




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The Best Merch for Doctor Strange Fans

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I’ve mentioned so many times on this blog that Doctor Strange is my favorite Marvel character. I spent some time this morning playing around on Amazon for some cool Doctor Strange merch (I like to virtually window shop when I’m bored) and wanted to share some of the stuff I found with you guys.

Note: I am an Amazon affiliate, which means that if you purchase these items through the links provided, I make a small percentage at no additional cost to you. It helps to keep the website up and running. 



Eye of Agamotto Leather Journal

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As someone who loves journals and collects more than I could ever dream of using, this immediately caught my eye.


Tamashii Nations Doctor Strange Figure (Movie Version)

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Why most of this list will be items based on the comic books rather than the recent Marvel film, I had to include this. While a little on the pricy side, this is one of the best Doctor Strange action figures based on the film that I’ve ever seen. The quality is wonderful and I love the hand prop. This is one that I would definitely add to my collection.


Doctor Strange and Baron Mordo Coasters

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I love these minimalistic steel coasters of Doctor Strange and one of his oldest nemeses, Baron Mordo.


The Mysterious World of Doctor Strange by Billy Wrecks & Danny Graydon

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This is an art book that takes a look at Doctor Strange since his beginning. I’ve seen this in person and it’s gorgeous.


Eye of Agamotto Keychain

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Doctor Strange Action Figures – Defenders Version

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This is one of Doctor Strange’s less known costumes from his time as part of The Defenders. I love the quality of this figure.


Doctor Strange Omnibus

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If you want to just buy one book to get to know this awesome character, may as well make it this one.


Sanctum Sanctorum Lego Set

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Mezco Doctor Strange Figure

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Doctor Strange Little Golden Book

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It’s never too early to get your children hooked on Doctor Strange.


Diamond Select Doctor Strange Figure

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Doctor Strange Funko Pop Bobblehead

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I actually already own this, and I love it so much. I have it on my desk at work and it’s fun to play with while I’m being screamed at by customers over the phone.


Doctor Strange Mr. Potato Head

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I’m not sure why this exists, but it does.


Doctor Strange Wig

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I always encourage cosplay, and this is one of the better quality wigs I’ve seen for his character.


Eye of Agamotto Makeup Brush Set

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Doctor Strange Classic Hoodie

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What are your favorite items on this list? Let me know in the comments!




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Doctor Strange: A Separate Reality by Steve Englehart – A Review

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Doctor Strange: A Separate Reality by Steve Englehart
Illustrated by Frank Brunner
Comic Books | Fantasy
Published by Marvel Comics
Released April 29, 2002, First Published in 1974
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_5_stars

Doctor Strange has been my favorite Marvel character since my boyfriend first introduced me to the comic book world. It’s no surprise really, as I love magic and the occult and trippy 60s/70s art, all of which Doctor Strange comics contain.

Doctor Strange: A Separate Reality is a collection of Doctor Strange comics from 1974 – Marvel Premiere Vol. 1 #9-14 and Doctor Strange Vol. 2 #1-5. In this collection, Doctor Strange, along with help from Clea and Wong, fight against the dark forces of Sise-Neg and Silver Dagger.

While I’m pretty up to date on modern Doctor Strange comics (with the exception of the currently-running Mark Waid series, because as much as I adore Doctor Strange, I’m really not a fan of Waid’s writing), I still have so much to read when it comes to the older comics.

This collection has some important moments in the overall life of Doctor Strange, and as such is a must-read for any fan of his.  I’m not going to say too much as to the plot, because I went into this blind and I think it’s the best way to do so. What I will say is that this collection contains both Doctor Strange becoming Sorcerer Supreme and achieving immortality.

The stories contained in A Separate Reality are really fantastic. Steve Englehart did a fabulous job of showing all sides of a complicated character and pacing the story in such a way that it is incredibly enjoyable and deep at the same time. That’s something that is not always easy in comic books since each issue is usually less than thirty pages. There is so much contained in these pages that it’s damn impressive how much story Englehart managed to write.

And then we have the art, which is so amazing. Before reading this collection, I wasn’t really familiar with the name Frank Brunner, but I will be searching out some of his other work for sure! It’s colorful and trippy and the perfect example of why I love Doctor Strange comics so much. Here are a few examples:

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If you’re already a Doctor Strange fan or if you’re new to his character and want a great example of why he’s one of the best Marvel heroes, A Separate Reality will be a great place to start.


Have you read Doctor Strange: A Separate Reality? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!


Want more Doctor Strange?

Doctor Strange: The Fate of Dreams | Doctor Strange: The Oath




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The Mighty Thor Vol 1 by Walter Simonson – A Review

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The Mighty Thor, Vol. 1 by Walter Simonson
Comic Book
Published by Marvel
Released August 27, 2013
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_2_stars

My local public library has a wonderful collection of comic books and graphic novels, which I am forever thankful for. Although I subscribe to Marvel Unlimited (which I consider a must-have for Marvel fans), sometimes I still prefer to read single story arcs in a physical format. Plus, when I check out these collections from my library, they’re usually story arcs that I hadn’t heard of before.

Although I’ve read plenty of Avengers comics and am familiar with Thor through those, I haven’t really spent much time on Thor’s solo stories. When I saw that my library had a bunch of his stories from the late sixties, I decided to pick up the first volume to see if I would like it.

Comic books that were written in the 50s to late 70s tend to be a little cheesy, which is not a bad thing. Sometimes I like cheesy. This collection, which comprises The Mighty Thor #337-345 does not skimp on that cheesiness. For example, we’re introduced to a new character named Beta Ray Bill, and he looks like this:

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Beta Ray Bill is an alien on a mission to find a new planet for his people, who are being killed by a mysterious group of space demons. During this mission, he ventured close to Earth, where S.H.I.E.L.D. spotted his ship and became concerned. Nick Fury sent Thor to investigate, and they ended up fighting one another. During the fight, Thor transforms back into his human form, Donald Blake, just for a moment, but that moment is enough for Beta Ray Bill to defeat Thor and take Mjolnir, Thor’s magical hammer.

I don’t want to give too much of the story away, but volume one of this series focuses on Beta Ray Bill and Thor trying to figure out where these space demons came from and how to fight them.

As you can probably gather from the two stars I rated this book, I wasn’t a huge fan. Generally, Thor isn’t one of my favorite Marvel characters in the comic books. He’s fine, but I’ve never read a series or story just because he was in it. I’ve also never been a fan of Thor during the phase when he had a human form, who was named Donald Blake.

If you’re not familiar with Donald Blake, in Marvel’s early days of writing the character and backstory of Thor, Odin turned Thor into Donald Blake to teach him humility. Mjolnir, his hammer, was turned into a cane while he was Donald Blake, and if he needed to transform into Thor, he would just forcefully tap his cane. Thankfully, for the most part, Marvel has done away with this backstory, which is fine by me. I always found it silly. One of the aspects of this collection I did like was that it’s essentially the end of Donald Blake, who you can see below:

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I’m not sure I’ve read anything by Walter Simonson before this collection, and I was definitely not familiar with the name. Simonson did both the art and the writing for this series, and his art is colorful and detailed. His art actually holds up quite well when compared to Marvel’s current aesthetics. Here’s an example, plus a couple of bonuses: first, seeing Thor trying to look like an NYC hipster in the 60s with a ponytail, and a confusing Superman/Clark Kent cameo:

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The story was fine, the art was good, but it took me almost four days to finish reading this collection, which is absurd. I was bored for the majority of it. Usually, with a collection this small, I can finish it in an hour. I was disappointed because I feel like I should have loved it. After all, I love Norse mythology (even though Marvel’s Thor is a very, very loose representation of those myths), there’s a dragon, and lots of magical, flying fights. And there’s spaceships and stuff! All of the components for a really exciting story is there, but none of it really connected for me, and I couldn’t get over how silly I found Beta Ray Bill to be.


Have you read any of Walter Simonson’s The Mighty Thor? What were your thoughts?




 

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Rogue & Gambit: Ring of Fire by Kelly Thompson – A Review

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Rogue & Gambit: Ring of Fire by Kelly Thompson
Art by Pere Pérez
Comic Book
Published by Marvel
Released July 17, 2018
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_5_stars

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I talked about my top 10 favorite X-Men characters? Number one on that list was Gambit, aka Remy LeBeau.

As soon as I found out early last year that Marvel was going to be putting out a new series about Rogue and Gambit working together, I immediately added it to my pull list at my local comic book store. I love the tension between these two characters, so I was excited to see where this story went.

Rogue & Gambit: Ring of Fire takes place on a tropical island at a couple’s retreat. The pair is sent there by X-Men leader Kitty Pryde because mutants have been mysteriously disappearing. Rogue and Gambit are the perfect couple for this mission as they really are an on again/off again romantic couple with plenty of baggage and issues to work through. Things don’t go quite as planned once they arrive, however.

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The story has the pair of them fighting against the nefarious people running the retreat, plus dealing with their own past and all of the things that have pushed them together and pulled them apart over the years.

I adored this series. First, there’s the art, which is perfect. One of the things I liked about this series is that there are a few parts where we’re reminded of many of their past superhero costumes. Pere Pérez did an absolutely wonderful job with everything. He also did a perfect job of making the characters’ faces very expressive.

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Then there’s the story itself and the writing. Kelly Thompson is one of the best writers in the comic book industry right now, and that really shows with this series. There’s so much tension between the characters, but the writing also shows how much they care for one another. The story also moves at a great pace with plenty of action while still making time for the difficult topics between Rogue and Gambit.

The only aspect of the story that could have used a little more attention was where the villain was concerned. Her motivations felt weak and she wasn’t shown to us enough for us to really care that she was there. The star of this story was Rogue and Gambit working through their demons, and their mission at the couple’s retreat felt secondary.

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To read this series, I’d recommend that you have at least some knowledge of the X-Men, particularly in series where Rogue and Gambit work together on the same team so that you get more of an idea about their past together. If you already have that knowledge, though, definitely read this series. It’s only five issues, so it’s relatively short, but it’s perfect. Also, there is another, on-going series with Rogue and Gambit called Mr. and Mrs. X, and it is best to read this series first.


Have you read Rogue & Gambit: Ring of Fire? What did you think?





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Death of Wolverine by Charles Soule – A Review

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Death of Wolverine by Charles Soule
Art by Steve McNiven
Comic Book
Published by Marvel
Released September 3, 2014
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_3_stars

Wolverine is undoubtedly one of the most popular Marvel characters. In 2014, Marvel killed off Wolverine in 4 issues, titled Death of Wolverine.

The story of Death of Wolverine is about exactly what you think it will be: the death of Wolverine. This review mentions his death, but will not contain spoilers as to how he dies.

The story was a bit of a let-down for me. I expected the death of such a pivotal character to feel epic and powerful, but the story left me feeling as though his death was unimportant. It just didn’t carry any weight for me. His death felt mediocre, especially knowing how often Marvel brings back characters from the dead.

Steve McNiven’s art is wonderful and did a better job of enticing the reader than the actual story did. I would have given Death of Wolverine two stars if not for the artwork. Here’s an example:

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If you want to read Death of Wolverine, you just need to have some pre-existing knowledge of who Wolverine is, which I believe most people already have. Honestly, I don’t really feel as though this is an important comic to read. Wolverine dies, and nothing else about the story has any impact on anything else.

I’m sorry that this is such a short review. There’s really nothing else I can think to say about this collection. The title explains exactly what happens, and the story itself is pretty underwhelming.



Have you read Death of Wolverine? What did you think?




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Comic Book Releases for June 5, 2019

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It’s Wednesday, which means it’s comic book release day! Here are some of the most exciting issues coming out. For a complete list, head over to Midtown Comics.

Not sure where to buy your comics? Check out Comic Shop Locator for shops near you. If you don’t live in an area with a local shop, you can purchase from Midtown Comics, directly from the publisher, or through Comixology if you prefer digital copies.

The highlighted issues are the ones that I’d personally recommend.



Marvel

  • Age of X-Man Prisoner X #4 by Vita Ayala and German Peralta
  • Black Cat #1 by Jed MacKay, Travel Foreman, and Michael Dowling
  • Captain Marvel Vol 9 #6 by Kelly Thompson and Annapaola Martello
  • Cosmic Ghost Rider Destroys Marvel History #4 by Paul Scheer, Nick Giovannetti, and Todd Nauck
  • Dead Man Logan #8 by Ed Brisson and Mike Henderson
  • Deadpool Vol 6 #13 by Skottie Young and Nic Klein
  • Domino Hotshots #4 by Gail Simone and David Baldeon
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 5 Annual #1 by Al Ewing and Yildiray Cinar
  • Incredible Hulk Last Call #1 by Peter David and Dale Keown
  • Marvel Team-Up Vol 4 #3 by Eve Ewing and Joey Vazquez
  • Meet the Skrulls #5 by Robbie Thompson and Niko Henrichon
  • Old Man Quill #6 by Ethan Sacks and Ibraim Roberson
  • Savage Avengers #2 by Gerry Duggan and Mike Deodato
  • Spider-Gwen Ghost Spider #9 by Seanan McGuire and Takeshi Miyazawa
  • Star Wars Age of Rebellion Luke Skywalker #1 by Greg Pak, Chris Sprouse, Stefano Landini, and Scott Koblish
  • Tony Stark Iron Man #12 by Gail Simone and Paolo Villanelli
  • Uncanny X-Men Vol 5 #19 by Matthew Rosenberg and Carlos Villa
  • War of the Realms #5 by Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman
  • War of the Realms Journey into Mystery #4 by Clint McElroy and Andre Araujo
  • War of the Realms New Agents of Atlas #3 by Greg Pak and Gang Hyuk Lim

DC

  • Adventures of the Super Sons #11 by Peter J. Tomasi, Carlo Barberi, and Matt Santorelli
  • Batman Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III #2 by James Tynion IV, Freddie Williams II, and Kevin Eastman
  • Batman Vol 3 #72 by Tom King and Mikel Janin
  • DCeased #2 by Tom Taylor, Trevor Hairsine, and Stefano Guadiano
  • Deathstroke Vol 4 #44 by Christopher Priest and Fernando Pasarin
  • Dreaming Vol 2 #10 by Simon Spurrier and Bilquis Evely
  • Female Furies #5 by Cecil Castellucci and Adriana Melo
  • Green Lantern Vol 6 #8 by Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp
  • Harley Quinn Vol 3 #62 by Sam Humphries and Otto Schmidt
  • Justice League Vol 4 #25 by Scott Snyder, Jorge Jimenez, and Javi Fernandez
  • Shazam Vol 2 #6 by Geoff Johns and Dale Eaglesham
  • Young Justice Vol 3 #6 by Brian Michael Bendis and John Timms

Image

  • Birthright by Joshua Williamson, Andrei Bressan, and Adriano Lucas
  • Criminal Vol 3 #5 by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips
  • Eclipse #16 by Zack Kaplan and Giovanni Timpano
  • Man-Eaters #9 by Chelsea Cain and Kate Niemczyk
  • Paper Girls #29 by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chang, and Matt Wilson
  • Section Zero Vol 2 #3 by Karl Kesel and Tom Grummett
  • Sharkey the Bounty Hunter #4 by Mark Millar and Simone Bianchi
  • Stray Bullets Sunshine and Roses #41 by David Lapham
  • Thumbs #1 by Sean Lewis and Hayden Sherman
  • Walking Dead #192 by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard
  • Witchblade Vol 2 #14 by Caitlin Kittredge and Roberta Ingranata

IDW

  • Marvel Action Avengers #5 by Matthew K. Manning and Jon Sommariva
  • Star Wars Adventures #22 by Elsa Charretier and Pierrick Colinet
  • Tangled the Series Hair and Now # 3 by Katie Cook and Eduard Petrovich



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Daredevil: Back in Black, Volume 8: The Death of Daredevil by Charles Soule – A Review

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Daredevil: Back in Black, Volume 8: The Death of Daredevil
Written by Charles Soule
Art by Phil Noto
Comic Book
Published by Marvel
Released February 5, 2019
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_3_stars

While Daredevil has never been one of my favorite Marvel characters, he is one that I’ve always wanted to know a little more about. My interest was piqued by the Daredevil Netflix series, which I loved. After watching it, I started searching for Daredevil comics to read.

From what I have read over the past couple of years, the stories tend to be very hit or miss for me. Regardless of when they were released or who the writers were, I’d say there’s a 50/50 chance of my loving or hating each story arc.

I decided to give this collection a shot after seeing it at my library in the new releases section. It turned out to be mildly entertaining but nothing unique or really enticing.

The story follows Matt Murdock (Daredevil’s true identity) as he works with a lawyer named Frank McGee from the Inhumans to take down Mayor Wilson Fisk (a.k.a. the villain Kingpin) after learning that Fisk bought the election.

McGee puts together a small team to help Murdock/Daredevil find evidence of Fisk’s election tampering. One of these people is named Reader, whose power can make three things become real each day.

One day Daredevil hears a disturbance going on at a bar and decides to see what he can do to help. Once he arrives, however, he’s surprised to meet his fictional brother, Mike Murdock (who I’ve never heard of). With no idea how this “brother” of his has appeared in New York, seemingly really believing he’s Mike Murdock, Daredevil tries to uncover the truth of who Mike Murdock is while simultaneously taking down Mayor Fisk.

This collection comprises issues 606-612 in the Daredevil series. One of my biggest complaints is that, as shocking as Mike Murdock’s appearance is supposed to be, it doesn’t feel like that big of a deal. We barely get to know him at all, which makes any sort of attachment to the character difficult.

A new villain is introduced in this collection, a masked man calling himself The Vigil. He’s a powerful new foe who uses bone daggers to attack his enemies. His powers aren’t anything fancy though, namely strength, speed, and the ability to fight.

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I really enjoy Phil Noto’s art style, and the grittiness of it is very appropriate for Daredevil comics.

Overall, the collection was enjoyable but nothing extraordinary. This was Charles Soule’s last few issues for Daredevil, and it was a sloppy conclusion. If you want to read Daredevil comics, perhaps skip this collection. The art is the best part.


Have you read The Death of Daredevil? What did you think?




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X-23: Family Album by Mariko Tamaki – A Review

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X-23: Family Album by Mariko Tamaki
Art by Juann Cabal
Comics | Superhero
Published by Marvel
Released January 22, 2019
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_4_and_a_half_stars

Once my boyfriend introduced me to comic books, and Marvel Comics in particular, two characters that quickly became some of my favorites were Laura Kinney (X-23) and her little sister/clone Gabby. The first series I read about them was Tom Taylor’s All New Wolverine series. As Tom Taylor is my favorite comic book writer, this newer series written by Mariko Tamaki had some very big shoes to fill.

X-23: Family Album collects issues 1-5. In this story arc, Laura and Gabby run into Emma Frost’s Stepford Cuckoos,  a creepy group of clones with physic abilities. Of the original five, only three of them are left. We soon find out that the Cuckoos have managed to resurrect the two deceased sisters, Sophie and Esme. 

One day, when Laura is working on finding a missing genetic scientist, she and Gabby are individually summoned to a creepy abandoned church. From there, Gabby is kidnapped by the Cuckoos, and the rest of the story is a combination of Laura trying to save Gabby, and the nefarious plans of the Cuckoos.

The plot here is a good one, even if it is a bit predictable. I also enjoyed the subplot of Gabby trying to find out Laura’s birthday, as birthdays are not something either of them has ever celebrated. Their relationship is adorable and I love the normalcy of it on top of the superhero elements.

One thing I would like to point out is you might need a bit of pre-existing knowledge of the Marvel universe, especially where it comes to Emma Frost and her clones, to really appreciate and understand the story. If you’re new to X-23, I would actually recommend the All-New Wolverine series by Tom Taylor.

The art by Juann Cabal is great and absolutely perfect for this series, especially the dark scenes featuring the Cuckoos and colored in shades of black and blue.

The collection also includes issue #6 in the series called “Operation Kindergarten Clone” that I didn’t care for, but as it’s not part of the “Family Album” story arc I’m not counting it against the rating.

I definitely recommend this series if you’re already a Marvel fan, but again, it might not be the best place to start for someone unfamiliar with it.