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@JohnMcCubbin3 Reviews: @Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy #2, Uncanny Avengers #7, Uncanny X-Men #5, Young Avengers #4


Here are today's "Guest Reviews" by John McCubbin from Imagination Centre. Included are Marvel's; Guardians of the Galaxy #2, Uncanny Avengers #7, Uncanny X-Men #5, and Young Avengers #4. I have also added my rating after each review. If you have any questions about my rating or want to discuss anything just leave me a comment.


See the Review Rating Overview page for more information on how I rate each comic.


Guardians of the Galaxy #2


While London deals with the brutal Badoon invasion, the fate of the Guardians of the Galaxy may have been decided millions of miles away.


Preview



Blam! Murdered You!


I never was a fan of the Guardians of the Galaxy prior to this series, having only read a couple of issues from Dan Abnett's run, and a couple of issues of the series that preceded that, and although the Abnett issues were good they didn't quite get me hooked. This series however has done that, and with the brilliant start, and it continuing in that fashion I'm really looking forward to the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie next year.

Plot

The Guardians of the Galaxy, and Iron Man try and save the Earth from the Badoon invasion on their own, as with no communication available they can't call for help. Also Star-Lord's (Peter Quill) dad J'son of Spartax gathers a group to discuss the future of the Earth, and whether they'll be a threat to the Universe.

Review

Although still not quite as good as the point one issue, this was still better than the last, and shows great promise for the remainder of this story, as well as the series as a whole. Brian Michael Bendis really has been producing big with his Marvel NOW! series, as although I don't read Uncanny X-Men, I've heard good things about it, and he's also doing a wonderful job on All-New X-Men, which although not the best Marvel NOW! series', it is one of my favorites. This was a very exciting, and action packed issue, that also had a lot of development. Although the development was interesting, it did however slow down the story a bit, and that's what makes this not quite to the level of the point one issue, as the point one issue also had more emotion in it. Don't get me wrong this issue still has plenty of emotion, and in the right way, but I just feel that the more innocent emotion that was shown in the point one issue was much stronger. Bendis has also been doing a great job of showing how the Guardians work as a team, as he makes it obvious that they've been working together for a long time, but also takes the time to show newer readers like me just how they work together, and that they are still learning. Bendis has also done an amazing job of the background work on this story, and has my interest held for future developments.

The art from Steve McNiven, this time having a bit of help from Ultimate Comics Spider-Man artist Sara Pichelli was once again amazing. Now I'm not entirely sure where Pichelli's art fell into this issue, as although I've seen and enjoyed her art in Ultimate Comics Spider-Man the art in this issue looks similar, which is a good thing. There was however slight differences in the artwork from the London fight sequence, which I believe McNiven drew, and J'son's meeting which I believe Pichelli drew, but the overall similarities made this for a very natural tone, as having completely different style usually changes the tone. The detail from Pichelli was brilliant, but there was times when McNiven's felt a bit rushed, and although the overall rough artwork suited certain sequences there was times were it looked rushed. I also loved the layout from both artists, and more so McNiven, as it really helped to add drama, excitement, and suspense to the story. The only reason however that McNiven did a better job of this is that Pichelli's art was mostly still, and although it was dramatic, the layout of the action by McNiven was more dramatic. The facial emotions from both artists was also expertly handled, and although Pichelli's looked a little stiff at times, overall it was very good, and the art from both artists was an overall joy, working perfectly together.

Read the rest of John McCubin's Review on Imagination Centre

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 4/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 4/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 5/5
Verdict - 4.4 - 
(Buy Guardians of the Galaxy Prem HC Vol. 01 Cosmic Avengers)


Uncanny Avengers #7 - The Apocalypse Twins, Part 2


Enter The Apocalypse Twins! The beginning of the end begins with their arrival!


Why do they seek to anger The Celestials? What is their connection to Kang? How is Thor responsible for their mighty power?!


A death at the hands of an Avenger divides the team!


Will Sunfire torture an S-Man to save mutant lives?

Preview



The True Heirs to Apocalypse


This series didn't have the perfect start, and I believe that was mainly due to the shipping delays, but now that that's no longer a problem the series appears to be getting much better, and the last three issues have been amazing, and this upcoming story arc shows ton's of promise.

Plot

Apocalypse's illegitimate son Holocaust wants to take the name of Apocalypse for himself seeing it as his birth right, but with the return of the Apocalypse Twins, Uriel, and Eimin, things are about to change. Also the Avengers Unity Squad are dealing with the incident involving Rogue killing Grim Reaper, and Captain America, and Sunfire visit S.W.O.R.D.'s Peak station.

Review

This was yet another amazing issue, and although not quite as good as the previous issue, it was still the next best issue issue so far, and was the perfect start to this new story arc. Rick Remender continues to amaze me with this series, and although it had a shaky start it's now on the right track, and looks to be phenomenal. Remender has amazed me in the past, and especially with Uncanny X-Force, so the fact that this story's continuing from where he left of there has me really excited, and the way he's managed to add another element to make it appropriate for an Avengers story is also brilliant. The reason I think the last issue was better was due to it being a prequel set centuries prior to this it was in a way it's own story, that lead into this, giving more room for excitement, whereas with this being the official start of the story it needs to leave room for development, as well as continuation from the previous events. Remender has also done an amazing job of developing the characters, as although they have been around for years, Remender is showing new sides to them, as well as how they develop as a team (even though they don't do much this issue). I'm also still loving the way Remender narrates this series, as it gives it a unique feel, as well as adding drama to sequences that wouldn't have it otherwise.

Daniel Acuña once again did an amazing job of the art on this issue, and I really think that he's the man for this series, as although John Cassaday, and Olivier Coipel did an amazing job with their artwork, with them also being higher on my favorite artists list, Acuña's art really suits this series more, especially for this story. The detail in Acuña's art is also magnificent, as he draws it in a way that has less background, or fabulous backgrounds. The best thing however about Acuña's art is that he does his own inks, and colors, and I feel that this really makes him stand out more as an artist, especially the fact he does his own colors, which are beautiful, giving a nice sleek tone to the series. Despite the way he handled the backgrounds the overall layout of the issue was also brilliant, adding more depth, and drama to the issue, making it feel more alive, and vibrant. Acuña also does a great job with the characters facial expressions, showing the emotions perfectly, and and although the odd expression was a bit weird, it was weird in a good way. The way he handled the action (even if there wasn't much of it) was also brilliant, and really helped to yet again add more drama, and excitement to the issue, and his art overall made the issue much more amazing, as although Remender's writing was brilliant, it's still only half the comic, and if the issue had terrible artwork it would hinder the story.

Read the rest of John McCubin's Review on Imagination Centre

My Rating



Cover & Solicit - 3/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 3/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 4/5

Verdict - 3.6 - (Buy Uncanny Avengers #7)


Uncanny X-Men #5


FRAZER IRVING (Batman and Robin) joins the creative team of UNCANNY X-MEN!

Learn what it's like to be a student at Cyclops' new school.

Preview


Magik's Problems


I originally wasn't going to get this series, hence the reason I'm reviewing it so late. I did however decide to get it as it had decent reviews, but the main reason was the upcoming Battle of the Atom crossover which features this.

Plot

Cyclops goes to confront, and comfort Magik over her recent problems, and learns that she was dragged to Limbo (Hell) against her own free will by the demonic like Dormammu.

Review

This was a phenomenal issue, and although I've been enjoying the series so far, I can finally say that it's finally met my expectations. With the first four issues being all over the place, with poor pacing, and not enough excitement it was nice to have an issue that was, as this issue stuck to one main plot development, whilst also being brilliantly paced, and exciting. Brian Michael Bendis has really out done himself here, creating something truly wonderful. Bendis also continued to give us some outstanding dialogue, and although a lot of other things topped that this time round, in general his dialogue has been the best thing about this series, and it continues to be very fun at times, whilst also being dramatic, and serious at others. Bendis also did an amazing job of livening up this series, as although it's been very interesting, it's sometimes felt a bit dull, and not as exciting as it could be. I also loved how in this issue Bendis featured on an X-Man that isn't always in the spotlight, Magik, which was nice, as I don't want a series that constantly focuses on just Cyclops, Emma Frost, and Magneto, as although they're bigger names than Magik, she's still a huge member of the team, and Bendis showed that here.

The art was also phenomenal, as although I started to like Chris Bachalo's art (which is saying something considering I don't like his art in general), it is nothing compared to Frazer Irving's artwork, which is simply outstanding. Besides the fact I prefer Irving's art, I feel that this really suits his style more, as Bachalo is more suited for fun, and normal action, and Irving is more suited for the weird, and magical, like what this issue was. The way he drew all the X-Men was brilliant, and although there were very minor imperfections, it in no way took away from his marvellous art. Irving's layouts were also perfect, giving more depth to the story, whilst also adding more mood, and drama, which really help the overall quality of the story. The best thing about Irving art however had to be the way he drew Limbo, and Dormammu. It was simply out of this world, and although it's probably not as hard to draw as you'd initially think, Irving still manages to make it look stunning. Another thing that helps with Irving's art is the fact that he does his own inking, and coloring, as this gives him full control over the final art, making sure the tone, and mood suits him. It certainly does that, as although you can mostly tell his art due to his style of coloring, it also really helped this story, and set the perfect mood.

Read the rest of John McCubin's Review on Comic Vine


My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 4/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 3/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 3.7
 - (Buy Uncanny X-Men #5)


Young Avengers #4 - Deus Ex Machine Gunner


Kate Bishop finally turns up!

A lovely day trip to Central Park for a group of cheery youngsters.

LIES! It's not lovely as they're being pursued by bad guys and it's not a day trip as (er) it's at night.

A shameless retcon into Marvel Boy's history!

Preview



Surprisingly Enjoyable


Before this series started I was really looking forward to it as the teaser in the Marvel NOW! Point One issue was brilliant, but unfortunately it's been disappointing. I do however have faith that this series will become good, but if it's not consistently good, or at least interesting in the next story I may be dropping it.

Plot

Kate Bishop, and Noh-Varr return to help the rest of these Young Avengers, and after a visit from Noh-Varr's parents the question remains, can the Young Avengers trust Loki?

Review

This was surprisingly a very enjoyable issue, and if it continues like this there may be a lot of hope for the future of this series. To be fair this story has been very dull, and although this issue has been much better than the previous issues in the story I doubt I will have fond memories of it. Kieron Gillen hasn't really been doing well in Marvel NOW! so far, as both this series and Iron Man (which I dropped after the first story) have not really appealed to me, so it was nice to see him do good on this issue. Now this issue wasn't without it's flaws, and there were moments were it could have easily have been as poor as the last couple of issues, but Gillen did manage to give the fun vibe that I hope for in this type of series, as well as shock, and interest. I still think the whole foundations of this story with the weird parents isn't good, and can't wait for it too finish, but I am glad that it's at least exciting, and fun, with some humor, and amazing action. Gillen also surprising gave some brilliant emotion, as although he's shown that he can do this in previous series like Journey into Mystery he hasn't really done it that much in this series.

The art from Jamie McKelvie, and Mike Norton was once again amazing, and although I'm still not 100% sure on how the art's split between the two it doesn't stop it from being amazing. The detail in the artwork is brilliant, as everything looks perfect, whether small, or large details. The style of artwork that McKelvie, and Norton use on this series suits it brilliantly, as the cartoonish style helps to give more of a fun atmosphere to the series, which it needs. I also love the way it's laid out, and especially in the double page that shows Noh-Varr's actions in M.J's Nightclub. I also love how the characters themselves are drawn, as they look brilliant, and the facial expressions are handled brilliantly, adding more drama, and suspense to the issue. The action was also fabulously handled, being very dynamic, and entertaining, and overall McKelvie, and Norton did an amazing job. Matthew Wilson also did a brilliant job with the coloring, and they really suit the tone of the series, making McKelvie, and Norton's art look even more fun.

Read the rest of John McCubin's Review on Imagination Centre


My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 3/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 3/5
Layout & Flow - 3/5
Story - 3/5
Verdict - 3
 - (Buy Young Avengers #4)

Purchase Marvel Comics
John McCubbin is a blogger at http://imaginationcentre.blogspot.co.uk/ and a comic book reviewer at Comic Vine. The use of this review has been authorized by the original author.

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