Sticking to the plot


  • Books
  • Friday, 22 May 2009

X-Men Origins – Wolverine (one-shot/US$3.99) Writer: Christopher Yost Artist: Mark Texeira

The recent X-Men movie movie simplified Wolverine’s origins and fortunately we have this one-shot that neatly collects ol’ canuckle head’s comics-based adventures. This bumper-sized issue retraces the comic book milestones in Wolverine’s colourful past.

In chronological sequence, readers get to revisit the following events: the feral one’s Weapon X ordeal (Marvel Comics Presents # 72-84), post-confrontation with the Hulk and Wendigo (Incredible Hulk # 181), stint with Canada’s Department H/Alpha Flight and his first meeting with Professor X (Giant Size X-Men). While the outcome is already known, this trip down memory lane is made fun by the creative team’s representation and selection of essential events.

In a nutshell, the bare essentials prior to Wolverine’s induction into the X-Men are explained – with emphasis on his berserker trait. A worthy addition to the Wolverine-mythos. Plus Texeira’s pencils makes this a reunion-of-sorts, having contributed a memorable stint to the regular title in the 1990s. The contents presented here contradict the movie version, by remaining true to the various comic-based story-arcs over the last two decades. Kudos to Marvel for sticking to the original plots, instead of going with the silver screen version.

X-Men Origins – Sabretooth (one-shot/US$3.99) Writer: Kieron Gillen Artist: Dan Panosian

While the Wolverine one-shot focuses on the hero, this issue gives his arch nemesis equal billing. The comic books, arguably, have abundant Wolverine vs Sabretooth slobber-knockers and every killer move possible (from decapitation to lobotomy) has been used.

But the “defining moment” between them occurred when Sabretooth “killed” (Kayla) Silverfox. That formed the premise of most of their battles, which this one-shot capitalises to perfection. The movie version conveniently explains Kayla’s “death” and role. But comic fans have had to endure a longer period as Logan and Creed’s feud became an anniversary event (on the former’s birthday)!

Additionally, this one-shot retraces the duo’s involvement in Team X and Creed’s growing pains – not a pretty sight but enough to permanently engrave Sabretooth’s name on my “must hate” Mutant list.

Flash Rebirth #2 (of 6) (DC/US$2.99) Writer: Geoff Johns Artist: Ethan Van Sciver

Barry Allen’s blistering resurrection hits a few speed bumps as adverse reactions impact both foes and friends alike. While Barry figures out his new role in this 21st century setting, his JLA compadres have neatly explained his “disappearance” by blaming it on witness protection!

What’s cool is watching the chemistry between him and Iris, which comes at the expense of his partnership with Hal Jordan @ Green Lantern and his successor – Wally West. In short, the build-up continues with a startling revelation at the end of this issue.

On the creative front, Ethan Van Sciver is showing some consistency, while Geoff Johns lives up to his promise of paying tribute to seven decades of Flash-mythos. Kudos to DC for keeping this “hot event” at US$2.99! Shame on you Marvel for not doing the same for Dark Reign.

Deadpool #10 (Marvel/US$2.99) Writer: Daniel Way Artists: Paco Medina and Juan Vlasco

The Merc-with-a-mouth meets another merc-with-a-mouth plus a deadlier aim! Deadpool v Hawkeye and Bullseye in the same issue ... that is before Pool kills a pizza delivery boy and finds out that Hawkeye is actually Bullseye! Confused? Rest assured, it’s for a good reason (and that includes killing the delivery boy). Amidst the politics and propaganda from Norman Osborn’s ascension into the Marvel Universe’s corridor of power, Deadpool’s presence stands out not just as comic-relief but also proof that good ol’ fashion fun still exist in today’s storytelling. Now if only they would bring back Groo!

Power Girl #1 (DC/US$2.99) Writers: Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti Artist: Amanda Conner

I’VE lost track of how many Power Girl revamps have been done. But after the brilliant character boost she received from the pages of Justice Society America, one more try might prove the right tonic.

Or that is what I thought as this Gray-Palmiotti attempt focuses on re-establishing “PG” in her Karen Starr secret identity, while promoting her software company – StarrWare.

The Human Torch Comics #1 (one-shot/US$3.99) Writer: Scott Snyder Artists: Scott Wegener and Adi Granov (cover)

In conjunction with Marvel’s 70th anniversary, this one-shot pays tribute to the House of Ideas’ pioneer heroes. Combining a blast-from-the-past highlight (a reprint of a vintage Torch story) and new material (22 pages!), you have enough to provide you with an insight as to who the original Human Torch (Jim Hammond) was/is … and why Johnny Storm is much hotter!

Comics courtesy of Earth 638 (Lot 2.13 J, 2nd Floor, Atria Shopping Centre, Jalan SS 22/23, Damansara Jaya, Petaling Jaya, Selangor). Hotline: 03-7729 6380, e-mail: (earth638@streamyx.com).

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