House of M #1 Review

When I started reading Marvel comics properly I started reading around the time that Avengers vs X-Men had started and at the end of that Hope and the Scarlet Witch used the Phoenix Force for something good and that was to make more mutants. This had me a bit confused when I finished reading the issue and I decided to do some research and read up on what happened in House of M, and a few years ago I picked it up and thought that it was okay but the ending is what makes it good for shaking up the Marvel universe. So, let’s see how this all started by looking at House of M #1.

The cover for it is alright, it’s just the Avengers and X-Men standing on what appears to be either a cliff or possible on top of peak or in crumbling city. However, the alternate cover is a lot more better as it features Scarlet Witch and her face and hands breaking away from her body, almost as if she is losing her mind and control of her powers.

The issue opens with Scarlet Witch in labour giving birth to twins and we see her later in bed surrounded by fellow Avenger members celebrating their births. But the celebrations get cut short when Professor Xavier comes in telling Wanda to put it back and that she doesn’t have any children. Wanda tells him no but Xavier keeps telling her to put the world back, which Wanda then does, through Xavier’s possible help, as that reality comes crashing around them and we see Wanda collapsing saying that she had killed the Avengers, one being her husband, with these events happening during the events of Avengers: Disassembled.

We find out that Xavier has returned to Genosha to rebuild a haven for the mutants where Magneto is also there. He tells Magneto that Wanda’s abilities are getting out of control and she doesn’t seem to be getting any better and they can’t keep on psychically putting her to sleep. Magneto apologises to Xavier saying that this is all his fault since that it was his fault that he put his children through all this mess so that they now can’t have a normal existence and he just floats away into a possible exile.

In New York City, Ms Marvel, Wonder Man and Falcon have been invited to the new Avengers Tower and question why they have been requested. Meanwhile at the top of the tower, the X-Men have landed and we see that for this X-Men team consisting of Beast, Emma Frost, Cyclopes, Wolverine, Kitty Pride and Colossus. Cyclopes asks Wolverine why the Avengers have invited them here but he tells him to wait a few seconds but it appears that Emma knows, but I don’t know since that in my copy the bottom of the page seemed to be cut off since that there seems to be half a panel that is missing and in a good two-page spread we see the Avengers with Xavier roughly in the middle and Kitty running over and hugging him. Cyclopes asks why he is here since that apparently there was a rift between them. Xavier then explains that he had gathered the two team together to discuss the fate of Wanda.

Back over in Genosha, Pietro is looking after his sister where Magneto asks him why he is here and he reveals to him that the Avengers and X-Men plan to kill her and he isn’t happy about it at all. But Magneto thinks that this could be the right idea since that it would a way to stop her powers from going haywire. But Pietro pledges that he will protect her from both him and the Avengers. But Magneto asks him what he would do and Pietro then breaks down at his father’s feet as he is slowly realising that there isn’t anything that they can do.

Back at Avengers Tower there seems to be a split decision on what they should do with Wanda since that there are members of the Avengers that think that this rather inhumane since that they are still dealing with a person that most of them would call friend. Emma asks Xavier, as he is the most powerful psychic on Earth, if he can help her, he replies saying that he wouldn’t have had to arrange this meeting if they had. Emma then turns her attention to Doctor Strange asking if he might have been any help with the mystic arts, but apparently, he is still looking into finding a solution. Captain America says that they should let Doctor Strange continue looking into a mystic cure but some of the X-Men think that it would be a waste of time since that they are fighting against the clock. Emma comes up with the suggestion that it should be up to a vote, which makes sense since that she was a part of the Avengers, but she is also considered to be a threat to the mutants as well as humans. But the vote doesn’t happen as both teams still are at heads with each other with the Avengers having their reasons to not want to kill Wanda, with Wonder Man’s previous relationship and Janet and her having a sister connection. This then leads to the idea that they should ask Wanda what they should do, which is a good and stupid idea since that this would mean that they could get her to do the old Star Trek motto of ‘The Needs of the Many’ or she could just use her powers and destroy all of them in one fell swoop.

They head to Genosha where they discover something more worse, Wanda isn’t in her bed or even on Genosha and then all Hell starts to break loose as when they start trying to find where Wanda is, Xavier goes missing. Emma discovers where Xavier is, luckily, he is still in Genosha, and they head out where they have a location, which leads them to what appears to be a church. Doctor Strange still hasn’t sensed Wanda since that in the past she has used mystic patterns but this time he isn’t sensing anything what so ever, but Emma is certain that they are inside. Spider-Man’s senses start to go off as they head into the church and we get something rather different for the series as we get two-pages of just images without text and Spider-Man seeing a white light. After the next page of the light getting bigger, we see Peter waking up to the sound of a baby crying and a woman saying that it is his turn, and as we see it turns out that Peter is now married to Gwen Stacey, ending the issue.

For a first issue, I do really like it since that it brings up a lot of problems that have happened in previous stories. But the thing that I do really like that was explored for the issue was dealing with an issue that was close to the not only the Avengers but also the X-Men and from what I remember, I don’t think that had happened at that point.

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The Dark Knight III: The Master Race #5-6 Review

Previously in The Master Race, Ray Palmer let out a crazy cult of Kryptonians, in which he was killed, but in fact size changed to the sub atomic level, like what Scott Lang did in Ant-Man. Lara, the daughter of Superman and Wonder Woman, aligned herself with the Kryptonian group. Carrie has now taken the mantle of Batgirl.

Issue five opens with riots happening through Gotham City as residents are wanting Batman to surrender to the Kryptonians so that they could be saved. In the sewer system, two of the Bat-Army members are taking the Flash, who had his legs broke by the Kryptonians, is sent to one of Batman’s secret bases and Barry asks if he can save then in which Batman doesn’t reply and we cut over to where the micro issue for last issue left off. Carrie and Aquaman are underwater where Carrie is now sporting a Atlantean diving suit surrounded by dozens of Angler fish, and she is narrating how much her life has changed over the years, but she says that this is the is the strangest that she has seen and we have a two-page spread of the two of them still standing on top of the shark, but this time they are also surrounded by Atlanteans all riding different aquatic animals.

Back up top Lara asks Quar why they are letting the humans do their work for him since that they would be able to do it quicker and more efficient but he replies with that he gave them a choice and not a demand. Lara then let’s slip that she has a baby brother that lives with their mother and this intrigues him and we get a quick shoot over to Wonder Woman over throwing down a deer.

Somewhere in the middle of a sea, Aquaman and Carrie fish out the Black Matter Superman, in which she uses a tuning fork, not saying where she got it from, she sticks it in and the casing starts glowing and cracking, meaning that Superman is still alive. Back in Gotham, Quar is overlooking the destruction that is happening in Gotham and is happy with what he is seeing. But then a large explosion happens and we see the Bat-Tank and narrates about fear, we then get a shot from inside the tank and we see Batman decked out in his bulky power armour, but the most frightening thing that we see in the bottom of the page is a panel of Batman smiling.

The micro issue for this comic is rather pointless as it focuses around Lara and Baal who are going around the place having fun, in which Baal throws a car that slightly resembles the cover of Action Comics that Superman debuted in. It is rather boring with Baal kissing Lara and then her decking him in the face and then her making out with him in the ‘Amazon way’.

Superman and Carrie head back to the Bat-Cave where they find Barry suspended by wires and cables where it looks like that he is using the speed through his arms. Superman wants to get answers on what had happened but Barry cuts him off and by saying that he doesn’t have time as he is trying to manipulate weather patterns and we get eight panels of him trying to speed away with his hands but he still is having some problems since he isn’t used to use his hands for speed and he tells Superman to wait to see what they have install for him. There is something that I did find weird with this and that was with the way that the artist drew Superman and that is it appears to be drawn much younger than what he should have been.

Back in Gotham, Batman has stopped his Tank and the rioters try to surround and climb up to Batman in which the Kryptonians find him and we then see Yindel activating the Bat-Signal in which we see a large green light engulfing the Kryptonians and we see lightning and rain starting to pour green through the light. Quar orders his followers to attack Batman, but we see the Kryptonians falling out of the sky. As it turns out Batman used his money to create clouds to disperse synthetic Kryptonite through Gotham, not just making the Kryptonians lose their powers but to give an advantage to the angry mob so that they can beat them up. Batman goes one-on-one with one of the Kryptonians but it appears that he is having some problems trying to move, but it turns out that there is somebody there for him. And we see Superman inside a power armour shielding him from the rain and showing my Batman and Superman are the Super-Friends.

Issue 6 opens with the continuing after effect of Batman’s synthetic Kryptonite raincloud as one of the Kryptonians is confused on what was happening to them and says that they will die and Batman asks Superman who is going to shut him up, but we don’t find out who since we now cut over to the angry mob and the group of Kryptonians. One of the rioters throws a rock at one of them and it turns out that they can bleed so that must mean that they can kill them and they start chasing them, right into the path of Commissioner Yindel blocking their escape saying that they are going to bring justice. It is a wonderful two-page spread especially at the bottom of the page where we see the lines of shielded police with the rioters in the foreground with weapons sticking out.

Back with the Super Friends, we find out that Batman decided to beat up the Kryptonian, by grappling him and then throwing him into Superman’s chest. Carrie reunites with them and is given to the keys to the Bat-Tank and that all from them for the time being as we cut over to Quar, who gets hit by a bolt of lightning and he keeps on with his mad projecting saying that he is better than him and so forth. But one of the Bat-Army snipes what appears to be using a sonic and the rest of the army in the adjacent building fire off their guns and it manages to do a lot of damage sending him into a wall, where Batman has a recording device projecting the state that Quar is now in, showing him in a weakened state. But then we cut over to the old tropes from the Dark Knight series and that is the political satire portion where news about Quar is being shared and all of them saying different things. But the most notable and parodied for today’s modern politics is the one of Donald Trump.

It also turns out that Lara and Baal were the only two Kryptonians that weren’t in the city at the time since that in the micro issue last put them in another part of the world and they decide to give them an upper hand, by taking out a rioter by crushing his head. Baal then uses what seems to be an energy release like the heat beam that Superman uses, however with the way that he is drawn it looks like that he is just standing still and firing multiple blasts where it just seems confusing. Carrie notices what Baal did, since that the multiple blasts took out a flying troupe of Batmen, but it doesn’t last long as Baal is able to wreck the Bat-Tank by just standing still. Baal starts chasing Carrie from the site and she gets cornered in an ally, but she has an ace in her utility belt. A small ball of Kryptonite which she loads up into a sling shot and hits him straight in the eye causing his face to start melting and he flies off in pain.

The micro issue for this comic is good, but boy does the cover show how bad of an artist that Frank Miller is by having both Lara and Wonder Woman posing in mid-air kneeling forward but having their heads tilted backwards so that we can see their faces. The main plot for this story deals with Carrie and Lara, with Lara wondering why she is here and saying that she is going to be the chosen on of her death, but that is interrupted when Wonder Woman making the save, by binding Lara with the Lasso of Truth, which Lara easily snaps. They get into a fight and it comes to an end when Wonder Woman knocks Lara down trying to get through to her, but it is to no avail as she just flies away.

Back over with the Super-Friends, Batman notes that the Kryptonite Rain has started to disperse but Batman thinks that they won’t attack them again since he has sent fear into them. Superman says that he is going to finish them, but Batman rejects the idea stating that he wants them to lick their wounds and know what fear is. But Quar makes a parting shot with an eye beam that is aimed straight at Batman, and it doesn’t look good for our Dark Knight as on the final two pages as a EKG goes underneath the panel ending with Batman flat-lining and Batman final words of No Hospitals and for him to tell Carrie something.

Over all I found these two issues to be better than what the previous issues. But the most important thing that I like about this is the fact that it reunited Batman and Superman as friends which is something that I’m surprised that Frank Miller would have agreed to since that in DK2 and All-Star Batman and Robin where the two of them seemed to be opposites and not what their main continuity where there have been friends and have trust in each other. Next year I will continue looking at DK3 as I will review the final three issues as well as a possible look at The Last Crusade.

Halloween Month: Helsing #1 Review

For the past few years I have been massing comics on my Comixology app thanks to free comics that I have massed and one of them was a comic called Helsing and I originally thought it was going to be a rather bad comic, but after re-reading it a few times when I have been at work, I was wrong about it. I have always been a big fan of vampires and Van Helsing so I thought why not decide to review the first issue of Helsing from Zenescope.

The cover for this issue is rather decent, showing out titular characters brandishing a crossbow with what appears to be a silver arrow with one hand and a stake in her other hand. The other covers are okay with one cover appearing to be possible Dracula on one cover, an action shot. But there are two covers that are rather bad with one of them being a swimsuit variant from C2E2 and a cover that has Liesel standing, with her back facing the reader and her legs spread apart showing off her butt.

The issue opens with a text recap on what happened to Liesel Van Helsing previously for people who are just jumping on to the series, which I do think is a nice idea. Basically, it says that she was trapped in a dimension called the Shadowlands where she was stuck there for a century, but she managed to find a way out and is now living in the modern day fighting against evil along with other characters from the previous series. The story begins with Liesel looking over a new schematic of what appears to be a gun, along with a stake as well as three people walking through a graveyard. Liesel narrates throughout going over what she is doing, that being creating a new weapon to deal with vampires and that it takes a few attempts to get it right. The vampires meanwhile start resurrecting a corpse and we see Liesel coming up behind two of them stabbing them through the back piercing their hearts. The lead vampire notices who she is and he tries to run away from her but she manages to pull her new gun on him and fires, shooting a large stake, as well as seeing her creating the special stake round with a few special capsules. The stake pierces the vampire by punching a hole through his chest thinking that he is okay, but he then spontaneously combusts. Liesel narrates that she created additions to the stake with having two separate vials on the round with one being silver and the other being a concoction that mimics UV light causing him to burn from the inside. But she then remembers that the vampires had resurrected a corpse and that she should go and take care of it.

I should also talk about Liesel’s costume that she wears for the issue. Her costume consists of a black and red corset, a black duster jacket, short pants with fishnet stockings with boots and topping it off a top hat with goggles. I do like the costume since that it does go with the motif of her being adapted for steam-punk.

After dealing with the vampires she heads back to her house where she discovers a package that we see that is addressed to her, but she just ignores it and she gets a text from somebody named Hades and she realises that she had forgot that she was supposed to meet up. She then narrates on how much dating has changed in the past few centuries since its went from courting and marriage pursuits to texting and sending selfies. She arrives at the address he sent her and it turns out to be a cupcake shop. And we then get a few rather confusing panels with Hades relaxing on a chair with relaxing his feet on another chair and then in the next panel there are two seats at the table with Hades sitting up properly. The two of them converse over why he picked the cupcake shop, then she asks him why he keeps flipping between accents, in which we find out that he had abandoned the underworld and lived life on the surface. But she then asks him a rather weird question, that being how many people he has killed and they go off on a weird tangent and she then leaves with her saying that she doesn’t think that they should see each other but then that seem to then be changed and he asks to go and see his favourite film but she says no and leaves the shop. But then Hades gives us a number of people that he has killed that being 300,507 and that the last that we will see of Hades for the rest of the issue.

Liesel, now back at her home, she is reading a book and she then gets a phone call from a person called Sela, who used to live with her but had moved out, and they have a catch up and Liesel brings up the package that she had found when she came back from her testing. But she then realises that it has her name on it so she decides to open it up and she finds a book in it that seemed to have made her happy and she hangs up the call from Sela, in which it turns out that the book was in fact the Journal of Abraham Van Helsing, her father.

This then leads to a story heading to a flashback focusing on a take from the journal. We see a man dressed in brown coat with a green suit vest walking down a busy street in what appears to be New York and Abraham narrating about taking down a person, called Walt Melville as it appears that Melville is a vampire. Melville tires to light a pipe and the man that we saw walking down the street gives him a hand with the light and he walks into a hotel. The man then jumps through a window, that being on the second floor, wielding a stake in his hand and stabs Melville through the chest but something appeared to be rather different than what has happened before. The mist that usually appears from the hole didn’t appear and the Melville had become a mist form and it then escaped him. But that is how tale had ended since that it appears that the journal had some missing pages. Liesel annoyed with this throws the journal on the ground, something that she was happy to have, then notices that there was a bookmark in the book with the name of a bookshop that’s in Rome.

This then leads Liesel to take a Red-Eye to Rome to find out who had sent her the journal and we just see her still wearing civilian clothing. But we then cut over to outside the Coliseum decked out in her Vampire Hunting gear. The issue ends with three women in white dresses noting the arrival of Liesel, with one saying the reckoning has begun.

Overall with the issue I did like it, the only thing that I found to be a bit of a disconnect was the segment with Hades, it seemed to be rather different from the rest of the issue and I think for new readers it would seem like a weird thing. However, with that being rather weird, this does make me want to read the rest of the series as well as diving to previous instalments from Zenescope since that it isn’t often that I read from other franchises besides DC or Marvel or Boom! Studios.

Justice League/ Power Rangers #6 Review

Previously: The Rangers and League team up to fend off Lord Zedd’s and Brainiac’s forces where the Rangers get their Power Coins back. Plus, we find out what had happened to Alpha-5 as he was a prisoner of Brainiac and the two have a narrative over the course of the last few pages which causes Alpha to use Zedd’s growth grenades and turns himself into a giant to fight off against the monsters attacking the UN.

The issue opens with the battle continuing outside of the UN and Alpha manages to knock out a monster, but that ends up nearly killing fleeing civilians, but Wonder Woman and Superman manage to get underneath the monster to stop it from falling. Alpha apologises for what he has done, but the Rangers pass it off since that Alpha is new to punching monsters and Jason says that they need to get Angel Grove away from here and Flash says that he will get it away, but the Rangers notice something wrong with the city. The Command Centre wasn’t in the bottled city, and we find out that Zordon is around the neck of Lord Zedd who appears to also be commanding the Zords.

Batman informs the B-Team that they are being overwhelmed by the combination of Drones and Putties and asks for when Cyborg and Billies plan is going to happen and they say that their idea seems to have worked and Cyborg tells him to let the Drones come. The Drones start massing around Cyborg and it appears that Brainiac has taken control of him again. Brainiac says that he is going to destroy Cyborg to see how he works, but Billy says that he isn’t going to do it since that they have a surprise install for him, a Trojan Horse that manages to delete Brainiac and all the Drones in the process. With Brainiac down this means that the Rangers can retrieve the Zords back, giving them an advantage against Lord Zedd.

But it looks like that Zedd isn’t happy about the current predicament, with his ally being deleted, the Rangers reclaiming the Zords and seeing Alpha facing off against a monster. He uses two of his growth grenades and he turns himself giant sized. Green Lantern seems shocked that he can do this, even though it was shown that he had used to grow his monsters and seeing Alpha use one at the end of the last issue. But Wonder Woman brings up the more important point, that being he had made himself a larger target. But just as they decide to take him on, Zedd blasts them with a bolt of magic and they fall out of the sky and Batman notices Superman falling out of the sky and he runs over to him to save him from being stabbed by the staff, but the Megazord manages to make the save and they notice where the Command Centre was and rip it off and hands it to Alpha to keep it safe.

Zedd tries to fight off the Megazord, but that goes as well as to be expected and it just punches him back. The Rangers having the upper hand and draws the Power Sword and they go for the finishing move but Zedd manages to repel the Megazord off with his magic staff and he manages to shrink down. Wonder Woman manages to see where Zedd is running off to and Kimberly teleports out to take him down, with the most comical way to take out a villain, a boxing glove arrow that she kept from her Justice League disguise. Later, the Rangers and the League set up to get Angel Grove back into its correct place and they just make a joke about moving the city a little bit to the left. They use Brainiac’s ship to revert the city back to its proper size and we see the Megazord standing over the city.

Even further later, the Rangers and League are in the Juice Bar where Batman manages to intimidate Bulk and Skull. They order a round of drinks and Batman tells the waitress to leave the bill with him and Zach interrupts him saying that he can’t pay for the drinks since that the money that he is using won’t be legal tender, for the fact that it is a $100 bill with Lex Luthor’s face on. At the Command Centre, the Rangers and League say their goodbyes as Zordon is able to open a dimensional doorway to get the League back to their universe. Kim asks Batman if she can keep the Boxing Glove arrow and he says yes, hopefully Oliver Queen will have some back up arrows, and Billy gives them a gift of their own in the form of Communicators so that the League can call them for help and vice versa. The League departs and we see Alpha walking off from the team and we have ourselves a cliff hanger ending. Brainiac is still alive and living inside of Alpha-5.

Overall this series has been a rather good crossover between the two franchises since that we got to see the teams start off at differences, but then a reasonable and rational discussion got them on the same page. The villains seemed to be a good pairing as well since that Zedd had gave Brainiac a good incentive for teaming up with him, that being able to get him to another multiverse and start taking cities from the planets that exist there. Plus with the now lingering threat of Brainiac still being in the Rangers universe means that there are plans to have a sequel series that I’m hoping will be out in the next few years.

Halloween Month: The Invaders #31 Review

A few months ago, I had decided to try and do another theme month and the one that came to my mind was to do Halloween theme and when I was in Durham I found a retro toy stall on the market and I found the first comic to kick off this month as The Invaders meet Frankenstein.

The cover for the issue is rather cool, with Captain America and Namor getting swatted by Frankenstein, who is wearing a blue Nazi uniform. But the thing that I find weird about the cover is that The Human Torch looks to be smaller than either Cap or Namor.

The issue opens with Spitfire cleaning the Invaders mansion in which she knocks over a hatbox and discovers a hat of a Gestapo officer and she then tries it on for then to notice Captain America standing in the doorway. Spitfire is slightly shocked about the sudden appearance of Cap and he says that the hat was a souvenir that The Torch had and Cap regales the tale of how they had gotten the hat. He, Namor and Bucky were travelling to Switzerland, but Spitfire interrupts on what happened with them heading to a neutral country and what had happened to the Torches and Cap continues saying that they had received word that there was possible Nazi activity in the Swiss Alps and the Human Torch and Toro went off to see what happened. But since they had wrapped up the investigation in England, they still didn’t hear anything back from them and they headed to Switzerland to see what had happened.

When they got there, the village where the Torch was near and they find it to be rather deserted but the lights are on in the building, but just as they said that the two of them are swarmed by the villagers with one of them saying, ‘let me drive the stake through their demon hearts’ making me think of the time where Captain America fought against Dracula in Avengers Assembled. Namor comes to their rescue and the villagers note that he is strange looking for his feet and his ears. But Cap tries to calm the villagers by asking if they have never heard of him or Namor, but the villagers then notice that in the moonlight that they recognise who they are. Cap theories that they attacked them since they were unfamiliar and the villagers say that they were attacked by ‘horror beyond all comprehension’.

The villagers inform them on what has happened recently with graves being robbed, two fire demons (which was Human Torch and Toro) that were heading towards Castle Frankenstein, and that a monster had left the castle and had murdered several villagers. The villagers had then decided to mount an assault but when they noticed the jet coming over the town they turned their focus on them. Cap doesn’t seem to believe the part about the monster and tells the towns folk who the demons were and says that they are going to Castle Frankenstein to investigate and tells the villagers to go back to their homes. But the villagers refuse to do so and inform them about Dr Basil Frankenstein and says that he consorts with the Devil, making me think more of the Invaders meet Doom than Frankenstein, and they say they are they only know how to deal with him.

Cap and Bucky reach the Castle and they manage to find an open window and make their way in and discover that the information about Nazi’s being in Switzerland being true and then they get ambushed by a group of Nazis’ from behind a secret wall, confirming more about my theory of it being the Invaders meets Doom.  Cap and Bucky manage to beat up the soldiers but they don’t notice a lumbering officer coming up behind them to reveal Frankenstein. Cap goes to punch Frankenstein but it appears to do nothing, but Frankenstein then starts beating up the two of them and then we see Basil Frankenstein and his assistant Kitty being wheeled in and Cap takes advantage of the distraction. But that comes up rather short since Basil gives the creature a command to attack them and he manages to knock them both out and we see them being bound.

Cap wakes up and finds himself being bound on a table, Bucky chained to a wall and we see that Toro is there as well who is also chained but he has been doused in chemicals that don’t allow him to flame on. Basil and his monster arrive in the room and he commands the creature to remain where he is until the need him and Cap asks him the basic questions on why the Nazi uniform and what happened to the Human Torch. But Basil first decides to inform him on the creature first and says that his ancestor was Victor Frankenstein and says that he created the first monster, and we get an editor’s note that this is in the same continuity as the events of Monster of Frankenstein. He then goes on to say that he started to appreciate more of his family’s heritage and secrets. Then we get more information on Kitty and we find out that she is in fact Japanese. Basil says that she is a surgeon from Japan and she has been acting as his hands for surgery because of a laboratory accident. They then give them the reasoning why they are doing it and it is an experiment to win the war by having an army of Frankenstein’s that would be unstoppable. Then they revealed the reason why Cap is strapped to a table and that is since Basil is paralysed he wants a new body and he decides to place his brain inside of Cap’s body.

When they wheel in Cap’s body to the laboratory, Cap discovers the Human Torch inside a large bubble. Cap tries to talk to Torch, but he can’t hear him and Basil tells him that he can’t hear him or flame on. Basil then says that he has needed Torch all of this time because he needs his ‘Android Energies’ since that this version of the Human Torch is an Android and he plans on improving on the prototype of Frankenstein with Torch’s technology. Back down at the town, the resident notice lights coming from the Castle and they decide to march up to there in a mob, but Namor tells them to stay where they are, but they don’t listen to him, so he decides to use his strengths to get to the Castle before the mob and he discovers what has happened, with Cap being strapped to a table and Torch in a bubble but this time it appears that Torch could be dying.

But that’s not all that is happening, it appears that the ‘Android Energy’ is being transferred to Frankenstein and it is changing the monster into a new form giving it a larger design. The villagers storm the castle and Basil tells the guards to butcher them, whilst Namor uproots a power pole and throws it through the skylight of the lab, managing to break the bubble that encases Torch and he manages to flame on and frees Cap. Basil commands Frankenstein to recapture Cap and Torch rescues Bucky and Toro. Torch has an idea that he wants to try out with Toro and it turns out that Frankenstein is afraid of fire, but Torch doesn’t want to hurt the monster, however Namor ignores him and punches him full force in the face and we see sparks flying off the monster after crashing into a machine. But after that punch, Torch notices something about the monster and we see tears on a close-up of the face.

The creature turns his attention away from The Invaders and switches his focus towards Basil and Kitty and he grabs them both. The reasoning about this would be when Namor punched him into a machine, it created a short circuit that disabled the brain implant. He takes the up to the roof of the castle and the creature finally speaks and says that he will return to the grave that spawned him and will take them both with him to the grave, and they jump off the Castle and they manage to land in the town where the villagers discover the bodies. The Invaders discuss what had just happened but the villagers come through and they say that they now must destroy the Castle so that no more monsters can be created, but Torch disagrees with the mob and he manages to absorb the flames of the torches. He then informs them that he is an android and he makes it his mission that he will keep the Castle intact as a monument to Frankenstein since that the creature was the one that stopped Basil from creating more monstrosities. The issue ends with Cap ending the tale saying that Castle Frankenstein is still standing but Spitfire asks why the Torch should defend the Castle and if he has asked him. But Cap just replies by asking if she should ask him.

Overall this issue is just rather strange, but it does have a lot of the tropes that come from the Frankenstein movies. I do hope to try and find more classic stories to review in the future mainly because the next issue of the Invaders sounds interesting that being The Invaders and Thor crossing paths.

Batman: Battle of the Cowl #1 Review

Following the events of Final Crisis, Darkseid had ‘killed’ Batman, in fact Batman managed to travel through time. But that meant that Gotham was without a Batman and thus more and more villains came out of the woodwork and try to take over control. And this is the story on how three former Robin decide to see who would take up the mantle of the Bat.

The story opens with Red Robin, Tim Drake, and Squire (a UK counterpart for Robin) who are on patrol where they stumble up on a group of Joker’s goons where they find them already wrapped up in rope with a note saying, ‘I am Batman’. Red Robin tells them that they are running late and we see them riding off on a Bat-bike where Red Robin narrates more about what has happening but the most important is that Nightwing and Batgirl forming The Network where we see in the smaller panels we see a lot of supporting characters with, Knight, Wildcat & Black Canary, Man Bat & Katana and Batwoman with Batgirl where they are all trying to help the GCPD with stopping the riots from happening. Red Robin helped Huntress by knocking out Professor Pyg goons, where he then informs Nightwing that they have a problem and he then informs the readers that Nightwing has started to be more like Batman since he ‘died’ by becoming cut off from his emotions and becoming unapproachable.

We then cut over to a prisoner transfer bus where it halted by a double- crossing guard and we see a masked individual standing in front of the bus where we see that Black Mask has stopped them. This seems to confuse one inmate since that he thought that Black Mask was dead. This is true since that Roman Sionis was dead and a new Black Mask had taken his place and in the main series that follows this we find out that the person behind the mask is Jeramiah Arkham. A lot of the prisoners seem rather sceptical about Black Mask leading them since that he wants them for his plan and one prisoners decides to step out of line in which he gets a harsh discipline. Black Masks has him killed with a chemical implant with what appears to be the prisoners head being attacked from the inside causing it to rot like a corpse. Croc asks him the reason for doing this in which he says that Batman is dead and then Arkham Asylum blows up. Going into this it seems rather strange but it does make Black Mask seem to be the bigger threat in the story since that the inmates that were going into Arkham are useful since that you have Killer Croc, Poison Ivy and Victor Zsasz since that Zsasz is rather psychotic.

Outside the GCPD reporters badger Gordon for answers asking if the GCPD have given up with the amount of gang’s that have sprung up but he ignores them all except for one, that comes from the Riddler. At this point in the Batman stories, I believe that Riddler had decided to step out of crime to focus on becoming a Private Detective of sorts. He asks if Batman is dead but before he can answer Bullock draws his attention to the Bat-Signal which was shining with a new icon of the cowl with R.I.P ripped into it.

Inside in the Batcave, Nightwing is staring at Batman’s Cowl in the glass and poses in front of the costume where Red Robin says that one of them should take up the mantle of Batman, but Nightwing reminds him that they have already discussed this, but he gets informed that there is already somebody that has beaten then to wearing the cowl and that they have experience. Nightwing questions him in what he means and brings up the evidence that he has found including a Batarang and Bat-Rope. We cut over to a page spread with this new Batman wannabe standing atop a gargoyle and for a design it did make me think that it was going to be Azrael since that the costume does remind me slightly of the costume that he wore during the Knightfall story arc. In the smaller panels, we see this new Batman attacking gang members and we see that he is using a lot of force since that we see him throwing Batarang in the eyes of some gang members. Nightwing goes through some evidence of the notes that are left from the scenes of the ‘Batman’ attacks but Tim decides to do something more drastic and decides to don the cowl and become a Batman.

Nightwing then starts training against some dummies in which he manages to break the head off and Alfred manages to catch it and he asks if he has something to say. Alfred asks to talk about Bruce’s legacy, that for him to take up the mantle of Batman, but he refuses and says that he has already been over this decision with Tim and Oracle contacts him to inform him on what has happened with Arkham and then we cut over to the top of the Asylum with Nightwing talking with Gordon about what has happened and Gordon comes up with the notion that it could have been an inside job. But Gordon think that it just seems weird since that there were hundreds of inmates that just disappeared without a trace, but Nightwing has an idea with that being that they are all being kept under control. But there is something that I am surprised that hadn’t been brought up and that would be the dead body that was left near the entrance since an inmate did try to step out of line and was killed by Black Mask. The only thing that I could think of would be that Black Mask had the body be disposed of. Meanwhile underground Black Mask is rallying his army on Arkham Inmates and they find out that they are going to start their assault tonight.

Back up top we get Tim narrating about the Network and we see Catwoman dealing with some criminals and then she spots a person dressed in a Batman costume going across the rooftops which catches her attention. In the next page, we see Tim in a Batman costume which appears to be the 1970’s costume with the blue cape and cowl. He continues his narrations saying that he is going to focus on tracking down the Other Batman and it appears that he had found something, but that something isn’t known to us as we then cut straight over to the harbour with Black Mask’s army attacking what appears to be Two-Faces thugs and we see Zsasz ripping the head off one, Croc eating one and Poison Ivy binding two.

Meanwhile, we see that Damian has ‘borrowed’ the Batmoblie to impress a girl, who I don’t think was given a name in the issue, and after accidently turning the GPS system back on Oracle manages to contact him and then sends Girl out of the roof via ejector seat. Oracle tells him to wash the car and stay out of Nightwing’s way but as he is about to reply to her Killer Croc rams the car and causes it to be flipped over. Oracle asks Huntress and Blackhawk to go out and rescue Damien, but they can’t get there quick enough however Nightwing says that he will go and get him. Damien manages to get out of the Batmobile, which is down bogged down in a marsh-like area where he is trapped between Poison Ivy and Killer Croc and Ivy suggests that Croc should eat Damian. We also see that Croc had ate Girl and Damian tries to bargain his way out of Croc eating him, but Croc goes for the bite and we see Damian being swooped up by Nightwing who flies in hang-glider. Damian asks if he was going to keep this quiet and he replies says ‘We’ll see’. But that could be up in smoke as some sort of projectile hits the glider and the two of them are sent crashing down inside an abandoned building.

Inside the building, Damian is the first to get up and he goes over to see if Nightwing is alright and manages to get him away until another explosion, possibly from the glider, sends them flying and a group of masked armed thugs enters searching for the duo. Nightwing tells Damian to stay out of site and we see Nightwing possibly surrendering to the thugs, who then try to kill Nightwing, but one of then gets riddled with bullets and in the final page we see the Second Batman, dual wielding guns with explosions that remind me of Power Rangers where monsters would explode behind the Rangers, and he tells them that he is Batman ending the issue.

Overall the first issue is a rather decent opening since a lot of the issue focuses around one major point. That being Nightwing’s reluctance of donning the Cape & Cowl since that he was the first to be trained by Batman, but he doesn’t want to and he wants to be his own hero, which is why he dropped the mantle of Robin and became Nightwing. I like the idea of Tim becoming Batman since that he and Batman have somethings in common, that being they are detectives and that Tim was able to deduce Batman’s identity. Plus with Tim taking the mantle of Batman for just the series we wouldn’t see him taking the mantle again until the New 52 in which he takes the mantle of Batman Beyond during the Future’s End story arc.

Justice League/ Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #6 Review

Previously in Justice League/MMPR, Lord Zedd had teamed up with recurring Superman/ Justice League villain Brainiac where they head back to the Power Rangers universe where Brainiac steals the city of Angle Grove for his collection. Meanwhile the Rangers and the League came up with a plan to travel back to their Earth by creating a wormhole and plan on attacking Zedd and Brainiac on two fronts with one team invading Brainiac’s ship and another protecting Earth. But when the team attacking Brainiac’s ship, Cyborg starts getting took over by Brainiac.

On Earth, an emergency conference had started at the NATO Headquarters where they are discussing the events that have transpired with Angel Grove disappearing with some of the world leaders believing that it must be down to another country before they are interrupted by Wonder Woman who tells them that they are dealing with something beyond their capabilities. But the world leaders aren’t listening to her and try to apprehend her since that it is the correct thing to do in these situations. She tries to get closer to the President of America and security tries to shoot her but as we already know Wonder Woman can deflect bullets with her bracelets. She then tells them that she won’t risk the life of innocent people and she tells them her name and that she is from another Earth and that she knows what happened to Angle Grove and that her friends will be able to tell them what can happens. But we then get a bit of a weird line saying that she absorbed their bullets and since they only shot once, they could have shot her again when she would have been unaware, but that could just be me. The Rangers are introduced to NATO in their disguise costumes and they inform them on what has been happening and who is behind it and they are going to need help from NATO by setting aside their differences and readying their armies for a fight. I think that it is rather great that they used Wonder Woman for this role as being a peace maker for this since that is something that her character has had a lot of experience with especially when it came with Themyscira and the Rest of the World since Themyscira had been protected from the outside world for thousands of years.

The rest of the League on Earth are out searching for Lord Zedd’s and Flash is searching for him and not having success by his 11th lap, however on his 12th he managed to find him creating monsters with them resembling a Tibetan Worm and what seems to be a scorpion.  In Space, John Stewart informs Wonder Woman that the attack is beginning and that says that Brainiac is starting his attack with an army of drones and we see them coming towards Earth and John tries to thin the heard a bit by wielding a shield and club. On the ship, the Rangers and Superman seemed to be rather shocked with the events that have happened when Billy stabbed Cyborg when he got overridden by Brainiac but he manages to get back up. Superman manages to hold Cyborg in place and Batman decides to do something rather drastic and tries to reboot him to get out Brainiac’s programming since that it appears that Batman has been studying Cyborg’s system. I did find this to be rather weird since I don’t think that this has been up done before or at least brought up in the current continuity, but since that I haven’t read anything from Justice League or any Cyborg stories since Volume 2 from the New 52. Superman asks if that rebooting will work but he just ignores him. A spark erupts from Cyborg and it looks like that it has worked. He informs them that Brainiac has launched his attack and asks what Batman had done to him, in which Billy says that Batman had rebooted him and possibly purged Brainiac’s system out of him. Also, this reminds me of something else that has been a recurring segment through the history of Justice League and that has been the countable times in which Batman has done something that has annoyed members of the Justice League.

Further into Brainiac’s ship they manage to find Brainiac’s ‘Trophy Room’ where they were able to find Angel Grove rather quickly. Trini seems to be taken quite away with this seeing numerous bottled cities and Superman reassures her that they will be taken back to their universe and that they will be all rehomed. Batman interrupts the saying that they need to get to Earth to help against the assault but Cyborg informs them that there is still somebody on board and we see that person is Alpha-5, who has been kept rather close to Brainiac. Brainiac seems to be rather enjoyed by this since that during his time he has never came across another being that has achieved sentience. Brainiac starts preparing something, possibly creating a link, to find out what makes Alpha want to work with Earthlings. Alpha says that he wants to work with the Rangers since that they are doing good things yet Brainiac thinks that this is flawed, but Alpha then questions Brainiac about him destroying planets and taking cities where he says that he is consuming their knowledge for him alone. But Alpha asks him what else he does since to him he thinks that what he is doing is rather selfish and that he is only doing it for himself. I do think that bringing this up is rather useful since that with all the information that Brainiac has, there could have been a time where his information can be useful to help protect worlds and help improve technologies, again like before I’m not sure that has happened before or with the different version of Brainiac.

On Earth, Brainiac’s forces are attacking the NATO Headquarters and the armies, Wonder Woman and the Rangers start defending until help can get from the other team. Back on Brainiac’s ship, Superman asks who Alpha is and they say it’s a friend and that they aren’t leaving without him. Superman says that he will go rescue him and tells them to get back to the Javelin and he promises that he will be back with his friend. He manages to break into the room that they are in and he tries to get to Alpha, but Brainiac manages to stop him rather quickly and reveals that he has something to stop Superman, and pulls out a large chunk of kryptonite to try and weaken Superman. But this is to no use when a sword pierces through Brainiac and the Rangers start chopping up him up into pieces. One slight thing that bugged me is the colouring for Zack, possibly due to the lighting of the room it makes him look like his costume is purple/red instead of black. Batman seems to be rather annoyed that their friend that the saved was a robot and Cyborg says that they should leave, but Billy realises something and asks Cyborg to firewall Brainiac’s arm so that they can use it to get Angel Grove back in its place.

Back on Earth, the Earth team is still fending off the attack by Brainiac and Superman drops down and hands the remaining Power Coins to the Rangers and they morph and are rejoiced to see that Alpha is alive. Jason asks that if they got the city back and they announce that they got it back and that Billy has an idea that but he and Cyborg need some time to figure out how they can do it. Jason brings up that they can’t risk summoning the Zords again but they will try to fight off against the armies and try to bide them time. But Zedd continues to say that he will destroy the planet and tries to throw his growing bomb on a monster, but Flash manages to not only intercept the throw but also knocked out the monster. He speeds off to Alpha and asks him to keep the growth bomb safe and out of the way. But Brainiac contacts through a drone to give him the bomb but Alpha says that he isn’t going to and he starts to stand up for himself, which isn’t something that we see that much from Alpha and he drops the bomb in front of him and we see growing to the size of a Zord and attacking one of Zedd’s monsters, ending the issue and with one issue left it is all to play for.