Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

October 28th, 2012, 11:45 pm #131

I kinda' missed Havok in "AvX", but I'm assuming he appeared in some crossover book. I liked "Uncanny Avengers" a lot, too. The premise of the entire thing didn't hook me (preview ads), but after reading it, I'm excited for the next year.

Defenders #31
The Headmen return and use Nighthawk as their puppet. Start of the set-up for "The Secret Origin of Nighthawk", as they've starting to flesh out a guy who's basically been nothing but a Batman clone. I'll say it worked, because when I first read some stuff with Nighthawk circa 1982, I didn't make the Batman pastiche connection at all (mainly because he could fly). It wasn't until "Squadron Supreme" came out in 1986 that I thought: "oh yeah, I guess he was their Batman".

Hulk temporarily adopts an orphaned deer, calling it Bambi. Hulk freaks out when two hunters kill its mom, screaming: "Men killed Bambi's mother". I suppose that was supposed to be the punchline, so it's a little strange how Hulk carries the little deer all the way to NYC. You could also debate the fact that Hulk knows who/what "Bambi" is.

Also of note is that the ELF makes his second appearance in this issue. Disguised as a cab driver, he kills an older couple out in Las Vegas. So I guess the point is that he's slowly moving eastward. I can't say enough about how ridiculous, yet intriguing, the elf subplot is/was.
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Mad Dog
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Mad Dog
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Joined: December 10th, 2004, 11:01 pm

October 28th, 2012, 11:49 pm #132

I remember seeing him somewhere but he wasn't a big factor in any of the events.
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Erick Von Erich
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November 3rd, 2012, 6:08 am #133

Defenders #32-33
They spend an issue as Nighthawk's BRAIN (yes, his brain) narrates Nighthawk's origin. It's really not too unique-- he was a spoiled brat who kinda' listlessly wandered through his life. Only notable element is that he was drafted for Vietnam, but then rejected because he had a heart murmur.

The Defenders (and Jack Norris) trace Nighthawk's brain to the Headmen's lair-- a house in the country. With the intro of new Headmen member, "Ruby" (later known as "Ruby Thursday"). Then, there's suddenly a big "oh, we actually meant to write something different in issues 31 and 32", as it's revealed that Chondu, Nighthawk and Jack Norris all swapped bodies. Chondu ended up in the body of Hulk's "Bambi" and gets eaten by some orange lizards. The Defenders suddenly come to and destroy the Headmen's home. Nebulon makes an appearance, too.

I'd say #32 is where the title officially jumps into Weirdness Territory. Back-tracking the plot with the mind/body switcheroo is incredibly lazy and they seem to be priding themselves on throwing out weird concepts, now. The letters page is starting to pick up steam with ELF speculation.
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Erick Von Erich
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November 3rd, 2012, 6:14 am #134

Captain America #18 (2012)
A very paint-by-numbers conclusion to the "New World Order" story, involving Hydra, Madbombs, Baron Zemo and the Discordians.

See, Dum Dum Dugan plants a BOMB on Zemo's satellite, which stops all the Madbombs stuff. Cap leads a helicopter assault on the floating Hydra Island, easily breaks in and faces off with Agent Bravo and Queen Hydra. Bullets deflect off Cap's shield, seemingly killing Bravo. Queenie gets hit with the shield and everything's suddenly over.

Got the sense that this story had lofty ideas, but had to cram itself together due to yet another Captain America relaunch. A very ordinary ending, with absolutely nothing interesting happening. Again, it was like a GI Joe plot, circa 2003-2005.

My 12 issue subscription to Cap ends with the next issue. I will not be renewing. I got it cheap and just wanted to try something different.
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Mad Dog
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November 3rd, 2012, 9:07 am #135

That's the last issue of that series anyways. Rick Reminder takes over past that.
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Mad Dog
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November 3rd, 2012, 10:20 am #136

Harbinger #4-5

Shit seriously hits the fans in these two issues. Peter finds out that Harada killed his friend Joe and loses it. He gets fucked up better badly throughout the fight but takes out several Harada members. He and Faith flee the scene.

This series has been really good. I've liked the X-O Manowar reboot a little better but this series has been really really good.
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Erick Von Erich
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November 3rd, 2012, 6:02 pm #137

I think there's still one more issue to go before the re-launch. The last page promised "Next issue: Capped Off!"and looks like a wrap-up (#19).

Defenders #34
The team takes the bus from Weirdness Territory into Ridiculous-ville. Nebulon returns, disguising himself as a little bald guy and offering free seminars on mind control. A good chunk of people attend (including Val, Doc and Hulk... in full clothes no less) and Nebulon's gimmick is that everybody in the audience is a bozo. Literally. He brings out cheerleaders chanting: "B-O-Z-O" and gets everyone to put on a bozo mask. When making a big deal out of how "Bambi" was eaten, last issue, they bring him back for this story.

I like the weirdness when it's handled with some semblance of seriousness. Yes, super heroes are silly, but this is just thrown together garbage that seems to be either a dare or an inside joke. Worse, is that Dr. Strange leads the crew into these stories, without commenting on how preposterous it is.

They're not even trying to present it as serious material, anymore. it's like they watched too much Monty Python. The Guardians of the Galaxy arc was a good mix of absurdity and super hero hi-jinx. This is just junk and makes the mid-80's "Bwah-ha-ha" JLI stuff look like high drama.
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Erick Von Erich
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November 13th, 2012, 11:24 pm #138

Avengers #32 (2012)
After another brief scenario with Wonder Man, the team shrinks down to the Microverse where they find the Wasp, Janet Van Dyne-Pym. Alive and well, and apparently a resistance fighter. Against who or what? Well, that's the fun part, it's a guy named "Lord Gouzar"... who appears on the final page looking like the Micronauts' old foe, Baron Karza.

I'll admit, I kinda' gushed for that. It's definitely an homage to the 70's Micronauts, as Gouzar has a mechanical centaur body like Karza and Force Commander. About 66% of what Marvel did for "Micronauts" was completely original, so it's nice to dive into some of this. One of the first comic books my big brother ever bought (and subsequently read to me) was "Micronauts #1", so there's a nostalgic connection. I wouldn't be surprised if the book's writer reveals something similar.
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Erick Von Erich
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November 14th, 2012, 7:15 pm #139

Defenders #35-40 & Annual 1
Continuing on with Nebulon's "Celestial Mind Control" thing. The Headmen get involved, and so does the new Red Guardian. Her intro's pretty straightforward: she's a Russian brain surgeon whom Dr. Strange called in to put Nighthawk's brain back in his body. Who just happens to be a Kremlin Bat-Girl of sorts. She hangs out with the team and becomes their newest member.

Then more stuff gets shoe-horned in. Valkyrie fights the Headmen's Chondu, crashes into a penthouse retsaurant and gets arrested. This leads to a "women's prison sub-plot" that runs for a few issues. She's eventually cleared (with a cameo from Matt Murdock), but not before all the cliches of an exploitation flick are included. When Val returns, she gets a new costume from Clea.

There's also an appearance from the Eel, Porcupine and Plant Man. Eel and Porcie are into Nebulon's "CMC" movement, but Plant Man goes solo and holds Nighthawk, Red Guardian and Strange hostage on the Upper East Side. Jack Norris calls in Power Man to save the day, who re-joins the team on a retainer basis from Kyle Richmond.

Not to mention a completely random villain called "The Assassain", who messes with Red Guardian for one issue by throwing a rock through a window. So for one issue, they try to explore the concept of Russian Communism.

Jack Norriss is temporarily written-out when Nighthawk pays him $300,000 to leave. This doesn't last, as he soon returns as a "secret agent" for all of 6 pages.

Everything finally gets mixed into a big Cuisinart in "Annual #1". It's basically a blow-off for writer Steve Gerber's run on the book. So of course, he packs in a buncha' random ideas and backed-up concepts out-of-the-blue. Prime example: Ruby Thursday suddenly runs for President, causing Jack Norriss to go undercover in her camp for... some reason.

It's all capped off when Dr. Strange, Nebulon and President Gerald Ford all meet in another dimension. The Headmen then put everybody in a big dome. So of course it all ends with a quick slugfest (done in about 3 panels).

Oh, add in three more murders by The Elf.

The on-again/off-again thing with Val and Jack Norriss is annoying, as it seems to imply that they're getting back together, but then it's forgotten and they hate each other two issues later. There's even a potential relationship between Dr. Strange and Red Guardian that seems to develop, but is left to die.

There's just too much that's not developed. It's like Gerber had these grandiose ideas, but didn't think of them in advance. Worse, he seems to start a story, then tries to reverse things and re-start it with a different emphasis or motive.
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Mad Dog
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Mad Dog
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Joined: December 10th, 2004, 11:01 pm

November 17th, 2012, 3:13 am #140

All-New X-Men #1:

Straight up, I love where they're going with this. Good setup here and I think this has the potential to kick off a great run of X-Men comics. Cyclops is out of jail and he's gone full blown bad guy. Beast goes back in time to get the original X-Men to try and talk some sense into Cyclops. We're on the brink of a mutant civil war here.
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