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Comic Book Rants & Raves This Week: 11/30/12

This week we discuss Wolverine's treatment in ALL-NEW X-MEN, Marvel NOW!'s progress, if there's any hope for RED LANTERNS, and why we're suckers for IDW's TMNT. And because you asked so nicely, there's not one, but TWO bonus rants!

Oh, hello there. Thanks for checking out this week's edition of Rants & Raves. The concept is simple: we all love and loathe certain things while reading through our stack of new comics and I'll pick 4 things to spotlight. 2 that made me happy to be a comics fan and 2 that made me not so pleased with the industry.

If you're nice, I'll even add a bonus rant or rave from time to time. This week there's two because I'm feeling extra generous. Once you're done reading (you are reading this and not just glancing at the pictures/titles, right?), be sure to chime in with your thoughts on my selections and even your own rants and raves!

BEWARE: THAR BE SPOILERS HERE!

Rant: Downplaying Wolverine

Use your words, Logan.

Let me kick this off by saying I loved ALL-NEW X-MEN #2 and thought the way writer Brian Michael Bendis handled Wolverine's interaction with the team was hysterical. That said, as a fan of the character, I also thought it was doing the runt a total disservice.

It's no secret James despises Cyclops after the events of AVENGERS VS X-MEN. On some level, I absolutely understand why Logan would lash out if he thought Scott had the brass to stroll into the X-Men's property. But is this really how Mr. Howlett would respond? Out in public eye, he'd drool and scream as he lunged at Cyclops claws first? Now, I'm not disregarding or oblivious to the numerous times Wolverine has given into his rage. It's something that happens quite frequently, but to think he's regularly sporting such a mindset is a misconception.

He might not always look like it, but Wolverine's incredibly wise and has been through countless trials that tested his patience over the decades. Wolverine was able to act calm and collected when he immediately picked up Scott's scent, so I'd like to believe that he'd logically act in a more mentally stable manner when confronting the former X-leader. He'd want his blood, but screaming like a madman with no cover available doesn't seem like the best way to take down a dude with highly accurate and powerful optic blasts.

Then there's the Jean Grey incident. Over the years, the clawed X-Man has shown a great deal of resistance to telepathy (courtesy of Charles Xavier), yet here the young Grey had no issue whatsoever making Wolverine count sheep. To top it off, she literally just discovered she could read minds and then somehow was able to completely shutdown a man with a powerful defense against telepaths. Could it be that Xavier's death means Logan's TP resistance is now down? G-Man and I had a good chat about this and we don't believe so. Otherwise, that would imply Xavier has idly been holding those defensive measures in place every second of every day over the years. Is this something he could do? Considering his massive amount of power, I suppose it's possible but doesn't seem very rational to me. So, teenage Grey easily making Wolverine pass out is something that made me scratch my head... especially since Bendis had Logan say "you know that doesn't work on me."

How do you feel about Wolverine's treatment in the issue?

Rave: Marvel NOW! continues to impress

I know! I'm surprised, too!

Man, I'm such a sheep. Marvel throws a bunch of new number ones on the shelves and I can't help myself. Despite my limited budget, every week I'm making room to give each one of these new titles an honest shot. Thankfully, so far they've been mostly baller . Yes, "baller." I think I've only used that word a handful of times in my life, so that should help emphasize how I feel about the move.

If they haven't already done so, Marvel should definitely give Matt Fraction a raise. Not only did he blow me away with FANTASTIC FOUR #1 and continues to impress with HAWKEYE, but he's also done a solid job with FF #1. If you didn't laugh at least once or close the issue with a strong interest in where things are about to go, then there's Jason Aaron on THOR: GOD OF THUNDER and Brian Michael Bendis on ALL-NEW X-MEN. Both of the Marvel A-listers managed to string me along with their second issues. My checking account might not be pleased with Marvel NOW!, but I certainly am. I only hope these titles remain consistently strong as we dive deeper into each series.

Viners, how do you feel about Marvel NOW! so far?

Rant: RED LANTERNS feels stagnant

Wish I could say the same, Bleez.

I really want to like RED LANTERNS. Seriously, I mean that. I think Atrocitus and his crew have the potential to be one of the most interesting corps in the cosmos. Writer Geoff Johns made me fall in love with their leader and I was thrilled to see they earned an on-going in The New 52. Because of this, I've been buying issue after issue despite it being so mediocre. I keep hoping the next issue will improve, but it seems like a foolish desire at this point because sadly, the series has been -- to be blunt -- boring.

Somehow, an issue consisting of Miguel Sepulveda's brilliant sketches of the Red Lanterns blasting apart The Third Army doesn't redeem the book. Yes, it looks fantastic, but these oh-so-sexy pencils can't compensate for a weary story and script. Writer Peter Milligan is capable of much better and 14 issues in, I'd really prefer to see someone else given the opportunity to craft Atrocitus's adventures. I hope the series will one day improve, but my fanboyish nature will only let me hold on for so long.

Are you still holding onto hope for RED LANTERNS like myself or have you already dropped it?

Rave: The future of IDW's TMNT

The modern Tokka and Rahzar?

Shredder wants to recruit Leo? General Krang is constructing the Technodrome? And now Old Hob is going to team-up with Slash? The future looks exciting and filled with an extra filling of awesomeness in IDW's TMNT reboot.

Yes, it wasn't fun seeing artist Dan Duncan leave the title and yes, replacement artist Andy Kuhn does illustrate some wonky facial expressions, but overall he does an able job and I especially appreciated his work on the lengthy battle. If you ever considered yourself a fan of the Turtles, you've gotta give this series an honest chance. All of the characters you know and love are here and it's all playing out in a familiar yet refreshing manner.

Bonus Rant: Cassaday's Captain America close-up

Captain Fish Scales!

If I was the Red Skull, I be so ashamed this dude has defeated me time and time again. I'm usually fond of John Cassaday's work (loved ASTONISHING X-MEN), but this just looks ridiculous to me. The scales are too prominent and way too puffy. It completely underscores Captain America's physicality. Was this panel off-putting for you as well?

Bonus Bonus Rant: Batman's brutality

Never thought I could apply "BOOM! Headshot!" to Batman.

Whoa, whoa, whoa! What?! Bruce Wayne is an absurdly skilled marksman and I get he was in terrible shape here, but this was crazy! It almost seemed like brutality for the sake of brutality. Wayne needed to escape from Scarecrow, but was a huge grappling line (you see that size of that hook, right?) really the best way to end this abruptly? Now, you can say "Batman knows he'll live," but does he really? That devastating shot ripped right through Crane's lower jaw and out his mouth. Then, the poor villain was left hanging there as he pretty much bled out. Not only did this likely shatter/destroy more than a handful of teeth, it could have potentially ripped through his tongue.

To make matters worse, Batman leaves him like that. Again, he's in piss-poor condition and needs to escape, but this felt like sentencing Scarecrow to death. Then, I don't know how, but Scarecrow is able to talk after suffering this attack. Go figure. David Finch's artwork is great and makes this scene (for a lack of better words) a jaw-dropper, but there really wasn't a less dangerous way for the world's greatest detective to escape this one?

Gregg Katzman is a freelance writer for Comic Vine and IGN Entertainment. Be sure to follow him on Twitter to get early spoilers for Best Battles and Rants & Raves!

65 Comments
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Posted by obscurefan

This seems to be Bendis' big problem with writing team books. He does really funny interactions with characters, but he doesn't make the characters feel very three dimensional or all that much like themselves really (Luke Cage being the exception).

Posted by RedQueen

Great feature as usual.

I've been thinking about the "incident" in All New X-men, the way it was executed has me convinced that Bendis has a reason for allowing Wolverine to be put to sleep so easily...a loop hole of sorts. What that reason is, I don't know, but I'm sure that it has something to do with the time-traveling thing.

Posted by BobFromAccounting

@The Black Hood: So what you're saying is: 'Bendis writes the character just fine! It's totally consistent with these other issues written by Bendis!' Right.

Posted by k4tzm4n
@RedQueen: Thank you and agreed.  I'm thinking Bendis must have some reveal coming up, especially if he made Logan bluntly state the move wouldn't work on him.
Staff
Posted by RedQueen

@Nicodemus said:

Jean was able to knock out Wolverine because Xavier's not around holding her back. I think Xavier was mentally blocking her full potential all those years back. No Xavier means no limit to Young Jean's power.

I actually love this idea (surprise, surprise :p), it would fit in with the whole Issue 5 solicitation of "one of the five original X-men's lives will be changed forever!" tease and seeing that the cover is dominated by Jean......

@k4tzm4n said:

@RedQueen: Thank you and agreed. I'm thinking Bendis must have some reveal coming up, especially if he made Logan bluntly state the move wouldn't work on him.

Exactly XD We shall see....

Posted by GothamRed

This week was not a good week for resisting telepathy in the Marvel Universe, just ask Wanda and Logan. Or you could ask Logan but he just got KO'd by a 19 year old who didn't even know she had telepathy...yeah. I guess Chuck was doing more than we realized on that front.

Posted by kid Apollo

YAAHHH these rants get me fired up!!!

Posted by Jake Fury

Honestly? I thought Wolverine fainted at the shock of seeing Jean.

Posted by Mrfuzzynutz

I would have banked Logan would indeed be all slobber and claws at the scent of Scot and Jean, HOWEVER..He would stop dead in his tracks when he got a glimpse of a living and breathing Jeannie in his face. Not sure I agree with the nappy time moment either, but it's no secret I am not a bendis supporter to begin with

Posted by ghostrecon9200

Why is everyone so whining about Batman being brutal? Batman has always been brutal. He just doesn't kill. That grapple line is as thin as a fishing line and he shot him in the jaw. He left him to hang as punishment, he just stabbed Bats with a big a** scythe, kidnapped a little girl to experiment on her, & tested a new super fear toxin on Batman, bats was beyond mad. Old hay for brains scarecrow is lucky bats didn't put him in a full body case like he did the joker when he killed robin. When batman is extra brutal to the joker no one complains but when he does it to that stupid a** scarecrow every1 has a heart attack. I hope that Batman the dark knight series runs towards the all star batman and robin side of batman.

Posted by HopesummersFORtheFUTURE

@GothamRed: i thought the O5 were suppoed to be 16....bobby in his 14

Posted by SmashBrawler

Batman: The Dark Knight is non-canon to me after this moment...

...so I don't really care if Batman is a bit too brutal in that series. He could start doing the Batusi every issue and I couldn't care less, writer change or not.

Posted by DrunkenGoon

The Jean Grey thing.. yea that was weird. But Wolverine? Cyclops just killed Professor X. Wolverines father figure. I think his actions reflect exactly what he would do.

Posted by GothamRed

@HopesummersFORtheFUTURE: That part is irrelevant, the key here was teenage girl with no previous knowledge of having telepathy

Posted by brucecapell

In All New X-Men I saw it as Wolverine thinking young Jean couldn't use her telepathy power skillfully yet and Wolverine didn't try to resist