Wednesday, April 27, 2011

X-23 v3 Issue 9 Released Today!

Issue 9 of X-23's ongoing coming hits shelves today! Be sure to pick your copy from your local comic shop. This is Part 3 of the Collision story arc.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Preview: X-23 v3 Issue 9

CBR has the preview up for the next issue of X-23. You can check it out here.

Be sure to pick up this next part of Collision when it's released on April 27th!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Marvel July 2011 Solicits

The July solicits are up over at CBR.

X-23 #12
Penciled by SANA TAKEDA
X-23 has been fighting against her past for years, and now she has an opportunity to put it to rest for good. Meanwhile, Jubilee’s past as a mutant and X-Man haunts her as she struggles to find a place in the world– but if they don’t have their pasts to keep them going, what do they have? And can they figure it out before the mysterious figure behind X-23’s kill-list gets to them first? Find out as New York Times Bestselling writer MARJORIE LIU and fan favorite artist SANA TAKEDA take you to the edge!
32 PGS./Parental Advisory …$2.99

Daken is out to prove to the world he’s the best there is at what he does, one country at a time — and he’s starting with Madripoor! But will the most dangerous men and women in the world simply topple where they stand, or will Daken find the tables turned — and his neck in a noose? Then, it’s the crossover you’ve been waiting for, as Daken and X-23 join forces to hunt down Malcolm Colcord, the man responsible for countless reincarnations of the Weapon X Project — including one right here in Madripoor! But what is Daken’s motivation? Does he want to stop Colcord from finally re-creating Wolverine, Daken’s father, or does he simply want a piece of the action?
Collecting DAKEN: DARK WOLVERINE #5-9, X-23 (2010) #7-9 and material from WOLVERINE: ROAD TO HELL.
200 PGS./Parental Advisory …$24.99
ISBN: 978-0-7851-4707-7
Trim size: standard

March 2011 Sales

March was a unique month. It featured 2 issues of X-23 that month. It also marked the one year mark for Marjorie Liu writing X-23. Her first issue as writer being X-23 v2 Issue 1 (the oneshot) released in March of 2010.

X-23 v3 #07
Cover Price: $2.99
This issue was ranked 66 out of 300 according to ICv2 which is based on Diamond U.S. to comic specialty stores. The issue has sold an estimated 27,510 copies to them.

X-23 v3 #08
Cover Price: $2.99
This issue was ranked 64 out of 300 according to ICv2 which is based on Diamond U.S. to comic specialty stores. The issue has sold an estimated 27,745 copies to them.

As always, you can check on previous statistics in the Sales Rank section.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hanna Takes #2 Spot for Opening Weekend

Over at BoxOfficeMojo the weekend results have been posted. Hanna is coming in at #2 with $12,370,549 being beat only by the child friendly Hop which had $21,298,240. A tally that can be attributed to parents buying tickets for themselves and their kids, whereas Hanna appeals to a demographic that can purchase tickets by themselves, and go by themselves.

Considering this is only opening weekend for Hanna, things are looking up. Part of the box office standings being so low overall is because of it being April without any holidays on opening weekend. The Box Office will hopefully boom in coming weeks as holidays approach like Easter. Though the same could be said for Hop which appeals to a younger demographic, is based around the upcoming holiday, and gives parents something to drag their kids to. For those older though, that may want something that panders better to their demographic, Hanna would be the best choice. One can only hope that word of mouth starts spreading for this fairy-tale esque story to allow it to reach Inception like levels of renown. Which would be an amazing feat for a movie not released during the summer months or on a holiday weekend. The story, action, acting, and subject material are receiving the same, if not better praise than Inception had gotten.

Hanna is from Focus Features, a subsidiary of Sony. The screenplay was written by Seth Lochhead and David Farr with the original story being Seth Lochhead's creation according to IMDB.

Remember to go see it yourselves when you can. This may be the closest we'll get to an X-23 feature film unless the box office reflects the demand to Fox. So if ever there was a time to vote with your wallet, this is it. Fox having a potentially larger opening weekend possibility with X-23 thanks to the character branding and following from Marvel.

Hanna has been unanimously praised from critics, and looks like a decent contender in the upcoming awards season. A definite must-see movie.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Review: X-23 v3 Issue 7

There comes a time in every comic run that makes you glad you've been following it. An issue that just stands out from the rest and vinidcates every reason why you read this series and enjoy it.

This issue of X-23 was that for me. It had almost everything I enjoy about comics in a nice self-contained package yet still keeping in continuity and propeling the overall character drive and story.

This issue of X-23 has art by Sana Takeda. Using this soft glowy art as seen in X-23 v3 issue 3, it pushed a quiet innocence of X-23. The last few pages with Laura's choices just helped accentuate the tone the art gave off.

The subtle commentary from Marjorie Liu hidden within the dialogue was also a highlight. Whether it was Gambit commenting on how much following X-23 has helped him, or the ending lines of just drifting on the waves, the dialogue makes you think about facets you may normally disregard about a character. Yet it was subtly interwoven with every detail of what they were facing. The devil was in the details with the choices X-23 made. Showing yet again her capabilities to analyze a situation fast, and make choices on this information. This time, she used her strategic capabilities to help drive her moral decisions. Something completely new to X-23. She chose to err on the side of innocence in what seems like a throwback to v3 issue 3's commentary on her empathy capabilities.

It even brought up an interesting point about the density of adamantium and the drawbacks to trying to swim with it. It never said X-23 couldn't swim, as she's had plenty of water based missions in her origin mini, but it pointed out how immediate haste could be an issue when in danger. Whereas previously it was just her doing a mission in Greece for the Facility with timebombs she herself had placed on a ship and escaping while wearing scuba gear that could have hidden the adamantium weight from herself. This is of course besides whatever other armanents she may have had in tow as well since the panel in question only shows from the top of her nose up lifting the goggles, and what looks like wetsuit over her head. This issue chose to dive further into that, and pick up those loose threads to question just how much of a hindrance could it be. It even raises a point about Laura never asking Logan if he could swim with adamantium coating all his bones.

This issue has it all. A perfect jumping on point for new readers, a perfect self-contained issue for those curious how the comic is, and yet also a perfect issue for longtime fans.

I especially loved the opening commentary about those that use the Weapon X program to create weapons. Whether it be the facility, this new guy, or even Weapon X itself, it brought up a valid point about these people in charge and their lack of care for life. Who cares if the weapon drowns, we can make more, or so it would seem from X-23's perspective at least. Which makes sense considering the final mission from her mother was just that, stopping the facility from creating X-24 onward from Laura's DNA.

6 Claws out of 6

I cannot recommend this issue highly enough. I do not give 6 out of 6 unless it's an exceptional issue or TPB. This is one of those times.

Next Review: X-23 v3 Issue 8
Solicit Description: PART 1 OF COLLISION: THE DAKEN/X-23 CROSSOVER! When X-23 went to Madripoor searching for secrets about her past, she didn't expect to find Daken. But now that she has, will they be allies against a common enemy...or will this encounter lead to only one of them left standing?
Cover Price: $2.99
Writer: Marjorie Liu
Penciler: Ryan Stegman
Inker: Michael Babinksi
Colourist: John Rauch
Letterer: VC's Cory Petit
Editor: Jeanine Schaefer

Friday, April 8, 2011

Critics praise Hanna

Well, this may come as no surprise to some, but Hanna is being praised unanimously from critics. I won't be seeing it until tomorrow night, so I can't speak my own piece on it as yet. From the looks of things though, and the stuff said, it sounds pretty much along the line of an overwhelming must see movie.

Opening weekend is crucial as well. So tell your friends, nay, drag your friends to the theater to go see it. You won't be disappointed. This is the to see movie of this year.

The comments range from amazing performances all the way to a movie that really makes you think.

So Fox, with the critics in unison, and hopefully a smash hit at the box office, the ball is in your court.

More to come Monday once the box office totals are published.

Daken: Dark Wolverine Issue 8 Preview

Collision continues in Daken: Dark Wolverine Issue 8, on sale April 13th.
Oh, and CBR has the preview up for it.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Art of X-23's Ongoing

As you may have noticed over the course of 8 issues, X-23's art has had a tendency to 'jump around' or so it would seem.

On the contrary, this doesn't look simply like the typical comic industry's pattern  of swapping artists around as they feel fit.  It's conveyed with what looks like a purpose behind it.

In these early issues, we have a contrast of light and dark, usages of shadows that seem gritty yet also convey a mix of harshness, confusion, and trying to understand oneself.  They are issues not trying to sell themselves on sex appeal, but on character drive and understanding. This art style plagued by shadows seems to convey the duality of X-23's nature, erring more on the side of the killer inside of her.

In issue 3, we get a small taste of this with Sana Takeda doing a handful of pages to convey the empathy X-23 had in her childhood before the Facility attempted to force it out of her.  This soft glow art style was again used in X-23's issue 7, where X-23 herself made the willing choice to not kill.  An art style that seems to be used to convey her empathy, and ability to make choices on her own not based on death. It seems to be used during times of innocence or purity. Most prevalent during her choices that err on the side of light. A soft angelic glow if you will.

In issue 8, we're given a more standard approach to the comic with less of a focus on these artistic nuances, but again it's shown in the story as to why.  This current Daken crossover arc is more towards about X-23 out to stop experiments on children.  Something the Facility themselves had instilled into her by accident in how they reprimanded her, yet not reprimanding her when children were involved like when she saved Megan the first time, or had saved the 'Sutter' child that had finally tipped Dr. Kinney over the edge in trying to free Laura, her daughter.  This issue and arc isn't about the soul searching Laura is doing, but about her preventing the childhood she had from being inflicted upon others.  Something her mother had suggested in the first miniseries with her letter to Laura.  What she does now, she does for justice. This standard style isn't about this duality, but about her final mission from her mother in a way.

It's details like these, besides the meta subtext of the issues that really prove how amazing the X-23 comic is.  The amount of attention to even the artistic usages shows that this comic has had an excrutiatingly high amount of forethought put into every panel, and especially every word written.  Every issue has small nuances that foreshadow the next.  Whether it be the simple choice of not killing or X-23 trying to understand her own morality, the series as a whole has been about the journey and the quest for what defines X-23 for herself, and not what others cast her into.

This is a comic that an audience can easily see themselves in the broad themes of loneliness and trying to discover what makes themselves special through X-23's eyes and journey.  At the same time, it reflects the idea of even though we may travel these paths alone, we may never be alone with others by our side that we may turn a blind eye to.  An act reflected by Gambit, and his own self-discovery by traveling with Laura who he had meant to help, yet is being helped by her instead.

Wolverine #6-7: A prelude to Schism

Okay, so the title is a bit misleading if you've been reading the X-comics for the past few years. Sure the recent demon arc in Wolverine has brought to light many aspects of Scott Summers moral degradation as a leader to his teammates, but this has been something that's been building for awhile.

Cyclops has been slowly turning to the path of Magneto's old ways since the Messiah Complex arc, possibly even before. It was during this time he created X-Force as an X-Men hit squad, and started making choices that would seem counterintuitive to the very dream they are supposed to uphold.

These two issues of Wolverine bring that to the forefront for a number of teammates to see up close finally. This includes his lack of forethought to the dangers and other abilities a demon may have, let alone a demon possessing Logan.

With actions like these, it just further hammers the point in the 'Fear Itself' ads about Scott afraid of becoming Magneto with his actions.

Beezle-Bub may have brought this to the forefront for all to see, but this is something that has been brewing for awhile within the subtext of the stories. This is also why in my previous tirade against Scott's plan, I focused it solely on Scott and not the author. It's the natural story evolution of the fall from grace Cyclops has been showing since Decimation, some of which was foreshadowed before even that.

In all the X-Titles you can catch small nuances of this, even in X-23's ongoing comic where he wants to impose order on her. In a comment concealed in caring about her well-being, he suggestes she needs to stay on Utopia. It makes one wonder if there were ulterior motives to his statements in wanting such a capable assasin on hand. Something conveyed perfectly in Laura's battle within her psyche over choosing what she is living for. The one place she was supposed to feel safe, had turned her back into the weapon they told her to stop being. Using the events caused by the Purifiers, Cyclops has spiraled downward to the same levels as the Facility, or that of what Matt Murdoch had forewarned even SHIELD would if Steve Rogers had put X-23 in their custody.

If only a young Scott Summers could see himself now...
Keep your eyes peeled as Marvel has some potentially interesting character dilemmas and choices in the coming days and issues for this year and next that should further dive into this very thing in the pages of X-Men.

As for X-23, for now it almost seems best to ignore her rather random appearances in X-Men and Uncanny X-Men as they are ignoring her own personal story and lack of connection to the X-Men right now. At least her usage in the Quarantine story arc seems that way. Curse of the Mutants one could let slide due to it being right around when Gambit caught up with her.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

X-Men Anime

The first episode of the X-Men anime premiered in Japan this past week.

Enjoy the intro.

Yup, you weren't imagining things. It'll feature small snippets about Jean Grey as Phoenix, as well as have Emma Frost and Armor in it.

As stated before, expect lots of cameos. Cameos from all over the X-Men comics, including even the Hellfire Club's own Inner Circle, potentially even Blade himself too.

IronMan and Wolverine will be airing on G4tv this July. X-Men and Blade will follow later.

Tony Stark will be voiced by Adrian Pasdar of Heroes and Castle fame.
Logan will be voiced by Milo Ventimiglia also of Heroes fame though many may remember him as Jess from Gilmore Girls.

Hanna's Release is Near.

This Friday, the 8th of April, Hanna hits theaters nationwide in the US. As the previous posts about this have pointed out, there are many similiarities between this movie and X-23's own story. There are also numerous differences as well, but this movie does give Fox a chance to see how audiences would receive this kind of film.

Hanna isn't from Fox. So it's not their property on the line here, but if it proves successful, you can bet they'll jump on the bandwagon. With that in mind be sure to go see Hanna when you can. For one it looks to be a great movie with many twists and turns. For X-23 fans though, if the box office shines brightly enough, it'll show Fox audiences want movies like this and they do have the perfect property within the confines of the X-Men rights to do just that. Appease both general audiences as Hanna will hopefully prove, as well as draw in comic fans using the rights library they have.

So be sure to check out Hanna next weekend and show Hollywood what you as an audience wants. If ever there was a time to work the system and see a movie legitly, this is it. By undermining it, you'll just be shooting yourself in the foot on getting potentially other great movies that studios wouldn't even give a second look right now.

Heck, it even took Hanna five years from the screenplay being written until actually being filmed. That's how unsure about these kinds of films, dilemmas, and symbolism Hollywood is in their pursuit to find the next franchise or increase the size of their wallets.

So if you're tired of incessant remakes, constant reboots, and classic cinema being butchered for modern audiences, be sure to let your wallet shout it out loud.