If you haven't embraced Deadpool yet (metaphorically of course), here's one more reason to. A nice little titbit from "Deadpool: Merc With a Mouth" #5.

Clearly no love for Jar Jar. If only Deadpool had had a chance to sit down with George Lucas prior to Phantom Menace things might have turned out differently.

Deadpool vs. Jar Jar Binks

Marvel Comics Presents #10 (Aug 2008,Marvel) Deadpool Merc with a Mouth Story VF
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The promotion for Iron Man 2 is moving full steam ahead with the film scheduled to hit theatres on 7 May 2010. The studio have recently released a new promotional poster depicting Mickey Rourke as the villain Whiplash. Word on the street is that the version of Whiplash we'll see in the film Iron Man 2 includes elements of both Whiplash and Crimson Dynamo from the Marvel Comics.

As you can see in the poster, Whiplash is going to be Ram-esque (check out The Wrestler).

Iron Man 2 promotional poster

In this other shot from the film it looks like Whiplash's costume may have borrowed a little from the original Iron Man armor.

Mickey Rourke as Whiplash in Iron Man 2

Iron Man 2 stars Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Mickey Rourke, Sam Rockwell, Don Cheadle and Samuel L. Jackson. Don Cheadle is replacing Terence Howard in the role of Lt. Colonel James Rhodes/War Machine.

It's been a while since I order a bunch of trade paper backs, so it looks like I have a bit of a backlog on my hands. With that in mind, I thought I'd put together a list of the five trade paper backs currently on my must read list.

Deadpool Volume 1: Secret Invasion

Deadpool: Vol1 Secret InvasionCollecting the first five issues of the latest Deadpool series, Deadpool Volume 1: Secret Invasion also serves as one of the many Secret Invasion tie-ins. Deadpool takes on a secret mission for Nick Fury and convinces the Skrulls that he wants to join their team, allowing the Skrulls to create a multitude of Skrully Deadpool clones.

While it may be written by Daniel Way, the man behind the mostly plodding Wolverine: Origins, as a Deadpool fan, I'm going to give this one a shot.

Deadpool Volume 2: Dark Reign

Deadpool Vol2: Dark ReignDeadpool Volume 2: Dark Reign Premiere HC collects issues #6-7, 10-11 of the new Deadpool series. I'm keen to read this one as from the promo blurb it sounds like it'll follow on from one of the more interesting "Secret Invasion" developments, the emergence of Norman Osborne as the successor to Tony Stark.

What bugs me though, is that in usual Marvel fashion they've split the story into two different trades, no doubt in an effort to wring a few more bucks out of people like me. So if, like me, you want to read the full story, you'll also need to pick up...

Dark Reign: Deadpool/ThunderboltsDark Reign: Deadpool/Thunderbolts

Dark Reign: Deadpool/Thunderbolts collects issues eight and nine of the new Deadpool series, and issues #130-131 of the Thunderbolts.

This collections covers off the conflict between Deadpool and Norman Osborn, with Deadpool forced to take on the "all new" Thunderbolts. Speaking of which, I'm a little behind in the Thunderbolts series as well, but there are a couple of titles I'm going to need to drop due to a coin shortage, and Thunderbolts is looking like it may be one of them.

Sounds interesting, just a shame Marvel could not have packed it all in to the Deadpool volume 2 collection.

Y: The Last Man, Vol. 2 (Deluxe Edition) (Hardcover)

Y: The Last ManY: The Last Man, Vol. 2 (Deluxe Edition) collects issues 6 through 10 of Y: The Last Man, and continues to follow the story of Yorick Brown and his pet monkey Ampersand, who are the only survivors of a plague that killed off all the male mammals on Earth. Now being the one guy on a planet full off women may sound ok to start with, apparently it's not all beer and skittles. This second uber collection follows Yorick and friends as they race across the US trying to discover why Yorick and his monkey survived when all the other men in the world died.

It's a post apocalyptic story with a difference. Looking forward to getting my hands on this one.

Moon Knight Volume 4: Death Of Marc Spector

Moon Knight Volume 4The revived Moon Knight series is one of my favorites. The first three trades were crackers, and I'm looking forward to the arrival of the forth. Like Deadpool, Moon Knight Volume 4: Death Of Marc Spector TPB follows the on from the Skrull Invasion event and Norman Osborn's attempt apprehend Marc Spector. Moon Knight is probably one of the darkest character occupying the Marvel universe, so the Moon Knight vs. The Thunderbolts is likely to be a completely different beast compared to the Deadpool battle.

This trade also includes the "Silent Night" one shot, which should showcase Moon Knight Christmas style.

Marc Spector: Moon Knight #41 (Aug 1992, Marvel)
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Having just finished reading the latest Marvel super "event" Secret Invasion, I have to say, I hope they decide to wait a while before they launch in to the next major cross over event. In my opinion "Secret Invasion" collecting issues #1-8 of the Secret Invasion mini-series, felt forced and more than a little dull.

In case you haven't read a Marvel comic published in the last two year, Secret Invasion provides a conclusion of sorts the the slow building Skrull plot for world domination. The Skrull are an alien race of shape shifters, who, after conducting tests on a couple of high profile heroes, including Mr Fantastic, develop the perfect plan to infiltrate human kind and break down various superhero teams from the inside. Basically the Skrull kidnapped a series of super heroes and replaced them with Skrull's. Cunning.

When the New Avengers kill Elektra, only to find her turn out to be a Skrull, the plot is revealed and distrust within the super hero community builds. Will the fractured super community be able to band together, and trust one another, long enough to end the threat and repel the Skrull invasion? No points for guessing the answer to that one.

The whole Secret Invasion arc also seems to serve as a get out of jail free card for Marvel, allowing them to bring back character previously assumed as being dead, using the "they weren't really dead, they were just abducted by Skrulls" device. » Read the rest of the entry..

The Marvel website has confirmed that the Merc with a Mouth, Deadpool, will be getting his very own solo movie. This is big news... for me at least... There is not a lot of information available as yet but Marvel are saying that... well not a lot, so I'll just cut and paste:

The newly confirmed Deadpool film, which would be produced by Lauren Shuler Donner and Marvel, has Ryan Reynolds slated to star and would be a complete exploration of the character - his origins, his emergence as the Merc with the Mouth, and more!

This news is enough to give me a cyber chubby. I am hoping that they completely forget about the "Deadpool" that featured in the closing stages of the Wolverine movie though. For me that was the worst part of the Wolverine film.

Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool

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Put simply, the Walking Dead series, created by Robert Kirkman, is one of the most engrossing comic books series that I have had the pleasure of stumbling across. The Walking Dead Book One Hardcover collects the first 12 issues of the Walking Dead series, which introduces the main protagonist throughout the series, Rick Grimes, and the zombie infested world he finds himself inhabiting.

It begins like many a zombie film. Rick wakes up from a coma to find that the dead have risen. His wife and his son are no where to be seen. Rick is a Police Officer, so he is probably as well equipped to deal with a zombie situation as anyone. When he learns that survivors were encouraged to head to major cities for safety, he sets out for Atlanta, in the hope that he'll find his wife, Lori, and son, Carl, there. When he arrives in Atlanta he finds that it has been over run with undead, but soon fines a small party of survivors out the outskirts of the city. Lori and Carl are amongst them.


Rick learns that his former partner in the police force, Shane, escorted Lori and Carl to safety, and it's pretty clear to everyone, besides Rick, that something has gone on between Lori and Shane. As time passes, tension builds between Shane and Rick, with Rick wanting to move the survivors to a safer area, while Shane is determined to stay. This all builds to a confrontation that closes issue 6.

The second main story arc, beginning in issue 7 focuses on the survivors picking up camp and hitting the road. Along the way they are joined by a big tough guy, Tyreese, his daughter and his daughters boyfriend. When Carl is accidentally shot and wounded, the group stumble upon a farm, inhabited by another small group of survivors. Will Carl survive? What is the disturbing secret that farm owner Herschell keeps in his stable? Pick up the book and find out.

If I had to describe the Walking Dead series it would be a Dawn of the Dead soap opera. Kirkham has described the series as being written for those people that have seen the original Dawn of the Dead and wondered what happened to the survivors once they took off in the helicopter. It's an ongoing story of survival, and the first 12 issues at least, are perfect.

Overall I'd give this a resounding 10 out of 10.
» Read the rest of the entry..

Following the epic X-Men event Messiah Complex, all the major X-Men title underwent a reshuffle. To be honest, it's easy to get confused with what is currently going on in the X-Universe. Following Messiah Complex (MC), the X-Men are divided, hence the whole confusing "Divided We Stand" tag line, which is used across a couple of the titles. Uncanny X-Men "Divided We Stand" collects issues #495-499 of the Uncanny X-Men, and was written by Ed Brubaker.


The Uncanny X-Men seems to drop the pre-MC team of X-Men in favor of picking up with Cyclops and Emma Frost as they ponder the death/disappearance of Professor X while holidaying in the Savage Land. Cyclops is particularly broody as he contemplates whether or not to bring the X-Men back together. The two are eventually drawn to San Francisco when things there get weird. San Francisco has gone back to an idolized 1960's version of itself, and the X-Men that are there, Angel, Warpath and a few others, are all brainwashed into thinking they are flower children.

Meanwhile Wolverine, Nightcrawler and Colossus are on a holiday of their own in Russia, and for no apparent reason stumble upon the Russian version of the Weapon X program, curious as to why the X-Men retain their powers while all their mutants have been rendered powerless, following M-Day.

Long story short, both stories resolve themselves with little major impact upon any of the characters. There are two things that this book does that will set the direction for future Uncanny X-Men stories. Firstly, San Francisco is the new X-Men base of operations. Secondly, there appears to be a new "Sisterhood of Mutants" getting together.

Given that this collection was written by Ed Brubaker I have to say I was a little disappointed. I'd expected more. Sadly, this book is quite forgettable, ask me what happened in it a few months from now, and I will probably have forgotten. It's not the worst book I've read, but by the same token, it's all fairly stock standard X-Men fare. I'll pick up the next collection, but if it's on a par with this, then I think it might be time for me to give the Uncanny X-Men a break for a while.

Overall, I'd give this book <b>5 out of 10</b>.

Uncanny X-Men #494 495 496 497 498 499 Divided We Stand Set Wolverine VF+
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2007 MARVEL COMICS UNCANNY X-MEN DIVIDED WE STAND PROMO CARD
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UNCANNY X-MEN #497 Skrull Variant - Divided We Stand / 2008 Marvel Comics
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Uncanny X-Men #498 Divided We Stand: Part 4! Brubaker & Choi!
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White Tiger: A Hero's Compulsion was written by Tamora Pierce and Timothy Liebe, and began it's 6 issue mini-series in 2006, but has since been released in trade paper back form, White Tiger #1-6.

The White Tiger mini-series follows the emergence of the White Tiger, Angela Del Toro. Fans of the Daredevil series would know that Del Toro first appeared in a number of issues of Daredevil, as an FBI agent drawn into the investigation of the Daredevil's true identity, as well as the investigation into the death of her uncle Hector, the previous White Tiger. In Daredevil, Del Toro quit the FBI when she realised the good she could do with her new found power, inherited via her uncle's Jade Tiger amulets, eventually taking on the White Tiger moniker.

White Tiger: A Hero's Compulsion begins with Daredevil Matt Murdock in prison, leaving Del Toro seemingly on her own to figure out what to do with her new found power and responsibility. Del Toro, with the help of Black Widow, Luke Cage, Spider-Man and Iron Fist (who is doubling as Daredevil while Matt Murdock is in prison), eases herself into the role of White Tiger. While starting to clean up her neighbourhood, Del Toro finds herself investigating the shady activities of an organisation called Chaneyi.

In many respects White Tiger: A Hero's Compulsion is a standard superhero tale. An FBI agent, inherits powers that improve her ability to fight crime. In that regard, there is nothing revolutionary or ground breaking going on, yet still, it's an enjoyable enough story. The story concluded as most comic arcs do, leaving the door wide open for a followup. It's a bit of a shame that Marvel didn't decide to take White Tiger further, but I guess they too didn't see enough to set the title apart from a host of other comics hitting the stands at the time.

Don't hold your breath for any Del Toro/White Tiger follow up either, as, from what I've read, White Tiger is killed by Lady Bullseye in a relatively recent issue of Daredevil.

Overall, I'd give White Tiger: A Hero's Compulsion 6 out of 10
» Read the rest of the entry..

Batman: Haunted Knight is a collection of three Halloween 'specials' focusing on different aspects of Batman/Bruce Wayne's past, present and possible future, written by Jeph Loeb and illustrated by Tim Sale.

The first story focuses on Batman's attempt to re-capture the Scarecrow, at the same time as Bruce Wayne finds himself starting up a new relationship. I can't really say anymore than that without giving the twist away... and there is a twist. In my opinion, this was the pick of the bunch.
The second story, draws on the Alice in Wonderland mythology and follows Batman's attempts to re-capture the Mad Hatter. In this story we learn that battling the Mad Hatter almost always trawls up memories of Bruce Wayne's mother, due to the Hatters association with the Alice in Wonderland tale. This story was ok. Not outstanding, just ok.

The third and final story is the Batman version of the old Christmas Carol story, with Bruce Wayne visited by the spirits of the past, present and future. In this story, the first meeting between Lucias Fox and Bruce Wayne is revealed, and we also learn how Fox finds himself at Wayne Enterprises. Besides that, you can probably guess how this plays out. In the end, Wayne realises that not all his money needs to go toward crime fighting, and that it can also be used to help others. Wayne also realises that he needs to retain his humanity even if those he fights show no humanity themselves.

Having read Batman: The Long Halloween and Batman: Dark Victory, both also products of Loeb and Sale, I held high expectations for Haunted Knight. Unfortunately, however, this time around they weren't quite able to meet my expectations. That's not to say Haunted Knight is a bad collection, just that I didn't like it as much as either The Long Halloween or Dark Victory. This collection is best suited to the Loeb/Sale completest and the die hard Batman fans. Casual readers would probably not enjoy this as much as other stories Loeb and Sale have worked on. Overall I'd give this one a 6 out of 10.

Batman: Haunted Knight
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BATMAN: HAUNTED KNIGHT TPB Jeph Loeb & Tim Sale Joker TP
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Uncanny X-Men Volume 4: The Draco collects issues #428-434 of Uncanny X-Men, and was written by Chuck Austen. The stuff I've read of Austen so far, Uncanny X-Men Volumes 1-3, have been terrible to say the least.

Picking up Volume 4, The Draco, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised when I read the prologue.

The prologue to The Draco, provides some interesting back story as to the true origins of Nightcrawler (Kurt Wagner), the circumstances surrounding his birth, and how he came to arrive in the care of sorceress and gypsy queen Margali Szardos. Mystique is Kurt's mother, and as it turns out Azazel is Kurt's father.

At the conclusion of the prologue however, the storyline goes down hill fast. Kurt is drawn to an archaeological dig. It turns out that a lot of teleporting mutants are being drawn to the same place, and that's not the only thing they have in common. As it turns out, they all share the same father, Azazel.

The plot... loses the plot at the point where Azazel reveals that he is actually Satan and has fathered an army of teleporting kids to free him from 'hell' so that he can conquer the world. Azazel is apparently a demonic mutant that was banished in biblical times. So I guess technically this makes Nightcrawler the son of Satan.

While this is all happening the ongoing love triangle between Polaris, Havok and nurse Annie continues... zzzzzzz... Polaris continues down the path of insanity, and the story surrounding the father of Annie's son appears to have been dropped altogether.

The only storyline featured in the collection involves the Juggernaut traveling to Canada to visit Sammy the Fish Boy, only to find Sammy being abused by his father. Juggernaut intervenes. Stuff happens.

Overall, The Draco started out promisingly enough before quickly stinking up the place. Fortunately for me I picked it up in a nick and dent sale for next to nothing. In summary, another Chuck Austen Uncanny Special. 3.5 out of 10.

Uncanny X-Men Volume 4: The Draco TPB: Draco v. 4, Austen, Chuck 0785111344
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