Sunday, September 30, 2007

Infinite Wars: T.Hawk/Fei Long Double Feature

Where: Street Fighter II #3 When: February 2006
Why: Ken Siu-Chong How: Alvin Lee

Quick Fix...
Okay, I'm going to start this entry way off on a tangent.
Earlier today I spent a disturbing amount of time sifting through google hits, conventional and blogsearch, looking for dates and issue numbers. I couldn't find them.

I do my best to make sure Secret Wars on Infinite Earths is a multi-layered and enjoyable reading experience, several times a week. If I might not always live up to that lofty expectation, I always find great pride in including explicit and relevant information for cross searching needs.

Now, let the minutes show that it is indeed Sunday, and therefore we must address today's pressing Street Fighter business. On today's agenda, two of the new warriors that made their debut in the revision title, Super Street Fighter II.

Full Article:

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Infinite Wars: Superman vs Preus

Old Man, New World (DC comics)
Action Comics #824 When: April 2005
Why: JD Finn How: Ivan Reis

The story so far...
Suffering the stress of a clash with Gog and a synthetic yellow form of Kryptonite, and the lurking threat of Doomsday; an aged Superman struggles against the xenophobic charge of Kandor's General Preus.

Having captured both the inquisitive Jimmy Olsen and the Justice League's Martian Manhunter, Preus uses Olsen's signal watch to lure Superman to his desert base where he commands an army of zealous white-supremicists.

Facing overwhelming physical odds, Superman will courageously do combat with his disillusioned Kandorian counterpart, but at the end of the battle, Preus' greatest weapon may prove to be humanity's own capacity for self-destruction.

Full Article:

Friday, September 28, 2007

Infinite Wars: Batman vs Catwoman

Date Knight (DC comics)
Solo #1 When: December 2004
Why: Darwyn Cooke How: Tim Sale

The story so far...
A string of clues lead the Dark Knight Detective to a Gotham City museum exibit, where someone has broken in; neutralized the nightguard; disabled security systems; and breached the defenses of an expensive cat artifact. So why is the statue still in it's case?

It seems Catwoman wants to play, and the perfect way to get the attentions of her Bat-themed lover is a midnight burglary, complete with scented clues to lead him to their rendezvous.

The sassy Selina Kyle leads the Batman on a pursuit across the Gotham skyline, in a date night only she could provide. Will the Dark Knight pursue criminal justice, or when the cheque arrives, will he do the gentlemanly thing? Mmmreow, stay tuned to find out!

Full Article:

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Infinite Wars: Saviour vs Superman

Scarlet Salvation (DC comics)
Action Comics #713 When: September 1995
Why: David Michelinie How: Kieron Dwyer & Denis Rodier

The story so far...
Three years prior, the world watched in horror as the alien creature Doomsday fought Superman to a stand-still, the two dying in the street by each other's hands.

Having returned after the destruction of Coast City, Superman returns to resume his battle for truth, justice and the American way -- but not everyone is convinced!

After a sinister plot orchestrated by the Kryptonian cybernetic fiend, Braniac; a doubt is cast in the minds of all when an illusion is cast to reveal Superman still dead in his coffin. Though the truth was eventually revealed, deranged serial killer, Ramsey Murdoch, remains unconvinced. Believing himself to be a self-proclaimed saviour, Murdoch prepares himself to destroy the one who poses as Superman.

Full Article:

Monday, September 24, 2007

Infinite Wars: Fantastic Four & X-Men vs Ahab, Invisible Woman & Cyclops

Days of Future Present Part 4: You Must Remember This (Marvel comics)
X-Men Annual #14 When: 1990
Why: Chris Claremont How: Art Adams

The story so far...
For humanity there exists a dark potential future.
A time where mutants have been hunted to near extinction, and humanity lives enslaved by the robotic Sentinel armies that police the streets so vigilantly.

Franklin Richards and Rachel Summers, refugees from this dark time, escape back to seek protection in a more placid time where their parents stood triumphant and hopeful against these evils. Unfortunately for them, their time travelling escape is not the only shift made from this future.

Dr. Roderick Campbell, the man-Sentinel known as Ahab, follows the two mutant rebels back through the timestream, hoping to use the environment to manipulate a final showdown with his longtime targets. Unfortunately for him, the mutants are far from extinct in this time, and despite his advanced technology and many powers, he may find himself overwhelmed...

Full Article:

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Infinite Wars: Ryu/Ken Double Feature

KEN versus RYU
Stage 01 (UDON/Image)
Where: Street Fighter #1 When: September 2003
Why: Ken Siu-Chong How: Alvin Lee

Quick Fix...
Y'know, in it's own way, UDON and their Capcom books are a really interesting look at "independent" comic books.

I do this blog thing for many reasons, one of the important ones being the enjoyment I get from taking a little time to discuss, review, and observe these pieces of entertainment that I find so joyous. Of course, as much as I'd like to derive world dominating noteriety from this blog, I'm not so sure there's a long future for me in comics review.

What I do feel very strongly about is writing and creating comic books.
Sure, that's not an unusual aspiration. Most fans and their silly photographed cats want to write comics, but I like to think there's something inevitable about comics and I. I'm not one to believe in destiny, but I think if you plucked anyone who's known me through my lifetime, none would be shocked to learn I had found fate in a creative field. It's just one of those cosmic things.

That said, it's not like capability, flair and know-how instantly get you the job.
As submission processes become less common, and technology becomes more readily available, the intrepid fan pursues the dream of self-publishing to a quality unparalleled in the previous two decades of small press.

Full Article:

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Infinite Wars: Batman Double Feature

QUICK FIX DOUBLE FEATURE: Under the Influence/Ones We Love
As the Crow Flies Part Four: Shotgun (DC)
Where: Batman #629 When: August 2004
Why: Judd Winick How: Dustin Nguyen

Quick Fix...
So, Galactus and I might not have a lot in common, but there is one indisputable commonality: We're both sticklers for rules, especially our own.

Which brings us to now. Up against the wire, I feel an obligation to turn in a Street Fighter post for Sunday, a Marvel Ultimate Alliance post for Monday, and, well, okay, that's really about all... But still, here we are, as the clock ticks over to Sunday (here in the future), and I'm starting a post for Saturday! Egads, what sinister plot could provoke such madness?!

A couple of days ago The Fortress Keeper had some interesting things to say about the state of Batman, with a particular slant towards an evolution away from the grim and gritty mania that has gripped the character for the best part of three decades. I, of course, subscribe to that classic take within reason, actually fairly disinterested in progress being made by Grant Morrison to return the hairy chested love-god to his globe trotting throne; but I digress...

Inevitably one travels from Batman's world and state of mind, to the relationships important to his life.

Full Article:

Friday, September 21, 2007

Infinite Wars: Despero vs Justice League

Crisis of Conscience: Part Four (DC comics)
JLA #118 When: Early November 2005
Why: Geoff Johns & Allan Heinberg How: Chris Batista

The story so far...
With their dirty little secrets exposed, the Justice League is imploding into itself in a maelstrom of disapproval and mistrust. The revelations over Zatanna's mind-wiping practises regain their relevance when members of the Secret Society of Super-villains discover the true identities of the heroes.

Unknown to the league, the foe responsible for awakening the minds of the Society, Despero, is hurtling toward Earth in pursuit of a helpless Martian Manhunter. Unable to locate the league, the Manhunter plummets Earthbound with one member in mind -- Aquaman!

Will J'onn J'onnz find the assistance he needs, or has the inner turmoil of their actions exposed a weakness in the League, and allowed Despero the opportunity to finally seek a final revenge on those he has called enemy?

Full Article:

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Infinite Wars: Hawkman/Black Adam JSA Double

Black Reign: Part Two (DC)
Where: Hawkman #23 When: Early March 2004
Why: Geoff Johns How: Rags Morales

Quick Fix...
Lately we've been talking a bit about harsh justice, and it's application to the superhero world, and this entry gives us the opportunity to take a look at that theory in practise.

It's a particularly interesting topic, given all the different angles. Generally speaking, the sacred cows [like Wonder Woman] are protected from the moral ambiguity of lethal justice, yet, oft times it's these vintage characters that are more likely to be identified with harsh enforcement reflective of the war-torn times they were created in.

The debate rages on between the two schools of thought. For many the definition of a superhero is to be above the moral ambiguity average humans, soldiers, or heroes are regularly faced with. It means not being forced to pull the trigger to save innocent lives, instead using the fantastic to end danger.
We recently discussed a similar argument of whether or not Captain America ever used lethal force during his times in the frontline of the Second World War [Captain America #405].

The morally ambiguous hero got a bit of a tarnished reputation, passing through the eighties and nineties with the baggage of excess, and poor interpretation. The posterboy becomes characters like The Punisher, who more overtly straddle the line of what's right and wrong with a stonecold attitude toward life and death. For the most part these characters do good, eliminating the evils that evade justice by conventional law, but there is always that underlying negative of what we know in reality of the vigilante.

Full Article:

Monday, September 17, 2007

Infinite Wars: Doppelganger vs Thing

By Reed... Betrayed! (Marvel comics)
Fantastic Four #367 When: August 1992
Why: Tom DeFalco How: Paul Ryan

The story so far...
The Magus, with the aid of mysterious cosmic power, has created an army of sinister mirror images of the greatest heroes of the Marvel Universe in a bid for total domination!

Forced to face their inner shadows, the great heroes fight themselves for their own existance. For Thing, his doppelganger comes at a time already overcast with inner turmoil. Ex-girlfriend and teammate, Sharon Ventura, returns as he comes to terms with the reveal that his greatest love, Alicia Masters, did not marry the Human Torch. Instead, it was another dark diversion, the undercover Skrull Lyja, who married the Torch, which leaves Thing unsure of his feelings for his former flame.

The Puppet Master is sure of his feelings, desiring the happiness of his daughter, but will his love stop him taking advantage of the Thing's predicament, or will he use his fantastic telekinetic controlling clay to save the Fantastic Fourman?...

Full Article:

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Infinite Wars: Guile vs Birdie

Stage 01 (UDON/Image)
Street Fighter #1 When: September 2003
Why: Ken Siu-Chong How: Alvin Lee

The story so far...
His name is Bison, and he is the megalomaniacal leader of the world's most vile criminal organization -- Shadaloo. Involved in every facet of criminality, Shadaloo funds Bison's desires for world conquest, and his interests in fostering the martial arts and his psycho power.

It was during an investigation into Shadaloo that Bison uncovered and brutally murdered Charlie, partner of Interpol agent, Guile. Ever since, Guile has had the burning desire to personally put an end to the Shadaloo empire, and the evil M. Bison.

Patiently working his way through the various branches of Shadaloo, Guile and agents like him pick apart the pieces of the puzzle, working their way closer to the source. Wannabe street toughs, like the English street fighter, Birdie, represent the lower rungs, all useful for tracking back to Bison.

Full Article:

Friday, September 14, 2007

Infinite Wars: Avengers vs Galactus

The End of the Matter: What If The Silver Surfer Had Not Betrayed Galactus? (Marvel comics)
What if...? #70 When: February 1995
Why: Chuck Dixon How: Joe Barney & Don Hudson

The story so far...
So it was, when the devourer of worlds came to destroy the Earth, that the Fantastic Four stood against him. Toppling his gleeming herald, the Silver Surfer would come to land on the balcony of an inner city studio belonging to the blind sculptress, Alicia Masters.

Though blind, she would see something inside the Silver Surfer thought long dead, and with an awareness of all things great on the planet Earth, the Silver Surfer remembered what it was to be Norrin Radd, inhabitant of Zenn-La. Thus, he rebelled and proved to be the crucial factor in defeating the devourer of worlds, Galactus.

Alas, there are other worlds, where events such as this deviate in minor, but devestating ways. Just such a world saw the Silver Surfer remaining steadfast, forcing the Fantastic Four into retreat in the wake of Uatu's death, and the wounding of Reed Richards. With the FF absent, other heroes are forced to pick-up the slack, but can they possibly stand against the might of Galactus?...

Full Article:

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Infinite Wars: Catwoman Double

The One You Love Conclusion (DC)
Where: Catwoman #49 When: January 2006
Why: Will Pfeifer How: Pete Woods

Quick Fix...
So, we dared to touch upon the nasty subject of Amazons Attack [Wander Woman], a series that has done absolutely nothing for the otherwise rising star of writer, Will Pfeifer.

In light of that, I thought it was probably worth zooming in to check out some of Pfeifer's much better work, namely picking up the slack on Catwoman after fan favourite writers Darwyn Cooke and Ed Brubaker left the title reinvigorated. Tag neglecters might also like to backtrack to the only other entry from Pfeifer's catalogue, the first issue of Captain Atom: Armageddon, reviewed earlier in the year.

But back to Catwoman. For those not terribly interested in the character or the title, it's probably hard to appreciate the situation Pfeifer was put in. The pressure almost certainly didn't come from the company, as this was among several maneuvers that really positioned Pfeifer as one of the up-and-comers at DC, but for fans and an industry, this was potentially a recipe for disaster!

Full Article:

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Infinite Wars: Wonder Woman Double

Infinite Crisis (DC)
Where: Infinite Crisis #1 When: December 2005
Why: Geoff Johns How: Phil Jiminez

Quick Fix...
Okay, so the lazy schedule has helped me quickly correct, but if I'm to impress the various important establishments like the BBC, and various other publishers of print and media hitting up this humble blog, I've got to hit the hard issues before they go stale.

If the feminist blogging community has been anything to go by lately, I actually probably have until about 2025 to catch this one, so maybe I'm getting in early. Alas; I'll endeavour to kill the joke no more, and get straight to the topic at hand -- Amazons Attack!

Haven't they just?

Full Article:

Monday, September 10, 2007

Infinite Wars: Doppelganger vs Mr. Fantastic

The Enemy Within! (Marvel comics)
Fantastic Four #366 When: July 1992
Why: Tom DeFalco & Paul Ryan How: Paul Ryan

The story so far...
Adam Warlock, a cosmic weapon who reached omnipotence, purged himself of emotions to create two gestalt entities. From all his good came The Goddess, and from his negative emotions, The Magus.

Seeking total domination over the Marvel Universe, the Magus uses his fantastic cosmic power to exist in a pocket reality, manipulating the pawns of his game from afar.

To the bewilderment of Thanos; a man whose motivations are similar bit distinctly different; the Magus wages war on the heroes through the creation of doppelgangers using items resembling the fabled cosmic cubes. Crucial to his war on the heroes, the battle between dark shadows and crucial figures within the superhero community. Figures like Reed Richards!...

Full Article:

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Infinite Wars: Vega/Dhalsim Double

The Tournament Begins (Group TAC/Capcom/Manga Entertainment)
Where: Street Fighter Alpha When: 1999
Why: Shigeyasu Yamauchi, Joe Romersa, Reiko Yoshida, & Kirk Thornton How: Kazuyuki Ishikawa

Quick Fix...
With the various goings on around the place, we've had an influx of new readers. Some of them have actually arrived here because of previous Street Fighter entries, but for those who haven't, let it ring out through the village: I'm as keen on superheroes as I am on beat 'em ups!

Okay, so maybe not all beat 'em ups, but I think I've got the basics covered. SF, Mortal Kombat, Tekken, Dead or Alive. Sure, I can stretch to some of the others, but this would undoubtedly be my core, with DOA bridging the familiarity gap between those I'm less aware of, like the SNK series, and those I love, like Street Fighter!

Some fans might ask, why Street Fighter?

Full Article:

Friday, September 07, 2007

Infinite Wars: Wolverine vs Captain America

Dances With Werewolves (Marvel comics)
Captain America #405 When: Late August 1992 Why: Mark Gruenwald How: Rik Levins

The story so far...
Having escaped the feral clutches of lycanthropy before, Captain America finds himself once again strapped to the table of the evil Dr. Nightshade. Intent on turning him permanently, she injects her formula, incurring immediate results.

The feral Captain America proves strong enough of will to resist the influence of Dredmund; Nightshade's partner in crime, and self-proclaimed lord of Werewolves.

Confused and disorientated, the turned Captain America sprints into the surrounding Massachusetts wilderness, his super-soldier body origins giving him an edge against the opposing werewolves. Unlucky for him, werewolves aren't the only feral creatures in the wilderness: Enter the Wolverine!

Full Article:

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Infinite Wars: Hawkeye/Captain America Double


The Axis Of Evil (Marvel)
Where: Ultimates 2 #10 When: March 2006
Why: Mark Millar How: Bryan Hitch

Quick Fix...
Credit where credit's due, sure, but if you're an avid follower of the Infinite Wars, you'll probably have sussed by now that I'm really more of a character, story and leg man. Sure, creative teams are a part of the equation, but for me, a comic doesn't live or die by a writer, artist, or sychophantic obsession.

Well, okay, that last part isn't true. Maybe you get an extra look in if you've got some solid Sub-Mariner or Super-Skrull action going on -- but even then, I'm not about to sell the house to fund my comics obsessions. (Venting!)

Still, given the nature of the medium and it's intent on milking anyone or anything for all they're worth, certain creators are recurring factors in mainstream superhero comics. Then you break it down to the common denominator of our big action smackdown format, and you refine those commonalities down to this man -- Mark "Yarrrrrrrrr!" Millar.

Full Article:

Monday, September 03, 2007

Infinite Wars: Doppelganger vs Captain America

Dark Dawn (Marvel comics)
Captain America #408 When: October 1992
Why: Mark Gruenwald How: Rik Levins

The story so far...
The deadly Nightshade teams with Dredmund, lord of the werewolves, in a sinister scheme to turn the people of Massachusetts into werewolves -- including the super-soldier himself, Captain America!

Fortunately for him the combined might of he, Man-Wolf John Jameson, Wolfsbane, Wolverine and others sees the day saved, but before Cap can be cured of his lycanthropy there's another shocking surprise in store!

Unbeknownst to he, a secret war is being waged by the evil spirit of Adam Warlock, Magus! Creating sinister doppelgangers of Earth's greatest heroes, Magus sends his shadows out to do battle with their counterparts. Suffering fatigue of battle and Nightshade's cure, can Cap defeat his dastardly doppelganger, or is it curtains for America's greatest warrior?

Full Article:

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Infinite Wars: Dark Claw/Flash Double Feature

Face To Face (Amalgam)
Where: Dark Claw Adventures #1 When: June 1997
Why: Ty Templeton How: Ty Templeton & Rick Burchett

Quick Fix...
I mentioned in the Punch-Up that there was a Ra's Al Ghul related entry I was originally interested in, and I also mentioned a little Two-In-One action coming. Hopefully you've been able to surmise that this entry answers both of those references.

I found myself flicking through this particular issue because, tangentially stemming from all the Al Ghul talk, I started thinking about Ra's-A-Pocalypse; the composite character that borrows elements from Marvel's Apocalypse character, and marries them with the DC character [hence Amalgam].

The resulting character is, though hardly elaborated on, a delicious little conceptual of a Darwinism-extremist. In this case there are trace elements of themes specifically explored in episodes of the Batman animated series, which provides half of the inspiration for this issue's adventure format.

Full Article:

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Infinite Wars: Captain Marvel vs Macro-Man

MONTHLY PUNCH-UP #21 (September 2007)
"Once Upon A Time...!" (DC)
Where: Legends #1 When: November 1986
Why: John Ostrander & Len Wein How: John Byrne

Quick Fix...
From one Ostrander [Suicide Squad #2], to another!
I guess we're loitering around the eighties a bit more than usual on the Infinite Wars, but with good reason!

I did have something else in mind for this month's quick fix, but it occurred to me that it might have come across [Hawkman #24] that I was anti-Captain Marvel, too busy being caught up in Black Adam hype.
Okay, so maybe I am caught up in Black Adam hype, but that doesn't mean I can't Shazam with boy Billy! Red and yellow is A-OK with me, chief!

Here we have, so I'm told, Captain Marvel's first DC appearance after the reboot event, Crisis on Infinite Earths, which gave DC the opportunity to arrange their house in order, under the pretense of streamlining and starting over.

Like a Civil War some twenty years later; Legends would bring together characters of varying status within the DC Universe, and put them under a microscope of cynicism and mistrust of the superhero element. Of course, why anyone would feel the need to cast a net of cynicism over stories about a pre-pubescent host of a politically charged talkshow, escapes me.

Full Article:

Friday, August 31, 2007

Infinite Wars: Deadshot vs Manticore

Trial By Fire (DC comics)
Suicide Squad #2 When: June 1987
Why: John Ostrander How: Luke McDonnell

The story so far...
They're a group of despicable, ruthless, back-stabbing criminals -- and they're going to save the world in ways the heroes wouldn't touch. Or at least, that's the plan, when this ragtag group are sent into situations best described as: suicidal.

Headed up by Amanda Waller; the team are sent into the field for their first mission to infiltrate the headquarters of the terrorist group aptly named The Jihad, and use the intelligence gathered to systematically take them apart -- by any means.

The only problem with this team is that they're expendable, untrustworthy, and all too aware of their situation. Heading into Northern Qurac, there's a traitor in their midst, and they'll gladly sell the team out if it means surviving!

Full Article:

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Infinite Wars: Black Adam vs Captain Marvel

Black Reign (DC comics)
Hawkman #24 When: Late March 2004
Why: Geoff Johns How: Rags Morales

The story so far...
Having attempted to prove his redemption through serving with the Justice Society of America; Black Adam soon comes to realise that the effective betterment of the persecuted will not be achieved through the good intentions of the Golden Age heroes.

Gathering a band of the willing and likeminded, Adam sets about righting the wrongs of his time with the JSA, fighting and executing his way to his homeland of Kahndaq.

With the aid of his fellows; many connected to the Justice Society themselves; Adam wages a coup against the oppressive rulers of the once proud and ancient Middle Easter country. Their militia no match for brute super strength, Adam liberates the Kahndaqi people, who are none too happy when the JSA, led by Hawkman, come to interfere in the rule of their new hero.

Full Article:

Monday, August 27, 2007

Infinite Wars: Marvel Zombies vs Galactus

Marvel Zombies Conclusion (Marvel comics)
Marvel Zombies #5 When: June 2006
Why: Robert Kirkman How: Sean Phillips

The story so far...
Earth 2419: A frightening twisted version of the Marvel Universe, infected by the decay of an alien virus that turns all infected into decomposing, viracious zombies.

With the Earth's population decimated by the super powered zombies, food supplies begin to run low.
Failing to follow their zombified Fantastic Four into a parallel universe, the zombies finish the last active snack, Magneto, before the heavens present a miracle.

His arrival affected by unknown elements of this universe, the Silver Surfer shows up in present-day to assess the viability of the Earth for consumption by his master -- Galactus: Devourer of Worlds.

The Surfer's defeat paves the wave for the wrath of Galactus, but the devourer who knows no satisfactions appears to have met his match. Having ingested portions of the Silver Surfer's cosmically powered carcass, the Marvel Zombies have absorbed his cosmic power, and prepare to turn it against it's master!

Full Article:

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Infinite Wars: Batman vs Ra's al Ghul

(DC comics)
Batman Begins When: June 2005
Why: Christopher Nolan & David Goyer How: Christian Bale & Liam Neeson

The story so far...
Having witnessed the murder of his parents by a desperate armed robber in a theatre back alley, Bruce Wayne grows into a man of great guilt and anger.

Channelling his rage, he uses his inherited fortune to traverse the globe, escaping his celebrity status as a Wayne to face the criminal element on it's own terms, and take it on one man at a time.

During his time abroad Bruce Wayne is confronted by a man named Henri Ducard, who promises to foster his power and hone his efficiency to become a true force of justice. Representing Ra's Al Ghul and the League of Shadows, Ducard eventually reveals a plot to use Wayne as a pawn in the destruction of Gotham; something Bruce Wayne, now Batman, will do anything to stop.

Full Article:

Friday, August 24, 2007

Infinite Wars: N'Garai Demon vs Kitty Pryde

Demon (Marvel comics)
Uncanny X-Men #143 When: March 1981
Why: Chris Claremont & John Byrne How: John Byrne

The story so far...
It was long ago that the grounds of Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters saw the sprouting of a demonic totem connecting to the world of the N'Garai -- a Cairn, the bridging gateway for these demonic creatures to spew forth into our world and wreak havoc.

Storm and her fellow X-Men were able to overcome the N'Garai who attacked them, but months later a N'Garai demon emerges once more on the grounds on Christmas eve, seeking to bring misery to the mutants of the X-Men mutant academy.

Alone in the mansion while the other X-Men spend down time with their loved ones, Kitty Pryde decides to direct her misery toward training in the Danger Room. Her session is interrupted by an alarm alerting her of the intrusion, and her investigation leads her to the greatest workout of her career -- one-on-one battle alone against a N'Garai demon!

Full Article:

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Infinite Wars: Wolverine vs Sabretooth

Evolution Chapter One: First Blood (Marvel comics)
Wolverine #50 When: March 2007
Why: Jeph Loeb How: Simone Bianchi

The story so far...
They used to be friends, but over the decades the bloody feud between Wolverine and Sabretooth has grown to be one of the most bitter and thoroughly twisted conflicts in comics.

Having carved his way through lies and deceptions, Wolverine knows he isn't Sabretooth's son, clone, time travelling counterpart, or any other relation -- but he still just can't put his finger on what is true.

With glimpses of an ancestral history as a backdrop, Wolverine confronts Sabretooth at Xavier's Mansion, where he's staying as a member of the X-Men, not for the first time. Wolverine's mission? To finally put an end to the bitter hatred that inevitably brings these two monsters together, time and again.

Full Article:

Monday, August 20, 2007

Infinite Wars: Fantastic Four vs Paibok the Power Skrull

Whatever happened to Alicia?! (Marvel comics)
Fantastic Four #358 When: November 1991
Why: Tom DeFalco How: Paul Ryan

The story so far...
After the Beyonder's secret war, the Fantastic Four's Thing opted to stay behind and continue his adventures. It was this act that nearly put a vital snafu to a secret plan launched by the Skrulls to infiltrate their enemies team.

Posing as Thing's blind girlfriend, Alicia Masters, the Skrull soldier named Lyja was forced to take a harsh turn, steering the affections of the Masters girl to an unlikely suitor -- Johnny Storm!

When Thing returned he eventually learned to live with the loss of his love, and was witness to the marriage vows of Johnny and Alicia, or so they thought. With Lyja revealed, the furious Johnny Storm leads the Fantastic Four on a mission to space to retrieve the captive Alicia, but little does he know the overseeing officer in the matter is a Skrull familiar, yet very different...

Full Article:

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Infinite Wars: Sabretooth vs Jubilee

Rites of Passage (Marvel comics)
Adventures of the X-Men #7 When: October 1996 Why: Ralph Macchio How: Andy Kuhn

The story so far...
In their last confrontation, Sabretooth and Wolverine battled in the snowy ranges of Alaska, where the X-Man was able to out maneuver his old foe to send him hurtling down an icey ravine.

Having finally clawed his way back to the surface, Sabretooth is madder than ever, and intent on getting revenge on his arch-nemesis.

Stalking his way across America, Sabretooth returns to the X-Mansion he once infiltrated under orders of Magneto. Ironically, the X-Men are abroad in Russia tending to matters concerning the master of magnetism, leaving Professor Xavier and Jubilee alone in the mansion -- with Sabretooth!

Full Article:

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Infinite Wars: Sinister vs X-Men

The Tempest: Part 4 (Marvel comics)
Ultimate X-Men #49 When: September 2004
Why: Brian K Vaughan How: Brandon Peterson

The story so far...
A mysterious serial killer called Sinister has been murdering mutants throughout the Manhattan district, raising the concerns of the X-Men. Though reluctant, Professor Charles Xavier solicits the deployment of six of his most notable and seasoned students in the pursuit of the killer.

Though Wolverine and Storm track Sinister to his lair, they are horrified to discover the killer has already eluded them, and unbeknownst to the youthful X-Men left behind, he's coming for them.

Unable to detect Sinister's presence, Professor X is unable to prepare his mutants for the threat that is coming for them. Dazzler, Angel, Kitty Pryde, Rogue and Ice Man will have to fend for themselves, or die trying.

Full Article:

Friday, August 17, 2007

Infinite Wars: Power Man & Iron Fist vs Constrictor & Sabretooth


The Jade Tiger! (Marvel comics)
Power Man & Iron Fist #66 When: December 1980 Why: Mary Jo Duffy How: Kerry Gammill

The story so far...
Colleen Wing and Misty Knight are the freelance private investigators behind Nightwing Restorations. The job has taken them into the criminal black market trade of rare and exotic artifacts.

When they find their way into the bowels of the criminal's lair, the Nightwing investigators find themselves biting off more than they can chew as they stare down the menace of hired mercenaries, the Constrictor and Sabretooth!

Though Colleen Wing manages to escape, Misty Knight is thrown into the airtight safe that houses the many rare goods. Thus, Wing must seek out the aid of the Heroes for Hire, Powerman and Iron Fist, to formulate a rescue mission!

Full Article:

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Infinite Wars: Annihilus vs Fantastic Four


World War 3 Part 1: Life in Wartime (Marvel)
Fantastic Four #13 When: November 1997
Why: James Robinson How: Mike Wieringo

The story so far...
Two very distinct worlds collide as battles with cosmic forces undo all that is, and redefine it as all that could be. Marvel's mightiest heroes, having been trapped in a parallel universe of Franklin Richards' creation, soon find themselves thrust into yet another existence, this time along side the heroes and villains of Wildstorm.

This new world leaves behind the threats of Galactus and Damocles, creating it's own new history of turmoil.

Asia and Europe have fallen to alien invaders, as the Daemonites and Skrulls form an unlikely alliance with a traitor to all humanity -- Dr. Doom. Together, their technologies and inherent abilities allow them to infiltrate the rebellious remaining walks of life, creating a grim new world of distrust, chaos and war.

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Monday, August 13, 2007

Infinite Wars: Super-Skrull vs Fantastic Four

Retribution (Marvel comics)
Fantastic Four #6 When: April 1997
Why: Jim Lee & Brandon Choi How: Jim Lee

The story so far...
Reborn in a pocket universe created by Franklin Richards; the Fantastic Four are destined to relive their origins all over again as they unwittingly encounter familiar shadows of the past, also reborn in this new world.

Accosted by Victor Von Doom, a student from Reed Richards' days in college; the Fantastic Four and Black Panther find themselves the reluctant guests of castle Doomstadt. There, Doom is holding a mysterious chromed alien hostage, but this is not the limit of the extraterestrial presence.

Hidden within SHIELD and disguised as Agent Wyatt Wingfoot; a cosmically sleeper soldier of the Skrull empire has finally exploited his position, an alliance with Doom allowing him access to the herald of the Skrull Throneworld's destruction. Betraying Doom to use his machines, Kl'rt has absorbed the Surfer's cosmic power, and now prepares to turn his imitative Super-Skrull abilities against him.

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Friday, August 10, 2007

Infinite Wars: Thor vs Hulk

THOR versus HULK
"... Let no man tear asunder!" (Marvel comics)
Avengers #5 When: March 1997
Why: Rob Liefeld & Jeph Loeb How: Rob Liefeld & Ian Churchill

The story so far...
Trapped in a pocket dimension created instinctively by the powerful son of Mr. Fantastic and Invisible Woman; the world's greatest heroes are reborn in new lives in the wake of the epic battle with the creature called Onslaught!

As though destined to relive key events in their lives, Bruce Banner is again exposed to a massive dose of gamma radiation, turning him into the incredible Hulk.

A mindless and rage-filled beast, the Hulk seeks the one opponent he can never reach: Bruce Banner! Following beacons of Banner's work, the Hulk charges Avengers Island where a live gamma reactor core is housed. Having demolished much of the building and the few attending Avengers themselves, Hulk stands supreme, but a certain thunder gods would have words with him...

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

Infinite Wars: Sasquatch vs Wrecking Crew

Alpha To Omega (Marvel comics)
Omega Flight #1 When: June 2007
Why: Michael Avon Oeming How: Scott Kolins

The story so far...
Suffering a defeat that saw the death of most of it's members, Alpha Flight came to an end with the attack of the being known as The Collective.

The only survivor, Sasquatch, retreats from the life led as a superhero to return to his first love of science, but as the Americans begin to crack down with the advent of their Hero Registration Act, problems begin to creep across the boarder to Canadian soil.

The Canadian government, with aid from the US, seeks to reform the team around Sasquatch as Omega Flight, the last chance to prove once and for all Canada is worthy of a super team. However, before the team can gather, Sasquatch finds himself thrust back into action as the Wrecking Crew roll into mapleleaf country, looking to raise rabble without opposition.

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Infinite Wars: Flash vs Captain Cold

Book Two: Strange Adventures (DC comics)
DC: The New Frontier #2 When: April 2004
Why: Darwyn Cooke How: Darwyn Cooke

The story so far...
America is changing as the decades bleed from the forties, to the fifties, to the sixties and the emergence of world influences. Men of power are changing in both the White House, and the ranks of the superhero community.

The old guard are forced to come to terms with the new breed of heroes emerging, and the strange new events and threats that accompany them. Among the new blood, Martian Manhunter, the Flash and Green Lantern, all bringing with them vibrance and youth to a jaded post-war tier.

As alien presences begin to press greater influence on this world, the heroes and their villains take shape, and are inevitably drawn to one and other in the common goal of justice. This is not the story of an end to the old ways, but rather to the hope of a new frontier.

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Infinite Wars: Hulk vs Avengers

"That which gods have joined together..."
(Marvel comics)
Avengers #4 When: February 1997
Why: Rob Liefeld & Jeph Loeb How: Chap Yaep & Ian Churchill

The story so far...
Believed dead, the Avengers and Fantastic Four survive their battle with Onslaught when Franklin Richards whisks them away to a pocket dimension of his own creation, housed within the tiny avatar of a blue ball.

Within this dimension the heroes are reborn, as though their fates were predetermined to play out again as destiny decided them. For Bruce Banner, his transformation into the Hulk begins again as he falls victim to a terrorist attack on one of Tony Stark's gamma nuclear bases, which exposes him to massive amounts of radiation.

Intent on destroying Dr. Banner, the Hulk survives a battle with Iron Man and begins his trek toward any totem that might signify his other. Attracted to a similar nuclear power source on Avengers Island, the Hulk finds his next battle with the few stationary members of Earth's mightiest heroes!

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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Infinite Wars: Shi'ar Imperial Guard vs X-Men


Superdestroyer (Marvel comics)
New X-Men #124 When: May 2002
Why: Grant Morrison How: Igor Kordey

The story so far...
Cassandra Nova, a malicious Shi'ar mummudrai, had her first encounter when drawn to arch-nemesis Charles Xavier in the woom. There, Nova duplicated Xavier's DNA to sustain a physical form, but with his mutant fetal brain developing in fantastic ways, Xavier became aware of the creature's viciousness and attacked, resulting in the Xavier twin being stillborn.

Decades later Nova would set into motion plans to annihilate all that her "twin" held dear. It would be Nova that would set off events that decimated the mutant nation of Genosha, before facing Xavier and his X-Men herself, taking possession of her nemesis' body before her own was crippled, thus leaving Xavier in the incapacitated body.

Under the guise of Xavier, Nova continued her scheme to destroy Xavier, linking up with Lilandra of the Shi'ar to convince her the mutants had become infected and would need to be destroyed for the good of the universe. Thus, Lilandra reluctantly sends her army to Earth, where they descend upon the X-Mansion.

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Friday, August 03, 2007

Infinite Wars: Batroc & Captain America vs Mr. Hyde


Cold Fire! (Marvel comics)
Captain America #252 When: December 1980
Why: Roger Stern How: John Byrne

The story so far...
Having escaped prison with a little help from Batroc the Leaper, Mr. Hyde hatches a plan for revenge and fortune, after revealing the promised riches that saw him freed were little more than an enticing lie.

Muscling Batroc into helping him further, the two steal themselves a Roxxon fuel tanker and prepare to turn it into a floating weapon if the United States don't meet their demands. Demands that include the surrender of their shared nemesis -- Captain America!

The Captain attempts to spring a plot of his own, but when things go wrong he finds himself at the mercy of the deranged Mr. Hyde. It's only the morbid intervention of Batroc that keeps him alive long enough to be fastened to the head of the ship, pointed directly at New York City. Is this certain doom for the star-spangled hero, or does peril present unlikely hope? Stay tuned!...

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Infinite Wars: Diamondhead vs Nova

MONTHLY PUNCH-UP #20 (August 2007)
Alienation (Marvel)
Where: Nova #2 When: July 2007
Why: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning How: Sean Chen

Quick Fix...
After an ill-fated attempt to get comics on my birthday, I had to settle with a small stack of very low priority books.
On the higher end of the scale was Nova, which has been a series getting some fairly positive reviews, despite the relative obscurity the character has endured over the past decade.

It seems it's not just canonically that Nova has outgrown his New Warriors past. In the wake of the Annihilation Wave, it actually seems surprisingly reasonable to see Nova in a title role. In fact, if the character were able to consolidate his appearances into a secured position as a Marvel A-lister, it might turn out to be a refreshing step forward.

That said, it's hard to know exactly what made these reads so disappointing.
It might have been the fact that they were about the best of the bunch, which omitted many higher interests, like World War Hulk. It might be that the art is put to shame by Adi Granov's simple, but effective cover art. It might be that the interior colour palette is a darkened array of colours, with a motley dark inking job that lacks conviction where shadows are present.

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Monday, July 30, 2007

Infinite Wars: Avengers vs Thor & Loki

Awaken the Thunder (Marvel comics)
Avengers #1 When: November 1996
Why: Jim Valentino & Rob Liefeld How: Chap Yaep & Rob Liefeld

The story so far...
Onslaught, a psychic manifestation of powerful telepath, Professor Charles Xavier, has been defeated. The cost, it seems, is the lives of Earth's mightiest heroes: the Avengers, but unbeknownst to the world their heroes have been reborn in a pocket dimension created by super-mutant: Franklin Richards, son of Invisible Woman and Mister Fantastic.

Completely unaware of their fate, the heroes emerge from their new surroundings and origins, as if compelled by destiny itself to fulfill their roles as the great heroes they were intended to be. Surrounding the reawakened super-soldier, Captain America; Vision, Hellcat, Swordsman, Hawkeye and Scarlet Witch are assembled again for the first time as -- The Avengers!

SHIELD rally their team of superheroes to Norway, where archaeologist Donald Blake has unearthed what he believes may be the Norse god of thunder, Thor, and his enchanted hammer Mjolnir. Unable to break the amber that entombs him, the Avengers step up to the plate, but are they opening Pandora's box?...

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Infinite Wars: Avengers vs Thor & Loki

Awaken the Thunder (Marvel comics)
Avengers #1 When: November 1996
Why: Jim Valentino & Rob Liefeld How: Chap Yaep & Rob Liefeld

The story so far...
Onslaught, a psychic manifestation of powerful telepath, Professor Charles Xavier, has been defeated. The cost, it seems, is the lives of Earth's mightiest heroes: the Avengers, but unbeknownst to the world their heroes have been reborn in a pocket dimension created by super-mutant: Franklin Richards, son of Invisible Woman and Mister Fantastic.

Completely unaware of their fate, the heroes emerge from their new surroundings and origins, as if compelled by destiny itself to fulfill their roles as the great heroes they were intended to be. Surrounding the reawakened super-soldier, Captain America; Vision, Hellcat, Swordsman, Hawkeye and Scarlet Witch are assembled again for the first time as -- The Avengers!

SHIELD rally their team of superheroes to Norway, where archaeologist Donald Blake has unearthed what he believes may be the Norse god of thunder, Thor, and his enchanted hammer Mjolnir. Unable to break the amber that entombs him, the Avengers step up to the plate, but are they opening Pandora's box?...

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Friday, July 27, 2007

Infinite Wars: Batman vs Killer Croc

Hush Chapter One: The Ransom (DC comics)
Batman #608 When: December 2002
Why: Jeph Loeb How: Jim Lee

The story so far...
Someone has gone to a lot of trouble in Gotham City to assemble a motley crew of mercenaries and muscle in order to kidnap Edward Lamont IV, boy billionaire in waiting for the Lamont chemical fortune.

The Batman is swift in retrieving the boy who was snatched two weeks prior from his school, by a man wearing a trenchcoat. Unfortunately for him, the large man was a newly mutated Killer Croc.

With a paid ransom of ten million dollars, Killer Croc challenges the Batman's interference with the conviction of a motivated man. Killer Croc claims he needs the money, but in this city of stone and steel, it's greatest champion is unsympathetic to the wants of a career criminal. Thus, they come to blows, but little does the Batman know, each is but a pawn in a game much larger...

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Infinite Wars: Avengers vs Destroyer

In Search of the Gods (Marvel comics)
Thor #1 When: July 1998
Why: Dan Jurgens How: John Romita Jr

The story so far...
The heroes have returned from being trapped in a pocket universe, but their return has garnered mixed pleasures.
The Norse Gods are lost, leaving behind the tattered remains of Asgard, and Thor is alone with the remorse of being the only known survivor, until a man claiming to be the human form of Baldur reaches out.

Thor ultimately discovers the misguided ruse of the crazed individual, but this is not the last hope of an encounter with artifacts from the fallen Asgard. Another menace is lurking in the shadows, ready to strike at those that Thor would care about.

The invincible Destroyer armor, created by Odin himself, has returned with the spirit of a disgruntled soldier inside it. Intent on wreaking independent havoc on the world, the possessor of the Destroyer stands against Thor and the mighty Avengers with a single threat: To open the visor and destroy the planet.

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Infinite Wars: Batman vs Killer Croc

Broken City: Part Two (DC comics)
Batman #621 When: January 2004
Why: Brian Azzarello How: Eduardo Risso

The story so far...
A murder in Gotham City has left a child orphaned, something the Dark Knight Detective can relate to. As the Batman, Bruce Wayne, son of the murdered Wayne family, uses his inherited fortune to stalk the streets of his city preying on those that would prey on the innocent.

This murder has connected with him, and so the Batman lends his aid, albeit through the filter of Detective Crispus Allen, a GCPD detective whose opinion of the Dark Knight is at least high enough to prevent it interfering in their work.

With the only witness, the son, reduced to a catatonic mess, the Batman decides to abandon a night of grilling steaks, and seek out a more receptive meat. Somewhere in the dark city sits a man with an appetite of a different kind, and he's about to get a visit from someone most unexpected.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Infinite Wars: Mr. Majestic vs Captain Atom

A Scream Across the Sky (Wildstorm comics)
Captain Atom: Armageddon #1 When: December 2005
Why: Will Pfeifer How: Giuseppe Camuncoli

The story so far...
Nathaniel Adam, a former soldier, was subjected to an experiment that left him encased in an indestructable alien alloy that was the material for the ship in which he was to have travelled. From that day forward he became the explosive superpowered agent: Captain Atom!

After years with the Justice League, Captain Atom eventually returns to the military under the Luthor administration, and when a Kryptonite meteor is heading straight for the Earth, is commissioned to pilot a ship to preemptively destroy the threat.

Captain Atom is successfully, but the explosive destruction of his ship throws him hurtling forward through time until, with his skin suffering damage, he finally comes to a stop in a strange and unfamiliar world, with an equally unfamiliar appearance: and in this new world, he's far from welcomed.

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Infinite Wars: Baron Mordo vs Dr. Strange

Face-To-Face With the Magic of Baron Mordo (Marvel comics)
Strange Tales #111 When: August 1963
Why: Stan Lee How: Steve Ditko

The story so far...
Somewhere in the mountainous regions of Tibet lives The Master, ancient master of the occult and mentor to Earth's Sorceror Supreme -- Dr. Strange! The final line of defense against all things mystic, occult and supernatural!

Though Dr. Strange's name inspires intrigue and fear, there is yet another name still that sends an even colder chill down any man's spine. He was once the Master's disciple, but he was seduced by the dark arts, and so he became the exile. The man who could have been the Sorceror Supreme, Baron Mordo.

Using his astral essence to travel undetected into The Master's lair, Mordo uses hypnotic suggestion to command his faithful servant to poison his food! Unaware of Mordo's act of treachery, Strange sends his own astral form to visit the Master in lieu of new experiments, and finds him besieged. Can Strange overcome Mordo and save his mentor, or is Earth's eldest champion doomed?

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Infinite Wars: Captain America vs Batroc & Mr. Hyde

The Mercenary and the Madman (Marvel comics)
Captain America #251 When: November 1980
Why: Roger Stern How: John Byrne

The story so far...
With the promise of a cut of a missing small fortune; French villain supreme, Batroc the Leaper, hatches a plan to free the super-powered Mr. Hyde from prison.

The two come to blows when Hyde reveals his promise of fortune to be a lie, but when he swiftly man-handles the Frenchman during a display of his savate skills, Hyde gains himself a reluctant partner in crime.

Holding a petroleum barge ransom; Hyde intends to raise a billion dollars in funds with a threat to the Roxxon conglomerate who own the ship. As if that wasn't enough, the villains also demand a hostage in Captain America, a chance for riches and revenge. How will Cap over come the odds? Stay tuned!

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Friday, July 13, 2007

Infinite Wars: Hellcat vs Black Cat

Catfight (Marvel comics)
Spider-man Family #1 When: April 2007
Why: Fred Van Lente How: Federica Manfredi

The story so far...
Watch out, Rama-Tut! There are a couple of new cats in Chi-town, and they're about to come head-to-head in an afterhours catfight at the museum!

Black Cat is looking to drum up some business for her new security service, by personally testing the vulnerabilities of the museum's protection. Little does she know, Chicago is home to the heroic Hellcat!

It looks like Hellcat is going to have to defend her territory, but is this rookie hero's kung-fu a match for the cagey guile or the crafty Black Cat? Or will passing this Black Cat's path prove to be a turn of luck for the worst? Stay tuned!

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Monday, July 09, 2007

Infinite Wars: Machine Man & Thing vs Ultron

"This Evil Returning--!" (Marvel comics)
Marvel Two-In-One #92 When: October 1982
Why: Tom Defalco How: Ron Wilson

The story so far...
The android called Jocasta was originally the result of an evil plot for Ultron to take a wife. Though the transferred consciousness of the Wasp would be expelled from the robotic shell, the remnants of her memory would serve as the template for a new, whole Jocasta!

Now in the service of good; Jocasta finds herself suffering an identity crisis with no real sense of belonging or purpose. Alas, as she pines from within her temorary residence at the Baxter Building, a twist worthy of Shakespeare sets a dastardly series of deeds in motion!

Calling upon a long forgotten piece of sub-programming, Jocasta is compelled to travel across the country to a secret industrial headquarters once belonging to her creator. There, the distorted monolith stands with a buddha-esque smirk - a testament to Ultron's defeat. Even so, with the tools surrounding him, Ultron compels Jocasta to revive him, and so, the mechanical menace is born anew!

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