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Comics 411 04.23.14: Greatest X-Men Line Up!
Posted by Steve Gustafson on 04.23.2014

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Welcome back to the Comics 411! My name is Steve Gustafson and this is a corner of 411mania reserved for those interested in talking comics! As always, I want to thank everyone who took a few minutes to read and comment last week. Check out my Hollywood gossip (and anything else!) Hollywood 5 & 1 and my weekend movie recap The Big Screen Bulletin!

I had a great time at Awesome Con in DC this past weekend. Made some cool connections and will have some related interviews in the near future!

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I actually wrote a long rant about why we need a Wonder Woman movie. I spoke about young girls needing a hero to call their own, the potential to create a powerful inspiration, I debated the points of people who've spoken out against a Wonder Woman and then I realized I don't need to write 8 paragraphs on it.

I just need one picture. THIS is why we need a Wonder Woman movie done right.

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It's real simple, each week I'll take two covers and you vote on your favorite. Some weeks the covers will be random, some will be themed, some will be classic, and some will be ones you've never seem. Have fun with it.

Last week we had Captain America and Wolverine going at it and the other was Thor and Silver Surfer. Which is more dynamic?

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The results came down to this:

Captain America & Wolverine 76.58%
Thor & Silver Surfer 23.42%

Cap and Wolvie tore it up and got the majority of votes! Not too shabby. This week we go with a Batman theme. Seems like Bats has seen better days. Actually, more like Bruce Wayne, as it's his name on the gravestone! Which one strikes you more?

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Last week Dick Grayson took center stage. From Robin to Nightwing to...Super Spy? Is this a good direction for the character? I asked you and this is how you responded:

Great idea! Puts a new spin on the character and opens possibilities! 42.74%
NO! Keep Grayson as Nightwing. 41.03%
Eh. Don't read it. Won't read it. 16%

Grayson, Super Spy wins by a hair! Looks like DC might have an interesting book on their hands. Time will tell. Let's see what you all thought:

Craig L: "Wasn't Nightwing's secret ID revealed to everyone? If so doesn't that make him the worst choice to be a spy ever? Same goes for Black Widow"

Gil: "I always thought when Dick takes the mantle of Batman, Tim takes over as Nightwing. I never really liked the name "Red Robin". I know Tim grew out of being Robin and with Damien becoming Robin, Tim needed a new identity, but Red Robin? It's like Dick becomes Batman and Bruce becomes Black Batman."

the truth hurts: "dick grayson as a secret agent secretly dead reminds me of when they took away "bucky" captain america and returned him as Winter soldier~ but atleast he went back to his original persona~ dick grayson as a whole new persona "agent"... not sure how much I like it..."

CyberVenom: "I'm cautiously optimistic on Grayson. Since the world thinks he's dead (except Bruce who knows he's not and and the new employers), I think he fits into the spy category. The only thing that bothers me is that some of the preview images show him wielding a gun. I can't buy that unless it's a dart gun or some other form of nonlethal weaponry."

Kyatollah: "I think it could really be a good thing. Nightwing is hands down my favorite identity for Dick, but it really seems like something that he could only maintain through maybe his mid-20's. The idea that DC Heroes evolve is one of the strongest things about that company, and this fits it. Everyone assumed that Dick would take the mantle of Batman one day, and he's done that twice now. If he's to leave the Nightwing persona behind, this is the best way to do it without rehashing that idea and letting the character become stale. We have Red Hood and Red Robin, and it's a matter of time before someone else (likely Carrie Kelly) dons the red and green. Dick will be fine without a mask for now. I imagine there will eventually be a reveal of his survival and it will cause a rift between Bruce and the family, particularly Babs and Alfred, but getting to that point should be a hoot."

Good stuff! Remember when there was only ONE X-Men title? Of course popularity brings change and we soon got Uncanny X-Men, Excalibur, X-Factor, and New Mutants.

Then things got really out of hand. X-Force (later X-Statix), X-Men (later New X-Men, then X-Men: Legacy) , Uncanny X-Men, a new X-Factor, Generation X, X-Corps, Astonishing X-Men, and X-Treme X-Men. Catch your breath. With Marvel NOW! there was another great reshuffling and streamlining with X-Men, All New X-Men, Uncanny X-Men, X-Men Legacy, Wolverine and the X-Men, Cable and X-Force, and Uncanny X-Force. I've missed a couple but you get the point.

Here's a bunch of lineups that have held prominence in Mutant world. I'm including X-Men, X-Force, X-Factor, etc. Sorry, no alternate reality versions. I just didn't have the time to even touch those. Which of these were the best? Vote and comment below!

First Class
Founding Members: Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Beast, Angel, and Iceman. Ignore all the recons, this group is what started it all. It should be noted that this line up is the longest running without any major shake ups. This group also formed the first version of X-Factor.

All-New, All-Different
Members: Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Wolverine, Storm, Colossus, Sunfire, Thunderbird, and Banshee. Later joined by Phoenix (Jean Grey). Giant-Sized X-Men #1 really signaled the rise of the Mutants. It introduced a whole slew of characters that would go on to be major players in the X-Universe. Artist Dave Cockrum gave us Nightcrawler (Who was originally supposed to be a Legionnaire), Storm (First black super-heroine to play a major role in either Marvel or DC), and Wolverine. No side note needed. This team is also attached to some of the most popular and endearing stories of all time.

Magneto's X-Men
Members: Magneto, Nightcrawler, Wolverine, Storm, Colossus, Kitty Pryde, Rogue, and Psylocke. Professor X shacked up with his girl Lilandra, and left Magento in charge. Say what? Yeah, what might have been a bad move was actually really entertaining. This team wasn't around for a long time, it still made an impact and depth to our heroes.

New Mutants
Founding Members: Karma, Cannonball, Mirage, Wolfsbane, and Sunspot. Later joined by Magma, Magick, Warlock, and Cypher. A book that brought things back to the origins; teens discovering their powers and learning how to use them responsibly. The team went on to be involved in some major adventures and eventually was cancelled with issue #100 and renamed X-Force.

X-Factor 2.0
Members: Havok, Polaris, Wolfsbane, Strong Guy, Quicksilver, and Multiple Man. Government sponsored and approved! This really introduced a more misfit feel to things. Led by Cyclop's brother, Havok, it allowed writer Peter David to inject some humor and take these misfits to another level.

80s Excalibur
Founding Members: Captain Britain, Meggan, Nightcrawler, Shadowcat, Phoenix (Rachel Summers). I'll tell you now, I loved this team. In 1987, Chris Claremont and artist Alan Davis took on a tough challenge by mixing some fringe UK characters and adding in some established X-Charters to give fans a more light-hearted feel but still developed them into a force that could shine on their own.

Team Outback
Members: Storm, Wolverine, Havok, Colossus, Rogue, Psylocke, Dazzler, and Longshot. Later joined by Jubliee. Another short term team and it's easily the most...unique. That's saying something. Artist Marc Silvestri put his mark on things and Claremont (again) shuffled things around. It also gave us the first X-Crossover among the titles. Let that one stew a bit.

Blue and Gold
Members (Blue): Cyclops, Beast, Wolverine, Rogue, Psylocke, and Gambit. Later joined by Jubliee. Members (Gold): Storm, Iceman, Archangel, Jean Grey, Colossus, and Bishop. Later joined by Forge. Things were getting crowded and something had to be done. Solution: Make two X-Men teams. For many, this was a huge turning point for our favorite mutants. Add in Jim Lee on art duties and multiple covers helped make X-Men #1 the biggest selling comic of all time! Seriously!

New X-Men
Members: Cyclops, Phoenix (Jean Grey), Emma Frost, Beast, Wolverine, Xorn. This was a wild one. Reformed Emma Frost joined the team and interjected some heat with Cyclops after Jean Grey died (again). Beast mutated for a new look and the team got new uniforms thanks to their movie. Grant Morrison slimmed the team down and added some mystery to the festivities.

Astonishing X-Men
Members: Cyclops, Beast, Wolverine, Colossus, Kitty Pryde and Emma Frost. After Morrison, Joss Whedon took over and trimmed even more. Kitty Pryde really took center stage, especially with the storyline bringing Colossus from the dead.

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Do YOU want to be a reviewer for COMICS 411? Send me an email at stevethegoose@gmail.com to find out how! If we can get enough people doing a weekly review on a consistent basis, I would love to spin it off into it's own column. One step closer to getting a Comic Book section back at 411mania! Take it away, RobF and Rob Bonnette!

Sinestro #1

By RobF

I've always been an opposites fan. Reverse Flash (Zoom), Sinestro and Bane have always been more interesting to me that their well-behaved counterparts. So when DC announced that Sinestro was getting his own series I was excited. The team of Cullen Bunn and Dale Eaglesham have taken on the challenge and has given us a strong debut with the promise for more.

The story begins with Sinestro alone and brooding. As he recounts recent history he is clearly a man with nothing to live for. He has released Parallax and lost all the power that came with it. He has nothing: no friends, no family, and no corps. As he describes his surrounding he acknowledges that his death is rapidly approaching and he is at peace with it. Only the intervention of Lyssa Drak saves him from his fate and grants him purpose. She brings news that his people, the Korugarians, once thought extinct, are in danger and he is the only one who can rescue them. His former comrades the Yellow Lanterns are being led to ruin. And his estranged daughter is their prisoner. To sum up: save the Korugarians, take back the corps, rescue his daughter. Quite a to-do list.

Dale Eaglesham artwork is a definite asset to the book. He transitions from smaller terrestrial scenes to the vast expanse of space with ease, utilizing some unique page layouts in the process. He also displays an incredible amount of detail, something that always comes into play in a Lantern title with the various ring constructs.

Sinestro is the ultimate anti-hero: a fierce warrior with a warped sense of dignity, honor, and morality. Basing a series around a being with these characteristics is a tough sell but I feel if any character can be successful it's Sinestro.

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Red Lanterns #29

By Rob Bonnette


This issue of the Red Lanterns series is part of the "Red Daughter of Krypton" story arc. At this point, Supergirl has become a member of the Red Lantern Corps. The recent events in her life (Superboy dying, witnessing Krypton's destruction) combined with he already existing anger over her lot in life on Earth made her susceptible to connection with a Red Lantern power ring, and in Supergirl #28 the red ring that sought her out finally connected with her.

This issue starts out with Skallox, a member of the Red Lantern corp, testing a high powered weapon on Supergirl (at her request) to see what she could endure. It has minimal effect on her, and she joins Skallox and Red Lantern Zox for a drink when they're interrupted by Guy Gardner. Gardner was once a Green Lantern but is now one of the Reds. When Guy stops Kara (Zor-El, Supergirl's real name), from having a drink due to her age, she goes on a tirade about being treated like a child even though she's not human (age-wise she's the equivalent of a teenager). Guy leads the foursome out to patrol space and the Earth since the Red Lanterns are now charged with protecting that sector of space, once the responsibility of the Green Lantern corp. Guy sends Kara to check something out far off in space so that he can speak to the other Red Lanterns far enough away so she can't hear them.

Guy expresses his concern about how Kara is very much uncontrollable, but the other Lanterns don't seem to be too concerned. Later on, Guy ends up helping Superman save some people from a tidal wave when Kara shows up. Superman is shocked to see her as a Red Lantern because he's only heard bad things about them from Hal Jordan, and then she launches into a tirade about how everyone has been trying to control her and help put her in her place amongst the citizens of earth and how she's sick of it. When Superman tells to take off the Red ring, one of the other Lanterns gives her the harsh truth. Red rings link up to your heart and can't be removed without killing you. The bond is forever (the title of this issue), and learning this sends Kara off into another fit of rage. Superman finally relents, tells Kara she's on her own to figure out her own way now, and tells the Red Lanterns he'll be watching from afar and will jump back in if things go south. He then takes off.

The issue ends with the four Red Lanterns finding a crater where something crashed on Earth, then investigating it to find another Red Lantern, Bleez, lying badly hurt. When they ask where her partner Rankorr is, she mutters the name Atrocitus. Atrocitus is the founder of the Red Lantern corps who was gone rogue and will have to be dealt with by the other Lanterns. All in all, I enjoyed this. I'm not a regular reader of Supergirl or Red Lanterns but the Red Daughter storyline caught my eye and I haven't been disappointed. If you want to follow this arc, read Supergirl #27 though #30 (so far) and Red Lanterns #29 and #30. The arc is still continuing for a few months.

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Changing Times! Something more serious to start us off in the news. Online harassment seems to everywhere these days. Including the comic book world. We have to deal with trolls and people who are more interested in hiding behind their screen than engaging in any sort of meaningful debate or conversation.

I've said it many times. I'm extremely lucky to have the readership I do for the Comics 411. I'd say 99% of the comments are well thought out and respectful. The few times someone has tried to engage in troll-ism, they've been ignored.

This is a story of someone who calls himself JonVee. Or, perhaps, John V. Or even MisterE2009, at times. He's not your usual troll. He's a particularly foul person who seems to specialize in misogynistic attack, often along the lines of threatening female creators or fans with rape. Yes, he takes it to that level and has done so for years. He's also included male creators with racial abuse or just generic hate based upon their comments, work or political leanings.

Heidi Macdonald explained on The Beat, "we all just ignored him. It was nothing new…Frankly, I never brought this up before because John V. was looking for attention and hoping to frighten people and I didn't want to give him any more attention."

In stepped some pros who had seen enough. He went after Ron Marz on Twitter and Marz's response caught the attention of Mark Millar. Millar wasn't having it and took things to his message board:

"Okay, Ron Marz just alerted his followers to this and as I read through all the posts this guy @MisterE2009 made on Twitter I couldn't believe what I was seeing. He was specifically targeting female writers, artists and comic-journalists with the most horrific abuse ranging from sexual threats to them personally or – in one case – mocking them for being a wheel-chair user.

As male pros we maybe live in a little bubble. This might go on more than we realise. But we need to clamp down on this shit fast… ethically, if not because many of these pros are personal friends of ours. Comics has the coolest rep with people now. It's a broad church and much less of a boys club in particular than it was when I was a kid. This kind of thing just gives us a horrible name and we owe it to ourselves as well as the pros concerned to stop it.

So I'm asking you guys a favour. I've managed to secure this guy's name and address, but he's stateside and I'm unsure what the next step should be. In the UK, he would be charged by the police under the Malicious Communications act, but we have a lot of smart cookies on here and I know there's several US attorneys who post here regularly. If we have his details and copies of his communication, how can he be prosecuted? If any of the pros who have been attacked here would like to make a case against him I'll personally cover the legal costs. Twitter, I would imagine, can confirm his IP address if the artists make a formal complaint to the police.

Would anyone like to help me make the next step? If we make an example of this guy and really come down hard on him legally you're pretty damn sure idiots will think twice about doing the same in future. It's not enough to just block him. He can just start up again under a new name. But a very public shaming and a news story in his part of California (with a complete list of his recent tweets to the women concerned) feels appropriate and would be a massive warning shot for others not to copy.

I hope you feel a little scared by this @mister@2009. You should be."

Millar updated by saying,

"Guy has been tracked down. Lives in California and is both married and middle aged. Don't go googling as you'll find innocent people. Leave in hands of cops now and any people he abused should get in touch with our board who can give [you] direct line."

The next day, he updated again:

"I engaged a criminal lawyer in LA yesterday and have one of the women involved co-ordinating with the others today, hopefully. I don't want to say much more in a public forum just now as it may prejudice the case and between the details we've got and the tweets we saved the police have everything they need. Even if this doesn't go to court the guy should hopefully be publicly outed in California and the shame of this will not only stop him attacking women online, but also discourage others from trying this in future. I found out last night that this idiot had been making sexual threats to some of the women concerned for over two years now.

Again, I stress that readers shouldn't try googling the names he's using as innocent parties may get targeted. He's using false names for the most part, as you might expect. His IP address is all that matters and we've nailed the clown. This is a police matter now.

The Twitter accounts known to belong to John V have been closed down, although it remains to be seen whether he'll resurface with another pseudonym and start the same behavior again despite the threat of legal action. It'd be nice to think that this is the end of it, but it's not, of course; even if John V disappears from the Internet to places less vitriolic, there will doubtless be others to replace him in terms of thoughtless rhetoric or hate speech. This isn't to try to detract from what Marz, Millar, and the women and men working on this behind the scenes have accomplished, because that's a great thing, but more of a resigned wish that people could behave like rational adults on the Internet a little bit more – I know, I know; I'll be asking for peace on Earth next – making this kind of thing a moot point in future. We can but hope, right?"

This won't stop others from their malicious attacks but hopefully it will be the start of something positive, knowing people can band together and stomp out this kind of hate. I'm curious to read your thoughts below.

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SUPERDOOM! DCcomics.com recently posted a single early July 2014 solicitation, and it's for Action Comics #33, the latest issue of the "Doomed" storyline:

Written by GREG PAK
Art and cover by AARON KUDER
On sale JULY 2 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for more information.
Superman finally succumbs to the Doomsday virus and transforms into SUPERDOOM! Is anybody in the universe safe from his vast power and fury? How can Superman possibly find a cure for his condition when the Monster of Steel has completely taken over his mind?

What do you think of this Superdoom?

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Marvel Team Up! Strike while the iron is hot! That's what Marvel is doing in time of the release of James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy in August. Marvel Comics announced a July-debuting Skottie Young-written and illustrated Rocket Raccoon (in continuity) ongoing series, and joining it will be a new one-shot teaming Rocket with Groot titled Guardians of the Galaxy: Galaxy's Most Wanted, by the creative team of Will Corona Pilgrim and Andrea Di Vito. Marvel betting Rocket and Groot will the new sensation from the film and the one-shot will also include a reprint of Thor #314, featuring a Thor vs. Drax story.

Do you think Groot and Rocket have it to be a crossover hit?

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Supreme! This is the official Press Release for a very intriguing project:

"You are not dreaming.
We are trying to communicate with you.
Local reality has been reinstalled.
Things have gone wrong.
The revision has corrupted.
Finding Ethan Crane is your supreme priority.
We are speaking to you from the ultimate bunker within the structure of multiversal time.
Do not trust Darius Dax.
We are all going to die.

Warren Ellis (TREES, Planetary) teams up with Tula Lotay (ELEPHANTMEN, The Witching Hour) to re-introduce the central Image Comics character in SUPREME: BLUE ROSE, coming this July from Image Comics.

"One day I woke up with an idea, that came out of nowhere, for how to extend this most strange and storied of 'analogue' properties into a new space. A new floor on top of Alan Moore and Rob Liefeld's house," said Ellis. "And, since I had some time on my hands that year, I emailed Image, and we got my friend Tula Lotay involved—and her work will be a revelation to people."

SUPREME: BLUE ROSE #1 arrives in stores on 7/23, and will be available for $2.99. It can be pre-ordered with Diamond Code MAY140571."

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Before I say GOODBYE!
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That's all the time I have. See you next week!


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