Chris’ Comic Book Corner

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Hit the Throttle Hard as the Challenge of the Ghost Riders begins!

Lets recap what has been happening to the Hell Riding Spirit of Vengeance

The Many Ghost Riders of the Marvel Universe

     So if you’re a fan of badasses and vengeance then I’m sure you’re a fan of Ghost Rider.  Now with any legacy character the question is who is your favorite rider?  Is it the classic Johnny Blaze, radical 90’s Danny Ketch, lady rider Alejandra Jones, car driven Robbie Reyes, or even cosmic Frank Castle?  Well this July get ready to watch them either come together or face each other in “The Challenge of the Ghost Riders” by Jason Aaron happening in the Avengers book.

So let us go back to last year and revisit the Doctor Strange Damnation event.  Steven Strange tried to fix Las Vegas after the destruction that was visited upon it by Evil Hydra Steve Rogers (Stevil) and when Strange did that it caused Hell on Earth, literally as Mephisto creates Hotel Inferno with all kinds of havoc unleashed.  Now this story by Nick Spencer and Donny Cates brought together all kinds of heroes and Johnny Blaze answered the call.  While taking on Mephisto, Johnny took advantage of Mephisto’s absence in Hell and became the new King of Hell.  Great story and highly recommended, Mitch and I did a podcast over it during our Halloween Heroics and the story is available in trade paperback.  Now if you just want some quick reads then I would recommend Damnation: Johnny Blaze Ghost Rider #1 (released 3/29/18 and written by Christopher Sebela) and Doctor Strange: Damnation #4 (released 4/25/18) for Johnny’s main parts in the story.  Here are some SPOILERS from that story:

Damnation: Johnny Blaze Ghost Rider #1, art by Phil Noto
Damnation: Johnny Blaze Ghost Rider #1, art by Phil Noto
Doctor Strange: Damnation #4, art by Rod Reis
Doctor Strange: Damnation #4, art by Rod Reis

     As you can see from those images, Johnny means business; so what has he been doing since becoming the King of Hell?  It took a while but in the current volume of Avengers by Jason Aaron he has put out some teasing images for us; with issue 16 we see that Robbie Reyes (the current Ghost Rider) is trapped in Hell with a traffic jam, so a guiding voice has been helping him escape and at the end of the issue we discover it was Johnny Blaze and there will be some business between the two as well.  The tease continues in the issue 17 with a panel as well.

Avengers #16, art by David Marquez
Avengers #16, art by David Marquez
Avengers #17, art by David Marquez

     The War of the Realms has been happening as the main Marvel event but has finally come to a conclusion and Daredevil with his newfound vision has let us in on some of the upcoming events that will be happening such as the Hell Race, as shown in Avengers issue 20; now I’m guessing this is referring to the Challenge of the Ghost Riders as both are by Jason Aaron.

Avengers #20, art by Ed McGuinness

     Now Johnny has been very active and has started showing up in other books.  Donny Cates had Blaze come and offer the Cosmic Ghost Rider (a future Frank Castle with the Spirit of Vengeance and Power Cosmic) a chance to race, in the current volume of Guardians of the Galaxy issue 6.  We were also treated to the return of Danny Ketch, who was the big Ghost Rider of the 90’s; over in Marvel Comics Presents issue 6 by Ed Brisson.  Now don’t worry about getting that issue since it will be crazy expensive with the introduction of another Wolverine daughter, just get the second print which has a great Ghost Rider cover anyways.  Johnny made an appearance in that Marvel Comics Presents issue as well and told the villain of the story that he probably won’t like the new management of Hell, right on Johnny!  The second printing of MCP #6 will have Diamond code MAY198638 and be available in comic shops on July 24th.

Guardians of the Galaxy #6, art by Geoff Shaw
Marvel Comics Presents #6, art by Juan Frigeri
Marvel Comics Presents #6, art by Juan Frigeri
Marvel Comics Presents #6, art by Juan Frigeri
Marvel Comics Presents #6 2nd printing cover, art by Juan Frigeri

     Now let us check out some related comics that will be tie-in issues with the Challenge event and also featuring a Ghost Rider:

  • From the June 2019 solicts

MARVEL MASTERWORKS: GHOST RIDER VOL. 1 HC
Written by GARY FRIEDRICH with ROY THOMAS, MARV WOLFMAN & DOUG MOENCH
Penciled by MIKE PLOOG, TOM SUTTON & JIM MOONEY with HERB TRIMPE
Cover by MIKE PLOOG
Johnny Blaze, the Ghost Rider, makes his Marvel Masterworks debut! In 1972, one of the most iconic characters in comics history — the flame-skulled Ghost Rider — burned his demonic presence into readers’ minds! A legion of fans found themselves addicted to the Rider’s combination of hell-on-wheels drama and action-horror adventure. And it all begins here, when Johnny Blaze makes a deal with the devil to save his friend’s life. The payment? Transformation into the Ghost Rider! The stories that follow take the horror hero to Hell to battle Satan, pit him against the tempting Witch-Woman and team him with Daimon Hellstrom, Son of Satan. Written by Gary Friedrich and gloriously illustrated by Mike Ploog, Tom Sutton and Jim Mooney, this iconic series is beautifully restored for this Marvel Masterworks edition! Collecting MARVEL SPOTLIGHT (1971) #5-12 and GHOST RIDER (1973) #1-5.
328 PGS./Rated T …$75.00
ISBN: 978-1-302-91817-0

     Now this is important as we will finally for the first time be getting a collection of the early adventures of Johnny Blaze printed in color with a hardcover edition that will be in comic shops this October.  There are plenty of back issues and also reprints of those as well, but this will be part of the Masterworks series and these are top shelf collections.  With this publication there just might be something happening to the Rider(s) in October that merit this being available to readers. 

  • From the July 2019 solicts

AVENGERS #21
JASON AARON (W) • TBA (A) • COVER BY STEFANO CASELLI
CARNAGE-IZED VARIANT COVER BY TBA
The war is over, and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes are looking to celebrate. That’s right, there’s a party at Avengers Mountain! But who invited the Squadron Supreme of America?
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

Avengers #21, art by Stefano Caselli

AVENGERS #22
JASON AARON (W) • STEFANO CASELLI (A/C)
CARNAGE-IZED VARIANT COVER BY JUNGGEUN YOON
THE CHALLENGE OF THE GHOST RIDERS STARTS HERE!
Robbie Reyes wants to get rid of the flame-headed monster inside him. So it’s time to do the common sense thing: perform an exorcism on his car. Only problem is, Johnny Blaze, the king of Hell, has some plans of his own for the newest Ghost Rider and his Avengers friends.
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

Avengers #22, art by Stefano Caselli

     From those covers you can see there will be a demonic theme with the Avengers as Mephisto and Johnny grace those covers.  So it looks like the official Challenge will begin and we have Johnny, Danny, and Frank in place.  How will they all tie in with the Avengers and will they all be together or against each other?  Will Robbie have to worry about Johnny since his Spirit of Vengeance is Eli Morrow and was a Satanic Serial Killer; so the Riders might not take a liking to his influence on Robbie and need to get rid of Eli. 

  • From the August 2019 solicts

AVENGERS #23
JASON AARON (W) • STEFANO CASELLI (A/C)
MARVELS 25TH VARIANT COVER BY ALEX ROSS
Bring on the Bad Guys Variant Cover by MIKE MCKONE
AVENGERS MOUNTAIN: POSSESSED as CHALLENGE OF THE GHOST RIDERS continues!
It’s Ghost Rider vs. Ghost Rider in a wild race through hell, while the Avengers have to fight for their lives against their own Celestial headquarters, which is now possessed by a rather shocking, rather murderous hell-damned soul!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

     From that solicit we now know the Riders will be taking each other on, so how will this Civil War play out?  Are the Riders okay with Johnny being the King of Hell?  Is he using his power for good or evil?  What will Danny Ketch be thinking of all this madness?  Is it Eli Marrow who has possessed Avengers Mountain?  Has Robbie been changed?  Does Cosmic Frank even care?  

  • From the September 2019 solicts

ABSOLUTE CARNAGE: SYMBIOTE OF VENGEANCE #1
ED BRISSON (W) • JUAN FRIGERI (A) • Cover by PHILIP TAN
CODEX VARIANT COVER BY TBA
VARIANT COVER BY TBA (VIRGIN VERSION ALSO AVAILABLE)
Carnage is hunting down previous symbiote hosts for codices that will unlock a direct link to the symbiote god Knull! And he’s not asking nicely…he’s taking them by force! Which means former Ghost Rider Alejandra Jones is next on his hit list!
With Johnny Blaze preoccupied as Hell’s king, it’s up to Danny Ketch to ride again and keep Alejandra out of Carnage’s clutches!!!
40 PGS./One-Shot/Rated T+ …$4.99

Absolute Carnage: Spirit of Vengeance #1, art by Phillip Tan

AVENGERS #24
JASON AARON (W) • STEFANO CASELLI (A/C)
IMMORTAL WRAPAROUND VARIANT COVER BY TBA
THE CHALLENGE OF THE GHOST RIDERS!
If the Avengers thought one Ghost Rider was tough to deal with, wait’ll they see how many Spirits of Vengeance have just been unleashed by the King of Hell, Johnny Blaze! Including the craziest, most powerful Rider of them all…That’s right, it’s the Avengers vs. Cosmic Ghost Rider!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

Avengers #24, art by Stefano Caselli

THE PUNISHER #15
MATTHEW ROSENBERG (W) • Szymon Kudranski (A) • Cover by GREG SMALLWOOD
IMMORTAL WRAPAROUND VARIANT COVER BY TBA
THE BATTLE OF NEW YORK!
• You can’t fight City Hall…unless, of course, you’re Frank Castle.
• But he won’t fight alone!
• Unfortunately, Zemo’s got his new Thunderbolts, and they’re ready for war.
32 PGS./Parental Advisory …$3.99

The Punisher #15, art by Greg Smallwood

     Now this month’s set of comics are really exciting…Danny goes to save Alejandra, but did he go on his own or did someone send him?  Will Alejandra be joining in on the Challenge as well?  Cosmic Frank will be fighting the Avengers, so which side will Robbie be taking or is he the reason why they are fighting?  Then a Ghost Rider appears in the Punisher book but we don’t know who it is…and trust me I asked the writer, Matthew Rosenberg.

Twitter

     So at the time of this publication that is how far the solicits can take us, so who knows what will happen outside of the conclusion of the Challenge of the Ghost Riders in issue 25 of the Avengers; I know the conclusion will happen here as I checked Amazon for the trade paperbacks and they reported the Avengers by Jason Aaron volume 4 tpb will contain issues 21-25.  Now something else interesting that will be happening as we have heard in other news, the Robbie Reyes Ghost Rider will be appearing on the small screen again with a new show on HULU.  Here is the official press release:

Per Marvel and HULU press release: (show will air sometime in 2020)

“Marvel’s Ghost Rider, also known as Robbie Reyes, is a quintessential antihero, consumed by hellfire and supernaturally bound to a demon. Reyes lives on the Texas/Mexico border and when he unleashes the Rider, Robbie brings vengeance for the innocents he encounters, but struggles to control the power he wields. Marvel’s Ghost Rider is executive produced by Ingrid Escajeda, who will serve as showrunner, Paul Zbyszewski and Marvel’s Jeph Loeb.”

     Now it has also been reported that Gabriel Luna will reprise his role as Robbie, which is great and he was awesome in the role on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., so why this entire hubbub about Ghost Rider?  Well he will start becoming a hot commodity again and I’m also predicting that we will be getting a comic book series again…how do I think this?  Well in October some participating comic shops will be handing out comics as treats as part of Halloween Comic Fest and Marvel will be re-releasing the Johnny Blaze Damnation issue as a new titled book:

Ghost Rider King of Hell #1

(W) Christopher Sebela (A) Phil Noto Johnny Blaze takes the fight to a different devil than he usually faces – Mephisto!  But Mephisto will show Johnny his own brand of suffering – and give Johnny PLENTY of reasons for vengeance.
Rating: Teen

Ghost Rider King of Hell #1, art by Clayton Crain

     Those should be out just in time for the Masterwork and (hopefully) a release of a new Ghost Rider comic title, but how many Riders will it feature?  Who should it feature?  If I had my say I would say call it Ghost Riders and feature Johnny, Danny, Alejandra, and Robbie.  What do you think?  Chime in on our social media and let us know, as always GEEK OUT!

Chris’ Comic Book Corner: Uncanny X-Men #19

A Review From Christopher Franey

Alright I’m back and it is time to get UNCANNY!  Here we are at issue 19 of the current run of Uncanny and part 3 of “We Have Always Been.”  With this issue there is a change in the narrator as the box is white instead of red, we have quite the bold opening, “It seems it is finally time to lay our cards on the table and see who has the better bluff.”  I’m pretty sure this would be Emma Frost, a.k.a. the White Queen, who is our narrator for this issue.  We have Matthew Rosenberg continuing his story with a group of artists on pencils such as Carlos Villa, Carlos Gomez, and Bob Quinn.  They did a great job of blending styles so you don’t really notice a change in art. 

Let us jump into it, we have Emma watching the X-Men (a different group) fighting the Sentinels, and it appears that the Vanisher is her servant in this new version of the Hellfire Club.  So her group gets attacked by the Warlock infected X-men which leads to her capture by General Robert Callahan, who happens to be the director of O.N.E.

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Callahan does a great job of using his position to beat down the White Queen, but Emma isn’t someone you mess with.  She manages to survive the bright light prison for a couple of days, but finally she does crack and reveals that Hank McCoy still has the serum that cures mutations, so Callahan does have plans to exploit this; which I’m pretty sure we saw this at the beginning of this volume of Uncanny. Callahan does a good job of taking care of Emma and showing that he values her and is also on guard against her powers.  While letting her know that she is in check, he informs her that all the X-Men are dead after their fight with X-Man (Nate Grey back in Uncanny 10).  Emma does have some freedoms and she uses that time for some shopping in which she takes Marrow out to help our her style since she’ll be part of the Hellfire Club.  Of course the good times don’t last for long as Callahan and O.N.E. strike and want Emma to come back in for some work.  She thinks shes got the upper hand, but she really doesn’t as Callahan is play acting, so when Emma calls on Vanisher to port them out, this winds up with him being fired upon by an experimental weapon which causes Vanisher to melt.  So Emma knows she has to stop as others are being hurt.  

She has been tasked by O.N.E. to find Blindfold which brings us to the events of issue 11; so it might merit a chance for rereading.  Around this point Emma finds out that Scott Summers is alive and this is a great moment for us fans with their reunion.  Before Scott died he went on quite the set of stories and it did pit him against a lot of the X-Men and his friends.  Things ended pretty badly with Emma during Bendis’ run of Uncanny X-men and it was pretty much set that their relationship was over.  Then we see the two together for Scott’s last story in Death of X, which set a chain of events that would lead to Emma’s character doing some questionable things.  I would say this issue did a great job of helping to redeem Emma.  

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The moment shared by the two was quite interesting as you can see from Emma’s words that she cares for Scott, but then she takes this moment away and only she knows what happened here.  She explains that not one of the Hellfire Club can know Scott is alive as that would mean O.N.E. would go after him in some fashion.  Next she makes her way to Wolverine and they exchange some barbed words, but in the end she orders him to look for Scott and take care of him…so this really adds to the behind the scenes on the previous issues.  Callahan isn’t too happy to find out that Scott is alive and Emma hasn’t reported that.  Emma manages to broker a way for Scott to not be hunted down but be useful to O.N.E.  So this takes us to the list and how questionable it was that Scott created it. 

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Now we’re back to last issue and we see “Captain America” with a captured Mister Sinister and she reveals all, and that it is Mystique and the Hellfire Club that are manipulating the X-Men.  While that should be all find and dandy for the bad guys, we are now seeing Wolverine and Kwannon and they are bringing the wrath…to be continued of course. 

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 This issue was great, lots of twists and reveals that will make you rethink what you have seen and read.  I was talking with Rafa (@mobilerafie) about the issues and it had use questioning everything.  I honestly don’t think we’ve seen Captain America meet with Scott yet, but then again Rafa said it could be that Cap was just at the rally, so maybe they did meet and it was just Mystique taking advantage and showing up as Cap in later issues…good point, but who knows?  I know some fans have been having a hard time with the current story arc but I am absolutely loving the issues that Matthew Rosenberg is writing.  This is now even more of a mystery with the revelations that were dropped in this issue.  I’m questioning Cyclops’ choices and wondering how much Emma may have manipulated him or maybe even saved him.  It was a very touching scene and some great words she said about Scott.  I’m very excited for the next issue and beyond, so keep reading and Excelsior!

Chris’ Comic Book Corner: Uncanny X-Men #16

A Review From Christopher Franey

Ok we’re back after a crazy hectic week and I’m here to talk with you about Uncanny X-Men issue 16, part 6 of “This is Forever.”  So I missed issue 15 which had some wild dynamics, reunions, and also some damages…mainly like Cyclops being shot in the eye by Hope.  So I’m wondering how that will be resolved since Dark Beast did operate on Scott, plus he also helped the infected X-Men lose the Transmode Virus.  So is Dark Beast a member of the team?  Has he done something to Scott?  Guess we will find out at a later time.So the issue opens up with “This began when someone I cared about died.  And it began to end when someone else I cared about did, too.  All I can think is how each step we take toward our end never gets us any closer.  It always comes out of nowhere…”  So I wonder who this narrator is; my first thought was Cyclops since the text box is in red, but with this latest entry I am wondering if by chance it might be one of the New Mutants.  Who could the first death be and who was the second?  Are they deaths that are part of this arc?  Maybe it was the death of Blindfold (Ruth) and this issue’s death…(SPOILER) Wolfsbane (Rahne). 

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That was a hard revelation to see in this issue especially after Rahne asked if she could stop and just live a normal life.  That was a nice moment and something that makes sense, sometimes people are just tired of fighting, especially since she has been doing this since she was a kid; I’ll be honest I was hoping that she would have the happy ending but it wasn’t in the script for her.   

So we see right off the bat that Cyclops is turning over Samurai, Dragoness, Forearm, and Strobe to Captain America so they can be properly placed into custody.  Scott admits he doesn’t like this and really doesn’t trust Cap, he even hides the fact that he still has Hope, Banshee, and Dark Beast.  What I found interesting in the conversation between the two was that Scott doesn’t see the USA as his country anymore, which is sad but understandable as he says, “I’m a Mutant, Steve.  Any country I ever had has been taken from me long ago.”  Hmmm…maybe a return for Utopia?  Before that scene ends we see Cap give a note to Scott, so I wonder how that will play out later. Havok has a moment where he expresses that he is tired of not being in Scott’s council and the lying to Captain America.  Alex doesn’t like the fact that Scott is getting more advice from Logan and not evening hearing out his own brother.  Scott simply tells him: 

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Which I find interesting as we do tend to blind ourselves and judgements for those we care about.  The next scene sets us up for some X-Men action.  As we see a “Magneto” led Brotherhood attack Connallon Air Force Base in Eastern Transia; the scary part of this Brotherhood is they have a Juggernaut.  We then shift back to Harry’s Hideaway and the decision is set who will lead the X-Men, Scott tells the group as of now he is no longer the De Facto Leader.  They come to a consensus that most of the team members are leaders, so actions will be put to a vote.  Illyana calls up the first vote and it looks like that is to add Hope and Banshee to the team, so this group goes into action against the Brotherhood. 

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Looking good!  What was interesting was the line all sins are forgiven, so this might help to launch this team forward instead of some of the past drama holding them back.  In this fight we see Cyclops flashback to Rhane which is crazy as they are in battle and his mind wandered.  They have a struggle with the Brotherhood but in the end they manage to get to “Magneto” and discover that he is actually Joseph, which puts Juggernaut in an awkward position.  Joseph explains why he is doing what he is doing and seems to try and recruit was is left of the X-Men to his side.  Yet in the end it doesn’t matter as Juggy says:

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Juggernaut seems to not want any problems with the X-Men and he tells them that he wants to help the Mutants out.  Joseph knows he is defeated and then continues with Villainous Monologue until we see a “swssh” across his neck and then his head fall off, so goodbye Joseph, hello Kwannon aka Nothing. 

I enjoyed the issue and I felt it did move the arc along a little faster than the previous issues.  It has set up a lot of questions and I hope we get to find the answer soon as we are six issues deep into this.  I enjoy the fact that it doesn’t really play off as Bad Guy vs Good Guy with the Brotherhood and X-men, but that both sides have expressed why they are doing their actions.  For once I can see the Brotherhood being right, I mean who wouldn’t fight this hard in the given situation.  When they were in the millions they had a hard enough time now that there is a handful of them they are really backed to the wall.  I can’t wait to see how this arc continues/concludes and next issue will definitely have lots to deal with from this fallout.  I give this issue 5 out of 5 Juggernauts and highly recommend this arc.  As always read on and Excelsior!

Chris’ Comic Book Corner: Green Lantern #6

A Review From Christopher Franey

Here we are a quarter of the way through the Morrison/Sharp era of Green Lantern adventures.  Of course this is based off of talks right now and the vision being that Grant Morrison will be doing two seasons, each season being 12 issues.  Liam Sharp is a master of the arts and delivers some beautiful pages in this latest issue.  So lets jump into the issue.
The issue tells us that we are on the planet Rann, which is a part of Sector 2814 (which I’m curious if this is a retcon or has always been so).  The BlackStars are about to take over Rann and also test Hal Jordan and see if he is worthy of being BlackStar Parallax.  His first mission is to kill Adam Strange, luckily Hal gets them to agree to a showdown.  

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So the BlackStars are representing MU and are threatening Rann with a Sun Eater that can only be stopped by the BlackStars, so join or Die!  To add to the drama the BlackStars have Rann’s champion and are going to have him showdown with Parallax.

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Sure enough after pleading and taking 10 paces we see Parallax shoot down Adam Strange, so Rann has no champion or hope.  Alanna does a great job of adding to Hal’s guilt and reminding him of his friendship and responsibility.  Luckily we know that Hal is a couple moves ahead.  We discover that the Rann culture doesn’t let anything or anyone go to waste, so the Department of Salvage will start harvesting Adam.  

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Now we finally meet Controller MU and he is very much the sinister looking alien that would be trying to create his own version of “Universal Harmony” under his thumb.  MU does recognize that the GL Power Ring is not cooperating.  Mu does want the information it holds but it will not respond, Hal does remind MU that the Guardians might’ve locked the ring since he did betray them.  The scene changes and we discover that Adam Strange is alive, so Hal isn’t totally evil like we’ve been led to believe.

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So now it is up to Adam to save Rann and his daughter Aleea from the BlackStars.  The scene shifts back to Hal and MU, with Hal reminding MU that he has done everything they have asked in order for him to become a BlackStar.  MU calls out Hal about joining the BlackStars to which Hal tries a play at being conflicted and not sure of which side he is on.

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MU decides to show his “absolute intent.”  He has a dream of no more police, armies, warriors, weapons, or rings…no more repetitions.  Just a universe of his own/creation and if he cannot have that then he will have annihilation.  MU is the ultimate Controller and is planning on using Aleea as a U-Bomb.  The U-Bomb will explode and all well be neutralized making Hal’s mission accomplished along with the annihilation MU wishes.  
Luckily the Strange family shows to rescue their daughter and help take down MU…but Hal is telling them to not shoot MU.  Sadly Alanna doesn’t hold back as she goes for the head shot, don’t mess with her or her family.  BlackStar Belzebeth does take the spotlight now and encourages Aleea to let the U-Bomb go off destroying everything.  

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This prompts the Guardians to break their cover and get Hal to disarm the U-Bomb so Hal uses his ring to do something (we will find out in an issue or two..?).  We see Rann is fine and safe, Adam and his family are all okay, but sadly Adam is called back to Earth, and I’m sure his last words are a clue to something for later issues as well.  We are left to believe that Hal has sacrificed himself to stop the U-Bomb, but then we see a ring in space with a planet inside it.  We see that Hal is there and talking to someone; it seems that Hal has some amnesia and is talking to someone by the name of Myrwhidden (check out wiki for more).

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So where does that ending leave us?  Well the character reminds me of Myrwhydden, so you’ll notice there is a different spelling with the y and i replacement.  The first time we meet Myrwhydden is in Green Lantern v2 issue 26 titled “The World Within the Power Ring!” so is that a clue or maybe an extension of the current story line?  I like how Grant Morrison has been mining Hal’s history and this issue’s ending looks towards the past, so I know I’ll be rereading GLv2 #26 and this issue again.  Liam Sharp’s art is just so much eye candy that you could lose yourself in it, which isn’t a bad thing.  This volume of Green Lantern has been great and I really love how it explores the “cop” side of Green Lanterns and their responsibilities.  This issue especially is a great ending and beginning to the overall story by Grant as we can see how these “cases” lead to each other.  So are the BlackStars done?  What will Myrwhidden do and is he realated to Myrwhydden?  I can’t wait for the next issue, so I rate this issue 5 out of 5 U-Bombs and recommend hitting the back issues to get the full story.  As always read on and Excelsior! 

Chris’ Comic Book Corner: Uncanny X-Men #14

A Review From Christopher Franey

“The faster the end comes, the more everything seems to slow down.  I am watching my life’s work slip away in slow motion.”  There is that opening narrative in red box with black background.  Now my money is on it being Scott Summer’s words, but it would be interesting if they did belong to someone else.  So here we are talking about issue 14 of Uncanny which is part 4 of This Is Forever.  This story arc has been very dark and dramatic, with action that has consequences.
The issue starts off with cops in pursuit of a mutant (who is later revealed to be Reaper) and while that is playing out we have cuts to Scott and Logan having drinks with Valerie Cooper at Harry’s Hideaway, new HQ to the X-Men.  Madrox winds up finding Reaper after he shakes off the cops, but then Reaper does manage to get away from Madrox who decides to let he “Spooky Kids” get him; those kids being Magik, Wolfsbane, and Mirage.  The meeting between Val, Scott, and Logan does go good as they all realized they can use each other for beneficial times later on, despite being Mutant or Human.  Reaper is captured and taken to the X-Men where they learn he has invited to join the Mutant Liberation Front by Hope herself, they figure they can use him to find out more about the group later.  

I do like the humor that is injected into the serious moment, gives that “Never say die” attitude back to the X-Men.  Yet that only last for so long as we come to find out the X-Men are using Dark Beast to work on a secret project.  Luckily Dark Beast does help the team by giving up the whereabouts of the Marauders.  The team does teleport over ready for battle to an empty warehouse.  Scrambler is in the warehouse and uses his powers to effect Wolfsbane and her TO Entity to go wild, which does get in the way and helps Scrambler escape.  Wolverine doesn’t care and tells Havok to make a hole, then jumps out from the fourth floor; and then we are treated with this:

Now we know Callisto and the Morlocks are on the scene as well.  Turns out that Scrambler and the other Marauders have been hunting Morlocks and killing them in the tunnels.  Turns out no one is safe, even from other Mutants.  Chamber (aka Jono) calls out Cyclops and the X-Men on how no one is safe even after Scott’s promise, but this time Scott does plan to make it right.

We are now taken to Chernayan’s Northern Border and we see the fruits of Scott, Logan, and Val’s conversation.  The area is willing to help but does have some issues with a coup since the bad guys have lots of tech from S.H.I.E.L.D. and Latveria.  The X-men take down some of the rebels and it looks like the X-Men are back at it, old school style:

After the battle Scott lets the Morlocks know they can find safe refuge there and should be able to live their new home.  Small Victory but at least more Mutants are safe.  The X-Men are finally celebrating when Captain America comes to talk with Scott…looks like the party is over…
Once again I can’t say enough great things about this arc.  I love the fact that the X-Men are back to being heroic and I also enjoy their shadowy style too.  This reminds me of the 90’s show first two episodes.  The X-Men are going to do the right thing, but sadly most of the time the villains in their story are Humanity or the Government, but that won’t stop them, they are fighting for their survival in this world.  I enjoy their tactics and I wonder how things will come out in the end; like what is Dark Beast working on and what will they do with him?  Next issue should be something…Scott vs Cap again…AVXII?  Probably not that big, but it’ll be interesting since Steve is having his own issues with the Government as well.  I rate this issue 5 out of 5 Morlocks and recommend you join the team asap!  As always read on and Excelsior!

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