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This Week in Panels: Week 235

March 23rd, 2014 Posted by Gavok

It’s panel time! I’m joined by Space Jawa, Matlock, Gaijin Dan and a rare entry from Dickeye. Jawa has double the panels due to some screw-up from his shop last week.

Writing-wise, I went back to the old What If well for old time’s sake by writing about 20 Uplifting What If Stories for Den of Geek US. It felt like coming home.

This week brings us the end of Jeff Lemire’s Animal Man and to be honest, I feel like it wasn’t worth my time. I don’t mean the issue, but the entire run. Despite being one of the must-read comics from the beginning of the New 52, it led to a big arc that went on for far too long, killed off his son (when the most beloved take on the character went out of the way to explain why this was a bad idea) and then meandered until its finale. Meanwhile, Wonder Woman is still well-written enough, but it feels so pedestrian as it reaches its big climax.

I’ll probably start picking up Superman/Wonder Woman because Charles Soule has been rocking my socks off on everything else he’s written, but I feel my interest in DC dwindling by the day.

All-New Invaders #3
James Robinson and Steve Pugh

All-New Invaders #3
James Robinson and Steve Pugh

All You Need Is Kill #8
Hiroshi Sakurazaka, Ryosuke Takeuchi, Yoshitoshi ABe and Takeshi Obata

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This Week in Panels: Week 232

March 4th, 2014 Posted by Gavok

It’s a super-late edition of This Week in Panels, brought to you by me being stuck on the phone/chatting with customer support people for the past few days because practically every piece of technology I touch has a tendency to not work. But hey, at least I have the WWE Network working now and that’s a good time.

Elsewhere, at Den of Geek US I was asked to post some preview pages for the upcoming Deadpool vs. Carnage miniseries. I went a little bit further by writing up a Tale of the Tape between the two. Also, I have a comprehensive guide to the death and return of CHIKARA Pro Wrestling.

But really, I barely wrote anything last week due to the WWE Network. By God, it’s great.

Helping me out this week are Matlock, Gaijin Dan and Space Jawa. Jawa’s panels reminded me that I totally forgot to read that Utrom miniseries going on with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

All-Star Western #28 (Gavin’s pick)
Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, Staz Johnson and Fabrizio Fiorentino

All-Star Western #28 (Matlock’s pick)
Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, Staz Johnson and Fabrizio Fiorentino

All You Need Is Kill #6
Hiroshi Sakurazaka, Ryosuke Takeuchi, Yoshitoshi ABe and Takeshi Obata

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This Week in Panels: Week 226

January 20th, 2014 Posted by Gavok

I really don’t know! Maybe next week will also come Monday night, but that’s because I’m in the middle of a major deadline of one of the biggest articles I’ve ever written and I almost had to delay this entire week’s update and merge it with next week’s. By this time next week, I’ll have a lot more breathing room.

In the meantime, I’m helped out by Matlock, Space Jawa and Gaijin Dan.

All-New X-Men #21
Brian Michael Bendis, Brandon Peterson and Brent Anderson

All You Need Is Kill #1
Hiroshi Sakurazaka, Ryosuke Takeuchi, Yoshitoshi ABe and Takeshi Obata

Batman: Li’l Gotham #10
Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs

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This Week in Panels: Week 222

December 23rd, 2013 Posted by Gavok

Triple 2s! Neat! And with a Two-Face comic in there also!

Huge, huge week this update, breaking forty images, which may be a ThWiP record. Helps that I have Matlock, Gaijin Dan, Space Jawa and Was Taters backing me up.

My time’s been eaten up by a lot of personal things, but I have some stuff coming up in the next couple days. A really nice guest article and a little something different. In the meantime, here’s a review I wrote for Den of Geek US on a comic called Rainbow in the Dark. It’s the Matrix meets Pleasantville meets They Live as a rock opera with Sam Elliot as the wise mentor character.

Animal Man #26 (Gavin’s pick)
Jeff Lemire and Cully Hamner

Animal Man #26 (Matlock’s pick)
Jeff Lemire and Cully Hamner

Avengers Assemble #22
Kelly Sue DeConnick, Warren Ellis, Matteo Buffagni and Paco Diaz

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This Week in Panels: Week 221

December 16th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

Welcome to This Week in Panels. This week, we see the return of Matlock, who has sent a bunch of Marvel panels. This includes Mighty Avengers, which frustrates me. Not only is it supposedly really well-written and fun, but the latest issue just brought back Luke Cage’s old sidekick DW Griffith. I would LOVE to go read it, but… Greg Land is drawing it. Damn it.

Also with us are Gaijin Dan and Space Jawa. Jawa pointed out to me this video of Lego Venom going on a rampage and God bless him for that.

At Den of Geek US, I did an article on 10 Marvel What If Concepts That Actually Happened. Unfortunately, I totally forgot about Sentinel until after the fact.

Oh, and this week’s Batman ’66 is pretty interesting. It’s a King Tut storyline, but it’s also an origin of a Batman villain who never got a chance to be on that show. That little insignia should be a big hint.

Avengers A.I. #7
Sam Humphries and Andre Lima Araujo

Avengers Plus X-Men #15
Jai Nitz, Gerry Duggan, Greg Smallwood, David Yardin and Cam Smith

Batman #26
Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo

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This Week in Panels: Week 211

October 6th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

Hello, my little chicken sandwiches. It’s time for another edition of This Week in Panels. This time, I’m helped out by Gaijin Dan, Matlock and Space Jawa. This week brings the last installment of Jaco the Galactic Patrolman, which means that I’ll no longer look at that title and start thinking about that “Jacko on his Backo” skit from mid-90′s Saturday Night Live. Yeah, uh… even if I try to explain it, it would be one of those “had to be there” things.

This week I’ll be heading to New York Comic Con for all four days. David will be there too, hanging out at the Image booth and doing whatever it is he does. Other than running. I know he does that, but he can’t do that there. Me? I have no plans at the moment. I’m going there for the sake of going there. Den of Geek US is going to give me some assignments, but I have no clue what that entails yet. I’m also going to dress up for at least one day and maybe get a new set of Plus Prop Challenge sketches done.

Action Comics #24
Mike Johnson, Tyler Kirkham and Jesus Merino

All-New X-Men #17 (Matlock’s pick)
Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen

All-New X-Men #17 (Gavin’s pick)
Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen

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This Week in Panels: Week 205

August 25th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

Yo! Welcome to a manga-less edition of ThWiP. Due to some kind of big Japanese holiday, Gaijin Dan doesn’t have any ammo, so he’s taking the week off. My backup comes in the form of Matlock and Space Jawa.

I did an article for Den of Geek of Top 25 Comic Characters Who Owe Everything to an Actor’s Portrayal. That was a fun one to write. Too bad it pissed off Reddit. Apparently, they took the “Everything” part a bit too literal. Ah, well. My next list article is bound to piss off even more people. It already got my editor mad for me saying that Popeye is a bad movie.

The best omissions I’ve heard from readers are Josh Pais as movie Raphael, Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime and maybe Tom Hiddleston as Loki.

Now for comic panels.

Animal Man #23
Jeff Lemire, Steve Pugh and Francis Portela

Avengers #18
Jonathan Hickman and Leinil Francis Yu

Avengers Assemble #18
Kelly Sue DeConnick and Barry Kitson

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The Selfish Avengers: Thunderbolts Finally Gets on Track

August 23rd, 2013 Posted by Gavok

First off, it pains me to say that after forty-plus issues, Venom is cancelled. I’m bummed, not just for the obvious, but because I wanted to see if it could have outlasted the 90′s solo series, which went a full 60 issues. I can’t say I’m too surprised. The whole demon subplot (which is still a dangling thread) really hurt the momentum and the symbiote’s been tossed to the sidelines as a character, always being drugged up and being a mental non-factor. It’s a weapon rather than being a creature.

They did just give him a teenage girl sidekick and that had potential. Ah well. Chances are he’s going to be killed in the big upcoming Spider-Man crossover when Doc Ock Spider-Man goes too far or something. You know, regular Spider-Man never did blow a gasket over Venom being a government agent and member of the Avengers. You’d think he would have had a passionate opinion about that, but all he ever did was make a joke about the Punisher and tell Venom to please not kill Carnage.

Whether Venom’s set to die or not, he currently has another series to call home in Thunderbolts. Recently, Thunderbolts was pretty bad, mainly because it was written by Daniel Way, who wrote 11 issues of… I’m not really sure. It was a bunch of twists and turns and I found myself not caring for a lot of it. Frank Castle strapping a landmine to his chest and jumping onto a guy was pretty sweet, though. That and it gave me one of my favorite Deadpool quotes with, “You may kill me first, but I fucking guarantee I’ll kill you last.”

Charles Soule took over as of issue #12 and already it’s felt like a breath of fresh air. #12 was a Punisher-centric story that turned his “banging on the side” relationship with Elektra into something more dramatic as she’s given him reason to kill her down the line. Then #13 was kind of average because it was an attempt to clean up Way’s mess by explaining who the hell Mercy is and why she’s on the team when she’s yet to do anything of note or interact with anyone other than Red Leader. For any of you who haven’t been paying attention, Leader has been resurrected and he’s red. He’s currently the intelligence of the team, although he’s given limited intellect to work with to keep him from remembering who he was. Right now he’s just a timid follower of General Ross, retaining his personality from before he became an insane supervillain.

The big problem with the series has been that it hasn’t delivered a hook. Sure, I get that it’s taken the Thunderbolts name because of General Ross’ nickname and how they’re a bunch of dark heroes with blood on their hands, but why are they together? The first issue had Ross recruit everyone and it gave the idea that they were going to be a non-mutant version of X-Force. Even though it took fourteen issues, this week’s issue FINALLY gives us an idea of what the series is really all about.

And it’s a pretty awesome idea.

Right there! Why couldn’t they make this clear from the very first issue? Hell, the second issue or even sixth? Why did we have to wait that long to get this great hook for a series about a group of heroic killers working together? I mean, you’re the fucking Thunderbolts! You know what the original Thunderbolts were known for? Telling us why we should be reading it from the end of the first issue! Imagine if Citizen V unmasked in the middle of the 14th issue.

“The Selfish Avengers.” All members of the team (outside of Red Leader and Mercy) get a chance to lead the team into a mission of their choosing. If Deadpool wants them to kill Sabretooth, they will all go off together to kill Sabretooth, go back home and ask Elektra who she wants iced. It kind of has a low-rent Illuminati feel to it.

So far the first choice has gone to Castle, leading to this exchange.

I hate it when comics get so obsessed with decompression that by the time they get to the point, people have stopped reading and it dies. That’s what happened with Chaykin’s Squadron Supreme and I have a feeling it’s going to happen here. I don’t have too much experience reading Soule’s stuff, but so far he’s turned Red Lanterns around and he’s been doing good work on Swamp Thing.

All that I’m saying is to give Thunderbolts a chance. Which is really the opposite of giving peace of a chance.

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This Week in Panels: Week 198

July 7th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

Hello, ladies and gentlemen. The ThWiP wheels keep turning and it’s been a great week of stuff, especially because of Batman ’66 gracing our digital devices. Also, Venom has bitching art and Deadpool Kills Deadpool cleans off the stink that came from Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe… even if it killed off Golden-Age Deadpool from that comic one-shot that only I and four other people read from three years ago. Speaking of Deadpool comics that are no longer bad, Daniel Way is off Thunderbolts and it’s already much, much better and comprehensible.

My helpers this week are Gaijin Dan, Matlock, Space Jawa and Jody. Speaking of helpers, thanks to the many people who have already contributed to This Character in Panels. Keep it coming! The deadline is July 21st.

Adventures of Superman #10
Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and Wes Craig

Avengers #15
Jonathan Hickman, Nick Spencer and Stefano Caselli

Avengers AI #1
Sam Humphries and Andre Lima Araujo

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Villains Reborn Part 4: Only the Good Die Young

April 21st, 2012 Posted by Gavok

Sorry for the extended break. Last time, I finished off Kurt Busiek’s knockout run on Thunderbolts, ending at #33. While Mark Bagley stays on board for a little while longer, the new writer is Fabian Nicieza. Nicieza is a great writer (listen, he’s posted in previous comment sections, so he might be reading this. Follow my lead) that you can usually count on. His pro is his great grasp on making characters interesting. His con is his habit of making plots a little too confusing and complex at times. Like, I loved his Cable/Deadpool run, but he had a thing for introducing maguffins that needed three pages of exposition to set up. After those three pages, I’d come out cross-eyed. Odds suggest he ghost-wrote Inception. One of the great things here is that Nicieza simply picks up where Busiek left off, not choosing to kill the setup for his own specific take. It’s very seamless.

While they are still investigating the Beetle appearances that have popped up in the media, the Thunderbolts continue to try and make themselves look better in the public eye. Hawkeye publicly states that they’re going to bring in the Hulk, a statement that the others aren’t so pleased with. Luckily, he has a plan. He has Moonstone in street clothes confront Bruce Banner and try to talk him into turning himself in for the betterment of society. Banner doesn’t agree, refusing to give up his freedom so the Thunderbolts can gain brownie points and turns to leave. Unfortunately, this guy named Clay Brickford is in town and he has a tense history with Banner and the Hulk. Without thinking, he punches Banner, who transforms and skips the scene.

The team of Hawkeye, Moonstone, Songbird and Atlas more or less fight Hulk to a draw. They use teamwork to set up an attack meant to exhaust and knock him out, he lashes out in a way that takes them all out, jumps away, then collapses and turns into Banner. Hawkeye is partially buried under wreckage and when that Clay guy shows up to kill Banner, Hawkeye fires an arrow into Banner’s shoulder, knocks him off a ledge and onto the top of a moving truck, where he rides off to freedom. The team decides to regroup, accepting that they failed. Still, that isn’t the real story of the issue.

Jolt and Charcoal are forced to sit things out so they can go to school instead. After school, they hang out with their friends – the kids who have previously asked the Thunderbolts for help – and the cliffhanger shows someone watching them through a sniper rifle.

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