Tag Archives: Doctor Strange

Countdown to ENDGAME |Doctor Strange


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ONE A WEEK UNTIL Avengers Infinity War opens in May!

Captain America: The First Avenger | Iron Man | The Incredible Hulk| Iron Man II Thor | The Avengers | Iron Man 3 | Thor: The Dark World | Captain America: The Winter Soldier | Guardians of the Galaxy | Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 | Avengers: Age of Ultron | Ant-Man | Captain America: Civil War | Doctor Strange | Spider-Man: Homecoming | Thor: Ragnarok | Black Panther | Avengers: Infinity War | Ant-Man and the Wasp | Captain Marvel

Doctor Strange

Strange

Okay, to be fair, Doctor Strange is, almost beat-for-beat, Iron Man. Rich, arrogant, watch loving scientist learns a lesson in humility when he almost loses his life. He had treated those close to him poorly. He is something of a rogue, but lovable. He is the smartest guy in the room. He is a cad.

One might imagine that, if Robert Downey, jr were not otherwise engaged, he would have been an excellent choice for the title role in this film. As it turns out, Benedict Cumberbatch does a great job with Doctor Strange. He continues Marvel’s terrific casting choices. And he was a lot of fun in Infinity War. Rachel McAdams is great, too, but a bit wasted. I would like to see more of her. And the movie cannot be forgiven for wasting the terrific Michael Stuhlbarg. It also has one of the most lame Stan Lee cameos.

The plot is limited, the villain (this is an old Marvel story) boring and the conclusion typically “the whole world is at stake-y.” But it has some very trippy visuals, for sure. In any ranking of the Marvel films, Doctor Strange would likely chart in the lower third but, hey, the Marvel movies are pretty good.

Doctor Strange is unlike other Marvel films in one very important way: it opens up an entire multiverse of magic and it helps prove that superhero movies can be used to tell all kinds of different stories.

I gave Doctor Strange FOUR EYES OF AGAMOTTO out of a possible FIVE when it came out. Though it is a bit reductive, it is also a lot of fun.


KEY INTRODUCTIONS:

  • Stephen Strange; Doctor Strange (though he was name dropped in Winter Soldier)
  • Kaecilius
  • Then Ancient One
  • Christine Palmer
  • Baron Mordo
  • Wong
  • Dormammu

CONNECTION(S) TO ENDGAME:

  • The Eye of Agamotto is, itself, an Infinity Stone, the Time Stone to be precise. We saw Thanos’ minions attack Doctor Strange in Infinity War to procure it for their master. It didn’t go well…
  • According to Wong, word of the Ancient One’s death will spread through the multiverse and folks, like Thanos perhaps, will know that the Earth has no one to defend it.
  • The mid-credit sequence sets up Thor | Ragnarok in that it is a scene from that movie and that movie directly lead into the more cosmic portions of Infinity War and Infinity War picked up almost exactly where Thor: Ragnarok left off.

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Countdown to INFINITY… Doctor Strange


Related Content from And There Came A Day


ONE A WEEK UNTIL Avengers Infinity War opens in May!

Captain America: The First Avenger | Iron Man | The Incredible Hulk| Iron Man II Thor | The Avengers | Iron Man 3 | Thor: The Dark World | Captain America: The Winter Soldier | Guardians of the Galaxy | Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 | Avengers: Age of Ultron | Ant-Man | Captain America: Civil War | Doctor Strange | Spider-Man: Homecoming | Thor: Ragnarok | Black Panther

Week Fifteen: Doctor Strange

Strange

 

Okay, to be fair, Doctor Strange is, almost beat-for-beat, Iron Man. Rich, arrogant, watch loving scientist learns a lesson in humility when he almost loses his life. He had treated those close to him poorly. He is something of a rogue, but lovable. He is the smartest guy in the room. He is a cad.

One might imagine that, if Robert Downey, jr were not otherwise engaged, he would have been an excellent choice for the title role in this film. As it turns out, Benedict Cumberbatch does a great job with Doctor Strange. He continues Marvel’s terrific casting choices. And he promises to be a lot of fun in Infinity War. Rachel McAdams is great, too, but a bit wasted. I would like to see more of her. And the movie cannot be forgiven for wasting the terrific Michael Stuhlbarg. It also has one of the most lame Stan Lee cameos.

The plot is limited, the villain (this is an old Marvel story) boring and the conclusion typically “the whole world is at stake-y.” But it has some very trippy visuals, for sure. In any ranking of the Marvel films, Doctor Strange would likely chart in the lower third but, hey, the Marvel movies are pretty good.

Doctor Strange is unlike other Marvel films in one very important way: it opens up an entire multiverse of magic and it helps prove that superhero movies can be sued to tell all kinds of different stories.

 

I gave Doctor Strange FOUR EYES OF AGAMOTTO out of a possible FIVE when it came out. Though it is a bit reductive, it is also a lot of fun.


KEY INTRODUCTIONS:

  • Stephen Strange; Doctor Strange (though he was name dropped in Winter Soldier)
  • Kaecilius
  • Then Ancient One
  • Christine Palmer
  • Baron Mordo
  • Wong
  • Dormammu

CONNECTION(S) TO INFINITY WAR:

  • The Eye of Agamotto is, itself, an Infinity Stone, the Time Stone to be precise. As Doctor Strange wears it around his neck, Thanos may be as interested in the character as the character is interested in protecting it.
  • According to Wong, word of the Ancient One’s death will spread through the multiverse and folks, like Thanos perhaps, will know that the Earth has no one to defend it.
  • The idea of a multiverse in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is first introduced here. There are many concepts laid out in Doctor Strange that likely will be important to Infinity War.
  • The mid-credit sequence sets up Thor | Ragnarok in that it is a scene from that movie and that movie directly leads into the more cosmic portions of Infinity War.

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And There Came A Countdown To INFINITY…

Avengers Infinity War will open on May 4. Let me go out on a limb here: it will be one of the most successful movies of all time. I cannot wait for it.

You are among the millions who have watched the trailer, right? No? Take a moment. Click below. I will wait.

Okay, the question is: how do you get ready for Avengers Infinity War? What should you do and how should you do it?

We here at And There Came A Day are here for you. Last week, I saw a a tweet that suggested that, if you watch one Marvel movie a week beginning in the first week of 2018 and screen a subsequent Marvel film weekly, you will complete your preparations the very week Infinity War opens.

I intend to follow the schedule below (which in NOT the order in which the movies were released, but the order in which they took place) and post my reviews weekly.

We will see how it goes… I suspect it will go very well.

Get ready, world, for the Avengers to assemble again!

January 1 – 7:  Captain America: The First Avenger

January 8 – 14:  Iron Man

January 15 – 21:  The Incredible Hulk

January 22 – 28:  Iron Man 2

January 29 – February 4:  Thor

February 5 – 11:  The Avengers

February 12 – 18:   Iron Man 3

February 19 – 25:  Thor: The Dark World

February 26 – March 4:  Captain America: The Winter Soldier

March 5 – 11:  Guardians of the Galaxy

March 12 – 18:  Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

March 19 – 25:  Avengers: Age of Ultron

March 26 – April 1:  Ant-Man

April 2 – 8:  Captain America: Civil War

April 9 – 15:  Doctor Strange

April 16 – 22:  Spider-Man: Homecoming

April 23 – 29:  Thor: Ragnarok

April 30 – May 6:  Black Panther

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: March 1 – 7, 2017


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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.
Then I read them.
Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.

COMICS I READ LAST WEEK

ThreeTwoOne

The best comic I read last week was Doctor Strange #18.


Writer: Jason Aaron

Artist: Chris Bachalo

 

Perhaps some of the energy around Doctor Strange has died down since it’s been months following the very well received Doctor Strange movie. I suspect some of that energy will ramp back up when he makes his appearance in Thor: Ragnarok. However, until then, what we have is a superior comic book featuring the character.

It takes a great team to keep me interested in a character like Doctor Strange, someone who I don’t love but began to read in my own furor around the movie. Chris Bachalo is a tremendous artist and, as I have written before, so perfectly suited to this book. He is cartoon-y in approach and that fits here. What is also noteworthy is how twisted and dark his artwork gets in support of the story. Some of the images he’s created are truly haunting. He’s been a perfect fit here and, while there have been excellent fill-in artists during Bachalo’s run, he’s clearly the master here.

“Master” is also a term that fits Jason Aaron. In this issue in particular, he shows great facility with balancing other-worldly, supernatural plot devices with emotional beats and humor that really work well. In fact, this issue had me truly questioning whether readers were about to witness the death of a major character. Not many comics these days surprise. This one did. That’s saying something.

I have read that Aaron and Bachalo are getting ready to depart Doctor Strange and that’s a shame. It will take a superstar team to keep me reading the book. If this is the last arc I have with the good doctor, it’s been time well spent!

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Doctor Strange – A Movie Review


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doctor-strange-comic-con-posterI have begun to think Marvel Studios can take any Marvel Comics property and make a good movie from the source material. After they succeeded two years ago with Guardians of the Galaxy, the sky was the limit and Doctor Strange seems to me to be a direct beneficiary of the runaway hit GotG. To call Doctor Strange a B List character in the Marvel Comics Universe might be giving him too much credit, but Marvel must have assumed if they could make things work for GotG, they could make them work for anyone.

This movie benefits – as many Marvel films do – from strong casting. Benedict Cumberbatch makes a terrific lead. His Stephen Strange is odd, arrogant and fun to watch, kind of a mix of Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes and Khan. He’s a surgeon about to be humbled by a terrible accident and trained by Tilda Swinton’s The Ancient One and Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Mordo in the ways of the mystic arts. Along the way, we also connect with (but only barely) Rachel McAdams as Christine Palmer. Throw in Mads Mikkelson as Kaecilius and you have a very solid line-up of actors. Each of these do a great job playing the material very straight. Gone are the days of camp approaches to superheroes, even to those with goatees who deal with the mystic arts. No, this cast acts as though they are on stage at the Globe and the movie is all the better for it.

The action in this film, especially the action featured in the last reel, can be quite stunning. The climax is truly breathtaking as is Strange’s clever (if slightly derivative Edge of Tomorrow fans) confrontation with the big-bad of the movie at the end of the film. Marvel touted Doctor Strange as something new and different from the rest of their movies and, considering Strange’s powers and the way they manifest on screen, the company succeeded. There are some truly breathtaking moments on screen.

The movie is also surprisingly funny and the whole cast gets moments to shine and to make the audience laugh. Doctor Strange has crowd pleasing intentions and, for the most part, those intentions land nicely.

However, if there are problems, they are these: the origin story (and even I am getting a little fatigued by origin stories) of Stephen Strange skews very closely to Tony Stark’s origin and Marvel has to understand that invoking the magic-in-a-bottle of Iron Man is a frightening proposition. That’s a very high bar to clear. Additionally, these movies have to figure out their villains. There is simply not enough for Mikkelson to do with Kaecilius. He simply doesn’t seem that big a threat or, at least, he doesn’t seem a threat distinct from most of the other Marvel threats.

These issues don’t detract from overall enjoyment of the movie. They simply keep a great movie from being terrific.

Oh, and there are not one but TWO secret endings. Stay in your seats…

DOCTOR STRANGE receives FOUR EYES OF AGAMOTTO out of a possible FIVE.

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: September 28 – October 4, 2016


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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.

Then I read them.

Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.

I read 7 comics last week: Detective Comics #941, Wonder Woman #7, Star Trek: Waypoint #1, Star Wars #23, Teen Titans #1, Doctor Strange Annual #1, and Action Comics #964.

The best comic I read last week was Star Wars #23.

star-wars-23

 

 

I’ve read many, many comic book adaptations of film and television properties and they tend to suffer from one of two problems: 1) they try too hard to adhere to established continuity, so much so that they are just warmed over rehashes of the properties on which they are based and 2) knowing they cannot truly affect the status quo of established characters, they focus too much on characters created for the comics and not enough on the ones that got readers to buy the book in the first place.

Jason Aaron, the talented scribe who has written every issue of this Marvel Star Wars comic book has, at times, flirted with both of these problems. However, in this new arc (issue 23 is the third chapter of it), he not only avoids these pitfalls, he creates a story that is so fun, inventive and over-the-top, that it seems to have spun right out of the original trilogy itself.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved this title since its launch and have selected this book numerous times as my pick of the week. What sets this issue apart is how enjoyable it is and how I smiled upon reading it.

The caper around which this arc centers is the audacious theft of a Star Destroyer by Luke, Leia, Han and Chewie (along with other Rebel forces). To say it is a terrific and terrifically fun story is an understatement. This is what Star Wars has been at its best. If Rogue One is anywhere near as fun as this story, it will be great. Jason Aaron is a wonderful writer and a great fit for this book.

Jorge Molina has a cartoon-y style that is a bit different from the established “house” style of the title up until now, but his work in recent issues has been excellent. A reader can see who Leia is, who Han is and who Luke is and, once in a while, a reader can see the image of the actors behind the drawings. That’s a good thing. Good too is Molina’s command of space action – the ships, the starscape, the weaponry, et al – and his panels are fluid and dynamic.

This is a great book and, most importantly, it’s fun. Shouldn’t Star Wars be fun? This title certainly is!

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: June 22 – June 28, 2016


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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.

Then I read them.

Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.

I read 6 comics last week: Doctor Strange #9, Action Comics #958, Flash #1, Aquaman #1, Wonder Woman #1 and Detective Comics #935.

The best comic I read last week was Action Comics #958.

Action

 

 

First, I love that DC Comics has returned Action Comics to its original numbering. This will be the first American comic book to reach 1,000 issues. That’s 1,000, continuously published issues. That is something of an accomplishment. One hopes that pop culture is paying attention when this happens.

I have enjoyed Dan Jurgens as a writer for many, many years. Jurgens scripted some of the largest Superman events of the last 30 years and it makes all kinds of sense to have him on this title. Jurgens handled the well-received Lois and Clark series that leads directly into this iteration of the adventures of the Man of Steel and he has a terrific sense of what makes the character work.

Not that the entire story as told here makes sense… but blame none of that on the clean lines of Patrick Zircher. We’ll get to the confusion of the book in a moment.

It’s good to see him get a shot on this book – which should be a top-tier book. Zircher draws in a more realistic and less cartoon-ish style that fits Superman and, one of the things I very much appreciate about his art, his Jon Kent looks like a kid, which is always nice to see. He’s solid and more than serviceable and a great counterpoint to Jurgens’ scripting here. His Superman is heroic without being out-of-portion as some like to draw Superman. Rather than overwhelming us with his brawn, Zircher draws him with simple heroism. It’s nice to see.

Less coherent is the story Jurgens and Zircher are telling but that is not a bad thing here. They are setting up future stories (a Clark Kent on the ground who is not Superman? Two Lois Lanes? Doomsday?) that show much promise. One hopes the energy brought on by Rebirth continues in the title for a very long time!

 

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: May 25 – May 31, 2016


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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.

Then I read them.

Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.

I read 10 comics last week: Captain America: Steve Rogers #1, Amazing Spider-Man #1.5, DC Universe Rebirth #1, Superman #52, Lois and Clark #8, Doctor Strange #8, Star Wars #18, Grayson #20, Justice League #50 and Batgirl #52.

The best comic I read last week was DC Universe Rebirth #1.

 

Rebirth

Let’s start here: the less said about Captain America: Steve Rogers, the better. “Hail Hydra?” No thanks, Marvel. That “revelation” won’t even get me to issue number 2.

Justice League #50 was terrific, just a perfect capper to a wonderful arc and a great way to usher out the “New 52” and usher in a new status quo. It was my second favorite book of the week.

The best book of the week (and, at this point, bar none my favorite book of the year) was DC Universe Rebirth #1. I’ve read this book being described as a quintessential DC Comics book and I agree. It is both quintessential and essential.

The art team of Gary Frank, Ethan Van Sciver, Ivan Reis and Phil Jimenez draws the living hell out of this book. There is nothing left to chance in any panel by any of the artists and I really had the feeling looking at their work that they knew they were illustrating something very special and that they were elevating their already impressive games. These are four artists I’ve always enjoyed and four who’ve put their own distinctive stamps on DC’s biggest heroes. They really come through here and they were perfectly selected. Likewise, the chapters of the book they handled were perfectly selected as well. Unless the gravity of this book could have convinced George Perez to illustrate it or reanimated Curt Swan or Jim Aparo, DC found the perfect people to draw this one. The book looked like a DC book, cover-to-cover.

And, without question, it read like a DC book. I won’t extol the virtues of writer Geoff Johns again here as I have done many, many times in many, many other posts. If this is his swan song from comics for the time being, suffice it to say he goes out on a VERY high note. Having publicly stated that the DC Universe needing some fixing, Johns actually comes through and fixes it.

Centering the story on a lost and forgotten hero (and a childhood favorite of mine – though I don’t think that my feelings about the character were central to Johns’ plans), Johns does what Johns does best: he brings an epic story down to a empathetic level for the reader. We’ve all felt lost. We’ve all felt forgotten. We’ve all felt powerless. Right up until the end of the issue, I was honestly afraid that this hero was going to remain lost. The stakes Johns fashioned felt that high.

The audible gasp I let out, though, was not for the resolution of the lost hero storyline, but the bold and brilliant revelation of the forces that have been manipulating the DC Universe. Not since Marvel hid the villains of the Thunderbolts in plain sight has a story so surprised, shocked and thrilled me.

I simply didn’t see it coming but, when it did, the end of DC Universe Rebirth promised the beginning of something incredible.

The follow up titles hitting the racks this week have a lot to live up to. Here’s hoping they succeed in the fine fashion that Johns, Frank, Van Sciver, Reis and Jimenez did. That would be quite the rebirth, indeed.

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Doctor Strange Is In


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Tired of traditional superheroes? Tried of formulaic superhero movies?

Have you seen this:

Doctor Strange was name checked in Captain America The Winter Soldier. 

In November, he has his own movie.

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: November 4 – November 10, 2015


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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.

Then I read them.

Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.

I read 10 comics last week: Uncanny X-Men #600, Detective Comics #46, Star Wars #11, Doctor Strange #2, Amazing Spider-Man #2, Justice League: The Darkseid War Superman #1, Justice League: The Darkseid War Flash #1, James Bond #1, Invincible Iron Man #3 and Batman and Robin Eternal #5.

The best comic I read last week was Uncanny X-Men #600.

Uncanny 600

This book had all kinds of elements to recommend it:

  • Brian Michael Bendis wraps up what can only be called an historic run on X-Men, a run during which he irrevocably changed the status quo of the team.
  • He is joined by terrific artists who have made this a great title over Bendis’ entire tenure.
  • He writes a story that actually wraps up dangling plot threads.
  • He fills the story with wonderful character moments and not a little action.
  • He creates tension by putting a major character “on trial” in a completely justifiable circumstance.
  • He makes news with a major plot development that made the newspapers.

I haven’t always loved Bendis on this book – though I bought every issue – and I haven’t always loved the X-Men themselves. But this book is Bendis and the X-Men at their best. It’s such a great capper that I am not sure that I want to pick up any of the new incarnations of the team.

What an accomplishment, Mr. Bendis. Bravo.

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