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I celebrated Easter Sunday today in what I hope will become tradition: feasting, reading, and watching a Top Chef marathon. No trip back east to spend the holidays with the family this year. Instead, Fondy and I contented ourselves with an exceedingly relaxed afternoon. After a late lunch of sunchoke soup, grilled prawn, lobster tails, broiled scallops, and some southern style butter-mashed molasses sweet potatoes, I finished up next week’s book of the month club selection, The Big Over Easy, and did some laundry, feeling intermittent flashes of guilt for not getting back to that Atlantis script. Ultimately, I decided to take the day off, confident in my ability to complete the draft before my self-imposed May 1st deadline. Really, at this point the key players are enroute and things should move quickly. Aside from the minor hiccups of figuring out the whys and how-to’s of reuniting our heroes, and nailing down the shifting motivation behind the big throwdown, it should be smoooooth sailing. Yep. Back at it tomorrow.

Or maybe Tuesday.

So I continue to work my way through that enormous pile of comic books in my quest to find the best of the best titles that will, hopefully, restore my love of the genre. And – I have a question. Is the Ultimate line some sort of parallel universe? I mean, Wolverine is a pretty busy guy, no? Between splitting his time between both the X-Men and the Avengers, he’s also off on a multitude of solo adventures. What gives? Is there any sort of sync between these various titles?

Well, another 16 books didn’t make the cut. These, however, did…

Ultimate X-Men – Written by Aron E. Coleite, Illustrated by Mark Brooks (and Dan Panosian issue #99).

Issues #98-100

I’m surprised. The overwhelming glut of X-titles were what first turned me off comic books, so I was a little leery about diving back in. But, since I was casting as wide a net as possible, I decided to check out Ultimate X-Men. And came away impressed. Amid all the action, a number of nice character moments and – is this right? – deaths. Pretty gritty stuff.

Ultimate Spiderman – Written by Brian Michael Bendis, Illustrated by Stuart Immonen.

Issues #128-130

Didn’t love the first issue I read but liked the next couple of installments enough to put this one on the list. It reads kind of young but Bendis’s trademark humor is dead on.

Deadpool: Suicide King – Written by Mike Benson, Illustrated by Carlo Barberi.

Issue 1 of 5

One title I loved back in the day was Deadpool. The merc with a mouth was at his very best under the guidance of veteran writer Joe Kelly who spun some of the most delightfully dark humored adventures I’ve ever had the pleasure to enjoy. In this limited series, Mike Benson does a nice job of picking up the torch while Carlo Barberi’s pencils add chaotically comical layer to the proceedings. So far, so good.

The New Avengers – Script by Brian Michael Bendis, Art by Billy Tan, Matt Banning and Justin Ponsor & Chris Bachalo, Tim Townsend and Antonio Fabela.

Issue #51

Hmmm. Hmmmmmmmmm. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I’ve never been a fan of the magical storylines and, call me a traditionalist, but I’ve always considered Spiderman a loner and not at all a team player. And what is Wolverine doing on the team? Is there more than one incarnation of The Avengers? Scrambling to play catch-up on Dr. Strange, Norman Osborn, H.A.M.M.E.R., the Skrull Invasion (Skrulls, by the way, rank right up there with magical storylines and anything to do with the Infinity Gauntlet and/or gems), and the Scarlet Witch. Yeah, a little overwhelming. Still, as in most of Bendis’s work, the characters – particularly in their quiet moments – really shine. On the fence for now.

I’m noting a heavy Marvel presence…

30 thoughts on “April 12, 2009: A Lazy Sunday Afternoon (Lazy Being the Operative Word) and the Comics Rundown

  1. Joe,

    The ‘Ultimate’ titles have no tie-in to the regular Marvel 616 universe. (Well, I can’t recall any Ultimate/616 cross-overs off the top of my head). Ultimate was meant to be a starting point for new comic readers so they didn’t have to deal with all the past history of the Marvel-verse.

  2. Your Easter sounds more relaxing than my Easter. We woke up, went to church, came home, ate breakfast, put gas in the car, ate lunch, then I pressure-washed the house, sidewalk, and gutters. All in all it was pretty fun (I love the power the pressure-washer gives me – I can blast the skin off my enemies! Muahahaha*cough*). And a quick comment about your last post – Brie is adorable.

  3. “Is the Ultimate line some sort of parallel universe?” – Something like that. A lot of us consider it an alternate universe of sorts. LOVE Deadpool. He’s been one of my favorites. I haven’t read Suicide King yet, can’t wait to get my hands on it!

  4. Ultimate X is an alternate universe version.

    At one point Beast died then came back, Wolverine slept with Jean early on in the series, Peter (Collosus) is gay and used to work for the Russian Mafia.

    Wolverine started out working for Magneto and was hired to kill professor X but changed sides.

    Professor X dies at one point.
    Magneta has a floating “cloud city” hideout.

    Kitty Pride is a spoilt rich kid sent to Proffessor X to be given guidance and becomes Spiderman’s girlfriend.

    Storm and Beast are a couple – or were.

    That’s all I can think of at the moment.

    I really was enjoying the Ultimate Xmen, until the comic book stores I know of here stop selling them.

  5. Joe,

    It appears that you are having trouble getting up enthusiasm for the Atlantis script and this disappoints me greatly.

    It appears that Atlantis is barely on the radar for the powers that be and I think it’s been so for some time. I know what you’ve said on the subject and I believe you. But if this movie gets made, I will be totally surprised.

    Sadly,

    Rose

  6. I slept the bulk of the day away, so I claim to be lazier than you. And while I normally approve of sloth, especially on special occasions(like any day of the week ending in the letter “y”), I must admit your inclination to wait till Tuesday to getting back into harness. . Just think of the ongoing psychic trauma we Atlantis fans have suffered. Every time you indicate the slightest hiccup in the ongoing progress on the movie, you are sending hundreds, perhaps thousands into cardiac arythmias, possibly fatal ones. So please, torture us no more. Somehow, someway we’ll make it worth your way. (promise subject to too many conditions to be listed here).
    Glad you enjoyed your day, and hope the week is both productive and fun for you.

  7. Is the Ultimate line some sort of parallel universe?

    I believe it is. I’m sure you can google to find out more. Personally, I can’t stand the Ultimate universe. Sure, I haven’t given it a fair shot exactly, but the way they’ve messed around with the characters put me off it so much I just don’t want to read it. Not the least of these changes is Beast’s more animalistic look. I know, in the grand scheme of things, that’s not a big deal, but it grates at me every time I look at him with a muzzle instead of a face. As much as I love AUs, you might think I’d dive right into the Ultimate comics, but what bothers me about them is how they sometimes seem to be taking over, like with how the latest X-Men movie appeared to be based more on the Ultimate comics than the story that’s been around for decades. If the Ultimate universe goes away and the 616 universe stops being shunted to the back, I may give the Ultimate stuff a second look.

  8. I’ve been trying to explain this stuff to you! I swear, you don’t read a thing I write… 😉

    I’ve always liked Ultimate X-Men. I have read the entire series, and it’s been very satisfying. Lots of deaths right now because they’re relaunching, or something.

    Ultimate has always been marked with character deaths – some have come back, but some haven’t. Stories have always been pretty tight, and it’s where we are treated to Samuel L. Fury. 😀

    What I love about Ultimate Wolverine is that when you’re first introduced to him, he immediately beds Jean, and you know he’s doing it just because he can. Later, after Scott gets her back, Logan has an opportunity to save Scott, or let him fall off a cliff. Well, not a hard choice for Ultimate Wolverine – he lets Scott drop, and then tells everyone he was lost on the mission, boo-hoo-hoo. Then he gets busy comforting the heartbroken Jean. PIG. And I loved it! It was beautiful (well, until Scott later showed up alive…). Ultimate Wolverine is what 616 should have been a loooong time ago.

    And yes – Wolverine is EVERYWHERE. Why? Because he sells…love him or hate him, that’s just how it works. I don’t mind him being a main player here and there, but even for me it’s sometimes too much. Now – I would never complain if Wolverine was written beautifully in every story, but – depending on the writer – he’s everything from a buffoon, to cooler than James Dean. I would prefer a little more consistency, but I love the guy too much not to pick up everything he’s in.

    Here’s the scoop on Wolvie…

    Wolverine has been with the New Avengers team since 2005, I believe. He was probably brought in to help bring readers into the new title, or maybe because Bendis thinks he’s cool…I dunno. However, Bendis does NOT overuse him. He’s there, but not the focus of the story…not at all. Basically, I figure he’s there for comic relief.

    Wolverine Origins began in 2006. After Wolverine got his memories back in House of M, he began tracking down his past. The book has introduced two new players in his life: his son, Daken (by his Japanese wife, Itsu, sometime prior to the Weapon X program), and Romulus, the one who has been pulling Wolverine’s strings behind the scenes.

    Wolverine, main title. This book pretty much stands on it’s own, though it has had tie-ins to big events. But the title is changing to Dark Wolverine, with Daken as the main character of the book. This is Marvel’s way of helping to establish this new character, and it’s really a smart way to jumpstart such a new player in the universe.

    Weapon X – this will be Logan!Wolverine’s new solo book. I have been pleased with Aaron’s work on Wolverine in the past, so I have hopes for this one. I think this will pretty much stand on its own, too. I like to think of Wolverine’s main solo title as something unrelated to the rest. It makes it easier to follow just that one book, if that’s all you want.

    X-Force – Wolverine is the leader of this killer X-team, but – honestly – he’s not the focus here, either. The beauty of Wolverine is that he really doesn’t need to be explained to most readers, allowing writers to flesh out the other team members while still boasting that their book features Wolverine. It brings in the readers, and allows them to get to know the other characters better than they ever would have without using the ol’ hairball as bait.

    Various X-books – Wolverine shows up in just about every X-book at one time or another. But again, he’s not the featured player – more like occasional guest star.

    As far as all these Wolverine books fitting into some sort of continuity with all these titles – yes, somehow they manage it, though some shared events may be a couple months apart due to publishing delays, etc. But every now and then they draw all his stories together in some way. For instance, maybe New Avengers will mention Wolverine off on such-and-such mission that’s happening in Origins, or someone in Uncanny will ask Wolverine what he and Warpath have been up to, and they just give each other this ‘we ain’t tellin’ ’em we’ve been killin’ folks with the X-Force gang’ look. And currently there’s an event in Origins that has involved the X-Men, so the books tend to cross-reference the matter.

    I think writers have tried to be better with referencing Wolverine’s involvement with other groups, etc…mainly because fans were really griping about it. But by mentioning Wolverine in a book without actually having to show Wolverine in that book is pretty slick. It gives the reader the illusion that Wolverine’s involved, when really he’s off doing something else in one of his other stories.

    The way I look at it is this: The events in any one book usually occur over a short period of time. A month. A week. Some 6-issue arcs can take place all in one day – that’s 6 months to tell a 24-hour story. So even though Wolverine is in half a dozen books or more, those stories don’t really cover that much time when you get right down to it.

    Now, here’s the scoop on the Avengers. There are three main teams:

    Mighty Avengers:
    Jocasta
    Scarlet Witch (Loki??)
    Wasp (Henry Pym)
    Hercules
    The Hulk
    Stature
    The Vision
    U.S. Agent
    Amadeus Cho

    New Avengers:
    Captain America (Barnes)
    Luke Cage
    Ms. Marvel
    Mockingbird
    Ronin (Clint Barton)
    Spider-Man
    Spider-Woman
    Wolverine

    Dark Avengers:
    Iron Patriot (Norman Osborn)
    Ms. Marvel (Moonstone)
    Hawkeye (Bullseye)
    Wolverine (Daken)
    Spider-Man (Venom)
    Captain Marvel (Noh-Varr)
    Sentry
    Ares

    Each one is different in what it does – I’ve never read Mighty Avengers, even when Bendis wrote it (save for the odd issue here and there), so can’t comment on it at all. New Avengers is the more traditional team, but since Civil War they have been operating outside the ‘law’ in one way or the other, which makes this nicely complicated for them all. Dark Avengers is basically what you get if you give the first 8 guys released from a maximum security prison and/or psycho ward badges, and tell ’em they’re now in charge. It should prove interesting.

    Okay. I just lost my train of thought…so I’m gonna call it quits here. I hope I’ve helped, and not made it more confusing for you.

    Oh, and no surprise that Marvel is topping your list. Quesada’s doing an excellent job of twisting and turning the Marvelverse up. It may eventually go back to the way it was, but in the meantime there’s all sorts of things happening, which makes it pretty hard to get bored (though you may become overwhelmed at times…especially when those OCD-unfriendly crossovers and tie-in start popping up).

    das

  9. Okay – THAT was long. Sorry Joe. If you read it all I’ll give you a cookie! (chocolate-something, of course!)

    On to other things…

    I now have pink eye. 😛 The more I think about it, the more this reminds me of an on-going illness I had back in 1992. Same exact thing was happening to me – get rid of one thing and come down with another (only with that one I didn’t have pneumonia). And before that, I had a recurring strep infection that lasted a good part of the beginning of 1980. In between, I’m usually pretty healthy. So, here’s what I think: every 12-17 years, my immune system throws a hissy fit and knocks me down. Now…just gotta figure out what triggers it (stress, most likely).

    Watched Twilgiht tonight. Didn’t love it or hate it…but we did enjoy it enough. Actually, I think my husband enjoyed it more, since he was the one urging them to kiss, while I was the one wondering when the fighting would start. 🙄 Anyway…Joe (put that in bold because I figure it’s the only way to get your attention)…there was one thing that happened in the film that I wish had been done on SGA. When one of the vampires who has only recently given up feeding on humans meets the girl, his reaction is amusing…you can tell he’d much rather bite her than greet her. Wraith, on the other hand, are always so stoic and reserved when they have to play nice with their food. Just once I would have loved it if Todd had to slap Kenny upside the head, scolding him to stop ‘salivating’ over the humans. I’ve already said too much tonight, so won’t go into why that sort of thing works for me…but it has to do with those little glimpses into what’s on someone’s mind…which I usually find more interesting than what they really say.

    “nailing down the shifting motivation behind the big throwdown – see, it’s stuff like this that makes me worry. 😉

    das

  10. Mmmmmm yeah i’m gonna need that sweet potato recipe. It’s making me hungry…. please????

  11. I slept through breakfast at my church this morning, then managed to sleep through most of the afternoon as well… finally getting up to go sit down for two hours and watch a movie with my friends–Stargate: Continuum, as a matter of fact. 😀 The two who were familiar with the universe enjoyed it immensely; the one who wasn’t still got a bunch of laughs out of it! Having already seen it like 25 times, it was hard for me not to point out the little things I learned from the commentaries!
    I came back from the movie to sit in front of my TV and watch the NCIS marathon on USA. I swear, that channel can read my mind… they only ever show repeats of shows I like! And now I’m lounging in front of my laptop reading the blog entries I missed while I was being lazy today. So, yup, it’s been a lazy day all around methinks. Which means tomorrow’s gonna be the first of hell week, but at least today was nice and chill.

  12. Heh…I forgot Wolverine: First Class – which is a sort of retro book exploring the adventures of Kitty Pryde and Wolverine back when he was training her to be an X-Man. This is a totally stand-alone book, and fairly mild.

    das

  13. Hi, Joe!

    I was noodling around at IMDB, and saw this listing for Stargate Universe:

    Series Other crew

    Scott Schaffer …. product placement

    Which is interesting…is Stargate Universe going to produce products from whatever galaxy the Destiny ends up in to sell on Earth?

    Best wishes.

  14. hey so the full opening credit sequence will be featured in every episode of season five right? they wont have that quick stargate atlantis flash an then back to the episode?

  15. As the others have said, Ultimate is definitely an alternate universe. The one major change I can think of (haven’t read a whole lot of either, but I have a few runs in my closet I have to go through) is that Nick Fury looks an awful like Samuel L. Jackson. And this change was made well before Iron Man, so I’m guessing the current Marvel movies are loosely based on the Ultimate universe, as shown by Mr. Jackson being in Iron Man.

  16. Can’t say much on the comic books topic, having not read any, however, I am into reading the SG1 and SGA novels. Have you?? They are quite interesting and might give you ideas for future shows/movies. LOL

    I loved your last post with the two videos of the dogs. Brie is quite adorable. I have a small beagle so I had to make sure she was tied on when the Easter bunny came by. Didn’t want the kids to be disappointed. LOL

    Hope you have a great day. Can’t wait for the next post.

    xoxo

  17. Hello Joe,
    Glad to hear you you had a happy Easter. I went to sunrise service at 6:30. It was awesome, I’m glad I got my lazy butt out of bed. I then hung out with my friend before church. We drove around listened to music and stopped at dunkin dounughts and drove by the waste dump that exploded over a year ago. Then I went over to someones house with my family and
    some Other families and we hung out and ate. Hope everyone else had a happy easter!

  18. @rose.
    Even after all the announcements you still doubt the movie being made. Seriously, why do you think Joe and Paul(or at least Paul, lol, sorry Joe, I just had to say that) are putting in the effort to write a feature. Besides, the movie has been green lit and the sets are still standing. So why so doubtful?

  19. I’m a new blog reader here but I wanted to say thank you for the VD of Brie. My husband and I had a good laugh watching her think her way through the hedge problem.

    Thanks,
    Tam

  20. @ MaryD – Saw Vincent! That’s really cool…and Vincent is quite lovely (as are all Wraith…well…except those masked suckers. Even their own kind don’t wanna look at their faces!).

    Thanks for sharing!

    das

  21. Hey Joe,

    Sounds like you had a great Easter. I spent it at my sister’s. Allie, once again, became the human jungle gym for my 7 nephews while Erin cried a lot. She’s a girly-girl in a very boy-filled family. Poor thing. Plus Jeremy now has a massive sinus infection so he wasn’t there to help beat down the nephews and rescue Erin. Good times.

    But my mom brought her new puppy. A redish-blonde toy (maybe a teacup?) poodle named Rachel. She’s adorable! She took on my sister’s Great Dane. I think Rachel won. 😆 At least Rachel thinks so.

    @Rose: They still have the Atlantis sets up. If the movie was for sure not going to be made those sets would already be gone. You can’t do a thing about the movie without a script (so please hurry Joe! 🙂 ). But you don’t have to believe me, Joe or Major D. Davis. I’m fully confident that time will prove us right and we’ll get our movie.

    @Deni B: I think your father and my grandmother would have gotten along famously. It’s weird the things our loved ones let fly outta their mouths, right? I guess I’m in good company, then. 😀

    Trish

  22. I know you can’t tell us much about the Atlantis movie but is there going to be whump???

  23. Hello! It sounds like you had a lovely Sunday. I’m excited to hear that you’ve got your thinking cap on regarding the SGA movie.

    Any tidbits you’d like to share? Surprises coming our way? Guest stars? How much time has passed since the finale and the beginning of the movie? Any chance of seeing Nancy or Dave Sheppard again? Got any whump planned for us?

    Please toss a few crumbs our way. 🙂

    ruffles

  24. @Trish and Major D. Davis

    It’s just the opinion of someone from Podunk, USA. I certainly know nothing about the tv/movie business. Trust me, I hope I’m proven wrong on this. And maybe my lingering disappointment that Atlantis was canceled in favor of SGU has something to do with my pessimism. But I doubt it would be the first time the powers that be decided NOT to make a movie with a partial or even a completed script.

    As I said, I really want to be wrong. But just in case, I’ve resigned myself to having seen the last of Team Sheppard.

    Respectfully,

    Rose

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