GeekMom: Comic Book Corner — Axis, The 10th Muse, X-Files, and Penguins of Madagascar

Panel from Avengers and X-Men: AXIS by Terry Dodson. © Marvel Comics
Panel from Avengers & X-Men: Axis #5 by Terry Dodson. © Marvel Comics

Happy Comic Release Day! Welcome to another installment of GeekMom Comic Book Corner, where we recap our adventures in comics for the week. This week I have a few words for The 10th Muse artist.  Meanwhile, Lisa dives head first into the world of the Madagascar Penguins, Sophie says a final farewell to The X-Files: Zero Year, and Kelly finds herself in the upside-down world of Avengers & X-Men: Axis.

Dakster Sullivan — The Odyssey Presents: The 10th Muse #1 written by Paul Storrie with art by J. Bruce Bogle (Bluewater)

I’ve never read much from Bluewater, but one book I enjoyed thoroughly was The Muse. As part of the reboot, we meet an old ally, Morgan Wulf, and watch as she gets use to high school and her new powers as The Muse.

After dying at Grayson Bishop’s hands, Morgan has been given a second chance and was reborn into a teenager and then adopted by The 10th Muse’s parents.

The story was great and I enjoyed reading Morgan go through her first day in her new life as an adopted teen starting a new life in a new place. She handles her first day relatively well, even after a crazed teenage girl with a chip on her shoulder interrupts her lunch period by attacking a classmate.

I’m all for heroines for the younger generation to look up to and the story itself was straight out of the high school yard, but the art… Well, let’s just say I have a few comments about that.

The original 10th Muse series was beautiful in terms of art and how the story came across. The reboot, however, has high school girls dressed in clothes that would make a hooker go “WTF?” The rest of the cast isn’t much better in terms of overall appearance and appeal. The only word I have to describe the art is “messy.”

For the time being, I’m debating on whether or not to continue reading this series. While the story was great, for me, a comic needs to have at least decent art to keep me excited about it.

Age Recommendation: 12 and up

GeekMom received a promotional copy for review purposes.

Lisa Tate — Penguins of Madagascar #1 by Alex Matthews Lucas Fereyra​ (Titan Comics)

Penguins of Madagascar  Image: Titan Comics
Penguins of Madagascar Image: Titan Comics

Honestly, the only real reason I watched the any of the Madagascar sequels was for the penguins. Those militant little flightless birds had me hooked at “Cute and Cuddly, Boys” and “Well, this sucks!”

With the fearsome and feathery foursome own big screen feature opening Nov. 26, just in time for Thanksgiving weekend, Titan Comics will release the first in its four part Dreamworks’ Penguins of Madagascar all ages comic series by Alex Matthews, with art by Lucas Fereyra, that same day.

In this first issue’s story, “The Great Drain Robbery,” Skipper, Rico, Kowalski and Private attempt to refine their culinary offerings by rerouting the disposal lines of high end restaurants to their bunker…a fine plan until the King of Rats gets word of the heist.

For kids, this issue has plenty of those little extras that make all ages comics fun, including a “Which Penguin Are You” game, puzzles, a mini-poster and bonus story by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, with art by Anthony Williams and Dan Davis. Parents know, however, these extras are just fluff if the story itself isn’t appealing.

Fortunately, it bears the same appeal as the other adventures of the penguins in both movies and their television series, funny–and punny–adventurous, fast-moving and just plain silly. Stories are short enough to be easily digestible (no penguin diet pun intended) by younger readers. This is one series parents won’t mind picking up the entire series for their kids and themselves.

Age Recommendation: All ages

GeekMom received a promotional copy for review purposes.

Sophie Brown — The X-Files: Year Zero #5 written by Karal Kesel with art: Greg Scott and Vic Malhotra (IDW Comics)

The X-Files: Zero year #5  Image: IDW Publishing
The X-Files: Zero year #5 Image: IDW Publishing

It’s with a heavy heart that I bid farewell to The X-Files: Year Zero. The five issue mini-series has been consistently excellent and thankfully this fifth and final installment doesn’t break that trend. Mulder and Scully have solved the question of Dell’s mother and it’s her second sight that leads them to the Pine Barrens and to Dell. Plus, there’s also a very funny little moment when one of Mulder’s outlandish theories turns out to be something far more mundane.

Mulder and Scully’s part of the story wraps up in a classic X-Files conclusion with Mulder bluffing his way out of a potentially life-threatening situation, some answers being given, but other questions being presented too. I hope the answer to one of those is that we’ll be getting more of Ellinson and Ohio in the future.

Speaking of whom, back in 1947 we see Ellinson and Ohio taking on their new assignment and a new, rather familiar office, of their own. There’s some great parallels with Mulder and Scully and the relationship we’ve seen grow between them (oh crap, I think I’m starting to ship these two now—I’m naming this Ohellison), and a little mention for next month’s Christmas special in which we’ll get to see these guys again. It’s a nice, neat ending with just the right dose of mystery thrown in thanks to Dorothy’s letter.

There are a few things that don’t sit quite right with me throughout. Mulder reading Ms. Savoy’s private journal while she was unconscious felt a little off – although I have to admit I wouldn’t put it past him – and Scully seems just a little too accepting of the crazy stories she’s being told, although again times have indeed changed. The last few panels too, which appear to contradict something we saw on the show, didn’t quite sit right, but all in all it’s a well written conclusion to a great storyline.

Age Recommendation: 12 and up

Kelly Knox — Avengers & X-Men: Axis by Rick Remender and Jim Cheung, Terry Dodson, Adam Kubert and Leinil Yu (Marvel Comics)

© Marvel Comics
© Marvel Comics

It’s been a long time since I’ve gotten into an event comic series, but thanks to the Women of Marvel podcast, Avengers & X-Men: Axis has me hooked.  With a standalone weekly series and only a few optional crossovers into other books, Axis is an accessible nine-issue series that’s perfect for marathoning over the holiday weekend.

Axis #1 kicks off in the middle of the action, but readers new to the party are quickly caught up in the prologue. Red Skull has taken the brain of dead-again Charles Xavier (eww, I know) and grafted it onto his own (double eww). This has granted him Xavier’s staggering mental powers. Red Skull declared war on mutantkind, but when Magneto retaliated, Red Skull transformed into the horrific Onslaught. Axis #1 begins as the Avengers and X-Men team up to take down one of the most powerful foes they’ve ever faced.

As they grow desperate in the fight to defeat him, their tactics have unintended consequences. I won’t spoil too much, but let me just tease you with: Stark Sentinels. Hulk’s Hulk. The Superior Iron Man. All of this and more is born from the events in Axis. Rick Remender keeps the action moving quickly, and his take on Spider-Man in Axis #5 is simply fun to read. The art in Terry Dodson’s issues is exquisite as always.

If you’ve been wary of event books that are confusing and a little too grandiose for their own good, consider giving Avengers & X-Men: Axis a try. The limited series seems to stand alone just fine on its own, and you’ll get to see the new Captain America (Sam Wilson) in action.

Age Recommendation: 12 and up

Looking for something else, readers? Check out this week’s listed books:

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Absolute Batman Haunted Knight HC
American Vampire Vol. 6 TP
Aquaman #36
Arkham Manor #2 New Series
Batman ’66 #17
Batman And Robin Vol. 4 Requiem For Damian TP
Batman Beyond Universe #16
Batman Eternal #34
Batman Eternal Vol. 1 TP
Batwoman Vol. 5 Webs TP
Bodies #5 (Of 8)
Catwoman #36
Catwoman Vol. 5 Race Of Thieves TP
Dead Boy Detectives #11
Deathstroke #2 New Series
Earth 2 World’s End #8
Flash #36
Gotham By Midnight #1 New Series
He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe #19 GeekMom Recommended
Hinterkind Vol. 2 Written In Blood TP
Infinity Man And The Forever People #5
JSA Omnibus Vol. 2 HC
Justice League Dark #36
Justice League Trinity War TP
New 52 Futures End #30 Weekly Series
Punk Rock Jesus Deluxe Edition HC
Red Lanterns #36
Secret Origins #7
Star-Spangled War Stories Featuring G.I. Zombie #4
Superman #36
Trinity Of Sin Pandora Vol. 2 TP
Unwritten Vol. 2 Apocalypse #11
All-New Ghost Rider #9
All-New Invaders #12
All-New Invaders Vol. 2 Original Sin TP
Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 1.1 Learning To Crawl TP
Amazing X-Men #13
Avengers #38
Avengers And X-Men Axis #1 New Event
Captain America And The Mighty Avengers #2 New Series
Captain America Epic Collection Vol. 1 Captain America Lives Again TP
Cyclops #7
Deadpool Vol. 6 Original Sin TP
Deadpool Vs Carnage #1 (Of 4) New Mini-Series
Death Of Wolverine The Logan Legacy #5
Deathlok #2
Edge Of Spider-Verse #5
Inhuman Vol. 1 Genesis TP
Marvel Masterworks Golden Age All-Winners Vol. 2 TP
Marvel Previews #136 (December 2014 For Products On-Sale February 2015)
Marvel Universe Ultimate Spider-Man Web Warriors #1 Kid Friendly
New Avengers #27
New Warriors #12
Nova #24 GeekMom Recommended
Oz Road To Oz TP
Painkiller Jane The 22 Brides TP
Savage Wolverine Vol. 4 The Best There Is HC
Scarlet Spiders #1 New Series
Secret Avengers #10
Spider-Man 2099 #6
Superior Foes Of Spider-Man #17
Superior Iron Man #2 New Series
Wolverine And The X-Men #12
Wolverine By Jason Aaron The Complete Collection Vol. 4 TP
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Angry Birds Transformers #1 (Of 4) New Kid Friendly Series
Edward Scissorhands #2 (Of 5)
G.I. JOE #3 New Series
Godzilla Rulers Of Earth #18
Judge Dredd #25
Nelvana Of The Northern Lights HC
Samurai Jack #14
Shadow Show #1 (Of 5) New Mini Series
Skylanders #2 (Of 5)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #40 GeekMom Recommended
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ghostbusters #2 (Of 4)
Transformers Drift Empire Of Stone #1 (Of 4) New Mini-Series
Transformers More Than Meets The Eye #35
Transformers Vs G.I. JOE #4
X-Files Year Zero #5 (Of 5) Final Issue
Aliens Fire And Stone #3 (Of 4)
Arkwright Integral HC
Axe Cop Vol. 6 The American Choppers TP
Bad Blood TP
Baltimore The Wolf And The Apostle #2 (Of 2)
Borgias HC
Captain Midnight #17
Chronicles Of Conan Vol. 28 Blood And Ice And Other Stories TP
Colder The Bad Seed #2 New Serires
Conan The Avenger #8
Elfquest The Final Quest #6
Father’s Day #2 (Of 4)
Grindhouse Doors Open At Midnight Double Feature Vol. 2 Bride Of Blood And Flesh Feast Of The Devil Doll TP
Halo Escalation #12
Hellboy Weird Tales HC
Massive #29
Mind MGMT #28
POP #4 (Of 4) Final Issue
Satoshi Kon’s OPUS TP
Sundowners #4
Tales Of An Imperfect Future HC
Terminator Salvation The Final Battle Vol. 1 TP
Tomb Raider #10
Usagi Yojimbo Senso #5 (Of 6) Kid Friendly
Vandroid TP
White Suits TP

Acronym Key: VC = Variant Cover / HC = Hard Cover / TP = Trade Paperback