Thursday, February 26, 2015

In the Know: Morlocks

With Gina Carano cast as the Morlock Angel Dust in the Fox's upcoming Deadpool movie, who's to say what sort of role the tunnel-dwelling mutants will play in the film?  Either way, now's a good time to brush up on the Morlocks.

Essential Reading

Uncanny X-Men: Catacombs (Chris Claremont, Paul Smith and Walter Simonson) - Beginning in issue 169 (and continuing for two issues past the actual comic called "Catacombs") the X-Men meet a group of mutants, disfigured and forced to live apart from society, where they have found a place together in abandoned tunnels beneath New York.  Not only is this the first appearance of the Morlocks, but it showcases the iconic "no powers" battle between Storm and the Morlock leader Callisto.  We also meet Caliban (who later became a member of various X-Men teams) for the first time, who is smitten with Kitty Pryde and rescues her from fellow Morlock Plague. These issues are collected in Essential X-Men (Volume 4).

X-Men: Mutant Massacre (Chris Claremont, Louise Simonson, Walter Simonson, John Romita, Jr., and Sal Buscema) - This X-Men crossover sees the villainous mutant group The Marauders (whose ranks include Sabretooth, Harpoon, Scalphunter and Riptide) slaughter many of the Morlocks in the tunnels beneath New York before the combined efforts of the X-Men and several allies take them on to stop them.  There are many consequences to this battle that were felt throughout the Marvel Universe.

Recommended Reading

Uncanny X-Men: What Happened To Kitty? (Chris Claremont and John Romita, Jr.) - In issue #179 of Uncanny X-Men, the Morlocks kidnap Kitty Pryde to get her to fulfill her promise upon their first meeting: to marry Caliban.  Features the terrible powers of the Morlock Masque.  This is also collected in Essential X-Men (Volume 4).

Morlocks (Geoff Johns and Shawn Martinbrough) - A four-issue mini-series from 2002, this is where Angel Dust first appears, joining the Morlocks of Chicago after her mutant powers kicked in, and battling with the mutant-hunting sentinels.

Further Reading

Uncanny X-Men: All-New, All-Different...Here We Go Again (Chris Claremont and Jim Lee) - In Uncanny X-Men #254, Muir Island is under siege by the Reavers, the island now hosting several morlocks.  Meanwhile Callisto, in New York, is captured and tortured by Masque, who has taken leadership of the Morlocks.

Uncanny X-Men: The Extremists (Ed Brubaker and Salvador Larocca) - The X-Men investigate attacks in the Morlock tunnels as Masque reclaims leadership of the Morlocks.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Week In YES - 2/24

The Song To Listen To


"Spark" by Michelle Branch

The YA Book To Read


"This Sin Eater's Daughter" by Melinda Salisbury

The Comic To Enjoy


"Maria, the Virgin Witch (Volume 1)" by Masayuki Ishikawa

The Movie To See


"The Lazarus Effect"
Directed by David Gelb
Starring Olivia Wilde, Mark Duplass and Evan Peters

The Trailer To Watch


"Wayward Pines"

More To Say Yes To

This announcement


Neill Blomkamp confirmed to direct new Aliens movie.

This casting news


Morena Baccarin cast as love interest in "Deadpool."

And this casting news


Viola Davis will play Amanda Waller in "Suicide Squad."

This Blu-Ray/DVD release


Academy Award winner for Best Animated Film, "Big Hero 6"

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Week in YES - 2/17

The Song To Listen To


"Crazy In Love (Remix 2014)" by Beyoncé (From Fifty Shades of Grey)

The YA Book To Read


"The Bargaining" by Carly Anne West

The Comic To Enjoy


"The Walking Man: 10th Anniversary Edition" by Jiro Taniguchi

The Movie To See


"The DUFF"
Directed by Ari Sandel
Starring Bella Thorne, Mae Whitman and Robbie Amell

The Trailer To Watch


"Crimson Peak"

More To Say Yes To

This casting news


Gina Carano cast as Angel Dust in Fox's Deadpool

This movie poster

 
Guillermo del Toro's "Crimson Peak"
 
This music video
 
 
"Style" by Taylor Swift, featuring a yummy Dominic Sherwood
 
This man's ass
 
 
Jamie Dornan in "Fifty Shades of Grey"


Thursday, February 12, 2015

In the Know: Magik

Marvel has announced a new Inferno series from Dennis Hopeless and Javier Garron, spinning out of Marvel's upcoming mega-event Battleworld.  The series will feature Colossus on a quest to save his sister Illyana, at the same time that Illyana,better known as X-Man Magik, is busy indulging in her badassery in this Hell-on-Earth.  So, what better time to get acquainted with Magik?  I love this part of the X-Men universe.

Essential Reading

X-Men: Inferno (Louise Simonson, Chris Claremont, Steve Engelhart, Gerry Conway, Ann Nocenti, Walter Simonson and various) - When Magik leads her fellow New Mutants on a routine trip to Limbo, they find themselves trapped, and Illyana is tricked into opening a portal to Earth that allows hordes of demons to descend upon Manhattan.  Her soul is on the line, as her final transformation into the demonic Darkchylde is close at hand.

Magik: Illyana and Storm (Chris Claremont, John Buscema and various) - A four issue mini-series that explains Illyana's sudden growth from a child to a young adult in the pages of X-Men, in which she spends seven years in Limbo, raised by the demon Belasco, her soul compromised, and gifted with magical properties.

Recommended Reading

Excalibur: Soul Sword Trilogy (Warren Ellis, Terry Dodson and various) - You can find this story collected in Excalibur Visionaries: Warren Ellis (Volume 1).  Illyana has died of The Legacy Virus and has passed her legendary Soulsword on to her best friend, Kitty Pryde, who begins to act strangely.  Several different interested parties from the magical corners of the Marvel Universe converge to take control of the weapon.  This story features Amanda Sefton, Nightcrawler's sorceress girlfriend, who will eventually become the next Magik in the X-Men: Black Sun mini-series.  Although to really see the fallout from this storyline, you have to read Excalibur's confrontation with Margali Szardos and Belasco in Limbo in X-Men Unlimited #19 (and I recommend reading Excalibur: London Burning before picking that up).

New X-Men: Quest For Magik (Christopher Yost & Skottie Young) and X-Infernus (C.B. Cebulski & Giuseppe Camuncoli) - Amanda Sefton is driven out of Limbo by Belasco, who has stolen the Soulsword from her.  Belasco also resurrected Illyana, as he is in love with her, although he ultimately deems her resurrection a failure, as she appears soulless. Illyana reclaims her mantle as Magik, while proving just how dark and untrustworthy her demon nature makes her, and confronts the current owner of her soul (in the form of her Bloodstone amulet), Belasco's daughter Witchfire.

Further Reading

X-Men: Magik (Andy Lanning, Dan Abnett and Liam McCormick-Sharp) - Amanda Sefton, as Magik, conquers Limbo alongside her boyfriend Nightcrawler, stopping the likes of Mephisto, Nightmare and Dormammu from their attempts to invade Earth.

Exiles #22-45 (Exiles: Legacy, Exiles: Unnatural Instincts, Exiles: Fantastic Voyage and Exiles: A Blink in Time) - The Magik of Earth-4210 was a wild card member of the team of dimension-jumping characters, and possibly the most bad-ass and memorable.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Week in YES - 2/11

The Song To Listen To


"Ain't Gonna Drown" by Elle King

The YA Book To Read


"Red Queen" by Victoria Aveyard

The Comic To Enjoy


"Love and Rockets: New Stories (Volume 7) TP" by Gilbert Hernandez and Jaime Hernandez

The Movie To See


Kingsman: The Secret Service
Directed by Matthew Vaughn
Starring Colin Firth, Taron Egerton and Samuel L. Jackson

The Trailer To Watch


Poltergeist (2015)

More To Say Yes To

This announcement


A-Force - An all-female Avengers team.

And this announcement


Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures announce that Spider-Man will appear in future Marvel Studios film, and Marvel Studios characters may appear in upcoming Spider-Man films.

Then this announcement

 

DC Comics diversifies comics line, launches 24 new titles, including Black Canary, Bat-Mite, Bizarro, Mystic U, Robin: Son of Batman, Starfire and Prez: First Teen President.  Finally, DC sees that creativity coming before continuity is a good thing.

This open letter


Shirley Manson of Garbage calls out Kanye West on being an asshat.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

The Week In YES

The Song To Listen To


"Sea Creatures" by SOAK

The YA Book To Read



This 2014 Michael L. Printz Award Winner was announced on Monday.
"I'll Give You the Sun" by Jandy Nelson

The Comic To Enjoy


Guardians of the Galaxy and the X-Men
The Black Vortex: Alpha (Sam Humphries & Ed McGuinness)

The Movie To See


Jupiter Ascending
Directed by Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski
Starring Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis

The Trailer To Watch


Marvel's Daredevil

More To Say Yes To

This poster


This casting news


Nick Jonas joins Jamie Lee Curtis, Emma Roberts, Lea Michelle, Joe Manganiello and Ariana Grande for Ryan Murphy's Scream Queens.

And this casting news


Felicity Jones in talks to star as female lead in upcoming stand-alone Star Wars spin-off.

This costume design


Brandon Routh as The Atom on Arrow.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

In the Know: The Red Room

Last week's Marvel's Agent Carter had some scenes showcasing young girls being trained as spies and brutal combatants in Russia, the same program that Black Widow stems from.  The infamous "Red Room" and the widow's origins, are sure to be make an appearance in the next Marvel movie, Avengers: Age of Ultron, if the trailer is any indication, and will likely be featured prominently in future episodes of Marvel's Agent Carter.  So what better excuse to take a good look at some Black Widow comics?

Essential Reading

Black Widow: The Itsy-Bitsy Spider (Devin Grayson & J.G. Jones) - Features Natasha as the kick-ass spy we know her to be.  This is probably the best solo story featuring the Avenger.  This also prominently features Yelena Belova, the blonde, next generation Black Widow who still works as a spy for Russia (she had made a brief appearance previously, but this is where she was extensively used for the first time). 

Black Widow: Breakdown (Devin Grayson, Greg Rucka & Scott Hampton) - Following The Itsy-Bitsy Spider is this cool story featuring the Black Widows switching bodies, with Daredevil thrown into the mix.

Both storylines were collected together in a trade paperback if you can find it. 

Suggested Reading

Black Widow: Pale Little Spider (Greg Rucka & Igor Kordey) - This is kind of a messed-up story featuring Yelena Belova exclusively.  This was released under the MAX mature readers imprint, and really digs into this character.

Thunderbolts: Widowmaker (Andy Diggle & Roberto Del La Torre) - Yelena joins the Thunderbolts, as one of Norman Osborn's black-ops agents.  Oh, but there are twists and turns as the Thunderbolts hunt down former teammate Songbird.  This is a great story for Black Widow.

Black Widow: The Name of the Rose (Marjorie Liu & Daniel Acuna) - This is the first collection of an ongoing series from the creative team, with some great spy action featuring Natasha.

Further Reading

Black Widow: Homecoming (Richard K. Morgan & Bill Sienkiewicz)

Black Widow: The Things They Say About Her (Richard K. Morgan, Sean Phillips & Bill Sienkiewicz) - Both of these books feature some great art, and really dig into The Red Room.

Winter Soldier by Ed Brubaker: The Complete Collection (Ed Brubaker, Butch Guice & Michael Lark) - Black Widow is featured heavily in this series that ran for fourteen issues, and people seem to really like her in it, although I haven't had the chance to read it yet.