Greetings from the Odinson,
It’s time for Odinson’s 2013: The Year in Review!
Part 1: The Comics
Age of Ultron – The unthinkable has finally happened. For years, the robotic killing machine known as Ultron has returned after each defeat more dangerous than before, and the Avengers have always been able to stop him, but not this time. Ultron is back and this time not even Earth’s Mightiest Heroes can stop him. In fact, the battle has already happened, and the world’s heroes have been dismantled and scattered across the globe. The story begins when a small band of survivors mount a desperate counterstrike.
Ultron is, without a doubt, one of the scariest Big Bads in comics and one the Odinson’s all time favorite super villains. And, moving forward, I believe writers and editors will be hard pressed to top the scenario that was laid out in this Big Event storyline. The story starts off truly epic. Our heroes’ backs are against the wall, and they are thrust into an impossible situation. Where the tale falls apart for me is the use of the convoluted, overused plot device known as “time-travel.” Yawn! Plus, the scene in the present when our last survivors mount a final assault on Ultron’s stronghold seemed poorly thought out, especially for an attack led by Captain America and Nick Fury. That whole part and the final solution just seemed like a give up to the Odinson.
The creators do get a B+ for effort though. The set-up was great, the artwork for the tale was amazing, but the climax of the tale just didn’t deliver. Age of Ultron did however set-up a couple of very interesting developments. Because of the time-traveling shenanigans of the Marvel Heroes, rifts in time and space have been torn open and the walls between realities have been toppled. The mighty Galactus of the 616 has invaded the Ultimate Universe in the pages of Cataclysm and the Spawn-hunting angelic warrior Angela has invaded the 616 in the pages of Guardians of the Galaxy. Both of these unexpected arrivals could mean major changes in both universes. Odinson Rating: 3 out of 5 Hammers
Trinity War/Forever Evil – It all starts when the New 52 is rocked by a three-way battle between the Justice League, the government-sponsored Justice League of America, and the supernatural Justice League Dark! When the world’s greatest hero seemingly commits an act so unimaginable that the very fabric of the DCU is turned upside, Batman, the Phantom Stranger and others embark on a quest to discover the terrible truth. What they uncover is a dark conspiracy that unfolds before them and leaves the world shrouded in darkness.
In the aftermath of Trinity War, the World’s Greatest Super Heroes are no more and EVIL takes power in the DCU. Right out of the gate it gets really bad! With the Justice League gone, Nightwing and the Teen Titans easily defeated, and the world’s communications and power gone, the Earth falls into chaos and disorder. The delicious twist to this epic tale is that the only ones who can save us are the very individuals whom we’ve been afraid of for so long. For years Big Bads like Lex Luthor, Black Adam, Black Manta, and The Rogues have been the scourge of the DCU, and you know that they would never share the world. As The Chronicles of Riddick have taught us – “In normal times, evil would be fought by good. But in times like these, well, it should be fought by another kind of evil.” Bring on the Bad Guys! Odinson Rating: 4 out of 5 Hammers
Infinity – When the Avengers assemble and blast off to the far side of the galaxy to deal with a coming threat, Thanos invades Earth. Will the Avengers survive their ordeal against an ancient evil that has brought the mightiest universal empires to their knees? And how will Earth survive the Mad Titan when its mightiest champions are not home to defend it?
What is Thanos looking for? A king will fall! And the outcome of the final battle will change the landscape of the Marvel Universe forever (see Inhumanity)! The writing and artwork in this event is top notch. This is a truly epic adventure worthy of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Odinson Rating: 4 out of 5 Hammers
The Star Wars – A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…the tale of Star Wars was very different. This is the Star Wars that could have been. Dark Horse adapts George Lucas’ original screenplay for the story that would one day blow the minds of movie-goers and revolutionize the sci-fi/fantasy genre.
The Odinson is very excited to read Lucas’ original vision and I’m glad Dark Horse is putting this out. But I am here to say that what we ended up with in 1977 was by far and away the best Star Wars. Odinson Rating: 3 out of 5 Hammers
Death of the Family – The Clown Prince of Crime returns and oh, boy, is he deadlier than ever. The Joker knows a secret and it just may destroy the Bat-Family. One by one, the Progeny of the Bat falls. And as Nightwing, Robin, Batgirl, Red Hood, and Red Robin go M.I.A., the Dark Knight Detective races against the clock to protect his own. Nobody is safe in this nail-biter. Not even the Joker’s own girlfriend, Harley Quinn.
Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo continue to hit on all cylinders as they explore the Joker’s twisted point of view on what his relationship is with the Caped Crusader. Odinson Rating: 4 out of 5 Hammers
When Worlds Collide – On the Mount Rushmore of video game icons, alongside Mario and Pac-Man, you’ll find Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man. This amazing crossover sees these two video game legends team up to take on an army of their toughest adversaries and the diabolical team-up of their greatest foes Doctor Ivo and Doctor Wily! This crossover event is a no-brainer and simply a must read for video game fans. Odinson Rating: 5 out of 5 Hammers
Afterlife with Archie – What happens when the zombie apocalypse invades Riverdale? Get ready for an Archie story the likes of which have never been seen before. When Jughead is infected with a zombie virus, his legendary appetite turns from hamburgers and pizza to brains! The sunny landscape of Riverdale quickly descends into horror and madness as the plague of the undead washes over Archie’s world and the Riverdale Gang’s daily routine of mischief turns into a fight for survival. This is a bold direction for a classic and a wonderful twist for longtime Archie fans and fans of the zombie genre alike. Odinson Rating: 4 out of 5 Hammers
Wolverine: Killable – This is a tale that has been long overdue. Once upon a time, Wolverine was the best there was at what he did, and what he did was not very nice. He was the most feared fighter in the Marvel Universe. The problem is he has the most ridiculous of all super hero powers…a healing factor. I’ve talked at length in the past about how much of a crutch this particular super power is. It’s lazy storytelling. If there is no danger of your main character getting hurt or dying then there is no drama.
Well, Logan’s legendary ability to heal is no more. When Wolverine’s mutant healing factor goes away, the ole Canuckle-Head sets out on a quest to get it back. However, he will have to learn to survive without his greatest asset. I’m very excited about this tale because hopefully Logan will learn once again that he is one of the greatest fighters in the world and he doesn’t have to take shots and blows that would kill a normal man in order to win a fight. Guys like Batman and Daredevil get by just fine without a “healing factor” and Wolverine can too. Odinson Rating: 4 out of 5 Hammers
The comic companies really delivered some twists and turns in 2013. I’d have to say it was a pretty darn good year for the four-color format. Be here next week when the Odinson is sure to get some cheers (and jeers) for his 2013 the Year in Review: Movies and Television.
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell