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The Initiative

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Or – “Named For The Roman God Martius, God Of War…”   Not to be confused with famed Martian general Marvin, whose computers are so complex and naughty… Traditionally, this month has signaled the beginning of the season of military campaigns, and also the time when college basketball generals lead their troops unto the field of battle. For me, working in small-market TV for as long as I did, it’s a month which signals mighty pains in the butt, which explains why this is technically the FEBRUARY edition of RFR. We apologize for the inconvenience… Better to just press on.

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Or – “Where’s My Santa On The Shaver, Dammit?” Sometimes the holidays turn into a blur of food and family and spectacle, like the Roman Empire right before the Dark Ages. When that happens, it’s good to have Rapid Fire Reviews: Reading the comics, so you don’t have to!

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Or – “I Decided To Trick Or Treat With My Kid Instead… Sorry.” The MUSIC MEEEISSSSTERRRR! Sing the song that the world wants to heeeear! Man, I’ve had that stuck in my head for WEEKS, now. This particular RFR was meant to go up last week, just in time for the annual festival of half-price chocolate, but various things conspired to keep me from completing it until today. For those of you who can’t get enough comic review goodness, I’ve got the cowbell to slake your fever, and it’s time to ask ourselves, baby, what’s the word? In the words

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Avatar PressAvengersBlackest NightBooster GoldDark ReignDCDestroyerDoctor WhoDoom PatrolEx MachinaFeaturedFinal Crisis Aftermath - DanceGreen Lantern CorpsHellblazerHouse Of MysteryIDW PublishingImage ComicsIncredible HerculesJustice League of AmericaLife And Times of Savior 28MarvelMarvel Comics PresentsMAXNo HeroProofRapid Fire ReviewsReviewThe InitiativeThunderboltsUncanny X-MenVertigoWildstorm

Or – “Hey, Vent! You Ready To Move Out?” When you read monthly comic books the way that I do, often times you get to the point where you feel like you know what’s coming, when every title feels like you’ve read it before. On the other hand, you have the odd experience where you read a title or issues that you KNOW you’ve read before, but you cannot for the life of you remember how it’s supposed to end. With over a hundred monthly titles coming out, sometimes you need to play catchup, you need to go where everybody

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Or – “Most People Don’t Know That His Full Name Is Manuel Labór.”   So, I have completed my daily labors, overseeing the dozen fellers and gals what make up the current workgroup to call themselves Team RamRod (“See, you’re Arkot Ramathorn… Ram. And I’m Rodney Farva… Rod. Team RamRod!”) and I am preparing to have some spaghetti and hang out with friends, but first I wanted to catch up with some of the many titles that I’ve neglected over the busy last days of August… RAPID-FIRE REVIEW TIME!

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Or – “Sir, I Protest! I Am NOT A Merry Man!!!” Once again, we’ve come to the situation where Stately Spoilers Manor contains far more comics than there are days to review ’em, leading once again unto the Final Frontier… NUQNEH – NOOKNEHH! Phasers on summarize!

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Or – “Cut Me Some Slack, I Been Working For A Promotion…” My day gig is a study in many things…  Management theories.  Inappropriate dress.  The mating habits of the Bisexuals Of The Plains.  But one thing that it is not, and has never been, is uncomplicated.  Thus, I have come to you, our Faithful Spoilerites, with another batch of mini-reviews, just like a Chili’s mini-burger entree only less likely to make your @$$ look like a truck.  (Also, be aware that I just barely decided not to do this one in limerick form, in honor o’ th’ wearin’ o’ the

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AvengersMarvelReviewThe Initiative

Or – “The Answer To The Question We’ve All Been Asking…” Since the return of the heroes duplicated by Skrulls, my particular corner of comics fandom has been asking the question: Could this be Marvel’s way of writing the spousal abuse out of the backstory of one of their founding Avengers?  The answer comes this issue, along with some other surprises, and at least one moment of pure shock, and a wonderful moment for an old supporting character that pushes her towards top-tier status…  Whattaya waiting for?  Click and let’s get goin’!

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AvengersMarvelReviewThe Initiative

Or – “Ballistic: Stark Vs. Rhodes. One of the mysteries of Avengers: The Initiative so far is how a hero like War Machine, with a history of fighting AGAINST human rights violations and disliking Tony Stark’s manipulative side, ever got involved with a para-military superhuman strike force in the first place.  An answer or two is forthcoming in this issue, which also features a graduation, a resignation, and Iron Man not being the world’s biggest tool.  But the bigger question is:  WHO IS THE NEW 3-D MAN???

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Or – “It’s Too Bad That The New Warriors Don’t Have Their Own Book… Wait, What?” With all things Skrullapalooza breaking loose in the Marvel Universe, it’s sometimes hard to remember that OTHER storylines are in media res.  The threads of disaster that were set up in the very first issue of this book have finally woven together into an indian couch blanket of lies, deceit, death, and payback, and like most couch blankets, it’s rough, unattractive, and something stinks.  Get your scorecards ready and prepare to check off characters who get squished, stabbed, and lit on fire, folks, because this battle is

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MarvelReviewThe InitiativeThe Order

Or – “Would It Be Unprofessional To Announce That This Issue Is My Last?” I often worry about the fine line between criticism and opinion, between “I don’t like it” and “I don’t get it.” Certainly, there’s no 100% reliable way to remove the subjectivity from my recaps, and I’ll always have my preferences and peccadilloes, but when a book comes out that obviously SOMEBODY thinks was a great idea, I wonder if it’s just me. The first issue of The Order left me cold, focusing on a character who is supposed to be a hero, but frankly comes across

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MarvelOmega FlightReviewThe Initiative

Or – “I’m Not Sure How I Feel About The Overall Effect Of This Series…” Alpha Flight, as an entity, has had a difficult run. The original series wasn’t really effective when they were doing standard-issue superheroics, but didn’t quite gel when they went another direction. The second run was marred (in my opinion) by trying to turn it into an X-Men riff, and the third series’ tongue-in-cheek tone didn’t seem to go over with the readers, leading to the team being fed to a villain to up the ante for the New Avengers. Given the fact that most of

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AvengersMarvelNaked UltronReviewThe Initiative

Or – “For The Love Of Pie, SOMEBODY Do SOMETHING!!” It’s been a little more than two months since we saw the last issue of Mighty Avengers, and, I admit it, I whined about the last issue. Indeed, I’ve whined about the last three issues, with their glacial plot development, tons of cheesecake shots and still almost no hints as to what in the Aitch-Ee-Double-Hockey-Sticks is going on. Finally, we have some developments on the explanatory front, but is it enough to overcome seventy-odd pages of standing around saying one thing while thinking another?

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MarvelReviewSub-MarinerThe Initiative

Or – “Namor’s Credo: If Excessive Force Fails, You Didn’t Use Enough.” That’s one of the sonar images you never want to see, along with a close-up of a torpedo, or a sexually excited blue whale. In each case, even if you survive, you’ll never quite be the same again. Issue #1 of the Sub-Mariner mini got a pass when I thumbed through the Previews catalog, but I picked it up on a slow Sunday, just to kill time, and found myself engrossed by a political allegory with a uncompromising, principled, though unbending main character. Namor the first, scion of

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