GeekMom: Comic Book Corner — Lois Lane, Guardians of the Galaxy, and The X-Files

Corrina highly recommends Superman: Lois Lane #1
Corrina highly recommends Superman: Lois Lane #1

Happy Comic Release Day! Welcome to another installment of GeekMom Comic Book Corner, where we recap our adventures in comics for the week. Corrina enjoys looking at Lois Lane #1, Dakster dives into the latest Guardians of the Galaxy, and Sophie takes us back into the world of The X-Files

Dakster Sullivan — Guardians of the Galaxy #11 by Brian Michael Bendis and art by Sara Pichelli

Guardians of the Galaxy #11  \ Image: Marvel
Guardians of the Galaxy #11 \ Image: Marvel

This week, I picked up and organized my growing stack of comics that I’ve been too lazy to put up. While going through and putting things away, I realized I had at least two issues of Guardians of the Galaxy in there I hadn’t read. With the recent trailer still playing in my head and “Hooked on a Feeling” still loud and clear, I picked up the issue with excitement to catch up.

The issue is pretty simple in the fact that it’s a lead up comic to The Trial of Jean Grey – X-Men/Guardians of the Galaxy story arc where Jean Grey is taken and held for her crimes against humanity while she was possessed by the Phoenix force.

If you’re reading Wolverine and the X-Men this issue will help you understand why Jean was kidnapped and why Quill and his team made their appearance in the last issue. I have high hopes for the story arc even though I’m likely to just wait till it comes out in graphic novel format before I read it.

What I enjoyed about this issue was the interaction between Gamora and Angela. Angela’s “noble warrior” outlook is amusing when it mixes with Gamora’s “assassin” style. Personally, I’d love to read a one-shot with just these two going after some Marvel baddie in a “girls night out” kind of thing.

Curious to know what I’m pulling this week? Check out my pull list on Comixology.

Corrina — Superman: Lois Lane #1, written by Marguerite Bennett, pencils by Emmanuela Lupacchino, Meghan Hetrick, Ig Guara, and Diogenes Neves. 

After years of DC Comics seemingly hoping Lois Lane will just fade into the background after they retconned out the super-marriage and marginalized her as a reporter (not to mention the various deaths), she’s back in full force in this one-shot out today. You should buy it. Not just to show support for a character that inspired me to become a journalist or because it focuses on Lois’ relationship with her younger sister, Lucy, but because it’s a pretty fun story, though not without flaws.

This story is sort of an origin for Lois in the new 52 universe, and it’s really two stories in one. The first is her growing up as a military brat, her difficult relationship with her sister and her father, and her strong and solid relationship with her late mother. The second is Lois at her investigative best as Lucy’s roommate has been taken by some sort of military-types. Lois promises Lucy to find her friend but it quickly becomes more complicated than that.

You won’t find Superman in this story at all. Lois is strong and capable and I really like who designed her clothes for this issue, as they avoid the overly revealing nonsense that sometimes afflicts all women of the DCU. The monsters (one of which is on the cover) are rendered in scary form and the action moves well. What prevents this story from being excellent instead of very good is some disjointed panel-to-panel storytelling that made me stop a few times and re-read. I’m not sure if that’s because of the number of artists on this title or not. I disliked being reminded of Lois’ current boyfriend, a cardboard character, but that’s hardly the fault of this story.

This is only a one-shot but if the issue sells well, DC may decide to feature Lois more. That’s the final reason to buy it. More Lois please!

Sophie Brown — The X-Files Conspiracy: Transformers by Paul Crilley and art by Dheeraj Verma

The X-Files Conspiracy: Transformers  \ Image: IDW Publishing
The X-Files Conspiracy: Transformers \ Image: IDW Publishing

Transformers is a franchise that has somewhat passed me by, so the thought of it crossing over with my beloved X-Files didn’t thrill me as much as some other issues in this series. I wasn’t entirely sure how the Gunmen were going to deal with seeing giant alien robots; after all the aliens on The X-Files were always significantly more subtle. Turns out they deal with it in pretty much the same way most of us would: First they’re confused, then they realize this is pretty “awesome,” and finally Langly starts riding around inside Bumblebee screaming, “yee hah!”

The artwork in Conspiracy: Transformers is somewhat darker than the previous issues which is in stark contrast to the dialogue, thus making the whole issue feel a little off-kilter. There’s some really beautiful full page panels and the lighting throughout the entire issue is spectacular; I think it’s by far my favorite artwork of the series so far although there are a few facial closeups that are dramatically off.

The dialogue is very light with a lot of humor and a few nice tie-ins to The X-Files. Mulder gets a short cameo too as he did in the previous issue; it would be nice to see Scully cameo instead for a change. We get a bit more added to the story arc with some explanation of what is going on regarding the mutated alien virus and how it has been developed but soon we’re back to the action with a good, old-fashioned raid on a research facility. It just wouldn’t be The X-Files without one!

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

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100 Bullets Brother Lono #8 (Of 8)
Adventures Of Superman #10
All-Star Western #28
Aquaman #28
Batman Superman #8
Batman The Dark Knight #28
Beware The Batman #5
Catwoman #28
DC Universe Presents Vol. 3 Black Lightning And Blue Devil TP
DC Universe Vs The Masters Of The Universe #5 (Of 6)
Dead Boy Detectives #3
Flash #28
Forever Evil A.R.G.U.S. #5 (Of 6)
Justice League Dark #28
Larfleeze #8
MAD Magazine #526
Scooby-Doo Where Are You #42 Kid Friendly
Superman #28
Superman Lois Lane #1 One Shot
Talon #16
Teen Titans #28
Threshold Vol. 1 The Hunted TP
Unknown Soldier TP
Wake #6 (Of 10)
Worlds’ Finest #20 GM
Amazing Spider-Man The Art Of The Movie Slipcase HC
Avengers Assemble #24
Captain America Winter Soldier HC
Cataclysm The Ultimates’ Last Stand #5 (Of 5)
Deadpool #24
Fantastic Four #1
George Romero’s Empire Of The Dead Act One #2 (Of 5)
Guardians Of The Galaxy #12 GM
Hawkeye #15
Indestructible Hulk #19
Marvel Masterworks The Fantastic Four Vol. 10 TP
Marvel Previews #127 (March 2014 For Products On-Sale May 2014)
Marvel Universe Ultimate Spider-Man #23
Mighty Avengers #7
Miracleman #3
Origin II #3 (Of 5)
Revolutionary War Supersoldiers #1 One Shot
Secret Avengers #16
Secret Avengers Vol. 2 Iliad TP
Secret Service TP
Superior Foes Of Spider-Man Vol. 1 Getting The Band Back Together TP
Superior Spider-Man #28
Superior Spider-Man Team-Up Vol. 1 Versus TP
Thor By Walter Simonson Vol. 4 TP
Thunderbolts #22
Uncanny Avengers #17
Uncanny Avengers Vol. 1 The Red Shadow TP
Wolverine #2
Wolverine And The X-Men #42 GM
X-Force By Craig Kyle And Chris Yost The Complete Collection Vol. 1 TP
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G.I. JOE The Complete Collection Vol. 4 HC
Ghostbusters #13
Judge Dredd #16
Magic The Gathering Theros #5 (Of 5)
My Little Pony Friends Forever #2 Kid Friendly
Other Dead #6 (Of 6)
Powerpuff Girls #6 Kid Friendly
Samurai Jack Special Director’s Cut
Star Trek Vol. 2 Operation Annihilate HC
T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #6
T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents Vol. 1 TP
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles New Animated Adventures #8 Kid Friendly
Transformers Regeneration One #99
Wraith Welcome to Christmasland #4 (Of 7)
X-Files Conspiracy Transformers #1
Zombies Vs Robots No Man’s Land SC
Angel And Faith Vol. 5 What You Want Not What You Need TP
Breath Of Bones A Tale Of The Golem HC
Captain Midnight #8
Chronicles Of King Conan Vol. 7 Day Of Wrath And Other Stories TP
Creepy Comics Vol. 3 The Lurking Fate TP
Furious #2 (Of 5)
Halo Escalation #3
Incredible Adventures Of Dog Mendonca And Pizzaboy Vol. 2 Apocalypse TP
King Conan The Conqueror #1 (Of 6)
Mass Effect Foundation #8
Massive #20
Mind MGMT #19
Pariah #1 (Of 8)
Serenity Leaves On The Wind #2 (Of 6)
Star Wars Legacy II #12
Tomb Raider #1
Vandroid #1 (Of 5)

Acronym Key: VC = Variant Cover / HC = Hard Cover / TP = Trade Paperback / GM = GeekMom Recommended Reading

Avengers vs. X-Men Companion – Make Mine Marvel Part 2!

Avengers vs. X-Men Companion \ Image: Dakster Sullivan
Avengers vs. X-Men Companion \ Image: Dakster Sullivan

Avengers vs. X-Men is what made me a Marvel fan. I’ve always loved the X-Men because of the animated series, but the AVX event made me fall in love with the X-Men and the Avengers in their comic book world. While reading the AVX event I stuck to reading the main twelve-part mini-series and avoided the crossovers, mostly due to budgetary constraints. I’m never 100% sure about reading crossover titles because the cost involved is usually pretty high and this particular event had over fifty issues to keep up with–at $3.99 an issue, that would have cost me close to $200. I loved the AVX event so much though, I decided to pick this up to catch up on the action I missed!

Avengers vs. X-Men takes place after the unfortunate events of M-Day, when Scarlet Witch declares “no more mutants.” The main event focuses on the Avengers and the X-Men fighting over what to do with Hope, a teenage mutant messiah, and how to handle the incoming visit from the destructive Phoenix force.

I feel it’s important to mention that this book doesn’t have any extra fluff–introductions or behind-the-scenes anecdotes from the writers or artists. I think this is a shame and that it would have been nice to see a letter or intro from one of the writers. The only ancillary material included is a list of the issues. Even with this omission, however, the Avengers vs. X-Men Companion hardcover edition comes in at around four-pounds, considerably larger than the Avengers vs. X-Men main event hardcover.

In addition to cost, another problem I have with crossovers is that some of the books don’t actually have anything to do with the main event. After reading the companion novel, I realized that this event sets itself apart from the rest because, for the most part, each crossover in AVX explains something that happens in one of the twelve main issues. For example, the Shi’ar Death Commandos are mentioned briefly in one panel during AVX but you never actually see them until you read Wolverine and the X-Men #11.  Similarly, through New Avengers #27, we get to see how Spider-Man became Hope’s mentor in Avengers vs. X-Men #9 and their individual reactions to their new student / mentor relationship.

When I reviewed the Avengers vs. X-Men hardcover edition last year, my sole complaint about the book was that it didn’t include the crossover titles. After seeing the companion title and the AVX hardcover title side-by-side, I’m glad they decided to put them in two separate books. At a retail value of $99.00, the Avengers vs. X-Men Companion costs considerably less than buying each issue individually, so this is a great deal for anyone who enjoyed the AVX event but couldn’t keep up with the crossovers at the time. If you enjoy reading your comics digitally, you’ll really appreciate the inclusion of a free digital copy so that you can download the title through the Marvel or Comixology app and read it on your electronic device(s) (a $75 value). The digital copy takes up three digital volumes, and depending on your device, could be around 1gb or more of space per volume.

The Avengers vs. X-Men Companion is available on Amazon, Comixology and your local comic book store. I highly recommend you pick up the hardcover edition so you can get the digital volumes for free.

Disclaimer: GeekMom received  a review sample.

T-Shirt Halloween Costume Ideas

Clark Kent is a great inexpensive costume option for men, women and children!  Image: Dakster Sullivan
Clark Kent is a great inexpensive costume option for men, women, and children! Image: Dakster Sullivan

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and not because of the candy. I love to dress up in costumes. And even though I have two professional grade costumes in my arsenal of attire, I don’t wear either one of them on All Hallows Eve. Instead, I like to find cheap and creative ways to dress up as whatever floats my boat at the time.

This year, I’m going to be taking advantage of the t-shirt costumes out there and sporting a character from my childhood.

For those of you who love to dress up, but are on a budget, here are some great t-shirt costume ideas for you to consider.

For the Ladies

Phoenix Costume T-Shirt   Image: ThinkGeek
Phoenix Costume T-Shirt Image: ThinkGeek

Nothing says hot like the Phoenix power. With this t-shirt from ThinkGeek and some leggings, you are all set to take on the universe. Just try not to go all Dark Phoenix on us will you?

For the DC Comic fans, Batgirl and Wonder Woman are both great looking options. Just add some black or red leggings and you are all set to go kick some tail. For Batgirl’s look, you can add an inexpensive black mask to complete the costume.

If you prefer the sci-fi hotness of Star Trek over superheroes, check out this Star Trek uniform dress. To complete the look all you need are some black boots and you are all set to go.

You could also wield a sword and command the power of Greyskull as She-Ra

For the Guys

Walking Dead Costume Shirt   Image: Amazon
Walking Dead Costume Shirt Image: Amazon

How about going as a Ghostbuster? With some khaki pants and this costume t-shirt, you are all set to chase after some ghosts. If you want to spend some extra money, you can grab this Ghostbusters Proton Pack backpack to complete the look. Think of it as a wearable candy sack.

If you prefer a little more Star Wars in your attire, you could always grab this Stormtrooper costume t-shirtWith the right helmet, you might even fool a rebel.

Then again, who could say no to being “expendable”? This Star Trek shirt pretty much says it all and the best part? No extra accessories required. Just put on the shirt, grab your candy bag and head out the door.

For the superhero fans, check out the Spider-Man costume t-shirt. Grab some jeans and a Spider-Man mask and you are all set to be the famous webslinger.

While I don’t understand the whole Zombie thing, I’m sure those of you that do would appreciate this Walking Dead costume t-shirt. Just make sure you dead up your face before you head out for the night.

For the Kids

Batman Raincoat  Image: ThinkGeek
Batman Raincoat Image: ThinkGeek

Not sure about where you live, but here in Florida, mother nature likes to throw little rain storms in when they are least wanted. If your little one wants to be a superhero and you want them to stay dry, check out this awesome little raincoat. They get to have fun of dressing up as a superhero and you get some piece of mind that it’s okay for their costume to get wet.

Captain America is another easy option. All you need is a Captain America shirt, a cool shield, and a mask and you can let them loose.

My son loves anything that has a cape on the back, and that’s why this Superman t-shirt makes the list. No matter what they wear with it, they will look cool. Why? Because it has a cape. Duh!

For the toddlers who just want to hang out on the high seas all day, this pirate costume shirt comes in various colors to fit any pirates favorite color.

For a cute take on Kermit the frog, pick up a plain green t-shirt, some green face paint and a Kermit the Frog beanie hat for a cute variation on the famous Muppet. If your little one is not a big Muppet fan, check out these Angry Birds hats instead. With a plain color t-shirt and some jeans, they are all set to go after those piggies. This is also a neat idea for parents.

Unisex and All Ages Costumes

Harry Potter is fun for everyone which is why everyone can wear this Tri-wizard Tournament jersey. If the ladies want a little more form fitting shirt, check out this one. To complete the look, get yourself a wand and call it a night. The kids might need a smaller size so try this one out.

Superman can be handsome, sexy, or cute. Pick up a Superman logo shirt, a pair of black rimmed glasses, and a white button up shirt and you to can be Clark Kent/Superman!

The best part about t-shirt costumes is that you can wear them year round! That means you are definitely getting your money’s worth out of them.

Do you have an inexpensive costume idea? Share them with us in the comments. We’d love to hear them.