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Wacky Wizard Games Imprint and Three New Games Announced by @wwizardgames

Wise Wizard Games announced the launch of Wacky Wizard Games, a new brand imprint focused on family-friendly, lightweight games. Three games are planned for release in 2024 as part of this new brand imprint: Star Realms Academy, Caution Signs, and Pack the Essentials. If you are interested and attending PAX Unplugged they will have prototypes of Caution Signs and Pack the Essentials. "We are super excited to be adding this new family friendly product line to our catalog. We wanted to maintain the focus of Wise Wizard Games on strategy card and dice games with geeky themes, and have created Wacky Wizard Games as an umbrella for lightweight games with a more whimsical, cute vibe," shared Debbie Moynihan, COO of Wise Wizard Games. Star Realms Academy Forge your own star realms, overloaded with cuteness! A kid friendly but still fun for grown-ups version of the popular Star Realms deckbuilding game for 2 players. A little less math, no reading necessary, but still tons of fun! 

@JohnMcCubbin3 Reviews: @Marvel All-New X-Men #8, Age of Ultron #2, Avenging Spider-Man #18

All-New X-Men #8 CoverAge of Ultron #2 CoverAvenging Spider-Man #18 Cover

Here are today's "Guest Reviews" by John McCubbin from Imagination Centre. Included are Marvel's; All-New X-Men #8, Age of Ultron #2, and Avenging Spider-Man #18. I have also added my rating after each review. If you have any questions about my rating or want to discuss anything just leave me a comment.

See the Review Rating Overview page for more information on how I rate each comic.

All-New X-Men #8

Guest-starring the Avengers!

How will the Earth's Mightiest Heroes react to the time-swept X-Men?


Avengers, Meet the Original X-Men

I have really been enjoying this series so far, and it has been one of my favorite series in the Marvel NOW! concept. Although it's not been the most consistent of the Marvel NOW! series, it has been very fun, and there hasn't been one issue that I didn't enjoy.


The younger Angel gets to have some time with the current Angel, and isn't too happy with what he hears. Also HYDRA attack Avengers Tower, and the Avengers pay Wolverine's X-Men a visit.


Another brilliant issue, and although not the best issue in the series it's still one of the better. After reading the disappointing Age of Ultron #1 I was happy to be reminded with this issue that Brian Michael Bendis isn't a rubbish writer all the time. Bendis has done a brilliant job of integrating the younger X-Men with the current, and I have enjoyed what I've seen so far. Bendis continues to give us plenty of action in this issue, and also gives us some funny moments, and some questionable ones. Bendis also did a not too bad job on the Avengers for many years, so it was nice to see him write them again. When I see his writing in series like this, and Guardians of the Galaxy I question why he produces comics like Age of Ultron #1.

David Marquez' artwork continues to amaze me, and I'm actually sad to see him leave this series (at least he'll be returning to Ultimate Comics Spider-Man). Nothing against Stuart Immonen's art, as I'm looking forward to seeing him back as the artist of this series, but I was really enjoying seeing Marquez' art on this series as it's phenomenal. Marquez' art is very detailed, and there isn't one panel that lacks detail. I also like the way that Marquez shows the emotions in the characters, as I liked that the sequence between the two Angel's had a lot of puzzled, and fun expressions, whereas the sequence with the young Jean Grey at the end was a bit more serious. I also love how Marquez draws action sequences as they are stunning. I really hope that Marquez get's put on one of the big Marvel NOW! titles on a permanent basis, as he is a brilliant artist.

Read the rest of John McCubin's Review on Comic Vine

My Rating

Cover & Solicit - 4/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 5/5
Layout & Flow - 5/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 4.4

Age of Ultron #2 - Book Two

For years the heroes of the Marvel Universe have lived in fear that the artificial intelligence known as Ultron would one day evolve to fulfill its desire to wipe out all organic life and take over the Earth -- that day has arrived. This massive 10-part Marvel Universe-spanning event is brought to you by Eisner award-winning writer Brian Michael Bendis and comics legend Bryan Hitch.


Not the Kind of Series I Expected

I'd been looking forward to this series for well over a year, ever since it was teased in Avengers #12.1. I have to say however that after reading the first issue last week I was very disappointed, and this series has been nothing like I expected.


Black Widow is walking through the apocalyptic wasteland and gets attacked by a man with a gun, but fortunately Moon Knight's near by. Meanwhile Spider-Man is still recovering in an underground bunker which is home to the remaining 7,000 superheroes in New York City, and tells how he woke up to this nightmare, and how he was kidnapped.


This series just keeps disappointing me more and more. I wanted to give the first issue the benefit of the doubt, as it's the start of a new series, but I can't believe that it's followed by an even worse issue. I know that Brian Michael Bendis can produce some amazing work, as his current work on All-New X-Men, and Guardians of the Galaxy has been outstanding, but he's not showing that here. To be fair his Avengers run was a bit inconsistent, and with this being his final work on an Avengers based story I'm upset to see it as poor as this. The story is basically how people are living in an apocalyptic world, and isn't progressing much. To be honest I'm not overly surprised as the Avengers vs. X-Men event last much longer than it needed to. For starters the contents of both issues could have been condensed into one issue, but even then the series would be still too long. If you look at the great Marvel events like Civil War, Siege, or Fear Itself, none lasted more than seven issues, with the shortest of them being only four. I also don't like that we've had no explanation as to how all this happened. Fair enough what happened to Spider-Man was slightly interesting, but it was unnecessary and made the story drag on.

The art on the other hand was once again phenomenal, and Bryan Hitch has really outdone himself on this series. His work on The Ultimates, and Fantastic Four was brilliant, and his current work on America's Got Powers was also fantastic, but they are nowhere near as good as his art on this series. His art is simply phenomenal, and the detail is superb. To be honest I can live with this series as long as the art stays like this, as it's truly worth it, but at the end of the day I'm hoping for a brilliant story, and no matter how good the art is I'll still be upset if it isn't. I also love the emotion that Hitch puts into the characters, as you can really feel what they're feeling, whether sadness, exhaustion, or anger. Paul Mounts colors are also fabulous and make Hitch's art look very lively, and set's the mood perfectly.

Read the rest of John McCubin's Review on Comic Vine

My Rating

Cover & Solicit - 3/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 3/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 3/5

Verdict - 3.1

Avenging Spider-Man #18

The Superior Spider-Man faces off with THOR, GOD OF THUNDER!

The return of ELECTRO!

Can the Superior Spider-Man and Thor set aside their differences -- and EGOS -- to save the world? SPOILER: No! They can't!



The Age of Ultron Has Finally Arrived

I got this series for quite a while, but dropped it as I could only afford one Spider-Man series so haven't read many since issue 8. I did however get issue 15.1 due to it having the The Amazing Spider-Man #700 aftermath, but it wasn't good enough for me to keep getting. I have however heard brilliant things about this issue, and with one of my favorite artists Marco Checchetto working on it I had to get it.


Electro has returned, and he's enlisted the help of A.I.M. to transform him into something capable of killing Thor, with Spider-Man (Doctor Octopus) stuck in the middle.


I was very surprised with this issue, as despite hearing great things about it, I never expected it to be as good as it was. As some of you may know, I've had no love for the Superior Spider-Man series, feeling that making Doc Ock Spider-Man isn't working, but this issue shows that it can. Christopher Yost has done a beyond excellent job on this issue, and he's done a better job on this one issue than Dan Slott has done on the entire Superior Spider-Man series so far. Although I wasn't fond of Yost's work on his opening issue in this series, #15.1, I did think that he had the ability to make something out of this series, as that issue wouldn't have given him much creative opportunity. To be honest I can't fault anything about his writing, as the story was very interesting, exciting, and entertaining, and he wrote all the character's brilliantly, even Doc Ock as Spidey. I'm being a bit unfair there, he did a phenomenal job of writing Doc Ock as Spidey. If I never thought I'd be interested in Dock Ock as Spidey, but Yost wrote him in a way that showed the arrogance, and menace of Doc Ock, as well as showing the partial change in his characteristics, which made him a surprisingly interesting character, something that Slott hasn't done so far in Superior Spider-Man.

I love Marco Checchetto's artwork, and as I said it was the main thing that persuaded me to get this issue (besides the good response), and it didn't disappoint. I was so upset when I heard that he couldn't work on the Punisher: War Zone series, as I loved his art on the main The Punisher series, but I understand how he couldn't, and am glad that he's working on a ongoing series once more. I enjoyed his art on the few pages he drew of The Amazing Spider-Man #699.1, and felt that he'd be brilliant on a Spider-Man related series (even though he's worked on one before), so I wasn't surprised when I noticed his good work on this issue. The detail was phenomenal, and he made every single character look amazing, or in Spider-Man's case superior (pun intended). I seriously think that Checchetto could work on any series and make it look beautiful, but I'm glad that he's on this series, and due to that I may continue getting it. Even the scenery, and backgrounds are amazing, with the characters emotions spot on. The cover for this issue was also phenomenal, and I loved that you got the whole electric feel throughout it, emphasizing Thor, and Electro's roles in the issue. The colors from Rachelle Rosenberg were also brilliant, and really made Checchetto's art stand out.

Read the rest of John McCubin's Review on Comic Vine

My Rating

Cover & Solicit - 2/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 5/5
Layout & Flow - 5/5
Story - 5/5
Verdict - 4.6

Purchase All-New X-Men #8
Purchase Age of Ultron #2 (Widow Variant)
Purchase Age of Ultron #2 (Ultron Variant)
Purchase Avenging Spider-Man #18
John McCubbin is a blogger at http://imaginationcentre.blogspot.co.uk/ and a comic book reviewer at Comic Vine. The use of this review has been authorized by the original author.


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