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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 Age of Ultron #7, All-New X-Men #11, Indestructible Hulk #7, Iron Man #9

Here are today's "Guest Reviews" by John McCubbin from Imagination Centre. Included are Marvel's; Age of Ultron #7, All-New X-Men #11, Indestructible Hulk #7, and Iron Man #9. 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.

Age of Ultron #7 - Book Seven

In an attempt to defeat Ultron two Marvel Heroes take it upon themselves to create an all-new Marvel Universe. But is the one they have created better or worse than the one they left behind? The event of the year just got INSANE!!


Back to the Future

I was really looking forward to this series before it started, but so far it has been nothing but disappointment, after disappointment, and to be honest I can't wait for it to finish, and can only hope that it goes out with a bang.


Wolverine, and Invisible Woman (Sue Storm) return to the present, and are shocked with what they find.


This series has really been disappointing, and it just continues to disappoint even more. Now although this isn't the worst issue in the series, it's still not any better than most of the rest, and although I keep hoping for things to turn around, and this to become a good series I very much doubt that it will. This hasn't been one of Brian Michael Bendis' best stories, and although I'm sure he's put a lot of effort into it, and probably thought it would be good, it's been nothing special, and really quite poor. With the way the last issue ended I was hoping that finally this would be when the series would start to get good, and although what has happened in this issue was interesting, it wasn't anything spectacular. The story itself continues to be trailing along at a slow pace, and although there was excitement, the entire story seems to be one continuous drag. Even the changes were disappointing, as we've had no explanation as to why these character's appearances have changed, and to be honest it seems to be a bad what if? moment, but I'll talk more on that later.

Like last issue, Brandon Peterson, and Carlos Pacheco were on the artwork, with Pacheco doing the short sequence in the past, and Peterson doing the new present. Again Pacheco's art was the better of the two, as it was much smoother, and overall appealing, and to be honest it was a shame that there wasn't as much of it in this issue as the was in the previous. Peterson however still did a brilliant job himself, and although it's not as good as Pacheco's, it's still very good. The detail from both artists was brilliant, as although they both had very different styles, with Peterson's art being very rough, and edgy, and Pacheco's being very smooth, and clean, they both did a tremendous job on the details, as everything looked near perfect, if not perfect, whether it was the character's or the scenery. Peterson also did a fantastic job of the action, as although there wasn't a huge lot of it, it was still very dynamic, also adding more excitement to the issue, something that it really needed. I also loved how Pacheco drew the Dinosaurs in the Savage Land, as I always love a well drawn Dinosaur, and these ones looked vicious, and awesome. Peterson's artwork on the new look character's was also interesting, as although I found some looked awkward, and silly like the Cable/Cyclops character, whereas others like the Captain America/Nick Fury style character named Colonel America, and Thing, who by the looks of things may have been sent to Sakaar instead of Hulk (ring indent on chest looks like a scare possibly made from having one of them obedience devices the slaves on Sakaar had, though I could be wrong) look kind of interesting.

Read the rest of John McCubin's Review on Imagination Centre

My Rating

Cover & Solicit - 4/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 3/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 3/5
Verdict - 3.3 - 
(Buy Age of Ultron #7)

All-New X-Men #11

One of the ALL-NEW X-MEN leaves to join Cyclops and his crew!

Jean Grey pushes her power to the limit, shaking her and the rest of the X-Men to the core.


Who Will Join the Uncanny X-Men?

I've been loving this series since the start, and although it's not been the best Marvel NOW! series it has been one of my favorites, and it's one of the series I look most forward to reading. Last issue was however one of the poorest issues in the series, and I just hope that it turns itself back to being good.


One of the younger X-Men decide to join Cyclops' Uncanny X-Men, and the result causes disarray on the grounds of the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, as the rest of the younger X-Men, and Wolverine's X-Men try to stop this younger X-Man from joining Cyclops.


Slightly better than the last issue, but I was expecting so much more. Overall Brian Michael Bendis has made me love X-Men comic's again, and although I decided I was only getting one X-Men series, due to the strength of this overall, as well as the good things I've heard about Uncanny X-Men I've decided to start getting it, and the issues I've missed. I do however hope that due to doing so many series that Bendis isn't pushing himself too much, as with this series, as well as Uncanny X-Men, Guardians of the Galaxy, Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, and the Age of Ultron series' that's an awful lot for one writer at once, and I just hope that this isn't affecting the overall quality. This issue had it's good moments though, as having not read anything about Uncanny X-Men plot wise I didn't know until after reading this that the surprise in this issue had already been spoiled, so it was slightly surprising to me. There was also some interesting action, and although at times it was all over the place, it still added excitement, but besides the shock, and the action I've just felt that the this issue, as well as the last issue have been slow, and could have been done in the same issue. Besides all this however it was still interesting, if not amazing, and I just hope that it picks up the pace next issue, and goes back to the fun, exciting series I've enjoyed reading.

The art from Stuart Immonen was once again amazing, and although I personally still prefer David Marquez' artwork, it's still nice that Immonen's back, as his art is truly wonderful, and I love seeing his art, whereas I'll also still get to see Marquez' art on Ultimate Comics Spider-Man. Anyway, Immonen's art on this issue was fantastic, and the detail was brilliant. The way he drew all the character's involved was like usual outstanding, but this time round there was the odd awkward facial expression, especially from the likes of the Stepford Cuckoo's. The layout, and action however was phenomenal, as it really added more drama, and excitement to the issue, and at times was also very dynamic. Besides the fact that the layout in general was amazing, adding drama, the more shocking moments were better, as they also added ton's of suspense, as well as drama. Although I said there was the odd awkward expression, the rest of the facial expressions were handled brilliantly, with ton's of emotion, as you could really see what the character's were feeling, whether anger from Wolverine, or frustration from Kitty Pryde, which was amazing.

Read the rest of John McCubin's Review on Imagination Centre

My Rating

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

Verdict - 4.4 - (Buy All-New X-Men #11)

Indestructible Hulk #7 - Gods and Monster, Part 2


Hulk and Thor--together versus the Frost Giants!

But what's wrong with Thor--and why doesn't he recognize Hulk?

And Bruce Banner lands a bombshell surprise on his assistants!


Q: Thou Dost Have a Name...? A: HULK SMASH!

This has been an amazing series, and easily one of the better Marvel NOW! series. The way Mark Waid has brought Hulk back to being a brilliant character, in a fantastic series has been amazing, and although it's not always been perfect, and in my opinion is still to hit it's peak, it's still been phenomenal, and I for one can't get enough of it.


Hulk, who somehow managed to lift Mjolnir fight Frost Giants, but Thor won't let Hulk have all the fun.


This was an amazing issue, and this stories finally became the Hulk/Thor teaming that I'd hoped for. Don't get me wrong, last issue was amazing, and set this one up nicely, but it just took a little too much time setting things up, but it was well worth it, as all that set-up pays of in this issue. I've always loved Mark Waid as a writer, but since he started Daredevil a couple of years ago I have really became a big fan of his work, and have also loved it on this series, and the new The Green Hornet series, and although this series hasn't quite became the level of Daredevil yet, I'm sure it won't be long, and wouldn't be surprised if it surpassed it. Anyway, Waid continued to show his brilliant work in this issue, and it may very well be my favorite issue in the series so far. It was very fun, and exciting, and the pacing was brilliant. Having become a fan of Thor after J. Michael Straczynski's run on the character I'm not quite as used to the older, more dramatic Thor, and although this was a nice touch, I personally still couldn't quite love it. I did however find it humorous at times, and the entire Thor/Hulk interaction was amazing, and truly something wonderful. I also loved how Waid was able to add some emotion into this issue, as although it had Hulk in it for the most (opposed to last issue which had Banner for most of it), it still found time to put in some interesting, and more serious notes, which didn't only add depth to the issue, but has me even more interested in the development.

Like last issue I still wasn't 100% sure on what I thought of the art in this issue, but I can say that I much preferred Walter Simonson's art this time round than last issue. Now to be honest there wasn't a lot of difference (naturally), and it could just be that I've gotten used to his art, but it just felt much better this time. Now I still haven't been won over as a fan of his art, as I've never actually really liked it, but the way he drew Hulk, as well as the action in this issue was brilliant, and to be honest there wasn't a great deal I could truly complain about. In saying that there was one thing in particular that slightly bugged me, and that was when Thor asked Hulk his name, Hulk replied, "HULK SMASH!," and had a smile whilst saying it. Now I know that Hulk can get happy when SMASHING, but I've always thought of it as a more sinister smile, whereas in Simonson's art it looked awful cheesy, as if they were playing around, which just didn't look right. The layout of the art was also brilliant, as everything looked so dramatic, and retro, giving the perfect mood for the story, and I especially loved the panel with Hulk, and Thor squared up to each other, as it looked both dramatic, and entertaining, as Thor had that stupid grin on his face (which suits Thor). I also thought that Simonson once again did a brilliant job of the facial expressions, as although there wasn't quite as much this time, it showed the character's emotions perfectly.

Read the rest of John McCubin's Review on Imagination Centre

My Rating

Cover & Solicit - 2/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 2/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 3.1
 - (Buy Indestructible Hulk #7)

Iron Man #9 - The Secret Origin of Tony Stark Prologue


Death's Head and Iron Man team-up to hunt down a genocidal criminal. Not the problem.

A shipful of dead badoon. Not the problem.

What Tony finds in the depths of that ship: the problem. Big problem.

The lead into the biggest Tony Stark story of the year.


Robot Racist?

Before this series started I had high hopes as Kieron Gillen did a brilliant job on Journey into Mystery, and a decent job on Uncanny X-Men, but since Marvel NOW! has seen him on new series, his work has became very poor, and I actually dropped this series after issue 5, and have only given it another shot sue to the story line (couldn't miss an Iron Man origin story, even if it turns out to be bad).


Iron Man (Tony Stark) hires an alien bounty hunter named Death's Head to track down a mechanism called 451, who he holds responsible for many deaths.


This wasn't a bad issue, but it wasn't great either, and no better than the series was when I dropped it. The main reason I think this issue didn't appeal to me too much was that although being the start of a new story, it appears to continue from the previous story, which confused me at the start. I did however get into the issue, and kind of understood what I needed, so that doesn't really spoil the issue too much, but what did was the pacing. The entire first half of the issue was slow, and dull, and when I was wanting to open the issue, and get thrown right into a story that was either interesting, or exciting, or better both, I got none, and was thinking if this was a wise decision to get this issue. The second half was however exciting, and interesting, and the perfect prologue, to what I still hope is an amazing story. I also found the issue humorous at times, but some of the humor was just plain painful, and made me question why it was added, but I'll talk more on that later. Gillen did however somehow manage to add a bit of drama, as although the better part of this issue was dull, and slow, when it picked up, it was surprisingly very suspenseful, and dramatic, with a brilliant ending, which gives me hope for the story in the long run.

This issue sees the first time Greg Land hasn't worked on the series, as Dale Eaglesham's taking over artwork for at least this story. Now although there were things about Land's art that were horrifically painful (way he draws women, and smiles mainly) I didn't hate his art, but putting that aside, I do much prefer Eaglesham's art, and was glad to see him on this story. The detail in Eaglesham's art was amazing, as everything looked so perfect, and neat, whether small details, or large details. The only thing about Eaglesham's art that isn't better than Land's is that it's not as beautiful, but at the same time, it's also minus the annoying awkward expressions that come with that, and overall although not necessarily as pretty looking, it was still awesome, and I'd take that with the non-awkward facial expressions any day. Eaglesham's also did a fantastic job on both the scenery, and layout, as the layout added so much drama, and dynamic to the issue, whereas the scenery made it feel like the perfect sci-fi story, reminding me of the brilliant classic sci-fi movies from the 80's. I also loved how Eaglesham handled the facial expressions, as you could really see what the character's was feeling, seeing anger on Tony at one point, and even mischief from the mechanism 451 as well, which was wonderful, making the issue feel more alive, as well as more suspenseful, and dramatic.

Read the rest of John McCubin's Review on Imagination Centre

My Rating

Cover & Solicit - 3/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 4/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 3/5
Verdict - 3.4
 - (Buy Iron Man #9)

Purchase Marvel Comics
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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