Friday, March 24, 2017

The Red Queen Chronicles: The Spy Chapter 1 is LIVE!




I hope everybody is rested, excited, and maybe even a little horny because it’s time for another one of my sexy side-projects. With winter coming to an end, spring starting to settle in, and people needing to wear less clothing, I feel the time is just right. I know every time of year is improved with a little added sex appeal. This time of year is just a bit more appropriate than most.

I’ve already teased the topic of my next sexy side-project. I’ve given plenty of attention to Mary Jane Watson in my recent projects. In my defense, that attention is totally warranted. She’s Mary Jane Watson for crying out loud. Whether she’s Spider-Man’s wife or a high-end prostitute, she’s got the kind of sex appeal that everyone can appreciate it.


Through my “Red Queen Chronicles” series, I’ve given Mary Jane plenty of opportunities to be sexy and she has taken full advantage of them. For this latest project, I’m going to give another sexy redhead an opportunity. In this case, it’s Natasha “Black Widow” Romanov. She has helped make Scarlett Johannson the highest paid actress in Hollywood. I think she’s earned a role in a sexy side-project.

This particular entry will have two parts. Both will explore a different side of Black Widow. I’m not saying this side will be perfectly in line with the canon of the comics or the movie. It’s not supposed to be. It’s just supposed to be a sexy story to enjoy as we count down the days until the beaches open for the summer.

This story marks the first time I’ve incorporated the Avengers side of things into my “Red Queen Chronicles” series. Depending on how well this goes, I’ll certainly contemplate more down the line. For now, it’s Black Widow’s turn to enter the world of the “Red Queen Chronicles.” Enjoy!


As always, I encourage everyone to take the time to review this story. Tell me what you think by posting your comments here or on the adult fanfiction website. If there’s another character you think should pay a visit to the world of Mary Jane Watson, the Red Queen, please let me know. I’m always open to new and sexy ideas. Nuff said!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Capping Off A (Somewhat) Extraordinary Journey: Extraordinary X-men #20

The following is my review of Extraordinary X-men #20, which was posted on PopMatters.com.


For certain eras, there are characters who become symbolic of the conflicts. Sometimes they are the catalyst for the conflict. Sometimes they are the reaction to it. In either case, these characters embody a certain mentality and perspective of a period in time. When the history is written about the post-Secret Wars, pre-Inhumans vs. X-men era of the X-men comics, no one character will be singled out as the sole symbol of the conflict. However, Storm and the time-displaced Jean Grey are likely  in the top five.

When Extraordinary X-men began under Jeff Lemire, Storm went out of her way to identify Jean Grey as the heart of the X-men. That alone says a lot about the state of the X-men, singling out a time-displaced version of a character that has been dead for over a decade. Oddly enough, it's entirely warranted. Jean Grey is very much an embodiment of the X-men's highest ideals, if only because time travel allows her to skip the many eras of setbacks, retcons, and evil clones.

When the story of Extraordinary X-men begins, both Storm and Jean Grey are reluctant, if not downright hostile, to the idea that they're now the greatest hope for the X-men. Jean is a time-displaced teenager. She has enough on her plate as it stands and not just because of acne. Storm is a reluctant leader who ended up in her role because the world believed, thanks to Emma Frost, that Cyclops is the worst thing to happen to the world since poor wi-fi.

Then, as Extraordinary X-men progresses, they both settle into their roles. They confront the challenges that come with being an inspiration for every generation of X-men. Now, in wake of Inhumans vs. X-men, Storm, Jean Grey, and the rest of their teammates faces a whole new challenge and a whole new era for the X-men as a whole.


Extraordinary X-men #20 acts as a bridge between these eras. The Inhumans/X-men war is over. The entire mutant race doesn't need to hide in a demon-infested realm anymore. Naturally, most in X-Haven are eager to leave for a home where killer robots are more likely than demon attacks. For Storm, however, there's a lingering sense of uncertainty that bothers her. Having lived in a demon realm, being bothered by anything is quite an accomplishment.

It's through Storm's point of view that the uncertainty unfolds. It's through a time-displaced Jean Grey that the X-men confront it. In many ways, it's fitting that that these two characters are the ones tasked with tying up the loose ends of Extraordinary X-men. They are still the main catalyst for the story. They bore most of the burdens throughout the series. Lemire acknowledges the extent of those burdens. However, the story itself doesn't do much to give them greater weight.

The primary plot in Extraordinary X-men #20 actually deals with some unresolved aftermath from Inhumans vs. X-men. In a sense, Lemire addresses a practical issues regarding Emma Frost's hidden agenda, which most of the X-men only recently uncovered. In world where magic and time travel are often used to cover plot holes, this is somewhat refreshing.

It also makes use of some lingering side-plots that have fallen to the wayside in Extraordinary X-men, namely those involving Cerebra and No Girl. Again, these are usually the kinds of side-plots that are first to get overlooked. Lemire's efforts to address them give the story an attention to detail that the X-men comics have lacked, due largely to the constant doom and gloom caused by other characters whose movie rights aren't owned by a rival studio.

Between Jean's efforts and Storm's inner musings, the story in Extraordinary X-men #20 helps make this transition from one era of X-men comics to another feel personal. It tries to do more than just shove the X-men into the next extinction-level plot. It tries to step back and take in the situation. In some respects, they don't step back far enough because they end up fighting killer robots. However, compared to demons, Inhumans, and sterilization, it still counts as an improvement of sorts.

It still makes for a very simple, very basic kind of story. The X-men fighting a host of killer robots, be they Sentinels or discarded Sentinel prototypes, is as classic a plot as any extinction story. This one isn't all that memorable or epic, nor does it try to be. However, it's not the kind of battle that is there just to give the X-men something to blow up. There is a purpose do it. It's a minor purpose, but a purpose none-the-less.

The battle in Extraordinary X-men #20 may be somewhat forgettable, but it doesn't change the underlying situation facing the X-men. They don't have to hide in a demon realm anymore. They're not facing imminent extinction anymore. Given how rare these moments are for the X-men these days, it's an important situation to take in. Storm offers the perspective. Jean Grey offers the catalyst. In the grand scheme of things, it uses all the right ingredients, even if there's not enough of them to make a cake.


What makes the outcome of Extraordinary X-men #20 most satisfying is that, while it does attempt to tie up loose ends, it tries to give the series closure without dropping one too many ominous hints about the next extinction plot the X-men will face. Lemire makes a genuine effort to end the series on an upbeat note. For a series that began with off-panel deaths, sterilization, mutant-hunting death squads, that's quite an undertaking.

Taken as a whole, the end of Extraordinary X-men #20 doesn't give the sense of a complete, satisfying journey. Given the exceedingly bleak circumstances of its beginning, it's hard to go from one extreme to another. To go from the brink of extinction to a friendly baseball game is a journey that requires a lot more than 20 issues and a crossover event. Even if details are lacking, the primary spirit of the X-men narrative is still there. The fact that a series like Extraordinary X-men can end in a friendly baseball game is a testament to the strength of that spirit.

Final Score: 7 out of 10

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Red Queen Chronicles: The Spy ANNOUNCEMENT!


I have an announcement to make and it involves another sexy side-project. I know I’ve been doing a lot of those lately and for good reason. I’ve found a winning formula. I’ve found something that resonates with a certain set of fans with an appreciation for sexier stories. Who knew stories about an overtly sexual Mary Jane Watson, Emma Frost, and the Hellfire Club could have such great appeal?

I know. That seems so goddamn obvious now. These are two of the sexiest female characters in comics. They look damn good in thongs and they aren’t afraid to wear them. I just needed to find a way to build an awesome story around that, one that provides ample opportunities for sexy situations with a variety of characters. Well, I’ve been building that story since “The New Red Queen.” Thanks to that story, and the great response I got, I’ve created a world where Mary Jane isn’t the only one who gets to maximize her sexiness.

I’ve already begun to expand that world with the “The Red Queen Chronicles: The Weapon.” That was a fairly basic expansion. This is a world with an overtly sexy redheaded woman taking center stage. It was only a matter of time before Wolverine came into the picture. Plus, with the recent release of the Logan movie, what better way to commemorate the occasion than by having him bang a sexy redhead? I think Wolverine fans everywhere can appreciate that sentiment.

Well, I’m ready to continue expanding the world of “The Red Queen Chronicles.” This time, I want to do more than just a basic one-shot where Mary Jane uses her cleavage to get something done. Granted, there will always be a place for that kind of story, but I want to take this next entry in a different direction. Specifically, I want to explore both the present and the past of the world I’ve created. To do that, I’ll need to enlist the help of another sexy redhead. In a world where there are so many, who could possibly add to the ample sex appeal of this series?

Enter the Black Widow. She’s an Avenger, an agent of SHIELD, a master spy, and a star role for Scarlett Johanssen. On top of that, she looks damn good in skin-tight outfits. While she’s never been as overtly sexual as Emma Frost or Mary Jane Watson, I intend to give her a unique opportunity here. It’s also a unique opportunity for me as well because Black Widow is one of those characters I’ve always wanted to work with, but just never found the right story. Well, that story has arrived. That’s why I’m proud to announce “The Red Queen Chronicles: The Spy.”

Do you want to see Natasha Romanov exercise her sexy side? Do you want to see how she has influenced the events of this series? Well, you’ll get your chance soon enough. Unlike the last story, this one will have two parts. That’ll give me more time to explore Black Widow as both a character and an exceedingly sexy redhead. Trust me. I want to make use of that time. By this time next week, you’ll see why it’s worth the wait. Nuff said!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Enemy Within (And Beyond): All-New Wolverine #18

The following is my review of All-New Wolverine #18, which was posted on PopMatters.com.


There are some stories that just can't be remade in a convincing, compelling fashion. The producers of the now-infamous Ghostbusters remake found this out the hard way. However, it is possible to retell a story in a way that doesn't feel like a new layer of paint on an old car that shouldn't be on the road anymore. Those stories are rare and even then, a retelling of those stories involves a lot of moving parts that need to work together without collapsing into a chaotic mess

The classic Wolverine story, Enemy of the State, may not be nearly as iconic as Ghostbusters, but it captures so much of what makes Wolverine a great character. It effectively jams rusty nails into Wolverine's deepest scars, let's them fester, and builds a story around it. It's a key conflict for Wolverine that gives him much of his depth. He struggles with being a man and a former meat puppet of Weapon X. It's a powerful struggle that his daughter and inheritor of his title, Laura Kinney, has inherited.

As X-23, Laura knows just as much about being a tormented meat puppet as Logan. On top of that, she deals with this on top of being a teenage girl. This makes her uniquely qualified to handle the narrative surrounding Enemy of the State II. Tom Taylor gives her that chance, putting her in a situation where Laura has to confront the meat puppet within her that once made her a living weapon.

He sets high stakes. After apparently killing nearly three dozen innocent people, she finds herself at the top of SHIELD's most wanted list, right up there with cloned Spider-Man villains. She also has to confront old enemies like Kimura, who are intent on reminding her that she's a failed science experiment and not a person. In her mind, she's several layers below a trained pitbull.

These are the moving parts that forge the narrative for Enemy of the State II and All-New Wolverine #18 caps off that narrative with a potent mix of drama, action, plot twists, and exploding bean cans. It's every bit as entertaining as it sounds. Beyond the entertainment value, though, Taylor goes out of his way to capture the most important element of Enemy of the State, which is heart. Those who've seen the Logan movie and wiped away their tears will appreciate what Taylor accomplishes here.


To get to this point, X-23 must overcome some personal demons that have plagued her since her early origin stories in X-23: Innocence Lost. This is perfectly appropriate for the context and grand scheme of the story. Overcoming personal demons for Wolverine is right up there with drinking beer, stabbing Sabretooth, and chasing married women. For X-23, a teenage girl who isn't old enough to drink, it's a much higher priority and one that ensures All-New Wolverine #18 hits with just the right amount of drama.

The biggest demon for X-23 has both a face and a potent weapon. Kimura is to her what Sabretooth is to Logan. She embodies the anchor that keeps her tied to her bloody past. She represents the pain, burdens, and rage that fills her with such dread and anger. Fighting her means much more than just fighting a run-of-the-mill Sentinel. Taylor has this fight involve more than just stabbing though.

The stakes of the battle are already high because Kimura is armed with the trigger scent, the weapon that turns X-23 into the heartless killer who murdered her own mother. It is a burden and a fear that has plagued X-23 since her earliest days in the X-men comics. It's a big part of what drives the narrative throughout Enemy of the State II, having X-23 go on the run and do everything she can to avoid becoming what Kimura wants her to be. This convergence of past fears and present conflicts helps craft a perfectly balanced, deeply satisfying conclusion.

It's also a conclusion that requires X-23 to do things Logan wasn't very good at. He may have been the best at what he did, but coordinating with others was never one of those things and not just because of his propensity to flirt with married women. X-23 shows a greater willingness to work with others, let them in, and share her burdens. It gives a supporting cast like Gabby, Jean Grey, Gambit, Angel, and Tyger Tiger a chance to shine. She's still not the greatest teammate, but compared to Logan, she's a pro.

X-23's supporting cast gives her the resources she needs to overcome the trigger scent and attack Kimura. However, she's still the one who delivers the final blow. Like her predecessor, she makes it very personal and very brutal. Unlike previous battles, though, Kimura can't use the trigger scent as her trump card. She has to face X-23 head on. They have to fight as equals. It makes for a battle that feels organic, brutal, and dramatic.


The added drama also helps ensure the plot twist that emerge in the final conclusion work. As a result, it doesn't feel forced. It doesn't feel like a cop-out. It feels like a genuine, realistic recourse for the narrative. For a story that involves so much running around, stabbing, and snarling, that's a critical ingredient that separates decent stories from savory deserts.

The original Enemy of the State may not be as iconic as other major Wolverine stories like Old Man Logan, if only because it hasn't been the basis for a major movie yet. However, it is an important story that embodies what it means to be Wolverine. All-New X-men #18 and Enemy of the State II embodies that same spirit.

X-23 even goes out of her way to make that clear. She loudly proclaims that she's not just a weapon. She's Laura Kinny. She has a mother, a father, and the title. She is, by every meaningful criteria, Wolverine. Taylor does everything necessary to make this abundantly clear. If anyone has any doubts at this point that Laura is worthy of that title, then they're just being petty.

Final Score: 9 out of 10

Friday, March 10, 2017

X-men Supreme Issue 6.1: Beyond Top Secret is LIVE!


By now, I hope everyone has had the time to see the latest Wolverine movie. I imagine X-men fans are still recovering from the many emotional moments that movie contained. It truly was the end of an era for the X-men, at least in the world of movies. In some sense, the timing is just right because the X-men Supreme fanfiction series just capped off a major era as well. Now, much like the latest Wolverine movie, the stage is set for a new and uncertain era to begin.

While the world of the last Wolverine movie was dark and desolate, the coming era of X-men Supreme is mired with different complications. This isn’t a case of mutants going extinct or humans hunting them with killer robots. These days, that seems like a strange concept for the X-men, but that’s exactly why I’m choosing this direction for this fanfiction series. It’s not enough for the X-men to fight for survival or what’s left of their future. At some point, they must start building the future that Charles Xavier dreams of building.

That process took a huge turn at conclusion of X-men Supreme Volume 6: Liberation Decimation. Two major foundations of human/mutant relations, namely the mutant nation of Genosha and the Xavier Institute for Gifted Youngsters, now lay in ruin. The fragile balance that had been evolving since X-men Supreme Volume 1: Mutant Revolution has been completely disrupted. X-men Supreme Issue 148: New Divide saw a fundamental change in the way the X-men operate and the way Charles Xavier pursues his dream.

This change caused massive upheavals in the team, especially from the likes of Cyclops and Wolverine. Now, the X-men won’t just operate under the guidelines of Xavier’s dream. They’ll be working hand-in-hand with the likes of President Robert Kelly, General Nathan Grimshaw, and Captain Jack Freeman. The X-men are now a wing of the Mutant Security Agency that was established back in X-men Supreme Volume 4: Politics of Fear. While they have powerful new allies, the implications of that allegiance have many worried.

This left Cyclops and Wolverine to leave the X-men, much to the sorrow of Charles Xavier and the heartbreak of Jean Grey. Now, as Xavier seeks to build on this new foundation, Cyclops and Wolverine prepare to pursue a different vision with a new team, one they’ve dubbed X-Force. X-men Supreme Volume 7 will bring about some major clashes and greater divisions. Friends will become enemies. Teammates will become threats. It will strain the X-men in ways they’ve never endured before.

Before either team can confront these challenges, they must first tie up loose ends and gather supplies. For Charles Xavier and General Grimshaw, that means establishing some element of trust moving forward. For Cyclops, having left the team he dedicated his life to serving, it means reconciling some issues so they don’t hold him back. Having just left his team and his girlfriend, Jean Grey, he’s in a vulnerable place. On top of it all, he just recently learned during the Outer Limits arc that his father, Christopher Summers, is still alive.

There’s a lot for both sides to deal with. There’s a bumpy road ahead for both teams. Charles Xavier and Cyclops have many new challenges to face. However, before they can start on that road, they must first make sure the path behind them is clear. That’s exactly what I hope to accomplish with this giant-sized special. Just as I did with X-men Supreme Issue 5.1: Deception Revelation, I hope to set the tone for the stories to come.

Giant Sized X-men Supreme Issue 6.1: Beyond Top Secret

Like the X-men comics, I hope this giant-sized issue will help get readers caught up and excited for X-men Supreme Volume 7. The next era of this fanfiction series is already in the works and poised to begin in the coming weeks. I hope to make a few announcements down the line. In the meantime, I’m eager to get feedback on this and any other issue of the X-men Supreme fanfiction series.

I understand that emotions are still raw after the latest Wolverine movie. I also understand I left quite a few anxious readers at the end of X-men Supreme Volume 6: Liberation Decimation. Make no mistake. I do have a larger plan in the works. I intend for that plan to pay off in the long run. In order to make sure that plan is accomplishing what I want it to, it’s critical that I get feedback. Please take the time to leave a comment on this giant-sized issue or contact me directly. Either way is fine and I’m always happy to chat. Until next time, take care and best wishes. Xcelsior!

Jack