12 Things to be Excited About in 2012

By Matt Peters

This year is scheduled to be one of the biggest of note in the world of comics, video games, and all-around geekiness. We here at Pads & Panels would like to give you twelve reasons that 2012 will be awesome. Let’s hope our Mayan overlords don’t return from outer space until we get to experience most of it. Take a look below for some of the highlights:




Title: X-Men: First Class

Directed By: Matthew Vaughn

Written by: Matthew Vaughn, Jane Goldman, Bryan Singer

Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, January Jones, Kevin Bacon

Studio: 20th Century Fox

Rating: ★★★★★

Review by: Matt Peters

X-Men: First Class is one of those rare films that earn its franchise a second wind. After the poor showing of X3 & Wolverine, it seemed as if the series had run its course. Fortunately, a Bryan Singer-infused script and an inspired Matthew Vaughn decided to try a different approach than what preceded them.

Setting the film in the 1960’s is a good choice. Some mutant powers like Professor X’s mental abilities have more of a “wow” factor in a time before mobile phones were widely available. Also, the backdrop of the Cuban Missile Crisis provides a common, undeniable issue that must be dealt with by the CIA, and in this case, their covert team of superpowered mutants. Little tweaks like this also add credibility to the otherwise unbelievable premise that a trust-fund psychic would a) graduate from Oxford without cheating and b) decide to form a team and use his powers for good. (more…)


Title: Wolverine and the X-Men: Final Crisis Trilogy

Format: DVD

Written by: Craig Kyle, Greg Johnson, Chris Yost

Starring: Steve Blum, Jim Ward, Nolan North

Studio: Marvel Animation, Lionsgate

DVD Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Review by: Bill Jones

Lionsgate has strangely offered the first season of Wolverine and the X-Men in segments throughout this year and last, before finally offering a complete set. But the Final Crisis Trilogy – Vol. 6, containing the three-part “Foresight” story – goes to show why it’s not a great idea. One thing Wolverine and the X-Men handles extremely poorly is lead-ins from one episode to the next. The action simply continues to happen, and so to pick up this set after a break from the last is somewhat disconcerting. The plot features the X-Men battling to survive when The Inner Circle captures Jean Grey to harvest her Phoenix powers, while Magneto and Mystique launch a Sentinel attack on Genosha. Emma Frost is ambiguously caught in the middle of things, and Master Mold is using Professor Xavier in an attempt to execute all mutants in a mish-mash of stories taking place in two different time periods. It’s more confusing than fun, though the animation is solid, with audio commentary by Craig Kyle, Greg Johnson and Chris Yost doing more to be silly than offer any real info. The Final Crisis Trilogy is an example of too many cogs turning at once for its own good, and there’s no point in purchasing it out of the context of the rest of the season. (more…)


Title: Agents of Atlas: Turf Wars

Publisher: Marvel

Writer: Jeff Parker

Pencils: Gabriel Hardman, Carlo Paguyan, Dan Panosian, Paul Rivoche

Rating: ★★★★☆

Review by: Aaron Ray

Composed of 1950′s Atlas Comics characters integrated into the current Marvel Universe via (mildly contradictive) retro-continuity, the Agents of Atlas show there is more to being a team than having catch phrases or Wolverine.

Jimmy Woo, a former S.H.E.I.L.D. and FBI agent, has become the leader of the ancient criminal ATLAS organization. Woo’s idea is to turn this organization into a force for good, by masquerading as a criminal. He has help – his secret “inner circle” of Gorilla-Man, Venus, M-11 the human robot, Namora and The Uranian. Armed with a flying saucer (seriously) and the counsel of a talking dragon (seriously!), they traverse the globe looking to right a couple thousand years of wrong. (more…)


We always like acknowledging our happy contest winners. Both April (snwbuni) and Aaron (Jesteraron) sent photos our way, copies of X-Men Origins: Wolverine in hand. Also, we’re announcing the winners of the two copies for Xbox 360. Congrats to the winners, and thanks to everyone who entered. Thanks to Activision for sponsoring the giveaway.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine Winners

April (snwbuni), of Eaton Rapids, Mich.

Eric (staredownthesky), of Crestwood, Ill.


All right, no long winded explanations today. We gave away two copies of X-Men Origins: Wolverine for PlayStation 3 last week and Xbox fans are wondering what’s up. Well, we didn’t forget about you, and neither did Activision. They sent two copies of Wolverine on Xbox 360 for us to give away. It did receive our Chonicles of Riddick Award, after all. So to the point – how to get them. We’re going to give both away on our Twitter account today, so make sure you’re following us (). When we post the word “Wolverine” today, the first person to reply, on Twitter, with his or her user name from the site, wins one copy, provided eligibility requirements are met (read below). We’ll do the exact same thing later in the day, same rules for the other copy. (more…)



Happy Friday! We told you to be ready for a giveaway today, why not two? The X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie may have sucked, but the game that Raven made and Activision published was pretty damn good. That’s why we gave it our “Chronicles of Riddick” Award with our 2009 year-end list.

Activision was kind enough to send four copies of the game our way to give to lucky readers, and we decided we’d end the work week right by giving away the two copies we have in hand for PlayStation 3 (watch Monday for two Xbox 360 copies). And the first one is going to see who is on his or her toes. The first eligible registered user to comment on this post will receive one copy. Details on snatching the second one are below. (more…)


Title: Wolverine: Old Man Logan

Publisher: Marvel

Writer: Mark Millar

Artist: Steve McNiven

Rating: ★★★★★

Review by: Thomas Braaksma

Classic is a word that could rarely be used in the last couple years when it came to everyone’s favorite mutant. Wolverine has been tossed around from bad storyline to bad storyline, all the way up to just last year being thrown in one of the worst film adaptations in comic movie history. With this epic fail there was worry of what could possibly save Wolverine from these traumatic versions of himself.

But 2009 didn’t only bring his disgrace on the big screen, but brought him back to the top of his game in the pages of his own comic. Mark Millar (Civil War, Kick-Ass) and Steve McNiven (Civil War) brought Wolverine back to his prime in Wolverine #66-72, presenting an alternate reality in which heroes have fallen and Wolverine has grown old. This volume collects these issues of Wolverine and presents his fans with a beautiful hardcover edition dubbed Wolverine: Old Man Logan. (more…)


#7 – Batman: Arkham Asylum (PS3, 360, PC)

Publisher: Warner Bros. – Developer: Rocksteady

Our Review


I still remember when I first started seeing screens of what was to become Arkham Asylum in magazines and online. The graphics looked phenomenal, but the number of times Batman has fared poorly in the game realm combined with my general distaste for licensed games over original IPs left me incredibly skeptical about it. Sometimes it feels so great to be proven wrong. Not only is Batman: Arkham Asylum one of the best games I played all year – from the brilliant Scarecrow moments to the general ability of Rocksteady to turn Batman’s traits into a game, successfully – but it is so faithful to the property, with a great new story written by Paul Dini, a great use of the villains and a setting that left me in wonder as it changed throughout. I know at some point I’ll regret it, but Arkham Asylum quickly changed my impressions from skepticism to begging for more of this comic property. –Bill (more…)


Title: X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Edition: Blu-ray

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Director: Gavin Hood

Developer: David Benioff and Skip Woods

Producers: Fox, Marvel

Film Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Blu-Ray Features Rating: ★★★☆☆

Review by: John Gustafson

Blu-ray Features

After what seemed like an eternity awaiting the release of X-Men Origins: Wolverine on Blu-ray, the emotionally wrenching and heart-string-pulling drama has finally released! That is what is called sarcasm, yet if someone was to say that to director Gavin Hood, he would take that statement as a compliment and most likely add to it with some gibberish about the underlying duality of Wolverine’s struggle to cage the beast or bay at the moon. (more…)