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Around the Tubes

A new week and we’ll see if the news kicks up a bit… but, stick around for some reviews from us and tune in tonight to the return of Graphic Policy Radio!

Around the Tubes Reviews

Talking Comics – Doctor Who #4

ScienceFiction – Justice League Dark #15

Flayrah – Three comic book reviews: Pull List #4 (‘Avengers Academy,’ ‘Avengers Assemble’ and ‘Hack/Slash’)

Your First Look at Avengers Academy #33 – An Avengers Vs X-Men Tie-In!

Your First Look at AVENGERS ACADEMY #33 – An AVENGERS VS X-MEN Tie-In!

Marvel is pleased to present your first look at Avengers Academy #33, a tie in to the blockbuster event of the year –  Avengers Vs. X-Men! A Phoenix-powered Emma Frost pays a visit to Avengers Academy with her sights set on the Sentinel that lives with them! Can the students of Avengers Academy team together to save it? Find out as writer Christos Gage and artist Timothy Green II bring you high stakes action in Avengers Academy #33, coming to comic shops everywhere this July.

AVENGERS ACADEMY #33 (MAY120650)
Written by CHRISTOS GAGE
Penciled by TIMOTHY GREEN II
Cover by GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI
FOC – 6/25/2012, On Sale – 7/18/2012

Comic Book (sort of) Weekly Reviews – 4/4/12

Ok, I slowed down in the whole catching up on my reviews thing… but back to it and hopefully I’ll totally be caught up by the end of June… if not sooner.

Age of Apocalypse #2 – The remaining resistance is on the run and Jean Grey and Sabretooth’s role is still up in the air.  The series is solid and different, with some solid art.  The series is different enough to stand out from the rest of the “X” books.  I missed the original Age of Apocalypse, so this’ll do for me.

Story: 7.75 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75

American Vampire #25 – Scott Snyder’s series is amazing and this issue ties so many threads together.  I can’t wait to see what he does and what he has in store for the series.  I can’t get enough of this series and it absolutely shows off why Snyder is one of the best writers out there.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.5

Animal Man #8 – The battle against the Rot continues as Animal Man and Swamp Thing are going to team up and collide.  The series shows that the Vertigo feel can work and work well in the modern DC universe.  The art is solid on top of it.  This is one of the best series to come out of DC’s relaunch.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Avengers Academy #28 – The team up with the Runaways continues and there’s a bunch I like, and a lot I don’t.  The series just feels like the B-team for Avengers.  We’ll see where it goes, but hopefully post Avengers Vs. X-Men the series will get a nice shake-up.

Story: 7.25 Art: 7.25 Overall: 7.25

Avengers Vs. X-Men #1 – This is it?  There’s some great build up and tension, but the old quote about sound and fury signifying nothing stands out to me.  It’s just one issue, but I hope there’s more to it all than just this.  The art is pretty solid, but overall, pretty meh so far.

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75

Batman: Detective Comics #8 – While the art is pretty decent, I think the story really shows how excellent Snyder’s Batman is compared to this inferior series.

Story: 7 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7

Batwing #8 – We find out the identity of Massacre.  I can’t say I’m shocked.  The ending to the first arc is ok.  It’s not quite the solid series it was when it started, but still a nice addition to the Bat family.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5

Brilliant #3 – A debate rages as to how to handle the discovery as the FBI attempts to put together what happened.  This series feels like a tame Mark Millar series.  Without the swearing and over the top violence.  Not sure if that’s a good thing… either part.

Story: 7.25 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.25

Chew #25 - Tony is captured and this series shows why it’s one of the most creative and original ones out there.  The story is as off the hook as can be expected and art entertaining as usual.  A series that should be on everyone’s pull-list.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Danger Club #1 – The adults are away and the children will play.  The adult super heroes might be dead, so the kids have taken over.  The series just has awesome punch to it with solid art.  It’s not totally original, but it’s damn entertaining.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Daredevil #10.1 – A great point one that introduces Daredevil to new readers and catches them up on information you know.  I’m loving the Omegadrive story.  Watching the groups after it attempt to get it is beyond entertaining.  Mark Waid is at the top of his game with this series and the art is amazing.

Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9

Fairest #2 – The art is fantastic and story solid in this spin-off from Fables.  Two issues in and you can see the series falls more into the fantasy end of things, picking up on some threads left from the main series.  It’s only two issues, but it’s two solid issues.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.25

Fear Itself: The Fearless #12 – So, Hellstrom is a bad guy in this book, but a good guy in Circle of Four and Journey?  Get the characters straight!!!  There’s some interesting stuff set up here, but overall, this twelve part series was a mess.

Story: 6 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.25

New Mutants #40 – Douglock fights Ani-Matter and I yawn…

Story: 6.5 Art: 6.5 Overall: 6.5

Red Lanterns #8 – Take this story and switch the color to a different Corps… does it make a difference?  No, not really and that’s where the story fails for me.  Red Lanterns should have an animalistic feel to them and here they just come off like a bland version of Yellow or Green.

Story: 6.75 Art: 7.5 Overall: 6.75

Secret Avengers #24 – A cool story still with the team taking on various cyborg like beings in the Marvel universe that have come together.  It’s a somewhat original story, and the art is pretty solid.  I think the series is finally finding it’s footing.

Story: 7 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7

Stormwatch #8 – The team takes on a pretty huge threat and Midnighter makes a hell of a decision.  The series is finally getting good for me, and hopefully it continues on this pace.

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75

Swamp Thing #8 – A series that’s been more Vertigo and horror than superhero swings the superhero way as Swamp Thing goes after the Rot in the beginning of a hell of a battle.  Compared to past issues, the issue is just ok, but it’s one piece of a much bigger and excellent story.

Story: 7 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7

Thunderbolts #172 – The renegade Thunderbolts fight the original Thunderbolts in a pretty typical battle issue.  There’s some potential here, but so far it’s pretty average but still somewhat entertaining.

Story: 7 Art: 7.25 Overall: 7

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #9 – Miles meets the police and his uncle comes calling when he runs into trouble.  The series continues it’s excellence as a new Spider-Man still gets his act together.  The art is great and story solid.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Venom #15 – Flash must deal with the last few weeks and his getting up and heading to Vegas.  His personal life is unraveling while he deals with having been attached to Venom so long.  The series is getting back into the swing of things focusing on Flash’s personal life as much as the superhero.  That’s when it’s great.

Story: 8.25 Art: 7.5 Overall: 8.25

Wolverine and the X-Men #8 – The kids head off to find God (not really) while Wolverine deals with his getting beaten down at the Casino.  Meanwhile the Hellfire Club hires Sabretooth to give them some tips which leads to Sabretooth fighting Beast in an awesome fight.  The issue is all over the place and pure amazing.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Comic Book (sort of) Weekly Reviews – 3/7/12

That’s three week’s of reviews taken care of this week.  Getting closer to catching up.

Age of Apocalypse #1 – It’s the last remaining humans versus Weapon Omega and a world full of mutants.  It’s the reverse of the 616 in a way and while I missed the Age of Apocalypse the first time around, the writing style, voice and art have me wanting to come back for more.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Animal Man #7 – The battle along with Swamp Thing is growing nearer as the Rot continues to hunt Animal Man and his family.  The story is solid as expected and it’s the fright along with the quiet moments that makes this series great.  Vertigo has come to DC and damn is it good.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Avengers Academy #27 – Part one of the Runaways’ visit to Avengers Academy starts with a stereotypical fight and looks like the second part will be one too…. sigh.

Story: 7.25 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.25

Avengers: the Children’s Crusade #9 – After so much build-up.  After so many delays, the final issue of this mini-series is kind of a let down.  Not much really happens other than events being set into motion concerning Iron Lad and what happens to Vision, but really it’s all to neat and tidy when the vents leading up to it and depicted during were anything but.

Story: 6.75 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7

Batman: Detective Comics #7 – The story involving Penguin’s Casino is over and I’m all mixed up as to what the hell is going on.  Too many Batman comics with not enough distinction.  The stories seem to blur together a bit and that’s not a good thing.

Story: 7 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7

Batwing #7 – We find out the horrific thing the Kingdom did and really, it’s impact just didn’t hit me.  But.. the fight heads to Gotham.  What’s it say that Batwing has to run to the other “white” Batman and friends to solve his issue?  Doesn’t really make the character stand on his own….

Story: 7 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7

the Defenders #4 – The first arc is over, but that doesn’t mean the story is over.  There’s a dream machine and Strange doesn’t know what it does and how it works.  The issue really focuses on Strange and his history and a lot of potential of what the story could be.  Lots of hints of excellence, but it doesn’t quite work for me.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Fairest #1 – Spinning out of Fables, what ever happened to Sleeping Beauty?  Ali Baba is the Prince of Thieves in search of treasure and this first issue harkens back to the quality of early Fables comics.  So good.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Hell Yeah #1 – It’s the last generation of heroes and there was a lot of buzz about this book and there’s a reason.  It’s so good, Hell Yeah lives up to it’s name.  The comic has great art and the story has me very interested.  Such a solid first issue that shows why Image is one of the most buzzed about publishers.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

The Manhattan Projects #1 – Jonathan Hickman’s latest series is so interesting involving the Manhattan Project and how that was really a front.  The ideas are so out there as expected, Hickman knocks it out of the park with this first issue.  The art is interesting and not quite to my liking, but overall the series is a great read and absolute buy.

Story: 9 Art: 8 Overall: 9

Night Force #1 – What the fuck did I just read?  This is really only for hardcore fans of whatever came before.

Story: 6 Art: 7.25 Overall: 6.25

Rachel Rising #6 – Wow.  A slow burn of a horror series that seems to only get better with each issue.  I really wish more people were praising the series because it deserves the mass exposure a certain other horror comic series is getting.

Story: 9 Art: 8.5 Overall: 9

Ralph Wiggum Comics #1 – The things that come out of Ralph’s mouth are some of the best things ever said on The Simpsons.  He’s easily one of my favorite characters.  I was giddy when I heard about this series and it’s as funny and innocent as I expected.  I had a smile on my face the entire time and was laughing out loud.  So much potential, so much fun.

Story: 9 Art: 8 Overall: 8.75

Red Lanterns #7 – Atrocitus still searches for Krona so Bleez decides to take the Red Lanterns on a mission.  Then there’s the Red Lantern of Earth, who of course lashes out and fights Guy Gardner.  For all good there is, there’s also so much bad…

Story: 7 Art: 8 Overall: 7

Stormwatch #7 – The series is so close to being something great, but it just doesn’t quite do it for me.  I’m still reading hoping it’ll get there.  It shows improvement, but still not there yet.

Story: 9 Art: 8.5 Overall: 9

Swamp Thing #7 – The Green is under assault by the Rot and Alec must choose what he’ll do.  Does he become the Swamp Thing or does he let the Rot win.  Here’s what we’ve been waiting for… the decision.

Story: 8.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.75

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #8 – Miles and his uncle have a talk while the Scorpion is after the Prowler.  Miles is still dealing with his new role as others are adjusting to the news of a new Spider-Man.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.25

Uncanny X-Men #8 – The Tabula Rasa story is over and I’m sure that’s not the last we’ll see of it.  Overall a poor follow up to X-Force’s story that created it, but interesting concepts.  The art is still very uneven.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.25

Venom #14 – The battle in Vegas is over thankfully… such a bad story arc.  Here’s hoping the series gets back on track.

Story: 6.5 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.5

Villains for Hire #4 – And with that, a good concept comes to an end.  So sad as the Heroes and Villains concept had a ton of potential and the Heroes version was a lot of fun.  This ending was a bit convoluted, but still entertaining.  We’ll see if there’s any lasting impact to this all.  I hope there is.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Winter Soldier #3 – Not as quite good as Cap stories of the past, the series is slowly finding it’s own voice and coming together.  Bucky and Widow have to break into the Latverian Embassy to have a chat with Von Doom after figuring out who is behind all the activity they’re tracking.  There’s a lot of action here, but the comic stands out when it slows down and focuses on the characters.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.5

Wolverine #302 – Wolverine struggles against mind control, what a shock.  His battle with the Hand continues and gets noticed by the Hand’s leader Wilson Fisk…  The story is ok, but the art is sub-par.

Story: 7.5 Art: 6.75 Overall: 7.25

Wolverine and the X-Men: Alpha & Omega #3 – And the point to this miniseries is?  I really need to learn to not buy these.

Story: 6.75 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.75

X-Men #26 – Wow is the art bad in this issue.  Storm looks anorexic in the majority of panels.  The story is so-so, but really, I kind of hoped someone would stake Jubilee and get this story arc over with.

Story: 7 Art: 6 Overall: 6.75

Comic Book (sort of) Weekly Reviews – 2/22/12

Getting closer to catching up with reviews….

All-Star Western #6 – The mystery of the abducted children is solved as Hex and Arkham’s adventure comes to a close.  Hex is now heading to New Orleans which should be fun and interesting.  The series so far has been decent and I’ve enjoyed it being tied together with the modern DC universe, a nice touch.

Story: 7.75 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75

American Vampire #24 – We get more of a background of how events got to where they are.  I’m loving the setting, action and how this arc is plotted out.  Solid stuff and I’d expect no less from Scott Snyder.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Aquaman #6 – Mera goes food shopping, and things progress as you’d expect.  The story is predictable, but that doesn’t make it any less entertaining.

Story: 8 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8

Avengers Academy #26 – We find out who and sort of why Reptil was sent back from the future, and it’s not what I expected.  The series hasn’t always been great, but it’s moving in the right direction to get there.  Getting better with each issue.

Story: 7.25 Art: 7 Overall: 7.25

Batman: The Dark Knight #6 – Bane is back and I can’t say I like this pumped up version compared to what we last saw in Secret Six.  This is just a hulking behemoth with no thought or depth compared to a rather complex character that grew from the 1 dimensional character he sprung from.

Story: 6.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7

Captain America & Bucky #627 -The story is cool in a retro sort of way, but that’s how he takes down Captain America?!  With a hug?!

Story: 7 Art: 8 Overall: 7

Chew #20 – Olive Chu goes on a mission and learns more about her abilities.  As usual, the story is over the top and so much fun.  This series is a must buy for every.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Fantastic Four #603 – The Fantastic Four and Galactus take on the Mad Celestials as the story continues to come together.  What’s been years in the making is finally coming to a close and the big picture is clearer.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall:8

The Flash #6 – The new Captain Cold?  Really don’t like.  The story though is ok and always great art.

Story: 7 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7

Green Lantern: New Guardians #6 – Interesting concepts, but not the best execution.  Lots of potential here that’s not being met yet.

Story: 6.75 Art:7.5 Overall: 6.75

I, Vampire #6 – The story is amazing and just full of holy shit moments.  This is one of the best series to come out of DC’s reboot.

Story: 8.75 Art: 8.75verall: 8.75

Justice League Dark #6 – Six issues to just get to this point… sigh.  I’m really only reading this for the I, Vampire crossover.  So much potential..

Story: 6.5 Art: 7 Overall: 6.5

The Mighty Thor #11 – The trolls attack as Loki figures out what’s going on and their plan is revealed.  Just in time for the new Asgard to launch too.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

New Mutants #38 – Doug visits the island where he died.  If you’re not a long time fan of the New Mutants, you probably won’t care, just like me.

Story: 6.5 Art: 7 Overall: 6.5

Secret Avengers #23 – Venom joins the team which doesn’t go over so well.  Is it just me or is Hawkeye way more dickish in this series?  Still, the series is finally finding a voice of it’s own, took long enough.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Teen Titans #6 – Licking their wounds after the fight with Superboy, there’s a fight that seems to be pointless as others work to help Kid Flash.  Oh yeah, a mystery is thrown out there too.  Not a bad series, but like the rest of the DC reboots, it’s losing my interest.

Story: 7 Art: 8 Overall: 7

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #7 – General Krang needs Splinter and Stockman sends Mousers to go fetch him.  The series continues to be awesome in every way.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #7 – The fact he’s Spider-Man hits Miles as he heads out to see the extent of his power.  At the same time his uncle is up to something…. The series still has a lot of fun to it, even though the art isn’t quite as solid as it once was.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7 Overall: 7.5

Uncanny X-Force #22 – I thought the Otherworld setting was bad enough, now Weapon III is thrown into the mix.  This great series has dropped in quality quickly.  I can’t wait for this story arc to be over with.

Story: 6 Art: 6 Overall: 6

Venom #13.3 – Wow, is this story bad.  The fact that it’s weekly is just hurting the wallet too.  There was some hope this would be a good event, but can’t say it’s anything knew that hasn’t been seen before.  This great series has gone off the rails.

Story: 6 Art: 6.5 Overall: 6

Wolverine & The X-Men #6 – Wolverine is trying to get money for the school, folks are trying to help Kitty out and Kitty is trying to save herself.  So many different stories and all of it pretty damn fun.  It’s not quite as solid as it’s been, but still an entertaining and original story arc.

Story: 7 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7

X-Men #25 – The X-Men and vampires holding Jubliee meet up and of course fight due to a misunderstanding… how original.  Then something sort of original happens.  Still, not a great plot.  I wish someone would just stake Jubliee and get rid of the character.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

X-Men: Legacy #262 – The battle with Exodus continues and they stop to talk during the middle of it, cause that’s smart.  The story is the typical battle, nothing original really and the art isn’t up to snuff for me.

Story: 6.75 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.75

Comic Book (sort of) Weekly Reviews – 2/1/12

The goal is to get two more weeks reviewed by Sunday….

Animal Man #6 – A very impressive issue that slows the weirdness down a bit and instead focuses on a movie staring a super hero and his family.  The story is so good and really reflects well on Animal Man and his superheroing with this family.  Words just can’t reflect how good this is, but it’s up there as one of the best issues of the year.

Story: 9 Art: 8.5 Overall: 9

Avengers Academy #25 – The kids battle Hybrid and there’s enough here to make me interested.  But the series still feels like it’s a bit “B” level compared to the regulars Avengers “A” game.  Still, entertaining in it’s own ways.

Story: 7.25 Art: 7.25 Overall: 7.25

Avengers X-Sanction #3 – Bits I’ve liked, others not so much.  It’s a prelude, but a prelude that could have been done in a one shot oversized comic instead of being dragged out over four issues.

Story: 7.25 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.25

Batman: Detective Comics #6 – So there’s a lot of Batman comics it seems, and that’s getting me a bit confused as to what’s going on in which.  That’s also hurting my enjoyment a bit, particularly of this series which I think is the weakest of the bunch.  Overall, a mess due to too much monthly Batman.

Story: 6.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 6.75

Batwing #6 – We get a hint as to Massacre might be, though that’s too simple really.  It also looks like the story is shifting back to Gotham.  It’s six issues in and it kind of feels like this story should of wrapped up already.  I do like the filling in of history, but the main story has dragged on for quite a bit and not a lot of resolution.

Story: 7 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.25

the Defenders #3 – Um, entertaining, but rather abrupt ending.  With such build up a bad guy really shouldn’t be defeated so easily.  Overall, I don’t expect this series to last very long.

Story: 6.75 Art: 7 Overall: 6.75

the Punisher #8 – Not the strongest issue in a while, it’s a bit jumbled and choppy for me.  The series generally has been great and the art is fantastic.  I’m not letting one issue get me down, and maybe as a slice of the bigger story it’s better than it stands as a solo issue.

Story: 7 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7

Rachel Rising #5 – The series is creepy, beyond creepy.  A dead girl and another with a demon friend.  Some great horror right here and two female leads.  This is a definite recommend for the horror fans as I imagine not too many of you are picking it up and missing out on a great series.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Red Lanterns #6 – So many issues with this series.  The issue focuses on the new human Red Lantern and like that Corps., it’s all rage and little depth.  The issue suffers from the concept, but the series is shifting to give us more, it’s just taking a while.

Story: 7.25 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.25

Stormwatch #6 – The series has a lot going for it and it’s been six issues and it’s just getting going it feels like.  I really feel like a lot of this could have been settled in the first arc, instead the series has tried to be too smart and instead continues to be a jumbled mess.  It’s getting better though.

Story: 7 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7

Swamp Thing #6 – Scott Snyder is one of the best writers out there right now and combined  with art from Marco Rudy, this series continues to show why it’s one of the best in DC’s relaunch and best on the market.  It’s creepy, gross, haunting and just fantastic.  The build up has been coming, and the story is about to explode.

Story: 8.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.75

The Twelve #9 – The limited series WAS fantastic, but too much time has passed and I can’t say I remember enough to care.  I still want to see how it all ends, but that’s more because the delay makes me fascinated to see what might have been.

Story: 6.75 Art: 8 Overall: 7

Uncanny X-Force #21 – The art is off, story a bit jumbled and big reveal at the end had no impact on me.  Wow did this issue slip in quality.  Oh well, hopefully it’ll bounce back.

Story: 6.75 Art: 7 Overall: 6.75

Uncanny X-Men #6 – Great to see some issues from Uncanny X-Force dealt with, but boy is this bad.  Something isn’t clicking for me.

Story: 6.75 Art: 7 Overall: 6.75

Venom #13 – The Circle of Four kicks off here with the heroes gathering to fight demons.  The art isn’t as solid as it usually is and the story is meh.  Not a good story to a pretty high profile story arc.

Story: 6.75 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.75

Villains for Hire #3 – It’s Misty Knight in control, so the villains turn on her, but is there more to this all.  The end I paused and said, wtf!?  The limited series has been great four three issues, lets hope the fourth doesn’t disappoint.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Winter Soldier #1 – The first issue of the series is interesting and to a point it tries to be smarter than it really needs to be.  The series follows the Winter Soldier/Bucky and Black Widow as they deal with other sleeper agents.  A great premise that could lead to some great spy/noir storytelling, but too much is crammed in and the series instead feels like a cheap action comic.

Story: 7 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.25

X-Factor #231 – We find out more about the world Madrox wound up in and it’s pretty interesting.  I imagine we’ll see it again the future.  Madrox hops to another world.  It’s all supposedly concluded next issue.  Thankfully.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Christos Gage Addresses Homosexuality and Politics in Comics

I have to throw props to Bleeding Cool for pointing this out and providing the scan of the page and huge kudos to Christos Gage for addressing things so well.

Marvel Unveils New Avengers Vs. X-Men Covers!

Marvel Unveils New AVENGERS VS. X-MEN Covers!

The war to save the Marvel Universe in continues this May as the Avengers go head to head against the X-Men while the all-powerful Phoenix Force hurdles towards Earth!

You’ve heard It’s Coming—and this April The War Is Here in Avengers VS X-Men! All your favorite super heroes enter—and only one team will emerge victorious!

Which team will reign supreme? Join the conversation on Twitter with #AvX!

For more on Avengers VS X-Men, please visit http://avx.marvel.com

AVS: VS #2
Written by KIERON GILLEN & STEVE MCNIVEN
Pencils by SALVADOR LARROCA & STEVE MCNIVEN
Cover by SALVADOR LARROCA
ON SALE THIS MAY!

AVENGERS ACADEMY #29 & 30
Written by CHRISTOS GAGE
Pencils by TOM GRUMMETT
Covers by GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI
ON SALE THIS MAY!

NEW AVENGERS #26
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Pencils & Cover by MIKE DEODATO
ON SALE THIS MAY

AVENGERS #26
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Pencils & Cover by WALTER SIMONSON
ON SALE THIS MAY!

Comic Book (not so) Weekly Reviews – 1/4/12

Catching up slowly with reviews….

Animal Man #5 – The rot is spreading and Animal Man and his family must fight it.  The series art has dipped a little, but story is Vertigo meets mainstream DC.  Solid work and I can’t wait to see where it goes….

Story: 8 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.75

The Avengers Annual #1 – Remember when Wonder Man and a team attacked the Avengers mansion?  Yeah… so if you wondered whatever happened to that story, it gets wrapped up in this issue.  It’s interesting and sets up a lot of potential, but it’s been so long since that first part you have to wonder why it’s taken so damn long.

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75

Avengers Academy #24 – Hmm, kind of torn on this issue.  The art is just ok, and the time travel/traitor story has been done, but there’s something interesting about it all.  It’s not “A” level, but getting better than it’s been.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Avengers: X-Sanction #2 – Cable continues to fight the Avengers as more hints towards the why are given.  Cable slips between the present and future in decent story telling, the art I’m iffy on over it.  The story is intriguing, just not totally sold.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7 Overall: 7.5

Batman: Detective Comics #5 – The main story is ok, Batman chases some guy as people protest Batman.  The back-up story is a jumble of a mess.  I’d rather have a longer main story or something else, cause the quality is just not good.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Batwing #5 – Anyone else think it’s odd that Batwing has to call in the white Batman to help?  No message there?  The issue is decent and has some character depth added for Batwing and the art is fantastic.  The series is one of the bright spots for the DC relaunch.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

The Defenders #2 – The series second issue is a bit better than the first.  There’s a tone and pacing that’s different and entertaining to it.  The blurbs at the bottom are interesting too.  I can’t say this is a huge hit and must read series, but it’s getting better in my opinion.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Fatale #1 – So much hype surrounding the series and while it’s interesting, it’s not as good as Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ previous work.  The noir meets Lovecraft series is not as good as what they’ve done, but that makes it better than most everything else.  My gut says the series will be a better read in one sitting instead of individual issues.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.5

Fear Itself: The Fearless #6 – What happened to Crossbone’s new ability?  That seemed to go away… The event spin-off hasn’t gotten much better and I’m not seeing the point.  I’m reading it in hopes it leads to something.

Story: 6.5 Art: 7 Overall: 6.5

The Punisher #7 – I really liked this issue.  On the way to the massacre from the last issue, two detectives talk about the Punisher and what he does and how that differs from what the police and law do.  I solid issue that really gets you to think about justice and who decides and dispenses it.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Rachel Rising #4 – The state of Rachel is starting to be noticed as more bodies are dumped.  The series is weird and a very slow creepy burn to it.  It’s so good though showing why horror was my pick of genre of the year last year.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Red Lanterns #5 – A bunch of the Lanterns get smarter as they look for Krona.  Earth gets it’s own Red Lantern.  Overall an ok story that’s getting somewhere, just not sure where.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5

Stormwatch #5 – Um, what the hell did I read?  I am so confused by this series.  There’s a bunch I like and then again, this is just not a friendly series for new readers. What. The. Hell?

Story: 7 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.25

Swamp Thing #5 – The rot continues to get stronger while the green attempts to fight back.  The series is colliding with Animal Man and damn it’s good.  There’s just this great horror feel to it all and it’s easy to get into, even with such material that’s come before.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Thunderbolts #168 – Luke Cage is going after escaped convicts from the Raft as Mockingbird and Mach V deal with the committe that oversees the program.  At the same time the other Thunderbolts are on the run still and did Ghost reach them?  Lots going on here in an interesting issue that’s pretty solid.  Not bade, but not great either.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.5

Uncanny X-Force #19.1 – We get a preview of what to expect when the Age of Apocalypse comes back as an ongoing series.  The preview is crazy and entertaining, but I wonder what the big game plan it is for the series.  There has to be something.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8 Overall: 8.5

Uncanny X-Men #4 – A story of the Phalanx and it’s interesting.  There’s a slight tie-in with Sinister which seems a bit stretched.  A lot I like and some I don’t.  Pretty decent read though.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 7.5

Villains for Hire #2 – Purple Man is on the move to find his rival and it’s a shocker as to who it is, but that ending just made my jaw drop.  I have no idea what is happening next, but this series is very entertaining.  I can’t wait to see what it leads to.

Story: 8 Art: 7.25 Overall: 7.75

X-Men #23 – Yay, we get a semi-mission/point for this team, other than leaving weapons of mass destruction lying around.  What an anti-climatic ending to the story…

Story: 7 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7

Wolverine & the X-Men: Alpha & Omega #1 – Quentin Quire decides to get his revenge on Wolverine for sending him to Westchester.  Sadly, the story isn’t needed and really adds nothing so far.  The art is just ok and doesn’t live up to the cool cover.  Overall, no idea why this is being done.

Story: 6.75 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.75

X-23 #20 – Laura and Jubilee have a night out and Laura gets an offer as to where she should go next.  The story is ok, but really could have had a much more emotional impact.  The sub-par art didn’t help at all as well.

Story: 6.5 Art: 6.5 Overall: 6.5

Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 12/14/11

It’s a good mix of comics this week including a bunch I’ve been waiting to read.  What’s worth it?  Find out below!

American Vampire #21 – We get some insight into who Skinner is, but still not how he became what he is.  That’s the story I thought was being told, but it’s clear that this story arc was just one small piece of the larger puzzle that Scott Snyder will eventually reveal.  Much like his general writing style, even with the bigger story telling, Snyder takes his time, laying it out in a slow, but enjoyable reveal.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Avengers Academy #23 – The plot of future Reptil coming back to make sure his timeline happens is rather interesting, but there’s something that’s missing to me as far as the writing.  The art too isn’t as top notch as I’d expect from an important title like this.  As with the characters, there’s something that just seems junior to me.  It’s an improvement in the series, but still not enough for me to consider it an “A” title.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7 Overall: 7.25

Avengers: X-Sanction #1 – This is the first step in the big Avengers vs. X-Men fight that reaches it’s full blown madness in a few months.  Cable is back to prevent a disaster in the future and to do that he has to take on the Avengers.  It all revolves around Hope too, and with all the mystery surrounding her, this event has the potential to reveal a hell of a lot.  The first issue is interesting and pretty solid, but quite of a few of Marvel’s recent events have started out strong too only to stumble.  We’ll see if this one can buck that trend.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8 Overall: 8.5

Batgirl #4 – We finally find out how Barbara is walking, even if it’s just a few panels and her battle with Mirror comes to an end in this holiday themed issue.  Overall the comic is pretty good as expected with Gail Simone behind the wheel, but it still nags me about Barbara Gordon now walking.  That’s not Simone’s fault, but it’s still the elephant in the room as it feels insulting to those who are in wheelchairs or who have other disabilities.  The comic is good though, even with the rather lame villain.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Batman and Robin #4 – We learn a bit as to who Nobody is as the villain and Batman fight for Damian’s loyalty.  It’s interesting these two so easily represent the dual sides of Damian, but it’s also so obvious this is the intent.  The comic doesn’t have subtlety, but the story is entertaining and art very solid.  Overall a good addition to the Bat family of comics.

Story: 8 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8

Batwoman #4 – Flamebird gets her butt whooped as Batwoman continues to search for the missing children and attempts to have a social life.  The story as usual isn’t the draw here, it’s all about the art which continues to be amazing.  Hopefully the storytelling will get to the level of the art and layout and at that point, this’ll be one of the best comics out there.  Until then, it’s only for people looking for something beautiful to look at.

Story: 7.25 Art: 9 Overall: 7.5

Battle Scars #2 – The mystery of Marcus Johnson isn’t revealed in this second issue…. maybe the next one?  The comic is ok, but nothing that’s gotten me too excited.

Story: 7.25 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.25

Black Panther: The Most Dangerous Man Alive #526 – In a plot that’s rather appropriate in today’s anti-corporate fervor, we find out exactly what Wilson Fisk wants with the Bank of Wakanda.  The story is pretty solid in it’s chess like plot and the art is always great.

Story: 7.75 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75

Green Lantern #4 – Jordan and Sinestro versus the entire Sinestro Corps.  But, what happens when they fail?  Captured and surrounded by people that hate them, Sinestro and Jordan have to figure out how to escape and free an enslaved world that despises them.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Iron Man 2.0 #11 – Just one more issue to go with Warmachine taking on a nano tech villain.  It’s been an interesting story, but nothing quite amazing.  The art in this issue though takes a dip as a few different folks hop in to put it all together.  The usual interesting and unique look changes a bunch and often in a jarring way.

Story: 7.25 Art: 6.75 Overall: 7

Magneto: Not a Hero #2 – What the hell is going on?  Unless you’re a die-hard “X” fan and care about Joseph/Erik/Magneto, this comic just makes little sense for the folks who haven’t been reading for decades.

Story: 6.5 Art: 7 Overall: 6.5

the New Avengers #19 – It’s Norman Osborn’s new Dark Avengers and a lot of discussion of what worked, what didn’t and why this team is better.  At the same time the new Avengers discuss Norman being loose and it looks like they have a traitor in their midst.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Resurrection Man #4 – A bunch of crazy in this issue as various forces merge to get Shelley back.  There’s heaven and hell and two women sporting big guns and a guy calling himself Transhuman.  The series is pretty crazy, but something very entertaining and interesting about it all.

Story: 8 Art: 7.75 Overall: 8

S.H.I.E.L.D. #4 – Is this in continuity?  There’s some things shown here that are pretty huge if this is happening in the 616 world.  As usual, a lot I like in the series but also a lot that’s a bit dense and hard to get in to.

Story: 7.25 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.25

Suicide Squad #4 – The cover lays it out there “betrayed by one of their own,” but who it is and why definitely caught me off guard.  The second arc comes to a close and leads directly into the third.  The series isn’t the tops out there and needs a bit more fine tuning to turn it into a solid Dirty Dozen type comic, but it’s still entertaining to read.

Story: 7.25 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.25

Superboy #4 – Superboy is given a choice after it’s clear who and what Red is.  But, in his wandering to figure it all out, Superboy comes off as a dick.  It’s interesting to follow this series, just because of it’s tie into Teen Titans, but without that, there’s not a whole lot that’s enjoyable about this Superboy.

Story: 7 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7

Ultimate Comics X-Men #4 – Well, hell, I totally didn’t expect that and see that coming.  Stryker attacks New York while the US government and the remaining X-Men have to figure out how to respond.  The story is very familiar, but just different enough to keep me on my toes.  The Ultimate universe is one where anything can happen and it does.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Uncanny X-Force #18 – Well that was one hell of an ending and I have to say I got a bit emotional for part of it, but still not sure why there was a bag.  Rick Remender’s epic story of the rise of the new Apocalypse goes out with a bang and deserves to be put up there as one of the best “X” stories ever.  Solid on every level.

Story: 8.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.75

The Walking Dead #92 – Just when you think writer Robert Kirkman is going to go in one direction, he throws something at you that you weren’t expecting.  This issue really shakes up the series and I’m sure you’re jaw dropped at the ending like mine.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

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