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Weekly Purchases

It’s a Marvel and Blackest Night sort of week, as my pull box is filled with both.  Not a whole lot in independent or even mature titles this week, it’s pretty mainstream stuff.

Monthly Comics

Adventure Comics #4 – I was never a big fan of how DC handled it’s multiverse and this series sums up my reasons really well.  Here, you have Superman Prime watching the main DC universe through comic books.  A cute idea but, it gets old really quick.  Add in tons of back story about Superman Prime’s past actions and the future Legion and you have a comic that’s a little too enveloped in continuity.  Also in the mix is this issue’s tie-in with Blackest Night, and you have too much for the new reader to keep track of or to easily understand with just this one issue.  Once again, I feel like I’m a broken record here, if the point of packaging Lantern rings in with these issues is to hook new readers, this issue fails to achieve that for me.  Your mileage may vary.

Story: 6 Art: 6 Overall: 6

Dark Avengers #11 – Osborn meets the villain that so easily defeated his team as we learn about Victoria Hands’ past.  A character that hasn’t gotten much attention has been thrusted into the spotlight as she must take control of H.A.M.M.E.R.  We’re also treated to a glimpse of her past pre-current gig and she’s a much more thought out character than you’d think. We’ve had hints that there was much more to her past than what we know and that question is finally being answered just in time for the end of the Dark Reign plotline.  We’re also treated to some interesting art choices as the Dark Avengers have to deal with their attacker.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Dark Reign: The List – the Amazing Spider-man – Norman Osborn put together a “to-do” list and killing Spider-man was his top priority.  This one-shot sees Osborn finally getting his chance as well as the flip side of Spider-man showing the world that Norman Osborn isn’t reformed at all.  All of these one-shots have served as an extra issue for their respective characters moving along their narrative in the greater Dark Reign story line.  Some have hit their mark and some have missed.  This one-shot definitely hits the mark.  I’m not a regular Spider-man reader (have been in the past though) but if each comic was as solid as this I should check out what I’ve been missing.  On top of an entertaining and intelligent story, the art is top notch with a great mix of panels and splash pages.  Overall, a great final issue for the one-shots and a great story to move the narrative forward.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Irredeemable #8 – What could drive a super hero with god like powers to wipe out an entire city?  We finally learn what made Plutonian snap.  The reason given isn’t quite convincing to me, hopefully Mark Waid has more up his sleeve as far as reasoning.  Still, it’s an entertaining series that’s just different than what else is out there to make it stand out from your average funny book.

Story: 7 Art: 6.5 Overall: 6.75

the Mighty Avengers #31 – The combined Avengers teams take on the Unspoken.  The majority of the story is entertaining with a “classic” feel to it, but the ending of how they fix the team members affected by the xerogen mists feels a but like a mcguffin.  Overall, an ok arc.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Outsiders #24 – Like R.E.B.E.L.S. this Blackest Night tie-in issue attempts to use that status as a bump in it’s story telling instead of totally having it take over.  The issues follows two main stories as zombie Tara heads to see her brother (a continuation of the Blackest Night: Titans limited series) and Tatsu must deal with the return of her family.  My problems with this issue were these, after her attack on the Titans, now Tara is calm and not attacking the Outsiders with no explanation as to why she’s suddenly able to remain calm and not give in to the ring.  Also, the second story didn’t have much emotional depth or oomph to make me care about Tatsu’s family returning as Black Lanterns.  While the issue is decent, I don’t think it comes close to the excellence of R.E.B.E.L.S. or Booster Gold‘s tie-in issues that both show what really can be done with the story line restrictions.

Story: 5.5 Art: 5.5 Overall: 5.5

Punisher #11 – Dark Reign: The List – Punisher saw Osborn’s vendetta with the Punisher finalized as Daken sliced and diced our anti-hero in one of the best comics of the year.  This new arc sees the newly arisen FrankenCastle being sought out by the Marvel monsters to help them.  I was nervous going into this issue, and I think my fears are justified.  The newly arisen Punisher reeks of Marvel’s attempt to bring him back from the dead years ago as an avenging angel for God.  Also, since when would you lump in Morbius with mole creatures, or the wolfman?  Shouldn’t Morbius be showing up in Strange or Doctor Voodoo’s series?  We’ll see where this new direction goes, but so far the plot combined with Tony Moore’s unimpressive art makes me long for the days when the series was one giant action scene.

Story: 6.5 Art: 6.5 Overall: 6.5

Realm of Kings – The Guardians of the Galaxy, Nova, Quasar, and Pegasus team up to figure out what’s on the other end of the Fault.  Quasar (yes, he’s back) volunteers to head in and we’re treated to find out what’s on the other end.  What I thought would take months of teasing is answered early as the writers DnA get right to the point and tell us what resides in the fault.  Definitely a direction I wasn’t expecting.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Realm of Kings: Inhumans #1 – The War of Kings is over and the Inhumans must deal with their rule over the Kree people.  A decent beginning to the series as DnA start another chapter of their Marvel Space opera.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Spider-Woman #3 – Jessica Drew must decide if she’s going to go with Madame Hydra or deal with the police.  The latest series from Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev is really good, and I definitely recommend it.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Superman/Batman #66 – So even though the series is called Superman/Batman it stars Man-bat and Bizzaro, mmm k.  For the past few weeks DC has been giving away promotional rings for the Blackest Night with the purchase of a few select books that somewhat tie in to the event.  This issue, even though it carries the Blackest Night banner, did not come with a ring, and boy did I wish I didn’t pick it up.  No reason is really given that the returned Solomon Grundy would dislike Bizzaro or Man-bat.  The relationship between the two main characters is never explained.  Instead, we’re just thrown into the story line without any explanation as far as past continuity and story.  If this issue was meant to hook new readers it falls flat on it’s face giving no reason to stick with the series or bother picking up back issues.  Between the random story and sub-par art, this issue fails on all levels.

Story: 4 Art: 4.5 Overall: 4

Thunderbolts #138 – The team has had some down time and that doesn’t work for Mr. X.  Instead he decides to head off to do some killing in his free time and Scourge must lead the rest of the Thunderbolts to retrieve their AWOL teammate.  The story is entertaining and the art is generally good, but why does Mr. X suddenly look like Dee Snyder?

Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75

Vengeance of the Moon Knight #3 – I missed this issue last week and enjoyed the first two issues so much I made sure to grab it this week.  Moon Knight continues his tip-toe with madness as Marvel’s version of Batman continues his path at redemption.  The Hood makes his moves to take down Moon Knight as he turns to his nemesis for help.  This issue continues this mini-series excellence as it not only moved the story along but gave us reasons for why the Moon Knight is the way he is.  I’m enjoying this series so much I’m going back and ordering trade paperpacks of his earlier mini-series.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Wolverine: Weapon X #7 – Logan continues to try and remember who he is as he deals with the lunacy around him that is Dr. Rottwell.  This is part two of an arc that comes off as “gore porn” in comic book form.  What probably should have been a one issue story, perfect for Halloween, instead is a multi-part arc that just barely misses the mark and definitely seems rather odd as the follow up to the first arc’s much more action oriented focus.  We’ll continue to see where Aaron goes with this story, but so far I give it a big “meh.”

Story: 6.5 Art: 6.5 Overall: 6.5

X-Men Legacy #229 – Rogue takes on Emplate, Gambit flips out, this issue comes off as an arc to tide us over until the next important story line.  There isn’t necessarily anything bad about this issue, just nothing special.

Story: 6.5 Art: 6 Overall: 6.25